DOWN THE PUB

Age: 62 Lives: Jer­sey F1 driver and Fford cham­pion

Motor Sport News - - Historics - WITH DEREK WAR­WICK

He had an epic sea­son in 1976 “In 1976 I raced in 63 races in For­mula Ford in a Hawke DL15 and won 32 of them. I did a bit of For­mula Ford the sea­son be­fore, but I was pretty much straight out of stock cars where I’d been Bri­tish and world cham­pion.”

The cars were easy to run “It was pos­si­ble to do that many races in those days with a man and a van and we ran it very cheaply. The cars were fairly sim­ple so you didn’t need these big teams run­ning you and you could run them out of a Tran­sit van. I think that’s why the for­mula was such a suc­cess. We were lucky in that we had a good car that was easy to drive and easy to set up, be­cause we were just am­a­teurs at that stage.”

He had loads of ri­vals “The rac­ing in For­mula Ford in those days was phe­nom­e­nal against peo­ple like Rick Mor­ris, Derek Daly, Bernard De­vaney and Jim Walsh. Jim was the king of Sil­ver­stone, but I’m sure I beat him there! Ac­tu­ally, I’ve no idea if I did. Jim was ob­vi­ously re­ally quick at Sil­ver­stone but he was also quick at other places as well.”

It was a very busy year “We de­cided we wanted to do all the For­mula Ford cham­pi­onships, so we did the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship, the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship, the Townsend Thore­sen Cham­pi­onship and the DJM Records Cham­pi­onship. But I think I stretched my­self a bit and I only won the Euro­pean, al­though I was sec­ond in the For­mula Ford Festival.”

Sil­ver­stone was the high­light “It was just about the sheer com­pet­i­tive­ness of the cat­e­gory and I think Sil­ver­stone was the pin­na­cle of all the cir­cuits be­cause the rac­ing there was just so ex­tra­or­di­nary. On the last lap go­ing into the last cor­ner there would still be 15 of us and the front six, seven or eight would just spread out across the track and the one who could hold out the long­est be­fore get­ting on the brakes would win.”

He learnt a lot “It was bril­liant rac­ing and very ex­cit­ing and prob­a­bly the best rac­ing dur­ing that era of For­mula Ford. It was good for me as it was cheap and af­ford­able.”

War­wick: Fford grad­u­ate

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