Long after the Mini’s major tin-top triumphs of the 1960s, this former Downton Engineering apprentice maintained the enduring tiddler’s relevance in the BSCC into the late ’70s.
Starting out in 1966 with a self-prepared Mini 850, he sprinted and hillclimbed with some success, also making his circuit debut that same year at Llandow. Three years later he was armed with an ex-Britax Group Five Mini and notched up 27 race wins from 36 starts.
In 1971 Longman set up his own engine-building firm, switching to single-seaters a year on. Claiming a pole position during his F3 season, he was quick enough to be offered a factory March drive for ’73 but chose instead to concentrate on building up his business.
After a brief spell out of the cockpit, the ‘Mini Maestro’ returned to the BSCC, winning the 1978 and ’79 titles aboard a Patrick Motors 1275GT and continuing on to the mid ’80s with Metros and a Ford Escort RS1600i. More recently he’s prepared engines for Peugeot’s BTCC cars, while occasionally dabbling in histories. RH