Tuesday, 1 May 2001

Steve Piggins - a tribute by Richard Neil


With Simon Hiles (26) at the NEC
Steve was a good friend. He raced in the Grand Prix Midgets from 1993 to 2001 winning many races and making a lot of friends. I was pleased to have seen him take third place in his Midgets debut in the London Championship at Wimbledon Stadium.

Steve gave a lot more than he ever took from people and will be sorely missed and long remembered by everyone who knew him.

1977: Circuit racing in the B-Sport Clubmans Championship sharing a Mk18 Mallock.

1985 - 1992: Karting. Competed successfully in 125 National, 250 National and 125 Open classes. Numerous race wins.

1993: Moved into Grand Prix Midgets with a BMC powered car. Scored third place on his debut in the London Championship at Wimbledon (right). One race win in the National Series. 3rd in the National Championship, 3rd in the London Championship. 8th place overall in the National Series.

1994: Limited race programme. Built, raced and developed converted Van Diemen Formula Ford chassis with VW power. One race win and 13th place overall in the National Series.

1995: Full season of racing and further development with the Van Diemen. Competed in the Autosport International Show at the National Exhibition Centre. One race win during the National Series. 6th in the British Championship, 2nd in the National Championship, 5th in the World Championship (2nd in class). 4th place overall in the National Series.

1996: Second full season of racing with the Van Diemen. One race win during the National Series. 3rd in the European Championship (1st British 1300cc car), 2nd in the National Championship. 3rd place overall in the National Series.

1997: Continuing with the Van Diemen, Steve again took third place in the '97 European Championship and was the first British specification car home. He then finsihed 7th in the '97 Points Championship. 1999 proved to be his best season to date with three race wins including the British Championship.

2000: Steve sold his Van Diemen to Gary Piper and set about switching to front engine Midgets, rebuilding a Dastle Mk18 chassis. Steve took two race wins with the smart Peugeot powered car during a limited programme in the 2000 season and returned to victory lane again with the car in 2001 as he fought for front engine honours.

Tribute from the Sayell Racing website

The Grand Prix Midget fraternity received a double blow in one weekend when two of their drivers lost their lives in the space of two days. Anthony Brewer from West Sussex lost his battle with cancer on Friday 31st August 2001 and Steve Piggins lost his life on Saturday 1st September as a result of injuries received in a road accident, on Bank Holiday Monday.

The Club remembered them both just 24 hours later at an emotionally charged June Cochrane Memorial meeting at Alwalton Raceway, Peterborough on Sunday holding a minute silence immediately prior to their first race.

Steve Piggins joined the formula in 1993 having come from a Karting background where he had had numerous wins between 1985 and 1992. Steve took 3rd place in the London Championship at his first ever Midget meeting, having bought a Gordon Pooley designed and built rear engined BMC car. By the end of his first season he had already had a race win and had also finished 3rd in the National Championship and 8th overall in the National Points Series.

He took time out in 1994 to convert a Van Diemen Formula Ford chassis to Midget spec fitting a Mack Daghorn VW engine in the rear taking a race win in the new car before the season ended. 1995 saw him take runner up place in the National Championship finishing 4th overall and he was again runner up in the National Championship in 1995. 1996 and 1997 saw 3rd places in the European Championship when on both occasions his was the first 1300cc car home. Steve took an active role on the Club's technical committee helping out with scutineering and advising other drivers and chairing the committee on occasions and in 2000 he took on the role of Club Chairman. Steve regularly assisted a number of drivers to repair and maintain their cars as well as using his precision engineering skills to manufacture parts for a great many other drivers. 1999 saw Steve finally achieve a title win taking the British Championship in style and two other race wins finishing 3rd in the series.

Very much the engineer Steve wanted yet another challenge and spent much of 2000 building up a Mk 18 Dastle with a Peugeot engine making only a limited number of race meetings. A new paint job this year saw Steve heading up the Best Presented Car Competition and on track Steve finished 3rd in the Southern Championship, runner up in the British Championship and was lying 6th overall when his season came to such a tragic end.

When Steve needed to choose a recipient for the 2000 Chairman's Award he gave not one but 5 awards being anxious not to miss anyone out. Steve's loss will be felt right across the formula not just as a willing helper to so many and a hard working club volunteer but as a loyal and very dear friend Steve's memory has been kept very much with us by his partner Nicki Rickett who has competed in the 2002 season in Steve's car.

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