His­toric race and rally news

Motor Sport News - - Front Page - WITH NEIL SHANKS Age: 38 Lives: El­gin Co-driver and or­gan­iser

It’s a fam­ily sport “My father was in­volved in the sport at club level and that was how I started. I started do­ing navigational ral­lies at 13 or 14 and did my first stage rally as soon as I was old enough. I’ve al­ways been a co-driver; when you sit be­side good driv­ers, you know where your tal­ents lie.”

He’s had a lot of suc­cess “One of the most mem­o­rable ral­lies was my first win, the Scot­tish Rally in 2001. Dave We­ston and I won it in a Group N car against World Rally Cars. That was spe­cial and re­ally ig­nited the fire to go fur­ther. I’ve sat with a lot of good driv­ers. I won Group N in the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship in 2005 with Barry Clark, among other things.”

He did the BHRC “The chance to com­pete in his­torics is all down to Jamie Ed­wards. He sug­gested that I should speak to Tim Pearcey. I had noth­ing in the off­ing for BRC that year and I wanted to do some events out­side Scot­land, so we agreed to do the Bri­tish His­toric Cham­pi­onship in 2010. I’d never done a lot in rear-wheel-drive cars and it was fan­tas­tic. We did the Roger Al­bert Clark in 2013 and fin­ished fourth af­ter be­ing on our roof in Dun­combe Park. We had a bril­liant last day in the Scot­tish bor­ders and climbed up from eighth.”

They’ve been to Bel­gium “The level of com­pe­ti­tion and the at­mos­phere in the his­toric cham­pi­onship was bril­liant and we did the full cham­pi­onship for two or three sea­sons. Then Tim started to look for some new chal­lenges and we did the Boucles de Spa last year, which is a fan­tas­tic event. It’s bonkers and noth­ing pre­pares you for it. Do­ing 125 miles in the day makes it tough and it is hard for co-driv­ers. But we fin­ished in the top 20 de­spite six punc­tures!”

He’s an event or­gan­iser “I’m clerk of the course for the Spey­side Stages, which runs in April this year. I also did two years as chair­man of the Scot­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship and I’m now in­volved on the man­age­ment com­mit­tee.”

He lives a long way north “For the events in Eng­land and Wales I usu­ally fly down from In­ver­ness on a Fri­day af­ter work and fly to Birm­ing­ham or Manch­ester to be in Wales by 2200hrs. I can fly back on Sun­day. I’m a long way from ev­ery­where!”

Shanks: his­toric co-driver

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