Roberts switches Compacts for MX-5
Two-time BMW Compact Cup champion Steve Roberts will race in the Mazda MX-5 Supercup in 2017, after taking a year off to decide his future.
Roberts spent the last year evaluating his 2017 plans, and decided that after achieving two titles in the Compact Cup, it was time for a fresh challenge.
“I’d basically done the championship since 2012, the year before it became a championship, and I then won it in 2013 and 2015,” explained Roberts. “I’d basically ticked all the boxes in it and I wasn’t really hungry to return to it.”
Roberts’ decision came after speaking to Brian Chandler, who won the 2015 Mazda Supercup Championship, and Compact Cup co-ordinator Paul Mcerlean.
“Compact Cup is one of the best championships in the country, which I continue to be very supportive of,” he added. “But as I wanted a change, I needed to find a championship with a similar ethos, high quality of drivers and tight controls. Mazda Supercup fit that bill.
“I’m searching for cars. I know a few people with Mazda contacts, and I don’t have the time to build to be honest and I want to get out and get to grips with the car as soon as I can.”
It is a famous car “It’s a factory car, chassis number nine of 1962. It was sold to Curt Lincoln as a complete car less engine but he immediately put a Ford engine in it and he raced it in 1962 in Finland in exactly the configuration it is in now. It was painted in period in the Finnish flag colours, and that’s how it still is today.”
Lincoln even raced it on ice “Curt Lincoln had a daughter, Nina, and later became Jochen Rindt’s father-in-law. In his day Curt was a racing champion and also did powerboat racing, skiing and all sorts. He was a fascinating character really. He had a lot of Coopers but only kept each one for a year or two and after this car he bought a Brabham BT6. He won some fairly major races in the car in 1962 and also did some ice racing in it. Later in 1962, Jochen Rindt bought chassis number six, which has got consecutive numbers on the gearbox to this car.”
It is very original “It went through various hands and had a fairly serious accident in Finland in 1963. There is still evidence of that accident on the chassis now. Any bits on it that aren’t original, like the dampers and even the wing mirrors, we’ve got all the original parts all carefully stored.”
It later came to the UK “After that it ran as a Formula 3 car in 1965 mainly in Sweden. It was then laid up for some time and reappeared in the late 1990s with Chris Alford. Then it went to Dr Hugh Chalmers in Scotland and then Alan Biggar, who did a brilliant job of the restoration through Billy Bellinger.”
Merrick has raced it extensively “I bought the car in 2014 but didn’t do much with it, so this year was really my second season. We took it on holiday last year and raced it back in Sweden where people remembered it. Over the winter we went to South Africa, which was fantastic.”
Lincoln to be celebrated “It is a wonderful piece of racing history and we’re going alright and steadily moving forwards. In 2018 we want to do the Baltic Series of the Formula Junior World Tour, because that leg is named in memory of Curt Lincoln and it is three or four races.”