Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rich, I'm a 28 year old Cornishman currently residing in Oxford and I'm responsible for managing 'The Race Hut Oxford', a motorsport simulation venue on the outskirts of the city. Now, despite what this looks like, I'm going to try my best not to bore you all with a life story. Nope. Instead I'm going to explain why I've created this tribe whilst sharing a small selection of life experiences via another passion of mine... photography. So, if I do drone on too much, I hope you enjoy a number of my favourite snaps (and a couple I borrowed from the internet)!
Like most petrol heads, the love of cars started at a very early age and in my case was heavily influenced by my dad, who cut his teeth spannering in the booming 80's world of British and European Rallycross. Being brought up on stories of insanely large turbos, no holds barred racing and the antics of a particular Martin Skancke, it was no wonder I grew up wanting to emulate all the things that kept me fascinated as a kid.
Fast forward a few years, I finally got my drivers licence (3rd time pass... ooops) and with the support of my Dad, it was time to harness 17 years worth of passion and finally get involved in the world of motorsport. Now, growing up in Cornwall presented it challenges. The distinct lack of any track based motor racing being the first, and the equally barren motorsport related job opportunities the second! Not to be deterred though, we ventured to Silverstone and during one of the most exciting 24 hours of my life, complete our ARDS tests and attained our 2006 race licences. Now as an 18 year old 'kid' this was my equivalent of going to Hollywood and being allowed to act. As a result, it remains one of the most important and influential experiences of my life so far.
Now, with licences in hand it quickly became apparent that we needed to sort ourselves out with the all important final ingredients; some cars and a series in which to race them. After a trip to the Autosport show we decided that the Toyota MR2 Challenge (which evolved into the 750MC MR2 Championship) was the series to go for. As a closet Japanese car fan at the time, this pleased me immeasurably!
Whilst racing with my old man, I stubbled across the National College for Motorsport and signed up for a 12 month course intended to kick me into the world of professional motor racing. From there, I got my first proper job as a Race Technician (wheel washer... lets be honest) which grew into a full blown mechanic being responsible for the overall running of multiple cars over a range of UK and European based series. Everything from F3 to historic prototypes, I was in my element and the 8 year old Rich inside of me couldn't have been happier! During this period of my life I met a huge amount of people, all of which loved the same thing I did... Racing. It was also my first touch into the world of photography, often finding myself subject to photos taken by a very talented man called Tim Surman, who I owe thanks to for lighting the photography spark!
After a few years, I decided it was time for a change. Despite loving what I did for a living, unfortunately there wasn't actually much 'living' going on and I ventured to seek help from a friend I met along the way. To cut a long story short, the timing couldn't have been more perfect and I found myself set on a new adventure with my close friend and mentor, David Goode. Together, we carved ourselves a living in the world of Race Simulation, setting up 2 venues in which drivers of all ages and abilities can race together in the safe confines of a virtual world! Alongside this, I also found the time to explore the hobby I got so involved in and found the opportunity to enjoy it from "the other side".
So... as promised, allow me to get to the point of all this and why I created this tribe. Over all my previous experiences which I (tried to...) briefly highlight above, there has been one thing in common which I hope to amplify here: It's not always about what you do or achieve in life, it's about who you do it with and the people you meet along the way. Therefore, I would like to share and enjoy the things I love the most with anyone and everyone who joins or comes across this tribe. Cars, culture, motorsport, and well... taking pictures of it all!