Paul O'Neill (racing driver)

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Paul O'Neill
Nationality  British
Born (1979-12-31) 31 December 1979 (age 34)
Widnes (England)
Related to Melanie Chisholm (half–sister)
2014 British Touring Car Championship
Debut season 2001
Current team RCIB Insurance Racing
Car no. 58
Former teams Speedworks Motorsport
Tech-Speed Motorsport
Motorbase Performance
VX Racing
Starts 142
Wins 2
Poles 0
Fastest laps 3
Best finish 4th in 2003
Previous series
2009
200708
1999–2000
Dunlop Sport Maxx
British GT
MGF Cup

Paul O'Neill (born 31 December 1979 in Widnes, Cheshire) is an auto racing driver of Irish parentage, and the half-brother of 'Sporty Spice' Melanie C.

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

O'Neill was originally attracted to racing after seeing Nigel Mansell win the 1987 British Grand Prix, but did not pursue a career initially, studying for A-Levels but not completing them. After attending the Jim Russell racing school, he began racing in the MGF cup in 1999 and 2000, before entering the production class of the British Touring Car Championship in 2001. He did not win a race, but took 3 class podiums and 2 class poles en route to 8th in the class.

British Touring Car Championship[edit]

Vauxhall (2002–2003)[edit]

His efforts in the production class were enough to earn him a drive with Team Egg Sport in their semi-works Touring Class Vauxhall Astra Coupe for 2002. He was 8th in this championship, and then stepped up to the factory Vauxhall team for 2003, finishing 4th in the series.

Tech-Speed and Motorbase (2004–2007)[edit]

He was not expected to retain the drive for 2004, but early that year he discovered that he had diabetes, and his racing license was temporarily withdrawn. Once the condition was under control he did not immediately resume racing, instead helping his former team Tech-Speed prepare their bio-ethanol powered car, tutoring driver Fiona Leggate and fulfilling the post of race engineer. He also raced the guest car in the Porsche Carrera Cup at Oulton Park in 2006 along with some Ginettas Racing.

Following Leggate's premature departure from Tech-Speed, O'Neill signed for the team to compete in the final two race weekends of the 2006 British Touring Car Championship season. Ironically this car is powered by sugar beet, which his diabetes prevents him from eating. He scored a 10th place in his first race back. Notably, while most drivers at this September Brands Hatch meeting were slower than they had been at the April meeting due to different track conditions, O'Neill was over a second faster than Leggate's time from that meeting in some practice sessions. At Silverstone he was hampered by engine issues in practice[1] but took 2 top 10 finishes on raceday. He did not keep the drive for 2007, Techspeed opting instead to unite with the Turkish Arkas team and run Erkut Kızılırmak. He competed in the final round of 2007 with Motorbase Performance in a SEAT Toledo.

Tech-Speed (2009–2011)[edit]

O'Neill returned to Tech-Speed for the 2009 British Touring Car Championship season, partnering Martyn Bell in a two-car team. He scored a third place at Snetterton, and as of round seven at Knockhill he had scored points in 11 successive races[2]

O'Neill remained with Tech-Speed for the 2010 & 2011 seasons, now joined by John George.

Speedworks Motorsport (2012)[edit]

He was without a regular drive at the start of the 2012 season, but drove the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis at Croft and Knockhill, deputising for the team's regular driver Tony Hughes, who was unable to take part due to his business commitments. He was unable to secure the finances required to stay with the team for 2013.[3]

Tony Gilham Racing (2013)[edit]

Having been without a drive since the start of the 2013 season, O'Neill joined Tony Gilham Racing for the Knockhill round driving an RCIB Insurance Racing Vauxhall Insignia when regular driver Jack Goff decided to miss the round.[4]

British GT Championship[edit]

O'Neill entered the Croft round of the British GT Championship towards the end of 2007 alongside co-driver Steve Clark in a Team RPM Viper Competition Coupe GT3. He returned to the series in 2008 with Team RPM driving a Viper Competition Coupe in the GT3 class.[5] He competed in the first eight races of the season, including a win in the second race at Rockingham. He finished the season 16th in the GT3 standings.

Other activities[edit]

O'Neill is currently a motor racing instructor at the Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire.

From 2012, he appeared as part of the ITV4 television coverage of the BTCC.

In 2013 he appeared on the British television series Top Gear, driving a Volkswagen Beetle in a taxi race.

In 2014, he appeared in series 2 of Classic Car Rescue, driving and valuing the restored cars. He also competed in one round of the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup at Oulton Park, taking two wins.[6]

Racing record[edit]

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) Races in bold indicate pole position (1 point awarded – 2001–2002 all races, 2003–present just for first race, 2001 in class) Races in italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded all races, 2001 in class) * signifies that driver lead race for at least one lap (1 point given – 2001–2002 just for feature race, 2003–present all races, 2001 in class)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Pen. Pos Pts
2001 Tech-Speed Motorsport Peugeot 306 GTi P BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

12
THR
1

Ret
THR
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

DNS
SIL
1

7
SIL
2

12
MON
1

Ret
MON
2

6
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

Ret
KNO
1

12
KNO
2

11
SNE
1

13
SNE
2

Ret
CRO
1

10
CRO
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

DNS
SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

11
DON
1

8
DON
2

DNS
BRH
1

17
BRH
2

9
8th 74
2002 egg:sport Vauxhall Astra Coupé T BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

1*
THR
1

8
THR
2

7
SIL
1

2
SIL
2

4*
MON
1

4
MON
2

5*
CRO
1

Ret
CRO
2

6*
SNE
1

11
SNE
2

16
KNO
1

6
KNO
2

5*
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

4
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

5
−15 8th 77
2003 VX Racing Vauxhall Astra Coupé T MON
1

Ret
MON
2

4
BRH
1

3*
BRH
2

3
THR
1

3
THR
2

3*
SIL
1

7
SIL
2

5*
ROC
1

10
ROC
2

6*
CRO
1

3
CRO
2

6*
SNE
1

1*
SNE
2

10*
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

2
DON
1

6
DON
2

4
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

5
4th 138
2006 Tech-Speed Motorsport Vauxhall Astra Coupé BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
MON
1
MON
2
MON
3
OUL
1
OUL
2
OUL
3
THR
1
THR
2
THR
3
CRO
1
CRO
2
CRO
3
DON
1
DON
2
DON
3
SNE
1
SNE
2
SNE
3
KNO
1
KNO
2
KNO
3
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

11
BRH
3

11
SIL
1

14
SIL
2

8
SIL
3

9*
20th 7
2007 Motorbase Performance SEAT Toledo Cupra BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
ROC
1
ROC
2
ROC
3
THR
1
THR
2
THR
3
CRO
1
CRO
2
CRO
3
OUL
1
OUL
2
OUL
3
DON
1
DON
2
DON
3
SNE
1
SNE
2
SNE
3
BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
KNO
1
KNO
2
KNO
3
THR
1

13
THR
2

14
THR
3

16
33rd 0
2009 Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport Honda Integra Type-R BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
THR
1

5
THR
2

10
THR
3

Ret
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

11
DON
3

16
OUL
1

12
OUL
2

9
OUL
3

9
CRO
1

9
CRO
2

10
CRO
3

Ret*
SNE
1

3
SNE
2

5
SNE
3

6
KNO
1

9
KNO
2

5
KNO
3

9
SIL
1

9
SIL
2

10
SIL
3

9
ROC
1

9
ROC
2

Ret
ROC
3

Ret
BRH
1

9
BRH
2

7
BRH
3

Ret
12th 60
2010 Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport Honda Integra Type-R THR
1

4
THR
2

3
THR
3

6
ROC
1

6
ROC
2

8
ROC
3

2
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

4
BRH
3

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

Ret
OUL
3

9
CRO
1

5
CRO
2

4
CRO
3

5
SNE
1

11
SNE
2

Ret
SNE
3

8
SIL
1

7
SIL
2

6
SIL
3

2*
KNO
1

8
KNO
2

10
KNO
3

4
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

12
DON
3

Ret
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

4
BRH
3

5
9th 136
2011 GoMobileUK.com with tech-speed Chevrolet Cruze LT BRH
1

7
BRH
2

5
BRH
3

3
DON
1

8
DON
2

Ret
DON
3

8
THR
1

13
THR
2

11
THR
3

14
OUL
1

13
OUL
2

7
OUL
3

Ret
CRO
1

9
CRO
2

Ret
CRO
3

Ret
SNE
1

7
SNE
2

5
SNE
3

2
KNO
1

13
KNO
2

14
KNO
3

Ret
ROC
1

2
ROC
2

7
ROC
3

4
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

4
BRH
3

Ret
SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

Ret
SIL
3

12
10th 91
2012 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
DON
1
DON
2
DON
3
THR
1
THR
2
THR
3
OUL
1
OUL
2
OUL
3
CRO
1

17
CRO
2

Ret
CRO
3

13
SNE
1
SNE
2
SNE
3
KNO
1

6
KNO
2

4
KNO
3

6
ROC
1
ROC
2
ROC
3
SIL
1
SIL
2
SIL
3
BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
22nd 36
2013 RCIB Insurance Racing Vauxhall Insignia BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
DON
1
DON
2
DON
3
THR
1
THR
2
THR
3
OUL
1
OUL
2
OUL
3
CRO
1
CRO
2
CRO
3
SNE
1
SNE
2
SNE
3
KNO
1

Ret
KNO
2

DNS
KNO
3

Ret
ROC
1
ROC
2
ROC
3
SIL
1
SIL
2
SIL
3
BRH
1
BRH
2
BRH
3
NC 0

* Season in progress.

Complete Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded in first race; Races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded all races)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 DC Pts
2006 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 BRH
1
BRH
2
MON
1
MON
2
OUL
1

6
OUL
2

Ret
THR
1
THR
2
CRO
1
CRO
2
DON
1
DON
2
SNE
1
SNE
2
KNO
1
KNO
2
BRH
1
BRH
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
NC† 0†
2008 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 BRH
1
BRH
2
ROC
1
ROC
2
DON
1
DON
2
THR
1
THR
2
CRO
1
CRO
2
SNE
1
SNE
2
OUL
1

6
OUL
2

Ret
KNO
1
KNO
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
BRH
1
BRH
2
NC† 0†

† Ineligible for championship points.

Complete British GT Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position in class; races in italics indicate fastest lap in class)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts
2007 Team RPM Viper Competition Coupe GT3 OUL
1
OUL
2
DON
1
DON
2
SNE
1
BRH
1
BRH
2
SIL
1
THR
1
THR
2
CRO
1

6
CRO
2

4
ROC
1
ROC
2
NC 0
2008 Team RPM Viper Competition Coupe GT3 OUL
1

5
OUL
2

3
KNO
1

Ret
KNO
2

DSQ
ROC
1

Ret
ROC
2

1
SNE
1

14
SNE
2

10
THR
1
THR
2
BRH
1
BRH
2
SIL
1
DON
1
16th 20
2014 Track Group Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 GT4 OUL
1

OUL
2

ROC
1

SIL
1

26
SNE
1

SNE
2

SPA
1

SPA
2

BRH
1

DON
1

17th* 1.5*

* Season in progress.

Complete Ginetta G50 Cup results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position – 1 point awarded all races; races in italics indicate fastest lap – 1 point awarded all races)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 DC Pts
2008 IDL Ginetta G50 OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

3
CAD
1

3
CAD
2

4
KNO
1

11
KNO
2

7
CRO
1
CRO
2
SNE
1
SNE
2
THR
1
THR
2
BRH
1
BRH
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
MAL
1
MAL
2
DON
1
DON
2
18th 100

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Engine Problems Frustrate O'Neill", BTCC Pages.
  2. ^ O'Neill keeps run going but rues missed chances at Knockhill
  3. ^ "No BTCC in 2013 for Paul O’Neill". TouringCarTimes (Mediaempire Stockholm AB). 9 February 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Paul O’Neill returns". British Touring Car Championship (TOCA). 9 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Clark and O’Neill Head Team RPM’s 2008 British GT Challenge, British GT Championship.
  6. ^ "Mazda MX-5 SuperCup double for O'Neill at Oulton". Paddock42.com. 31 August 2014. 

External links[edit]