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Moore than just another name – 671 Leo Moore Interview

Leo Moore will not be a name that is known to many banger fans, but the youngster has been steadily creeping up the grades in the 1300 Stock Cars here at Trackstar and is set to make his National Banger debut this weekend at the Unlimited Icebreaker. Bryson caught up with Leo to discuss his racing journey to date, his thoughts on bangers and what lies ahead for him.

Like many, Leo followed his family routes in racing, but his journey to the ovals differs from what we usually see, as Leo delves into. ‘My family have been into motorsport for as long as I can remember, with my dad racing Brisca F2s when he was in his late teens and my uncles racing 1300 Stock Cars and Stock Rods. My dad’s racing stopped due to me and my brother being being born, however it didn’t stop my dad from getting back into racing. He brought a 1300 again, and I went to near enough every meeting with him. I always enjoyed watching any type of racing as a child and always wanted to give it a go for myself. Dad packed up with his racing to concentrate on me and my brother as we’d begun go-karting where I travelled all around the UK. I moved up to the adult class where I got 3rd in the championship at Fulbeck. In all of that, the Stock Cars part of us never left, and so we came back to it with purchasing me a 1300 Stock Car. It was a big change to get used to, but with my Dads past experience with racing in this formula he gave me some advice to help me get to where I am now. I’ve been blue roof in the 1300 Stock Cars for the majority of the season and stayed there – the next aim is superstar.’

Obviously going from karting to the ovals must have come with its challenges to adapt to the contact and shale surface. ‘It was a big step, as being sat around an inch off the floor in karts to racing full size cars was a big change. The biggest difference I noticed was from the size difference as the kart was a lot smaller than my 1300 stock car. This took time to get used to and was definitely the biggest difference I noticed. Some people would think that going from racing circuits to oval racing is easy, but I’d have to disagree. There’s a small margin for mistakes, especially within the 1300s, as when people are close to you they can use the bumper and force there way through, where as in karting if you make a mistake you can drive the defensive line and reduce the chances of being overtaken due to it being non-contact.  wouldn’t have been able to do this switch without my Dad, he’s given me tips throughout my career in the oval scene which has allowed me to progress and improve.’

Despite the family heritage for Leo being orientated around the ovals, nobody in his family tree have stepped foot in the world of Bangers, so why now for Leo? ‘Since getting involved with the stock car racing and going to many meetings, I’ve wanted to have a go in a banger. We were considering building a banger like a Micro Banger or something small like that, however with racing the stock car it’s hard to find time.’ Luckily for Leo, the chance to have an opportunity arose when The Predators released a raffle for their MND fundraiser where the winner got to race an Unlimited alongside the Predators. ‘I saw the post come up and there was only about 10 numbers left, so I chose a random number. I’ve always wanted to race a banger and this was an opportunity for me to. Even though I was thinking of racing a micro banger, an unlimited banger is much better – being honest, I totally forgot about the raffle and didn’t think I was going to win, but in reality I had as good as a chance as anyone else. When I won I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t think I would get the chance to race a banger let alone an Unlimited at one of the biggest meetings of the year. Even though I’ve never driven a rear wheel drive car before, I’ll give it a good go. I wouldn’t say no to any form of racing.’

Straight in at the deep end it is for Leo, racing for the Predators; one of the biggest teams in racing currently as is evident with their Caged! Team of the Year accolade for the second year running. Leo expressed what it means to be racing in the red and blue. ‘The Predators are one of the most famous teams out there and have been around for years. They have been one of the best teams out there for many years now and have some of the best drivers such a Kieran Bowman who is the World Champion in 2 Litre bangers and is one of the most famous drivers in the Unlimited Bangers aswell. Driving for the predators adds a bit of pressure if I’m being honest as,they are known for being up there with the best banger team, so I’m going to try my best to live up to their expectations. However in this day and age in banger racing there wouldn’t be another team I’d rather race for.’

That’s certainly high praise for his teammates on the day, but what can we expect to see from Leo. He aims to try and get some laps under his belt, but admits if there is a crash to be had, he’s up for it. ‘I mean who wouldn’t go steaming in. This may be my only chance I have to race an Unlimited Banger, so I want to at least have one good shot – that’s if I can keep it in a straight line!’

Rewinding slightly, Leo mentioned it has always been something he has wanted to do; racing a banger, so what is the appeal to him? ‘In banger racing the action is non-stop, and the buzz you get from just watching it is amazing – the massive follow-ins and crashes that happen out on the track. That action from the Bangers just makes we want to have a go in one. It’s just the feeling I get from watching bangers follow each other in, steaming into the back of each other. It’s something I’ve always wanted to get involved in.’

Leo had a brilliant 2023 season in his 1300 Stock Car as he mentions, climbing to a blue grade which he has maintained for most of the season. He irons out his expectations for the year – could we see more banger outings if this goes well? ‘I’m sticking to the 1300 Stock Car, as the popularity of the formula is increasing and the racing is becoming more lively and more enjoyable to watch and race. There could be a couple of appearances within the Bangers nearer the end of the year, however the focus for the 2024 season will be on trying to win a championship within the 1300 Stock Cars.’

We’ve discussed Leo’s slightly different route into racing, so what advice would he have for anyone that would like to get out on track? ‘In my eyes, go for it. There’s a formula for everyone l, some are cheaper than others, which allows people with all budgets to have a go with racing. If you’re unsure that you’ll enjoy it, there are hire cars out there which you can have a go which is a perfect way to see if you to want to buy your own vehicle. Some more advice I’d give is that there is a lot of work to be put in. It doesn’t depend on what formula people race, there is always work to be done.’

With all that we have learnt from Leo, we got him to form his dream 6 a side team, and it’s heavily Trackstar orientated. ‘The first driver I’ll put in the team would be 178 Kieran Bowman due to his experience with banger racing and racing in all different formulas. The second and third drivers I’ll add to the team would be number 100 ‘Cock’ Callum White and 791 ‘Spud’ Nicky Young. These two would bring entertainment to the team as they are always first in to a crash and they entertain the crowd by putting on a good show. The 4th driver I would add would be 455 Rickki Finney, due to the fact that he’s a rapid driver and raced for Team Stinkbridge which are my favourite banger team, although it’s very rare to see them race anymore. The fifth driver I would add would be 51 James Liquorice as he’s near enough at every Trackstar meeting and always going in for big hits. The sixth and final driver would be myself, as I’d want to be involved in the best team in history.’

It’s been great getting to know Leo, and he’d like to conclude the interview with a few thank-you’s. ‘I’d like to thank all my sponsors – Princes Scrap Metals, R Ward Vehicle & Repairs, Moore Building Solutions, Maltby Services & Repairs and Chris Landscape SE. I’d also like to thank my family and friends for helping out. I’d like to thank my dad the most for all the work he puts in to my racing, go out all day to work but still finding time to get me out for all my meeting with only missing 2 meetings. My racing wouldn’t be possible without him, so my biggest thank you goes to him.’ We wish Leo the best of luck on his debut Banger appearance and for the season in the 1300 Stock Car.

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