‘I’m a rebel but they know I know what I’m do­ing’

Dave Ste­wart is the Di­rec­tor of Thun­der­sport and has done won­ders for Bri­tish rac­ing safety ‘It all started when I ended up run­ning Bem­see – by ac­ci­dent’

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I’ve been run­ning race meet­ings for 22 years now and it all started when I ended up run­ning Bem­see – by ac­ci­dent. I was elected by all of the other rid­ers to be the rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the club and then we had the Mal­tese Fi­asco in 1995. Bem­see or­gan­ised a race meet­ing in Malta, which went hor­ren­dously wrong. The club lost all of its money and had noth­ing left to run the 1996 meets. It prob­a­bly cost a quar­terof-a-mil­lion quid. My fel­low di­rec­tors were look­ing at wind­ing the club up but I wasn’t pre­pared to see that hap­pen, so I went and bor­rowed the money my­self. It’s thanks to a friend of mine, Lawrence Barry, who was will­ing to lend it to me to bail the club out.

I’m very big on safety; I was see­ing peo­ple go rac­ing and get­ting in­jured be­cause they didn’t know what to do. Peo­ple just sent off for a li­cence and that was it, so I made it a rule that you had to do a race school if you wanted to race with us. Our ac­ci­dent record im­proved dra­mat­i­cally and the num­ber of in­ci­dents re­duced by 50%. The in­sur­ers of the ACU came to look at my club and then made the ACU in­tro­duce my Com­pet­i­tive

Train­ing Course (CTC), which has

now been in ef­fect since 1998.

I’ve had a frac­tious re­la­tion­ship with the ACU over the years. I’m a rebel but they know I know what I’m do­ing. I’m a pain in the arse for them be­cause I want them to im­prove all the time.

Cre­at­ing Thun­der­sport has been great. We are ruth­lessly ef­fi­cient and in­cred­i­bly friendly but im­por­tantly, I am lucky that I have an in­cred­i­ble team of vol­un­teers who want to work to­gether to make rac­ing safe, with­out them it can’t work. Vol­un­teers are the lifeblood.

Tour­ing car champ Gor­don Shed­don with Joey’s SP-1 Crowds pack into the fa­mous venue Honda cel­e­brated 25 years of the Blade Neeves on Anstey’s Pad­getts Blade SP su­per­stock bike

The­ex­tra Who­goes con­tac t two) mile(or gib­bon s@ . jor­dan ews. cy­clen mo­tor com Dave Ste­wart says vol­un­teers are key to keep­ing bike rac­ing alive

Safety Dave Ste­wart is ded­i­cated to

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