Motor racer Phil changes track to join new team

A NEW chapter in the motor racing career of Austerlands’ Phil McGarty is about to unfold.

Denshaw-raised Phil will be having the first race for his new Alistair Rushworth Motorsport team at Croft over the weekend of September 17-18.

Phil, 43, who previously drove for Xentek Motorsport, competes in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge which supports the British Touring Car Championship. It is the class where Formula One’s Lando Norris once drove as did Billy Monger.

And since starting racing in 2015 Phil, who owns County End Electrical in Lees, has enjoyed considerable success.

Phil McGarty – Ginetta G40

After three seasons in the Ginetta GRDC Series, Phil moved up to the Ginetta GT5 Challenge.

He has finished fourth, fourth and third in the amateur section in 2018, 19 and 20 and is currently on track to finish third again this time with two race weekends left – Croft and Donington Park.

In 2019 he had eight podium places and nine in 2020 including victory at Donington Park.

Phil had been running second in his class until he had to miss a round due to a period of isolation due to Covid.

There are seven race weekends during the season and Phil gets to race at iconic tracks including Silverstone, Donington Park and Oulton Park.

Phil McGarty – Ginetta G40

Phil, who canoed at national level as a youngster, had always had a passion for track cars.

But he only began racing by accident as he explained: “I went to Leeds to buy a road registered track car and found it was £4,000 cheaper to buy a race car.

“The car cost £36,000 and since the I have had seven cars and rented out some but am now down to two at present.”

Phil added it is expensive saying it costs him about £40,000 a season to race, and that is by cutting corners on cost.

He is also indebted to three local companies who sponsor him – AC Tyres, S&J Signs and Graphics and the Conway Group.

Phil would love to race higher but said that is unlikely to happen due to finance.

Phil McGarty – Ginetta G40

He said: “I could not do that on £40,000 a year, you would be looking at £140,000.

“Young lads may get funding but that does not happen to a forty something from Oldham.

“To get anywhere in motorsport you need money and it is not easy to climb the ladder unless you have a lot of money.

“It is all down to money, not raw talent.”

Phil’s business, which employs four people, sells electric charging points as well as doing other electrical work.

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