Hockley Resident a Passionate Racing Specialist
Keith Smout has run his office off a wing of the General Store for the past four to five months. The office space is not just a work environment, but houses remarkable items through racing history. He works in partnership with Swiss artist Nicolas Hunziker who creates incredible original racing paintings. Smout also carries T-shirts, hats, and even official Formula-1 racing gear like helmets and driving suits.
Smout always had a passion for the racing scene and a deep appreciation for the exciting F-1 sport. He has a long-standing history with F-1 racing dating back to the 1990’s in Britain, with British American Racing (B.A.R.). In 1999 he worked as their Business Development Director. After starting a family overseas, he also worked for Jaguar and Midland and along the way developed relationships in all walks of life. He met amazing people like Jaques Villeneuve, Alex Schnieder, Niki Lauda, and when he returned to North America in 2006, helped Lotus race in the American Le Mans Series.
The pinnacle relationship Smout still holds dear today is with the family of the late great F-1 driver James Hunt, winner of the F-1 Championship in 1976. Over the years Smout grew closer with James’ younger brother David and sons Tom and Freddy. Eventually talks surfaced about James’ legacy and how it deserved a proper likeness and representation. In time, The James Hunt Foundation was born.
Tom and Freddy Hunt ventured with Smout to give James the respect and esteem he deserved all along. They approached the famous painter Nicolas Hunziker about creating original artwork to represent James’ legacy. They were also approached by Hollywood about a possible script and movie about the late driver. Known for his amazing talent and off the track personality, director Ron Howard and writer Peter Morgan thought the story of James Hunt would be perfect. One thing lead to another and a few years later, Rush had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival September 3rd, 2013. Smout attended the premiere with the Hunt’s, an event he will not forget.
Keith Smout’s noble and dedicated work has brought him around the world from Moscow, Monaco, around the U.S. and back home again here in Ontario. When you come to meet him in his humbling office, it’s easy to be amazed at the history that surrounds you. His hard work is reflected in his passion and knowledge for F-1 and professional racing. Smout’s hard work doesn’t stop there; he also runs a band representation business called All My People. AMP takes bands from the 80’s like Platinum Blonde and Spoons and brings them to your backyard with performances at events like local festivals.
Written by David Pietrangelo