Sean Gill

Sean Gill

A technical perfectionist, unique in winning the Club’s three main titles

Auspicious would not describe the mid-1980s start of Sean Gill’s motor sport career; with navigator Sean Harris in a Peugeot 504, Gill drew number 1 for a Tiger Malt Rally, their departure from the Banks yard pictured in the following day’s newspaper, captioned “The ladies crew leaves the start.” So much for impressing the girls, then, for that was one incentive that attracted youngsters of the day to motor sport.

Things looked up quickly, though. Gill was best-placed novice in the 1985 June Rally, then enjoyed a string of good results as a navigator for Raymond Gill (including second on the 1988 Tiger Malt Rally) and Andrew Mallalieu; this latter partnership won the June Rally four times, an unrivalled achievement, and were Rally Champions in 1989-90.

Soon, Gill proved himself as a driver, too; by the time Bushy Park re-opened in 1992, his Starlet was already a regular class-winner in speed events and the Banks Super Sprint Series, while his racing successes at the track were crowned with the saloon car lap record (43.96s) when it closed in 1994. Meanwhile, his class win (with co-driver Stewart Stoute) on the 1990 Texaco International All-Stage Rally was the first of nine on the Club’s premier event . . . and he’s won it outright, too, as co-driver for Ireland’s Kenny McKinstry’s second victory in 1996.

That makes Gill the only competitor to have claimed the ‘Grand Slam’ of the Club’s three main titles, the June Rally, Texaco All-Stage and Driver’s Championship; his record of four overall and eight class titles in the Championship is an emphatic one, tribute to his precise car control and professional approach to competition.

In recent years, his association with Simpson Motors and co-driver Michael ‘Zippy’ Cummins, first in an Opel Corsa then Suzuki Ignis JWRC (pictured below) and Swift, has made him the two-wheel-drive top dog in the region; already comfortable with competing abroad – he enjoyed racing successes in the early 1990s – he is a regular traveller, particularly to Rally Jamaica, where three consecutive class and two-wheel-drive titles have earned him near-cult status.

Away from Club events, Gill clocked a hat-trick of Vaucluse Raceway RallySprint Cup crowns in 2003-05, was King of the Carnival in 2005, and briefly returned to Bushy Park the same year, where Group pole position was followed by second and third places in the two races run.

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