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Photo credits : top left ,taken by John Ballantyne on August 30th 1971. at the F5000 support race at Snetterton.
Above , taken by Graham Heath at Aintree in 1973.
Left . photographer unknown. circa 1975
name : ROY YATES
born : BUXTON ,DERBYSHIRE
birthdate : 1945
based : BUXTON ,DERBYSHIRE
profession : GARAGE OWNER
Roy Yates is best known for 3 things ,his two unique Ford V8 special saloons that he built and raced and his long overdue first race win in 1985 after 15 years trying.
Roy owned the Torr Street Garage in Buxton and in the 1970s raced a unique and lurid-coloured Ford Zodiac with a V8 Chevrolet engine. Whilst not a particulary quick combination it certainly stuck out from the ranks of Escorts and Minis.
An Oulton park regular Yates then modified a Ford Mustang Mach One and competed there in the BARC NW Special GT challenge as it was known then.
After 11 times a race runner-up Roy finally tasted victory in June 1985 , see report at end of article.
Roy`s car was a 1965 Ford Zodiac mark 3 ,registration JMA 815C. According to Ballantyne this was Roy`s Rally car put into track use after the engine on his Escort had blown. Came 9th in the Snetterton 3-hours in 1970
The car had a 6.3 Chevy in 1973 ,thererafter used a 5-litre version and the car was further developed as the 1970s wore on.
The whereabouts of this car today is unknown.
Roy`s car getting alot of attention in the Oulton Park paddock in the 70s. By this stage the whole front bonnet section is removable to easier access and a large boot spoiler has been grafted on.
Roy`s next car was a 1972 Ford Mustang Mach One and he raced this in selected ASCAR events in 1981/82/83 with Cleveland 5-litre.
When the BARC-NW club began its Special GT Championship at Oulton Park it provided drivers like Roy a regualar series to compete. In 1984 he was runner up to Bob Trotter at least 4 times during the season.
For 1985 Yates had modfied the Mustang further with a spaceframe rear end and new side pods and wing along the lines of contempory IMSA sports cars.
Roy`s main rival in 1985 was David Ellis` Aston Martin but on June 29th in that cars abscence Roy finally took the winner`s garlands. He still had to fend off another famous car of the time the Malcolm Hamilton Jaguar E , winning by around 10-seconds .
Fourteen times Yates had started on the front row and finished race runner-up eleven so it was a special moment. Also a popular one for as reported in the clipping below the Marshals came onto the track at the end to applaud him and the commentator announced we had never had a more popular race winner.
No doubt Roy`s skill at hurling the relativley heavy brute around Oulton Park , often in the wet had gained him alot of respect.
The Mustang used a big-block Ford 7.2 engine.
The car still exists and is in the US having been restored and officially registered as a historic competitive car raced by Brion Gluck.