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  • Damon Hill - David Langford
    His mount at the time was a 200cc Triumph Tiger Cub which gave him first place in the 200cc class When I met Dan for the first time in May 2007 I explained that I had seen him racing at Mallory Park in 1966 I was 17 and completely overawed with the whole atmosphere of motorcycle road racing By coincidence Mallory Park was the venue for Dan Shorey s first real road race in 1956 where he finished mid field on the 250 Rudge As his success grew he was chosen by Stan Hailwood to partner his son Mike in the Thruxton 500 mile race Both riders shared a Triumph T110 and gained one of their most significant victories in June 1958 In Stan Hailwood s book My Son Mike he recalls the event in detail From my experience of driving in three 500 mile races at Brooklands I knew how vital the seconds were and we had everything set up I had a line drawn Mike had to pull up to this get off the bike on the left and let his partner Dan Shorey get on the machine from the right while I refilled We got the stops down to seconds This magnificent win for Mike and Dan made other teams think the bike itself had been the real winning force and some rivals had made this known to Stan However it was only a short while after this race that everyone involved in the sport began to realise that the win in reality was down to the pure riding skills of these two great Oxfordshire riders This was an indication of future events After purchasing the ex Mike Hailwood 125 M V Agusta in 1958 Dan went on to win the Pinhard Prize awarded to the best

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/banburys_racing_ace.html (2016-04-29)
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  • Denis Jenkinson - David Langford
    to be believed My illustration left shows Nick and Trevor rounding the right hand corner at the Quarter Bridge Hotel My grateful thanks go to Nick for giving permissson to use his book his vivid account brought back memories of driving the TT course on numerous occasions in the past although not at quite the same speed When I interviewed Denis Jenkinson at Prescott Hillclimb in 1991 he was well past retirement age but still fit enough to ride his 750 Triumph BSA at record speeds We recalled his sidecar racing days as passenger to the great Eric Oliver when they became the first ever world champions in that category in 1949 The world of road racing being a small close knit community it was interesting to discover that Eric Oliver s nephew Alan Peck was our instructor when I first enrolled at the Tom Kirby racing school at Brands Hatch in 1970 Alan was also a talented author who wrote the biography of the late Bill Ivy entitled No time to lose Bill was a much loved world champion for the Yamaha factory in the l96Os Tom Kirby was Mike Hailwood s sponsor on many occasions Uncle Tom was strict but fair and always first to hand round his king size cigarettes during the post race assessment regardless of performance ratings Tom also sponsored sidecar driver Terry Vinnicombe for a number of years with a BSA 650 engine unit After seeing boxing commentator Harry Carpenter as well as John Noakes of Blue Peter riding as sidecar passengers I decided to try it Out and arranged to meet local driver W R Rick Turner at a Mallory Park test day Unfortunately carburettor problems on his 900cc Honda outfit cut short the lesson but it was an interesting experience while it

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/jenkinson.html (2016-04-29)
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  • Untitled Document
    career in 1970 after becoming inspired by a kart race near Bouley Bay on the island of Jersey He had moved to the island that summer where he was employed by the Jersey Electricity Company On his return to Ireland he bought a kart and in 1971 progressed to become the Irish kart racing champion before moving on to Formula Ford 1600 single seat racing cars The painting illustrated here was inspired by that unforgettable moment The Eddie Jordan Fl team had well and truly arrived Eddie s enthusiasm was brought to an abrupt halt during a Formula Ford Race in 1975 at Mallory Park when he experienced the first major accident of his racing career suffering injuries that would have put many drivers off racing for good However he came back the following year climbing steadily from Formula Ford to Formula Atlantic Eddie won three races in this formula in 1977 driving a March car previously raced by Formula One champion Alan Jones In 1978 he celebrated by winning the Irish Formula Atlantic Championship in a Chevron 829 On January 25 1979 Eddie Jordan married Mary McCarthy the Irish international basketball player creating a strong sporting link within the family Apart from sport Eddie has a tremendous flair for music and many a post race party has been livened up by him on the drums and Damon Hill on guitar and vocals The Jordans moved from Dublin to Brackley near Silverstone in 1979 Later that year Eddie realised his ambitions as a racing driver were not achieving all that he had hoped and while he was driving for Derek McMahon he found a new string to his bow as a team manager This new angle on racing pointed the way to the future and although he did indeed progress

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/eddy_jordan.htm (2016-04-29)
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  • Untitled Document
    Schumacher a remarkable performance by any standards Alonso may have the honour of being Spain s first Formula One world champion but Spain has a glittering history of producing phenomenal motorcycle champions Probably the greatest of all time was Angel Nieto who won no less than 13 world championships in the ultra lightweight classes mainly on Spanish Bultaco and Derbi machines Another was Santiago Herrero who was well on the way to world championship status when he was killed in the 250cc TT during the 1970 Isle of Man race riding for the Spanish Ossa factory Ossa pulled out of the world championships after this sad event but the totally fearless Herrero was irreplaceable anyway there was quite literally no one around at the time who could make the Ossa go as fast as he could Fernando Alonso s achievement could set a precedent he has certainly inspired a following for Formula One racing never seen in Spain before and he could eventually follow Nieto s example by having a museum dedicated to his achievements in Madrid Alonso s mother worked in a department store his father José Luis was an explosives expert in the mining industry José was an amateur kart racer and had built a pedal kart for his eight year old daughter Lorena She showed no interest in the sport but her younger brother Fernando took to it like a duck to water When he was old enough to compete he along with his father acting as mechanic took part in kart races around Spain but lacked the financial requirements needed to develop a career in motor sport However his victories ensured much needed sponsorship and his career evolved naturally via this route and in 1988 89 he was the champion of Asturias and Galicia in the

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/fernando_alonso.htm (2016-04-29)
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  • David Langford
    Bob Foster who became a legend in his own right by winning the Isle of Man lightweight TT in 1936 on a 250 unit construction New Imperial along with the first post war junior TT on a Velocette the machine which took him to the 350 World Championship in 1950 As a member of the Velocette team Bob was a co rider with Cecil Sandford another future world champion who was featured in this series last year Harold Avery s car trial exploits saw him and his wife winning the London to Gloucester trial on December 7 and 8 1934 which was described in Popular Motoring January 1935 Provisionally we hear H M Avery deservedly won the best performance trophy It was a gruelling trial for him as he must have been afraid of losing his chance of obtaining a Gloucester Goblet At the International Alpine Trial in 1934 Mr Avery took part in what was to be a piece of motoring history for all the wrong reasons When the trial ended in Munich there was a banquet held for the competitors presided over by the then Chancellor of Germany Adolph Hitler Each competitor was presented with a personally signed photograph of the Fuhrer along with an award pictured above which Harold s son John Avery still has to this day John told me that after Dunkirk his mother destroyed the signed photograph of Hitler which at the time was probably an understandable gesture but with hindsight it could have been a valuable collector s item However the award remains and my photograph of it is reproduced here with John s kind permission John Avery went on to become one of Oxford s best known motorcycle heroes and his own story will be told in next month s issue Meanwhile

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/trials_and_tribulations.html (2016-04-29)
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  • Jensen Button
    Jenson Button s first real toy was a small 49cc Yamaha moto cross motorcycle His instinctive desire to go faster on two wheels was met by his father s instinctive parental responsibility to get his son on to four wheels after watching other boys crashing rather too often in junior moto cross events Motorcycles represent a firm foundation on which to build car driving skills and like his motorcycling predecessors in Formula One Damon Hill and Ayrton Senna Jenson was no exception Then John Button took his son to the racing car show at Earls Court where he consulted an old friend Keith Ripp who manufactured karts under the Rippspeed banner Keith was producing karts for a new class of racing called Cadets for children between eight and 12 This was the beginning of Jenson s experience on tarmac circuits His first race was in 1988 at a kart track in Dorset known as Clay Pigeon and even though he started at the back of the grid he managed to carve his way to the front and win first time out The larger and faster kart classes were the breeding ground for many Formula One drivers including Senna and Michael Schumacher and like these drivers he was to follow the natural progression through karts to Formula Ford The next milestone in his career was a fully professional works Renault drive in Formula Three at the tender age of 18 At Silverstone in 1998 Jenson Button got the break he had been waiting for a test drive in a McLaren Fl car part of his prize for winning the British Racing Drivers Club Autosport Young Driver of the Year award The test with McLaren was soon followed up with an invitation from four times world champion Alain Prost to test one

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/jensen_button.htm (2016-04-29)
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  • Joe Johnson - David Langford
    he rapidly proved how competitive he could be A BSA Gold Star was added to the stable transported to race meetings on a trailer towed by Len s MG sportscar During the early 1950s Joe was riding on most weekends and his forcetul riding style attracted spectators and sponsors alike With Eddie Dow Banbury s famous BSA Gold Star specialist tuning his machines this was a formidable team effort Joe s winning campaign carried on for seven seasons with his DOT and BSA machines and eventually the former British scramble champion and Summertown motorcycle dealer John Avery supplied him with a highly competitive Greeves machine By coincidence it was John Avery who supplied me with my first motorcycle in 1965 and the second one in 1967 With the Greeves in Joe s highly accomplished hands his career began to snowball and in 1960 he was invited to the Greeves factory where the manager Derry Preston Cobb offered him a place in the works team alongside Dave Bickers one of the top riders at the time With Bickers as a team mate Joe described the next three years of racing at home and abroad as the happiest days of his career In 1960 he achieved one of his best wins in the 250cc class at the Experts Grand National at Rollswood Farm where he beat world champion Jeff Smith At the Spanish Grand Prix course in Barcelona he took second place to Dave Bickers in his first international race meeting and at the Hants Grand National he won a superb victory over Vic Eastwood For those who followed the sport these names will bring a wave of nostalgia as they were by far the greatest riders of their era Joe left the Greeves factory when the two stroke machines became uncompetitive

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/joe_johnson.htm (2016-04-29)
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  • John Watson
    and Watson only remained with the team for half the season before joining Roger Penske s team Driving the Penske car he gave the team their only victory in the Austrian Grand Prix during the 1976 season My painting on this page illustrates that historic moment on a wet track Roger Penske was one of the founders of the American organisation Championship Auto Racing Teams or CART as it became known Although Penske was a US based team by 1982 the cars were made in Britain and around 80 per cent of competitors were using either the chassis made by Penske or the March team at their Oxfordshire base near Bicester Championship Contender John Watson drives his Penske car to victory at the Austrian Grand Prix in 1976 Penske withdrew from racing at the end of 1976 and John Watson returned to the V12 Alfa powered Brabham team He led at the French GP and the British GP at Silverstone but suffered mechanical failures on too many occasions to enable him to take any victories Proving more reliable in 1978 the cars provided him with points in seven different races alongside team mate Nicki Lauda After too many disappointing results he joined the McLaren team for 1979 and 1980 1981 brought victory at the British Grand Prix a result which we could quite safely say was one of the high points of his career He won the Dutch GP and the US GP in Detroit during the 1982 season and took the world title to a gripping finale between him and Keke Rosberg Watson took second place in Las Vegas leaving Rosberg to win the world championship by the narrowest of margins To get so close to winning the world championship was a bitter disappointment for John Watson as well

    Original URL path: http://britishartists.co.uk/des_langford/articles/motorsport/john_watson.html (2016-04-29)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-28