Crunch time for star

DARREN WARWICK is set for a surprise return to hillclimbing at Saturday’s ‘National’ day.

A winning drive: Darren Warwick won the first round of the National championship on his home hill in 2018. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 25239029)
A winning drive: Darren Warwick won the first round of the National championship on his home hill in 2018. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 25239029)

But, he confirms, it may well be his last appearance. Unless he can secure ongoing sponsorship, his days as a top racer will be over.

And to emphasise his desperation, his 2 litre Dallara F3/99 will feature new bright green livery with the words ‘Sponsors needed for the 2020 FIA European Hillclimb Championship’.

Warwick, who has three local National Hillclimb triumphs and a double-figure number of podiums on his impressive career CV, made such a late decision to race this weekend that he went cap in hand to the organising Guernsey Motorcycle and Car Club to ask to be entered even though the entries deadline had closed.

Not having sat in the car he has raced so impressively and occasionally gloriously for eight years, Warwick is not expecting great results this weekend, but is desperate to prolong his career in the car which has served him so well but, of course, cost him so much of his own money.

‘I haven’t sat in the car since racing in Italy last October,’ he said, having made the belated decision to race.

‘I tried to get FIA Hillclimb Championship sponsorship this year but didn’t get the financial support I needed.’

His situation has not been helped by the natural ending of a long-lasting sponsorship deal with Moore Stephens.

Three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx is fighting his corner too and said this of Warwick’s bid to race the European series.

‘I’ve known Darren for 25 years and I’ve always been super impressed with his natural talent, speed and absolute commitment.’

He added: ‘I believe that given the right opportunity he can compete on the international stage within the FIA European Hillclimb Championship with a lot of success. I, for one, would love to see this happen. I have my fingers crossed that he has the right support to make this possible.’

  • More in Tuesday's Guernsey Press.

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