John started circuit racing in 1995 at the age of 38 and in his debut season won the Castle Combe Circuit Saloon Car Championship, Class C, and was 'Rookie of the Year' driving a 1.4 litre Vauxhall Nova.
However, John's motor sport career started some years prior to that, having been a regular 'Autograss' competitor from the age of 16 until retiring at 21. His first three cars were Austin A40s, so he is well used to the delights of the BMC 'A series' engine. In the following years John became involved in rallying, as a co-driver. In 1981 he contested a single 'sandocross' event at Weston Super Mare in his brother-in-law's RS2000, winning his class, finishing 3rd overall against numerous specially prepared 'sandocross specials' and beating none other than sometime World Rally Championship driver, Mark Lovell, in the process.
In 1996 John acquired a TVR 3000M with which he contested and won Class B of the HSCC '70's Roadsports Championship, also winning the 'Best Road Driven Car' award.
Feeling ambitious, John took a huge leap into the Eurocar V6 championship in 1997 at a time when the series was at its height, being televised on BBC TV's 'Top Gear' programme. Running the car himself, John soon realised he was totally outclassed against the professional well funded outfits he was competing against, but showed his true ability in the wet when he was easily able to challenge the front running teams.
Since 1998, John has been persevering with his Vauxhall Calibra Turbo 4x4 which he has used mainly at Castle Combe. Unique in that it is the only car of its kind known to be used in circuit racing, it has also proved to be somewhat unreliable. However, it is also immensely fast and competitive and has had a top three result in every race it has finished.
Somewhat disillusioned with his Calibra's lack of reliability at the end of last season, John purchased the ex David Gathercole Frogeye Sprite which is already well known in the FISC series. The transition from a modern 330 bhp monster to a tiny 140 bhp roller skate turned out to be less of a shock than John was expecting, though he found the car's initial lack of grip compared with the Calibra's leech like qualities, somewhat interesting. Unfortunately on his second MGCC Phoenix Championship outing late last year at Donington, the engine let go in a big way and an all new unit has had to be built.
When John is not racing, he is busy running his two businesses, edison ford Independent Financial Advisers and 'Team edison' which specialises in motor sport PR, handling the Castle Combe Circuit account for over 14 years. John is also a commentator, radio broadcaster, journalist and member of the Motor Sports Association Media Working Group. Over the years he has reported on numerous events ranging from the British GP to the Le Mans 24 hours and the Rally of Great Britain. Divorced and living in Bath, John's other passion is skiing, where his love of speed also comes into play.
As mentioned above John's car is the Ex-David Gathercole Frogeye. I can vouch for it's speed, when David & I started as the last 2 in Spa. David finished 2nd & I finished 4th. He had fastest lap.
I just stuck to his backend for the entire race. A wonderful lesson, many thanks !
What may surprise many of you, If you check out this car in detail, it does not appear to be as heavily modified as some of the others cars out there. ( John may have changed it significantly since I last saw it though !).