Dan Dares to dream of championship
Ford Fiesta may be best associated with Essex, pumping speakers and fluffy dice, but Epsom racing driver Dan Gibson has found a much-better use for his model.
The 24-year-old has just completed in his third Yokohama Stock Hatch season in his 1980s Ford Fiesta XR2, coming a credible 11th place in a championship that has about 60 registered drivers.
Stock Hatch is a motorsport for small salloon cars with 1.6 litre engnines and takes place throughout the year on all the major racing circuits in the UK, including Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
Despite his high overall finish, podium places and silverware eluded Surrey County Council social worker Gibson this season, something he is hoping to change in 2012.
"This season has been an interesting one," he said.
"There were about 60 registered competitors over the season with an average of 30 on a racing weekend so coming 11th is a pretty solid finish.
"In racing, the aim is always to be competitive and to be on the podium which eluded us this year.
"We have not had the outright pace but the cars consistency has been really reliable and we have come out with lots of top 10 finishes.
"The ultimate aim next year will be the Championship itself, that would be the primary goal but to get there, first you must get in the top three places."
Gibson first got involved in motorsport five years ago when a student at Kingston University, starting in go karting before graduating to cars.
"Go karting is pretty much how most people get into racing," he added.
"I was quite late not getting into it until university but become President of their club for two years.
"From their I became interested in car racing and stock hatch is probably most comparable to the British Touring Car Championships.
"About 18 months ago, Pimlico Plumbers became involved as my sponsor and they have been really supportive in helping prepare the car to its current standard.
"We have been invited to show it at many of the major autosport shows."