Racing car driving Norwich man’s business
It's many a man's dream to own a racing car, but for one Sprowston entrepreneur it has become a reality.
From a workshop in the home of British F1 racing at Silverstone, former offshore worker Kevin Milner has bought a replica F1 car shell in a bid to give people a taste of the racing driver experience.
The 47-year-old is now hoping to attract corporate events, weddings and anyone looking for a big of glamour to hire his car.
Pedals, a steering wheel and gear stick are connected to a simulator allowing people to test their driving skills and measure their lap times.
Mr Milner, who grew up in Costessey, was in the army for 10 years before he became a construction worker at Sizewell B. He then worked as an offshore crane operator for 18 years.
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'It takes it toll. It got to the point where going away was becoming more onerous', he said.
He and his wife Louise, who live on Gurney Drive, Sprowston, decided they would look into starting a business so he could be with his family.
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Although he is not a fanatic, he said that he had always been a Formula One bystander.
'It is a business model that struck me as something that would work. It's the glamour and cache of doing an event of that theme.'
He said that he also wanted to do something that he could involve his family with.
His daughter Lisa, 21, is a pit girl with her cousin Amy Lake, 18. His son Jack, 15, acts as the Go Race version of The Stig.
'I have been away all of my children's life. I have missed some significant moments in their growing up. I cannot have that time back. So this was a way of getting out of the rat race of going offshore and trying my hand at something completely different.'
He said: 'It is actually purpose-built in Silverstone. They do not come off the production line. The software and trickery are also sourced in the UK.'
He picked up the car in February and since then he has been taking the car to shows.
'It is a full-sized Forumla One sports car. It looks and feels like a Formula One car', he said.
He said that it did have to be a basic version of an F1 car because a lot of the technology was kept secret until cars started the race.
'They wouldn't want us to copy their cars exactly.'
He said that it was made by the same people who build Formula One show cars.
For more information go to www.goraceevents.com or call Kevin Milner on 07986 143399.
Have you realised your dream of starting a new business? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org