When Holbeach stock car racer Stuart Parnell (33) crossed the finish line at the Supreme Championships in Skegness last month, he had no idea of what he had achieved.
The former 2004 World of Shale champion had just become 1,300 Saloon Stock Car Supreme Champion in a modified Vauxhall Corsa at Skegness Stadium, ending a 12-year quest for the title.
Parnell said: “I’d raced in King’s Lynn all my life until three years ago when I began racing at Skegness Stadium.
“I’ve been trying to win races but no matter how much money you put into the sport, there are always people better than you.
“Last October, I told my dad that I was going to end up riding motorbikes because I’d had enough of stock cars.
“But he came round my house to build the car for my birthday and it’s taken me a year to get it right.”
Parnell’s dad Gordon is well known on the east of England stock car circuit and when he combined with A. Woods Agricultural Engineers of Holbeach and stock car racer Jimmy Newson to produce a title-winning stock car, Parnell’s success was sealed.
“I don’t know how I managed to win the title except that I was in the right place at the right time, with a borrowed engine,” Parnell said.
“I knew that I’d won the race and I thought to myself ‘it’s been a year since I won the last one.’
“But when I got out of the car, a marshal told me that I was the Supreme Champion and I couldn’t believe it.
“There are usually two heats and a final but instead of that, they just had the final this year.”
Parnell shared the success with his dad, daughter Lola Parnell (3) and partner Trudy Waterfall.
“It’s given me a bit of a kick up the bottom,” Parnell said.