John has been involved in motorsport for a good few years now. With his initial interest in the Ford RS scene of roads cars he progressed to taking his pleasure off road with some rallying in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. The car was no slouch but was no match for the rest of the class cars. However, power aplenty and rear wheel drive set the scene for the future. Somewhere about now Gary was working with Neil Callan at Carwise UK in York, specialising in the Cosworth cars. They did some work on the car and also helped to look after it on events.
One day, following a conversation with Pat Flynn, a new avenue was set and a new BMW E30 325i for the RWD Challenge was to be built. So the Sierra was sold on and a E30 build started with the help of Gary, Steve Bielby, Sooty and many others. Eventually it was built, many rallies completed and every one finished thanks to BMW reliability. After a couple of years the cost of rallying was getting a touch too much for John's liking so a new venture was sought.
Rallycross was the suggestion, and was entered in the Rally Car class at Croft and wow , that was it, the bug got a grip. Later events included a trip to Nutts Corner in Northern Ireland and to Blyton.
The rally car was too heavy though to be competetive, something lighter was required :). John could not afford a second toy though, however there was a suggestion of a joint venture with Gary and to car share.
The car stayed this way (shared) until end of 2013 when Gary took outright ownership and John had another venture in the form of a MK2 Escort.
Gary has been a keen rallycross fan since the early 1980's, often getting to the local circuit events at Croft as well as the Grands Prix at Brands Hatch and also getting around the country's circuits at Swindon, Cadwell, Lydden and Nutts.
Gary, always the petrolhead, first participated in rallycross whilst in the forces in Germany with the RAF organised standard car events at RAF Gutersloh.
Pictured above with Alan Riddington who also competed with a standard Audi 80 5 Cylinder. Although the cars were standard, apart from usual safety features, it was a foray into motorsport at the cheap end. Being based in Germany meant that there were the European rallycross circuits within driving distance, Jan and I visited as many as we could in Belgium, France, Holland and Germany.
There was a string of performance cars along the way depending on available budget, mainly of the Ford RS variety. Now being a Cosworth owner for over ten years, an aquaintance with Neil Callan, a Cosworth tuner in York was no doubt inevitable. This led to working with Neil for a couple of years, building many Performance Ford feature cover cars and also meeting a Mr John Clayton, a rally man with a Cossie! Neil decided to move further North with Carwise and John wanted a BMW E30 rallycar building, that was only the start of it.
Hiding in the background except when the bars open or the TV cameras are about, is Jan, the self appointed Team Manager. As Garys better half, Jan is always at the events running the PR side, monitoring the time schedule and the catering. Jan does have help most of the time with Jackie, Johns wife, especially though when the time for drinking the winnings arises:)
Jan is fortunate enough to have been dragged round most of the UK and European rallycross circuits over the last 20 odd years, luckily Jan enjoys rallycross as much as Gary does.
Marc Clayton, Johns son, is often seen around the paddock area and is getting handy with a set of spanners as well as his usual co-drivings duties when in the car with Father. Not satisfied with just co -driving, Marc did take the rally car out on one of the Croft stage rallies.
Phil is the latest member of the team and has been helping us for a while now but until recently there were no pictures. He helped us for the most of last seasons campaign,on route to fourth in the British Championship.
Phil was instrumental in the build of the latest addition to the fleet, John's Mini.