Hugh Chamberlain: 1941–2024

Hugh Chamberlain: 1941–2024

Stéphane Ratel and the SRO Motorsports Group team wish to extend their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Hugh Chamberlain, the popular GT team owner and manager who has passed away at the age of 84. 

Chamberlain was among the great paddock personalities of SRO's early endeavours, entering a variety of cars in the BPR Global GT Series and subsequently FIA GT. Indeed, his Chamberlain Engineering team was on the grid for the very first BPR race, which took place almost 30 years ago at Circuit Paul Ricard. 

Hugh's outfit remained a regular presence over the next three seasons with Lotus, Jaguar and Porsche machinery, and was on the grid once again for the launch of the FIA GT Championship in 1997. Fielding the iconic Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Chamberlain Engineering finished second in the 1999 teams' standings, beaten only by the brand's works outfit. After a spell away from the series, the re-named Chamberlain-Synergy returned to run a TVR Tuscan in 2004.

His success extended beyond SRO series: Chamberlain Engineering earned class titles in the FIA World Sports Car Championship, and Hugh was an important figure at the Le Mans 24 Hours, fielding cars over a two-decade span. What's more his Lotus Esprit won the British GT title in 1994, before SRO began its involvement with the championship.

"I will remember Hugh with much fondness; he was one of motorsport's great characters who embodied the can-do spirit of a privateer team boss in the early days of SRO," said Stéphane Ratel. "But he was also a racer through and through who enjoyed great success in sportscars before bringing that experience to BPR where his Lotus Esprit project added welcome and novel but also competitive variety to our grid. The Viper and TVR projects that followed proved no less exciting and helped define the era preceding GT3. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him."

Hugh is survived by his wife, Gill, to whom SRO offers its deepest sympathies. 

Photos courtesy of John Brooks