Maxi Jazz Racing
MaxiJazz Racing was created in 2000 when Maxi Jazz (lead singer of the band Faithless) asked Rae Claydon (accomplished Fiesta racing driver) to run him in the Ford Fiesta championship.
They had met at the Brands Hatch school day when Maxi had a go at driving
a racing car.
"My best mate Dave had come up to watch and we were standing at
Paddock Hill during a break when I heard on the tannoy that they were
calling us back. I ran back under the tunnel to find everyone else was
in their car. I heard again 'Max Fraser car number 4!' Rae is sitting
in car number 4 and he sees me, sunglasses on, cap pulled down low, Marlborough
racing jacket, climbing boots around my neck and combat trousers on -
I must have looked particularly delightful. (Rae says he was sitting there
going 'please God not my car, please God not my car' and as Max opened
up the door Rae looks to the sky and says '******!')
Rae had raced Fiestas in previous seasons with Harlow racing and had done rather well. He was leading the championship when the money ran out and he was forced to sit and watch team-mate Alan Morrison catch and eventually win the championship while he finished a tied 4th. Alan went on to race in the British Touring Car Championship.
Rae enlisted the help of Rory and Mark from Harlow Racing and set up MaxiJazz Racing. In their first year (2000) the team started with only Maxi but as the season progressed they added Andy Neate and then Nigel Walker. At the end of the season they were running upto 6 cars including that of Nick Leason.
In 2001 the team expanded by getting a trailer and awning so work on the cars can be performed under cover. The team again comprised of Maxi but with recording and performing obligations he has only been able to race occasionally. Nick and Andy joined the team again with Helen Moore, David Campbell, Damon Wellman and Robert West partaking in drives occasionally. Rae also gets to race when the team commitments allow and it was Rae who got the teams best result - a third at Rockingham.
Unfortunately the Fiesta championship was being downgraded and with Maxi recording and traveling the world to gigs the team was disbanded and the cars sold. Some of the drivers continue racing Fiestas - Andy Neate won the fiesta championship in 2006. Nick Leason went onto Lambos and he and Andy tried the Seat Cupra championship and the British Touring Cars (BTCC). Some of the others come out and race once or twice a year in various cars - well if you can race a Fiesta then you can handle anything. The last car went to Simon Guildford who still races it. Rory and Mark the mechanics are now working on the McLaren F1 Test Team.