I visited the UK for the first time in 1995. It was in October and I had come over to check out the Formula Ford scene and spectate at the Formula Ford Festival. I was blown away by how busy and cold London was; how small the houses and roads were, the old pubs with their low ceilings – it seemed a long way from Queanbeyan!
The first UK race track I visited was Brands Hatch – it was midweek and there wasn’t much happening but I sat in Paddock Hill grandstand and froze! I knew quite a bit about the track as I had seen photos in racing magazines back home. I also knew it had a tough first corner, Paddock Hill Bend, as I used to read books about UK circuits; the best lines to take, surface changes and bumps, so I knew a little bit about the place. I certainly saw myself racing there at some point in the future but I didn’t realise it would be quite so soon.
As it turned out, my first European race would be the Formula Ford Festival (the one I was planning to spectate at!) a couple of weeks later! I finished third in the final and that earned me the works drive the following year with the Duckhams Van Diemen team.
Jacqui Larkinon November 20, 2013 Reply
Good On You – Mark Webber! – your audacity and resilience are to be Congratulated! – as is the qualities of Anne who has obviously backed you all the way! You both took on the world of F1 Motor Racing and won! Steely stuff! Yep Aussie Grit – very fitting! 😉
Christoson November 20, 2013 Reply
It’s nice to read your articles and learn how it all started but on the other hand it’s sad knowing that you write these lines prior to your F1 retirement…
Peteron October 23, 2014 Reply
I still remember seeing you at Sandown around the same time in a support race to the V8’s. You started mid pack and on a wet track you just went for it and drove such a great race I knew then that you would have an amazing career. Well done Mark. You deserve all the accolades.