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Next up is #63 Dave Sharp, who proves it's never too late to give racing a go!

Name - Dave Sharp
Hometown -Newark on Trent
Job- Co Owner of MDS Services - I run the courier and light haulage part whilst Marilyn runs the telemarketing side of the business

You didn't start racing until quite late in life, what was the reason for this?
I was 61 when I first hired a V8 and I hadn’t raced anything before
When I was a youngster my parents used to take me to Long Eaton and as a family we loved watching the racing. We knew a couple of the drivers and my schoolmates dad was Norman Wilcockson who raced as no 63. We used to travel to Long Eaton in the bus and hide under the cars to get in and out through the pit gate so we had a few bob left for some chips – Happy days.
As I grew up family came along and I was interested in aviation and became a glider pilot and raced those round the UK and also became a flying instructor with the RAFGSA. Then in February 2015 just after my 60th birthday I had a serious heart attack which put a lot of things on hold including flying which left me at a loose end at weekends and gave me lots of time to think about the future.
I started spectating at Stock car meetings again and got hooked.
It took a while to get fit again and I mentioned fancying a go and buying a car (look of horror from the wife lol) “You are not racing an F1” she said and a few weeks later the family bought me a taster day at Northampton where amongst other things I had a go in an F2 and loved it.
From then on I managed to get my aviation medical back (I still fly at RAF Cranwell in my spare time lol) and Sophie Clarke helped me to get a V8 Licence. The insurers were a bit bothered about letting me race even though I had an aviation medical “Driving a Stock Car can be quite physical. Its easy to sit in an aircraft and just drive from A to B” they had argued with Sophie. I offered to take one up in an aircraft and demonstrate a full airshow aerobatic routine. That swayed them and they agreed to put me on the insurance as a named driver. Thanks Sophie 😊
From that point Doug Bracher agreed to hire a car to me in August 2016. It was supposed to be just for one meeting but then that stretched to five. The last three being in Chris Brachers three times world final winning car which Doug refurbished for me to hire. To cut a long story short I bought the car from the Bracher family and carried on racing it all last season using Normans old number 63. The cars now being sorted for this coming season

What made you choose V8s as the formula to make your debut in?
Initially it was due to being able to hire a car and then realised you have the same fun as driving an F1 but at a sensible price. Theres also the small matter of her indoors giving me the dead eye if I mention racing an F1 😊

Who in the sport has been your biggest inspiration?
There are a lot of very good drivers in the formula and anyone who gets up to red must be good but I think Chris Bracher gets my vote. World champion four years on the trot and still willing to help out in the workshop and at meetings. Hes a super guy and I just wish I could drive his car as well as he did.

What has been your hardest race so far?
The hardest was having to sit in the stand at Belle Vue unable to race at the last meeting of the season.
Ive had a few hard races last season and Ive ended up in the hands of the medics a couple of times but the biggest disappointment was when I was in Hospital after that shunt at Stoke and being told I wouldn’t be able to race at Belle Vue the following weekend. I was second in the Whites and Yellows and and only needed one top ten finish to take the title.
The race that gave me the most pleasure was the World Final at Buxton. Even though I started 30th at the back I had qualified on my own merits and managed to finish But most important to me was the fact that I had fulfilled the promise I had made to my late daughter to try and qualify for the World Final – Job done.

What is the best advice you have been given?
“Try and keep out of the way and don’t hit the fence” (Doug Bracher -when I first hired his car). To be fair Doug and his family and friends have helped me a lot. And I wouldn’t be competing without their help and advice

Any closing words?
You are never to old to race. I ‘m only a few months younger than John Lund and I hear he is coming out in his F1 again this season. Finally many thanks to everyone who has helped us this season. There are some super people in the formula.
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2 days ago  ·  

Thank you to Chris Snell for sending these in
#406 Big Ike Racing
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4 days ago  ·  

Next we have lady racer #154 telling us a little bit about herself...

Name: Sophie Shannon Maynard
Age: 19
Hometown: Rugby, Warwickshire

How long have you raced: 4 years in minis and 2 years in v8s

Fave film: Talladega nights

Any interests apart from racing: Gym and the pub!

What is your favourite track to race at : Buxton or Skegness

What has been your best or most memorable race: in minis it was winning the European championship and in V8s coming 5th in last years world Final

What has been your greatest achievement- holding red grade in v8s in only my 2nd year.

What's your plan for 2018- win a championship...must try harder!!!
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4 days ago  ·  

Next up ...

He always has lots to say and an opinion on everything....'controversial' Craig #187

Name - Craigy ain't it?
Hometown - Loughborough, Leicestershire
Job - mostly acoustics

How long have you raced - I've raced on and off since 2002.. think I've done about 5 or 6 seasons worth of racing in total.

Favourite movie - Buster.. I'm a fan of all things Phil Collins

What's changed in v8s over the years - there's two stand out things for me.. the quality of the stock car driver and car presentation. Now before I say anything, i don't mean anyone in particular so drivers, don't sit reading this thinking it's aimed at you personally or anything.. but the quality of 'stock car drivers' has dropped over the last 5 or 6 years. Don't get me wrong, there's some very fast drivers and very fast cars.. but, for me there isn't too many drivers out there now who want to get into it and shy away from hits, either giving them or taking them. 2009/2010 stands out for me.. all of the blues, reds and superstars were all real tough, hard hitting stock car drivers. You had Chris fort, Chris bracher, Marc and Carl Radforth, Murph, all of team Parker.. the drivers then all could and would get involved and put on a good hard hitting show. These days, from what I've noticed, everyone just wants to drive around fast and pass each other without so much as a dig.. and are so quick to complain when they do wind up getting pulled into a hitting race. it's racing now, not so much stock car racing.
And car presentation.. car presentation has come on leaps and bounds since I first started.. folk were racing brush painted tanks back then whereas now 99% of the cars look fantastic. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I believe you've got my brother, Matt to thank for that. He set the bar where car presentation is concerned. Especially when he brought out the McLaren style fort/Pritchard car!

What's the future of the sport in your opinion - the sports in a good place just now. Car numbers are fairly up, the fixture list is very full.. I just hope that we can continue to put out good numbers with so many meetings. There's things within the sport that need addressing but it's generally doing well and with the amount of new drivers coming in, hopefully it will continue.

What's your advice for new drivers to the sport - my advice would be, be mindful of who you get involved with as there are some folk out there who will have your pants down no sooner than they've said hello to you. Just be careful who you're dealing with!!

What would you say is your greatest achievement - I've won a fair few championships along the way now, a couple of British champs and a European being the main ones.. but my biggest achievement I would say is to have gone from the drivers voting me most improved driver one season, to the drivers voting me driver of the year the very next! DOTY tends to always be won by whoever wins the points.. but I think I broke the mould that year since I didn't win the world or the points! Which makes it all that much better.

What's your aim or aims for 2018 - well first thing I'm gonna do is stick Dean Laird straight in! Haha. Just going to continue to enjoy racing.. I won't be challenging for the national points but would maybe like to try and win the shale points. Get as high as possible on the world final grid and go all out to knock Adam off his world champions perch and be sat there myself. I should have won it before, each time I've been close I've ended up losing out and Chris Bracher went on to win.. I don't mind losing out to Chris though.. he's in my top 3 drivers of all time so deserved all of those wins. Most of all I want to do Dougie and Angie proud this year.. they sponsor me the car and help all the way so repaying them by doing the best I possibly can is the very least I can do!
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1 week ago  ·  

Let's get to know the drivers a bit before the season starts with a bit of Q and A....first up we have the meerkat #222

Name- Guy Jolly
Age- 27
Hometown- Huntingdon, Cambs
Job- Warehouse Logistics Manager for a Specialised Concreting Firm

How long have you raced? 2018 will be my 10th Season in V8s one of the old timers now!

If you were stranded on a desert island with only 3 items what would they be? I would want plenty of beer , a good pen knife and lastly a year's supply of how should we put it ADULT Magazines for them lonely nights!

What's the best advice you've been given? The best advice I've been given in life would be never settle for something your not happy about if you believe it can happen

What's your earliest stockcar memory? Must be early 90s at Coventry Stadium, running around the cars with my mates playing stockcars, good times as I always made sure i won!

What has changed in V8s over the 10 years that you've been in them?
The biggest change for me personally over the years in v8s is the professionalism within the sport. When I started you had maybe 3 or 4 quick guys, the rest were, in polite terms, making numbers up myself included haha but now there are maybe 20 or so drivers that are all capable of winning any race and the money going into cars now is getting serious I guess that's a sign of progress

Your greatest achievement- I have 3 or 4 over the years , winning 2 supreme championships is a highlight and the under 25s championship was special. I had 1 year to win it and made it count in a strong field too we celebrated well! The Northern and Midlands title was good also but I think my 2 most special moments have been reaching and maintaining Superstar status in 2016 -that has to be a big tick for any driver in our sport and to top it by winning a heat and final double at the sadly gone Coventry Stadium in its final year was probably something I won't better to be honest, that place had an amazing atmosphere.

Your aim for 2018- 1 goal really , to come out with a bang as last year wasn't so good results wise. Issues on and off track didn't help but I'm up for it this year and I would love to get a hatrick of Supreme wins that would be special then if we can get any more big races that will be a bonus I'm not greedy just abit eager these days

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2 weeks ago  ·  

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