The Driver

In 2005 when I was 25 I bought my first locost. At the time I was running events management company VIP Adrenaline full time. When not running events I was spending my time training in Kung Fu and Kickboxing, attempting to get fit by running, swimming and having a go at any sport that would give me an adrenaline hit!

I’ve always been motor sport mad and when I was younger dreamed of being an F1 Driver…despite some of my friends explaining to me I was the wrong sex! Luckily I didn’t pay any attention! If I didn’t have the talent to be an F1 Driver then I wanted to work in Motorsport.

When I was 17 I got the opportunity to race a fully sponsored Pro-Kart in the British Endurance Championships thanks to a talent search organised by Bob Pope and Teesside Autodrome. I had a fantastic time both racing and practicing. Bob was always very generous about letting me test whenever I wanted to. It was an amazing experience and I spent all my spare time down at the circuit. At the same time I’d joined Stockton and District Motor club and persuaded some friends from school to navigate for me on some 12 cars and over night road rallies. It was fantastic fun although my 1.3l Corsa never really stood a chance against some of the amazing machines that were competing.

Unfortunately when I went off to Lancaster University the other side of the Pennines, where first years weren’t allowed cars, it all ended. I didn’t loose the bug though and whilst I was there I joined the Motoring Club. Bizarrely for someone with no mechanical knowledge by the time I left I was President of it. Also whist at Uni I got a summer job working for Lotus Motorsport! I was going to all the Autobytel Lotus Elise Championship Races, updating their website, interviewing the drivers and running their sponsor corporate events days – it was fantastic!

Fast Forward six years and several more motor sports and events jobs and I was working on an ITV project called Formula Woman. Unbeknown to me one of the contestants and her father were building a Locost to race.  It was Pippa Cow and needless to say she beat 10, 000 women to one of just 16 places racing a Mazda RX-8 in the Formula Woman Championship and then the season after raced her Locost.

By 2005 I had left Formula Woman and set up my own business, VIP Adrenaline. Pippa was now racing her Locost and she kindly invited me along to watch her race at Cadwell. I instantly was hooked. The racing was really close and exciting and the budget needed was almost in reach.

My Grandad, who always appreciated a nice car and who I used to spend hours on the phone talking to about the F1 had left me some money a few months before. With this money and some sponsorship from my Martial Arts Instructor Paul Reed. I had the chance to race again! 🙂 I spent the rest of 2005 talking to everyone in the Locost paddock I could and at the end of the season bought Dickie Browns race winning Locost. I then booked my self on a car maintenance course!!

I soon found that the locost paddock contained some of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet. The racing on track pulled no punches, but between races everyone would rally round to help anyone having car issues. Everyone was very generous with their advice and help. The camaraderie within the Locost championship is amazing. Over the years many of those racing have changed but that spirit never has and new drivers will always find help if they ask for it, often they won’t even have to ask! It’s one of the brilliant things about racing which has kept me hooked for so long.

When I first started out I was borrowing my Mum’s car to tow my race car and trailer, trying to do as much of the maintenance work on the car as I could. Asking lots of questions and making stuff up as I went along.

For my first three seasons I wrote detailed reports on each of my weekends spent racing and these make up the bulk of this site.

Vicky Pickles – Me at Cadwell Park in 2006 during my first race season

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