Carluke stock car ace Kenny Purdie (53) has spoken about the emotional British title win just three months after the death of his wife.
Joan Purdie died of cancer aged 53 in March, after bravely battling a rare form of the disease for two years. She was deeply in Kenny’s thoughts earlier this month when he won the two litre Hot Rod British Championship at Lochgelly after leading for every one of the 35 laps.
“The atmosphere at Lochgelly was absolutely brilliant,” said Photoflash Travel boss Kenny, who reached speeds of up to 60mph in his red Saxo around the oval track in Fife.
“The race lasted for 35 laps and I loved it from start to finish.
“The full crowd of around 2000 fans gave a huge roar as I crossed the line first and that was a very emotional moment for me.
“I wanted to win the race for Joan.
“Thinking about her gave me great motivation.
“The crowd were all going mental at the end, which made an awful lot to me.
“I got a great buzz of adrenaline.”
The Carluke racer said that his British victory wasn’t straightforward as he’d had to overtake a lot of back markers to secure the title.
And Kenny, who’s been competing for 30 years, is the only person to ever win the 2l British and European titles in both saloons and hot rods.
“It is a big achievement for me,” he added.
“I’ve got the world title coming up in Ipswich this weekend and I’d love to win that as well.
“That’s at the same venue – the Foxhall Stadium – as where I won the European two litre hot rod title last year.
“So I’ve got a lot of belief that I can get a similarly good result this time.
“The car goes well down there so we have a good chance.”
In memory of Joan, Kenny is trying to raise funds for St Andrews Hospice, as he thinks the group gave his wife terrific support in her latter days.
“Joan’s last wishes were that she wanted to help St Andrews Hospice,” Kenny said.
“Over the next five years I hope that we can raise £100,000 for it.
“We’re sponsoring three or four race meetings this year.
“At the world final this year we are doing raffles for a plasma TV and getting buckets out to collect for St Andrews Hospice.”
A special race named after Joan will be contested on the world championship Sunday.