Neil Fletcher Racing

The Racing Photos

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Click on any of the images below for a larger photo.

neil_1.jpg (28470 bytes) In the 1970's when the Circuit of Ireland Rally was a five day affair we would all go out camping for the weekend, needless to say the fun didn't stop even at night and manys a good nights "craic" was had round the campfire.
neil_2.jpg (37339 bytes) And you never knew quite what sort of friends you would meet or what you would get up to.
neil_3.jpg (45244 bytes) By the end of the 70's both the hair style and the rally were getting shorter but the "craic was still mighty" as we say here.
neil_6.jpg (64173 bytes) In 1978 a friend gave me a written off 1600GT Cortina, from the remains of this I built a Dutton Phaeton kit car. After a couple of years road use I started to compete in Autotests, the driver had more enthusiasm than skill but it was great fun and cheap.
dutton_2.jpg (46283 bytes) This was used as my summer road car and I had a Mk1 for the winter time. When Rebecca saw this photo she asked  Mum who the girl beside Dad's car was, Mum said that's one of Dad's old girlfriends who thinks she's cool, well she was on both counts.
neil_5.jpg (40598 bytes) Now and again we even had to do running repairs on my road car of the time, a big wing Mk1. Here we are at the Circuit of Ireland putting the head back on after replacing a melted valve on the crossflow engine. Easy repairs and all, that's why Ford chose this engine for the London to Mexico World Cup Rally in 1970.
neil_4.jpg (35105 bytes) When the 80's came along I had decided that I should get more involved and that's when I started to marshal and compete. Here I'm marking Mark Lovell's time card in the glory days of Group B around 1986.
neil_19.jpg (52071 bytes) In 83 a friend of mine, Mark Elliott, asked if I would go to a Rallyschool with him, we competed together for about 8 years using at first my Big Wing Escort and doing Night Navigation Rallies. As you can see I was a lot more successful in this branch of the sport than in Autotests.
neil_8.jpg (75403 bytes) Showing off again, some trophies won with this car in 1986/87. By this time I had discovered that this car was an original November 1970 RS1600 and had obtained the original Registration Book (FMX800J) and one of the chassis plates. I then joined the Ford AVO Club.
neil_9.jpg (54959 bytes) In the spring of 1988 I started to build a car that would be used exclusively for competition work, this included Navigation Rallies, Stage Rallies, Autotests, Sprints, Hillclimbs etc. This is an original but highly modified Mexico.
neil_10.jpg (45100 bytes) This car made it's competition debut in the autumn of 88 and is still in active use today. Read the  HAVOC Stories for an insight into the competition life of this car.
neil_12.jpg (56469 bytes) After a rather uninspiring start in 1988 this car brought me major success in 89 when I won the N.I. Navigation Rally Championship outright.
trophy.jpg (56102 bytes) And this is me showing off the little cup that the winning driver gets for that championship. Some of the top names in Irish motorsport appear on it.
neil_13.jpg (54012 bytes) 1990 was an even more successful and eventful year, I retained the N.I. Navigation Rally Championship.
neil_11.jpg (53888 bytes) Here I am trying hard at Croft Hillclimb in 1990 and it was well worth the effort as I won the 1600 Road Going class in the N.I. Hillclimb Championship that year.
neil_14.jpg (50532 bytes) Trying even harder at Craigantlet Hillclimb in 1990 and getting a little crossed up, I'm told one shouldn't go sideways while hillclimbing.
neil_15.jpg (57551 bytes) On the start ramp of the 1991 Ulster Historic Rally, unfortunately the engine blew on the third stage while trying to catch a 911 Porsche.
neil_16.jpg (61472 bytes) Leaving the start line of Special Stage 2 on the 1991 Mourne Rally, a tarmac rally that I started three times but never managed to finish. On one occasion I retired a mile into the first stage after hitting a tree stump hidden in the undergrowth, someone asked why I was in the undergrowth in the first place but that's another story.
neil_18.jpg (39705 bytes) Autotesting at Dungannon Motor Club in 1992. The Dungannon Club put on some great events of all types and I always loved to compete there, even winning their Club Championship 5 years out of 7 in the mid 90's.
neil_17.jpg (43856 bytes) On the way to a class win in the 1993 Queens Motor Club's Classic Trial. Notice the Mexico is getting a bit rougher round the front, bashed wing and no grill.
 racer_2.jpg (48521 bytes) Testing a friends racing car in my mothers lane, after doing some engine work to it. This is a Rev'o'ray Mk3, it was original built by a guy named Ray Thomas for the Mono Posto racing series in England.
 racer_1.jpg (55566 bytes) It had a rear wing, fat racing tyres and a "Full House" 1600 Crossflow and was the fastest car I've ever driven. Note how safety conscious I was, helmet, harness and all. 
escort_1.jpg (65760 bytes) Taking a wide line at one of the hairpins at Kirkistown Racetrack, this was during a sprint. I think I went so wide I ended up on the grass, again.
neil_22.jpg (58188 bytes) Leaving the start line of another sprint, this time it's Nutts Corner Racetrack. That cloud of smoke was coming from a rather tired BDA.
neil_23.jpg (39700 bytes) Further round that same lap I had lost it in a big way and spun off backwards. The white Mk2 is on the track going the right way and wondering where the "ee jit" in the Mk1 is going. I now have the car in reverse and am heading back towards the track with the intention of doing a reverse flick onto the track, after the Mk2 has gone past, of course.
neil_20.jpg (38102 bytes) Back at Kirkistown Racetrack, this time for a stage rally using the track and various loose surface lanes etc.
neil_21.jpg (56703 bytes) Another year and another Queens Classic Trial, for a change the BDA was going rather well at this time.
neil_classiccar.jpg (70175 bytes) This is my little road going 1100 Escort that I use as a runabout in the summer time.

Look in again, there's more to come.

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