An interview with Bron Burrell

Joining us on the Motor Sport Live Stage in 2019 at Race Retro, powered by Motor Sport, we asked legendary British female rally driver, Bron Burrell, a few questions to hear about her driving career and experiences...
1) What started your passion in cars and/or motorsport?
My Mother insisted I learned to drive aged 17. I had competition horses and she needed to free up time for her business. But I hated cars – they frightened my horses. 
First lesson, in a dual-control Morris Minor with a condescending instructor, and at 70mph with the little car rattling along, I was told to “slow down – learners are not supposed to do over 40!”. But the need for speed was born and has never left me! 

2) What was your first ever car?  
In 1965, an Austin Healey 3000 MkIII. I bought it on the ‘Never-Never’. The plan was to rally it, but no-one told me I needed a sump shield!! Expensive mistake.

3) If money no object, what is your perfect car?
Difficult – cannot decide between an AMG GT 63S ( that sound from the V8!!!) or a 50’s Merc -300 SL Gull-wing (sadly only a straight 6 – but wow!! – for it’s day…).

4) Favourite car you’ve owned?
1969 Ford Escort TC – being rebuilt by Justin Law as I write.

5) Best ever racing story?
So hard to decide – a toss-up between...
    a) The mock-horror look on Jim Clark’s face in 1964, having shown me the lines at Brands Hatch in a racing Lotus Cortina over 5 laps, when asked to ‘take me round again really fast, please’. He had only unofficially broken the lap record in that car, having never driven it before!!  Such wonderfully controlled quiet driving.
    b) 1971 RAC Rally.  Serious snow and ice.  Morning Day 3.  At the top of the Hardnott/Wrynose Pass see the road is covered in sheet ice, and drivers earnestly discussing how to get down. Suddenly Tony Fowkes appeared in his orange Escort (he had rebuilt my TC for the rally), told me to follow him and set off down the steep hill. I thought – ‘if he can do that then I can’ - and got behind him. At one point the car just naturally slid to the edge of a massive drop on an adverse camber hairpin, (my nav was as white as a sheet) but I powered the car on and got round.  Looked back when I got to the bottom – it WAS steep! And no-one had followed us at the time. I later heard that drivers had actually roped themselves down some of the slippier bits!! Wusses!

6) What’s your favourite feature of Race Retro?
Driving on the Live Rally Stage!