Club Racing Spotlight: Ian Jacobs

A distinctive racer in more ways than one

The hue is perhaps best described as British Racing Jade – and has been prominent since Ian Jacobs took up racing in 1979. “There were about 12 MG Midgets in my class,” he says, “and all seemed to be red, white or harvest gold. One day I popped into a mate’s garage and he was painting the bottom half of a van a vivid green. I decided to use it for my racing car – and have stuck with it.”

Nor is it just the shade that has set him apart. Beyond the Midget, he has successfully campaigned a Matra Bagheera, a couple of Jensen Healeys (the first before any others were racing), a Mercedes 450 and, now, the only Fiat 124 Spider in the Historic Sports Car Club’s ’70s Road Sports championship. “I’ve always tried to find eligible cars that are a little different,” he says.

In addition to the Fiat, he also drives a Ralt RT3 in France’s Trophée F3 Classic, having previously raced an ex-Gerhard Berger Martini in the series. “I ran a car there for somebody else and fell in love with the country and its tracks,” he says. “Charade is the best circuit on which I’ve ever driven – like Cadwell Park and Oulton combined.”

Now 61, he has no plans to rein in his competitive urge. “I’ve spoken to others who have stopped, and they claim they don’t miss it, but I know I would. I can’t sing and don’t dance very well, but I feel I can drive to a reasonable degree and I still enjoy it, so…”