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“I did the Chateau Imp­ney hill­climb at the week­end in the For­mula Ju­nior Mer­lyn Mk5/7 owned by John Sykes and pre­vi­ously raced by De­nis Welch. It’s the first time I’d been to Chateau Imp­ney and I’d never done a hill­climb be­fore. It was my 21st birth­day in May and John Sykes rang me and said he was at Le Mans when it was Chateau Imp­ney and he’d bought the en­try for me as a birth­day present. He said to go for it and it didn’t mat­ter if I dam­aged his car.”

“It’s a mega chal­lenge but I don’t like wait­ing around. But when you get to the top of the hill you’ve got a big smile on your face. You don’t know how you got there! I loved it. I had a big bat­tle with Mark and Jack Wood­house and it was great be­cause we all know each other and we’re all friends. But we all want to win and you’re not go­ing to back out. In the end I won the class.”

He needs to prac­tice his starts “The round­about is re­ally dif­fi­cult and the start is hard for me be­cause I’m not nor­mally that good off the start in races. I was about half a sec­ond slower off the line than Westie Mitchell.”

Sykes had a win last month “John rang me from Le Mans on Sun­day morn­ing and said he had a big scare in the night as he was driv­ing down the Mul­sanne Straight and a Lo­tus Elite burst into flames in front of him. He had a great win in the Mer­lyn at Cad­well Park last month and he was chuffed to bits as it was his first over­all race win. I’ll do the For­mula Ju­nior race at the Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic in the Mer­lyn and then Croft the week after. We al­ways race in hon­our of De­nis Welch, who owned the Mer­lyn be­fore John.”

He may do more hill­climbs “We’ve got an Austin Healey 3000 at home that needs build­ing. It is a road car at the mo­ment but my dad Nigel used to race it. We can’t af­ford to race it, so we’re plan­ning to hill­climb it. There’s no one else on the track to knock you off and you’ll only have to re­build it ev­ery five years or so.”

JULY 13 2016 It was his first hill­climb Red Dragon has been short­ened

Grant: hill­climb new­comer

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