Whirlybird Autosport was formed in 1999 by Paul Dobbing and Pete Shaw, when Paul began to fulfil a life long ambition to race cars.  Paul bought a Ginetta G27 and started racing in the Ginetta Pentel Cup run by Ginetta Cars.  Pete volunteer his services to help out and run the car and started off by accompanying Paul to race meetings to give technical support (Paul didn't like to get his hands dirty now he was a Racing Driver), but it was not long before Pete was also bitten by the racing bug as well. Paul and Pete had never been involved in motor sport before, although both had a healthy interest in the sport and of fast cars from an early age.  They first met in 1986 while working in the Royal Air Force as Aircraft Technicians on Search and Rescue Sea King Helicopters; hence 'Team Whirlybird'.  Paul left the RAF in 1992 to pursue a career outside the service and they remained good friends.  Working within the RAF gave them an excellent opportunity to gain experience and training in the field of mechanical engineering; as well as working as a team. The first couple of seasons in the Ginetta series helped them to gain the necessary experience in motor racing and it wasn't long before people started to take notice of their achievements.  Paul had a real talent for driving and if he did not finish the race in the top half of the field then he had not finished the race. Finances were very limited and Paul and Pete's aim was to race on a tight budget, this was done very successfully as their achievements show; often beating some of the bigger more well supported teams.  During their third season Paul and Pete found that there were other like minded owner/drivers who could not afford to spend a small fortune on arrive and drive packages that were on offer.  So they started to give track side assistance to some of the other drivers in the series, and so Team Whirlybird was born! It was at this point that Dave Robinson got fully involved with the team.  Until now Dave had attended the race meetings as a supporter and lent an occasional helping hand, but now it was time to get his hands dirty full time.  Dave had a similar background to Paul and Pete, becoming very good friends while serving in the Royal Air Force on the Search and Rescue Helicopters; so he was no stranger to working with madmen and prima donnas!  Sadly, Dave pasted away in August 2009 of a brain tumer.  Dave is sorely missed, but his son, Peter, still supports the team. The team raced the Ginetta for three and a half years ending their association with this series by achieving 2nd in the championship.  Although Paul had put a string of wins under his belt and many second places in this final season, the honour of 1st place in the series eluded them; so it was time to move on and gain more experience in another series. Paul was keen to try endurance racing and Pete saw the opportunity in this kind of racing to get more involvement by means of developing Pit Crew experience and even the possibility of taking the ARDS test to drive, funds and wife permitting!  The Team visited the Autosport International show at the NEC Birmingham in January 2002 and a new series was found, the Uniroyal Team Challenge; all they needed now was a car. A Second-hand (only Raced once honest guv!) Uniroyal Team Challenge Car, built by Franz Dubois Racing in Belgium, was found for sale at JPR Motorsport in August 2002. The Car was soon snapped up and race prepared by the Team in time for the last meeting of the series in October at Rockingham. The Team have not looked back since and Whirlybird Autosport continue as a fun based motor sport team, with a strong passion for succeeding.  They continue to race, and are now competing in the Red Dragon Race & Track Club’s Toyota MR2 Racing Series and the Nippon Challenge and Paul now shares the drive with our good friend and motor racing nut Tim Hartland, who has raced with the team since 2004.  For more details of these series and the future of TEAM WHIRLYBIRD see the rest of the Website!!
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