Brian Laban (1948–2016)

The popular motoring writer and historian Brian Laban died overnight on Tuesday, 27 December, in hospital near his home in Sussex, where he was being treated for bowel cancer. He was 68.

Brian, seen here (right) interviewing Norm Koury at Sebring in 2005, was a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, the Fleet Street Motoring Group and the Southern Group of Motoring Writers, Brian was author of more than 40 books and a contributor to many titles including The Daily Telegraph, The Aston Martin Magazine, Audi Driver, Evo, Professional Motorsport World and many more. He was working on a limited edition Aston Martin book for Palawan Press.

A renowned Le Mans specialist, Brian was author of the definitive book ‘Le Mans 24 Hours’, which he was about to update. In a brief respite from his illness, he reported for the Daily Telegraph from the 2016 Le Mans race.

A proud Yorkshireman, after Mexborough Grammar School Brian graduated in physics from North-East London Polytechnic (now the University of East London). In 1973 he followed his dream into the world of motorsport and all things automotive as press officer at the British Automobile Racing Club.

He was a professional motoring writer ever since. He joined the Guild of Motoring Writers in 1978 and also served on the Committee. Brian was a former Chairman of the Fleet Street Motoring Group.

A winner of the Pierre Dreyfus Award in 1991, Brian was shortlisted for the Features Writer of the Year Award in the 2009 Headlineauto Awards. As editor of Vauxhall’s V magazine, he was shortlisted for the prestigious Consumer Editor of the Year Award in the 2007 APA Awards.

Brian’s wife Mary predeceased him and there were no children. He is survived by his 94-year-old mother, Irene, to whom the Guild extends its sincere condolences.

The funeral service for Brian will take place at 12 noon on Friday 27 January at St Mary’s Parish Church, Church Road, Newick, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 4JZ.

This will be followed by a celebration of Brian’s life, with refreshments, at a location to be confirmed. The venue will be dependant on the number of people planning to attend the reception. Anyone who wishes to join his family for the service is asked to send their name to Guild general secretary Patricia Lodge to assist with catering email:

If you would like to make a donation to the Guild of Motoring Writers Benevolent Fund in Brian’s memory, please go to