Now in my seventh decade, I realise how lucky I have been to drive, test and race some cars not owned by me. People met at racing venues have become lifelong friends and none better than Jane Farthing and her partner John Jordan.
Jane was a fearless and very fast hillclimb driver, who had a Caterham when we first met her. After her testing the Triumph and enjoying it, she and John raced it at Loton Park while Yve and I raced the Royale. It was a wonderful weekend, much laughter and fun, with a separate class for the women in the BWRDC so Yve and Jane were trying their hardest.
Years later, Jane reversed the situation and asked me to co drive her very quick Force PT at Llandow sprint. With no chance to test, I had a hugely steep learning curve. A motorbike engined lightweight specialist sprint car, stunningly quick and on a demanding track. I just loved the experience, sequential gearbox, 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds, brakes that hurt you and grip to cause G force. I couldn’t do justice to the car, but Jane made FTD and another wonderful weekend had been spent in the company of mad but lovely friends.
I’ve been privileged to test some great cars. My brother Peter’s Lotus 51, Steve Hemingway’s 2 litre Pilbeam, Mike White’s MG special, Kathy and Richard Warner’s 2 litre Westfield, and Leigh Shardlow’s Caterham Roadsport are among some of the many cars that I’ve driven, as well
as my father’s Bentley, Alvis and Jaguar racing machines. My work caused me to drive Ferrari and other lovely marques. I have been very lucky. My greatest thrill was to race, at Silverstone, the MG NA Magnette that had been my father’s first racing car. A wonderful friend, John Keogan, let me race this beautiful historic car amongst Bugattis, ERAs, Maseratis and other fabulous cars. It was an experience I’ll always treasure
Jane Farthings Force PT
Jane receiving a BWRDC
Trophy from Derek Bell
Steve Hemingway in the 2 litre Pilbeam
Mike White in the MG Special
Leigh Shardlow in his Caterham
Road Sport which I look after
My brother Peter and I at
Prescott. Mark 1 Sprite
All lined up for the Austin J40 Pedal car race
at Silverstone In the 1950’s
My Nephew William in his father’s Lotus
Receiving my 3rd place Trophy from Le Mans winner Tony Rolt