I like all sports but, if I had to choose one that I liked above all others, it would have to be motor sport. Two wheels or four, these days you just can’t tear me away from the TV (much to my wife’s disgust!). However, once upon a time, I didn’t just watch.
In 1972, I won my first award at rallying in a VW Beetle. From there, I rapidly progressed downhill, until I discovered sprinting & hillclimbing. In 1981, I won a local area championship in my company car ... a Ford Capri (and some!). A lack of finances ensured that for the next few years I spent my motor sport activities sitting in the passenger seat of a very competitive rally driver with me calling out the bends. However, in 1988 and 1989, I returned to sprinting in another company car, a Toyota Corolla GT Coupe. Running in the standard production class, I won the British Automobile Racing Club Sprint Championship overall two years running. The big time was only just around the corner ....
In 1990, I entered the Mazda MX-5 UK Cup ... a national racing series using almost standard Mazda MX-5s (Miata, in the US). That’s me in the picture (left) winning the first race of the series at Silverstone ... a national hero, well, not quite, but it was a bit special occupying the podium where, 45 minutes before, Martin Brundle had stood after winning the World Sportscar round in a Silk Cut Jaguar XJR. Unfortunately, I didn’t match that result in any of the other rounds, although I did manage a 2nd overall at Donington, another World Sportscar round. At the end of the year, I finished 6th overall in the championship.
The following year our son, Adam, was born! Suddenly, one has a whole new sense of priorities. an empty bank account and, in consequence, all thoughts of competing went straight out of the window. Since then all I can hope to do is watch .... but, somehow, it’s not quite the same!