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Sir Frank Williams

Local South Shields legend, founder and former team principle of one of the most successful Formula One teams in the world, Sir Frank Williams sadly passed away in the early hours of the 28th November. An outstanding man has left an outstanding legacy that will continue to impact the future of motorsport racing for many years to come. He will stay in the memories of thousands as a hero of Formula one!

Williams had many triumphs in his life and career and fought passionately through many hard times to get both himself and his extraordinary team to the leading position they are in today. After founding ‘Frank Williams Racing Cars’ in 1966, following his brief career as a driver and mechanic, Frank was faced with many trials and tribulations involving partnerships and sponsorships until finally coming out on top in 1979 at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Clay Regazzoni, driving a Cotsworth-Powered Williams FW07 lead a fantastic victory, from there Williams Racing Cars won victory after victory, showcasing the brilliant power and engineering of the company. As a result, Frank Williams had been awarded the title of CBE and knighted by the Queen in 1999, then going on to receive the Wheatcroft Trophy for his outstanding contributions to motorsports in 2008.

We are sure many of the Williams Racing family, teammates and fans are proud to have been able to witness and experience Frank William’s dedication and resilience throughout his career and life despite any adversities that stood in his way. Additionally, anyone from South Shields or local to the North East are surely proud to share the hometown of the internationally brilliant motorsports legend; Frank Williams.

For’s artist Kevin McNicholas Frank holds an even greater place in his heart. Kevin not only shares his home town with Frank but Kevin had the opportunity to meet Frank and create a painting for him. After an impromptu meeting at Newcastle airport where Kevin was cheeky enough to ask Frank if he could fly a painting back to Oxford for him; a dream came true and Kevin was asked to paint for Frank!

It took around 12 months for Kevin to create Frank’s painting of Nigel Mansell driving the World Championship Winning Williams FW14B titled ‘ Thunder Bird 5’. On delivering the painting Frank continued to make Kevins dreams come true with a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Williams factory and the true achievement for an artist and F1 fanatic… having his painting hang pride of place in the Williams F1 Team Boardroom!

For Kevin the passing of Frank comes with great sadness but bring back great memories of a fantastic man he the pleasure of meeting!

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