The Managing Director of Tuthill Prosche has led tributes to multiple British Historic Rally champion and seven-time Killarney Historic Rally winner Dessie Nutt, who passed away last week aged 70.
Richard Tuthill described Dr Nutt as “a real one-off” and someone who will be sorely missed because “he was a brilliant man whose love for the sport will never be eclipsed”.
Mr Tuthill and Dr Nutt first got to know one another in the Nineties when Tuthill Porsche built the now famous, short wheelbase, canary yellow Porsche 911 that bore the registration ‘OLC 6E’.
A GP by trade at Castlerock in County Londonderry, Dr Nutt was a hugely successful and respected rally driver whose career spanned more than four decades.
For much of the Seventies, he tackled the top international meetings in his Dealer Team Vauxhall Magnum, and in 1976 went on to win the Northern Ireland Rally title.
He changed tack in the Nineties by opting to compete in the Historic category, initially in a Mini Cooper and then in his Porsche that was rebuilt at the end of 2009.
2009 was one of Dr Nutt’s standout seasons as he romped to the British Historic Rally Championship crown for a second time, five years after his first.
His most recent title triumph came in 2017 when he lifted the RACRMC Historic Asphalt Championship trophy. Again, he did so with Geraldine McBride, his co-driver of 23 years.
Paying his respects to Dr Nutt, Richard Tuthill said: “Dessie was a great ambassador for the sport. He was someone who was involved from the very beginning. We grew and learnt with him and owe much of our early recognition to his spirit and success.
“I sat alongside him testing – something he didn’t really like. He felt he could never really push a car unless the stopwatch was ticking,” he continued.
“He was on the first trip to Sweden with me for our Ice Driving Experience, which has since grown to be a three-month long affair.
“His enthusiasm and massive driving progression on that trip absolutely confirmed that it served a real purpose – which is to have fun, enjoy driving and spend time with great people. “This is how I will remember him: a real one off who will be sorely missed.”