Personality of the Year 2015: Nominee 6

Six drivers have been shortlisted for the 2015 F1Stockcars.com Stox Personality of the Year award.

One nominee will be announced each day – so make sure you keep checking the site!

How to vote

Once all nominations have been announced, you will be able to vote for your favourite via the F1Stockcars.com website.

Voting will open at 4:00pm on Monday 14 December (today!) and will close at midnight on Saturday 19 December. The winner will be announced on Sunday 20 December.

Nominee 6: Rob Speak

Northampton_20-09-2015_Colin_Casserley-05

The final nominee is 2015 World Champion, Rob Speak.

There can be few people out there in the world of BriSCA stock car racing who would not consider Rob Speak the greatest all-round oval racer bar none (and those few people are probably 391 or 515 supporters).

With ten world final victories to his name, eight in Formula Two and two in F1, his most recent being that not to be forgotten big league WF at King’s Lynn in September,  the Manchester Maestro has set a record that may never be beaten.  He looked odds-on to retain the silver roof until tangling with series leader Lee Fairhurst in the final round and was well on the way to taking the overall grading points non-title at the last Coventry until a bit of pay-back from the aforementioned Fairhurst saw him in the fence and out of contention. Add in a previous successful ASCAR career, former grasstrack experience, current F2 racing and, of course, the odd banger race when time allows and you start to wonder how the sport’s youngest grandfather manages to fit it all in.

Maybe not many final victories this year but that was not for want of trying – was it three or four finals lost whilst leading due to flat tyres or engine problems? Remember that Coventry final with Wainman Junior, Johnson and Fairhurst where they all finished in the fence or the canny win on the Northampton skid-pan?

Of course, being a prolific winner does not automatically make one a personality. I can think of more than one former gold top who would pale at the prospect of being interviewed by a bloke with a microphone but Rob speak does not fit into this category. Okay, so he may not go out of his way to seek publicity, preferring to let his driving speak (no pun intended) for him, which it does in volumes, but you get the impression that here is a man who races because he loves it, a true competitor who will always go for the win but can still laugh if it all goes pear-shaped. Think back to the Gala Night at Birmingham last month in the BSCDA Diamond Jubilee series final – Rob was second going into the last bend, no hope of connecting with the leader, that man Fairhurst again, but he still went for it, spinning into the fence and finishing seventh – thirty quid instead of five-hundred for second!

Would Rob Speak be the force he is without his arrive and drive backing from metals magnate (not magnet, I think that’s how they check for aluminium blocks) Jamie Davidson? Why speculate (or speakulate) – just enjoy watching the Master at work (and I don’t mean stalking him in the scrap yard) – I bet there’s still plenty of gold and silver paint left!

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Rob sporting his new(ish) gold roof.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Colin Casserley

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