Motoring News Update: December

This month we’re bringing you all the important Motorsport news from around the UK and beyond.

It’s really important for Gray and I that our team is constantly kept in the loop when it comes to new developments in Motorsport and in the Auto Industry in general.

There might be thousands of mechanics all round the world, but we’re all united by a love of engines and our enthusiasm for the service that we provide. We’ve got a mixed bag of news stories this month, there’s been another tragedy in the Macau Grand Prix, but there’s also been success on home soil for British racers too.

This month in international Motorsport:

Daniel Hegarty, an English motorcyclist racing for Top Gun Honda, has died after crashing into the barriers at the Macau Grand Prix. The accident occurred on the notorious Fishermans’ Bend on the 3.8-mile Guia Circuit and cast a tragic shadow over the day’s events. Northern Ireland’s Glenn Irwin was given the win, after the event was halted on the sixth lap. Visibly shaken from the tragedy, Irwin said that there would be no celebration and that the win was ‘a very sad end to what has been a successful week’.

This is the first death in the Moto Gp for a number of years, although it’s worth noting that the Guia Circuit has now seen 8 deaths in total during a Moto GP race. Deaths in Motorsport have, unfortunately, become par for the course. There are dozens of different racing leagues, series and tours all around the world – each one of these competitions carries with them the risk of serious injury and death. As mechanics, it’s up to us to ensure that the cars or bikes are as safe as possible, but from the moment the racers head onto the track their lives are truly in their own hands.

Elfyn Evans takes the trophy at Wales Rally GB

Evans has become the first Welsh man to win the Wales Rally GB this year, the win was all the sweeter for Elfyn who missed out on racing on home soil back in 2016. It was a storming victory for the local lad, aged 28, who led the event from the very early stages of the second day – by the end of the competition he was ahead of second place Thierry Neuville by 37.3 seconds, with third place Sebastien Ogier 7.9 seconds behind him.

Rally driving runs in the family with Elfyn’s Father Gwyndaf winning the British Rally Championship back in 1996. It’s always a pleasure to see British talent succeed on home soil. These victories are just the kind of successes that British Motorsport needs more of, especially if it hopes to continue to grow, develop and attract young fans. The more kids that Evans can bring to the world of rallying the better off us mechanics will be.

And Finally…

22-year old Russian driver, Sergey Sirotkin, is thought to be the front runner to take the wheel at Williams F1 for the 2018 season. This might come as a surprise to those that have been following the developments as Robert Kubica was recently touted as the favourite for the role. Having not raced in the Grand Prix since 2010, the return of 33-year old Kubica would have been an interesting move for Williams, although it seems like they’re backing down from their initial decision now.

Sirotkin has been performing as a reserve driver for Renault this year, however strong performance data taken from his races this year have put him ahead of his older competition. Sirotkin is said to bring a significant amount of financial backing with him (roughly £15 million) from SMP Racing. Former Toro Rosso, Daniil Kyvat, is rumoured to be the back-up to Sirotkin.

We’ll make sure to keep you up to date with all the developments as they come in!

Doing Our Bit for the Community

Here at G. A. Mak Motors we pride ourselves on being more than just mechanics.

Our founding Father taught my brother and I that owning a mechanics workshop is more than just running a business.

“When you open up shop, throw your doors open to the public, cut the red ribbon – you know what I mean: you’re not just starting a business. It’s more than that. When you hire men from the local area, you’re telling them that they can rely on you to pay their bills, feed their kids, all that stuff. When a customer walks into your shop, he (or she) is putting their vehicle – that’s thousands of pounds of their money, not to mention their time – in your hands.

Now in an ideal world, you’d take the car in and make sure that their car – their property, remember – is back in ship-shape as soon as possible. They’re relying on you, so that they can get on with their life and every extra day that you take to sort it out, is another day that they’re falling behind on their own responsibilities.

Every single customer who walks through our doors needs to leave as a friend. When they hand over their hard-earned cash, they need to feel like they’ve got their money’s worth. They should drive away from the garage with a smile on their face, pleased with their interaction with our company and eager to tell their friends about the help that we gave them.”

Gray and I have spent our working lives trying to uphold the values that our Father taught us as kids and we hope that this is reflected in the service that we provide our area. Our Dad’s name is still on the sign above the door, it’s still on the shirts of amateur football teams that need our sponsorship and it’s important to us that it stands for more than just another mechanics.

Our local community, like any other in Britain, is one full of different people with different needs. The skills that we have as mechanics don’t just have to be used in our business. That’s why, if an elderly customer is struggling with a specific appliance, or they can’t find a spare part that they might need, we can use our contacts in the spares and scrap industries to find a Belling oven door or a replacement Hotpoint washer drawer for them. In an ideal situation, we can find the part for them and even help fit it – whatever we can do, within reason, to make their lives easier.

All of this stems from what our Father taught us about owning and running a business. There’s no catch, no extra charge, no fleecing. Going the extra mile for the people in our community is our way of showing thanks for the fact that we’re still around.

It’s a way of being more than just the guys who fix your car, it’s something we’ve done for a long time and it’s not about to stop anytime soon.

Motoring News Update: November

All the local Motoring news from our area this month…

There’s always something going on in the world of Motorsport in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire has one of the most competitive motor sport communities in the UK, as such we always like to keep an eye on what’s going on in the region, it helps us identify what the new trends are in modification and it’s also a great way of staying in touch with up and coming racers who might well become our customers one day.

This month in local motoring news:

There’s good news for the people of Rotherham as construction begins on the new McLaren factory that was announced way back in February. Although the facility won’t be open until 2020, it’s still great news for the area as the purpose-built facility is projected to bring in anywhere between £100-200 million into the local economy, over the course of eight years. In addition to this, McLaren have stated that there will be at least 200 jobs going at first, with the potential for even more work if the factory expands as McLaren have suggested that it could do.

This new addition to the motoring landscape in Rotherham will solidify our area’s reputation as the place to come for motoring fans, it’ll also provide a great opportunity for young people from the area looking to gain apprenticeships in the industry. In fact, the company has already begun training some of it’s apprentices, as well as planning two years of research in collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. We can’t wait to see what can be achieved with combined efforts of North Yorkshire and one of the biggest motoring companies in the world!

In other, more tragic news:

A second crash at a race in Scarborough has once more led to air ambulances and road ambulances being called out to attend to injuries. This is the second time within a relatively short space of time that an accident has caused serious injury to spectators, raising the question as to whether more could be done to protect those taking part in (and watching) Motorsport events.

Part of the reason that we all love attending these amateur races is because of the people that are involved in them. The men and women out there on the bikes are our friends and relatives, their teams are made up of their own family members and they value our support. These kinds of incidents aren’t going to stop Gray and I from supporting these events, but they have at the very least forced us to own up to the fact that the community is not exercising proper precautions – something that we’re hoping will be addressed in the future.

Finally:

Earlier this month we were treated to a great example of young Motorsport event executed safely. It was very much a family affair as the BTRDA held their final meeting of the season at Croft Circuit, attracting dozens of young amateur drivers eager to test their mettle on the mixed-materials track. The conditions were bright and dry for Matilda Procter, daughter of legendary racer Kevin, who looked happy watching his daughter zip round the track in her Peter Gwynne Motorsport Suzuki Swift.

Procter finished 5th overall, putting in a fine performance for her debut. The junior final was taken by Richmond’s Tom Constantine, also in a Suzuki Swift. Constantine posted consistent times throughout the day whilst his cousin, James Constantine, finished in third. Both juniors are sons of rallying big shots Mark and Andrew Constantine.

Always good to see Motorsport being kept in the family!

Branching Out & Making Connections

Our business and trade network are at the heart of our success.

One of the best things about having been in this business so long is that we’ve been able to build some really valuable connections with both our customers and other similarly long-running enterprises.

The North has always been well known for its industrial roots and although we’ve always kept our hands firmly in the service industry, we’ve always found it beneficial to keep strong ties with a number of well-established business. If we ever need to get repairs made to our machinery or need some advice on how to tackle a job that’s a little beyond our knowledge, we’ve always got someone we can ask for advice.

Beatson Fans & Motors

We’ve had a strong partnership with Beatson Fans & Motors for the last 20 years. Based in Sheffield this long-established firm has been stocking, servicing and repairing electric fans and industrial motors for the last 85 years. We’ve had to turn to them on more than one occasion, usually to fix a piece of our own gear and we’re glad of their excellent support. They stock a wide range of industrial parts, including being one of the few stockists of Gamak electrical motors in the UK.

Parkway Sheet Metal Works

Gray and I are particularly proud of the way that we’ve managed to expand G. A. Mak Motor’s services beyond simple repairs and MOTs. Our diversifying into the custom modifications market was only made possible by the solid work that Parkway Sheet Meal Works have managed to supply us with. For the last decade they’ve been dealing with some really complex, demanding work from us and the results have been uniformly excellent.

C. F. Booth

As with all businesses who deal with industrial-grade materials, we create a fair amount of waste on a weekly basis. It’s largely thanks to CF Booth that we’ve been able to get rid of the thousands of kilograms of scrap metal and broken parts over the last few years. Their clockwork timing and reliability has guaranteed that we’re never overloaded with waste – something that our Floor Manager, Graham, is always happy to see.

Cooper’s Car Spares

Although many modern mechanics prefer to source all of their spares online, we’ve always liked to source our parts locally. Although prices might well be cheaper online, we’ve often found that our customers do not mind paying a little extra for their replacements, especially when they know that they won’t have to wait weeks for them to arrive from the other side of the world! Cooper has long been a reliable supplier and we hope to make use of him for many more years to come.

Top Tread Tires

The lads at Top Tread have been around nearly as long as us! Their MD, Albert Bowler, started the business some 30 years ago and although we might offer similar services, in some respects, they’ve proven to be useful comrades to have, especially when we’ve been on the look out for particularly niche tyres or wheel rims. They’ve helped us out on more than a few occasions, so we’re happy to give them a mention here.

Our business & trade partners are part of the reason why we’ve been able to do so well over the years – we hope to continue to work with them for decades to come.