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Perry McCarthy (born 3 March 1961) is a British racing driver, who drove for the Andrea Moda team in Formula One in 1992, though never making it into a race, before moving into sportscars, including driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times between 1996 and 2003.

Perry McCarthy
2003 pq paddocks-perry-mccarthy.jpg
McCarthy in 2003
Born (1961-03-03) 3 March 1961 (age 58)
Stepney, East London, England
Formula One World Championship career
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Active years1992
TeamsAndrea Moda
Entries10 (0 starts)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First entry1992 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last entry1992 Italian Grand Prix

McCarthy also portrayed The Stig in the first two series of BBC motoring show Top Gear.

Contents

CareerEdit

Born in Stepney, East London,[1] McCarthy grew up to work for his father's company servicing North Sea oil rigs. Unlike most Formula One drivers, McCarthy did not start racing in karts. He worked his way through the junior categories of motor sport in Europe, such as Formula Ford, Formula 3, eventually F3000 and various touring and sports car races in the US, including drives for Spice Engineering.

In 1991, McCarthy was chosen to test for the Footwork Formula One team. Although he impressed the team, his break did not come until the eve of the 1992 Formula One season, when he was signed by the independent Andrea Moda team run by Andrea Sassetti who thought that entering Formula One would be a good way to advertise his shoe business. The team was uncompetitive, disorganized and poorly managed, and after a lengthy battle to gain an FIA Super Licence the season soon descended into farce.[2] McCarthy, frequently denied more than a handful of laps in which to prepare, failed to qualify for any Grand Prix. His Grand Prix debut at Spain lasted eighteen metres down the pit lane in pre-qualifying. The team folded before the end of the season in controversial circumstances and McCarthy was left without a drive. In a July 2004 interview with The Times, McCarthy discussed how this period in his career had contributed to him being dubbed the world's unluckiest racing driver, saying "Dick Dastardly had more luck than me".[2]

McCarthy did not race in Formula One after 1992, but tested for both Williams and Benetton teams during the 1990s. He was denied a permanent role as test driver at Benetton because he was covering for their normal test driver, Alessandro Zanardi, who was unwell. He had little success at Williams because he did not see eye to eye[clarification needed] with the engineers[citation needed] and the position was then given to David Coulthard.

Top GearEdit

After a brief retirement, McCarthy returned to sports car racing, appearing at Le Mans in 2002 and numerous other events. In 2002, he released his autobiography entitled Flat Out, Flat Broke, in which he spoke candidly about his time in Formula One and, in the second edition, his work for the BBC's Top Gear motoring show as The Stig, a masked, anonymous, racing driver who evaluated the latest high performance cars.[3] McCarthy was the original, black-suited Stig, who left after the first two series. He provided commentary on F1 races for the BBC in 2009.[4] McCarthy now works as a corporate ambassador and after-dinner speaker for corporations around the world.[5]

BibliographyEdit

In 2002, McCarthy wrote an autobiography, titled Flat Out, Flat Broke: Formula 1 the Hard Way!; it detailed his career, and the hardships he faced while trying to break into Formula One. In the second edition of this book, McCarthy revealed that he was Top Gear's The Stig.[6]

Racing recordEdit

Complete International Formula 3000 resultsEdit

(key)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1988 GA Motorsports JER VAL PAU SIL MNZ PER BRH BIR
DNQ
NC 0
Team Ralt BUG
Ret
ZOL
Ret
DIJ
16
1989 Cowman Racing SIL VAL PAU JER PER BRH BIR
DNQ
SPA
7
BUG
15
DIJ NC 0

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key)

Yr Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 WDC Points
1992 Andrea Moda Formula Andrea Moda S921 Judd V10 RSA MEX BRA
DNP
ESP
DNPQ
SMR
DNPQ
MON
DNPQ
CAN
DNP
FRA
DNA
GBR
DNPQ
GER
EX
HUN
DNPQ
BEL
DNQ
ITA
DNP
POR JPN AUS NC 0

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1996   Viper Team Oreca   Dominique Dupuy
  Justin Bell
Chrysler Viper GTS-R GT1 96 DNF DNF
1997   David Price Racing   David Brabham
  Doc Bundy
Panoz Esperante GTR-1 GT1 145 DNF DNF
1999   Audi Sport UK Ltd.   James Weaver
  Andy Wallace
Audi R8C LMGTP 198 DNF DNF
2002   DAMS   Jérôme Policand
  Marc Duez
Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S LMP900 98 DNF DNF
2003   Audi Sport UK
  Arena Motorsport
  Frank Biela
  Mika Salo
Audi R8 LMP900 28 DNF DNF

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Perry McCarthy". ChicaneF1. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Dick Dastardly had more luck than me The Times". Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Perry McCarthy: 'I was the original Stig'". BBC News. 25 August 2010.
  4. ^ Horth, John. "BBC - Press Red Blog: What's On BBC Red Button (28 March - 10 April)". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Perry McCarthy - The Original Stig From Top Gear". Perrymccarthy.co.uk. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Portrait of a driver: Perry McCarthy". Telegraph.co.uk. London. 8 May 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2013.
Media offices
New title The Stig
2002 - 2003
Succeeded by
Ben Collins
As White Stig