Tick Steward, one of the most famous – if not the most famous – names in Legends Cars racing will make an unexpected and very welcome return to action next month as part of the championship’s high-profile appearance at the annual Autosport International Show in Birmingham.
Essex racer Steward, who was the first person to buy a Legends car from series owner Phil Cooper back in the mid-nineties before going on to win the inaugural National Championship title in the UK and the first World Championship, will form part of the six-car line-up in the ‘Live Action Arena’.
Although having dipped his toe back in the water in his son’s Legends Car last year in a one-off outing at Wimbledon Stadium, Steward – who is now 50 years of age – hasn’t raced on the circuits for around 18 years.
The hunger and desire to compete has never waned, though, and when the opportunity to join the line-up for the Live Action Arena at January’s Autosport International Show came about, Steward jumped at the chance. He will share the car originally slated to be driven by Matt Roach (Raleigh).
“I’ve always kept in contact with Phil [Cooper], we’ve done so much together in Legends from the start right back to when we had guys like Stirling Moss and Jody Scheckter having a go”, reflected Steward, “I did all of the original demos at Silverstone when Phil first brought the cars to the UK and I was the first driver to do the Live Action shows, the first to buy a Legend as well.
“I’ve been involved from day one so it’s fantastic to be back and doing the Live Action in January, I’d seen on Facebook about the Legends being back there so I got in touch with Phil and we got it all agreed. There are some great memories, winning the first British title, the first World Championship, so many highlights over the years and it’s going to be fantastic to be back out there at the NEC.”
Steward added: “I haven’t raced for about 17 or 18 years. My son races now on the ovals, so I went back to Wimbledon Stadium for a go and as soon as I put the boots and the crash helmet on it was like I’d never been away. I’d love to maybe do something again, I do watch it on TV so who knows if that could happen. I’ve still got my original ‘Old Spice’ car, we’re restoring that as well.”
Steward will take part in a number of Live Action Arena shows across the four days of the Autosport Show, which opens to trade and the media on Thursday, 9th January, alongside new Legends Cars National Champion Miles Rudman (Sutton Coldfield), the 2019 Vice-Champion Sean Smith (Marlow), Nathan Anthony (Horley), James Hall-Morton (Cleckheaton) and Connor Mills (Upminster).
Steward’s association with the Autosport show dates back to the 1990s where he and renowned stunt driver Terry Grant performed together in Legends Cars in the Live Action Arena. In fact, it was where Grant’s career as a world record stunt driver first took off…
“It’s great to have the Legends back at the Autosport Show with the Live Action, it’s the perfect environment for them”, said Steward, “I remember Terry [Grant] and I used to do doughnuts for the crowd at the end of every show, and that’s the first time he started to actually climb out of the car while doing them – I think that was in 1996. Fantastic memories, I’m really happy to be back.”
Autosport International’s 30th anniversary event will open to media and trade visitors on Thursday, 9th January, and Friday, 10th January, before the doors open to the public on Saturday, 11th January, and Sunday, 12th January.
More event details and ticket information can be accessed at www.autosportinternational.com