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Ninian Sanderson

14th May 1925
Glasgow, Scotland
1st October 1985 (Aged 60)
Glasgow, Scotland, cancer
Most recent race (in database):

This tough and uncompromising Scot enjoyed his proudest moment by winning the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Ninian Sanderson began racing in 500cc Formula 3 in England after World War II and was an early member of Ecurie Ecosse when David Murray formed the team in 1952. A mainstay of the sports car team driving the Jaguar C-type that his father had bought him, he also raced in Formula 2.

Le Mans winner for Ecurie Ecosse

Jaguar was in a rich vein of form during the mid 1950s but its 1956 and 1957 Le Mans victories were different for they came from north of the border. The works cars all faltered in 1956 and it was the Ecurie Ecosse D-type of Sanderson and Ron Flockhart that delivered victory. Partnered by Jock Lawrence a year later, Sanderson finished in second position behind the sister car of Flockhart and Ivor Bueb.

He continued racing at Le Mans as a successful amateur while he concentrated on running car dealerships in Glasgow. His AC Cobra-Ford won the 5000cc class on his last appearance at Le Mans when seventh overall in 1963.

Well known for a dark sense of humour and a liking for practical jokes, he also would not suffer fools lightly – in racing or at work. He demonstrated a Jaguar D-type at Ingliston in 1984 but by now Sanderson had been diagnosed with cancer. He worked tirelessly for cancer relief charities until his death in 1985.