NEEDELL GETS BMW OUTING AT THRUXTON
Racer and TV personality to contest Production Championship finale in E30
Former grand prix driver and television presenter Tiff Needell will race in the final round of the Production BMW Championship at Thruxton next weekend.
Needell, who entered two F1 grands prix in 1980 with the Unipart Racing team, qualifying for one, will race a BMW E30 with Graves Motorsport at the Hampshire circuit this Saturday.
The E30 is the same one that was driven at the previous round of the season at Silverstone by Autosport grand prix editor Ben Anderson.
Needell also raced in an Austin A35 in the St Mary’s Trophy race at the Goodwood Revival earlier this month, but will head to Thruxton without having tested the car, which he will race in the championship’s Class F category.
“I don’t know much at all about the car; I don’t even know what model I’m driving,” said Needell, who presents the Fifth Gear TV show.
“They have about 30 cars. It should be mental and it seems to be a great set up. Thruxton’s my favourite track, so to be racing in a nice rear-wheel-drive saloon should be perfect.
“It’s brilliant that we’ve got untimed practice, qualifying and three races in one day. It sounds like mega fun. I could be in trouble if they’re all at me – but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Graves Motorsport owner Karl Graves said: “One of our other drivers, Rob Manger, is an instructor at Thruxton and does some work there with Tiff. They’ve been in conversation about Tiff racing and Rob asked if we could provide a car.
“It was a big yes straight away, there was no hesitation on our part. It’s great for Graves Motorsport as well as the club and the championship to have such a high-profile character on-board.”
“We did so for Adam Morgan at Donington Park last year and because we’d done that, we were asked whether we wanted to run Tiff.
“He hasn’t had a chance to test the car – he’s going to be going straight into the car and straight out onto the circuit.”
Needell will drive Anderson’s E30 Star was in action at Goodwood recently