Driven To Crime: True stories of wrongdoing in motor racing

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Driven To Crime: True stories of wrongdoing in motor racing

Driven To Crime: True stories of wrongdoing in motor racing

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Even after his early release from prison in 2003, Munroe evidently still felt that the world owed him a living and that crime paid. Description Description People lie, cheat, steal and even kill for a variety of reasons, one of which is to go motor racing, a particularly expensive and egotistical sport. By the time of the next round of the British GT Championship, at Donington Park on 7th August, the AM Racing McLaren F1 GTR had vanished from the entry list. Goodwin again put the car on pole position and recorded the fastest lap of the race on his way to third place, complete with the obligatory pitstop.

As the director of accounting he was responsible for the management of the payment system and had detailed knowledge of the payment process.Much of the time I could not believe what I was reading; the scams, the drugs, the vast fortunes built and lost; the deceit, the fraud, the double dealing and the burning ambition to get involved - at any cost.

This book will appeal not only to motor racing enthusiasts and cognoscenti on both sides of the Atlantic but also to anyone who enjoys reading about true crimes. Fee said that this sum had been transferred to a Jaguar dealership and that the paperwork was in the name of James Cox. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others.When Goodwin flew in from America, where he had been racing at Sebring, and topped the official pre-season testing sessions at Silverstone, spirits were high and Spires said: ‘It couldn’t have gone better. Questions had already been raised about the honesty of this ostensibly very ordinary man who took excessive amounts of sick leave so that he could devote time to his extracurricular activities. Despite more than thirteen years working in this industry, I was unaware of many of the stories featured. Whether you have been involved in the sport or not, it is a window on the human condition that is rarely demonstrated with such honesty and clarity. At times I found it a difficult read, but only because so many of the characters that I did know were/still are my boyhood heroes, people I’d naively looked up to and tried to emulate… some may say I did a pretty good a job in that respect, because after all my years as both a driver and Team Owner, I also found myself accused of dastardly financial deeds and yes, my alleged “crimes” are in fact featured in Chapter 9 of Driven to Crime!

Immediately after the Brands Hatch race, Munroe funded an extravagant trip to the third round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Mosport in Canada for Goodwin and several AM Racing personnel. I hocked myself to the hilt just to, albeit briefly, own a MkII Golf GTi 16v,’ he said, ‘sadly ending its days stolen, ransacked and unlovingly abandoned on bricks on Wentworth golf course. Interesting subject matter, sort of light on high crimes and heavier on white-collar offenses, but the reader learns a lot. He made up the lost time before handing over to Munroe, who brought the car home a disappointing sixth, nearly two laps down on the winner. He was remanded in custody until his sentencing and one month later was jailed for a third time, on this occasion for six years.In handing down a four-year prison sentence, Judge Roger Chapple told him, ‘Your naked greed is breathtaking. Drugs: Ian Burgess (sometime British F1 racer); Randy Lanier (drug-smuggling IMSA champion); John Paul Sr and Jr (talented son dragged into a racing father’s drug-running); Vic Lee (super-successful team owner with a dodgy transporter); the Whittington brothers (more misdeeds in IMSA circles). With it all seeming so easy, the regularity with which he sent phoney invoices to his employers spiralled out of control. As anyone involved in a sport such as motor racing knows, adrenalin is a very powerful hormone that can produce extreme emotions and excitement.

As Goodwin’s international career was in the ascendency, this wasn’t a drive he needed or even particularly wanted, but he accepted it on the basis that it would do him no harm, keep him race-sharp and reward him with, in his words, ‘a crazy amount of money’.However, the woefully inexperienced driver’s performance was underwhelming to say the least and he found himself consistently and hopelessly outclassed, trailing behind not only all the modified cars in his class but also most of the slower standard cars. His ambitions knew no boundaries and he acquired from the Parabolica Motorsport team a McLaren F1 GTR, a spectacular racing car that had won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995. As disenchantment grew with what he felt was a meaningless existence, it simply fuelled his dreams more strongly. During the week he was the bespectacled manager of an accounts department but at weekends he became an attention-seeking, self-styled ‘millionaire businessman’ and ‘gentleman racer’ of a McLaren F1 GTR. Less than a month after the well-publicised press launch, the McLaren was in action again at Silverstone for more testing on the national circuit.

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