5 MINUTES WITH...
He was the original sideways man, and a legend on the rally stage and oval circuit. All hail Leapy Lee!
“I BEAT A YOUNG ROGER CLARK IN THE FINAL, THEN I WAS INVITED UP TO BOREHAM. THE REST IS HISTORY...”
What was your first Ford?
An Anglia 105E.
How long have you been on the race scene?
In 1964, 1965 and 1966 I won the Players Number 6 Championship. I managed to win each round. I beat a young Roger Clark in the final. Then I was invited up to Boreham and the rest is history. I’m still doing it all today...
Escort Cosworth for the road — Ford actually gave me one to use. It got stolen though. Same as quite a few others.
What’s been the highlight of your colourful career so far?
Seeing the Union Jack flag being waved everywhere when I was truck racing, one time sticks in my mind was on the Nürburgring in Germany. I love racing hot rods. Racing with the Fiesta National Hot Rods was a good one.
You have raced in so many events all over the world over the years. Are there any personalities that stick with you?
Oh yes! Formula One’s Ronnie Peterson and the late Henry Toivonen.
How do you rate yourself amongst your peers?
Well, I was rated in 2000 by a Motorsport poll. I was placed 16th in the top 100 worldwide drivers over the last 100 years! I was rated by the poll as the number 1 racer in Britain. I’m flattered really, it’s nice to get the recognition but even nicer as it was the public that voted.
If you could own any Ford for yourself what would it be?
You’ll laugh, but I love my Mondeo estate! It’s practical and nippy enough for road use.
What’s the scariest thing that you have ever driven?
The TG 1989 Paris-Dakar car I competed with. Scary car in a tough race.
When you’re dead and buried, what do you want people to remember you by?
I’d like a headstone that says, ‘I told you I was f**kin’ ill!’
Mid-practice on a Lydden Hill rallycross event in 1970 with the works Escort Twin Cam. Barry Lee’s biography,The Other Side Of Winning is available from www.barrylee.co.uk