Brian Gubby

Brian Gubby

17/4/1934

The son of a jockey, Brian started racing in 1959 with an Austin A30. He raced saloon cars and sports cars before aquiring a Lotus 11, a Lotus 18 and an Ausper T4 Formula Junior. In 1965 he raced Lotus 24 Coventry Climax in Formula Libre and non-championship F1 races. After racing he turned to training race horses.

The son of an Epsom-based jockey whose 1926 licence he still possesses, Brian Gubby made his money from the motor trade and hotel business. He took up training horses after he had finished with motor racing. He raced saloon cars and sports cars.

He started racing in1959 with a Speedwell tuned Austin A30 capable of over 100 mph. His next car was a 3.8 litre Jaguar. Brian decided to turn professional at a time when there was little or no money in the sport. Drivers had to use their whits to get from race to race and to keep their cars running. He aquired a Lotus 11 and a Lotus 18 Formula Junior and with help from the Ausper factory in 1962, he bought one of just four Ausper's made, a T4 Formula Junior, which he raced privately.

He bought a Lotus 24 Coventry Climax to race in Formula Libre and non-championship F1 races in 1965. He took the car to Ireland and won the Gold Flake Trophy at Leinster and another race at Phoenix Park.

He then entered the Mediteranian Grand Prix. He qualified in 8th, only marginally off the pole time set by Jim Clarke. After qualifying he noticed a crack in one of the Lotus' wheels and went to BRP on the scrounge. He managed to get another rim, however during the race the rim of the wheel that had been lightened gave in to the pressure and the tire deflated instantly throwing Brian into the retaining fence at nearly 170 mph. About 100 yard further down the track he came to a halt with a badly injured back, which still troubles him to this day, and a rather second hand motor.

He rebuilt the car in time for the British Grand Prix though his budget didn't stretch to a new gearbox. As a result he had to hold the car in gear rounding Woodcote which did not improve his qualifying time. Unfortunately his time of 1 min 45.1 sec was not quite quick enough to qualify.

Then as he had just taken 'delivery' (Brian's words) of his third child, a baby boy, he decided to be serious and get on with business. Something that Brian was a very successful at, building a small empire of seven motor dealerships, a hotel and a property development company, employing over 200 people.

Brian's second passion was horse racing and though he could have afforded fancy horses trained by a fashionable name, he did it his own inimitable way, instructing the jockeys, folding blankets and checking over his charges when they returned. He is not among the backslapping champagne swillers and you can sense his real pleasure in getting his horses ready and sending them out. And once the racing is over, he'll probably drive the horsebox home himself as well.

Nowadays Brian has cut down on his workload but still trains all his own horses on a 100-acre estate in Bagshot where he has installed a one-and-a-quarter mile all-weather gallop. He has another mile on turf in what he calls his little bit of paradise. And, naturally, he takes the tractor out himself to keep it trim.

 

With thanks to the man himself, Brian Gubby.

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