Formula 1 enthusiast with a heart for the youth

Formula 1 enthusiast with a heart for the youth

Brunstad magazine has been on location, filming at the home of Jane and Andrew Courage, who put forth a huge effort for the young people. Andrew has an interest in Formula 1, and on Sunday we heard how a tragic accident became a turning point in his life. Soon he would have a new perspective of what really has value in life.

“I think most of us would sit on our bums at home, if it wasn’t for the mentors stepping up,”

says Isaac, who is 15, and is working in Jane and Andrew’s house so he can attend camp. They pay young people to perform simple services in their home, and in this way support youth work. At the camps you can experience a community of faith, exciting activities, and meet your God. All this is an important part of the church’s missionary work.

After a work session on a Monday evening in March, Jane and Andrew dish up pizza.

To make it fun for the young people to work to get to camp, the entire church has a joint campaign with a Formula 1 theme.

And this is where Andrew’s interest in this particular motor sport comes into play.

A talented older brother

Andrew Courage grew up in England. Big brother Piers was fond of cars and went wholeheartedly into motor racing. It occupied the entire family. He had a sponsor with financial backbone, and soon he was driving both Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula 1. This soon led to several podium positions, and he competed privately against the big international teams.

Piers Courage, De Tomaso-Ford 505/38, Grand Prix of Monaco, Circuit de Monaco, Monaco, May 10, 1970. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)

On a June day in 1970, there was a Formula 1 race in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, and Piers Courage was in 7th place.

But this race was to be fateful for the older brother.

“On the 23rd lap, he disappeared into a mound of sand. The car exploded,” Andrew says thoughtfully.

His older brother lost his life.

The Dream was over

“It was a really blue Monday,” Andrew said. “Everything that had been so important, no longer had an appeal. It was… it was… the dream was over.”

At this point in time, Andrew was 21. The tragic accident made him feel the emptiness of the world, and how little value it has, whatever can be achieved here.

A few years later, he came into contact with Christians from the church who told him that by choosing to suffer with Jesus, one can become more and more free from sin. The message was appealing to Andrew, and he felt a need to devote his life to something with eternal value.

It felt like God had a plan, and Andrew chose to wholeheartedly embrace life as a disciple of Jesus.

Kåre J. Smith, Andrew Courage and Gershon Twilley on a trip in 1994. Photo: private

Value that does not disappear when I die

Now, more than 50 years later, Andrew is a happy man with a meaningful life:

“Paul says that we should run on the inner racetrack as if one wins the prize. We can make progress there. It’s indestructible, it doesn’t disappear when I die,” explains Andrew.

He is happy he can do something that can help the youth see their heavenly calling.

“When they come to the camps, God can work with them and give them what they need of spiritual food.”

At the camps, God’s word is communicated using modern tools that make an impression on the youth. Photo: BCC