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You are in: Gloucestershire > Places > Places features > The F1 Connection

Chequered flag (GETTY IMAGES)

Grand Prix Gloucestershire?

The F1 Connection

Did you know that Gloucestershire is home to a hotbed of talent when it comes to Formula One motor racing, both on and off the track? BBC Gloucestershire's Don Craig investigates...

At first glance you might think that a rural county like Gloucestershire has anything to do with the multi-million pound industry of Formula One and motor racing. But it turns out that we're well and truly on the Grand Prix map. BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Don Craig takes up the story...

Don Craig

Don Craig investigates the county's F1 connections

"Being a bit of a petrol head I knew there were some Gloucestershire connections with F1 racing but I was surprised, after doing some research, at just how much there actually is.

"My interest in all forms of racing started in the mid 1960’s which was after Stroud’s own F1 driver Jack Lewis had retired! I spent an enthralling morning talking to Jack about his life in Stroud and his time racing in the era renowned as the most dangerous in the sport's history.

Nico Rosberg in action (Getty Images)

Nico Rosberg in action in Australia (Getty Images)

"I also visited one of the county's leading technological companies which provides parts for every car on an F1 grid - Moog Controls Ltd. based in Ashchurch. I talked to the staff about what they do and how they feel being involved in a global sport.

"One of the leading engineers in F1 also lives in Gloucestershire. Richard Marshall works for world championship winning team Renault and he told me about the drivers he's worked with.

"I was able to get an interview with No. 1 driver Nico Rosberg."

Don Craig

"Finally, I spent a day with the Williams Grand Prix test team as they tried out their newest car at Kemble Airfield just days before it was shipped to Australia for the first race of the 2008 season. "I was able to get an interview with No. 1 driver Nico Rosberg about why he was at Kemble and what it means to him to be an F1 driver."

Use the links of this page to listen to Don Craig's Formula One features and to view our "Gloucestershire's Grand Prix Connections" photos...

last updated: 14/05/2008 at 14:35
created: 02/04/2008

Have Your Say

Do you know of any other Formula One connections with Gloucestershire? Don Craig would love to hear from you...

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Maurice Levy
Hello Don , I knew it would be you when I read your comment on the Atlas TNF section . Most interesting article here which I didn't know about. Best Wishes, Maurice [Maurice - thank you for your comment. Please can you email gloucestershire@bbc.co.uk as we'd like to get in touch with you. David - BBC Gloucestershire]

James Beckett
Wayne Poole Racing, based in Gloucestershire, have run Oliver Jarvis (a former winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award) in one of their Formula Ford 1600 cars in the annual Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. Jarvis has driven a F1 car for McLaren in a testing capacity, and currently drives for Audi in the high-profile DTM series.

Nichola Vaughan
J Rice refers to Justin Vaughan. She's his mum. I'm his wife. The bit his mum missed off is that Justin is Parts Manager for the "best kept petrolhead secret in Gloucestershire" - Bob Houghton Ferrari.

Paul Bennett
When I was 16 I had an FS1E moped that did 75mph. Unfortunately we were stopped for exceeding the speed limit on the Golden Valley bypass. The officer thought we were taking the mick because pillion's name was Barry Sheen (not the famous one, a trainee retail manager from Shurdington). Fortunately Baz had ID and the officer saw the funny side after giving us a clip round the ear & a quick road safety tutorial. Those were the days!

guy williams
I met a man in a Pub. His said name was Damien Hill and he claimed to be a F1 driver. I didn't believe him anyway so I ignored him and gave him a hard stare and muttered under my breath. Imagine my horror when after he'd left the Landlord told me he was telling the truth and I'd missed the opportunity of adding to my autograph collection. This was in my local at Brierly!

Don Craig
Hi Simon, thanks for your response. Can you get in touch at: don.craig@bbc.co.uk? Thanks.

Frank Austin
In the early sixties I went to the Jack Brabham racing school in Australia. I learnt how to drive the Repco Brabham, under the eyes of Jack himself.

Andy Collins
Mike Taylor who lived in Gloucester (my Father-In-Law) was Formula Ford Champion a couple of times during the 70's.

Andy Collins
My Brother-In-Law, Graham Taylor (Sports Director at Super Aguri) lives in Gloucestershire. Many years ago Graham worked at Paul Stewart Racing and he and one of his young drivers stayed over so that they could go clubbing in Gloucester - the driver was a 19yr old David Coulthard.

Don Craig
Thanks for your suggestions! Karen - I work closely with the Bugatti Owners Club regarding their events and follow Chris Merrick's results in the British Hill Climb Championship. Maxine - I'll follow that up via their website. Simon -can you leave contact details please?

John Walker
Has the hot news been released yet that some of the paint used on the track may contain some chemical ingredient from one of our county's finest Industrial Estates? I see nostalgia in the making here.

Simon Michael
I live in South Glos and work for McLaren. I am head of the software team that develops the ECU software and telemetry analysis tool used by the entire F1 grid

Karen Lawton
Don, you might want to check out Prescott Speed Hill Climb, just outside Cheltenham. This is the home of Hill Climb racing since 1929 and where both Stirling Moss and Graham Hill began their careers. Plenty of great stories to be told here, from French resistance fighters racing after WW2, to the present day where top drivers take to the hill for the Brisith Championships. A story all by itself.

Andy Goloskof
At one time Dowty Seals were used by F1 teams. I gather that the Ashchurch product could last one season as opposed to one race with others. As I say, it was some years ago...

guy cudmore
Have they shipped Kemble Airfield to Australia yet?

J Rice
My son Justin Vaughan lives in Cheltenham and is their Parts Manager, since he left BMW

Maxine Arnold
We lives just oustide the tiny village of Coates, on the edge of Cirencester... in Gloucs ....on the Trewsbury Farm Estate in an old converted stable block... Garden Cottage... and we run our company from our cottage... which is called Real Essential ... We supply a seat moulding system as well as a seat fitting service to many Formula One Teams as well as many International Race Teams from all Championships. We recently did Jenson Button's seat for the 2008 season, as well as working with Williams F1. We also serve the A1 GP Championship, having done Adam Carroll & Johnny Reids seats. Living here gives us the perfect contrast from the mad Racing World to the picturesque idyllic country cottage life style. Have a look at our website www.realessential.co.uk or email for a chat info@realessential.co.uk

Derek Sargant
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions Tewkesbury, for who I used to work for (now I work in the USA with Trelleborg) have a long connection with supplying precision seals to the F1 teams.

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