Walero’s ‘Real Racers’ campaign intends to shine a light on the personalities, stories and characters across all levels of grassroots motorsport. All members of the campaign compete up and down the land and have independently chosen Walero to keep them cool under pressure and help them fight it out at the front of the grid. This month shines that light on Page 3 Racing, a family affair united by their love of cars as they gear up to make their racing debut at Brands Hatch.
‘Family’ is a byword for ‘team’. As a family, you enjoy the good times together and you battle the hard. For the Page family, they’ve taken that one step further and will soon race together.
With their fascination for cars spread across generations, the Page family, from Tenterden in Kent, became so enthralled by watching races at their local track – the revered Brands Hatch – that they decided to go all-in and take to the track themselves.
“It’s the three of us – my dad, me and my brother Matt.
“We’ve always been interested in motorsport but really just watching; my dad used to go and watch races at Brands Hatch with his dad and his brother and over the years we’ve gone to quite a few events.
“We’ve been to endurance events, we’ve been to Goodwood and it was all just a bonding experience for us really; cars have drawn us together over the years. A couple of years ago we started to go to Goodwood and watching the Mini’s go round the track was probably some of the most entertaining racing we’ve ever watched and we suddenly thought ‘what would that be like to do?’. None of us had ever done any racing, we’d been to go-kart tracks and that was about it. But we enjoyed it, always enjoyed driving and enjoyed cars but racing was never really one of the things that was on our radar.”
With the costs of motorsport well-documented, the family were conscious of the level of investment needed to be able to go racing but knew they had more to learn. With the idea firmly in their heads, Jonathan and Matt’s father enlisted some expert knowledge from the master of Minis, Nick Swift.
“My dad had actually started talking to Nick and discovered it wasn’t quite as intimidating from a cost point of view as it might have been on the face of it, certainly compared to a lot of the other things in historics and racing. No motorsport is cheap but this was a bit more accessible, so he started to put things up and we began thinking about it.
“A car then became available through Nick and my dad jumped at the chance and went ‘yep, let’s go and do this’.”
They had all the gear but, by their own admission, little to no idea. With a stunning classic 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S ready to go, all the family had to do now was to get up to speed behind the wheel. As complete novices to competitive racing, it wasn’t an easy task to learn all the nuances of racing classic cars.
“We got the car around September,” Jonathon explained. “At this point we’d never even done a trackday in a real car so we were pretty green!”
In a bid to help them get race ready, Nick Swift pointed the Page 3 family in the direction of fellow Mini legend, Nick Padmore.
“If you look at the Mini 60 race from Goodwood in 2019, it’s those two at the front of the pack. We went out and did a couple of trackdays with Nick Padmore teaching us, he started us off in a one-litre Audi A1, just a front-wheel drive thing to get us up to speed and then gradually put us in the Mini.”
As a family foremost and a racing team second, the team dynamic is a very familiar one.
“Dad’s definitely the team boss, that’s for sure!” Jonathon said. “Eventually we’ll all be driving, we’re all going to be taking it in turns to drive.
“It’s pretty level pegging at the moment between me and Matt. The way that Nick has taught us is a very good driving style, he’s made sure we’re both progressing at a similar rate. He’s a fantastic teacher.”
The team’s first race is in the HSCC Historic Touring Cars series, fast approaching on Sunday July 12th. On home turf at Brands Hatch, it’ll be a new experience for them all and one they will never forget.
“The first time turning up and lining up on the grid is going to feel pretty intense. We went to one of the HSCC events at Brands last year. The racing looked fantastic, it looked like a really good club and everything we’ve heard about how they organise is really good in terms of events and the racing is firm but fair.
“They’ve had to condense races and you’ve got a lot more people trying to get on much fewer events so this year I think they’re aiming to fill the grid for the GP which will be about 40-something cars. That’s a mix of Minis, Mustangs and Cortinas so we’re going to be super quick in the corners and then get absolutely mullered on the straights by a Mustang or something!”
Despite the challenges faced at the moment, the family haven’t lost out on track time and are still on schedule to complete their season and achieve as many of their goals as they possibly can.
“For us, it probably hasn’t impacted that much,” Jonathon explained. “I think we would have only been maybe a month or two further than we are now. This year is really just us getting out and getting some seat time, if we can get all our signatures for our license upgrade then that would be great.
“It’s kind of keeping noses clean but at the same time hopefully giving people at the back of the grid a run for their money!”
Having only bought the car in September last year and with no competitive action under their belts, the family have already started to gain a large following on social media.
“When you talk about goals for this year, another aspect of it is that it’s not just the racing. It would be really good for us to provide some meaningful content to people who are perhaps in the position we were just before we decided to jump in and for them to hear about how we’ve been able to do it.
“They can take that and see it is accessible and it’s not as daunting as it might be. In terms of that, it would be really nice by the end of the year to have some stories about the first year and how we found the first year in terms of racing.”
The team’s Instagram page is fast approaching 4,000 followers and is no doubt helped by having such an impressive car to show off.
“I think having a very attractive looking car helps and that was a bit of a fluke. Our audience tends to be, as far as we’ve seen, not so much in the racing community but more in the Mini community and people tend to really gravitate towards pictures of the car. Put a picture of us up and it gets about 1% of the engagement of the actual car!”
The rest of the Page family are suitably excited for the season to get underway and have issued a firm order to the team not to let anything go to waste.
“I think they’re looking for an excuse to come and have a drink down by the side of the track! We’ve been told in no uncertain terms that the champagne is definitely not for spraying, it’s for drinking and if we don’t come with some, at least this year, then we’re in big trouble! The perspective is ‘let’s go, enjoy, support and have a good time’.”
With everything in place to get out on the race track, all that’s left now for Page 3 Racing is to go and enjoy their first foray into motor racing. With a tidy motor at their disposal, they’re sure to make the most of every second behind the wheel and hope to come away with some strong results to boot.