Martin Hines – King of Karts ( racing) and my mum’s heart- receives the checkered flag

August 30, 2011 at 2:32 am 22 comments

Further update on the funeral requests for Martin Hines from the Hertfordshire Mercury

We have been overwhelmed by the messages of condolence received from across the world,” the family continued.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kindness and tremendous support at this time of immense sadness.”

The funeral will take place at Waltham Abbey Church at 1pm next Friday followed by a reception at Cheshunt’s Theobalds Park in Lieutenant Ellis Way.

The family is requesting family flowers only but would welcome donations to their nominated charity – Wormley-based Teens Unite Fighting Cancer.

A Just Giving page will be set up in Martin’s honour, the link for which will be available via the Grand Prix Racewear website later this week.

UPDATE with regard to funeral arrangements Martins funeral will be held at Waltham Abbey Church, Friday 16th of September at 13:00 Details on how to get there can be found on

It has been an emotional time around this house- from the getting through of celebrations NOT celebrated

– to the planning of a tribute for my darling Uncle John ( my dad’s brother) 100 birthday.

And during all this trying to deal with the news that the obscenity that is cancer was claiming another of those of this family with a spirit and zest for living.

The announcement of Martin Hines ( my cousin) death spread throughout the racing world, broadcast just hours after his passing on the BBC during the Grand Prix – tributes from Formula One drivers, foundations, fellow competitors- flooded the internet .

Martin Hines the competitor, businessman, racing visionary, and tough opinionated “guru of the track” who held, in his career , the attention of two young princes and their mother – had finished his last race .

It fell to me to tell my mother her nephew, whom she loved so much, had died. Martin had surprised her just a year ago, she had watched his son, Luke, race at Mid Ohio , laughed , cooked him his favourite trifle and shared two very special days. As he drove out of my daughter’s driveway that Sunday and I watched my mum as he smiled and waved goodbye I remember thinking

she isn’t seeing a “world champion” successful businessman , tv personality she is seeing a little boy – her brother’s son and all that that held dear to her


I read all the tributes in the past couple of days and I too thought of the Martin they never knew- the Martin of my youth.

Martin was three years older than I, but his dad and my mum were very, very close.

We spent many Sunday afternoons having the traditional Sunday dinners together. Martin and I getting up to all sorts of mischief in my uncle’s big house ( at least it seemed big to me) whilst the adults did what ever they did – making forts and tents out of blankets – both of us bossy and opinionated even then. It was Martin that taught me to hold my own , his favorite game was “I dare….”

My uncle’s Bingo Hall nights would find us terrorizing the neighborhood as the proverbial cowboy and indian to shouts of

“Clicky Click number six” or Legs eleven” “unlucky for some number 13″….

drifting out along with clouds of cigarette smoke through the open windows into the alleyway that was our prairie.

We would sneak to the old burned out and bombed cinema and continue our play with the other cousins and neighborhood kids, using the water filled bomb crater as a place to float our “ships”.

Martin would take one of the remaining curtain ropes and swing across the crater. None of us “cowardly custards” would dare to follow his lead , the debris of the bombed structure would fall around us as he would swing back and forth laughing at the scaredy cats below. He really knew no fear.

My family left for Canada and I returned as a teenager. We ended up once again staying with my uncle and aunt and Martin. He introduced this rather ” naive countrified Canadian” to the grown- up London of the swinging 60’s.

“Don’t worry

said my aunt to my mum –

she will be safe with Martin looking out for her”

Martin and safe were not words used in the same sentence

I still smile at that first introduction to life in London. A double date with Martin’s latest and me with his friend- getting stuck in the mud in the local “parking place”.

Oh the story he told when we all arrived back covered with mud from trying to push him out of the mud- my uncle having to eventually come and rescue us . Martin was spotless and the rest of us caked with mud from head to toe.

How is he going to get out of this

I thought-

we are all going to be in trouble

but Martin smiled and joked and turned the situation on its head. He certainly had the gift of the gab…..

Through the years he had his share of loss, his daughter, Kelly, to the obscenity of Cancer, his mum and his dad. We would see each other at special functions of family through the years when they coincided with my being back in England.

Martin Hines has been professionally involved in motorsport for over 40 years, as a world champion winning competitor, talent-spotter and businessman. He won the FIA World Superkart Championship three times, the FIA European Championship six times and was multiple British Champion. Martin owns and runs Zip Kart (based at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire), the leading manufacturer and supplier of racing karts, and runs the Zip Kart Young Guns team which has discovered, and continues to discover, some of Britain’s best racing drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard, Anthony Davidson, Gary Paffett, Jason Plato, Luke Hines, Oliver Turvey, James Colado, Oliver Rowland and Jake Dennis.

Martin Hines said: “Grand Prix Racewear is recognised as the Harrods of motorsport; the one place you can go to buy the leading brands from people who know the business inside out. We want to continue to do what GPR does best – supply motorsport equipment to serious and professional motor racing drivers of all ages on a global basis.

The family was always proud of their cousin and the success he had made of himself and of the legacy left by his dad, Uncle Mark. Martin’s lifestyle was very different from the rest of us (the cousins) – he walked in a world of deals and wheels.

As I think of him today. it is of the boy who was the only one among us who would dare to swing across a flooded bomb crater on fraying rope relishing the danger of the moment. He dared…………………….

Martin, who finished his race as a champion

To Tina – his wife, Luke -his son and Tuesday – his daughter – much love and memories .

Entry filed under: death, grief, men of substance, motorsport/racing. Tags: , , .

HAPPY !!!!!ONE HUNDRETH !!!!!BIRTHDAY – UNCLE JOHN!!!! Lorain City Schools- Guest Blogger- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tony  |  August 30, 2011 at 3:25 am

    So sad lovely tribute Loraine

  • 2. Dave Cotton  |  August 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

    I wish i had known him!
    My best to you and your family!!!

  • 3. Tony  |  August 30, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Yet another sad loss words fail me

  • 4. Kelly Boyer Sagert  |  August 30, 2011 at 10:51 am

    So sorry to hear about your cousin. He sounds like a great guy . . .

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Well Martin was a true Hines- they tend to be characters and you usually love us or not- 🙂 – Martin met us at Mid Ohio with a golf cart to take us from the parking lot to the pit- it is a ride I will never forget- I didn’t think golf carts were meant to be 4 wheelers but at I clung on for dear life on the back as he decided on a short cut made me hold my breath!

    He had never met Jim and as the rest drove the cars down to the crew parking – he jumped off the golf cart and started shouting at Jim to move his bloody car- Jim did and then came across to Martin – who bristled and was surprised when Jim shook his hand – Bugger he said I am sorry I thought as you pulled into our reserved parking spot “who does this bloody yank think he is in his bloody great car…… sorry mate!
    and the day of racing started……only the next time I walked back to the pits from the enclosure …

  • 6. Dawn  |  August 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Great piece Loraine – made me cry – but as usual being 10-years older you see all these ‘Hines’ (57 varieties) of cousins differently and my memory as kids is the great Boxing Days we had with Uncle Mark & Maudie and of course Martin – the very young cousin. My thoughts are also with Tina, Tuesday & Luke.

  • 7. Graham Roscoe  |  August 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I new him from the 80s in superkarts we had a laugh at brno in 2003
    need to know the funeral arrangementd

  • 8. thatwoman  |  August 31, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I will let you know as soon as I have heard Loraine

  • 9. Jim Coulthard  |  August 31, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Martin Hines – In Memoriam

    Martin Hines’ death is probably the biggest loss in world karting history. Martin came across to me as a very kind and generous man. He gave as much as he took from karting. He was in the karting business for 47 years, and raced in the Class 1 British Team in the 1960’s. He went on to drive Class 4 Superkarts becoming British, European and World Champion on numerous occasions.

    Martin and his father were known worldwide for the Zip Karts they produced and won many races at home and abroad.

    His whole family must be so proud of what Martin achieved in this family business, but in my eyes he achieved all of this through passion and determination on what he wanted to do in the sport.

    My condolences to Martin’s his wife Tina, Luke, Tuesday, the rest of the family and all who were close to him.

    Martin Hines – I salute you.


    Jim Coulthard

  • 10. Lisa  |  August 31, 2011 at 10:53 am

    You honor others with your words so beautifully.
    May peace be with Martin and his family. ♥

  • 11. thatwoman  |  September 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    And the tributes still come from the Sun national newspaper

  • 12. Charlene Nelson  |  September 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    We were deeply saddened to hear about Martin’s passing. Our deepest sympathy to Tina, Luke and Tuesday and everyone at Zipkart. It was a privilege to have known him. Always kind and helpful, always generous with his time. He was just ” Simply The Best “. Always Remembered.

  • 13. terry horton  |  September 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    martin will be missed by many, he was an insperation to myself and my team in the superkart years Taz

  • 14. Geoff Barker  |  September 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I was deeply upset to hear of the death of Martin, we first met when we were 5 years old at our first day at St Mary’s infant School and were to be almost inseparable for the next 10 years. We were always trying to earn a few extra bob, the week before Guy Fawkes night would see us in Hendon Lane outside the wet fish shop where Maudie ( Martins Mum) was the cashier and directly opposite Marks(MartinsDad) cycle shop. On the build up to Christmas we tried our hand at Carol singing. Our first real adventure into the financial world was breeding white mice, these were hidden in Martins grandads shed (Mr Cushing) so that Maudie didn’t know. This financial venture never really got off the ground as our first batch of youngsters turned out to be crossed with a wild mouse that had somehow entered our stud one night. Following this was a short period of rabbit keeping which was also doomed to failure in the financial markets. These adventures followed later on with our entry into the pigeon racing world, Sunday morning would see us at Club Row where we would cast an expert eye on the top racers for sale, Martin bought one that was an absolute champion for the princely sum of three shillings and sixpence only for it to return to it’s original owner several days later when it escaped from Church Crescent Lofts. While at St Mary’s we went on school trips to Derbyshire and Seaford in Sussex and I remember most clearly Martins grandad retiring as caretaker from our school and admonishing Martin (jokingly) in front of the whole school for not letting him in on the secret that we had had a collection to buy him a retirement gift. Mr Cushing later became our personal pigeon trainer taking our birds to Hatfield and beyond in his little A30 Austin. Mark by this time had made his name for making hand built cycle frames of an exceptional high quality and he built Martin a one off racer when he was about 10, it was the envy of all the lads at St. Mary.s. On leaving St Mary’s we both went to the Alder School East Finchley, Mark would take us both to school each day in his old Dormobile van, unfortunately he needed to open the shop in Hendon Lane on the way resulting in the two of us being late most mornings. Before Martin really became interested in his Go-Karts he had a short spell at motorcycle scrambling and purchased a 200cc Aerial Colt and converted it for scrambling but this interest never really took off and I bought the Aerial from him some while later. Following this was when he really got interested in the Karts and I well remember one of the prototypes being assembled in the cellar of the Hendon Lane shop. I would often accompany him out to Hoddesdon and other places in his early days of racing, lifting the back wheels off the ground and then running with it to bump start it, one outing I remember we went to Blackbushe Aerodrome, and if my memory serves me correctly it was one of the first times a karting event was televised, we had some problems with the engine and after sorting it out it was left to me to remount the engine while Martin went for a drivers briefing, Martin led the race for most of the time until the chain snapped due to the engine being put back off of true, my fault, but as usual Martin took it all in good part but Mark was none too pleased when we got home. In 1968 I was married and it was most fitting that Martin was at my side as my best man, Maudie wrote a wonderful poem to mark the occasion and it is something I still and will always treasure. I don’t know if Martin liked a drink in later years but I do know that when we were young he would have a half of Lager and Lime and that would be about it, that was until one stag night in the late 60’s when we had a rather enjoyable night visiting the pubs around the Soho area, something else we both had in common was the fact that we had each lost a front tooth through one reason or another resulting in us both having a plate containing one false tooth, on this particular night Martin was a little the worse for wear and was a little ill in a Soho back alley, on our return to Church Crescent around 3am Martin rang the door bell which was immediately opened by Maudie who nearly fainted on the spot having just received a broad smile from her devoted son sporting a large gap in the front row of his teeth where his single false tooth usually sat. Minutes later we were both given a stern dressing down by Mark and I was speedily transferred back to Soho in Marks car where the cause for concern was eventually located and returned to it’s rightful owner. Martin and I had numerous laughs and good times with each other, as the years went by we slowly lost touch but thanks to the Internet I was able to pick up and follow his outstanding and well deserved career, also with E-Mail some years ago I wished him well for his birthday. I think he was pleased to have heard from me after all those years and we promised that we would visit all our old haunts around Church End, Finchley something that we never got around to doing. After reading all the kind tributes to Martin I can see that he hadn’t changed from when we were mere lads, he was always kind, generous, a fine sense of humour an all round good guy. I regret now not having contacted him sooner and having been able to have reminded him of when the policeman chased us for playing in an old abandoned car and swopping our school uniforms thinking he would’nt recognise us, (our uniformsw were both the same) the day we had climbed a tree only for a courting couple to start canoodling at the bottom of the tree and us to embarrassed to come down. My condolences go out to Martins family.Rest in peace old friend. Geoff Barker

  • 15. Loraine Ritchey  |  September 3, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Geoff I will print out all the comments and make sure Tina Luke and Tuesday get them.

    OH god I remember those rabbits from a trip back with my mum from Canada…. and Mrs. Cushing made the best cocoa and baked apples and potatoes…… The stag night was the one before his own wedding OMG it hit the fan that morning……. Remember when he was in films and got a bit part in the Robin Hood series…. he was alwyas into something especially St. Mary’s churchyard and those broken sarcophagus he would scare the hell out of me as we walked back from his dads shop to number 26 – and I always fell for it he would disappear and jump out from the rubble. He had a skittle band too didn’t he? Anyway my mum did get a kick out of reading your thoughts it brought back a lot of memories for her too so thank you

  • 16. Cherise Larchet  |  September 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    What beautiful words, love to Tiina, Luke and Tuesday. Cherise Larchet (cousin Jills daughter) xxx

  • 17. coiln poole  |  September 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    ive known martin since 1978 seen him race many times and spent a week in denmark with him very generous man and very funny will miss him and wont forget the great races he was involved in sad loss for motorsport .

  • 18. Peter Hines  |  September 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Martin Hines

    The engine revved up, he had to go
    No holding him back as we all know
    From day to day he raced away
    Doing this and that never a stop
    Kept on going against the clock

    Time goes by as we all know
    Martin would race, even in snow
    Wind and rain, was all the same
    Time was money, the name of the game

    Nerves of steel, not scared a bit
    Did silly things, but made it look like a trick
    We met at Zolder a time ago
    He was looking good and raring to have a go
    Luke and Philipp were the drivers that day
    But the look in Martin’s eyes was I would still
    like a go
    Racing, racing, racing was the name of his game

    He knew how to win, right up to the end
    The final hurdle, one jump too far
    We all do it friend.

    Peter & Josy Hines

  • 19. Loraine Ritchey  |  September 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Yesterday the blog hits went ballistic on this post. The funeral had already taken place so I was curious as to the cause. It appears that Lewis Hamilton in the Singapor Grand Prix had added Martin’s initials to his helmet as a tribute consequently the traffic was directed to this blog and Martin. Martin is obviously not forgotten…………

  • […] “no fool like and old fool” idiot prior to delivering his I wanna be happy news…. during the loss of Martin and the emotions she was dealing with, which in on of itself was worrying to me as to how much more […]

  • 21. mike harwood  |  July 8, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    i worked for martin back in 1978 i started as the brake fitter then moved on too makeing the karts them self yes 11 years good days.

  • 22. thatwoman  |  July 8, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    thanks for commenting – my mum is Marks sister last one left at 97 and yes the early days and Rye House…… they were good days

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August 2011

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