“In those days, the build up to the start at Le Mans was like the start to a World Cup final and it consisted of Germany, Italy, Japan and France. The amazing thing was that I was on the pitch. the big difference was that there was no crowd violence – just an extremely knowledgeable crowd. It was just a very special thing”
Today my guest is professional racing driver Richard Jones. This is a recording I made last year as a pilot episode for a motor racing podcast series. The series didn’t come to fruition, but it did result in some excellent episodes including this one with Richard. Richard specialised in sportscar racing, in particular the Group C category which was extremely popular in the 1980s. Group C boasted huge crowds, popular teams and famous drivers. This is a little more specialised episode than usual, but I do hope you’ll stay with us, as Richard is a great conversationalist and a wonderful guest, so much so that since this chat, we’ve become great friends. So now, without further ado, let’s meet Richard and – as always, I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.
Our chat got moving with Richard explaining the sportscar scene in motor racing at the end of the 1970s (02:10), how the Group C championship was run (03:51), how he started in the Group C (05:21), and the differences in the racing two categories of Group C. Next we chatted about the factory teams like Lancia, Porsche, and Aston Martin and why they were attracted to Group C at the time (10:24), how important the privateer teams were (11:34), and why Le Mans took centre stage in the championship (13:36). Towards the end of the podcast, we discussed the American involvement in sportscar racing (17:11), what caused the demise of the Group C championship (20:43) and what replaced it (23:01). We then finished up the chat with some stories about Richard’s amazing career and his opinion on today’s form of motor racing (27:01).
- Article on Group C
- Group racing car video
- Group 6 racing video
- For more, hear my conversation with Kim Insuk, Midge Ure and Michael Lewis