Derek Walker remains one of the most popular figures in motorsport circles in the Oulton Park area.This is not just for his record number of wins at the Cheshire circuit but for his times as a race official and Marshal training. Beyond that he is also admired for building a string of his own cars given that he wasnt in the engineering trade. These cars were all knicknamed Ladybird - mark 1 , 2 , 3 etc. The first 10 were all single seaters , 1172 Formula , Clubmans or FFord. Having started racing in 1961 the first `Ladybird` saloon appeared in 1974 so that`s where Derek`s career is documented from on this page. Whilst the records arnt complete they do serve as a fair guide to his saloon career . Quite how many races / class wins Derek achieved at Oulton Park i dont know , it was reported in 1978 that he held the record with 37 wins at the time with a further 5 years of good racing still ahead .

FIAT 850 COUPE

( Ladybird Mk.11 )
The Fiat 850 may seem an odd choice but when derek decided to build his first saloon car he wanted to go down the rear-engined root. The 1970`s rules back then specified that special saloon builds had to retain the engine at the same end of the car it was based on from the production version . So Derek`s car was one of the new breed of rear-engined special saloons built such as the Daf , Corvair and Skodas.
Walker`s Fiat was actually the former Tony Lanfranchi F3 Merlyn to which Derek adapted the chassis into a 2-seater and modified it to take the 850 body shell and his trusted 1-litre Ford Holbay engine that he was used to from Ladybird IX .
The little yellow Fiat made a change in the very competitive 1000cc class against the established Imps , Minis and remaining Anglias in the mid-70s.
The chassis still exists Derek told me though it has been returned to single seater form as does the shell.

Walker Fiat

note: further Simoniz rounds to be added as its noted that at August 21st Derek had 23 points whilst in third place in class at that point .

note: Derek`s fastest lap im aware of round Oulton Park in the Fiat is 1minute 11 seconds dead ( 83.86 mph average ). FL indicates fastest lap set , these are for the class but in the case of Hitachi races outright as these races were for cars up to 1000cc. Derek signed off with the Fiat with a photo finish win and record fastest lap at Mallory Park.

note: further Rivet Supply rounds to be added as its noted that at September 7th Derek had 21 points whilst joint class leader with Tony Sugden , 3rd overall.

note : more results to be added in this section as Derek won his class ( up to 2500cc ) in the `Motoring News`Donington GT Championship. Total class wins for the year were 10 , with 7 runner-up places in possibly his best season of racing. Fastest known lap at Donington 1min. 18.2 ( 90.11 mph )

Q and A with Derek Walker - February 2016

And finally who was your toughest opponent on the track ?

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