Formula Ford 1600 (above) was where many of the Formula 1 drivers started their motor racing careers. If the webmaster won the Euromillions it would be invested in Circuito Málaga (Proposed New 5.318 km Race Circuit) in Southern Spain - Potential Investors welcome

itc racing

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fifth Gear Web TV - Viabtor Review

 above the viabtor promotion filmed at Guadix Circuit in Southern Spain
Fifth Gear review here -

Monday, April 4, 2011

'John the crowd are applauding you as you are a true sportsman'

'John the crowd are applauding you as you are a true sportsman'
Quote from a member of Ford Portugal between races at Estoril 22nd October 1995

Thank you motor racing aficionados and potential sponsors that have taken the time to read this resume. thank you. merci. gracias. grazie.obrigado. harigato. спасибо etc.

thank you international traveller´s card limited for providing the cars between 1986 and 1995.  without your help I could not have raced

  1966/68 - Hillman Imp fitted with a Jack Knight close ratio gearbox was used to compete in sprints and hill climbs by John Nichols. He attended a racing drivers school at Brands Hatch and at Silverstone where he drove aLotus 51 Formula Ford 1600. He was at Silverstone school the day that Jim Clarke died at Hockenhiem. There was a silence throughout the pit/paddock area. Having tasted a single seater he was determined to change from the Imp.

to do this
1968/69 - Oscar Formula Ford 1600 prototype built. Designed by Frank Boyles (ex Cooper Car Company). The Ford Kent 1600 cc was prepared by David Oldham of Oselli Engineering and John Nichols promoted the project. Formula Ford 1600 had to be sold with a retail price of £1,000 complete with engine.

1969 - Oscar Formula Ford FF69 entered its first race at the CASTLE COMBE circuit in Wiltshire. England. It was entered by AJN Racing and driven by Brian Smith., the author of 'Going Formula Ford' for its first race on the 12th of July 1969. In its first outing it came 3rd behind Colin Vandervell (Merlyn Mk 11) and Bryan Sharp (Merlyn Mk 11).
The Partnership between Frank Boyles., David Oldham and John Nichols was dissolved, with John Nichols purchasing the other partners shares.

1968/1969 - The Autosport Competition to design an 'around the houses circuit' for a LONDON GRAND PRIX was won by John Nichols. (Published Autosport 16th February 1969). Prize - Paddy Hopkirk Nomex Racing Overalls.
John Webb., Managing Director of Motor Circuit Developments (Brands Hatch. Snetterton. Mallory park and Oulton Park) - one of the Judges commented

"Ideally today you need to have the cars passing each member of the public every 90 seconds or so, but as a drivers circuit it is superb: the use of Hyde Park Corner and the underpass was particularly ingenious."
1970/71 - John Nichols whilst working as a Principal Planning Officer of Swindon designed a permanent circuit for the Coate Water area of the town. The Publicity Manager of Burmah Oil at that time had found investors who would be interested in financing the project. John Webb of Motor Circuit Developments had advised John Nichols , after he designed the circuit, that his company had carried out a computer study as to where the ideal place in England to construct a new circuit would be. The result was Marlborough., approximately 10 miles South of the proposed site. The Engineers Department were worried about the noise aspect and the project had to be abandoned on these grounds.
1970/74 - John Nichols competed in Formula Ford 1600 races at Castle Combe, Thruxton and Silverstone in the OSCAR FF69. He was approached by Adrian Reynard during 1974 to use the engine and gearbox from the OSCAR to be used in the first production REYNARD FF1600 which it was planned to race for the 1975 season. Castrol kindly supplied the oil.

  • 1975 - John Nichols Competed in the Brush Fusegear Championship with the REYNARD FF75. He financed a second chassis that was driven by David Heale in order to increase public attention to this new marque and Nick Foy drove Adrian's original prototype. His best result was at Silverstone on the 25th of August. There were 105 entries of which only 90 would be allowed to race in 3 heats and a final. He reached the final - He was 25th on the grid with Derek Warwick in a 'works' HAWKE 7th. In the race he finished 17th.

19975 - Winkelmann Ediciones of Madrid Spain appointed John Nichols as the Editor of their magazine AUTOCOMPETICION. He covered the Spanish Grand Prix on May the 2nd won by Nicki Lauda, with Nilsson 2nd., Reutmann 3rd., Amon., 4th and Pace 5th. Knowing James Hunt from racing with him in Formula Ford he was able to secure a personal telephone interview with him at his Marbella home for the magazine about the Spanish Grand Prix and his disqualification from his first place. Whilst in Madrid he did some practice laps around Jarama in his Lotus Europa Special.

1976/1977 - John Nichols competed in either the REYNARD FF75 or the MERLYN MK 20 of Brensec Race Car Hire at Silverstone, Thruxton, Castle Combe and Mallory Park. Steve Coen joined John in running the school/race car hire business and at least one driver went onto be a Formula One driver having started his single seater career with Brensec Race Car Hire.

  1980 - John Nichols was approached by COSTAGOLF, a Golf Magazine on the Costa del Sol Spain to design a 'Street Circuit for Torremolinos' which they published and tried to raise interest with the Tourist Board to put the project into practice.
The start/finish was in Avenida Mantillales. The cars would race towards the Congress Hall, turning right as they joined the Torremolinos bypass, racing down the very fast stretch to the La Colina Corner which would be a very slow corner. From there they would sweep through the curves, lined by eucalyptus trees on either side, go under the underpass, rising gently up hill to take a fast right-hander followed by a slightly slower left-hander, before having the brake for the Petrol Station Chicane on entering Torremolinos again. Cars would race pass the Bus Station, passing through the Plaza Costa del Sol., along part of Avenida Palma de Majorca., before having to brake fiercely to negotiate the tight right-hander Banco Jerez Corner, which would have an adverse camber and then climbing up Avenida Imperial with its sweeping bends, then into Avenida Mantilliales on to the short start/finish straight. For those cars that could not negotiate the Banco Jerez Corner there would be a sufficiently long run off area.

London Grand Prix Autosport Competition 1969 - Article 1 April 1982

1982 - John Nichols' design for the LONDON GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT was adopted by a group of businessmen that planned to hold this event. They had commissioned 6 leading firms of Architects to come up with a solution and after viewing these had decided to use the project designed for the Autosport Competition in 1968/69 with some minor modifications. (Autopsort dated 1st April)
'The logical place to start is with a description of the circuit itself, which anyone who knows central London will find mind-boggling. At five miles long, a single lap will take around three minutes, and the average speed is expected to be something like 110 mph. Although there are some frighteningly quick sections on the circuit, the slow, twisting sequences of corners through Trafalagar Square and Hyde Park Corner will keep the lap speed below most contemporary standards, and on a par with the street circuits at Long Beach and Detroit. Most Circuit Promoters would say that a three minute interval when viewing the leading cars is too long, but it is felt that the difficulty of providing enough good vantage points for a crowd expected to number 200,000 demands a track of this length.
The Circuit designed by Mr. John Nichols of Lambourn. Berkshire., offers, therefore, the attraction of open stretches through Hyde Park where large numbers of people can be accommodated, as well as ample provision for a pits and paddock area in The Mall and for grandstand seating in Trafalgar Square. Mr. Nichols is flattered indeed that his proposal has been adopted, but tenders to six noted architects in London produced nothing better: Mr. Nichols plan, with a few minor revisions, is the best solution to the logistical problems of holding a Grand Prix in the centre of a large city.
A lap of the track will start in The Mall, where there is sufficient width of road already exists for a half-mile start/straight with pits located in the open space on the north side of Carlton Gardens. From there the cars will pass through the roundabout in front of Buckingham Palace before heading up Constitution Hill to Hyde Park Corner, briefly up Park Lane and then into Hyde Park. Here the road will need to be widened considerably all the way past the Serpentine as far as the bridge after a 90 degree left-hander, which then leads along a straight through a lef-hand kink, to Queen's Gate Corner. The circuit then continues along Kensington Road, through the underpass beneath Hyde Park Corner and up Picadilly as far as the Eros Chicane, which follows the normal route for traffic around Piccadilly Circus. After passing down Haymarket the cars then loop most of the way around Trafalgar Square before rejoining the main street underneath the treacherously narrow Admiralty Arch, which leads directly to the start/finish.
An obvious problem was that the track will run virtually through Buckingham Palace's front garden!  the Royal Family have proved, however, very amenable to the plan, their only worry being that the time-honoured tradition of the Changing of the Guards will have to be broken for four days, a situation without precedent. "I think that it highly unlikely that the Royal Family will stay in residence while the Grand Prix is on," said a Buckingham Place spokesman late friday, " but obviously the palace will provide a marvelous vantage point for the staff and guests who stay."

Plan of the London Grand Prix Circuit
Designed by me and which won the AUTO SPORT competition in 1968 for an around the houses circuit and was nearly put to use in 1980 by a group of business men.  I think that the 2007 Tour  1984 - John Nichols designed a permanent circuit for Torremolinos., Circuito Pinomar, on the Costa del Sol. Spain., the site being provided by the local authority. Subject to minor modifications it was approved in principle by the FISA Circuit Inspector Derek Ongaro. After a year of studyng the proposal Malaga decided that whilst they would welcome a circuit, they would prefer it to be located on a different site, so the proposal was dropped even though potential investors had been found. Both Jerez and a proposed street circuit at Fuengirola were designed subsequent to this.
1986 - Formula Ford 1600 was introduced to Spain. itc racing was the first to purchase a VAN DIEMEN RF86/SCHOLAR for John Nichols to compete in the CAMPEONATO MARLBORO FORMULA FORD 1600. His most dramatic moment was at the last race of the season at Jerez. On the penultimate lap, half way around the the tight left-hander entering the start/finish straight he experienced oversteer. He tried to correct it. He next remembers riding along the 'piano strip' on the interior. After the race he was told that his Van Diemen RF 86 had done a 360 degree turn without loosing speed and that the crowd in the Grandstand opposite the pits had risen to their feet and applauded him. He was nicknamed Keke Rosberg (the famous Formula One driver) after this incident. His worst experience was cracking two ribs during practice of the first race at Jarama. The circuit doctor advised him not to race. 'I have not done a round trip of 1200 kms not to race' was his reply as he was strapped up for the race.

1987/91 - John Nichols competed in the CAMPEONATO MARLBORO FORMULA FORD 1600 in Spain and Portugal in the Van Diemen RF86 before changing to aREYNARD FF89 his best position being 7th at Estoril. Gulf and thenPennzoil provided the oil. Some assistance was obtained from Garage Victoria (Ford) - Muebles Benitez and Trenchards Removals during this period and Costa Golf reported the races in their magazine. Presentations to the press and the local radio were made each year at Garage Victoria.


1990 - John Nichols approached the March Group plc about a proposal for a Leisure Complex at Campillos, Near Antequerra in Andalucia. Spain which would include a motor racing circuit for both races and winter testing by Formula One teams. It would also include other sports facilities such as two courses of golf - 18 and 9 hole; a luxury sports club with olympic swimming and diving pools; tennis courts; a television station devoted to sports activities, together with the associated residential complexes, commercial and industrial areas on a 3,000,000 m2 site. He was asked to prepare a business plan for the Managing Director of the March Group to study, but unfortunately the company's share quote was suspended on the London Stock Market and the proposal could not be taken any further.

1993 - John Nichols finished 6th in the CAMPEONATO DE FORMULA FORD 1600 DE ESPANA 1993 despite not being able to compete in all of the races as he had contemplated entering the Portuguese Championship and a racing driver could only hold one competition license. He also had no sponsorship. The racing car was updated to 1992 suspension parts. Pennzoil provided the oil. John Nichols appeared on Television Espanola during the season several times, the best shot being a 30 second slow motion close up of him entering the Chicane at Calafat. Potential sponsors really missed out there as the car only had the Costa Golf and Pennzoil logos. He was interviewed by a local television station in a half hour programme. The Reynard was fitted with 92 suspension all round.

1995 - John Nichols finished 12th overall in the PORTUGUESE CAMPEONATO NACIONAL MOBIL DE FORMULAFORD 1800/1600 and 1st of the Formula Ford 1600 despite not being able to compete in all of the races due to lack of budget. TheReynard FF89/92 car was updated with 1990 side pods to increase to cooling. Banner Murdoch Insurance gave some assistance.

sponsored by Mobil and Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo
March 16/17  Jarama  Van Diemen RF86/Auriga
April 06/07 Jerez Van Diemen RF86/Auriga  9th  2 points 
April 27/28 Calafat Van Diemen RF86/Auriga
May 18/19 Albacete Van Diemen RF86/Auriga 12th 0 points
June 22/23 Albacete Reynard F89/Auriga
July 06/07 Estoril Reynard F86/Auriga 10th 1point
August 24/25 Estoril Reynard F86/Auriga 7th 4 points
September 14/15 Barcelona Reynard F86/Auriga
October 12/13 Jerez Reynard F86/Auriga 10th 1 point
November 09/10 Jarama Reynard F86/Auriga 10th 1point

  Championship (24 entries) - 15th (9 points) 

1992 - Formula Ford Albacete (did not compete but itc racing ran 2 other drivers)

sponsored by Legitimo Ubrique and Ford Espana
April Barcelona  Reynard F89-92/Auriga entered Portugal 
May 29/30 Jerez Reynard F89-92/Auriga
6 points 
June 26/27 Calafat Reynard F89-92/Auriga
4 points
October 09/10 Albacete Reynard F89-92/Auriga
6 points
October 23/24 Calafat Reynard F89-92/Auriga
4 points
November 06/08  Jarama Reynard F89-92/Auriga
2 points
November 20/21 Jerez Reynard F89-92/Auriga
6 points
Championship (20 entries) - Finished 6th 28 points  
sponsored by Mobil and Ford Portugal
September 02/03  Estoril  Reynard F89-92/Auriga  9th  9 points
September 02/03 Estoril Reynard F89-92/Auriga 11th  7 points
September 16/17 Braga Reynard F89-92/Auriga
September 16/17 Braga Reynard F89-92/Auriga
October 21/22 Estoril Reynard F89-92/Minister 9th 9 points
October 21/22 Estoril Reynard F89-92/Minister 8th 10 points 
Championship (20 entries) - 12th (FF1800/1600) 1st (FF1600)
(35 points)
Looking back over the past
In John's own words. "I race as it is in my blood and I do it for the sport even though I know that I have not had sufficient funds. Racing is not just the driver, but the mechanic/engineer play an important role in the equation and I think that it is fair to say that it is a 50/50 joint effort. Really you need a new car every year or at least a one year old chassis with a rebuilt engine. The Reynard F75 whilst new was not developed as it was Adrian Reynards first production car and there was not the budget to develop it, so the only time that I had a new car that was developed was the Van Diemen RF86. I was competing against Spanish drivers who had raced before on the circuits and had budgets that allowed them to practice privately on both the thursday and friday all day before the official practice on the saturday and the race on the sunday. The drivers in front of me normally had a full time mechanic and a race car transporter. Apart from being the driver I had to act as the team manager, assistant mechanic and take my turn towing the racing car, with the round trip to Calafat being 1800 kilometres. I have tried to help other drivers with low budgets like myself and at one stage in 1991/92 was running three and two cars respectively. In 1991 itc racing had two 3rd places with Ignacio de Rojas driving the Reynard F88. At Estoril (August 25th) and at Jarama (November 10th 1991)"

Looking to the future
"I have stayed in Formula Ford 1600 due to budget constraints. I realise that to progress I need to move to FORMULA RENAULT. With a new car costing 240,000 French Francs it is impossible for me, or for any other driver, to race out of their own pocket. A sponsor or sponsors are required. I want to concentrate one hundred percent on my driving, giving my potential sponsors publicity both on and off the circuit, entertaining their existing and prospective clients at the circuit and most important - value for their investment in me."

To achieve this I have had an offer to drive a Mygale Formula Renault .in the French Championship in 2001. A new chassis prepared by the works would cost my prospective 'patrons' 875.00 French Francs for the season and a one/two year old chassis (Classement Amateur) 600.000 French Francs.   With full sponsorship I will do a full season in either France of Spain in 2001
We would remind potential sponsors of the quote of Ford Portugal on the 22nd November 1995 at Estoril
"John the crowd are applauding you as you are a true sportsman"

If you feel that you would like to help this driver to promote your product or service
please contact him

Cortijo Milenium  El Brosque  29312 Villanueva del Rosario  Province de Málaga  Spain
telephone -  (34) 952031010

When I raced at Estoril was the 7th fastest of the 15 Spanish drivers