IN THE SER­VICE PARK WITH…

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey

ROGER RAY Age: 45 From: Bournemouth, Dorset Fa­ther and son rally cham­pion, along­side son Cameron

Where did your in­ter­est in rallying start? “My in­ter­est in rallying be­gan when I had heard about my dad rallying in a Mini Cooper and [Ford] Es­cort Mk1 in the 1960s and ’70s, where he went on to win the Curtis Ben­nett Rally in the late ’70s driv­ing an Es­cort fit­ted with a Lo­tus twin-cam en­gine. My older brother Darren and I started out driv­ing on road ral­lies, both in Es­corts Mk2s.”

Tell me about your season and the cham­pi­onship vic­tory “After an eight-year gap from motorsport, I de­cided to re­turn with the same car. We ini­tially started at Good­wood where I had pre­vi­ously won a novice award in 1993, after that we com­peted in a few more ACSMC [As­so­ci­a­tion of Cen­tral South­ern Mo­tor Clubs] events. By Novem­ber, we had com­pleted all seven events we had en­tered in. This gave us the Bournemouth and Dis­trict Car Club Cham­pi­onship win along with the ACSMC Tar­mac Rally Cham­pi­onship ti­tle.”

What’s so spe­cial about the Fi­esta? “I had bought the Mk1 [Ford] Fi­esta XR2 back in 1991 and it was a stan­dard road car. I did some all-night road ral­lies in that first year and by March 1992, had in­stalled the nec­es­sary equip­ment to be able to com­pete in my first stage rally at Avon Park. Through­out the years my en­gi­neer­ing back­ground has al­lowed me to build my own en­gines, gear­boxes and any mods needed, even down to ma­chin­ing the pock­ets on the pistons. The car has been en­tered into 63 events so far and has only re­tired six times over 25 years.”

How was it com­pet­ing with your wife? “I met my wife, Marie, back in 1992 at Bournemouth Mo­tor Club and in 1994 she started to co-drive for me on var­i­ous Tar­mac ral­lies. From here we went on to win the ACSMC Tar­mac Cham­pi­onship in 1996, plus the BDCC Cham­pi­onship (the same win as this year) and con­tin­ued to rally to­gether un­til 2000 shortly be­fore our son Cameron was born.”

How has your son be­come in­volved? “Last De­cem­ber, Cameron turned 14, the le­gal age to nav­i­gate on a sin­gle-venue event. By Fe­bru­ary we were off to South Downs Stages at Good­wood for our first rally to­gether, in which we achieved a fourth in class. It was a good start to our cham­pi­onship and not a bad first year for him as he had ac­com­plished what his mum and I had achieved 20 years ago.”

The Rays’ Ford Fi­esta Mk1

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