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Trackstar Racing | News | Interviews | 2015 interviews | Bangers | 338 Terry Garrod

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Latest Points

338 Terry Garrod

Interview with 338 Terry Garrod by Mark Paulson which appeared in the 16 May programme

338

Another week, another two cars to prepare for the man with the silver roof, 338 Terry Garrod – and that’s not to mention the work he’s already putting in on more machines to be raced next weekend and at the special Heinegone farewell meeting for 13 Pieter ‘Peewee’ Leistra next month. There can be no doubting the effort required to lift two consecutive National Points championships and challenge for a third – nor that they are richly deserved.

At least the two cars Garrod will be piloting tonight have already been raced and only require limited further work.

“The Mondeo’s the same one and the Granada’s the same one, so they are virtually there – they’ve just had bits robbed off them. It’s just a matter of putting them back in, so they’re getting there,” he said on a very rare weekend off from racing, last week.

“This weekend we’re getting cars ready – the Peewee car and a big van,” he continued. “I’ve got a Volvo limousine for Peewee’s meeting – that’s going to be a first. Funnily enough, my brother’s just rung me. He’s picking it up, right now as we speak, so that’ll be flat out from now till then, as well as trying to fit the other meetings in.”

The huge number of meetings staged here at the Adrian Flux Arena – and the wide variety of formats – mean that the Trackstar National Points crown is one of the most arduous to challenge for. It requires an enormous amount of work from drivers like Garrod and his brothers Ashley (337) and Jack (339). The flip side is of course that we – and the drivers – get to enjoy such variety on track on a regular basis. But you can’t beat a bit of rear-wheel drive action like we’ll see in the Unlimiteds tonight.

Said Garrod: “I will admit, I do love chucking the Granadas round, they’re brilliant – just for the fun of it more than anything. They aren’t the hardest of cars – you get a Lexus or a Jag blow you up at the end of the straight, it’s straight to the cage, so they’re not the best. I like my Almeras for the 15s, I really do enjoy racing them.

“It’s just getting them ready,” he continued. “That is the worst thing. You know, one week you can go ‘Right, we’re in a Micra this week.’ And then ‘Oh I forgot, we’ve got an Almera the week after – got to build one of them.’ Two weeks’ time, we’ve then got a Mondeo. It’s just crazy how it works but people want to see it all so you try and please everyone.”

Like anything in life, you get out what you put in, as Garrod has proved. The past two-and-a-half years have seen him clinch those two points titles as well as claiming back-to-back National Championships in 1500cc Bangers.

“These last couple of years, I couldn’t moan,” he admitted. “I couldn’t fault these last two years, I really couldn’t. We all have our bad meetings and we all have our good meetings. I’m very pleased with how it’s gone and proud as well, if you know what I mean. When you first start you think you’re never going to get anywhere. Then, I don’t know what’s changed or whether the luck’s just on my side, I’ve just had a really good two or three years.”

After the grid was drawn for last December’s National Championship, Garrod didn’t fancy his chances of a successful defence.

“Where I started, no,” he said. “With Tony [Pallett] on the front, and a few other really quick drivers round there like Danny Lathan, you just look in front and think ‘Oh, Jesus, they’re like five cars in front’ and you think ‘Oh, never’. But things just all fell [into place]. That last lap was just unbelievable, it really was, and things just fell my way. With a lot of races, you just need a bit of luck.”

A year earlier, Garrod secured his first major title in the same race. It’s clear it meant a lot to him and he has fond memories of pulling it off.

“That was a brilliant race, that one,” he confirmed. “Same again, you know – Darren Fendley, he’s a very good driver as well and fast – he was just unlucky. With two laps to go he got a puncture and I reeled him in. That’s racing – that’s part of it.”

The way 2015 has started, Terry might find that his main challengers for a third National Points title are his own brothers.

“Yeah, at the minute, it’s looking like Ash,” he agreed. “You’re not going to win it every year – it’s the same with everything. If there’s anyone who’s going to take it off me, I’d love it to be one of my brothers. So it would be nice if he did, if he stayed up there. We’ll see – we’ve still got a long while to go yet, haven’t we.

“Now Jack’s back this year, it’s brilliant. Brilliant fun – there’ll be three of us out there every time now. Jack should be doing the Unlimiteds [tonight] – just got to find out on a car. That’ll be the first time he’s out in the Unlimiteds with me. Ashley can’t drive an Unlimited to save his life so he stays away from them but apart from that they do everything else.”

Terry is the oldest of seven siblings who have all raced – hardly surprising, given the racing heritage in their family.

“I’m the eldest,” he confirmed. “Twenty-seven this month. Ash is next, [then] Jack, Charlie, then Sinead, and Ricky and Tasha are twins. There’s seven of us. You had Grandad [Ally Cox] and then you had Davey [Cox] and then Uncle Graham and his boys now are doing a few. Then my mum’s cousin Rhino [Karl Turnbull] and Scott Turnbull, they both raced. Then obviously you’ve got all us boys, my sisters did, my mum did – she came second in the points at Swaffham for a year. We’ve all had goes down the line. Even my nan did!”

Asked whether he thought the silver roof on his car made him more of a target for others seeking to get one over him on track, Garrod responded: “No, not really. I still have the same enemies, week in, week out. It’s just when we cross paths. At King’s Lynn it is Tony Pallett; the Fosters if we ever get near them – don’t tend to get on with them. Mildenhall, we have a few wars there, but like I say, it’s only really if we cross paths – we don’t go looking for them and they don’t come looking for us.”

Yes, despite competing in 30 or more meetings at King’s Lynn each year, Garrod still somehow finds time to race at Mildenhall and elsewhere from time to time.

“If the cars are still going or there’s a meeting somewhere we fancy, we do,” he explained. “We haven’t been to Stansted yet this year but that’s a nice track we like. I think we’ve got Mildenhall, the speedweekend on the 30th and 31st – we’ll be there for that. It’s just whatever we’ve got time to do. The things is when you’re racing at Lynn – we did two days [a fortnight ago], didn’t we, we’re now going to do two formulas again this week and then two formulas the week after, so it’s hard to try and fit other things in as well.”

One other track Garrod hopes to visit in October is Ipswich – preferably as a World Finalist, having just missed out for the past couple of years.

“I’d love to,” he confirmed. “That’s what I’ve said to everyone in the last two years, every time it comes to Ipswich World Final, for some reason I blip and I fall down the places and I don’t qualify.”

He’s heading in the right direction so far this year – and a few more points tonight wouldn’t go amiss, particularly if they came in the form of a race win in the Unlimiteds, which remains a target for the scrapyard man.

“I’m still looking for my first win in the Unlimited,” he stated. “That’s what I want. I think second is the best I’ve had, so to win a heat would be nice, just for all the effort.”

It would be very well deserved.

 

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