It was some year,in at the deep end to say the least. Illness, creative accountancy, and a lack of belief in what the team were trying to do all played their part in 2018. We did our best and it looked like that was not good enough to continue into 2019 as had been planned. At the end of August it was game over for the Formula Ford dream and the future looked bleak. We still had all the other toys, including the McLaren GT4 that we were looking after for our sponsor, to keep us busy and things took a turn for the better when fate came into play.
The operators manual for the McLaren runs to many many pages and rather than read them all we decided to ask Ciaran Haggerty who had raced the GT4 in 2017 along to help us understand all the buttons and switches that are part of the elaborate electronics. Ciaran kindly turned up to help and this in turn led to him driving for the team in our FF1600. Time was short but he managed to get a licence and we entered the September meeting in the Scottish Motor racing championship at Knockhill. Ciaran had never been in a race car for over a year, had never been in a formula Ford for four years and if that was not enough, had never driven the circuit in the anti clockwise direction that was being used. To add to the mix was the fact that the weather was varied to say the least. In testing on the Saturday we were delighted that Ciaran felt that the car was good and that there was little wrong with the car or engine which meant we we were on the pace. Sunday delivered a second and third place and as a result we offered Ciaran the chance to finish the year with us. In anticipation of doing the final round of the Scottish championship and the Ford Festival we changed the engine as the one he had used had done 1500 miles but a crankshaft issue put paid to that. Time was short to get either engine rebuilt and Ciaran had a previous engagement on the weekend of the Walter Haynes trophy meeting so we decided to abandon doing any more events and decided to look to 2019 instead. Watch this space.
It has been some season for the RoToR team. At the start of the year we were asked to get involved in FF1600 racing by our long term backer, Cardowan Creameries. Over the previous couple of years they had supported James Clarke in Historic saloons and Classic Clubmans. James had done well and had decided that for 2018 he wished to test himself further in Formula Ford racing. It was a great honour to be given the task of building a new team but in such a short period of time finding cars, engines and a spares package was going to be a challenge never mind getting things together for the first meeting of the year. It was decided that the team would be called MCK Motorsport to reflect the partners involved and would contest the Scottish Motor racing clubs FF championship and also the BRSCC national series. The Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes trophy were also in the schedule. It was a big ask for what is after all a group of people who are involved in racing for fun and do it all in their spare time but as usual Graham and the boys were determined to give it their best shot. The team opted for Mygale chassis and Scholar engines. Not the most fashionable combination but on paper, given previous showings by both groups, more than up to the task in hand which was to get as much race mileage as possible for young James. The Calendar had been kind to the team but sadly the early season weather had not. Heavy snow had caused the test days at Knockhill to be cancelled so it was in at the deep end for James at the first round of the National Championship at Silverstone. Sadly the new engine did not want to play and poor James seemed to struggle a bit with how competitive it was going to be. Despite this early set back everyone got stuck in and as the season progressed things got better as the car and driver progressed. Sadly a belief that the car was not good enough and neither was the engine or the team started to develop and this caused a serious rift between all those involved. As early as the end of April it was felt by some that we were wasting our time and the plug should be pulled. Fortunately we got a bit longer than that but it soured relationships to the point where there was only one outcome. MCK Motorsport lasted till the end of August where a position was engineered which resulted in it being game over. It was a shame for James that, through no fault of his own, not only had he lost the drive but he had also lost a sponsor who had been very generous over the previous few years. We wish him well and feel proud that despite all that has been said about the team, car and engine he got his first podium in FF1600 with us.
Famous last words..........................
" I am never getting married"
" I am never having children"
" The love affair with Formula Ford is over"
These are some of the wise words from our leader.............................. This from the man who has been happily married for nearly 30 years and has two girls and two boys whom he adores. What about the last quote? Suffice to say here is a recent picture of the workshop.