If you were ever to make a low budget movie in the seventies and eighties (and they were a couple of high budget ones that were dire) and you wanted to cast the archetypal and quintissential British driver Rupert would have been the perfect choice dashing blonde good looks,playboy image and complete with faded scar under left eye which seemed to add to his image,mindst you stories of him been pulled from the burning wreck of his racing car whilst leading the pack only to lose a wheel at the final corner etc.etc.,I believe was from a ill fated game of fencing al la 3 muskateers whilst at prep school!
Rupert was a very quick young driver with at times a great desire to win (ask Bruno Giaccomelli) but at times just appeared to lose this desire and what should have been the next james Hunt faded away.
I appreciate his Grand Prix drives were hampered by less than perfect cars but others at the time in similar machinery came good e.g. Allan Jones.
Moving into Group C again he was very quick driving both Porsche 956 and 962 but again after a auspicious start in this mode of racing boredom seem to strike and then changed direction and tried Indycars.
I feel around this period (1970 to mid 1980) Brit drivers were at a high quality but never progressed to great heights (Evans,Crawford to name a couple more) but I feel the one who had the most talent and should have become a top GP driver was Rupert.
I last saw Rupert in London probably 1n 1994 he was running his own team in some junior formulae whilst I was involved in F3000 his driver I believe was from Iran and complained how poor and undrivable the car presented to him by Ruperts team whilst testing at Snetterton, to which with a borrowed helmet Rupert jumped in the car and within 3 laps was over 3 secs quicker than the now embarrased and moody Iranian.
Not sure what Rupert is doing these days perhaps someone can advise me?
Edited by rdmotorsport, 03 August 2009 - 11:04.