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MOTORSPORT
3rd March 2016
by Steve Gill
CEO, VME Retail

Yes, I used to be a racing driver...

...is a phrase that sometimes comes up when I meet new people. Admittedly it was part time, what's known as amateur racing in the UK, so I was no Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton at the Malaysia Grand Prix

What did you race?

It was a BMW M3 CSL - known as the the e46 model, built in 2003.

The car was an ex road car that was converted to a racecar by fitting a rollcage and fire extinguisher system.

What did you race in?

It was known as the CSL Cup championship - so all the cars were the same as mine.

This meant it was down to the driver mostly, but the settings each driver used made a difference as well - things like camber and caster adjustments, as well as weight distribution (or more like reduction) would make a difference.

How did you do?

So so - I'd describe myself as a 'middle of the pack' driver!

My best finish was second place, and I picked up a few trophies, but its true - it was the taking part that counts. I really enjoyed the time spent with the other competitors - it was like a big family.

Where did you race?

All over the UK, but unfortunately not in Scotland where I lived at the time.

Oulton Park, Donnington, Brands Hatch to name a few - all were great circuits I enjoyed. Most of them I'd driven on before on trackdays where you can drive your own road car on the track, so I knew the layouts pretty well.

Is it true you were on TV?

Yes :) Motors TV to be exact - the first episode aired was renamed, "The Steve Gill show" by the competitors in the series because the commentator wouldn't stop talking about my car!

Me driving the car at Brands Hatch

There's video here if you're interested - and yes I did stall on the grid trying to avoid wheel spin. I made up the places in the end though.

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