Perry McCarthy

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Perry McCarthy
2003 pq paddocks-perry-mccarthy.jpg
McCarthy in 2003
Born (1961-03-03) 3 March 1961 (age 53)
Stepney, East London, England
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United Kingdom British
Active years 1992
Teams Andrea Moda
Races 10 (0 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1992 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last race 1992 Italian Grand Prix

Perry McCarthy (born 3 March 1961) is a British racing driver, who drove in Formula One in 1992 before moving into sportscars, including driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times between 1996 and 2003.

McCarthy also portrayed The Stig in the first two series of BBC motoring show Top Gear.

Career[edit]

Born in Stepney, East London,[1] McCarthy grew up to work for his father's company servicing North Sea oil rigs. Unlike most Formula One drivers, McCarthy did not start racing in karts. He worked his way through the junior categories of motor sport in Europe, such as Formula Ford, Formula 3, eventually F3000 and various touring and sports car races in the US, including drives for Spice Engineering.

In 1991, McCarthy was chosen to test for the Footwork Formula One team. Although he impressed the team, his break did not come until the eve of the 1992 Formula One season, when he was signed by the independent Andrea Moda team run by Andrea Sassetti who thought that entering Formula One would be a good way to advertise his shoe business. The team was uncompetitive, disorganized and poorly managed, and after a lengthy battle to gain an FIA Super Licence the season soon descended into farce. McCarthy, frequently denied more than a handful of laps in which to prepare, failed to qualify for any Grand Prix. His Grand Prix debut at Spain lasted eighteen metres down the pit lane in prequalifying. The team folded before the end of the season in controversial circumstances and McCarthy was left without a drive.

McCarthy did not race in Formula One after 1992, but tested for both Williams and Benetton teams during the 1990s. He was denied a permanent role as test driver at Benetton because he was covering for their normal test driver, Alessandro Zanardi, who was unwell. He had little success at Williams because he did not see eye to eye with the engineers and the position was then given to a young David Coulthard.

Top Gear[edit]

After a brief retirement, McCarthy returned to sports car racing, appearing at Le Mans in 2002 and numerous other events. In 2002, he released his autobiography entitled Flat Out, Flat Broke, in which he spoke candidly about his time in Formula One and, in the second edition, his work for the BBC's Top Gear motoring show as The Stig, a masked, anonymous, racing driver who evaluated the latest high performance cars.[2] McCarthy was the original, black-suited Stig, who left after the first two series. He provided commentary on F1 races for the BBC in 2009.[3] McCarthy now works as a corporate ambassador and after dinner speaker for corporations around the world.[4]

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1988 GA Motorsports JER VAL PAU SIL MNZ PER BRH BIR
DNQ
NC 0
Team Ralt BUG
Ret
ZOL
Ret
DIJ
16
1989 Cowman Racing SIL VAL PAU JER PER BRH BIR
DNQ
SPA
7
BUG
15
DIJ NC 0

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1992 Andrea Moda Formula Andrea Moda S921 Judd V10 RSA
MEX
BRA
DNP
ESP
DNPQ
SMR
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
CAN
DNP
FRA
DNA
GBR
DNPQ
GER
EX
HUN
DNPQ
BEL
DNQ
ITA
DNP
POR
JPN
AUS
NC 0

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1996 France Viper Team Oreca France Dominique Dupuy
United Kingdom Justin Bell
Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 96 DNF DNF
1997 United Kingdom David Price Racing Australia David Brabham
United States Doc Bundy
Panoz Esperante GTR-1 GT1 145 DNF DNF
1999 United Kingdom Audi Sport UK Ltd. United Kingdom James Weaver
United Kingdom Andy Wallace
Audi R8C LMGTP 198 DNF DNF
2002 France DAMS France Jérôme Policand
Belgium Marc Duez
Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S LMP900 98 DNF DNF
2003 United Kingdom Audi Sport UK
United Kingdom Arena Motorsport
Germany Frank Biela
Finland Mika Salo
Audi R8 LMP900 28 DNF DNF

Bibliography[edit]

McCarthy wrote an autobiography, titled Flat Out, Flat Broke: Formula 1 the Hard Way!, in (2002); it detailed his career, and the hardships he faced while trying to break the ranks of Formula One. In the second edition of this book, McCarthy revealed that he was Top Gear '​s The Stig.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Perry McCarthy". ChicaneF1. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Perry McCarthy: 'I was the original Stig'". BBC News. 25 August 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pressred/2009/03/whats-on-bbc-red-button-28-mar.shtml
  4. ^ http://www.perrymccarthy.co.uk
  5. ^ "Portrait of a driver: Perry McCarthy". London: Telegraph. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2013. 
Media offices
New title The Stig
2002 - 2003
Succeeded by
Ben Collins
As White Stig