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Encounters with Ayrton Senna

Sherrard in the Marcus Mitchell Mondiale FF (#33) at Lydden Hill. Photo: Kerry Dunlop

I grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland, far removed from motor sport, and my parents strongly disapproved of my even being interested in the sport. As my mother one day said to me, “It’s not as if you’ll ever take part.” How wrong she was! From the glamor of Goodwood, to the challenge of the Nürburgring, to the forests of Wales, to the sand dunes of the Sahara, I most certainly have taken part.

Along the way I met and conversed with Ayton Senna, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Frank Williams, Paddy Hopkirk, Eddie Irvine, Derek Bell and many more. I worked for Eddie Jordan, Peter Gethin and Jonathan Palmer. I’ve raced with a former Williams Grand Prix star as my teammate. I’ve competed in Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship with the Race-2-Recovery team of injured servicemen. I’ve been paid to drive Aston Martins, Ferraris and Porsches on European circuits. I’ve featured on Motors TV. I’ve been pit crew, mechanic, marshal, organizer, competition secretary, instructor, racecar importer, journalist, team owner, legal advisor and sponsor. I think that all adds up to “taking part.”

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