Scotty here, this is James Bilslands Car. We met at Brands Hatch back in April. James has had an MG Midget since 1983 but tells me its “probably beyond restoration now”. James is a very strong supporter of our #PracticalSkills4Kids initiative, in fact I would like to refer to him as one of our Ambassadors, if you read on it explains why that might be.
Midget Racing has been in his family for some time, with his step father pounding the tracks back in 1973 and so James has paddock experience going back a fair way now . In the early days, being a student at University limited his track fun and so he did many local motor club events and auto tests. His first major success was winning the MGCC California Cup with the SE Centre Teaming 1991.
During the 90’s he helped build and run Dave Shannon’s Class A Midget and Dave went on to win the Class A Championship in 1995. That very car still pounds the tracks with great success but who drives it is not for me to say.
Mid 90’s James had a shell, the starting point for a race car he thought and so he and Dave started building it for the FISC European series in 1999. Dave raced it that year and won the Championship in 1999 and in 2000. James went on to race the car in the UK enough times to get his NAT A license and also raced it in the FISC in 2000. They really had the bug now and together set out to build Dave another car that winter !
James went on and continued racing in the UK and in Europe until 2003 when the car was written off in a crash at Dijon but not before he had won the UK Class B Championship 2002. He then took a few years off.
Typical of the ‘Spridget Virus’ it returned some years later and in 2007 he got his hands on another car and between 2008 and 2013 was flying round the UK tracks again. He won the Lyddon Series Championship in 2008 and came third in the Spridget Championship in 2009 and cared on until 2013 He has since had another short break but look out for him, he hopes to get back out there perhaps with a start at the FISC Reunion Race in July at Zandvoort.
So James is clearly infected with the Spridget Virus but outside of this he has a demanding roll as a CPS Lawyer. For this reason James often sees young people venturing into wrong doing. He has explained to me that he sees clearly the social value in giving practical skills training to young people and wants to help and support us. Hats off to him (and I do wear one) because in addition to all the above James takes time out to put something back into society himself. He is an Instructor in Army Cadet Force in Kent. He commands the training team in Kent who run Senior Cadet & Adult Training.
What a guy to have onboard. Thank you James.