'Pistol' Pete Wilkinson # 100, first got in touch with me about 3 years ago, with the intention of starting racing dirt track.
I have a bunch of conversations with people that say the wanna try racing, but Pete has a real passion for all things dirt track and late last year put his money where his mouth was and bought a 'Wayne Rainey-Marlboro' Rotax 600 framer. The bike had been shipped to England from Spain, with a rumoured Kenny Roberts connection, this is one of the tastiest race bikes in the UK.
Pete may be a 'Rookie on a Rotax' but he is most certainly use to haulin' bananas and turning left on an oval track. He's spent the best part of 10 years racing in the UK Pickup Truck Racing Series.
This Series is for modified versions of pickup trucks . They have a tubular spaceframe chassis, are powered by a 2 litre multi-valve twin-cam engine putting out 230 bhp and weigh 900kg. Race pickup trucks are mechanically similar to coupé-shaped stock cars, with the main difference being the more boxy shape of the cab, which does not give as good aerodynamics as stock cars. The race trucks are designed to place an emphasis on driver ability.
Pickup Truck Racing is unique in the world of 'big' oval racing, in that unlike NASCAR, the trucks have rain tyres, wipers and rear safety lights, and will race on the ovals even if it's pissing down!
In June 2007, Pete became the first Pickup Truck Racing driver to pass the 20,000 point mark on the all-time career points table.
2008 Pickup Truck Racing Championship - 7th
2007 Pickup Truck Racing Championship – 4th
2006 Pickup Truck Racing Championship - 8th
2005 Pickup Truck Racing Championship - 7th
2004 Pickup Truck Racing Championship - 9th - 1 race win
2003 Pickup Truck Racing Championship – 8th
2002 Pickup Truck Racing Championship – 3rd - 1 race win, 5 fastest laps
2001 Pickup Truck Racing Championship – 3rd - 2 race wins, 1 fastest lap
2000 Pickup Truck Racing Championship – 6th
1999 Pickup Trucks Rookie of the Year – 8th overall
Back to the dirt tracking, Pete took possession of the bike just a couple of days before the Chris Carr school and the last race of the 2009 season. He came up to the Captains manor, to give the bike a once over.
It didn't take much to talk him into attending the school on the Friday and then lining up to race on the Sunday! He had a great first day racing, including a heavy crash when he bumped bars with another racer down the straight, caught his bar-end on the fence and went flying into a post at the pit gate. Unperturbed, Pete got up and jumped straight back on!
I'm looking forward to watching Petes riding skills grow as the season progresses.