My interest in motor racing began when I was just a young boy. As I grew older, I became fascinated in not only the racing aspect of the sport, but increasingly about the cars, how they were designed, built and developed.
As like most motorsport fans, I was limited to following it by either watching it on TV, or by reading about it in magazines. This was hugely frustrating for me, so I began to think of ways that would enable me to get closer to the action, to be able to see ‘close up’ where the cars were designed and built and to meet the people involved.
I knew and understood that this was never going to be an easy task, as motorsport, especially Formula 1 (F1), is highly technical and the participating teams are renowned for being extremely secretive and guarded about their work. This made it highly unlikely or impossible even, for a normal fan like me to be entrusted with access to their facilities.
However undeterred, I came up with an idea. I enjoyed painting and believed I was reasonably skilled at it, so my idea was to paint a picture of an F1 car, then offer the painting to a team owner, or CEO, in exchange for a visit to their Head Quarters (HQ).
As my favourite boyhood team was Team Lotus, my first car painting effort was completed and a photograph of it taken and then sent it to their Technical Director, along with my offer. To my absolute astonishment he agreed to my ‘deal’ and I spent the most enjoyable day at Ketteringham Hall, where the Lotus F1 cars were made.
Following the same method, I approached the McLaren CEO with a similar offer and this resulted in another surprising and favourable response. I was subsequently rewarded with a full day’s visit to the McLaren HQ and a day at the British Grand Prix.
Later similar experiences became available to me, which were all highly informative and enjoyable. So, I think I have been extremely fortunate in being able to realise my dreams by gaining access to the highly specialised and extremely secretive world of F1 motor racing and meeting leading luminaries of the sport, including Frank Dernie, Ron Dennis, and Sir Frank Williams.
I have since continued with my F1 themed paintings, which are now on permanent exhibition at the North East Art Collective or can be viewed on my website.
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