Tony Sugden...a life on the race tracks - Official Website

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Guest Drives

IMG_0044 CapriNewman2

Mike Newman ran one of the very last Capris in the British Touring Car Championship in 1984. An entry in the long distance Tourist Trophy race required a co-driver and Tony Sugden obliged.  The Capri was one of the older cars facing the TWR Jaguar pair ,a dozen BMW 635s ,Rover Vitesse ,Volvo turbos etc but was still only 3 seconds or so off pole so close were the times of the huge 44 car entry. Newman handed over to Sugden ,the 5th car to changed drivers and took on fuel. The weather deteriotated causing several cars to go off by Sugden as ever was carefull and brought the Capri home in 15th. Photo taken at a BTCC round at Oulton Park.

DATE : SEPTEMBER 11th 1983

VENUE : SILVERSTONE

RACE : RAC TOURIST TROPHY

( EUROPEAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND )

CAR : FORD CAPRI Mk.3

ENTRANT : BURLINGTON WALLCOVERINGS ( DARWEN ) LTD

DRIVERS : MIKE NEWMAN

                  TONY SUGDEN

CLASS : A CARS OVER 2500cc

QUALIFIED : 22nd OVERALL OUT OF 44

21st IN CLASS OUT OF 25.

CAR NUMBER : 35

RACE RESULT : FINISHED 15th OVERALL ,14th IN CLASS.

DATE : AUGUST 16th 1981

VENUE : DONINGTON PARK

RACE : DONINGTON 50,000 RACE

( CLASS A+B TRICENTROL Group 1 BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 8 )

CAR : FORD CAPRI Mk.3

ENTRANT : TRACK MARSHALL LTD

DRIVER :  TONY SUGDEN

CLASS : A CARS OVER 2500cc

QUALIFIED : 14th ( 1m 24.73 )

CAR NUMBER : 15

RACE RESULT : FINISHED 11th OVERALL ,9th IN CLASS.

The August Bank Holioday weekend at Donington was a packed programe with Tony as usual driving in the GT Championship round

( late saturday afternoon ). That race wasnt a happy one as overheating problems in the Esprit meant he was dead last after loosing 9 laps !

The chance had arisen in advance to take the seat in one of the many Group 1 Ford Capris in the the Brit Saloon round to be run on the sunday. Replacing Chuck Nicholson's place .Today did 12 full practice laps on the friday and another 12 full laps in saturday practice ( known as qualifying in modern terms ).

Win Percy took pole in the Mazda RX7 ( 2300 cc class ) and would win. Tony in one of 11 Capris against 4 Rovers wasnt the only man with history of racing more modified saloons as Nick Whiting ,Graham Goode ,Vince Woodman ,Brian Muir and Jeff Allam were in the field.

Tony had an uneventful 20 laps coming home in 11th ,9th in class.

The headline race was however the Formula 2 race which featured future stars such as Stefan Johansson,Thierry Boutsen ,Johnny Cecotto and Christian Danner. The smaller class race for Brit Saloons saw the return of Stirling Moss ( along with Martin Brundle ) in Audis !

Tony didnt really enjoy the experience ,perhaps due to the fact his Group 1 Capri for the weekend was missing the turbo power of his GT Esprit which in comparison qualified for its race in 1m 17.19 .itself some 6 seconds off Mick Hill's pole time.

In 1976 a National scheme for UK Club competitors sponsored by ShellSport awarded Gold Star stickers to each outright and class winners across the spectrum of racing genres. The competitors with the 10 highest number of stickers ( class wins ) then met for a one make 10-lap race around Brands Hatch on December 27th as part of the circuit's traditional season finale programme. Tony`s 15 wins meant he was the joint 7th highest scoring club driver. The list of drivers taking part ( with stickers ) was as follows : Nick Whiting ( 27 ) ,John Brindley ( 26 ) ,Chris Alford ( 23 ) ,Peter Baldwin ,Jim Farrada + Jim Walsh ( 17 each ), Tony ,Jim Alderton + John Cooper ( 15 each ) ,David Enderby ,Ian Hall + John Homewood ( 13 each ).

Nick Whiting won yet again ,from John Brindley and John Cooper . Tony ,perhaps suprisingly only made 8th , though still only 18 seconds down at the flag as is the nature of close one-make racing.  

DATE : DECEMBER 27th 1977

VENUE : BRANDS HATCH

RACE : SHELLSPORT GOLD STAR ESCORT RACE

CAR : FORD ESCORT Mk.2

ENTRANT : -

DRIVERS : TONY SUGDEN

CLASS : One-Make

QUALIFIED : not known

CAR NUMBER : not known

RACE RESULT : not known

Tony returned for the Gold Star race a year later having gained 13 Stars. No details available of the outcome at this time.

Tony didnt do many guest drives or one-offs but here are the few he did.

BrandsFredScatley

DATE : DECEMBER 27th 1976

VENUE : BRANDS HATCH

RACE : SHELLSPORT GOLD STAR ESCORT RACE

CAR : FORD ESCORT Mk.2

ENTRANT : -

DRIVERS : TONY SUGDEN

CLASS : One-Make

QUALIFIED : not known

CAR NUMBER : 9

RACE RESULT : FINISHED 8th OVERALL ,8th IN CLASS.

DATE : OCTOBER 3rd 1981

VENUE : AINTREE

RACE : BRSCC-N SPECIAL SALOON CHAMPIONSHIP RACE

CAR : TONY DICKINSON`S SKODA

ENTRANT :  

DRIVER :  TONY SUGDEN

CLASS : up to 2500cc

QUALIFIED :

CAR NUMBER : 5?

RACE RESULT : FINISHED 5th OVERALL ,3rd IN CLASS.

Special saloon drivers borrowing other drivers cars was not uncommon but Tony rarely needed to do so during his career. One such race was at Aintree when Tony was contesting the BRSCC Northern Special Saloon series ( as it was described ). MN reported '...and Tony Sugden ( the latter grateful to Tony Dickinson for the loan of a Skoda )' on his way to 5th . What the circumstances of needing to borrow a different Skoda hasnt be clarified but its likely the existing Skoda had a sale agreed on it as this was Tony`s last race in any Skoda until 1988.