News And Updates
George MacMillan Jnr Interview
1st March 2016
With the national BriSCA F2 season about to commence this weekend ahead of the first Racewall meeting on the 12th March, Jim Turner caught up earlier in the Winter with the new National Points Champion 100 George MacMillan Jnr who will be getting his season off to a flying start on the Shale at Belle Vue on Sunday afternoon.
“ I have been living the dream” George MacMillan Jnr told me “ and have had a whale of a time since I won the formula II World Championship at Cowdenbeath in 2014. Once I came back down to earth I decided that I would be showing off my gold roof as often as possible at as many tracks as I could. One easy decision was to change my racing number from 100 to 1. It is not often you get the chance to be the World Champion and to be able to race as number 1- it was an obvious choice.”
“Unfortunately I lost the title at Hednesford this year but was then caught up in a fierce battle for the National Points title, which in the end I won by 45 points! It really got close during the latter part and at onetime I thought that I had lost it!”
“ I have raced (in 2014) at 91 meetings – 92 if you count the last Birmingham meeting which was a non points scoring one – and in doing so we have traveled over 40, 000 miles although that doesn’t count the 300 mile round trip from work in Aberdeen to my home in Glasgow. Whilst I raced most weekends I also raced midweek at Skegness and at all the English bank holiday weekends. I work for Survivex – a health and safety training company in Aberdeen – and they were very understanding and didn’t quibble about me getting time off for my racing. At times I think it has been a quick season but at other times I thought it would never end!"
“ Most of the time my car was based at Peterborough at my brother in law’s, David Polley who looked after my car and made sure that it was ready for racing. I can’t thank David enough for all the time he spent working on and setting up my car keeping it set up for our weekends racing programme. It proved difficult to get a setting for our home track at Cowdenbeath. If we set it up for the Racewall it wasn’t all that good elsewhere and vice versa. However we did our best.”
“ I made it a point of showing the gold roof at every track in Britain and Northern Ireland, something that recent World Champions haven’t done and at Venray in Holland where I raced for the World Cup. It was very very wet there, conditions that I am not normally good in, but in the end I picked up a fifth place. I was really very pleased especially as I had started from well down the grid!”
“I raced at most of the World Championship qualifying rounds and was pleased with how things went. At Cowdenbeath the qualifying round was coupled with the Scottish Championship so we had a weekend’s racing in Scotland. On Saturday night it was the qualifying round and I picked up two third places in the heats. However the final didn’t go too well and I ended up in sixth place. On Sunday I didn’t have as good a meeting as I would have liked. Got seventh in my heat and damaged the front of my car in an early shunt. However I managed to adapt to the problem and brought the car home in third place. Not too bad!”
“The British Championship was at Taunton but just after we had been in Ireland where I had crashed. The car just wasn’t right and to make matters worse I crashed with Kelvyn Marshall and started last on the grid. I seemed to be good at starting from the back of the grid in championship races! Anyway we went a bit better in the final and I ended up in the top ten, Disappointing!”
“The next championship was the European Championship at Northampton and I ended up second to Kelvyn. He overtook me at the start of the race and I tucked in behind thinking that once we cleared traffic I would get a chance to pass. By the time we did clear the traffic he was away and I had to settle for the runners up spot!”
“I scored well and was on pole position for one of the semi-finals at Skegness. However I suffered suspension damage as soon as the race started but carried on and managed to finish in eighth place. That put me in row 11 for the World Final itself after the International drivers are seeded in.
“ At Hednesford I had the trophy handcuffed to my wrist on the parade lap but unfortunately I had to hand it over when I was given my momento to mark the staging of the World Final."
“ There had been a weekend’s racing for formula IIs there as Hednesford doesn’t stage formula II racing there too often and on both days my car went well so I was quite hopeful of being on the pace. I had finished in second spot in the qualifying round there so was reasonably happy.
“When the big day came the car felt good and more importantly the track was dry! There had been heavy rain earlier but the sun was out and the track dry. I made a reasonably good start and began to pick up places, Chris Burgoyne and Mickey Brennan tangled so that was two places made up early on. Just as I was beginning to close I tangled with a Dutch driver Rick Lennsen and lost quite a bit of ground. A couple of years earlier at the World Final at Taunton I was leading the race by a distance but then another Dutch driver spun and took me out! Anyway I quickly recovered and began to pick up places again and managed to get back to third spot when the chequer fell! I suppose there were mixed emotions at the end having to change my roof colour to red and my number back to 100! I gave my gold roof to the new champion Marshall – have raced a lot with him over the season!”
“I have done quite a bit of racing on shale over the season and thoroughly enjoyed it - great fun! Mind you when it’s wet you get very dirty!”
“I managed to qualify in 21st for the World of Shale Final – similar to where I started the World – and finished in ninth. “
“Next season (2016) the World is on shale at Mildenhall and I hope to get a few meetings in there before the World. My shale car is up for sale and once it is sold we will build a new one. If it doesn’t sell then we will use that next year. I won’t sell my tarmac car – the one I became World Champion in – I will keep it somewhere! High on my priority list is to get the World Title back – I loved being the World Champion!”
“After the World Championship I was determined to win the National Points. At one time I had a lead of over 200 points but after the World it was down to 128. Chris Burgoyne had started to whittle away at my lead and whilst there were still a lot of meetings remaining it was a case of doing everyone possible. The lead continued to drop and at one Cowdenbeath meeting Chris sent me crashing into the wall pretty hard! However despite that we continued to speak to each other. At one Northampton meeting I had crashed out and he pushed me off the track and into the pits so it was still friendly rivalry!
Chris then missed one Barford meeting where he usually scored well but there the gap was down to around thirty. Then we clashed at Belle Vue where it was said that I had followed him into the fence! The cars were hooked up and I did a lap or so trying to break free. The outcome of that was that I was suspended pending a Board of Control meeting. I missed a Skegness outing, I am the track points champion there so I probably lost around 30 points and with the gap in the 30s I was getting worried.”
“However the gap rose to just over 50 points with two meetings remaining and on the same day, one at Barford and the other at Belle Vue, so I felt that the pressure was on Chris. It rained and I am not too good in the rain so after Chris had scored well in the heats it was getting down to the nitty gritty! If Chris had won the final he would get double points in the Grand National and I figured he could finish in the top three so he could have scored 26 points or more! That would have made it too close for my liking so I took him out of the race not long after it had started. Chris repaid the compliment at the start to the Grand National so it was all to play for at Belle Vue”.
“ The mechanics loaded up my tarmac car as we set off to Belle Vue where the shale car had been taken, usually when we are on a trip there is always someone sleeping in the car or van but this time we were all wide awake and basically realized that the title was ours. As it was Chris headed home. I managed about 4 laps at Belle Vue before the car broke down but there was so much water on the track that the formula II racing was abandoned! I was drookit but happy and was the National Points Champion after a long hard season so in 2016 will be racing with the silver roof. Will I be able to defend the title? Well we will have to wait and see how the season starts and what my sponsors decide! “
“It is the usual saying that without sponsorship I couldn’t have had such an exciting season and it is true. I have to thank D. Polley Motorsport and Polleysport.com, Sibbald Training, Tyldesley Recovery, CWS Windows, Doors and Conservatories, Lyndale racing, McGill Motorsport and J. Davidson scrap for their support and to my hard working mechanics including crew chief David Polley, Richard, Brian, Stuart, Craig and Stuart S for their hard work over the year.”