SKID CONTROL
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Some history from the skid control photo album

 

 

A motor racing 'prang' (taken from a post card)

 Taken from a post card... circa 1998

You might not drive a formula one car

but driver training could certainly improve your chances of keeping out of trouble

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY

of

Skid control created and developed by Colin Wells in 1979/80.

Now owned and operated by Kevin Crowley from 2016

 

Skid Control operated out of Goodwood, since the late winter of 1979. It was started up by Colin Wells who was already involved in motor sport. It is now owned by Kevin Crowley formally senior trainer with Colin.

The first car to be used was a Mk1 Escort, painted yellow and black. The fleet!! was added too in 1981 by a Ford Anglia 105E and an Austin Farina. Over the early years Vauxhall Viva's have also been used. However since 1984 Skid Control was using mainly Ford cars. In 2005, this run was halted when two BMW 5 Series were purchased to operate some dynamic courses at Dunsfold (Lady race driver courses), and then also 3 series at Goodwood, with Ford Sierras used prior to these.

Not only had Colin been running Skid Control since 1979 but he also worked for many vehicle manufacturers in track demonstration work and road 'Arrive & Drive' events, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Nissan, Volvo (helped launch the T5) and Honda to name but a few. Also in 1987 when the Association of Racing Drivers Schools (ARDS) was started in conjunction with, then, the RAC Motor Sports Association, now the MSA, Colin was employed on a freelance basis by the Peter Gethin Driving School as their senior instructor. He held an ARDS "S" grade instructors licence and as well as assessing people for their Nat "B" race licence he ran a one day (NVQ style) training and assessment course for people who wanted to become ARDS instructors (in association with Mithril Racing at Goodwood). The ARDS track licence for race driver assessments is now held by Mithril Racing, itself started in the 80's as a corporate event business.

Although Colin has not had an extensive racing career he has raced single seaters, sports cars & saloon cars periodically over the past 30+ years. The most exciting race car he has driven (sadly only giving hot laps, for three years, around the major UK circuits) was a Le Mans Porsche 962 race car. An experience not to be missed. However Aston Martin rank high in his list of the most favourite road car he has ever driven and demonstrated.

Other activities he (Colin) got involved in and ran alone or with his team as required:

Organising and running for two years the Guardian motor show. This involved setting up arrive and drive for the many cars provided and displayed by manufacturers and local sales outlets.

Helping the film crew shooting the track scenes for the film 'Dance with a Stranger'. The story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in he UK.

Assisting on track day and events organised by Goodwood for notable guests.

Working for Aston Martin at Gaydon and Millbrook. Training new owners and demonstrating the products. 

Colin traveled all over the UK and to some European venues with manufacturers demonstrating their products 

Below are some pictorial moments from the Skid Control archive and a few from Colin's own photo memories.

 

DURING THE 1980's

Although Skid Control had a slow start it was enthusiastically supported by IAM driving groups one of the first being the Chichester group. Very soon many other groups started to send down members:- Worthing, Brighton, IOW, Guildford, London,  to name a few. Other activities and roles taken on by Skid Control and Colin were: Organising the marshals on circuit. Colin set up a small team of marshals who's expertise was sold through the circuit office. Other activities:-  involvement with the film 'Dance with a Stranger' all the race sequences were shot at Goodwood and Colin supplied a number of extras and helped to co-ordinate and set up of  the track scenes. He also ran the on site logistics and staff for the Guardian Newspaper motor shows run on two consecutive years. Plus organised the  running of varies motor circuit charity days. He coordinated the Woodcote Motor Racing School, Sponsored by a local garage, with two ex-Willhire Capri's and a couple of FF1600 single seaters also a race prepared xr2 Fiesta Challenge car (quite a hot little number!). Colin demonstrated the new (then) DeLorean car by giving hot laps around Goodwood (this for City Garage in Chichester) These are just some of the things that kept the 80's an interesting period in Skid Control's development and kept Colin busy.

DURING THE 1990's to the new millennium

This was again a very busy decade for both Colin and Skid Control. The business really picked up with groups from businesses, social groups and individuals. Also Colin was heavily involved in circuit work with PGDC (racing school) and then Drive Safe. Demonstrating cars and training was a very large part of Colin's work for the major part of the 90's. With the reforming of Goodwood ready for the Revival meetings Skid Control remained in business and evolved with the new infrastructure moving into the new millennium with a very diverse customer base. Including Sussex Fire & Rescue, West Sussex  NHS Trust Ambulance Service (now SECAMB), WSCC Young Driver Initiative, Dept for Transport, IAM Fleet, numerous IAM Groups and RoSPA better driving groups. Also, for a time until they moved out, providing dynamic training on location at Dunsfold for Formula Woman. He (Colin) also spent one year training Hendon Police driving instructors track craft -- gosh that was exciting!! fantastic drivers.

2006 onwards

Colin concentrates on the admin side of the business now. His team of trainers (as of 2011) Richard Haines, Kevin Crowley, Gavin House, Tony Stevens. All contribute to the continued and successful running of the practical side of the business.

October 2015

Sadly Goodwood change tact and the school (Skid Control) had to cease trading for a while. 

May 2016

In mid 2016 Kevin Crowley took over the operation of Skid Control and once again it is offering practical all weather driver training and consultancy work. Colin is helping Kevin to develop the business and working behind the scenes to promote the consultancy side of the business. He will be Coordinating the delivery of training to individuals, companies and organisations on specialist driver training and vehicle demonstration work for manufacturers, including film and documentary applications. Colin worked for several motor manufactures over the years, demonstrating their cars and training potential customers in how to get the best from the car safely. Aston Martin, Ferrari and Volvo with the T5 UK launch, to name some.

 

THE VERY BEGINNING !

1979-1980 The first operational winter at Skid Control

Aquaplaning at Skid Control

Under Control - the Skdi Control way!

1979/80 the first operational winter

Aquaplaning (snow has melted!!)

Under control  'skid control' of course

 

Very wet pit lane 80's at Skid Control

90'sColin testing his Single seater. Designed and built by him with generous help from R Sayers and W Perrott.

One of the vehicles used by the Woodcote Motor Racing school run by Colin through Skid Control in the mid 80's

Very wet pit lane 80's

90's Colin testing his Single seater. Designed and built by him with generous help from R Sayers and W Perrott.

One of the vehicles used by the Woodcote Motor Racing school run by Colin through Skid Control in the mid 80's

 

Goodwood circuit tunnel 1989 as seen on the way to Skid Control Old Skid School portacabin  (now no more) Skid Control 'fleet' early 90's

Goodwood circuit tunnel 1989

Old Skid School portacabin  (now no more)

Skid Control 'fleet' early 90's

 

Worthing Guardian Motor show, track view, mid 80's at Skid Control The team that made the motor show (1985 & 1986) happen. The logistics and running of the show over a three day period by Colin Wells @ Skid Control A young looking JP helping on a charity day organised by Skid Control. He gave hot laps in a Willhire race prepared Capri.

Guardian Motor show, track view, mid 80's. co-organiser Colin.

The team that made the motor show (1985 & 1986) happen. The logistics and running of the show over a three day period by Colin Wells, Skid Control

A young looking JP helping on a charity day organised by Skid Control. He (JP) gave hot laps in a Willhire race prepared Capri. (Colin stood by car door)

Colin was also involved in the shooting of the race scenes for the film 'Dance with a Stranger' (Ruth Ellis story) but due to publicity rules at the time no photos available

Mithril & Skid Control on joint Corporate event for Southern Radio

Colin hanging on !!!

More training to be had at Skid Control

Mithril & Skid Control on joint Corporate event for Southern Radio

Colin hanging on !!!

More training to be had

 

 

2000 and onwards

The new millennium has seen the need to adapt and diversify. Colin still assessed for the ARDS scheme and would still train new ARDS instructors. On the Skid Control front the business now undertakes trailer courses, close protection driver training, fleet training as well as all the usual anti-skid tuition as in previous years.

More  action shots

Sierra in action  Whoops!! WSCC Young Driver training 

 

Trailer course in Reading 2004 (Vehicle dynamics) BMW in action at Dunsfold for Formula Woman 2005

 

Colin in action during the late 80's & 90's

Colin giving another 'Hot ride' (the Le Mans Experience) Birkett winner (team work) Colin teaching client (Goodwood )
Taking an Aston up the hill 'Festival of Speed' Goodwood 1994 - Colin with passenger Snow at Oulton Park no driving that day Formula Ford @ Knockhill 1988

 

Locations catering hospitality bus operated by Colin @ Skid Control in the early 90's. Venues such as Silverstone GP etc.

Colin Relaxing before driving up the hill in a factory Aston Martin at first Festival of Speed. This was repeated for the next two years.

Locations catering hospitality bus operated by Colin & Skid Control in the early 90's. Venues such as Silverstone GP, rugby matches, corporate events, etc.

Colin Relaxing before driving up the hill in a factory Aston Martin at first Festival of Speed. This was repeated for the next two years. Colin worked for Aston Martin for number of years demonstrating for AM and teaching Aston customers at many different venues in UK inc Millbrook and also abroad

 

Photo taken at Goodwood (old pit lane)

Le Mans Porsche 962 driven by Colin in the  mid 90's around Silverstone, Goodwood, Thruxton, Donington giving hot rides, it was called the 'Le Mans experience'. The driving was shared by good friend C. Anderson.  This car held the record for the fastest Le Mans car down the Mulsanne Straight (pre chicanes) at 285mph, then owned by a French race team. Also driven occasionally, on track days, by Derek Bell and Richard Attwell. 

 

Skid Control was still going strong into the 21st century and hopefully can now continue to give first rate tuition at the practical and consultancy level

From 2001

Dramatic under steer situation (front wheel skid) The wet pan surface still going strong
BMW 3 Series outside the briefing hut One of the trainers delivering a briefing

Clients included:-

Dept for Transport (Transec)West Sussex County CouncilGoodwood Road Race Company Ltd, Fleet IAM (Chiswick)

BP & Shell (driver development)Mithril RacingSussex Fire & Rescue, Sussex NHS Ambulance service (SECAMB)

Many southern based IAM & RoSPA advanced driving groups, Single make and track day clubs

Driving schools & Fleet operators. As well as individual members of the public who travel to us from all parts of the UK and abroad

 

October 2014 and onwards

“END OF AN ERA & A NEW BEGINNING

2015/16

Sadly Goodwood changed tact and the school (Skid Control) had to cease offering actual anti-skid tuition and leave the site. We are currently seeking a new site in Sussex to re-establish the anti-skid tuition delivered over 35 years. Advanced road training will still be offered for the time being. Currently there is no Skid surface facility available in Sussex now that offers basic all weather driver training on a real skid surface

May 2016

In mid 2016 Kevin Crowley bought the rights to operate Skid Control and it will be offering practical road only driver advanced training and consultancy work. Colin is helping Kevin to re-develop the business and working behind the scenes to promote the consultancy side of the business. Coordinating the delivery of training to individuals, companies and organisations on specialist driver training and vehicle demonstration work for manufacturers, including film and documentary applications.

The future.....

........Colin Wells who had run the business for many years will now be acting on a consultancy basis for companies etc, who would like to have the benefit of his knowledge and experience. Colin worked for several motor manufactures over the years, demonstrating their cars and training potential customers in how to get the best from the car safely. Aston Martin, Ferrari and Volvo with the T5 UK launch, to name some.

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