Proprietor, Saxon Motorsport
I have always had a passion for motorsport, as did my father before me and as do two of my children.
Having started out in karting at the age of 13, I quickly moved on to Motocross competing in the AMCA category for a couple of years and finishing as an ‘Expert’ rider, I then moved into Rallying just at the end of the real Road Rallying era. As Road Rallying became more difficult I migrated towards Stage Rallying, mainly tarmac but with a spattering of Forest events. I finished 2nd in the Welsh Stage Championship in 1989 and won the Motoring News Gp N tarmac Championsip in 1990. Then in 1996 we built a GP A mini and finished 2nd in the British Rally Championsip despite 2 mechanical failures. The poor Mini wasn’t strong enough for modern stages and speeds!
I then spent a few years in Classic Rallying driving cars as diverse as a Humber Super snipe in which we had several wins in the Monte Carlo Challenge, a Riley 1.5 winning an Alpine Cup in the Pirelli Marathon and class wins in domestic Rallies. A 1968 Mercedes 280SE in which we entered the London to Mexico Rally finishing 12 overall. Quite probably the most difficult event I have ever done! A Mini Cooper S, a fantastic car which supplied us with dozens of class wins and a 2nd overall in the Ypres Historic, the only non Porsche in the top 10! And another 2nd overall in the Ulster Historic.
I was then offered a drive in the Nurburgring 24 Hour race and in those days the Germans didn’t realise that in the UK there was a difference between a Race and a Rally licence! So I turned up cycled around the track and set of on my first ‘Ring 24 Hours’ and I was bitten! Despite having to change an engine in the middle of the night we had a great time and the track was just like a long Stage.
A friend of mine then built a couple of Honda Civics specifically for the Ring and I spent the next couple of years racing these fantastic cars with him in the VLN Championship. If we finished we usually won the class.
I then drove with Willie Moor and Dave Cox in Willies M3 GTR and in 2008 I had what was probably my best result to date. Out of 220 starters in that years 24 Hour race we finished 9th Overall only beaten by works cars. Dave Cox and I also drove the car in 2 Belcar Masters races at Zolder and Spa, winning both.
I then did several Ring 24 Hour races with Mike Rimmer in his Subaru. A great little car that would have really come into its own in a wet race but we didn’t get one so class wins were the best we could do.
On the domestic front I shared a turbo charged Radical SR3 with a friend of mine in the Britsports Championship. An incredibly quick car but not very well sorted and dreadfully unreliable.
I was then offered a drive in a BMW diesel in the 2010 Silverstone 24 Hour race. Unfortunately this car was also woefully prepared and spent about 4 hours in the pit garage but it did open my eyes to the possibility of a properly prepared diesel, so we decided to build one!
We chose the BMW 1 series and the engine from the 535D. We built the car and entered it in the VLN championship at the Nurburgring. Our original car developed about 35 BHP and was easily the fastest diesel around. In 2 seasons we won every VLN that we entered ignoring a couple of crashes! In 2013 we won the diesel class in the 24 Hours as well.
We have since built an evolution of that car which is lighter and more powerfull. The latest engine produces 455 BHP and 760 NM of torque.
Last year the original diesel was driven by an Italian driver Luca Demarchi in the Britcar Champioship. They don’t have a diesel class so he was up against some quick petrol M3’s but he still managed 2nd in Class.
We raced the Mk 2 diesel in the Silverstone 24 Hours, Paul Ricard 24 Hours, Nurburgring 24 Hours and Barcelona 24 Hours never finishing lower than 3rd and winning in Barcelona.
For the coming 2016 season I am looking forward to doing the 4 24 Hour races again as well as sharing the car with Luca in the GT Cup Championship.