NOVICE stockcar racer Richard Mawdsley is making a big impact - in more ways than one!
The Airbus UK worker from Great Sutton, who races a home-built F2 car, is in with a good chance of winning the Novice Cup in his maiden season.
And he has hit the headlines in the motorsport press after taking out top senior driver Bert Finnikin in a recent race at King's Lynn.
Richard said: 'It was a total accident. As he was coming to overtake me, I misjudged the acceleration, put a little too much on and sent him and me crashing into the barrier.
'He was furious but we talked and everything calmed down, it was just racing.'
The incident was treated to some special coverage in the stockcar community, however.
Richard added: 'Bert has won everything there is to win and here was a novice smashing him out. I got some articles in some of the stockcar magazines which has raised my profile in the sport.'
Richard, 30, juggles his job at the Airbus factory in Broughton with racing. This season he has already taken part in 15 races at five different meetings and is making a name for himself in pursuit of the Novice Cup, which is open to drivers in their first year of competition.
'I got into the sport thanks to my brother, Simon,' said Richard. 'He has been doing it for a while now and I thought it looked like something I could do too. It is a full-contact motorsport so I have had a few scrapes but I am still in there with a decent chance of success.'
With help from family friend and experienced stock-car racer Gwyn Miller, Richard got himself a machine this year.
He races in the National Brisca F2 class.
Richard said: 'All stockcars are on a standard chassis and all have a large spoiler on top and, in the F2 class, we have a two-litre Pinto engine, the type found in Ford Cortinas.
'The machine is home-built and can cost between £1,000 and £1,200 for a basic model, which is good enough to be very competitive on race day. I am really enjoying taking part.'