Meet Adi

Adi made his Racing Debut in the hotly contested front-engined Clubmans series at Pembrey race circuit back in 2007, in a Mk23 Mallock. It was memorable for a couple of reasons!

Firstly, a young hotshot (who was a bit of a loudmouth round the Paddock) completely wrote-off his car into the pit wall, as he tried to take the last corner (Honda – a 90 degree turn!) flat-out.

The hotshot was Daniel Gibson, who I would later enjoy many a hard race on track & against all odds (we didn’t always see eye to eye!) become his Best Man at his Wedding and start a Rum business.

Secondly, No. 73 with little knowledge how to setup a racecar, understeered off the track at the first Esses & ripped-off most of the front of his car, unceremoniously ploughing across the undulating field off track. Not the best of starts……..

Mallock Mk23 pre-crash – Pembrey 2007
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Adrian Langridge

3

British Championships

20

Wins

7

Lap Records

My first Win at Brands Hatch 2008 – Mallock Mk27

Pembrey would go on to be one of my most successful tracks in Clubmans & is the only track I still manage to hold the lap record (annoyingly Dan has most of the others!).

I only really started pushing the front of the grid when I switched into a longer wheel base Mk27 Mallock, which instantly seemed to suit my driving style.

My first race win came when a Red Flag was waved mid-race, when an eccentric fellow called Sideshow Bob stuffed it at Clearways at Brands Hatch, while I was leading the race.

I later found out that the aforementioned had an altercation with Dan’s father (Paul) which resulted in him exiting the track. Dan was livid, as he was tracking me a few seconds behind in second place. He still thinks he could have won that race!

I was fast but a bit ragged & seriously lacking in any knowledge in car setup. The results came more by chance when the car setup suited the track & conditions were favourable.

I didn’t give my position up on the track easily, which gave me a bit of a bad reputation, especially with some of the more elderly Gentlemen members of the Club but I was always fair, giving my rivals a car width (and not much more!).

MCR – Sports 2000
GEM – Snetterton 2015
Leading my first Race! – Rockingham 2008

A short stint in Sports 2000 followed, which was a disaster from start to finish.

We went with an up and coming manufacturer, called MCR (they now dominate the Championship!), who were based in the most remote Westerly City in the UK, St Davids in Wales.

The car was not developed & I was far too inexperienced to drive around its flaws. Having said that, a more experienced racer managed to consistently put his works MCR up the sharp end of the grid, while I was languishing back with the also-rans, making-up the numbers…..

It was a poor Season all round and did little for my bank balance and general confidence behind the wheel.

So it was back to Clubmans but this time we fancied a challenge.

Rather than purchase a front-going car, we opted for a new young driver/designer/manufacturer who had recently been nominated for the Autosport Driver of the Year (Dan Eagling).

With his years of experience both driving, as a mechanic with GP2 (for Maldonado) and son to a Race preparer (Glenn). The car was called a GEM & it drove like one too! I didn’t get many outings in her but when I did, we were always at the sharp end.

The only issue was that Dan was a class driver (Semi-Professional) and my skill set was somewhat lacking in comparison. The GEM didn’t like being driven by a comparatively aggressive animal, taking kerbs and strange inputs that it had previously never experienced.

Most annoyingly I broke a rear upright while leading at Brands Hatch, which is the closest I ever got to winning with her.

My work took me to Germany which curtailed my racing for a while but I did make a short lived return at Rockingham Raceway (now sadly closed) after recovering from being in intensive care for a few days from eating a dodgy Spanish cucumber (a story for another time!).

Rockingham held great memories for me, as I had led my first ever race there!

I recall I took 2 or 3 cars into the first hairpin and raced for a good 200m in ‘free air’ before locking-up in damp conditions and sending it straight into the gravel.

Dan had a good chuckle at that one, as he politely thanked me and took the lead.

On this particular day though, I was not operating at my best.

I was vying for the lead and pushing hard, taking more risks than usual. Dan had some sort of engine problem and was keeping out of trouble watching from behind when I managed to clip the tyre wall leading onto the back straight and folded my front mudguard onto the tyre, game over.

Apparently, there was quite a shit show going on behind, as my fellow racers tried to avoid the tyres now strewn across the track. I still blame the Spanish……

Causing Trouble at Croft - 2009

So it was with some regret we left the world of Clubmans & moved onto historic racing cars, which were to become the backbone of the next chapter of my racing career.

The Historic Racing Car Club (HSCC) is, as its name suggests, for racecars of a certain age. This means that the regulations and general ethos lean towards running the original cars as close to the specification they were originally raced in period. As always in life, these guidelines can often be interpreted differently.

We purchased a Formula 3 Dastle Mk10, which ran in the feeder formula for Classic F3.

The Dastle livery is probably recognisable to most from the film ‘Rush’, which depicts the epic title fight between Hunt & Lauda in 1976. Lord Hesketh wanted to get into racing and employed the quick but erratic young Hunt in F3 before he progressed to F1. It is unlikely but nonetheless possible that at some stage Hunt may have driven the car in some capacity, atleast that is what I told myself.

Ironically, my approach became a little more reserved than the cavalier driver of old. I was concerned that I would damage a piece of history (even if James was referred to as ‘Hunt the Shunt’ in his early days).

Channelling my Inner Hunt - Dastle Mk10 – Brands Hatch 2016

Straight out, the car was a pleasure to drive. We partnered with Dan Eagling from Lifetime Racing, who setup and prepared the car for us. We hardly had to touch the car all year & won the 1600 Championship with ease.

Gone were the pit-Lane arguments and late night tinkerings trackside, that plagued our Clubmans efforts. We could simply concentrate on driving.

If you can afford it, this is the way to Motor Race I thought, although it did take away some of the pleasure from knowing you were not solely responsible for your results. However, once you get a taste for winning races, you quickly forget how you got them…..

For 2017 we switched to an equally beautiful ‘Baty’ March 783, which had even more racing heritage. Ian Taylor won the British Championship with it in 1973 (and later setup the Thruxton School of Motoring).

Again the car was a pleasure to drive (once setup by Lifetime Racing!) and continued our success in the 1600 formula, winning the Championship with a few more lap records to boot.

A particularly enjoyable memory was being invited to the Thruxton 50 Year Anniversary Event, where we undertook a few demonstration laps on track with a historic Williams F1 car (driven by

Karun Chandhook) and another F2 car. A logistical mix-up meant we only had a set of wets available though, which became increasingly embarrassing as more and more people enquired as to our wet tyre choice in the height of Summer! I recall a particularly perplexed Murray Walker taking a double take as he wandered around the collecting area.

Waiting to go out on Wets in the Dry! – Thruxton 50th Anniversary 2018

While the 1600 class was fun, the real action was in the parent 2 litre class. Plus we thought it would be nice to take some actual race wins and take the chequered flag first, rather than just racking-up class wins. We purchased a stunning March 803 and Lifetime Racing duly stripped & re-built it, presenting it in the original Hewland livery that it raced in period.

Sadly this meant that finances were a little stretched, so we used 2018 as a development year, testing the car at a handful of tracks in preparation for 2019.

Our policy turned-out to good fortune, as we took pole at the season opener in Donnington by half a second. The Championship was on!

March 803 – Classic Formula 3

It was a truly remarkable season, which we are unlikely to ever repeat. We tended to be quick round the corners but struggled somewhat in a straight line compared to the others. We had some great battles as a result though, with every race bringing their own challenges.

Highlights would be leading the field out of Old Hall down to Cascades at the Oulton Park Gold Cup, with 10,000 people watching (sadly I came 3rd in the race!) & a couple of epic wet races at the Silverstone Classic (2 weeks after the F1 GPrix).

It came down to the penultimate round at Brands Hatch, where I needed to beat ex-Champion ‘Steve Maxted’ to prevent the Championship from being decided at the Silverstone Finals.

Silverstone is a bit of a power track & I knew it would not suit our strengths, so we approached Brands in full attack mode, to try and get the job done.

It wasn’t the cleanest of performances & we weren’t the quickest out on track but somehow we managed to get upfront and stay there with the proverbial elbows out some robust defensive driving. It culminated in 2 wins and with that the Championship!

Leading the Race at Oulton Park Gold Cup 2019

It did feel a little hollow though, as in my heart of hearts I knew that I wasn’t the quickest guy out there. For me, the DNA of a racer is such that you always want to challenge yourself against the best, it’s an Ego thing.

At Oulton Park we were blown away by a fellow racer by the name of Andy Smith. He was 3 seconds/lap quicker, which in the World of Motor racing is ridiculous!

I knew that I needed to out some serious development time in (both car & driver) if I was to get anywhere close to him!

Then there was a small issue of a Worldwide Pandemic………

2020 was pretty much a write off and sadly we sold the car to a fellow racer who’s father had driven the car in period. I was gutted to see it go but atleast it was going to a good home. It was bittersweet to see it out on track at the first race of the season, with new livery but still up the sharp-end of the grid.

We purchased a relatively unknown Formula Ford 2000 car (Crossle 41F) and did a few races. It was somewhat of a falling from grace though, as being used to starting from the front, I was now mid-grid and fighting to finish in the top 10.

There was some serious work to be done on setup & my racing mojo reflected the general mood of the nation at the time. It was great to be mixing it again in a seriously competitive series, with grid numbers oversubscribed for each race. The social scene made-up for my lack of performance on track, which was excellent timing, as Racing Rum had just been born!

Crossle 41F – Formula Ford 2000

Formula 2 was always of interest, as they supported the same race meetings under the HSCC banner. We were fortunate enough to come across a couple of suitable cars over the Winter.

The first was a Tecno a beautiful lesser known Italian marque. It was fitted with a Mk9 Hewland Gearbox and Ford BDA engine, giving out 235 BHP.

The only issue it was designed for 5 foot something Italians, so physically driving the thing was a challenge. We ran it at the Silverstone Classic and got class pole first time out and a couple of podium finishes, which was very promising. In addition, we ventured into the world of Sports cars, with a Ginetta G16. It ran the same drivetrain as the F2 but was somewhat lacking in the braking and cornering departments. I recall flying down towards the first corner Donnington (Redgate) in the Guards Trophy series, passing a couple of competitors and hitting the brakes in the ‘usual’ point, only to realise that not much was happening other than a lot of groaning from the rear wheels.

How I avoided the rest of the field and made the corner was both a testament to my fellow racers and sheer luck!

We also came across a stunning Lola T360, which hadn’t been on track for a few years but had raced in the Atlantic series by Howdy Holmes (surely one of the coolest names in racing history!).

Once Lifetime had done their usual, it went as quick as it looked in testing.

We’re looking forward to racing it in anger in 2022…….

Ginetta G16 – Guards Trophy
Championship winning March 803 – Classic F3 2019