DOWN THE PUB WITH JU­LIAN THOMAS

Age: 47 Lives: Buck­ing­ham E-type sen­sa­tion

Motor Sport News - - Historics -

He raced once in FF1600

“I tried rac­ing when I was 21 and bought a For­mula Ford Royale RP33M and en­tered one race. I qual­i­fied sec­ond to last and took the lead­ers out as they lapped me and wrote the car off. I thought ‘no tal­ent, no money, I’ll stick to elec­tron­ics.”

VBOX is his com­pany

“I’m an elec­tron­ics and com­puter geek. I be­gan sell­ing prod­ucts into the mo­tor sport in­dus­try and I spent so many days at tracks that I de­cided I’d got to give it an­other go. I’d done some karting and my sales­man at the time was quicker than me and I wanted to work out why. That was what started VBOX, the data-log­ger sys­tem.”

He races in the Fun Cup

“I started in the Fun Cup, which is just fan­tas­tic. It has got a tremen­dous range of driv­ers in it and it is rel­a­tively af­ford­able. But I’ve al­ways loved clas­sic cars and my dad had clas­sic cars so we used to go to Sil­ver­stone to watch them.”

The E-type ar­rived in time for 2015

“The mo­ment I could al­most af­ford it, and con­vinced my long­suf­fer­ing wife Jane, I bought a Jaguar E-type. That was for the start of last sea­son. I bought the car from Jeremy Welch and last year was about get­ting used to the car and it took me a while to ad­just from a Fun Cup Bee­tle, with a sin­gle-seater for­mat, pad­dle-shift and 130bhp to a 380bhp E-type run­ning on cross-ply tyres. It was very eye-open­ing.”

He now races both cars

“The E-type suits my driv­ing style as I like no grip! I’m still rac­ing in the Fun Cup for my sixth sea­son and I’ve won it four years in a row. The E-type fits around that, so we’re do­ing a va­ri­ety of races and there is no lack of races you can en­ter with the E-type.”

He has a clas­sic As­ton

“I tracked down my dad’s old As­ton Martin DB6, which I helped him re­store. My mum had to sell it when dad died 25 years ago. Last year a friend of mine asked me what car I’d buy if I could and I said it would be my dad’s old car. So I Googled it just to show him and it was in a Bon­ham’s auc­tion two days later by pure co­in­ci­dence and I just had to bid for it.”

Thomas is an E-type ace

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