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The son of pioneer driver Willie Harrison, who began racing right at the start in 1954, Paul Harrison’s first taste of racing came in the Mini-stox formula in 1978. Mini-stox were aimed at 10 to 16 year olds, although after a while Willie admitted to promoter Keith Barber that Paul “wasn’t quite” ten when he had started. (He was eight).

The tail end of the 1985 season saw a 16 year old Paul on track in an F1 for the first time, as number 22. Starting from white top, he took his first win in April 1986, at Long Eaton. The following month he was upgraded to blue, and the following year he had qualified for the World Final, along with his dad. He finished seventh.

It was 1989 before Paul won his first final, on a Monday night at nearby Sheffield. Due to health problems, and dare we say it, old age, Willie retired from racing in 1990. Maybe coincidence, but this was the time that Paul seemed to crank it up a gear, and won a further four finals that year.

For 1991, Paul took his father’s famous number two, and won the British Championship at Buxton. Another British came at Long Eaton in 1993, after a summary disposal of Peter Falding. At the time, Falding was very much the top man, and as soon as he took the lead it was widely assumed that he would run away with the race. But Paul had other ideas and planted the 33 car very firmly into the wires. It has to be said that this was somewhat out of character; he was not regarded as being an aggressive driver.

It would turn out that Paul could be very aggressive when he wanted. In the 1996 World Final Paul was second and closing up to race leader John Lund, and in the closing stages Paul felt he was almost close enough for a challenge. With Lund amongst back markers, Paul went for it and landed a massive hit on the 53 back bumper. Amazingly, Lund held it and unfortunately for Paul, the impact had broken a radiator hose and he took it steady with an overheating engine to finish as runner up.

It was another few years before Paul’s front bumper was given a serious workout in a championship. This time it was the 1999 UK Open at Skegness, and it was the last bend before a wildly optimistic lunge put Lund out and gave Paul the title.

Paul also won the European in 1998 and 2003, but to date his greatest season has been 2011. A third British title was won in fine style at King’s Lynn, and he followed that up with an absolutely outstanding drive to win the World Final at Northampton.

Paul kindly spoke to F1StockCars.com in May 2009, and again after his 2011 British victory.

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