18/Sep/2021
Back at the bridge.
I’ve
Back at the bridge.
I’ve
Back at the bridge.
I’ve
“Back at the bridge. I’ve been in the race driver training business since 1985 - during the mid-late eighties and nineties, in a pretty serious way - mainly because I was studying ways to go quicker myself. I was utterly determined to make a career as a professional racing driver. The rest of the ‘stuff’ just happened along the way … 😀 I’m back there again. At Silverstone, somehow my spiritual home for the past thirty or so years. I’ve agreed to pick up the reins of the ‘ARDS’ course which I wrote and presented way back when media was VHS tape. It’s a long time ago. My move back to serious coaching came courtesy of my lifelong friend and collaborator Gary Chapman, multiple British and European karting champion. We worked together on numerous automotive training projects in the UK and Europe, then I started testing with this ProTrain team in preparation for my return to the race track in classic motorsport. Lockdown hit, and Gary threw me a lifeline by inviting me to spend Wednesdays coaching for the kart team, and the rest is, (recent), history. Next came the call to work with twice-World F1 Esports Champion Brendon Leigh, and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1. Immersion into the world of simulator racing at the highest level, and six months of coaching and mentoring. I learned a massive amount - who wouldn’t? Thanks to Esports & Cars for that opportunity - and to Brendon, who became one of our family. One of my cheeky young karting protege, Dan Parrans-Smith, needed coaching in a Junior Saloon on track, his parents paid for my first MSUK coaching licence for a while, and ‘presto’. Just like that, I was back. My good friends at Thruxton were happy to be my sponsoring school, fitting as its one of my favourite race tracks in the known universe. 2021 brought a new young talent in the shape of Luke Taylor, who I had the pleasure of introducing to the World of X30 karting, Adrian Reynard, the legendary British racing car constructor, who I coached in Formula Ford 2000, (now a front runner and race winner), and a chance to work with the very gifted and extremely likeable Bradley Philpott. Pretty decent racing stable. Next Silverstone asked if would take over the ARDS responsibilities at the circuit and look at our race training product and presentation. I know we can do better, so I agreed. We have fantastic people and the most iconic venue. It’s up to us to create the very best training programme. British motorsport needs it frankly, as I discovered testing the Aerial Atom racecar in 2017. Standards are sh1t. They have definitely slipped - become dumbed down. Cars are so much faster, and no-one wants to do an apprenticeship. Learn in something slow. People are getting hurt. It’s a dangerous sport anyway - it doesn’t need to be an ignorant dangerous sport. Actually, it reminds me of one of my other passions; motorcycling. No-one needs a 1299 Panigale as their first bike after passing their test ☠️ And, finally, I might have found a route back into the air. Finger’s crossed 😊”
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