Simon Tudor, centre manager at outlet shopping centre Hornsea Freeport, on his passion for cars.
My passion for cars started at an early age.
I remember at three being much more interested in the toy Land Rover I had just been given, than the twin baby sisters who had arrived home with my parents at the same time.
It was from my passion for cars that the real love of my life (apart from my wife of course) developed. The first time I saw a real-life rally car was in December 1976. It was a Ford Escort MK2 – the car that was used by Roger Clark to win that year’s RAC rally.
I came away with treasure – a signed poster, which is still one of my prized possessions today.
From that day on, I was hooked. My dad would bring magazines home for me – not the usual comics – but titles such as Motoring News, Car and Car Conversion, which were all full of fantastic pictures of cars competing around the world. In 1981 we moved to Hull from the south.
All of the normal trauma associated with a move to a new school was eclipsed when my dad said he was taking me to see the Lombard RAC rally that year. We followed the rally drivers around the country and slept in the car so that we could watch the night stages. It was something that I would do time and time again throughout my life.
Over the years I have tried to co-drive, but I cannot read and travel at break-neck speeds as I’m extremely travel sick. I found this out the hard way whilst competing in a local road rally, as did the poor guy who opened the car door to ask if we wanted leaded or unleaded fuel.
I once bought a Vauxhall Chevette and competed at a couple of single venue events. The car looked the part but it was old and cars in lower classes kept passing us. Sometimes you have to accept your limitations and I get more pleasure from admiring the experts and their fantastic car control.
Tony Pond was an idol of mine. Often out-spoken, he would perform heroic giantkilling feats in inferior machinery. Then came Colin McRae and Richard Burns – both completely different characters, but both Great British World champions.
I’ve been lucky enough to have followed my sport all over the country and Europe, with my long-suffering wife, who now asks what rally is on when we plan our holidays. My favourite still has to be the Monte Carlo, which wonderfully combines all of the glamour of Monaco with fast, and often snow-covered tarmac stages. That being said, we have some of the best forest stages in the world in North Yorkshire.
I’d say my favourites are Dalby, Cropton forest or possibly the sound of a rally car at full-pelt around Oliver’s mount in Scarborough. Anyway, I must stop reminiscing and get back to dreaming about winning the lottery, so that I can buy that Lancia Rally 037.