Those of you who know me from Twitter will no doubt already be familiar with Ali Rushforth’s name. I can’t say enough about this guy, a genuinely decent family man with an amazingly supportive wife, great sense of humour who was awarded Most Entertaining Driver in 2012, so it can’t just be me who finds him funny & pretty good at driving a race car fast too. Get following Ali on Twitter and go and say Hi, he is very interactive with fans and always up for a joke. I also have it on good authority he cooks a mean BBQ in his hospitality area trackside on a race weekend!! He karted with Anthony Davidson and the late Dan Wheldon and Jenson Button, who’s Dad built both Jenson’s and Ali’s kart engines so i thought it was about time we all got to know more about what makes him tick before the various Tin Tops seasons get underway……..
Q )If you could drive any car on any circuit, what would it be?
A) Aston Martin GTE at Spa… That car is a work of art & Spa is an awesome circuit with some world famous corners that require big balls as well as skill.
Q) What got you racing?
A) My dad used to rally & hill climb so I was in rally stages & race paddocks as soon as I was born.
A garage my uncle, who’s not really an uncle owned had a make-shift motoX track at the back for his son, so my parents got me a bike when I was 5 or 6. But I think they decided bikes were dangerous as they soon found out about karting & we went that direction instead.
Q) Who is faster JB or you?
A) In a triathlon, JB… In a car, me of course 😉
Q) What was it like racing against Dan Wheldon?
A) Danny (he was Danny when we were all 10 years old & always will be for me) was great, even as kids he was the most professional out of everyone (including JB, Davidson etc).
On track he was hard, but in the paddock playing football or with radio controlled cars he just liked to laugh.
Q) For someone who has never seen MGCC before,what/who should I be looking out for at brands hatch?
A) MGCC are unlike any other club in the country as they organise car events as well as race meetings. At an MGCC race weekend expect to see anything & everything with an MG badge, on track & in static displays.
Te club is run by members for members so everyone is an enthusiast of the famous marque… It’s like a big family atmosphere & everyone is approachable… You’d love it 🙂
Q) Do you still see yourself racing in 5-10 yrs time & where would you like to be by then?
A) Really hope so. In an ideal world where there was lots of money in my bank I’d love to have a go at BTCC or even British GT’s which has really caught my attention recently.
Q) Could you ever imagine doing anything outside of motorsport & what would that be?
A) I’ve grown up around Motorsport my entire life & I’ve now subjected my wife & kids to this so I really don’t think I’d be any good at anything else… I was an average footballer, half decent sprinter when I was younger, but my golf swing is rubbish.
Q) You have a wealth of motorsport experience, working, driving, running your own team, if you could pick 1 year out of all of that as a favourite, what year and what were you doing?
A) That’s tough… Maybe 2007,
It was my 1st year in MG Trophy having raced minis previously & at the start of the year, the car wasn’t mine. I didn’t touch the car in any way & we won the first 2 rounds. I missed Cadwell Park, yet we arrived at the final round still able to win the championship. I had engine failure in race 1 & a rival team offered to bring parts to repair it for race 2, however they forgot 1 part. I didn’t take part in race 2 & their driver won the championship so who knows of it was accidentally or on purpose the part was forgotten.
Q) I think most people now appreciate how hard it is for independent drivers,but what are the best things about being independent as opposed to a works driver?
A) I’m not sure really, I suppose you don’t have the pressure from the manufacturer to perform & act a certain way on social media, but that said I don’t swear on social media anyway as you never know who’s reading.
Q) What is the toughest part of being an independent driver?
A) Finding the money to go racing. True works drivers are employed by the manufacturer/team.
Q) If money was no object this season and all seats in all motorsport were available to you, what would you choose to drive?
A) BTCC with WSR or the 888 MG, or British GT’s in an Aston Martin.
Q) What other sports do you enjoy watching in your leisure time?
A) I’m big into athletics so get excited when the Olympics, Commonwealth or World championships are on. I also enjoy Speedway & go to watch at Swindon during the summer.
Q) You have just been given a one off race to arrange, with a bottomless bank account,any cars you want for any driver from any era, you are also competing, you can have 5 others,name them and the cars you want them in?
A) Birmingham Superprix with some 1990’s super tourer BTCC cars.
Driver wise I’d chose Steve Soper, Andy Rouse, Ayrton Senna, James Hunt & Jason Plato.
Q) Your son has not long been karting,what are your aspirations for him within motorsport?
A) More than anything I want him to have fun. There’s no agenda with it & certainly no pressure from me.
He’s started very late compared to a lot of kids in karting so for us, this is just some dad & lad time.
The fact he’s enjoying it as much as he is is very exciting to me.
Q) I am your fairy godmother for one wish to help make this year your best,what wish shall I grant?
A) Money to ensure I can do every round without worrying & also some rest days… I’ve not done any testing since 2010 so sometimes can be on a slight back foot when we arrive at race weekends.
For more information on Ali or to get involved and become a part of #TeamAli please visit www.AlastairRushforth.co.uk
Its not too late to see your business’ name on the car this year.
The MG Trophy Championship is televised on Motors TV with a viewership of over 1 million on top of those in attendance.
© Sandra & Ben Hebbourn 2015