A Brief history of Paul's Marshalling career and what he gets up to outside of motorsport.
I first became interested in motor racing back in the mid seventies, a friend of mine was a mechanic for Dorset Racing in the European series, they ran a Lola T290 with drivers Ian Harrower, Ian Bracey and Tony Birchenhough. Chris later went on to mechanic for ADA Racing in Group 2 racing. Nick Mason of ( Pink Floyd ) fame also drove the car at Le-Man also our own Mick Wilds who drove for Ferrari and is now an instructor who comes to Castle Combe.
In 1980 I wanted to become involved in motorsport, but like many of us could not afford to race so looked at other ways to get involved. Marshaling seemed the best option for this. So I went along to my local circuit at Castle Combe on a training day at the same time joining the BMRMC as it was then. I was made to feel very welcome, the bug hit me and I have been involved with racing and marshalling for 36 years now.
There have been many personal highlights I suppose over the years. Meeting many drivers both at Combe and other venues. One that comes to mind is when Formula 3 were still racing at Combe. The days racing had finished and my son and I were going back to the tavern for the raffle, going through the paddock I pointed out to Ben Nelson Piquet who was there with his son. I stopped to have a chat and Nelson was a real gent he made time to talk to us. So cheekily I told him about the raffle and asked him if he would do the draw for us. You should of seen the look on peoples faces when we walked in. True to his word he got up on a chair and drew the raffle tickets (he was great and enjoyed the whole thing) a real gentleman.
Things took off in 2007 when I did my first Grand Prix at Silverstone. By then I had graded to Examining Post Chief. That was an eye opener for me. That year I also marshalled in Dubai at a GT race event, I also was very fortunate to be picked to go to the first ever Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi in 2009.
I have been a Motorsport U.K trainer for 6 years and I enjoy the role. It’s my belief that marshalling and racing have been good to me and I have made many good friends, so wanted to be able to give something back. That’s also the reason I took the role of national secretary for the BMMC.
Outside of motorsports and marshalling I have done and had many interests. I played cricket and football when younger, I have an interest in martial arts, I trained in karate for 20 years and became a 2nd Dan black belt. I was an instructor at the club and also became a national judge and referee traveling to Holland, Spain and Romania to teach and judge. I was involved with a gymnastic club in my home town, becoming involved with raising money to get a purpose built gym for the club. I had the honour to escort round the Princes Royal when she came to officially open the building.
Tel: 07846 934919