Business Finance Brokers Ltd is not a name that immediately springs to mind associated with F1 stock car racing, but a closer look reveals a company who have been fans of the sport for more than 30 years.
Based near Hinckley, in Leicestershire, Business Finance Brokers Ltd arrange hire purchase, lease purchase, contract hire and flexible loans predominantly for asset purchases.
Peter Ayres lives in Downham Market and is a director of the company and works closely with his cousin Kevin, who founded the business and is its managing director. Both have been stock car fans since they were children.
“We’re cousins, but neither of us have brothers or sisters,” says Peter, “and so we are closer than most brothers are.”
“It’s amazing. I can’t remember what happened last week but I can still remember the first stock car meeting I went to at Wisbech in May 1968. I can remember that day as clear as yesterday.
“As a family we were more into Spedeworth initially, and the George Polley/Barry Lee Hot Rod era, but we then watched the BriSCA F1s locally when they started going to King’s Lynn.
We starting going to Coventry in the early 1980s and I have always been a big John Lund fan, particularly because he is a farmer – which is a background I come from originally
“When we were young, we tended to go wherever your parents went. In those days it was clear everyone enjoyed watching Stuart Smith race, so I followed him at first.”
As he got older Ayres was able to drive himself to meetings and his family became regular visitors to Coventry stadium.
“As soon as I was old enough to start driving I started following BriSCA F1 even more,” he says. “We starting going to Coventry in the early 1980s and I have always been a big John Lund fan, particularly because he is more my age group, very laid-back and a farmer – which is a background I come from originally.
“So, wherever he was racing I would go and watch, but I have always been a great admirer of anybody who can go our there and race these cars.”
Ayres doesn’t go racing as much as he did in those days, due mainly to the business and his involvement with son Scott with Autograss racing. “But I still go to about 20 meetings a year I would imagine,” Ayres says.
Scott Ayres, 23, also works as a broker at Business Finance Brokers Ltd and is an avid F1 stock car fan.
As a youngster I was a big Frankie Wainman Jnr fan, but I support anyone now who is prepared to get in one of these cars and race
“My first word was “car”,” says Scott. “So there was obviously only way direction I would in! Dad really got me interested when I was about five or six years old. I remember going up to Swaffham when the F1s raced there and then mainly to watch the F1s King’s Lynn.
“As a youngster I was a big Frankie Wainman Jnr fan, but I support anyone now who is prepared to get in one of these cars and race.”
Scott is in his third season competing in Autograss. The decision was made to race in that discipline rather than BriSCA F2 was because of a back problem when he was younger. “We thought being bashed about in a BriSCA F2 probably wasn’t going to do it any good,” Scott says.
“Don’t get me wrong, Autograss is fun but stock car racing is where my heart is.”
He has competed in BriSCA F2, having been given a car to race as a 21st birthday present. Being 6ft 5in tall an F2 is a bit of a squeeze, but he drove a Dave Polley hire car at the Skegness F1 Shootout round meeting in October 2016.
“Dave is quite a tall lad, so it was OK,” explains Scott. “The only thing that proved awkward was getting off the throttle and on to the brake, but apart from that it was fine.
It was a good experience. I didn’t crash, I hit a few cars and got hit a few times and it was good fun. BriSCA F2s is still where I would like to go, but we will have to see what happens
“The contact element wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be either. Before your first hit you’re bricking it a little bit, but when it happened I thought: “No, it’s OK – I’m still alive!”
Ayres did well, picking up a 10th place finish in the Grand National from the back of the grid, starting behind the superstars.
“It was a good experience,” he says. “I didn’t crash, I hit a few cars and got hit a few times and it was good fun. BriSCA F2s is still where I would like to go, but we will have to see what happens.”
Currently, however, his focus is on Autograss.
“I’m a member of the Spalding club and my objective was to win the club championship so I could race as No.1,” says Scott. “And I did that at the end of last year. Other than that I would like to win the Nationals – that is coming up in a month’s time.
“After that racing in BriSCA F2s is the plan but that all depends on a number of things, including my back.”
The priority today, however, is sponsoring the BriSCA F1 World Championship semi-final at Skegness. It is something the Ayres family are justifiably proud and is a project the company has been involved in for the past three years.
“With the business, of course, it is nice to see your name on the side of a car and we started sponsoring Paul Hines about three years ago,” says Peter Ayres. “What we liked about Paul is he is probably one of the best ambassadors we’ve got in the sport and when we looked at sponsoring somebody I said to Kevin, realistically Paul’s car is the one I would like to see our name on.
“Most of the drivers out there are business people. We want to put something back into the sport, but we can see it has potential for our company, in that we can offer the drivers something within their business financially as well.”
You can find more information regarding Business Finance Brokers Ltd on their website at http://www.businessfinancebrokers.co.uk
Photos courtesy of Colin Casserley and Business Finance Brokers Ltd
Neil Randon 2018