“It is a hobby that takes up as much time as my work”
It’s just a hobby, it is not worth getting stressed over.’ This phrase regularly comes out of my mouth – in fact, every time we have a bad National Hot Rod meeting.
This is usually followed 10 minutes later with a complete contradiction involving planning to sell a kidney and commit the 25th hour of the day to getting the car repaired so we can go racing again.
I’m very fortunate that both my parents and girlfriend Joanne are as obsessed with driving in circles as I am. That means both dad and I can be lost to the garage, sometimes for days on end without the risk of finding the locks changed and our clothes in bags on the doorstep when we return.
Thankfully, it also means we are well fed and there is a never ending supply of tea (and beer) when these unavoidable situations arise.
I’ve been lucky enough to have raced cars since I was 10 years old, starting with Junior Minis at our local track, Standlake Arena in Oxfordshire and progressing up to race National Hot Rods.
I’m 26 now and still find it just as exciting getting strapped into the car as I did all those years ago, the only difference being I can actually see over the steering wheel these days.
Racing is, and hopefully always will be, my obsession but unfortunately, no matter how much I wish it was, it will never be a job option.
This then leaves me with a hobby that takes up as much time as my job, costs a small fortune and doesn’t earn any money back. It is all highly illogical when you put it like that but I’m sure it’s a situation shared by racing fanatics the world over.
Working on the car consists of my dad, our friend Mork and me, and unlike big professional teams we don’t have a man for every job.
In a single evening you can often find yourself being the bodywork man, the set-up guy, the tyre fitter and the cleaner.
Joanne and my mum share the roles of PR and advertising executives, official Facebook status updaters, peace keepers and the all important catering team.
It really is a family effort and without them it would never happen. Their unwavering dedication to it over the years has allowed me to live my dream. There have been great moments and celebrations and also some very quiet rides home in the lorry, followed by sulky Mondays!
The pleasure we get from it far outweighs the long nights and empty pockets.
I’m tired and skint but I really wouldn’t change it for the world.
Godfrey and his team work hard for trophies