We had a German fellow come and work for AFN for a year or so called Josef Krall who was from Munich area in Germany. No one at AFN called him by his first name so we all called him Joe, which he seemed to like.
Joe was keen to go motor racing and suggested we go down to Brands Hatch one weekend to check things out. On 5th May 1973 we both joined International Racing Drivers Club, MRSC at Brands Hatch and started our racing driver lessons together. I applied to the RAC for my restricted competition license and then on 20th June 1973 passed my first racing drivers medical, which our family doctor at Cranford, Dr Walsh completed for me.
Our lessons were both theory and practical and the school had just purchased a fleet of Ford Escort Mexico’s, so we had decent cars to drive.
I also drove a Formula Ford around the club circuit at Brands Hatch several times. This car had a straight cut gearbox so you needed to double de-clutch to change gear, which took a bit of getting used to.
On the 1st June 1973, we had our first race and I qualified poorly and started near the back of the grid. During the all my time driving both Escorts and Formula Ford cars I was always conscience of bending one, so I always drove within myself. However, most of the other students were going off, crashing into each other, damaging cars and getting black-flagged on a regular basis. During the formula Ford race after completing several laps, I put the power on too much coming out of Druids in the wet and suddenly all I could see were trees rushing past in front of me. I did a figure of eight spin in the Formula Ford and the continued on down the hill and finished the race coming home last!
We had our first Ford Escort Mexico race on 23rd June 1973 and I finished second from last with no incidents. On 28th July 1973 we had another race in the Ford Escort Mexico’s and I finished 3rd from last, with no incidents, an improvement but really not in the race competitively speaking. I think it was at that time I knew I would never make a racing driver.