A Cuppa Tea With... Jack Oliphant

A Cuppa Tea With... Jack Oliphant

Here at Ginetta towers, we get lots of praise for our superb racing drivers and the endless laps of entertainment they provide. Yet, you – the public – often don’t get to find out what’s going on under those race suits and helmets. Okay, so it’s usually fireproof underwear, but what about the drivers themselves, what makes them tick?

So, because we love nothing more than a good chatter over a mug of Yorkshire Tea and some custard creams, we’ve sat our drivers down to ask them a couple of questions which should give you an insight into their lives. Or just entertain you for a minute.

This week, we’ve been chatting to one of the youngest ever members of the Ginetta Racing Drivers Club, university student Jack Olipant. (Yes, he is the younger brother of real-life Ginetta GT4 SuperCup Champion 2015).

 

Ginetta: What do you have to set to ‘record’ on your TV when you’re away racing?

JO: Unfortunately I don't get to record much because my dad might miss 10 mins of his precious Tour de France or something! However, if I did get to record stuff, it'd have to be Dr Who followed by Match of the Day. Mainly to see Sunderland lose and Newcastle won't be on it anymore.

 

G: Who would play you in a film about your life?

JO: My mates used to say I look like Jonah Hill when he was in Superbad, which I thought was a bit harsh (No offence to Jonah). I choose to believe it was because of the curly hair.

 

G: Who’s the most exciting person that follows you on Twitter?

JO: If you’re going off the number of followers they have, I'd unfortunately have to say my brother Tom. But if you’re going off people of actual interest then I'd say Chris McDermott and Bobby White who both played Handball (my main sport) in the Olympics 2012.

 

G: Do you have any pre-race rituals?

JO: Not really specific rituals or routines, although I should probably start, considering my erratic performances this year.

 

G: What’s been the hairiest moment behind the wheel of a race car or go-kart?

JO: This is actually a long story so I apologise. I have about three, but my main one was when I was 12 or 13 and racing a Raket Kart. I had just qualified out of Novice and it was my first proper qualified race weekend. Halfway through a race I went to overtake a kart - which was breaking down - over the start Finish straight at Whilton Mill.

As I went to pass it around the outside, he decided to pull off by pulling across the racing line! His front wheel hit my back wheel and I ended up barrel rolling my kart on the grass right in front of all the spectators (including my Mum, Dad and Brother) and ended up about 10ft away from my kart lying on the grass not knowing what on earth had just happened. The first thing I remember was my Mum shouting 'He's never racing again!' Which, evidently, was incorrect.