Motorsport legend set for return

Ian Shelley

Ian Shelley

First published in Sport

Motorsport legend set for return A Southampton motorsport legend will be driving through the pain barrier when he returns to the British Rallycross Championships this weekend.

Ian Shelley has suffered from arthritis for many years and, after having an operation to install prosthetic knees to help stop the pain, the 54-year-old feels ready to return to his beloved rallycross after a lengthy absence.

Despite a continuing battle with pain in his shoulders and toes – with an operation planned to put in prosthetic toes – the father of three, who is registered disabled, is raring to go as he joins in the competition on Monday.

“I’m really excited to get back into it,” the former plumber said.

“The car really goes and once the adrenaline kicks in I won’t feel the pain in my shoulders or anywhere else.

“I am delighted to be able to get back into the British Rallycross Championship.” He’ll take to the track in his 240BHP, 600kg Mini that has been fitted with a 2-litre 16-valve Vauxhall Red Top engine, has completely forged internals and runs on carburettors.

Shelley’s car is worth around £14,000 and he will be throwing it round the asphalt at Lydden Hill circuit, near Canterbury in Kent.

There he’ll be up against numerous other legendary old school cars, including a Porsche 911, MG Metro 6R4, VW Beetle and other Minis.

He joins the event at stage five after spending much of this year competing in the British Trials and Rally Drivers Association Super Modified Championship, but decided to make a big come back to rallycross.

Shelley, who used to race alongside wife Gay Shelley who was his navigator, will race in the remaining two rounds of the Retro Challenge Series.

But that is just the start as he announced his intention to compete next year as well.

Team principal of the Retro Challenge Series, Shirley Gibson, said “I am so pleased that Ian will be joining us.

“The Retro Rallycross Challenge is the perfect place for someone with Ian’s background and experience.

“Ian spoke to me and is very excited about the prospect of joining us, I know that he and wife Gay will fit in perfectly and we look forward to welcoming them to our family.”

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