Vic Lee

Vic Lee

15/12/1953

Vic Lee is most famous for running BMWs and Peugeots in the British Touring Car Championship which they won in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He is also infamous for his drug-related convictions.

Vic Lee was a team owner who formed Vic Lee Motorsport in 1990. That year Jeff Allam won his class in a VLM prepared BMW M3 and the following year saw the late Will Hoy take the BTCC title in a similar car. Tim Harvey then picked up the title for the team in a BMW 318is in 1992.

However, the company was liquidated at the end of the year when Lee was arrested after 40kg of cocaine, at that time worth some £6 million, were found in one of his trucks when it returned from a test at Zandvoort in Holland. Lee went to jail for 12 years.

After his release, he took over Bowman Motorsport restarted the team as Vic Lee Racing, running in the National Saloon Car Championship. For the 2000 BTCC season they ran a joint campaign in the NSC and BTCC Class B last season, winning both with Peugeot 306s driven by Toni Roukonen and Alan Morrison respectively.

On the strength of these results Peugeot enlisted VLR to run their works entry in the new-look BTCC for 2001. VLR signed Eaves, former VLM driver Steve Soper and Matt Neal to drive the bright yellow Peugeot 406 coupés, but sponsorship difficulties meant Neal was released from his contract after only two rounds. In addition, former Superbike racer Aaron Slight drove an extra car for one race weekend mid-season. The dominance of Vauxhall in 2001 meant that the team were not as successful as Peugeot hoped, resulting in the withdrawal of works backing.

However, despite rumours linking the team to running Lexus cars for 2002, they continued with the 406s under the guise of "Team Halfords" having landed substantial backing from the company. Eaves remained with the team, and was joined by 1992 champion Tim Harvey, Soper having retired after a career-ending crash at the final round of the 2001 season. Midway through the season they were joined by single-seater refugee Carl Breeze, and by the year's end Eaves had claimed 1st in the Independent's championship, with the team a creditable 5th overall.

For 2003 VLR switched to a Peugeot 307 with Eaves and Breeze, however the car was not as competitive and Breeze jumped ship to GA Motorsports with Clio ace Danny Buxton taking his place. Despite lodging an entry for the 2004 season, nothing materialised.

Then on Sunday 20 February 2005, HMRC officers swooped on the Holiday Inn, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and found the four men in possession of 19kgs of cocaine with a street value of £1.7 million. Lee also had £19,000 cash in his car. He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and to offences contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and was sentenced to another 12 years in jail.

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