I was a late starter compared to some of my fellow hillclimbers, I was 10 and I drove a Guy Big J tractor unit pulling 2 x 30 ft trailers around a field carrying 40tonne!
2. How did you get involved in Motorsport?
Again a late starter, my mates clubbed together and bought me a day out at the Mondello Park race school for my 30th birthday…. I went well and was bitten by the bug straight away, about 3 weeks after that I bought one of the last Fiat Ritmo racing cars around and started rally crossing it with the famous Byrne Brothers from the Phoenix Park. I ended up being an instructor at the same race school for a while!
3. What is your daily driver and what is your competition car for the weekend?
My daily driver is a Saab 93 Sportwagon – in my job I cover a lot of mileage the Saab is very comfortable & economical – I also have a fully road legal race prepared fiat Seicento that I sometimes knock about in at the weekends. My main competition car is a Connaught McKinley heavily modified Reynard Formula 3 single seater with a BTCC Peugeot 2.0L engine.
4. What is your occupation?
Country Manager for Gray & Adams – we are designers & manufacturers of specialist trailers and vehicle bodies.
Still competing at a high level!
6. What is your favourite thing about Hillclimbing?
Without doubt the sense of camaraderie. Hillclimbing in Ireland is like one big family everybody helps everybody else, although we are competing against each other, we all want our fellow competitors to do well and will stop at nothing to help them achieve a good run over the course. The “evening entertainment” on a Hillclimb weekend is something that really needs to be sampled to understand …….. Brilliant!
7. What car would you most like to drive on a hill?
Simon McKinleys Escort!
8. Who is your Motorsport idol?
Without doubt Johnny Bradley. I have never met anyone like him. When he was told by a Doctor that he was seriously ill and that he should slow down a bit, he said no & went and bought a fast racing car. As his illness increased he adapted his car to suit. I take my hat off to him.
9. What are your hobbies outside of Hillclimbing?
I try to mountain bike a bit but I am not great at it. I love rugby and go to as many Leinster matches as I can. Mainly I love being around family & friends.
10. If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?
My wife, my wife & my wife!
11. Is there anyone you want to thank (Marshals, Sponsors, etc.)?
Simon McKinley at Mc Kinley Motorsport has been a fantastic support to me (and many others) throughout Hillclimbing and without him I would never have started in this area of Motorsport, so big thanks to him! Phil Price at Connaught Competition Engines has done wonders with my last few really competitive engines – so thanks to him. Without doubt the volunteer organisers and marshals at Hillclimb and sprint events are terrific, without these guys and our sponsors we cannot compete – massive thanks. And for an abundence of patience …….. Jill.