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Roger Mac


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#1 Paul Newby

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Posted 18 January 2003 - 14:23

I was thumbing through my old Classic & Sports Car mags looking for that Connew story (hi Barry :clap: ) when I came across an article written by the late Andrew Whyte about a special Jaguar E Type built up by Dick Protheroe "256 DJU"

It was second owner of this vehicle, an 18 y.o called Roger Mac who really made an immediate impression with the E Type and led him to win the Grovewood Award and onto a career in single seaters. According to the article he suffered a couple of big accidents, and after crashing his Brabham in practice for the '65 Reims F2 race he retired from racing at the age of 20 :(

He did return to race "256 DJU" then owned by John Lewis in historic races in 1981 (apparently Nigel Mansell drove it in 1980 ...) as covered in the article and subsequent track test.

What I'm curious to know is "how good was he?" Was he one of Britian's bright hopes of the early 60's. Did he have the talent to go all the way? What were the circumstances surrounding his big accidents - did he sustain any serious injuries or was his confidence eroded, leading to his premature retirement?

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#2 Paul Newby

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 13:23

OK. I've waited long enough! Looks like this one has gone through to the keeper :lol:

Now that the cricket has turned into a non event maybe you can help me with this :)

Now, is this a case of journalistic exaggeration, where said author has embellished the accomplishments of subject driver to spice up a story?

I believe that Andrew Whyte was a respected Jaguar historian whose views are valued. Plus Roger Mac won the top Grovewood Award (did not Tim Schenken win this in '68?) in 1964 so the young lad must've had some potential.

So I ask the question again of our English friends - What can you tell us about the career of Roger Mac?

How good was he? Did he have the potential to be a great driver?

Come on TNFrs, don't let me down :wave:

#3 Gary C

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Posted 23 January 2003 - 15:21

I certainly remember Roger Mac historic racing a Jag in about 1985 when James Hunt did a piece on the Historic Sports Car Club at Brands Hatch for BBC Grandstand. (OT;it was that piece that got me started on historic racing in general!). Apart from that, 'I know nothing'.

#4 Paul Parker

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 08:42

Without checking back into the dim and distant I can remember the following about Roger Mac. He actually bought and raced the ex-Tommy Atkins lightweight E type 86 PJ in 1964 that was driven by Roy Salvadori in 1963. This car has long resided with Penny Graham and has appeared at the Goodwood Revival Meeting. Mac also raced a Brabham in FJ or F3 but his career petered out sometime in the mid-60s I think. As I read the threads Paul Newby has answered the question, Reims 1965.

#5 Lifeline

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 15:56

Further to your post on Roger Mac I can add a little bit more.

When I was a lot younger my grand parents moved to the Isle of Man. The first time we visisted we were taken to see some friends of thiers. the name of the family was Mac. I can remember being taken in to a room by Jack Mac (Rogers father) that was full of family memrobilia. one corner of the room had racing trophies, overalls and a huge scrap book. it was of course all about the son Roger Mac. I was told about his career and then the nasty accident that ended it. The accident must have made the national papers in quite a big way as there were many press cuttings. However Roger Mac was not the most succesfull sportsman of his family. His brother Michael was one of the worlds leading equestrian riders for many years.

Not much info i know but it is another piece to the jigsaw.

#6 ry6

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 18:49

Purely from memory I seem to recall Roger piloting an AC Cobra at one time and driving it with considerable verve.

How pure that memory is is another story?

#7 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 19:07

Originally posted by ry6
Purely from memory I seem to recall Roger piloting an AC Cobra at one time and driving it with considerable verve.

How pure that memory is is another story?


There's nothing wrong with your memory - I've recently seen a photo of him driving the Cobra but I can't remember where.

If my memory is correct it was the Chequered Flag Cobra he was driving.

#8 Pete Stowe

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Posted 27 January 2003 - 21:25

Roger Mac was mentioned in Mike Kettlewell’s review of the 1963 club racing season in Autosport among those who had established themselves that year, having won 12 races.

"Roger Mac was only in his first year of motoring sport, and when the 19-year-old Midlander acquired the ex-Dick Protheroe Jaguar E-type he really went to town and showed one or two club racing stars a thing or two. Roger sometimes used a quick Sebring Sprite and also had a go in a Sunbeam Rapier. The young driver gained one of the two BRDC Chris Bristow Memorial Trophies for one of the most promising drivers of the year. For the coming season Roger will be equipped with a Formula 2 Brabham"

Other drivers rated by Kettlewell that year were Jack Pearce, John Fitzpatrick, Roy James (whose season was cut short ;) ) and a new young Scots driver named Jackie Stewart.

#9 petefenelon

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 11:53

Originally posted by Pete Stowe

Other drivers rated by Kettlewell that year were Jack Pearce, John Fitzpatrick, Roy James (whose season was cut short ;) ) and a new young Scots driver named Jackie Stewart.


I saw Roy James at Aintree in his comeback in the mid-70s. Got a clip round the ear'ole from my dad when I said that I hoped Roy didn't break down anywhere near the Railway Straight...


pete

#10 Paul Parker

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 17:17

Ry6's response about Roger Mac driving a Cobra jogged the old grey cells all the way back to Goodwood Easter 1965 when it actually snowed during the saloon car race that included Mike Salmon driving a dark blue Ford Mustang.

It was bitterly cold and Roger Mac was driving the Chequered Flag AC Cobra, colour white/black reg. no. I think GPH 5C or 4C or similar. He had quite a dice with Peter Lumsden in the Samir Klat designed 'low drag' E type before Lumsden spun off after setting fastest lap (1m 28.2) leaving Roger to win in the Cobra that still appears occasionally today I believe albeit in the red/white stripes of the John Willment colours.

#11 UAtkins

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 19:03

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic


There's nothing wrong with your memory - I've recently seen a photo of him driving the Cobra but I can't remember where.

If my memory is correct it was the Chequered Flag Cobra he was driving.


Actually the Cobra is GPG 4C formerly owned by my Dad, C.T. "Tommy" Atkins and now owned and campaigned at historic meetings by Graham Bryant (sp), sorry can't remember the exact name and don't have it here at work. I've seen it at Goodwood the last two years. Chassis # is HEM 6 (High Efficiency Motors), I still chuckle at the "argument" I had with the curator at the Carroll Shelby exhibition in Colorado who assured me that there were no cobra chassis numbers like that ever made....until I showed him the proof in the book! It's now a very bright red with gold stripes and has a top on it; nothing like the original car I remember, which was Dad's light green colors, with no top at all.

I didn't know that Roger Mac also bought the E-type..that's good information, if anyone knows how to contact Roger I'd appreciate an email or PM. I talked to Penny Graham at the 2001 Revival when the car was featured with the other surviving lightweight E-types and introduced her to Harry Pearce who told her all sorts of stories about the car when Roy was racing it.

Thanks for the information....another piece to the puzzle.

Ursula

#12 UAtkins

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 19:04

To qualify the post I just made...you were also correct that it was owned by Chequered Flag. Sorry.

Ursula

#13 Pete Stowe

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 20:12

Originally posted by Paul Parker
......Goodwood Easter 1965 when it actually snowed during the saloon car race ....... It was bitterly cold ......

Ah, I remember that meeting now :) Digging out the old program I see that Roger was also entered (as 5th reserve) in a Chequered Flag Brabham in the F3 race, but was a non-starter.