Everyone involved with any form of motor racing will have been deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death earlier today of James Diffey at the tragically and unfairly young age of 40. Younger brother of Simon and one half of the Diffey Brothers Racing partnership James had been suffering from cancer for several years and fought a valiant battle that was an example to us all.

Ecurie Scalpel regulars will know that Simon Diffey has been an enthusiastic irregular driver for the team putting in performances that demonstrate great speed and skill. James has in recent years had the opportunity to drive a dizzying array of magnificent cars often owned by Irvine Laidlaw. Anyone who had the experience of seeing him set forth in cars such as a pre-war ERA, Porsche 904/6, Lola Mk1 would have been able to see raw speed and skill and enormous enthusiasm and versatility. If not racing one of these wonderful cars he would be just as likely to turn out for a muddy trip up a hill in his beloved Bugatti Brescia. All of this was done with huge smiles and a devilish sense of humour that brought his sense of fun to his motorsport ventures.

James had known for some years that his days were numbered but unless you knew the story it was impossible to tell there was anything wrong at all. He lived his life at more than 100 miles an hour and simply refused to allow his illness control his life. Indeed, only two weeks before his death he was racing at Donington Park with a speed that belied how ill he really was.

More than any of this though, James was simply a top bloke who defined the word enthusiast in every sense. He will be a huge loss but will never be forgotten. Here at the Scalpel we raise our visor to James and offer our deepest sympathy to his wife and family, especially his devoted Brother Simon.

John Monson, 20 May 2007.


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