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Rested and ready – 356 Harry Overy Interview

Harry Overy is a driver known around the raceways, and with that surname, it’s hard to escape the limelight as such. Harry is back tonight for the 2L ORC World Championship at Mildenhall after a 12 month absence due to a ban, and he talks his career to date, what is was like being away from racing for that long and the expectations of being a member of such a prominent racing family.

Being part of the Overy family, it was always inevitable that Harry would end up on the ovals. ‘From as long as I can remember, I’ve always been around the racing scene with my old man and uncle Jack racing themselves. I started racing go-karts when I was 7, then moved into the Ministox when I was 11 and then on to the Bangers at 16. I dont really think I stood much chance going into any other hobbies,’ he laughs.

Although Harry admits he never stood a chance at other hobbies, it was still a moment that he talked about growing up; getting out there on track emulating his father and uncle. ‘My early memories are probably of messing around at my dad’s yard building bangers etc and going racing with my cousin Lauren – it was always cool watching both our dads race and knowing that we’d be doing that one day.’

Ministox is where it all began on the ovals for Harry, where he enjoyed a strong spell, although Harry admits it wasn’t all smooth sailing. ‘It had it’s ups and downs. Me and Dad set out to win the RDC Points Championship one year which we did – that was cool, as he had won it in 2008 in the Bangers. We didn’t really have “championships” in the Minis, so that was a good thing to win at the time. The minis in general were a cool formula; when we started there used to be 20+ minis, but unfortunately it died down towards the end so I sort of lost interest as I was already focused on the Bangers. The karting experience definitely helped in the mini and even helps in the bangers with left foot breaking, different racing lines, reading the race etc; I wouldn’t change any of it for the world that’s for sure! I owe a lot to a lot of people who helped me in them early years of racing.’

Harry remains very humble and thankful for those early opportunities, and it was further assistance that enabled him to have his first taste of Bangers. ‘617 called me up on the Tuesday and said “fancy racing Standlake HMC Sunday, you’ll be alright,” and I wasn’t going to say no was I,’ Harry laughs. ‘I did more donuts than a donut stand does on a busy day, but it was some experience! There was an Incarace drawn grid and I ended up on pole which was fun. I’d only drove a banger for 5 laps around Swaffham.’

Harry’s racing has progressed nicely along since then. ‘We just keep turning up and keep learning with every meeting. I’ve qualified for some big races and qualified for the Ipswich world final which was a dream ticked off the bucket list and one from my dads as well. We aren’t nowhere near the top of the field yet, but we will keep learning and giving it our all!’

Harry’s racing slowed down massively, in fact coming to a complete halt with a 12 month ban being given at last year’s Kev Waller Reunion, but he is back and looking to continue where he left off. ‘It’s been weird having the time away. Obviously I’ve been racing near on every weekend since I was 7 – don’t get me wrong it’s been nice to actually plan stuff and not have to fit it around racing and being able to be a normal 22 year old and go out. I’m buzzing to be back and looking forward to having a few smashed up cars to strip again!’

Back out on track and already eager to keep the momentum rolling, but what does Harry have planned? ‘Just to enjoy it and go out there with no pressure – whatever happens, happens. If I get smashed up, come back, build a new one and go again – as long as we are smiling and having a good time, that’s all you can ask for really. I feel like people get too political over the social media aspect. I might just be old school but shake hands and have a laugh; that’s proper bangers in my opinion.’

You can’t really fault Harry’s attitude at all, and it’s 100% the better side of racing when driver’s have that same approach to racing as to what Harry does. We’ve mentioned the aura that Overy family name holds within the banger community, but what is it like being a part of that. ‘I’ll be honest with you, I’m proud to have that last name and carry it on. I understand the pressure and weight of, and what it carries in the racing world. Listening to stories of my grandad back in the 70’s & 80’s is something to be proud of in itself, let alone the races Jack and my dad have won. It’s an honour to represent the Team Black colours as well. Growing up that’s all I wanted to do. I’ve got a long way to go from filling the boots of the Overy name, but like I say I go out and give it 110% – that’s all you can do right?’

Harry has already identified some key moments of his career, but there are many more to recall. ‘World Final was definitely up there like I said – the year Jack won it, Dad said that he would love to drive me out for that race, so for us to achieve that was cool. When me and Lauren were in Ministox, we were both silver roofs at the same time which was also cool. Another that especially stands out is when me and dad raced at Mildenhall together the other year; that will never be forgotten.’

With all that in mind, who would Harry have alongside himself to form his dream team? ‘617 Jack, 125 Hitler, not the OAP version,’ Harry jokes. ‘920 Medley, 82 Quinney and 217 Sidney when he’s not being gay in a F2.’

Harry would like to conclude the interview with a list of thank you’s. ‘Where do I start, firstly all my sponsors:

beck row dismantlers 

overy traction 

c j overy crane transport hire

sj parr and sons ltd

aj auto services 

pitstop auto fact

smr fabrications 

j house roofing 

I’d also like to thank my mum and dad for all the time and money they’ve put into my racing over the years. Jake for giving up his nights and weekends building the cars for me. Jack, Gina and Sid for always pointing me in the right direction. Anyone who has helped me over the years whether it be a little or a lot, I appreciate you all and to anyone who’s come to watch and support me at any race meetings. Thank you!

356 x’

We hope Harry enjoys being back behind the wheel and look forward to seeing him back out on track.

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