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david bartrum and david pinkney - friends and rivals

July 9th 2009

David Bartrum & David Pinkney

In such a competitive championship as the BTCC, there aren't too many long-standing friendships that transcend team boundaries. But the friendship between Motorbase Performance boss David Bartrum and Honda Civic racer David Pinkney goes back two decades.

"The only way to describe David Pinkney is that he is one of the most extrovert characters I've ever met," says Bartrum. "It's been a pleasure having him around and being associated with him for as long as I have been. It was great back in the days of the Esso Group N Saloon Championship and the 500km two-driver races. That whole paddock was full of characters."

David Bartrum & David PinkneyBack then, they were rivals on the track and Pinkney, never noted for his shyness, is quick to remind everyone who was the quicker driver. "God bless him, I was always quicker than Barty," says Pinkney. "I started in 1986 in the old Rover Vitesse and I used to come home behind the Sierra Cosworths. We've been mates for a long time, I've raced with him for a number of years and we won loads of races together."

Back in 1992, they both had Group N Sierra Sapphires and Bartrum well remembers one day at Donington, late in the season. "I had piled his Sierra Sapphire into a million bits at Donington during a two-driver Group N race. So as I'd crashed his car I said he'd better have my car for the TOCA shoot-out meeting and I went commentating with Robin Bradford. Then he piled my car up while I was commentating. I remember Robin saying: 'what do you think of that?' and I said: 'one-all, really'."

David Bartrum & David PinkneyIn more recent times, Pinkney has raced for the Motorbase team and those seasons are etched firmly in Bartrum's memory. "He's raced for us in Carrera Cup, SEAT Cupra, Touring Cars, British GT; he's tried it all and it is always an interesting experience to be involved with him. But no matter what we've done in racing, we've always remained friends and we've always had a laugh," says Bartrum." Along the way, he's been helpful, he's been a hindrance; he's been everything. He can be so pedantic that you wouldn't believe it. He can be stressful and he can be a lot of fun."

Over 20 years on from his first foray into racing, Pinkney is still fiercely competitive. "We all want to win, but it's very hard to win in whatever you are racing. But you've also got to enjoy it. I want to win, but realistically you can't win everything, so you've got to enjoy what you are doing. If you stop enjoy it, stop doing it."

One hold that Bartrum has over Pinkney is that he knows the truth about Pinkney's age, for there remain some myths about just how old the Peter Pan of the BTCC really is. "I know the truth about his age. All I'm going to say is that I went to his 40th birthday party in 1962 up in Harpenden and we're now in 2009. But I don't care how old he is, he's always good fun," says Bartrum. "I think he should actually come out of the closet and declare his age, because he could probably set a record in the BTCC that other people will never attain."

In fact, it was a decision by Pinkney that initially led Motorbase into the BTCC. "He started us off with touring cars; it was his stupid idea to get into this with the Integra. I went on holiday and came back to find we were running the Integra, thanks to him," said Bartrum. "All along the way, he's been involved with what we've done and Graham Dean is with our team now on Rob Collard's car. His older brother Andrew looks after David's racing and is now team manager with him at Dynamics."

David Bartrum & David PinkneyPinkney clearly likes the fact that Bartrum and the Motorbase squad are a key part of the BTCC hierarchy. "We still have a lot of banter together in the BTCC paddock," says Pinkney. "There are some people in the BTCC who are too serious; you can understand the young lads want to be on the limit, but they should chill out and enjoy what they are doing as well. They shouldn't take it all too seriously; like me and Barty!"

"It's great to still have him in the BTCC paddock, because without the characters in the sport there is no fun," concludes Bartrum. "He's a great guy and a great character. He's just what we need in racing, characters like him and I, people who enjoy it," adds Pinkney.