In Memoriam: Peter Foubister 1953 - 2016

Peter Foubister
1953 – 2016

Motoring Secretary – The Royal Automobile Club

The Club is sad to announce that Peter Foubister, the Club Motoring Secretary, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday 18 November. Peter joined the Club in 2010 after a long and successful career at Autosport and managing Haymarket Publishing’s motoring magazines. With his continual drive and passion for motoring he found a natural home as the Motoring Secretary of the Royal Automobile Club for the last six and a half years. In his time at the Club he led a remarkable renaissance of motoring, with a roll call of achievements that helped the Club achieve prominence in the national arena and the international motoring world.

Peter joined the Club at an exciting and challenging time, but as one who relished a challenge there was to be no stopping him. Initially with Ben Cussons as ‘Tweedledum to his Tweedledee’ and Jemma Rapson in support, he assembled a Motoring team who would share his vision and bring creativity, humour and drive to the task. He used his contacts in the industry to bring his plans to fruition. London Motor Week stands out as an achievement that owes its genesis to his huge energy and drive, including events such as the Regent Street Motor Show, annually attracting 400,000 members of the public to the largest free car show in the UK. He understood the passion that underlies the Veteran Car Run and brought about the change that allowed it to develop into a world class event. This was recognised at the International Historic Motoring Awards when he received the ‘Rally or Tour of the Year’ award on behalf of the Club, sadly on the night before his untimely death. Typically modest, he pushed other team members up onto the stage, ensuring that all those who contributed to the success celebrated with him. He brought back the Club’s 1000 Mile Trial, also as an award-winning event. Indeed, nearly every event he had a hand in seemed to win an award.

Peter put Woodcote Park back on the motoring map to be, as he described it, ‘The world’s finest motoring clubhouse’, from where he ran Drive-Ins and converted the Captain’s Drive temporarily into a motor sport venue. Not content with this, he drove the conversion of the Old Barn into the magnificent Motor House that has been universally admired for its sympathetic restoration and as a fitting home for the Club’s motoring heritage.

Whilst the list of Peter’s achievements at the Club is a long one, it is perhaps more important to consider the qualities that he brought to the task in hand. Above all things, he cared. He cared about people. He cared about encouraging them to surpass their own expectations and he cared about doing not just a good job, but the best job possible. He championed his team and always considered the impact of Club decisions on every member of staff. Whilst he was normally a very happy person, there were moments when you could sense a frustration in his manner that indicated he was not happy with the way things had gone. But he would not shout. He would not cast blame. Instead he would review and calmly, but often very firmly, reinforce how things could be improved. He never accepted second best.

Peter understood that Motoring Secretary was not a nine-to-five job. He was always first up and nearly always last in the bar. He understood the value of relationships and the importance to build and maintain them. With a bulging black book, he raised the profile of the Club wherever he went. Motoring and motor sport was not just his career, it was his passion, particularly rallying. He would espouse the joys of this discipline to all those who showed an interest and many who did not. But these non-believers would soon find themselves sharing his enthusiasm, such was his charm and energy. This was typified in the instrumental part he played in reviving the RAC Rally of the Tests, which was a huge success, attracting a full entry and recreating the challenge faced by the original drivers in 1932.

There are few people who have earned universal respect for their integrity, honesty and objectivity, from the pinnacle of the motoring world to the grass roots. Peter made everyone feel valued, whatever their inclination, but particularly those who shared in his passions.

In private he was a passionate family man, beloved husband of Marion, proud father of Rory and Gemma and incredibly proud grandfather. It is with his family at this moment that our thoughts lie. The Club will be placing Books of Condolence in the clubhouses for members and staff to pass on their respects to the family. If you are unable to visit either of the clubhouses, messages can be sent to motoring@royalautomobileclub.co.uk

Rest in Peace ‘Foubs’ – Never to be forgotten.

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