News And Updates
Jim Turner interviews 172 Trevor Harris
5th February 2018
One bit of news to hit the Racewall is that Trevor Harris from Kinglassie is switching from the classic hot rods to his first love the BriSCA formula IIs for 2018!
However I have to say that his return in a formula II could well cost me money if he carries on as he did before. I used to take a flask of coffee with me but more often than not I would see Trevor raiding my bag for a coffee. One time I looked around and both he and Billy McGill were drinking coffee and chatting about the racing when they should have been out there racing. Gordon McDougall, who was the promoter at the time used to shake his head at Trevor’s antics but drew the line when Trevor wanted to bring out a table cloth and biscuits! I am still convinced that Trevor would get thirsty when racing and decide to pull off for a coffee! Mind you he wasn’t chuffed if I had finished the contents!
Trevor is the proprietor of the Trevor Harris Plant Repairs Ltd and if you have been held up with road repairs in the Fife or Dundee areas then there is a good chance that it is one of his teams that are to blame. I even waved to him after a long delay whilst he was altering roundabouts on Masterton Road and yes he was sitting on his machine with a broad grin in his face and returned my gesture!
“I bought my first Paver machine when I was fifty and I now have around ten people working for me. This year I over layed the pits at the Racewall and we did some tar repairs whilst we were there. I see wee bits that need adjusting and will be doing that over the close season.”
“I was keen to get back into stock car racing, which has been a good part of my life since way back when. I have had a long love affair with the single seater formulae and my first taste of it came in 1978 when I bought a superstox to race at Cowdenbeath.“
“However after a particular heavy shunt a few years back I took some time out but the lure of racing returned and I decided that I would try the classic hot rods. I bought the Anglia from Graeme Allister and the car had once been the George Polley show car. I thought I was joined a formula where I could have a bit of fun but it turned out to be quite a cultural shock.”
“The first thing I had to get used to was that the gear lever was no longer between my legs as in the single seaters, the mirrors are on the other side and you go around the track in a different direction!”
“Not only that but you are not supposed to make contact which makes overtaking quite difficult. Mind you there are a few drivers who are not afraid to give you a bit of a push going into the bends but I decided to stick by the rules and overtake clean.”
“I was able to travel quite a bit with the classic and in 2016 I was presented with the Traveller of the Year award. I literally was all over Britain racing, met a lot of good people and had a lot of fun. I remember one Wimbledon where I had some good results from the back of the rid and then started the final from mid order. The driver in front of me headed into the first bend as quickly as they good and all of a sudden they were pointing in all directions. I got ahead of most and going onto the back straight was wiped out by the lead car that simply came across the track and took me out. My poor wee car was sitting there like a shot “doo” – wheels pointing in all directions but the right way.”
“I really liked racing over in Ireland and I quite liked the wide open spaces of Hednesford too. I did race at the Racewall a couple of times but I have had too many hard shunts there so I was maybe not as competitive as I could have been. Keith Chesher had his car wrecked but it was taken over to Southern Ireland where it was repaired. The car looked brand new when I brought it back and when Keith had his first seat in the car the smile on his face said it all.”
After a lot of soul searching I have decided to sell the classic – Graham McCabe has bought it – and to have another two years or so in my first love – the formula IIs.
“Last year I bought the Marc Fortune Elite chassis and it has sat there all year waiting for me to return. I intend to race as often as I can and wherever I want to.”
“My first car I bought from Alistair Beaumont and it was the World Championship winning Gordon McDougall Topolino car. I only raced for a season but as I had a young family I couldn’t afford to race so I sold the car.”
“My stock car career didn’t really restart until 1986 when I came out in a BriSCA formula II at Newtongrange. Gordon McDougall was the promoter and the car that I bought was one that Jimmy Moodie had used. I loved every minute of the racing.”
“Over the years I have owned quite a few cars – most I didn’t keep for long periods – maybe a season or so – and then I changed them. With another car you always think that you are going to be more competitive but that isn’t always the case”.
In a space of a few years I had bought the Stuart Gilchrist Higman – the one that he had won the Scottish Championship with, then Stu Young’s Ballantyne chassis. That was a really good car and I did well with it. I then bought another Ballantyne chassis which I sold on to Dave Cronin. Next in line was the Forsyth chassis that Ally Hunter brought home second in the World then the following season I got the Jimmy Wallace chassis from John Hutchison. I managed to wreck that car! I had the dubious honour of being the first driver to bend a post on top of the wall! Another thing I used to do on a regular basis was to change the cars colour scheme. You would never know if the car was going to be the same colour as it was the following week!”
“After that I decided to stop for a while due to business commitments but it didn’t last too long and I was back racing. I bought a Randall chassis from Jim Harris and I thought it was a great car. I won my first ever race in that car. It was a hard race and just when I thought I was clear the race was suspended after a shunt. That let the other cars line up behind me but I managed to get away to win.” Everyone on the centre green remembers that race well because we were all cheering Trevor on and after the race we could hear your voice over the other cars as you shouted with joy!
“Everyone was congratulating me in the pits and when I got home my wife Tracey had gone out and had congratulation banners all over the house”.
“After that I went on a good run picking up wins at Knockhill and Crimond.
I bought an AD Shaw chassis and whilst it turned out to be a good car. It was my first ever new car and I remembering starting from the back of the grid and picked up top ten places in the heats. However at the start to the final I was sent crashing into the wall. I am quite sure it was intentional and my car was bent. After that it took me a while to get it running competitively but once I did picked up some good results. I won at Warton with the car and then the white/yellow challenge final at the Racewall.”
“I then raced a Bingley chassis. I remember coming down the straight and seeing a tyre bouncing about and yes it bounced at me. I ended up rolling my car – I have rolled at quite a few tracks – and hoped that the wheel didn’t go into the crowd.”
“However my main achievement was to qualify for the World Final in 2008. I had raced a lot and was lucky enough to get onto the semi-final at the Racewall. I had bought another Bingley – one that John Fortune had used. There were a lot of bent bits on the car and I remember Darren Bingley handing me a bumper and telling me to get it onto the car. I started well down the order sharing a row with Rob Batten. There were a lot of race suspensions and I don’t think I passed a car until the last five lap board appeared. However I was able to finish in the top ten and had secured a spot on the World Final grid.”
“The final was at Bristol and I was on row 12. I did make a good start but after one lap got wiped out by one of the Dutch drivers.”
It was after that I started my business and it was a case of having to give up the racing although I knew in my heart that one day I would return. I am still using the racing overalls I bought in 2000 although I can’t get as many clothes on underneath them now. Must have shrunk!