Follow Marcus's motor
"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough." - Groucho Marx
2001: 15th out of 36 with 67 points from 12 rounds - Awarded K Sports 1600 Best Newcomer of 2001
2002: 10th out of 42 with 75 points from 11 rounds: - Awarded MGXPower Clubmans Non-Testers Cup 2002
2003: 11th out of 43 with 98 points from 14 rounds
2004: 9th in the championship and a first podium
2005: 10th in the championship... couldn't do all the rounds.
2006: Changed to the Mallock 27/28 EBX with aerodynamic bodywork. 10th in the championship even doing all the rounds.
2007: More with the Mallock 27/28 EBX (18th in the championship) plus some stock racing
2008: Bought my old Mallock Mk26 back. It goes like a rocket and grips like a leach.
2009: More in the Mallock Mk26 and in the 2 litre Sierra Pickup at Arena Essex
2010: New body and aero undertray. 3 podiums, first pole and 4th in championship
2011: First win (Silverstone 7th May)
2012: who dares look so deep into the future?!
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first year in motor racing. The K Sports 1600 championship, organised
by the BARC, the BRDC and the Clubmans Register, was an excellent hunting
ground for a beginner, not too expensive, gentlemanly most of the time
and very competitive. I finished 10 out of 12 races in the points, with
a total of 67 points. Thanks to friends and colleagues I was able to raise
£5000 for Macmillan Cancer Relief (£4,500 when the photo was
taken and more has come in since November). I was driving Ian Megson's
1978 Mallock Mk18 BW sports racing
car (No.39) for each of the races in the 2001 championship.
For 2002 I purchased a1984 Mallock 26/27 SG, the yellow car in the photos above and below which I acquired in October 2001 from Allan Elphick. The car is lighter than some of the others, which is a benefit given that I weigh close to 200 lbs. I have six nose cones, which is another benefit given the readiness with which they shatter when you come off the track! All the engines in the series have the same power (122 bhp) as the MG Rover K series engines are all prepared by two authorised shops and sealed to prevent further tweeking. We have all had to fork out £200 for transponders in 2002 so all the timing will be automatic and accurate to one zillionth of a second. In the 2002 season I came 10th out of 42 in the MG XPOWER K Sports 1600 Cup with 75 points from 11 rounds. K Sports 1600 also awarded me the Non-Testers Cup 2002; most drivers test at each circuit on the Friday prior to the weekend's racing, but I resisted the temptation to do so more than anyone else (or was more foolish). I won my first race (a junior one at Lydden Hill).
In 2003 I stayed with the same car and with the same team set up (Ian Megson providing track site support). The K Sports 1600 series reverted to the name of its roots and what everyone calls it... Clubmans.11th in the championship and a very reliable season. I got faster but so did everyone else!
2004 the car was totally overhaulled. The
chassis has been straightened, stiffened, mended, sand-blasted and powder-coat-painted.
I will have a totally enclosed
floor pan in carbon fibre and undertrays
to the side pods, all to improve airflow and down force. New
and larger right hand side impact protection. Top end overhaul for
the engine (first for two years and 54 events!). The battery moves to the
front to improve balance and positive steering feel. The pedal box has
been rebuilt to give my feet and knees more room. New
anti-roll bar late last season. No excuses! First
podium in a championship race (Brands Hatch)
and 9th in the championship.
For 2005 I had some work done at Paul Freeman's (engine check after losing all the oil at the Haggis, and an engine stay) and at Mallock Sports (new spar supporting the rear axle Mumford link bolts, needle roller bearings on the same bolts and some other detailed work on the back end). Ian Megson and Matthew Napper spent a day with me tidying the car up. Good start at Silverstone in April.
In 2006 I thought I would take the big step upward by buying Guy Woodward's Mallock Mk.28 with all enveloping bodywork, F3000 shock absorbers, PI System II datalogging, and fast performances in the hands of Guy and Dan Eagling in the past. I was inspired by driving Adrian's Mallock Mk.35 at the 8 Clubs at Silverstone last November. Getting it sorted has been a bit of a nightmare (shock absorbers front and rear, cooling system and related cylinder head failure, fuel system, gearbox failure, temperamental data logging, and rain during all tests!) but we are getting there. Got up to 7th at Silverstone for a micro-second (picture) before running out of fuel, hardly got off the grid at Donington, but finished 4th at Brands Hatch in the rain. Mixed results during the year as I struggled with a car which is more difficult to set up. In the meantime Martin Mansell, Brian Jordan and Michelle Hayward successfully used the Mallock Mk.26 SG which was still for sale or rent.
It became clear in 2007 that I was not going to get the Mk 28 going well. The set-up of the EBX all-enveloping bodywork is very difficult to master especially as the height of the splitter appears to be critical to the millimetre. I lost confidence in the car (then myself) so the performances and the enjoyment of racing declined. This may be why I bought the 2 litre Superstox from Dave Madgwick and went off to have fun on the short oval with Spedeworth, in parallel.
2008 started better. By a stroke of luck Martin and Rees Wood decided to sell the Mallock Mk26 which I sold them at the end of 2006, and I snapped it up. The improvements are tangible. 600 lb springs all round, anti-droop at the front, high ratio steering rack, underfloor extended forward under the radiator to the nose and a third pair of fastenings to keep the nose cone stable. The first four races have been excellent... top ten places in each and growing confidence in an old friend.
2009 saw further progress in the Mallock Mk26 with top ten placings in 10 of the 14 rounds and 8th in the championship. At the end of 2009 I drove Adrian Lester's Mallock Mk35 at the Birkett 6 hours. This is the car he engineered himself, with his own carbon fibre body design, hinged front splitter to permit offs withiout damage, double splitter, aero concave side pods floors and giant venturi. Was iot Adrian's driving or Adrian's engineering which made him so fast? There was only one way to find out for certain... convert my old dog of a Mk26 with his mods and see how it goes.
2010 was a great year with the new car... as described above, with Adrian's aero and bodywork. Brilliant execution of the conversion by Ian Megson, and experience gained by Steve Everson in the spanners department, created a car which was consistently quicker than I had been before. 2nd at Oulton Park, two thirds at Pembrey and my first ever pole position (at Brands Hatch, my favorite). Admittedly grids were down, but my 4th in Clubmans Cup championship was my best ever.
2011 has started well. Rebuild rear axle ends and steering rack and several other improvements have given me a car to play near the front with. First win at Silverstone in May.
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