Last week we caught up with 27 year old Jack Brewer, club driver in the British MX-5 Championship. His motorsport journey has been a bit bumpy, but he’s more passionate than ever and taking a charge to the front of the grid. Jack provided us with the photos, taken by and credited to Jon Elsey Motorsport Photography and James Roberts Photography.
“I guess it all started with my dad, he was big into hill climb, used to race a big V8 westfield and absolutely loved it”, he says. Like the majority of those who are part of the current racing scene, it started with a family love of motorsport. “Racing has always been in my family, so when I was a kid I spent a fair amount of time at race circuits and we would watch the F1 every Sunday, which as my family have always been Ferrari supporters, was a pretty good era to be introduced to F1!” (early 2000’s).
Jack’s first hobby was actually swimming and he pursued this right through to adulthood, eventually leaving racing by the wayside. “My dad managed to get me in a kart when I was 7 or 8, just practicing really, nothing serious. We used to go to a local school where they had a tarmac basketball court which they had turned into a little circuit, there was always someone up there going around that little circuit!” he says.
Jack and his father did this for a while, building his confidence and was getting quicker. But it was sadly cut short after a big accident. “I must have been about 8 years old, I remember coming into a tight chicane and I must have clipped the rear tyre on the barrier, it threw me right over, obviously being that age and flipping over it was pretty terrifying” he says. In the process of Jack flipping over, the steering arm broke, so he couldn’t head back out and it seriously knocked his confidence. “I think not being able to go back out really hurt the chances of me carrying on, I didn’t want to go back out after that and that was the end of my karting career!” Jack successfully pursued swimming instead and didn’t race again until 2015.
In between Jack’s accident and starting again he still took a keen interest in motorsport. “I got a job at the Prestwold supercar driving experience venue when I was 14. So through work I met a lot of great drivers and I was fortunate to learn a lot from them, either in the passenger seat or from them guiding me on circuit as well”, he says. This rekindled Jack’s love for motorsport and he decided he would try racing again, when life allowed him to.
It was 2015 and Jack was in the right place in his life to start thinking about racing again. “That year Tom Roche was running a Blendini scholarship and a few of my friends from work encouraged me to do it” he says. The Blendini scholarship is a competition to win a subsidised season of racing with the Blendini team, the fastest and most consistent driver is the winner. “I went to Llandow and spent the weekend whizzing around the track in Mk1 and Mk3 Mazda MX-5’s. I managed to get to the final stages, only to lose out to Jack Harding, who turned out to be a pretty handy driver in the Mk3 MX-5 series. But from there I had the bug to get myself racing”, he says.
After the event, Jack decided to get in contact with his friend, James Tucker, who in 2016 was running a team of MX-5’s. Jack came to an agreement to hire one of Tuckers’ cars and started racing the UK’s circuits. “I entered the Mk1 Mazda MX-5 championship with the hired car, it was just a learning year really, just built my skills, the car was a bit tired but allowed me to get involved”.
“After 2016 the car was in desperate need of a re-shell, mostly my fault after taking a flying lesson in it at Oulton Park, but it was a fairly tired car when I got it so it needed doing anyway, I just sealed the deal really”, he says. Jack took on the skills of his father, they bought a donor car and began a full rebuild. “I can’t take much, if any credit for the modifications to the car! My dad’s a genius with these things luckily for me!”.
The donor car and Jack’s old race car were completely stripped. The parts were moved to the new donor shell and the car rebuilt from the ground up. “The good thing about the MX-5’s is that most of the components are actually standard, really cost effective compared to other championships”.
In terms of cost, Jack explained that it doesn’t break the bank in the context of other racing series. “I feel like the regulations do a pretty good job of controlling the costs to an extent, it’s not a championship that you can throw money at and jump straight to the front thankfully! A few people have tried doing that, but only really jumped to the midfield and got no further. The Avon tyres help massively with this, brand new tyres don’t give you a big performance advantage, scrubbed in tyres are better, to be honest we scrub the new ones down a bit”, he says.
Jack has been doing really well over the past few few seasons with a number of podiums. When asked if he has any pre-race rituals to keep him calm, he has a little friend that has brought him some luck. “I have my ways of preparing to try and keep myself relaxed. I do carry a lucky duck in the car with me though, which my dad had when he was racing, and since I’ve had the duck in my car I’ve scored a handful of podiums which I hadn’t done before, so I guess it works!” he says.
Jack has his sights set on winning a few races next year and has been team mates with the fastest driver in the series, Joe Wiggin. “Joe is the benchmark at the moment, I think we’ll be in with a shout of winning some races next season”.
Jack has some shoutouts to some people that have helped him on his way. “I have been very fortunate to be joined on my journey of the past 2 years by EPTA projects, and looks like we could be on for a 3rd season together! Along with Airbourne Graphics & Signs joining me for this year, and PerformanceOne clothing!” I’d also like to thank, James Tucker, he is the main man on race weekends, running the team, with help from Paul, Dean , James K, Anthony, John and Dec. They really are the reason both Joe and I have been getting so many podiums and in Joe’s case, wins over the past 2 years!” he says.
We wish Jack the best of luck for next season and hope to see him on the top step!
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