391 - Gregor Turner
An early start
“I was told that I was six weeks old when I attended my first stock car meeting and then regularly attended meetings after that! Seemingly I went to sleep when the racing started and then woke up once it was over” Gregor told me. Gregor Turner was born and brought up in Dunfermlineand was educated at Canmore Primary School and DunfermlineHigh School
“When I was ten my elder brother Ross kept telling me to ask dad for a ministox and when I did I was told to go and get sponsorship! I went to see Brian Henniker who used to video the meetings at Cowdenbeath and Newtongrange and he agreed to do so. That is how my racing career started! I even had my mini at the school one day which caused a bit of a stir!
I enjoyed my time in the minis and during my last season moved up through the grades to red. I raced in European and British Championships as well as a World Final where I raced against some of the top names like Mick Sworder and Paul Ford who have had successful careers in formula IIs and are now in formula Is .
Once I finished my spell in the minis I moved into the formula IIs and have had an assortment of different types of cars in my time. I started off with a Higman, moved to a self built chassis, two Bingley chassis and then I then bought an Elite chassis. However due to illness that car sat in my runway for almost a season as I recovered . Tony McGill lent me his car for one meeting and whilst I enjoyed my time in his car I was knackered after the meeting!
I raced the Elite for a few years then bought a Burgoyne chassis before getting a TNF chassis for the2013 season. Up until we got the Elite all the work on my car was done in the runway and that included changing engines, gearboxes, repairing suspensions etc. We even rigged a tent over one of my cars to shelter us from the rain just to get it ready for the next meeting!
The first season I had the TNF we struggled to get the set up of the car right and it took us almost a season before we got it right. We could see the potential of the car but between getting the car set up and me not getting every Saturday off work proved to be a problem.
I am a chef at the Airport Hilton in Edinburgh and unfortunately cannot always be guaranteed to get Saturday nights off although my head chef is understanding and doesn’t mind me changing shifts with others. Just when we thought we were getting the cars handling correct I missed six weeks racing so it was almost a case of starting afresh!
I get really good help from Ryan Walker, Simon Cranson and Rab Cook whilst at the track Johnny Nicol is always on hand to help out. My car is kept in Ryan’s garage and whilst I cannot always get the time to help they make sure that the car is ready for action. Both Ryan and Simon have raced my car and just now Simon is building a car for this season!
A flying start
We got off to a flying start in 2014. We had managed to get the car set up to my liking and at the practice meeting the car had plenty of grip and I was posting really quick times, even although the track was a bit greasy. Although I only managed three meetings during the first grading period I was scoring really well, won quite a few races and as a result my points tally saw me end up as a red grade. Mind you I just scraped in but it was the first time that I had reached that grade so I was really pleased.
I only managed one grading period in the reds and at the start to one of the races went into the wall backwards when Christopher Kincaid tangled with me.
After that it was down to the blue grade. I still did well and picked up some great results. The formula II World Championship final was one of the best meeting s I have ever seen and it would have been amazing to have been part of that race. To crown it all the Scots came home 1-2 with George (MacMillan Jnr) going though to win.
I then went on to win the white/yellow challenge series final – this race is only open to drivers who were either a white or yellow grade at the start to the season. The start to the race was a bit chaotic with the lower grade drivers almost over taking the pace car before the green flag dropped. I slowed thinking that the race was going to be restarted and was shocked to see the green flag waved. I was aware of Peter McCallum behind me but just concentrated on the cars ahead of me. Kieran Howie was leading and I was fourth but managed to pick off the cars ahead of me before taking the lead at the half way. There was quite a bit of water on the top bend which made it quite difficult. Once I had built up a useful lead it was more a case of not making a mistake so it was quite a relief when the chequered flag appeared.
I took part in the last meeting of the season but didn’t have much luck but was more than pleased with how the season had panned out. I had chalked up six wins, scored over 200 points and had my best average ever. Whilst the white/yellow final doesn’t officially count as a win I now have that title so it has been a great season. I was disappointed that I only managed 17 meetings but unfortunately in my profession I cannot always get time off to race.
I am keeping the same car for 2015 but we have done a few modifications to the car so hopefully it may go better. I am looking forward to the World Qualifying/ Scottish Championship weekend. I crashed into a spinning George MacMillan Jnr on the last lap of the final when he made a lunge at Sam Wagner and I came off worst ripping the siderail off my car. I missed the Scottish last year as it was at Crimond and on a Sunday. I have qualified for all bar the first two Scottish Championships but its never been a lucky race for me and I have never finished in the top five. Who knows it might change this year!
I have quite a few sponsors who make it possible for me to race and would like to thank Rosyth Taxis, EJB Autocare, WQS Water Quality Specialists, Craig Jones Signs, Tower Car Garage, ASD Welding Services, Rentek and MCRH Allsorts for their assistance.