Paul Hines (259) makes history!

Current British Champion Paul Hines (259) has recently made history by being the very first F1 driver to race his F1 Stock car on the Isle of Man at Onchan Raceway on the 9th May 2011.

BriSCA F1 stock car driver Paul Hines 259 makes history. Photo Marianne Clague

The track was originally designed for cycle racing but has held stock car racing since 1969 and was resurfaced in 1997. Paul has always been an excellent ambassador for the sport, regularly promoting the sport at various events, including making an appearance at the NEC for Monster Jam as well as having his tarmac car on display at the Autosport International Show at the start of 2011.

Paul Hines 259 at the NEC pre Monster Jam show. Photo Paul Hines caught up with Paul afterwards to ask for his views on his historic trip to Onchan Raceway.

Firstly may I say I had a great time over there. If anyone is planning a holiday there now or in the future I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Onchan Raceway.

What was the reason behind taking your F1 stockcar to Onchan Raceway?

The visit was to help promote Onchan Raceway in the build up to the IOM TT which takes place in a few weeks.

At one stage you were think of driving your F1 stock car onto the boat and having it collected at the other end, what did you do in the end?

We went on the ferry. We were lucky in that we were able to take the truck onto the boat. I borrowed a recovery truck from Neil Stuchbury motors.

Tell us a bit more about Onchan Raceway. What is the track itself like?

The track is around a football pitch and so the corners are probably longer than the straights. I did not use the brakes very hard but it was also hard to get my foot flat to the floor. I would certainly need a few more revs out of the car if I was to go again. The corners are not banked which meant I had to scrub a little bit of speed off in the middle of the corner. The track is very smooth as it has been resurfaced not too long ago.

And what about the pits?

The pits are a little different. Basically the cars are unloaded on the village green then driven into the track. Once they are in they stay there, and all repairs are done using the track’s facilities. The space around the track is taken up by the race cars.

That is a bit different! Is the meeting format the same as a typical BriSCA F1 Stockcars meeting here in the UK? And did you do any extra promo work for Onchan Raceway besides the trackcraft?

Before the meeting I did a interview for Energy FM. The island’s radio station does a lot of work to promote the track. The track organisation is excellent. The meeting starts at 7:45pm prompt and is all finished by 9:35pm. All cars are ready for their race as soon as the previous event is over. There is a pre-meeting practise. It was here that I had a go in Mike Booth’s f2. It was very agile and responsive and a lot of fun to drive. I am not sure if I was on pace but I thoroughly enjoyed racing it.

Onchan Raceway close up. Photo Marianne Clague

Your used to doing promotional events like the successful Skegness Thursday Funday, what did you do to entertain the Isle of Man crowd?

I was asked to do 3 performances. The first thing I did was five laps as loud and as broadside as I could. When your out there you realise how narrow it is. Once you start throwing the car around you realise how close the fence and the infield is to you.

The second performance was a match race against F2 Mark Davenport. We also had a speed gun on us down the straights. I was measured at 68mph and Mark at 65mph. Although I was quicker down the straights the f2 was quicker than me around the bends. The f2 won the match race over eight laps by around 3 metres.

The third performance was doughnuts! I did two sets underneath the main grandstand on turn 3. Plenty of smoke and noise!!

It sounds like you had a lot of fun, is there anyone who helped you to make history that you would like to thank?

Overall it was a great experience. I would like thank Dave and Mandy Bennett. Dave helped everything run so smoothly and made me and Simone very welcome. Thanks to John and the promotion team for inviting us over. Thanks for Mike Booth 115 for risking his f2 for me and thanks to Neil Stutchbury Motors for lending me the recovery vehicle.

It was a pleasure to meet so many people and they are so friendly. Like I said earlier if you are ever on holiday in the IOM then I definitely recommend a night at the races. would like to Congratulation Paul on making BriSCA F1 Stock car history.

More information on Onchan Raceway can be found on their website HERE.

Paul Hines 259 on track at Onchan Raceway. Photo Marianne Clague

Some of the crowd in the Onchan Raceway stand. Photo Marianne Clague

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