Luis Fontés

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Louis Fontés in Le Mans in 1935

Luis Concelvis Fontés (born December 26, 1912 - October 12, 1940 ) was an English racing car driver and aviator.


Luis Fontés was born as the son of the Brazilian shipowner Antonio Fontés. After the death of his father in 1913 - Luis was only one year old - his mother moved with the children to Torquay . Fontés studied at Loughborough Engineering College after completing primary school. At the beginning of the 1930s he began motor sports and trained as a pilot.

The hitherto completely unknown Fontés had his first success on the racetrack at the JCC International Trophy in Brooklands in 1935, which he surprisingly won in an Alfa Romeo . Fontés drove so strong races in a row that he was invited by Lagonda to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside Johnny Hindmarsh . After a turbulent race - Fontés had already parked the Lagonda M45R after an alleged defect - the British duo surprisingly won this endurance race .

By the end of the year, Fontés shifted his activities almost entirely to aviation and only raced sporadically. He regularly took part in aviation competitions and broke some flight records.

On October 6, 1935, his career came to a dramatic end. Fontés and British motorcycle racer Reginald Mordike collided in a private night road race. While Fontés - who was to blame for the accident and was also drunk - was unharmed, Mordike was killed. Fontés was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison after a trial. Both his driver's license and his flight license were revoked. After his release in 1938, he took up aviation again. When World War II broke out, he became an aviator with a Royal Air Force transport unit . He died on October 12, 1940 when his Vickers Wellington crashed into a field near Llysworney after an engine failure. He left behind his wife and a son.


Le Mans results

year team vehicle Teammate placement Failure reason
1935 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Arthur W. Fox & Charles Nicholl Lagonda M45R Rapide United KingdomUnited Kingdom Johnny Hindmarsh Overall victory


  • RM Clarke: Le Mans - the Bentley & Alfa Years 1923-1939 Brocklands Books 1999, ISBN 1-85520-4657 .

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