SPORT FROM THE PAST: Motor racing Malc chalks up wins and trophies - but says ‘I’m just the driver’

Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire:, on Twitter @standardduncan
Local sport from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire:, on Twitter @standardduncan

1967: Modest Malcolm Leggate was credited as driving one of the fastest eight racing minis in the country.

The 23-year-old, from Wrangle, had chalked up six class wins, three seconds and two third places... not bad considering his vehicle was stripped down and off the track for three of the eight months of the racing season.

He had 60 career trophies to his name (from his motor racing and go kart racing days).

But he dismissed his role, saying: “I’m just the driver.”

Admittedly, his role had plenty of perks, considering he had raced on most of the country’s top tracks - including Mallory Park, Croft, Snetterton, Cadwell Park and Silverstone.

But he was quick to point out his success was a team effort.

Mechanics Brian Hutson and Vic Clarke, and Bob Pitcher (who operated boards and watches) shared the credit.

Because, although Malcolm was the man behind the wheel, the others made sure he had the best possible vehicle on the track.

That vehicle was a 999cc Austin Mini Cooper S, with many modifications.

Malcolm was competing against many works teams but - back in an article in 1967 - he stated his most satisfying race was the televised Redex Round event at Mallory Park, where he claimed third.

Despite stating he never suffered nerves before a race, Malcolm did admit that driving his saloon on normal roads made him far more tense.

But the most eyecatching comment made by the driver that year came when he was asked about women drivers he had competed against.

He said one or two are ‘quite good’.

But he added: “On the whole, women drivers are not good enough.”

It’s probably fair to say that Malcolm’s opinion has changed in the following 45 years, especially after witnessing the way his daughter Fiona handled herself when competing in the British Touring Car Championships.