Empire Force Changes Hands

As always at the end of a season, there was a lot of chatter in the paddock at Loton Park on Saturday about cars changing hands ahead of the winter break.

Dave Kimberley Force DS600

Dave Kimberley drove the Empire Force DS (then in 600cc form) at Loton in 2012


Empire Racing Cars boss Bill Chaplin confirmed to us that he had to be very careful in his Empire Force DS1000 over the weekend as he had just completed a deal to sell the car.

The development car that Bill has shared with Moto GP commentator Toby Moody over the past 5 or 6 seasons will be run by one of the most popular family teams in the Midland Hillclimb Championship over the last few seasons, the Dunbar family.


Andy Dunbar and his Daughter Debbie have shared a Westfield-Vauxhall SEi in the 2-litre Mod Prod at Midland hills since 2009 (although Andy started a couple of year previous to that). Their car, known in the family as Roobarb, contains the DNA of the Westfield which was campaigned on the hills by current Top 12 contender Will Hall before he graduated to single-seaters, although as Andy told us at the weekend only the rear brakes and a few bits of the chassis remain from the Hall car.

The duo have decided to make the switch to single-seaters after Andy had a fun run in the similar 1100cc Force PC of the Summers family at Shelsley Walsh a couple of weeks ago. That weekend also confirmed that it was time to move on from Roobarb as Debbie finally achieved the sub-30 second run at The World Famous venue that she has been striving for.


So much work and development has gone in to the Westfield though, that Andy said he will probably not part with the car as it is part of the family.

Although they are looking at next year mainly, the family may take the new acquisition to one of the end of season Curborough Sprint events over the coming weeks for a bit of a shakedown.

It is fantastic to see yet another family team joining the ranks of 1100cc runners in the Midland series, and it will also be interesting to see what Bill & Toby do next…

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