A RACING driver from Oxfordshire has made a strong start to his latest title charge – despite luck being against him.

Mervyn Beckett, from Milton, has claimed race wins at Cadwell Park and Brands Hatch, but racing incidents have stopped him from claiming more.

The 33-year-old is competing in the Racing Hondas Championship and Time Attack events.

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In the first meeting at Cadwell Park, Beckett qualified and finished first in the opening race but a crash in the first corner of the second race saw him out.

“That was a bit frustrating and you’ve only got a small window to get it fixed,” said Beckett.

“I’m a car body and repair mechanic so the majority of work is done by myself, but the other drivers like to help each other and we all get our hands dirty.”

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At Brands Hatch, Beckett again qualified and finished first in the opening race but fortune was once more not on his side later in the day.

“I was about four seconds ahead of everyone else when the wheel studs snapped, which left me with a wheel hanging off and in the gravel,” he said.

“It was a complete freak accident and a bit like the luck Charles Leclerc has had in the Formula 1 this year.

“There’s a few bits I’ve been happy with so far though and I’ve got five or six weeks to make a few changes I want to make to the vehicle.

“I want to sort the stud issue as well – it happens, and motorsport can be very up and then down very quickly.”

Discussing how he got into racing, Beckett said: “When I was younger, I used to race Prod Rods at Standlake, and from that went to Classic Stock Hatch for four years.

“Then I went into the Civic Cup for a couple of years and the Type R Trophy for a year.

“I built the car up for the Civic Cup Production Class and won the championship in 2021 in that.

“I try different championships because I’m self-employed so looking for sponsorships and reasonably priced racing.

“Being self-employed and with kids, you want to look after yourself and keep on top of the costs.

“Racing for me is a bit of pride and showing off in some ways – it’s a passion.

“My dad used to race at Standlake too, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“My little ones get excited to watch, it’s a family-friendly community.

“Everyone helps in their own little way, I’m not just a one-man band.

“It all goes in different ways, my partner is very supportive and there’s a lot of people involved over the racing weekend.”