Talk curve -- Historic motorsport insight -- Angling for success

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

At 33, Dan Cox is 10 years younger than the Ford Anglia he races in the Historic Racing Saloon Register Championship. However, his heart is firmly with old cars, reports Paul Lawrence

“There has got to be a defect in my genes,” says Dan Cox of his passion for 1960s cars. His younger brother Ben goes even further back, owning an ex-Hamish Moffat Bugatti with which he tackles VSCC trials and hillclimbs. “We’re into old planes as well,” continues Dan. “There’s just a bit more about them.”

Their father Henry raced Anglias in the 1960s. “I had a big thing for them, even as road cars,” says Dan. Initially, Cox Junior did a little bit of karting, but his 10-year-old chassis was very brittle and would snap at most meetings. “I never imagined being able to afford to go racing,” says this self-employed engineer. “My last proper job was lecturing on motor vehicle engineering at a tech college.”

A trip to an HSCC meeting was a turning point. “Dad and I went to watch the Historic Racing Saloon Register race at Silverstone at the end of 2001 and we raved about it,” says Dan. “Then this Anglia came up for sale and we had to have it.” Although this ex-Nick Mizen car hadn’t run for a couple of years, they took it to Llandow for a test and father and son were hooked. “It definitely lit us up. It was fantastic!”

Henry, now turned 60, duly returned to racing after a break of about 35 years. “We shared the car in 2002 and I won the class, although I only did about half the races,” says Dan. “I thought everyone else was going gently as the cars were old!”

Seeing his son’s speed, Henry stood down at the end of 2002. “I get more fun out of seeing him race it now,” admits Cox Senior.

“In 2003 we had a fuel line that was drawing in air,” explains Dan, “and it just wasn’t running how it should have done. When we found the problem it was a very good feeling. Then I made a right mess of it at Cadwell Park. Too much sideways and that was it. It went up a bank and stood on its nose.”

Last season was a bitter-sweet experience, with three wins and a series of dramas. The title was out of reach, but Dan proved himself one of the pace-setters in the supercompetitive HRSR series. The first race of the year at Donington in April delivered his first overall win, and more followed at Castle Combe and Brands Hatch GP.

“The winning is good,” says Dan, “but I’d sooner have a really good race and finish second. I don’t want it easy. When you win well, it keeps you smiling all week.” But it was far from all smiles in September, when the propshaft snapped at Spa and damaged the underside of the car. “I almost made myself ill with it,” admits Dan. “I was in the garage every night until midnight to get the car ready for the Mallory round two weeks later. Then we had a gear lever problem there.”

That level of commitment is common in historic racing and Dan has high standards: “I like to put a spanner on every nut and bolt after every race. It’s a big deal for me. It’s not a day job, but it seems like it at times.”

The plan for 2005 is clear, but he has a level approach to his racing: “I’d like to try to win the title this season, but setting goals does put you under pressure. I want to do as well as I can, but keep it real.”

Given his obvious pace, Dan could probably cut it in contemporary touring car racing. But it’s not an option that inspires him. “I have looked at other classes of racing, but there was nothing else that interested me,” he explains. “It’s not just the racing, but also the other cars and the nostalgia. There is an awful lot to be had from historic racing, and modern machinery certainly wouldn’t drive me out into the garage every night!”

You may also like

Related products