29 Sep, 2019 @ 13:00
2 mins read

Giles Brown sees his life flash before his eyes while go-karting on Spain’s Costa del Sol

Giles Dad At Spa In 1969

JUST in case I haven’t mentioned it before in my column – and let’s face it; you’re sensible grown ups and probably looking for the food news and classified advertisements rather than eagerly searching for my rabid ramblings  – I have a ‘bit of a thing’ for motorsports.

Horses terrify me, I only listen to golf and tennis on the radio when I want to nod off, and I don’t get caught up in the collective national rollercoaster of emotions that is following the English cricket or football teams.

Giles Karting
CHAMPION: Giles at the track

I love my rugby, having been an exceptionally less than average player for several sides, even gracing (and that’s using the term lightly) the hallowed grass of Marbella Rugby Club.

Motorsport, however, is a different thing.

Dad was a professional racing driver, competing at Spa, Le Mans and the Nurburgring in the 60s.

He’s a life member of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, which has meant that I have bumped into some bona fide legends such as Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill in the clubhouse at Silverstone.

I spent much of my childhood playing Scalextric in my bedroom as a small boy, and far too much time on racing games on the PlayStation as a grown up.

I never had the opportunity to race myself, however, as now it’s very much an extremely rich man’s sport.

But whenever I get the opportunity to get behind the wheel of anything fast and furious, I grab it with both hands.

I managed not to spin a Formula 1600 at Thruxton several years ago.

‘You looked like you were enjoying yourself’ the instructor observed.

‘Your grin was making the sides of the helmet bulge’.

At the start of summer I had the opportunity to have a thrash around the fabulous track at Campillos.

The four-stroke karts were great fun and I was more than a little proud to be the quickest of the assembled media.

Then the owners asked if I fancied a blast on the two-stroke karts.

I said yes without hesitation.

It was only when I was heading backwards through the gravel on what was basically something weighing not much more than a tea trolley and capable of 100km/h, that I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew.

When you spin a four-stroke, you curse to yourself and then try and get going again.

As I left the circuit at speed in the two-stroke, however, the thought of me landing somewhere near Antequerra flashed through my mind.

Luckily I landed with a thud, checked my spine was still in place an then a marshal pushed me back on and I was off again.

A photo afterwards shows me grinning like a four-year-old on an insane sugar rush, though I had to admit that my driving prowess is probably more Huey Lewis and the News than Lewis Hamilton.

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