R.S : Oh God, do I have to talk into that? (pointing at my dictaphone.) R.H: You're already talking into it Rob, now the more you say the better it comes across. First question. FULL NAME: Robert Speak AGE: 19 HOME TOWN : Tyldesley, near Manchester OCCUPATION : Full time stockcar driver. Well, I work for my dad at scrap yard. FAVOURITE FOOD : Hamburgers. It's gotta be hamburgers cos it's all we ever eat at the tracks! FAVOURITE DRINK : A free one! ROAD CAR : I've got an Escort RS2000 and a motorbike or two for knockin' around the place. OTHER HOBBIES/PASTIMES : None at all. I'm working on the stockcar if I'm not racing it. Other than that, I'm on me motorbike. And before you ask, I don't watch any tele. No time.
STOCKCAR CAREER. NUMBER OF YEARS RACING : I started off in Minis at twelve, and I were three of four years racing them. Then I went straight into twos. R.H : Can you tell us about some of the cars that you've had? R.S : The first F2 that we ever bought was off Ian Moss. That were a Higman chassis. That lasted 12 month! Then we bought one off Pete Hobson, which were another Higman chassis. R.H: You're getting through them at a fair rate of knotts. What are that cars that you're racing at present? R.S : Me Two litre is a copy of the Hobson car. It's just identical to the original. R.H : What's the engine. Is there anything special under the bonnet? R.S : Nahhh... you can put a cam in 'em an' that's all - just the camshaft an' play about with the carburettor. R.H : How would you define a Rob Speak car? Are they pretty much as standard so that they are easy to maintain? R.S : Yeah, that's exactly it. Don't like any fancy bits on 'em which are gonna prevent me from gettin' stuck in. R.H : How does this compare to your 1300cc then? R.S : Well, me 1300's a bit fancier. It's got a lot better engine in, obviously, and it's a bit fancier on the suspension. The Two litre doesn't even have anti-roll bars. They don't make that much difference to me, and it makes things easier to maintain. R.H : I notice that Rob Speak cars are built specifically for putting the bumper in hard....... R.S : That's right, proper stockcar racing. We put new bumpers on them whenever they need them. The two litre has had seven sets already this season! R.H : Bloody hell! FAVOURITE TRACK: R.S : That's a bit of an obvious question. Which one do you think? R.H : Cowdenbeath? R.S : That's it! R.H : So why's that? Clearly the amount of winning that you do? The track? The people? The atmosphere? R.S : I Like to be disliked!!!! (Roars of laughter from Rob and the 218 crew!) R.H : What do you reckon to the reception that the Scottish crowd give you? Like when you won the Final last night there? R.S : (Laughter) It wasn't very friendly! R.H : Aye, and you wave and smile at them just like Stuart Smith used to do at his anti-fans. R.S : I do - I love to get them all going! WORST TRACK R.S : I would say Newton Abbott. Me cars never seem suited to getting round there. (HUGHES ON TWOS note today.... THIS was to change ! biggrin.gif ) R.H : Presumably that means that you're hoping not to get drawn there for the Semi-Final? R.S : Don't make no difference, just'll have to get down there with me two litre an' give 'em hell! R.H : If you qualify for the World Final at Bristol, which car will you use? R.S : The two litre again - good an' strong. (HUGHES ON TWOS note today ... "oh yes? Really?!!) R.H : Does that mean that you will be declaring war on the opposition? R.S : If it's the only way to win then that's how you've got to do it! BIGGEST INFLUENCE R.S : John Lund in the F1's - perfect isn't he? Never makes a mistake. He's me favourite driver. MOST RESPECTED RIVAL R.S : Anybody on the last bend of a Final is fair game! BEST MEETING/EVENT R.S : The British Championship I won at Aycliffe in 1989. The car were really going well that day. WORST INCIDENT R.S : I've broke me kneecap in Minis. I've broke me wrist twice in F2 and also my ankle this year. Doesn't put me off though - no sense - no feeling! BIGGEST AMBITION R.S : Loads. I'd love to win Cowdenbeath Track Championship this year. I'm aiming to score more points than anyone ever has. Over 100 race wins would be nice! National Points is more important to me than the World Championship. That's just one race - though it would be nice to win it! I'm not too bothered though. If you get bothered about it, you can get upset about it if you don't win. (HUGHES ON TWOS comment today......BLIMEY.. reading this with hind-sight ... makes you roll your eyes don't it? rolleyes.gif ) R.H : Most folk are giving you shortest odds to win it anyway. All the best. R.S : Cheers.