Nissan GB Authorized Repairer Andy Middlehurst takes the clock on the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb course in a flame-throwing Skyline GT-R R32.
The former British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) Nissan factory racing driver, who is now the managing director of Middlehurst Nissan in St Helens, Merseyside, will take the wheel of the legendary performance car – nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ – during of the showcase event this coming weekend.
And he looks forward to the experience, despite the daunting prospect of taming a car pumping out over 1,000bhp through all four wheels from its 2.6-litre twin-turbo engine.
“It’s definitely a fast thing,” Andy, 59, said of the car which is expected to hit 62mph in under three seconds. ”Flames come out of the exhaust and it makes an incredible noise. It should be quite a show.”
Middlehurst’s authorized auto repair business has been linked to Nissan since 1980 and a GT-R performance center remains a key part of the business.
His love of racing also remains very much intact.
After starting out in motorcycling, Andy switched to single-seaters in Formula Ford before becoming a Nissan works driver in the British Touring Car Championship in 1992.
In 1993 he began competing in the National Saloon Championship, winning four consecutive titles.
He now competes in the Historic Touring Car Championship, racing regularly for Classic Team Lotus in the famous Lotus 25 driven by Jim Clark during his F1 championship-winning season in 1963.
During this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (June 23-26), Middlehurst will tackle hillclimbing on behalf of Ric Wood Motorsport, a specialist in car design, development and construction , winning engines and components.
And he’s hoping to qualify for the event’s ultra-competitive “Sunday Shootout” after winning the Glover Trophy seven times at the Festival of Speed’s sister event, the Goodwood Revival.
Middlehurst said: “Motorsport has been a big part of my life for decades. I had the chance to have some wonderful experiences and I can’t wait for the Festival of Speed to come.