HE is old enough to be the father to the rest of the field but Patrick Mortimer has proved he is no old timer making up the numbers in the Mini Cooper Challenge series.
The 50-year-old from Acton goes into the final round of the club class series in his debut season at Snetterton on Saturday knowing, whatever happens, he will finish at least third.
And what started off as finding something to occupy his time has quickly given him success beyond anything he had imagined, with Motors TV christening him ‘The Rainmeister’ due to his outstanding performances in the wet.
“It is the first year I have gone into competitive motorsport and all I hoped to achieve this year was to put in a reasonable performance and not disgrace myself and perhaps get a podium,” said the Sudbury-based business owner who is also the chairman of the East Coast Mini Club.
“I’ve actually had quite a few podiums and won at Anglesey (last month).
“I am pushing these young professional racing drivers and giving them a run for their money.
“I am doing a lot better than I ever dreamed of.”
Ant Whorton-Eales currently leads the series with Dean Raymond in second and then Mortimer, who can only steal second place by capitilising on a series of Raymond mistakes over the three races.
In Anglesey, North Wales, the Suffolk driver, who first got into minis after buying his wife one for an anniversary present, had his best showing of the season, finishing third, second and first - his only win to date.
Last month at Snetterton, on the new 300 circuit, Mortimer suffered an horrific crash in a test mini which saw him roll five times but come out with no more than bruising.
He said: “I have been on the track since and got my confidence back on those corners.
“I am looking forward to the weekend. It is my local track and we have a lot of family and friends coming down from the East Coast Mini Club.”
l Tickets for the finale of the Mini Cooper Challenge Series, which sees qualifying and one race on Saturday with the final two on Sunday, are still available and TV coverage on Sky Sports will go out on channel 143 on Friday, October 28 at 6.30pm and be repeated on the Saturday and following Monday.