Motorsport News



Age: 65 Lives: Cambridge 1970s Formula Ford hero

He started with Jim Russell “I had a lot of fun in Formula Ford. We lived in Northampto­n at the time and it was John Murphy who got me started as he used to work for my father as a mechanic. I used to go and watch him race and then my father gave me the opportunit­y to go through the Jim Russell School.”

He had to learn fast “It was quite amazing really. There was John Murphy and Syd Fox and all those very quick drivers and when I started practising at Silverston­e I thought I was really late on the brakes into Becketts. But then John and Syd would come by me like I was a novice. That gave me a good goal to aim for and it was good when I got up on equal terms with them.”

He raced with the best “I used to love the car control of those Formula Fords and we had some great races. I met a lot of good friends like John Village and Rick Morris and we had some great times. I also raced with Derek Warwick, Geoff Lees, Bernard Devaney and Derek Daly. It was a great time of my life.”

It ended in 1981 “I won the Silverston­e Formula Ford championsh­ip three times in 1976, 1979 and 1980. The first one was in a Hawke and then two in Royales. I stopped racing in 1981. We were looking for sponsorshi­p to do Formula 3 but I only managed to do one race. The sponsorshi­p deal didn’t get off the ground.”

He had a big accident “I was testing a Pacer at Snetterton and had quite a bad accident when a steering bracket broke. That put me out of action for a few months and I was in hospital in Norwich when I got the news that the F3 deal had fallen through. So I decided to concentrat­e on work. I was 29 or 30 by then and that was too old. I didn’t start racing until I was 24.”

He saw Senna starting his UK career “The only time I was ever on a circuit with Ayrton Senna was the day I crashed at Snetterton. He was just starting in a Van Diemen and there were only a handful of drivers who could take Russell flat in top and he was one of them. I could see then that he was going to be great.”

 ??  ?? Walsh: Formula Ford hero
Walsh: Formula Ford hero
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom