Gilson shows off 2012 haul

Phil Gilson of Bridlington -  drag racing champion for Straightliners club, with pictures of all his trophies from 2012 season
Phil Gilson of Bridlington - drag racing champion for Straightliners club, with pictures of all his trophies from 2012 season

IT IS quite an array of trophies that Phil Gilson has collected during 2012.

He has finally got his hands on all the awards he won last season, after travelling the length and breadth of England to compete in drag-racing.

He was overall champion in the Straightliners series, after collecting the most points in every one of the classes he raced in.

And even though he is 58 years old, he is still something of a novice when it comes to drag racing.

“I only started four or five years ago,” he said. “I had to retire from rugby and I knew I had to find something new.

“I have always ridden motorbikes and I was out one Sunday near Elvington and went to have a look what was going on.

“They were having a ‘run what you’ve brung’ day so I had a go and found it is something my age group can do.”

Gilson races from a standing start on a quarter-of-a-mile straight, and won the 10.1 category last season, as well as the Ultimate Street class.

“You wouldn’t believe how quick I am for an old man. You would think that I would have lost my reactions as I got older,” he added.

The Straightliners series meant he was travelling all around England most weekends last year, competing as far afield as Carlisle and Essex.

He even headed to the Isle Of Man where he clocked up a season’s best speed of 148mph.

Gilson’s success during 2012 means he gets to sport the number one number plate in each of his classes next season, even on his scooter which he raced for fun at some of the events, having bought it from a house clearance as something to use as a pit bike.

The self-employed builder has also earned himself a place on the shortlist for the second Bridlington Free Press Sports Awards, making the final three for the Sports Person of the Year, in recognition of his national achievements.