Lost Friends

Tony Clinkard 1955-2002

The Sports Racing and GT Challenge lost a central figure in the series on September 1st 2002 with the tragic death of Tony Clinkard at Cadwell Park

Immersed in cars, Tony Clinkard helped his father Commander ‘Clink’ Clinkard build an Alvis Special before he even had a driving licence. It became his first racing car.

He first competed with the VSCC in 1973. Clinkard raced a Triumph TR3A, an Austin-Healey 3000 and a Ginetta G4 in Modsports, and later contested the 750MC’s Roadsports series. He also enjoyed driving the ex-Nigel Morrison Chevron-BMW B8 in the early 1980’s.

But Tony will be best remembered as an intrepid handler of vehicles with considerably more power than grip. His sideways style in the Crossle 7S preparing him for the Cobra replica which entertained him for a decade. He drove it quickly and spectacularly and even landed a speeding fine for a ‘mercy dash’ to Demon Tweeks after the car’s oil cooler burst at Oulton Park.

After a cracking race at Snetterton just three weeks before where Tony ultimately won class A. For him to be taken away seems so unreal. We offer our most sincere condolences to Tony’s wife Maria, children Gabriella and Alexander and the rest of the family.

Stefan Gilboy 1964-2002

Stefan Gilboy was tragically killed in the Sports Racing and GT Challenge race at Cadwell Park on Sunday September 1st.

Stefan began racing with the Challenge in 1998 with a Cobra replica. Over the last four years he had developed the car to bring it to the front of the field. His racing career had been punctuated by a series of engine problems that would have put lesser racers off the sport. Stefan was different to that though. He approached life with a broad grin and treated each problem as an opportunity for more fun.

Typical of Stefan’s enthusiasm and cheerfulness in the face of a mishap was demonstrated at the Birkett Relay in 2001. After bringing his car off the trailer after yet another extensive engine rebuild, a rocker broke as he started the engine and his race was over before scrutineering. Stefan smiled resolutely and quietly put his car back on the trailer but instead of returning home stepped in as team manager of the Grunties leaping from pit wall to garage, and getting the chaotic team organised without a crossed word, just his trademark good humour.

The love of a lark masked the skill and determination of a very capable driver. Three weeks before Stefan’s last race, he excelled at his second outing of the season at Snetterton, achieving third on the grid and a strong race – only to have to retire with yet another mechanical problem – an exhaust pipe fallen off. As always with Stefan, this mishap was met with laughter at the whole episode.

Fellow Sports Racing and GT Challenge drivers and supporters were completely devastated by the tragedy of September 1st 2002 and will all treasure their own memories of Stefan as a man who just loved to have fun. From the paddock to the racetrack, his joviality and positive energy will be so sorely missed.