The Wright Stuff John Wright 128
Mum and dad, Sue and Denis Wright, one time notable drivers
Bomber and Saloon Stox circles, encouraged young John to follow the now
classic path from the Mini-Stox nursery to the big F1's. He is proud to
have been a founder member of the Keith Barber inspired mini formula,
seeing it as an ideal training for aspiring world champs! During his six
years with the little 'uns, John gained valuable experience, numerous
places and 13 creditable wins. Following his 16th birthday, John, together
with Mum and Dad, considered running Fll's. however the family felt the
economics in running them, as against F1's to be marginal and so they
plumped for the big league. Early in '81 the Wright team ventured into
the big time. Success didn't come to them in that first race on Long Eaton's
shale, as during the initial lap John realised the gear level had parted
company with the rest of the ex -Brian Tuplin car. Pictures 1 & 2).
However stock car drivers are nothing if not persistent and he stuck with
the machine until 1983 recording two wins, his first being in June '83
when he took the chequered flag in the Notts and Derby Championship Race
at Long Eaton — his home track, "a proud moment' recalls John.
In the autumn of that year, the decision was made that the somewhat erratic
Buick 425 power pack was not the stuff of greatness and when, on Andy
Kennedy's retirement, the 313 car (Picture 3) became available, the swop
was made. John stayed with his second 128 car until Spring 1985, gaining
experience, bruises and a win. Pushing him along during these 18 months
was an engine with a pedigree. Originally bought new by Dave Fox the Chevrolet
L56 had, during its life, been lent by Dave to one S. Smith (then 391
a promising youngster from Rochdale, powering him to some notable wins!.
Early 1985 John felt the old Andy Kennedy machine was "good enough
for a red", and his present car was initiated. Seen by many as being
the smartest paint job of the season, the 128 car, designed and Stilt
by Bruno Brown, Dean Tresler and the Wright team is motivated by the now
Brian Powles rebuilt LS6 467 from the old Andy Kennedy car.
A fine consolation win, at Crewe second thee out provided
John with the confidence booster he needed in overcoming the teething
troubles surrounding a new untried car. "I really feel that car,
engine and me are coming good together", says the 20 year old transport
manager. A feeling confirmed by a steady improvement in placing, culminating
in an excellent second place in Sheffield final at the beginning of July.
as with many Formula Oct drivers, John would find it hard to continue
without sponsorship. In his case, his father and local motor motor cycle
dealers The Bike Shop'. This does not only run to financial help, as the
splendid art work of the car was designed by the lovely Maureen from the
aforementioned business, and all concerned in sponsorship lend a hand
in the car's maintenance. John's present aim is "back to blue for
August" and then to motor on to that next important colour change.
He sees only one difficulty in achieving that goal, not car, not driver,
not sponsor, but the lack of a full committed team of mechanics. "My
present crew are tremendous", says 'John, "but they can only
do so much." Young Mr. Wright feels that the continual motivation
of a dedicated crew will do much towards helping him purchase that tin
of red cellulose. So if you are keen, knowledgable and available, why
not contact John and hang on the coat-tails of likeable young man who
reckons he's going places.