Occupation: Shipyard Director.
Currently competing in: Motorsport UK British Cross Country Championship.
Career highlights: Motorsport UK British Cross Country Championship Champion 2014 and 2015.
What got you interested in motor sport in the first place?
I was a teenager in the 1970s, which was the golden era of rallying with Group B and circuit racing with characters like Gerry Marshall and Big Bertha – and his unique driving style. I got my first Land Rover at 21 and started doing rally rescue, back when you just needed a tow rope and it helped to have a flashing beacon.
Where/how did you get started?
I bought an old Land Rover Series 2 and started doing Road Taxed Vehicle trials with various Land Rover clubs around the North West. It’s the perfect way to hone your off road skills.
What car do you use now, and how much does a season cost you?
During 2016 Lofthouse Motorsport built a new space framed vehicle to my specification with a Mitsubishi Evo9 engine [450bhp], Drenth sequential gear box with flat shift and Nissan differentials. The British Championship costs £2000 for 6 x 2 day events (100 miles per weekend) so good value compared to stage rallying.
What do you enjoy about your particular form of motor sport?
It gets you out deep into the countryside with magnificent views but with the added complication of if the car breaks you have to fix it. This is where the sport is unique, fellow competitors will lend spares parts and technical knowledge to assist a broken down car. In 2014 we were battling against Martin Cox when we broke a rear shock absorber – he lent us his spare one so we could finish the event and get points to continue the fight at the next round – that is sportsmanship.
What tips would you pass onto someone who wants to start competing?
Go to the events, every team is looking for help. If you don’t have mechanical knowledge then drivers do look for navigators but be fully committed to assisting during the week in car preparation, even if just cleaning the vehicle.
Why would you recommend taking up motor sport?
It’s a great way of releasing stress and getting away from the routine of life. I have found a great bunch of friends who we socialise together with throughout the year on the weekends we are not competing. You know if you break down going to an event someone will stop to assist as soon as they see you – that is proper friendship.