David Price, founder of the eponymous David Price Racing team that competed in GP2, passed away on Wednesday.
In a career that spanned over several decades, Price took on a variety of roles preparing and entering cars in single-seaters and sportscars, and first got into team management in the mid-1970s.
Before the end of the decade he has founded DPR, which competed in British Formula 3. It did not take long for the team to start collecting trophies, and ran Brett Riley to second in the 1977 standings.
DPR grew more competitive and won the French F3 title in 1982 with Pierre Petit and then the British F4 title in 1984 with Johnny Dumfries.
Price’s career then took him into sportscars, both trackside and in composite production, and he had a stint leading Sauber’s World Sportscar Championship programme and another with Nissan. After being hired by the Brabham Formula 1 team, Price returned DPR to sportscar racing, running McLaren F1s and later a factory Panoz effort.
Eventually he came back to junior single-seaters, and DPR ran two cars in the 2004 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup. It was then selected as one of the 12 teams for the new GP2 series, the predecessor to Formula 2, and came 10th in the teams’ standings in the inaugural season with two wins delivered by Olivier Pla [pictured above].
DPR made the podium four times across the next two seasons, before Price sold the team ahead of 2009 to the father of driver Michael Herck, with the team leaving the grid at the end of 2010. Alongside GP2, DPR spent one season in A1GP running Team USA’s cars in 2005-06.
Price stayed involved in motorsport after that with Panoz’s DeltaWing and GT team Bullitt Racing. His son Leon has followed a similar career path, starting off as a mechanic at DPR. He eventually became team manager during its final years in GP2, became head of operations for the new GP3 series in 2010 and later took on management roles in the Mahindra and Virgin Formula E teams.
“Yesterday, we said goodbye to our beloved dad,” Leon posted to Twitter on Thursday.
“We are absolutely devastated to lose him. The messages of condolences we have already received are both heartwarming and comforting. He was my hero and I will miss him dearly. Rest well Dad x.”
Several motorsport figures left tributes to Price Sr in the replies.
4x IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti: “So sorry to hear this Leon. Max and I were just talking about him last week. I always loved a chat with Dave, my last at Goodwood was like my first, he was taking the piss out of me! Rest well Dave, you’ve earned it.”
2013 WEC LMP2 runner-up Alex Brundle, son of former DPR racer Martin: “Thoughts are with you Leon, your dad was a great friend to our family and a big part of my dad’s life as you know. My condolences, I hope you’re doing ok.”
F1TV presenter Will Buxton: “I’m so sorry Leon. He was the loveliest, naughtiest, funniest man. So grateful to have known him and to have such fondly held memories. Sending love to you all. What a life. What a guy.”
Double R Racing boss Boyo Hieatt: “Such awful news . Sorry for your loss Leon .The racing world is a worse place today without him.”
Sportscar star Maro Engel: “My heartfelt condolences Leon! Your dad was a great man and it was a privilege to know him!”
5x Le Mans 24 Hours winner Emanuele Pirro: “Really sorry to hear that Leon, your dad was a true and unique legend, flagship of an wonderful racing period. You should be very proud of him for what he did on track and out of it. A gentleman who left nothing but friends. I will miss him a great deal. My condolences to you all.”
Envision Racing managing director Sylvain Filippi: “All my condolences to you and your family Leon. Your dad was so fun to be around! Best wishes from me and the team.”