The Britcar Media Day at Silverstone on March 10th coincided with World Kidney Day, and Peter Smith, who shares his Reflex Racing prepared Ginetta G50 with son Matt, was keen to use the day not just as a pre-season test, but to promote the event with logos on the car. World Kidney Day is focussed on kidney health awareness.
Peter, a Formula Ford racer in the early 1970s, had retired from racing for many years, when a health issue ten years ago prompted him to make the most of life, as he recalls; “I developed kidney cancer, and the surgeon told me at that point if I wanted to do something in life, do it now, so I took up racing again.”
Peter recovered after a successful surgery but became a dialysis patient, and has been racing Ginettas since 2003, in the Ginetta Challenge, 750mc Roadsports and Sports Racing & GT Challenge, whilst dipping a toe into endurance racing last season, with some exploratory forays into British GT and Britcar Production. Peter is awaiting a second kidney transplant, and while on dialysis was probably the only racing driver in the world in that condition!
Son Matt, an engineering technician, started racing just two years ago, firstly in Club Ginetta, then the F3/GT-supporting Ginetta Challenge, and the Essex-based father and son developed a taste for driving together during their several endurance sorties last season. Peter, reluctantly retired from a business life in the City, enjoys travel, music, gardening, whilst 22 year old Matt shares some of the same passions, though prefers cycling and socialising to weeding the flowerbeds. Matt was Class D Champion in the SR> Challenge in 2010.
Reflex Racing are active in the Trofeo Abarth series, as well as running Ginettas, and the Smith’s car is a 2008 ex-Speedworks and United Autosports machine, updated to latest specifications. Sponsorship comes from Subeo, a manufacturer of personal submarines (popular in Dubai, the Caribbean, and the Barrier Reef), and of course, those World Kidney Day decals are prominent on the car too. “Kidney patients can have a rough time, their life maybe destroyed, and I’m closely involved with the British Kidney Patients Association too and happy to show that support on the car,” said Peter.
The pair will be looking for podium finishes in the closely-contested Class 1 of the Britcar Dunlop Production GTN Championship this season, along with several other well-driven Ginettas.
While a season in Britcar seems secure, Peter is now engaged in a different form of fund-raising – aimed at entering the Britcar 24 hours later this year!