Jerry Mahony

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Jerry Mahony (pronounced Marny) (born 1955) is a former British auto racing driver.

Early Career[edit]

Mahony started his racing career in 1987 and was second in his first ever race driving a Sierra Cosworth, during his first season Mahony won 5 races and was rarely outside the top placings.He was also second in the prestigious Willhire 24 hour race. Mahony also raced a Ford Cargo truck in the same team as broadcaster Mike Smith and former downhill skier and F1 driver Davina Galica winning once again first time out at Donington. Here Mahony really upset the establishment by qualifying his truck on pole and an incident with European Champion Mel Lindsey at Redgate corner on the first lap wrecked Lindsey's truck and put him out of the meeting. Despite a protest by Lindsey Mahony was deemed not to be at fault by the stewards and he went on to win the restarted race.

In March 1988 Mahony graduated to the prestigious BTCC with a newly build Sierra RS 500 winning his first race.He was also the second driver in the newly formed 2 car Firestone Firehawk team winning first time out at Thruxton in March 1988. Mahony's hat trick in March 1988 was by winning a race at the British Truck Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in his Ford Cargo. Mahony's impressive BTCC debut season was overshadowed by the vastly more experienced Andy Rouse and Steve Soper who shared the remaining wins, the fact Mahony had won a race and finished the year as runner up to Rouse in Class A was never really recognized by the establishment. Mahony's attention to detail was always evident with his striking Arquati sponsored team similar in turn-out to that of the current F1 teams, with his colour co-ordinated articulated lorries, motorhome and helicopter. This did not endear him to some of the more poorly funded BTCC teams, but along with Kaliber (Andy Rouse), Texaco (Steve Soper) and Mobil (Frank Sytner) it certainly helped to raise the profile and professionalism of the BTCC. Mahony also realised the value of mainline TV coverage, the BBC had agreed to show the series but had no budget, Mahony along with Arquati and Kaliber agreed to pick up the filming budget for 1988 and 1989, this in turn guaranteed Mahony an in-car camera at every round in 1988 and 1989 and his exploits in the mighty Sierra RS500 were enthusiastically followed by the regular commentators of the series, the popular Murray Walker and Steve Rider, on BBC's Grandstand program.

1989 should have been Mahony's year in the BTCC but a third place being his best result seemed to feed the general consensus that he lacked talent and was nothing more than an upstart and 'playboy' racer, even though he was winning races regularly in the Firestone Cosworth and Cargo Truck. In reality Mahony's 1988 result's and the extensive TV coverage he received upset a lot of the establishment and with only two engine supplier's (both fellow competitors) Mahony was not able to secure a supply of engines that were powerful and reliable enough to get amongst the front runners in the series.

1990 saw Mahony switch to the new 2.0 Formula in the BTCC with a BMW M3 prepared by BRR Racing once again sponsored by Arquati.A supply of factory engines could not stem a miserable run of DNF's which saw him retire hurt from the BTCC in July 1990. Mahony also competed in the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1990, crashing out badly after 14 hours following suspension failure. A third place in Class A in the Willhire 24 Hour being the highpoint of the season alongside Robb Gravett and Dave Pinkney.

1991 saw Mahony win the British Thundersaloon Championship in another highly modified Sierra RS 500. Arquati stayed on board as main sponsor and after an impressive string of wins and a season long battle with the epic ex Cleland V8 Carlton the Championship was secured.

Being a qualified helicopter pilot Mahony's own Bell Jetranger helicopter (G-JERY) was a common sight around the British Circuits in the late 80's early 90's.

The British Racing Drivers Club recognized the outstanding results Mahony had achieved in only two seasons and elected him as a full member of the Club in December 1988 having been proposed by Andy Rouse and seconded by Frank Sytner.

Mahony's brief flirtation with motorsport was impressive and he is still the only driver to have won his debut BTCC race.

After he retired from racing, Mahony was still involved with the BTCC, by driving the safety car in 2001/2 and running a corporate events company focusing on Motorsport.

Mahony is currently Chairman of a group of companies in Hampshire,with interests covering the motor trade, antiques and catering. He is also a keen collector of classic cars and runs regular events at his Antiques Centre.

BTCC Racing record[edit]

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position in class) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap in class - 1 point awarded 1987-1989 all races)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DC Pts Class
1987 Roger Dowson Engineering Ford Sierra RS500 A SIL
OUL
THR
THR
SIL
SIL
Ret
BRH
Ret
SNE
DON
OUL
DON
SIL
NC 0 NC
1988 Arquati Racing Team Ford Sierra RS500 A SIL
1
OUL
3
THR
3
DON
Ret
THR
3
SIL
8
SIL
4
BRH
5
SNE
8
BRH
3
BIR
C
DON
9
SIL
5
7th 33 2nd
1989 Arquati Racing Team Ford Sierra RS500 A OUL
3
SIL
27
THR
6
DON
Ret
THR
Ret
SIL
9
SIL
11
BRH
8
SNE
9
BRH
8
BIR
10
DON
Ret
SIL
Ret
41st 5 15th
1990 Arquati Racing Team BMW M3 B OUL
Ret
DON
11
THR
Ret
SIL
12
OUL
Ret
SIL
18
BRH
SNE
12
BRH
BIR
DNA
DON
THR
SIL
23rd 16 15th

References[edit]