Ipswich’s Paul Rookyard, 70, lifts Heritage F2 Formula World Stock Car Championship title
- Credit: Lucy taylor
Veteran racer Paul Rookyard won’t be putting the brakes on his impressive motor racing career any time soon, after being crowned a world champion.
The 70-year-old from Ipswich won the Heritage F2 Formula World Stock Car Championship at Northampton last weekend in his 1952 Fiat Topolino, taking the chequered flag from Mike Walmsley (2nd) and Andy Bateman (3rd).
A former plastering contractor, Rookyard joined the Heritage F2 class seven years ago, winning the British Championship in 2010, having originally raced in Superstock before retiring in 1971.
The newly-crowned world champion, who also drives a Ford Y model when racing on the shale, explained: “We race Heritage F2 Formula cars which reflect the early years of the sport which started in 1960.
“It’s quite competitive and there is a bit of shoving between the racers but we are all gentleman as the parts for the cars are quite hard to find.”
Paul got the bug for racing when stock cars first came to his nearby Foxhall track and began competing in 1961.
“I love it, I get out every morning to my garage to work on my cars, it’s like a hobby, and I will keep on racing next year as they series want me to be an ambassador for the sport,” he added.
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“I used to have Dinky cars and I remember ruffling my mum’s carpet up to make a ramp when I was a kid, and also going outside and setting one of them on fire with a match.
“When I started in Superstock, I was no mechanic – it was all trial and error – and the late Trevor Frost helped me out a lot, building my engines.
“I came back to racing in 2007, and Ray Robb has been a brilliant mechanic for me – I am grateful to his wife Maxine for letting him come away with me to different meetings.”