Obituary – Andrew Clarke
January 1, 2013 by Leo
This is the hardest piece I have ever had to write for the website. It is hard to believe that a young man so full of life and fun is no longer with us. The Ginetta Junior class has only been around for a few short years but along with the Junior Rallycross class, has produced some fantastic young talent. Andrew Clarke was one of these young drivers who arrived at Mondello to cut his teeth, initially in Ginettas. I got to know him as I commentated on the races and also did the TV interviews with the drivers. Andrew immediately stood out from the rest in that he seemed to have the confidence of someone older, someone somehow more experienced in life than the rest. When it came to the racing, you had to smile. By his second season in Ginettas he had developed race winning pace- but seemed far more interested in going sideways than being first across the line. Even Simon McKinley, the master of car control, declared the Zetec engined machines as “twitchy” and difficult to drive when he briefly tested one. Andrew seemed to have no such problem and almost every time we saw the immaculate Murray Motorsport machine, it had an armful of opposite lock on and Andrew’s right foot buried in the bulkhead….
It was pretty much the same in rallycross, as his white Micra often arrived into Rallycross 1 about 10mph too fast. The result was a wild drift that Matti Alimaki would have been proud of- and indeed so was Andrew when you spoke to him afterwards! He seemed to speak to me as an equal and always had a story or two about what he had been up to since the last race, some unprintable, most of them hilarious…
A light has gone out in Irish Motorsport and although his career was brief, I think it is fair to say he left a lasting impression- and a whole lot of smiles.
To his wonderful family, we extend our deepest sympathies. May he rest in peace.