Thursday, January 16, 2014
Four-time World Superbike Championship winner Carl Fogarty was the star attraction for a sold-out crowd at Norwich Playhouse, as he kicked his UK tour into top gear.
Joined by friend and television pundit James Whitham, the pair started their six-date tour of Foggy and Whit Givin’ It Gas at the Playhouse on Tuesday night.
Ahead of their Playhouse show Fogarty and Whitham sat down with Norwich’s own Phil Armes, a former Grand Prix and Isle of Mann TT racer himself.
Armes told the duo about his own amazing story and love for the sport, which left him a paraplegic after a crash in 1995.
Fogarty, now 48 years old, reflected on some fond memories of visits to Norfolk to race at Snetterton, saying: “I raced there quite a few times on a 250 and it was one of my first big races which kind of threw me on to the international and national scene back in 1986.
“I came down to Snetterton and finished second behind the Grand Prix winner Andy Watts and I was a bit of an unknown then and I broke the lap record, and that was a big thing for me.
“That race kind of got me late entry for the British Grand Prix that year so that was kind of a big step onto the international scene, that second place.”
The famous track underwent a £3.5m revamp in 2011 and Whitham, who has worked as an analyst for Eurosport and ITV, thinks the changes have been a big success at Snetterton.
“It’s obviously quite flat but it’s got quite a continental feel to it, a constant radius, really smooth, lot of grip and I really like it, it’s good,” Whitham said.
“Then back of the circuit, it’s pretty much the same, you’ve got the Bomb Hole which you wouldn’t want to do away with and the whole Coram section.
“They’ve done a good job, the paddock is a lot nicer than it was and it’s kind of got that non-international feel, which I kind of like, it really has got that grassroots feel, I like the place.”