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RIP Geoff Friswell

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#1 Chris Townsend

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:07

I've just learned from his good friend Chris Skellern of the death of TNF contributor and fine racing driver Geoff Friswell.
Geoff had been suffering from leukemia for some time and died on Tuesday.
Even knowing how ill he was it still comes as a terrible shock; he was one of the most cheerful, irrepressible characters I've come across, up to a month ago we were still corresponding about his racing career.
We'll remember him for his exploits in Clubmans, Atlantic and FF2000, but right up to the last few months he was riding vintage speedway and his vintage trials bike.

Cheers Geoff, and deepest condolences to all your family and friends

Edited by Chris Townsend, 06 August 2009 - 21:08.


#2 David McKinney

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:14

Terrible news, Chris
I never met him, but recall reading of his exploits back in the day
And greatly enjoyed his reminiscences here on TNF

Sincere condolences to his family and friends

#3 paulsenna1

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:24

I am deeply saddened by this terrible news.

Geoff was one of my heroes from the 70s and it was wonderful to correspond with him after his posts here on TNF.

Deepest condolences to all his family and friends.

#4 alansart

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:39

Very sad news.

He came on TNF and enlightened us of his exploits in racing with a very positive attitude.

I enjoyed watching him race but feel happy that he was bloody good at what he did.

Cheers Geoff :wave:

#5 Cirrus

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:52

I only met Geoff once - at Donington last year, but his enthusiasm and cheerfulness shone through, particularly when he spoke about his exploits in FF2000.

Both four-wheeled and two-wheeled sport are the poorer for his passing.

#6 sterling49

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:58

How sad, I never knew Geoff was ill, I was fortunate in seeing him race many times, something he was so very good at.

#7 Andrew Fellowes

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:30

agreed, and his posts here were easily some of the most enjoyable to read, Fris the Whizz, oh dear,
condolences to your family and friends.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 01:40

I'm sorry, I don't recognise the name...

Did he post under his own, or have pseudonym?

#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:40

What dreadful news to wake up to. I too really enjoyed reading his reminiscences. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Ray, he posted as Fris the Whizz

#10 Alan Cox

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:23

This is very sad news to all who came to know Geoff through his time in Clubmans, FF2000 and Atlantic, and latterly through his brilliant posts on TNF. Anyone who missed his contribution is advised to catch up with them through Tim's link posted above, and they will gain some insight in into single-seater racing formulae in the 70s. I corresponded with Geoff via email and his enthusiasm shone through in his responses and I'm sorry that I never got to know him personally.

Sincere condolences to his family and friends

#11 Paul Hurdsfield

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:25

Very sad, I remember seeing him race at Oulton many times.

#12 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:26

It really is dreadful news. Geoff was such a fine man, a terrific sense of humour and a fighter & competitor until the end. Only recently he gave up veteran speedway at Coventry stadium, but carried on with motorcycle trials riding, but as he often said ' fallen off and hurt myself again'. He and Frances had recently bought themselves a new camper van, the dream was to tour Europe, take in some fine wines and visit some foreign races. He was gutted at having to cancel the BRDC campsite booking he made with it for the British GP, due to his first hospital stay. He'd always stay at Silverstone for the GP, in his caravan parked alongside old friends Cyd Williams, Brian Hart and their families. He had so many friends and so many stories.

He always said to me his finest hour was beating the best in Formula Atlantic at Oulton Park in his March 73B.

Really sad news. We'll never ever forget Fris the Whizz.

#13 zoff2005

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:38

What very sad news, I had no idea he was so ill, apart from the hearing problems he mentioned on the forum. I had met him years and years ago when he was still racing F4 and then again a couple of years ago at Donington.
This is a photo he sent me as he did not know how to post them at the time - I am not sure I remember how to do it now! Geoff and his Vixen VB4. Photo is from 1969, 40 years ago... God speed

Posted Image

Edited by zoff2005, 07 August 2009 - 07:40.

#14 John Ginger

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:13

Just like to add my condelences to Geoff's Family and many Friends

I much admired Geoff in Formula Atlantic in the 70's, he was rarely off the pace

As mentioned already, we were priviledged to have his input on this forum

God bless you Geoff

#15 Giraffe

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:14

My first memories of Geoff Friswell came from the season after F4, 1970 when he campaigned a Brabham BT21B twincam in the BOC Formula Libre championship. He was pretty rapid straight away, a bit too much on occasion as I remember him dumping it in the ditch at Cascades at Oulton!
He was one of those instantly recognisable names in British club racing, and seemed to be well liked by everybody; a true racer and talented too.

#16 HarryStiller

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:49

I was most upset to hear today that our good friend Geoff had passed away on Wednesday. As many of you know, Geoff had been fighting
against odds of recent times and had recently undergone a 4 week bout of kemo therapy. Geoff was one of the nicest and most genuine people
you could ask to meet; he was also a talented driver and rider and, in the 70's, was a front runner and formidable competitor in the Atlantic series.
He was a passionate BRDC member and I will always remember him as one of the nicest people I have ever met in the motor racing world.

He will be very sadly missed and to Francis and his family I send all my condolances at this very sad and testing time. I was proud to have known him.

Harry Stiller

#17 tedwentz

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:14

It is so saddening to hear of Geoff's recent passing. It seems utterly unfair that one of the really good guy's life should have to end prematurely. To a colonial like me Geoff was the embodiment of the best of the British sportsman. Handsome, plucky and capable, central casting would have loved Geoff. In our Atlantic days together he was always a competitor one had to take very seriously. Ever capable of a podium or a win, his immaculate blue March was always a favorite of the fans. As an owner, entrant, part time race engineer and driver Geoff would get the job done without vast resources. His network of friends expanded greatly in recent years with the advent of email and forums like this one. It was a rare pleasure to receive one of his friendly and infectiously enthusiastic emails. A few years ago an email from Geoff introduced me to the TNF and I don't think I ever properly thanked him for it.

So, thank you Geoff. Thank you for your wit, your enthusiasm, your charm, your fellowship and your spirit. You will be missed. Godspeed

#18 HarryStiller

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 12:51

Hi Ted,
nice to see you that are around and very much alive and kicking. I remember you very well from the Atlantic days when I was running Alan Jones. You were always a major threat at the front end
and one of our main protaganists in the effort to win. The passing of Geoff brings great sadness to us all and your tribute to him will I'm sure be appreciated by his wife Francis and his many friends
from all over the world.

I hope that you are well and in good spirits,
Once again it's nice to hear from you, in spite of these circumstances in which we meet again.
Best Regards
Harry Stiller.

#19 pud0007

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 19:47

i am saddened to hear about Geoffs death having been in touch with him over the last 18 months thanks to this great site, and having had the privalage to race against geoff in th 70s and to have met one of the true happy kind people that i know i would like to pass my thoughts on to his family in this very sad time.
one thing is sure i will never forget the many racing memories i have of geoff one thing is for sure life above is about to become alot faster with him about


#20 MCS

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 21:13

I have to say that I've found this news very upsetting, especially having heard that things weren't looking that bad about a month ago.

There will be a lot of people affected by this terrible news - to say that Geoff was well-liked and popular would be a massive understatement.

I saw him race (and by that I mean compete to win) against the likes of David Purley, Colin Vandervell, Tom Pryce, John Nicholson and co. in Formula Atlantic - probably the high-point of his career. I can also remember being genuinely frightened by his speed at Cadwell Park in his clubmans Mallock U2 - lapping as quickly as most of the F3 cars of the time. His attack on the mountain was quite amazing.

God rest his soul.

#21 Andretti Fan

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 00:37

Definately terrible news. I was only vaguely familiar with his racing career until I began reading his posts here. It was always a pleasure to learn more from him about the racing scene in England in the 70's. His knowledge, wisdom and wit will be surely missed here.

I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Geoffs family, friends, and to all his fans who followed his career over the years.

#22 Bob Bennett

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 08:05

I first met Geoff in the late sixties when we were both 19 or 20. He briefly worked at the fledgling Birmingham depot set up by Suzuki to start distributing their bikes in the UK. We became great pals through our motor cycle scrambling years but were both eventually drawn towards club racing with cars. While I built a Mini Marcos and a "tin" Mini, Geoff converted his road going MGB, becoming a customer of ex motorcycle champion and later MGB racer Bill Nicholson. My efforts were soon overtaken by business and family life but Geoff progressed onwards and upwards with the Vixens, U2 clubmans, and the rest of the single seaters. All of this I followed with great interest and it was through Geoff that I became a supplier of body work to the Mallocks. Together we developed the first full width nose used on a U2. Years passed and contact faded but I was more recently amazed to hear that Geoff was a competitor in the same pre'65 motorcycle trials as our elder son Jody. Through him messages had started to reach us in SW France. "Geoff says that when you next come to England you must meet up to chat about old times!" The fact that he was competing on the bike as recently as March gave no clues as to the state of his health. Now it's with great sadness that I realise we won't meet again. So many memories........

Condolences to Frances and all family and friends.

#23 Phil Rainford

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:25

The first motor racing picture I snapped was Geoff's Formula Atlantic March in 1974 at Oulton Park.

From that first picture I always followed Geoff's career with a keen interest via Clubmans and FF2000 ( I still have his autograph).

The standard of both the preparation of his cars and his driving was always first class.

I was thrilled when he began posting on TNF, his knowledge and humour were obvious via his contributions.

Geoff Friswell was and will always be for me one of my heroes of British Club Racing


Edited by Phil Rainford, 08 August 2009 - 10:26.

#24 Giraffe

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 10:30

Posted Image
By giraffe138
Posted Image
By giraffe138
Posted Image
By giraffe138 at 2009-08-08

These photos were originally posted by Geoff himself in January 2008 on the "Formula Atlantic" thread where you can find many of the fascinating tales that he added to it. I have moved them here as a tribute to Geoff.

Edited by Giraffe, 08 August 2009 - 10:35.

#25 Twin Window

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 23:18

I can't believe I missed this news from over a year ago - in fact I only heard about it via a post on Facebook earlier this evening.

What a terrible shame. Geoff was such a nice, enthusiastic and down-to-earth bloke. And a great contributor to TNF too.

I am really quite shocked, especially as this news passed me by last year...

#26 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 00:05

Can I ask again?

What was his TNF identity? I'm sure he didn't post under his own name.

Anyone who raced a Clubman is a good bloke, anyway, of course.

#27 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 00:53


Please reread post 9 in this thread.

#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 01:09

Whoops... thanks Tim...

I overlooked that because it was a link.