Jim Marsden took a few moments out of his busy schedule to chat to us about being a 4x4 racing driver.
When did you start competitive driving?
“I first started driving competitively in 2000 which now seems like a very long time ago.”
What was your car?
“Like most people in the UK I started driving Land Rovers off-road and my first competitive car was a Defender 90 SV which amazingly I still own and drive.”
When did you win your first race/championship?
“My first race was the Belgium Land Rover Nationals in 2000. I was part of 5 vehicle team comprising of friends from Hungary, Holland and the UK. It was tough, really tough but we never surrendered and won our first ever event and the team spirit award.”
When did you start competing outside your own country?
Who did you look up to when you started racing? Why?
“There are so many heroes in our sport but in the early days it was Andraes Geros and Rob Gosemiejer. Then as I got into racing it was Simon Buck from Devon 4×4 who was a huge influence. His attention to detail and his will to win was inspiring. Then there is Jason Scherer, Tony Baskil, Boros Csaba, Wayne Smith and so many others that have had a profound influence on the way I see the world. This sport is rammed with talented people.”
Who inspires you to push yourself?
“Me! I am hard on myself and never surrender. I have so many trophies that came from digging deep at moments when all seems lost.”
Who do you think will win the next Ultra4 Europe title?
“We had a great start to the year, but our Maxxis team mate Rob Butler is on fire, plus a load of other drivers like Emanuel Costa are getting quicker.
King of Britain is going to be seriously tough to call!”
What do you think is the most important part of your 4×4 car to help you win? Why?
“Wow now that is a tough question. The honest answer is there is no single component that can carry us to the finish line, but there are some parts that certainly play a huge part like our awesome Trepador tyres. I am still staggered that we didn’t have a single puncture at King of France. That really was remarkable and shows just how good that tyre really is.”
Can you maintain your own 4×4 car if needed? Are you a mechanic?
“I own and run Land Rover specialists Gigglepin 4×4 and work on all my own race cars, but I also have a fantastic team that bang in the hours to make sure our preparation is 100%.”
What do you enjoy most about racing?
“Winning! But also the comradery with the Gigglepin family and other teams on and off the track. Some of the events I race are up to 8 days and covering over 2000km. You certainly get to make some great friends in that environment.”
Which sections of a track do you enjoy the most?
“I get to race in some of the most beautiful terrain in the world and sometimes we do just stop and say “Wow”, but then its back on the skinny pedal and head for everyone’s favourite bit, the finish line!”
Do you have other cars of your own?
“I have far too many Land Rovers if I’m honest. They are an important part of my life and I am sure I will end up with more in the future.”
What has been your favourite car to drive? Why?
“Now that is a tough one as I have driven some mighty vehicles over the years. My current favourite belongs to a friend of mine and is a Land Rover Defender fitted with a 6.2 LS3 V8 and a 6 speed auto box – drives like no other Defender and just makes you smile.”