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Defending the World – 57 Max Stott Interview

Bryson caught up with Max Stott ahead of his defence of the 2L Shale World title.

57 Max Stott is the reigning World Champion, and is set to defend his title here at the Adrian Flux Arena. Stotty raced to the win here in what was a superb drive, and will be looking to deliver a similar performance once again tonight.

Stotty is a veteran racer these days, with 18 years experience under his belt, but where did it all start for the Wisbech man? ‘My first meeting was at Skegness when I was 14 in a Junior Rod. I knew somebody that raced, so I thought I’d have a go!’ As far as Max remembers the outing went well but he confesses ‘I don’t know what I was doing yesterday, so I can’t really remember what I was doing when I was 14!’

From there, Max stepped up into the TSR Bangers when old enough to do so. The formula similar to Rookie/Bangerstox rules, eventually making way for the 1500 National Bangers we are familiar with these days. Max reflects on the step up. ‘Adjusting from the Juniors into Bangers was ok really. I initially started in red and black which were my own colours at the time before linking up with the WMS team. My sister’s boyfriend raced with them, and that was a big contributor into going into Bangers.’

The WMS team were a very strong faction at the time, securing the 1500 Icebreaker titles back in 2009 and 2010 among other accolades. Max enjoyed spells in the 1300 Stock Cars and Robins, but always returned to Bangers. Individually he secured wins in the CrashAttack, Ally Cox Memorial, before taking the Skegness Points Championship in 2013, and represented them at the Unlimited World Championship at Ipswich. Max eventually made the switch to Stock Cars full time, opting to compete in the National Saloon Stock Cars which is ultimately where his biggest win of his racing career was to come. Max recalls how making the switch came about. ‘I just fancied a change from Bangers, and at the time, Saloons were one of the best formulas out there!’ Although he does admit that the move wasn’t as plain sailing as he would have hoped. ‘It certainly isn’t as easy as people think it is. There is a lot more involved than you’d expect.’

With that in mind, I asked Max how long it took before he found himself being competitive in that formula and he giggled, stating ‘I never was!’ We all know that is lies, however, as in 2018, Max soared to victory here at Kings Lynn in a thrilling race to take the Gold Roof and the biggest accolade in his racing career winning the Saloon Stock Car World Championship. Max talked through the emotions of taking those honours. ‘It was really good to win. I had the luck on my side and the car was going well, so it all came together on the night.’

Stotty competed in the Saloons for another couple of seasons, before heading back into the Bangers. ‘It just became so much work on the Saloon. I wanted a change from racing every weekend and being in the shed every night of the week and that’s when the decision was made.’

He slotted straight back into the Bangers, being a regular at the 2 Litre meetings, going on to secure the World Final win last year in similar fashion to his Saloon Stock Car win four years previous. ‘The Saloon victory meant more to me, as the Banger I was just doing for fun; don’t get me wrong, everybody wants to win the World otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. To be the second driver ever to win in Bangers and Saloon was a big achievement for me.’

So who would Max have form his dream team alongside himself? He jokes, ‘can I just have me on my own,’ before going on to decide on Lee Barnes (41), Will Thorpe (132), Lee Howard (441), Zane Douglas (556) and Rick Barsby; oh and Kieran Gray (123), better have him in as a reserve.’

Max would like to conclude the interview with a few notes of appreciation. ‘I’d like to thank Fisher Lock Groundworks, ZLS Body Shop, RabTec and Jobie Cobb Signs.’

We wish Max all the best with his title defence, and thank him for his efforts the past twelve months displaying the gold.

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