|Martin Hines has passed away after a fight he could not win. Hines was an extraordinary character, a highly skilled Driver who was also an entrepreneur, a talent scout and a promoter of Karting. We can safely assert that the charismatic Briton was a living Karting legend, whose aura was recognised throughout the world. In his home land, Great Britain, he was Karting’s ambassador par excellence, capable of carrying the image of our sport up to the biggest media via his promotional operations, his support for young promising Drivers and his own results as a Driver. Martin was – rightly –rather proud to claim an international Driver’s career which spanned five decades. At the end of the 1960’s, accompanied by his father Mark, he took part in the European Karting Championships with the national British team; in 2002, i.e. 30+ years later, he landed his fifth CIK-FIA European Superkart Champion title. And in the meantime he was crowned Superkart (then known as “Formula E”) World Champion three times with chassis of his own make, Zip Kart.|
To Martin Hines we owe the resounding importation of the first Bridgestone tyres into Europe at the end of the 70’s and the creation of the Zip Young Guns team, a racing structure which has enabled many penniless talents to make a name for themselves: the most famous of these prodigies sponsored by Martin Hines when they started are Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard, Anthony Davidson, Gary Paffett, Jason Plato and, more recently, Jake Dennis, who won the 2010 edition of a “U18” World Championship of which Hines was adamant to praise the concept and quality.
Martin passed away as a result of a second cancer (he had already overcome one about ten years ago) at the age of 64 on 28 August 2011. As well as entering his young recruits under the “Young Guns” banner, Martin Hines himself ran at 54, the year of his return to the European Superkart Championship in 2002, with the phrase “Old Gun” on the visor of his helmet. His close relations can keep this helmet as an emblem and put a new sticker on it: “For Ever Gun”.