Charlie Cox (racing driver)
10 June 1958 |
Gymea, Sydney, Australia
|Occupation||Racing driver and motorsports commentator|
His background is based on four wheels rather than two. His earliest exposure was in Australia in the late 1980s in the Production car-based "Street Sedans", raced on tracks in the Sydney area. He raced in the National Saloon Car Cup in Britain using a Ford Escort RS Cosworth in 1993 and 1994, winning many races and three class championships: British Salon Championship Class A 1993,1994 and British GT Championship Class A 1993 . He also won the Willhire 24 Hour at Snetterton, again in a Ford Escort RS Cosworth, in 1993. For 1995 he moved up to the British Touring Car Championship in a Ford Mondeo for his recently formed Thames Ford Dealers team with sponsorship from the Evening Standard newspaper. He caused a sensation in a wet race early in the season by finishing 5th, although behind both works Fords, choosing the correct tyres and recovering from an early spin. However, a huge barrel-rolling crash at Thruxton left him with concussion, and caused him to miss several races. When he returned it was in a hatchback Mondeo, making him the first driver to race one in the BTCC. He raced occasionally in Sportscars subsequently, as well as some appearances at the Bathurst 1000.
His second career began when he started commentating on BTCC in 1997 alongside Murray Walker. For 1998 Walker left, and was replaced by 1982 Formula One World Championship runner-up John Watson. When the BBC lost BTCC coverage, they switched Cox to motorbike coverage alongside Steve Parrish and Suzi Perry.
He then moved onto commentating on MotoGP for the BBC in partnership with former GP racer Steve Parrish. Cox is known for numerous catchphrases including "revs are up, ready for a start" shortly before the racing; "taking the hole shot" to mean either taking the lead at the start or passing two or more rivals in one go; "that's shot the fox" when a rider providing exciting action dropped out; describing "lunatic" drivers as "mad axe murderers"; a bad race as "a nightmare in a bubble car"; "he needs that like a third armpit" referring to any rider's misfortune; "as close as you like"; "he's really got the magnets on", regarding a trailing rider closing on a leading rider; a rider being "as fast as a fast thing on fast pills" for pretty much any reason. He often closes with "are there ANY questions?" He is also well known for one-liners that include, "at the start Dani Pedrosa is off the line quicker than a white slice out of my toaster" and "there's so many dropping out of this race I'm gonna jump on a pit-lane scooter and claim my first world championship points". He frequently refers to co-commentator Steve Parrish as "Oracle".
Top Gear Australia
Cox was named as one of the hosts of the first season of Top Gear Australia, along with cartoonist Warren Brown and advanced driving instructor Steve Pizzati, which premiered on SBS on 29 September 2008.  On 19 December 2008, Cox announced his departure from Top Gear Australia due to lack of time. He was replaced by jazz musician and motoring fan, James Morrison.