The name David Binks is synonymous with both British Rallycross and Red Bull Global Rallycross. A 16-year veteran rallycross driver, David started racing in the Mini class within the British Rallycross Championship. In 2001, just two years after starting his race career, he won the Mini Rallycross Championship. He then transitioned into Supercars in 2008. In both 2011 and 2012 David was given the chance to race in GRC and finished the 2012 season in seventh place.
Now David will be stepping in for Jacques Villeneuve of Albatec Racing at the Loheac round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Rallycross360 caught up with David to get his thoughts on the upcoming race in September and to find out if we’ll see him back in the USA with Red Bull GRC.
Please tell us about yourself, like how you became interested in racing, when you began racing, and the different types of racing you have done over the years.
“I started as a boy being interested in trucks and plant machinery, always spending my weekends and holidays working with my dad at the family business. We started going to watch the British truck racing championship and then moved on to watching the British TouringCar Championship. As I got older my dreams of racing began to outweigh the desire to watch, but unfortunately we couldn’t raise the budgets to get into a mainline race series. Like all boys I read car magazines and came across Minicross, which I could do from age 16. So I struck a deal with my mum that if I painted the garage, she would buy me a crash-damaged mini for Dad and me to build into a Minicross car for when I turned 16. I painted the garage by the end of the next week, and true to her word my mum paid the £300 for the crashed Mini. After a few months Dad and I had it built and that was it, the start of my racing career.
“It’s been 16 years since then and I have always raced rallycross, through different classes on my way up to Supercars, but I won’t ever forget the lessons I learned in the good old Minis.”
What are your thoughts about the growing popularity of rallycross, especially World RX and the number of drivers from different disciplines wanting to jump in and give it a try?
“It’s great that rallycross is on the up for sure, and great that we are getting some big names wanting to try. It also makes it tough for genuine rallycross drivers to get the financial backing to compete sometimes, but you need both kinds of drivers and I won’t ever forget being teammates with Marcus. It was an amazing year and I learned so much from working with him and also the fact we lined up on the front row at X Games alongside Loeb. It will be interesting in France to get on the grid with Solberg and see how we get on!”
“I have been talking with Albatec for a long time as well as other teams, and I have known Andy for quite a few years now. They were always open to running me if we had found the budget for this year but unfortunately that fell through so I was very happy to be invited to fill in for Villenueve. I got a call at work, Andy and I had a chat and luckily things fell in place.”
Have you begun testing? If so, where?
“No, we are testing the week before Loheac in a secret location and if I told you I’d have to kill you I have been out of the car a while now and I don’t want any laughing!!”
Which rallycross driving skill(s) do you feel you are best at and which skill(s) do you feel you need to improve upon?
“This is a strange one! Haha, if I answer this I will sound full of myself! My mum and dad always told me you learn something new everyday so I would say I can always improve, but mostly I need to learn to be a bit more nasty on the track. World RX is definitely no place for softies!”
It may be too soon to know, but is there a possibility we’ll see you next year in either the FIA World Rallycross Championship or back here in the U.S. in Red Bull GRC again?
“I’m working hard on a full-time comeback to either World Rallycross or GRC but it’s down to getting the required backing, so if you know anyone who’s interested please point them my way!”