PUB

DOWN THE WITH KEITH MESSER

Motor Sport News - - Historics -

He started with the 750MC “My first day on track was at Cas­tle Combe in about 1965 un­der a 750 Mo­tor Club prac­tice day, when they did tu­ition for novices. I did about a lap and a half be­fore the car failed. It be­came a Messer and it was an 1172 spe­cial jointly built with a fel­low ap­pren­tice. I did my first race at Cas­tle Combe in 1969 with it, then as a For­mula 1200.”

He moved to a Lola “I did For­mula 1200 and For­mula 1300 right through to about 1995, lat­terly with a Lola T492 Sports 2000 chas­sis and then we put a Philspeed 1500cc BDA en­gine in it. That was a phe­nom­e­nal en­gine and we fit­ted the Lola with spe­cial bodywork. I won the Cas­tle Combe Spe­cial GT ti­tle in 1996 with that car and I’ve still got it.”

He was based in Bas­ingstoke “I worked for 47 years for Lans­ing Bag­nall, the fork­lift truck com­pany, and ended up as de­vel­op­ment man­ager. I lived in the same house in Bas­ingstoke for 65 years and moved out on the last day of my 65th year and moved to Newent.”

He hasn’t raced ev­ery year “I think I’ve suc­ceeded in rac­ing for so long be­cause I didn’t race ev­ery year. You race for two or three years re­ally com­pet­i­tively and then have a cou­ple of years off. You re­cover men­tally, phys­i­cally and fi­nan­cially. In life there are al­ways times when your spare time and your fi­nances are im­bal­anced. When I did the Cas­tle Combe GT Cham­pi­onship I was pre­par­ing the car at 1700hrs on a Fri­day to be on the cir­cuit on Satur­day morn­ing, which wasn’t ideal.”

He now races His­toric F3 “When I was do­ing For­mula 1200, F3 was the only next step so it had al­ways been in my mind. The first race in the Ve­sey For­mula 3 car was in 2002 and it has served me well It’s a very good car and thor­oughly en­joy­able. It is a one-off and it only did one F3 race in pe­riod, but it did a lot of Mono­posto races. We set up the 1000cc F3 His­toric Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion in 2007. The race at Good­wood last March has lifted the pro­file of the cat­e­gory enough to make peo­ple think about it.”

Messer: Combe ex­pert

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