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brett riley

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#1 Maindrian Pace

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 09:09

After partnering Nigel Mansell in the Unipart F3 squad, whatever happened to Brett Riley?


#2 Catalina Park

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 09:56

I met Brett Riley when I was pit crewing in the 1983 Australian Grand Prix (Formula Pacific) and he was sharing a garage with us, he was driving a car called the Dart (what ever happened to it?) it was a brand new car with lots of problems that needed a couple of days to sort out unfortunately he did not have a few days! and was stuck with lots of little things going wrong.
He was a very nice bloke but I think he was getting sick of battling to get good drives.

He made some appearances at the Bathurst 1000 in BMWs in the early 90's and run well.

I would say that he was a lost talent that should have gone a lot further than he did.

#3 ghinzani

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 10:18

Much like Mike Thackwell. :(

#4 Mark Beckman

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 13:34

Originally posted by Catalina Park

I would say that he was a lost talent that should have gone a lot further than he did.

And we dont often hear that one do we !

Motor racing is a cruel sport, but its not always the sport.

I worked next door to an outstanding Super Sports (motorcycle 600cc class) rider who was good enough to run around 3rd position for both heats at Phillip Island in the support class to the Superbikes. This was against the best in the world in the class and whats more he was on a considered to be slower bike model. 1997 iirc. He also went to South Africa as part of the Australian Team racing the S.A. Team in a test series.

He was a nice Guy, very talented privateer working in a Motorcycle shop in spare parts to pay for his racing.

I happen to be friends with a Guy who was the State Sales Manager for no less than Bristol-Myer at the time and asked him if he could help out and his answer was yes, no money but plenty of product such as sports drinks, sports foods and other items that they marketed.

Not much, but remember this is a foot in the door of a multi national company here.

I asked him often for weeks to drop me in a copy of his Race Team resume he said he had and when he finally "remembered" to bring it in, it was 2 years old, besides the fact it was pretty ordinary .

I asked him if he would prefer to meet my Mate in person, his answer was "Well he should be chasing me".

5 years later he is still working the same spare parts counter as do many very talented racing "should have been's".

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 13:54

In addition to his Bathurst appearances, he was 1998 NZ Touring Car champion:


Scroll down to the results table at the bottom!

And he appears to still be racing tin-tops in New Zealand:


Or paste this complete line into a Google search:

site:www.nztouringcars.co.nz "Brett Riley"


#6 Mac Lark

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 01:49

It seemed that BR suffered from terminal shyness. A trait not shared with his former Unipart team mate.

He won a round of the Euro f3 championship at Donington. 1977 I think.

As I recall, Prost was in the race and perhaps Piquet as well.

I'm told David Price really rated him but, due to lack of funds, he was still doing the odd F3 in the early '80's.

He's now selling cars in Auckland and would be 48 or 49 I guess, but looks 10 years younger.

Regarding the Dart. They were nice looking bits of kit but not RT4 beaters. There were only 2 that I ever knew about - Brett raced one and Dave McMillan the other. No idea what became of them..

When Brett was teamed with Mansell at Unipart in 1979 he wore a metallic emerald helmet. I've often wondered if the colour was adopted from the famous '222' Mustang his father had raced earlier in the decade.

#7 Barry Lake

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 03:02

I have wondered for many years if Brett Riley's father was a motor racing enthusiast and named him Brett because he knew of the famous 1930s (mechanic?) named Riley Brett.

Does anyone know?

And yes, I agree that Brett Riley's career should have gone a lot further. I think he had the skill but not the personality to survive the off-track part of the job and the politics.

Lesson number one in the book of how to be a racing driver should be "How to stroke egoes".

Lesson two, "How to meet the right people, whose egoes you will need to stroke."

Lesson three, "How to tell people what they want to know."

Lesson four, "If you failed the first three lessons, how to be born into a wealthy family with all the right connections."

Lesson five, "If you failed lesson five, how to con and cheat your way to the top."

Lesson six, "How to pretend to sponsors, team chiefs, fans and the media that you really are a nice person with only their interests at heart.

And so on...

After a dozen or so such lessons, it can then be worthwhile to continue on to, "How to sit in a car, hold a steering wheel and push pedals."

There is another alternative, "Earn lots of money by working hard at two or three jobs at a time, buy your own car, learn to prepare your own car, and learn to cope with the fact you'll be a small-time racer for your entire career."

Or even, "Sell obsolete second hand racing car, toss all motor sport books and magazines, buy a set of golf clubs..."

Or, "Keep magazines and books, join The Nostalgia Forum."