Russell Spence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Russell Spence
Born (1960-01-03) 3 January 1960 (age 57)
Bradford, Yorkshire, UK
Nationality English
Occupation Racing driver

Russell Spence (born 3 January 1960 in Bradford, Yorkshire) was an English racing driver. He now runs a construction business in London. In 2011, Spence was jailed for 13 months for his part in a fraud scam involving a chain of car washes. [1]

Early career[edit]

He first started in Hill climb events and moved into single seater racing in 1981 when he entered Formula Three. After a single Formula Three race, in the 1981 British Grand Prix support race, finishing 27th, Spence dropped back to the junior ranks for the next season. In 1982, he was champion in the Donington Park Formula Ford 1600. His good form continued in 1983, winning the EFDA Townsend Thorsen European Formula Ford 2000 Championship. During 1983, he returned to Formula Three with Eddie Jordan Racing for a one-off outing in the European Championship.[2][3]

Formula Three[edit]

Come 1984, Spence had signed for Mint Engineering – Warmastyle Racing, for his first full season off British Formula Three, in their Ralt-Volkswagen RT3/84. By only the fourth round, his experience of racing in Europe paid dividends, by winning the Grote Prijs van Zolder, at Zolder. In a season dominated by Johnny Dumfries, Spence scored two more wins, with back-to-back races at Donington Park and Oulton Park. Although he was Dumfries closest rival for the title, Spence was pipped third place by Allen Berg.

Spence stayed in British Formula Three, in 1985 for another crack at the title with PMC Motorsport, abroad a Reynard-Volkswagen 853. He had a brilliant start to the season, winning four of the first six races, two at Thruxton, one at Silverstone as well as retaining the Grote Prijs van Zolder. By the mid-season break he led the standing by five points from Andy Wallace. However, the Reynard’s early season advantage had vanished, as the Ralt RT30 came on strong, winning all the remaining rounds. During this period, his team, PMC Motorsport folded, leaving him to quickly build another team, now using a Ralt RT30. Despite this, he was only two points adrift of the championship lead going into the final two rounds. With a DNF in at Zandvoort, and an 11th place at Silverstone, this saw Spence drop to third in the end-of-year standings.[2][4][5][6][7]

Formula 3000[edit]

He got a drive in the second year of the International Formula 3000 Series in 1986. This was very much thought of as the proving ground for drivers who wished to get a drive in Formula One, after replacing Formula Two. Driving for Eddie Jordan Racing part way of the season before switching to Onyx Racing, his first season was an unsuccessful one, with a best place finish of sixth at the Birmingham Superprix. In 1987, he drove for Murray Taylor Racing. After a poor start, he had a strong finish to the year, with two podiums in the final two races. A second place at Le Mans followed by a third place finish at Jarama, saw him finish the season in tenth place.

1988 was a terrible season for him. He drove for three different teams through the year, Team Ralt, Madgwick Motorsport and Onyx Racing, in three different cars. Despite entering all the rounds he only finished one race, with an eleventh place at Le Mans, he finished the season with no points. At the end of 1988, he retired from racing.[2]

Birmingham Superprix Protest[edit]

He is most famous in the Formula 3000 championship for an incident that took place during the 1988 Birmingham Superprix. During the first lap, German driver Volker Weidler spun his car, blocking the circuit and causing a traffic jam of other cars behind him. With the front of the field driving away, Spence was furious that the race was not being red flagged. When the marshalls tried to push his car round, he kept his foot on the brake pedal in protest. With the car unable to be pushed and Spence not getting out, a track side crane was used to hoist his car off the track. The crane lifted the car up in the air with him still inside, waving his arms around for the marshalls to put him back down.

Stateside[edit]

Spence made his racing comeback in 1992, in the SCCA Toyota Atlantic Championship. Abroad a Reynard-Toyota 92H, sponsored by Virgin Airways, Spence won his first two races in the United States; at Miami and Phoneix. Adding a further victory at Watkins Glen in the sixth round, helped Spence to finish fourth in the final standing, earning him a total of US$43,625. As this series supporting the Champ Cars, this should have assisted Spence upwards, however 1993 brought just two drives in Toyota Atlantics, not starting one nor finishing the other. 1984 was no better. In two outings for Euromotorsport, Spence at least finished; 4th place in the Monterey Sports Car Grand Prix, at Laguna Seca and 14th in an IMSA Supercar race in Phoenix. [2][8][9]

BTCC[edit]

After five year break, Spence returned to racing as an independent in the 1999 British Touring Car Championship in an ex-works Renault Laguna for Arena International. His time in the BTCC did not go well. The first part of the season was full of incidents, ending at the fifth meeting of the season at Oulton Park when he crashed the car over the catch fence at Lodge corner. After this, he was replaced in the team by 1991 champion Will Hoy. He ended the season eighteenth with three points.[2][10][11]

Racing record[edit]

Career highlights[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1981 Marlboro British Formula 3 Championship [2] NC Magnum-Toyota 813 Mike O’Brien
1982 Pace British Formula Ford 2000 Championship [2] NC Van Diemen-Ford RF82
Donington Park Formula Ford 1600 Championship

[2][12]

1st Van Diemen-Ford RF82
1983 EFDA Townsend Thorsen Formula Ford 2000 Championship

[2][12][13]

1st Reynard-Ford 83SF
European Formula 3 Championship [2] NC Ralt-Toyota RT3 Eddie Jordan Racing
1984 Marlboro British Formula 3 Championship [2][14] 3rd Ralt-Volkswagen RT3 Mint Engineering – Warmastyle Racing
European Formula 3 Championship [2] 12th Ralt-Volkswagen RT3 Mint Engineering – Warmastyle Racing
1985 Marlboro British Formula 3 Championship [2][12][15] 3rd Reynard-Volkswagen 853
Ralt-Volkswagen RT30
PMC Warmastyle Racing
Team Warmastyle Ltd.
1986 FIA International Formula 3000 Championship [2][12] 24th March-Cosworth 86B Eddie Jordan Racing
Onyx Race Engineering
1987 FIA Intercontinental Formula 3000 Championship [2][12][16] 10th March-Cosworth 87B Murray Taylor Racing
Lucas British Formula 3 Championship [2] NC Reynard-Volkswagen 873 Swallow Racing
1988 FIA International Formula 3000 Championship [2][16] NC Ralt-Judd RT22
Reynard-Cosworth 88D
March-Cosworth 88B
Ralt Racing
Madgwick Motorsport
Onyx Race Engineering
1992 SCCA Toyota Atlantic Championship [2][8][12][16][17] 4th Reynard-Toyota 92H Steadi Systems/Virgin Airways
1993 Player’s Toyota Atlantic Championship [2][8] 50th Reynard-Toyota 93H
1994 Exxon World Sports Cars Championship [2][18][19] 40th Ferrari 333 SP Euromotorsport
Bridgestone Supercar Championship [19][20] NC Ferrari 348 Euromotorsport
1999 Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship [2][12] 18th Renault Laguna Arena International

International Race Victories[edit]

Date Event Circuit Entrant Car – Engine
1984
15/04/84 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.4 Belgium Zolder Mint Engineering – Warmastyle Racing Ralt-Volkswagen RT30
08/07/84 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.10 England Donington Park Mint Engineering / Warmastyle Racing Ralt-Volkswagen RT30
18/08/84 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.11 England Oulton Park Mint Engineering / Warmastyle Racing Ralt-Volkswagen RT30
1985
10/03/85 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.2 England Thruxton PMC Warmastyle Racing Reynard-Volkswagen 853
24/03/85 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.3 England Silverstone PMC Warmastyle Racing Reynard-Volkswagen 853
08/04/85 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.4 England Thruxton PMC Warmastyle Racing Reynard-Volkswagen 853
21/04/85 British Formula 3 Championship Rd.6 Belgium Zolder PMC Warmastyle Racing Reynard-Volkswagen 853
1992
22/03/92 Toyota Atlantic Championship Rd.1 United States Miami Reynard-Toyota Motorsport GmbH 92H
04/04/92 Toyota Atlantic Championship Rd.2 United States Phoneix Reynard-Toyota Motorsport GmbH 92H
27/06/92 Toyota Atlantic Championship Rd.6 United States Watkins Glen Reynard-Toyota Motorsport GmbH 92H
[21][22][23]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

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

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Pos. Pts
1986 Eddie Jordan Racing March 86B Cosworth SIL
18†
VAL
DNQ
PAU
Ret
SPA
15
IMO
Ret
MUG
DNQ
PER
Ret
23rd 0.5
Onyx Race Engineering ÖST
11
BIR
6
BUG
10
JAR
Ret
1987 Murray Taylor Racing March 87B Cosworth SIL
Ret
VAL
Ret
SPA
9
PAU
Ret
DON
DNQ
PER
Ret
10th 10
Mountleigh Motorsport BRH
7
BIR
8
IMO
DNQ
BUG
2
JAR
3
1988 Team Ralt Ralt RT22 Judd JER
Ret
VAL
Ret
NC 0
Madgwick International Reynard 88D Cosworth PAU
Ret
SIL
Ret
MNZ
DNQ
PER
DNS
BRH
Ret
BIR
Ret
Onyx Racing March 88B Cosworth BUG
11
ZOL
DNQ
DIJ
Ret

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position - 1 point awarded all races) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap) (* signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap - 1 point awarded)

Year Team Car 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 Pos. Pts
1999 Arena International Renault Laguna DON
1

15
DON
2

8
SIL
1

Ret
SIL
2

Ret
THR
1

13
THR
2

14
BRH
1

11
BRH
2

Ret
OUL
1

DNS
OUL
2

DNS
DON
1

14
DON
2

Ret
CRO
1

15
CRO
2

11
SNE
1
SNE
2
THR
1
THR
2
KNO
1
KNO
2
BRH
1
BRH
2
OUL
1
OUL
2
SIL
1
SIL
2
18th 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/criminal-network-is-brought-to-justice-after-six-years-of-fraud-1-4028973
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Russell Spence career statistics at Driver Database | Motorsport". driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Formula Ford 2000 Europe formula-ford-2000-europe 1983 | Motorsport". driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  4. ^ "Formula 3 1984 - Race Index - Great Britain". formula2.net. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  5. ^ "F385_IndexGB". eb.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. [dead link]
  6. ^ "British Formula 3 1984 « OldRacingCars.com". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  7. ^ "British Formula 3 1985 « OldRacingCars.com". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  8. ^ a b c "Russell Spence". champcarstats.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  9. ^ "International Motor Sport Association". classicscars.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  10. ^ "1999 International Racing Championships". teamdan.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  11. ^ "TouringCars.net » Results » BTCC » 1999". touringcars.net. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g BTCCPages.com. "Russell Spence - Driver Profile - BTCCPages.com". btccpages.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  13. ^ http://www.driversdb.com/standing/320-1983/
  14. ^ "Formula 3 1984 - Championship Tables". formula2.net. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  15. ^ "Formula 3 Britain formula-3-britain 1985 | Motorsport". driverdb.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  16. ^ a b c "Russell Spence: Racedriver biography - career and success". speedsport-magazine.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  17. ^ "archive/usa/fatlantic/1992-fatlantic". eb.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. [dead link]
  18. ^ "http://www.classicscars.com/wspr/results/imsa/tableimsa.html#1994WSC". classicscars.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03.  External link in |title= (help)
  19. ^ a b "Russell Spence (GB) - Complete Archive - Racing Sports Cars". racingsportscars.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  20. ^ "http://www.classicscars.com/wspr/results/imsa/tableimsasc.html#1994-". classicscars.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03.  External link in |title= (help)
  21. ^ "F384_IndexGB". eb.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. [dead link]
  22. ^ http://www.oldracingcars.com/f3/uk1985/
  23. ^ "1992 SCCA Toyota Atlantic Championship". champcarstats.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Brazil Ayrton Senna
EFDA Townsend Thorsen FF2000 championship
1983
Succeeded by
Brazil Maurício Gugelmin

External links[edit]