Michael Shield dead: Darlington Rallycross legend and former British champion dies aged 57

British Rallycross legend Michael Shield has diedBritish Rallycross legend Michael Shield has died
British Rallycross legend Michael Shield has died
Michael Shield held the record for being the youngest British Rallycross champion for 25 years.

Former British Rallycross champion Michael Shield has died at the age of 57. Shield is described by the Northern Echo as one of the ‘most popular’ and ‘well-known figures’ in the North-East motorsport scene for most of the 1980s and 1990s.

Shield’s rose to prominence when he was just 19-years-old by lifting the Formula D 1600cc class of the British Championship in 1986. That proved to be the springboard for further success and he also formed part of the six-man British team that won the FIA Inter-Nations Cup event at Croft Circuit just a year later.

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In 1989, Shield achieved his great success by becoming the British Rallycross Champion. He achieved the feat at just 23 years of age - which made him the youngest ever-champion until 2016.

Shields worked closely with his father George throughout his career and the pair would often promote Rallycross events at Croft Circuit including a second-running of the Inter-Nations Cup in 1990 and the FIA European Championship in 1994.

After Croft was redeveloped for circuit racing a year later, Shield focused on the family farm at Cleasby, near Darlington.

One user posted in an online forum: “Just heard the sad news that at just 57, former rallycross champion Michael Shield has died, a big part of my early life in motorsport, a lovely man, and his father George was the driving force behind getting Croft back into the rallycross scene, and arguably it became the best rallycross venue in the early 90's in Britain. A hugely sad bit of news for me and others I am sure.”

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Another added: “R.I.P. Michael. He was one of the top men in the Group B era in what I think were the best days of rallycross.”

Shields is survived by his wife Julie and his children Robert and Elise, as well as his mother Joyce.

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