By Dave Tooley
Keith Champion was someone I got to know more through the racing side of scootering than the social side.
Before he bought the 5 port Wildcat SX 150cc from Rafferty Newman’s I loaned him a home built racing machine to ride. He entered and raced it at several events in 1969, and this is what gave him the impetus to buy the Works machine. Much later in the season (October, I think) he rode up to Mallory Park on the Wildcat with me on pillion. The plan was to race it and then ride it back home afterwards, a round trip of more than 250 miles. Rather an optimistic journey, you may think.
You’d be quite right to think it.
We only got as far as Leicester before the ruddy crank shaft snapped on the machine, and we waited under a bus stop shelter in a snow storm of all things for what seemed an age before we finally hitched a ride to the Mallory Park circuit. We then had to try and blag somewhere to sleep for the night. Thank God someone took pity on us and gave up some space in their van. I really don’t know what we were thinking about when we initially planned this trip; it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
It certainly taught me the basic rule of engineering that has stood me in good stead all my life.
Otherwise known as the 6 P’s.
Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.