Steve Jones: Oulton Park’s press officer does far more than sign on the media…
Motor Sport changed Steve Jones’s life. The 62-year-old clearly remembers stopping to buy a copy of the magazine on the way to school in 1968. “It was the one with Jackie Stewart and the French Grand Prix on the front [August],” he says. “But I remember I was drawn to the back and there were loads of Michael Turner paintings in the classifieds. I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do’.”
Jones claims art was the only thing at which he excelled at school, but he’d also had a deep love of motor sport since watching the 1968 British GP on TV. By 1970 he was a regular at his local track, Oulton Park. “I just felt at home there,” he says.
Within a few years he started recording the action on an old video camera – even managing to capture the Formula 3 accident between Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle in 1983 – the only such footage that exists.
Showing a commercial acumen at odds with his laid-back persona, Jones created a series of videos entitled Oulton Park’s Greatest Hits, documenting the most dramatic incidents. It got him noticed by the track’s management and he later he landed a role as the circuit’s raceday press officer.
“After I have signed on the journalists and photographers, I have some time to myself,” he says. “So I started painting various cars and drivers I’ve seen at the track.”
He works in watercolours or acrylics. Many images reflect his fondness for certain subjects, including BRM and Jim Clark, but he regularly takes commissions. He sells paintings via www.facebook.com/Handmadeimage/ for £200-£300. “It is the best way of combining my two great passions in life,” he says. “And I hope to be at Oulton Park for years to come.”