LAC Sportsman’s Luncheon
Sunday 22nd October saw a further instalment in the Lancashire Automobile Clubs highly successful series of triennial Sportsmans lunches at the Stirk House. Over 160 motorsport enthusiasts gathered to enjoy each other’s company, eat some fine food and listen to the guest speaker Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams.
There were representatives of many clubs in SD 34 and each club was introduced in turn by the LAC President, Martin Wylie, at the start of proceedings to a rousing round of applause.
Following the meal Barrie commenced his session with the microphone. He was a little concerned as this was the first time he had endeavoured to speak to an audience and believed he would have difficulty filling his allocated time slot. The organisers, who have known Barrie for many years had no such worries!
Speaking to a presentation of pictures from his long and varied career in motorsport Barrie talked for over 2 hours entertaining all present as he regaled the audience with stories and recollections from over 55 years in motorsport.
For those who don’t know about Barrie, or only know of his exploits in one branch of our sport, his presentation must have been an eye opener. From his first brush with racing as a young boy where he instantly fell in love with anything motorsport related to his current exploits in historic saloon car racing he painted a colourful picture. At that first meeting he fell in love with Aston Martins and wrote to David Brown saying he wanted to drive for them. David Brown replied and offered him an apprenticeship which Barrie took up when he was almost old enough!
This led to sprinting and hillclimbing a most unlikely vehicle and Austin A40 Somerset fitted with a David Brown tractor exhaust no less!
Now with the bug truly having bitten he went on to rallying with legendary navigator Don Barow in an A35 before winning the 1964 Welsh Rally in a Mini Cooper and on to being part of Dealer Team Vauxhall both racing and rallying.
In saloon cars he competed a Mazda RX5 in the British Saloon car championship before moving on to race the Nissans in both saloons and Thundersaloons. Other exploits included episodes in Formula One with a Connaught as well as racing Chevrons in both single seaters and sports racers. As an aside in all this he raced karts built by his father. As I said a very wide experience in all branches of motorsport.
Barrie continues his successful career racing all types of vehicles at historic meetings both in the UK and Europe. He still races the Connaught in historic Formula One and competes in such desirable machinery as ERAs, Galaxies, Felday BRM, Jaguars, Aston Martins, Mini Marcos and of course Mini Coopers whenever and wherever he gets the chance.
All too soon Mike Wood called proceedings to a close but not before the raffle supporting the Air Ambulance and Blood Bikers was drawn. All in all an excellent day for all involved; now all the organisers have to do is start planning the next event in 3 years time.
Our past speakers include:
- Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams
- Paddy Hopkirk and Stuart Turner
- Tony Fall and Mike Wood