Extracts from Rays Mallock's Speech at Micks Retirement Party
Now, my next duty is tinged with sadness as well as celebration.
Sadness because I am shortly to lose a valued employee and a key member of our team.
Celebration in that he deserves a wonderful retirement.
Next Thursday Mick Paris is retiring for real.
Most of you know he is the works manager at RML, and that is what he has been doing for the past ten years.
What many of you may not know, is that our association goes back 40 years to 1958, when I was still in short trousers.
The Mallock family moved from just outside Brands Hatch to Northamptonshire (just outside Silverstone) in 1958 when my father began work at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office at Hanslope Park. This was the era of the U2 Mk1.
Soon after starting at Hanslope Park, dad took the U2 gearbox, in pieces to the MT department where a bright eyed and bushy tailed young mechanic called Mick Paris worked.
Mick offered to fix the gearbox and to re-fit it in the car. A trip to Roade and first sight of the U2 Mk 1 and Mick was hooked.
That was the start of an association and constant thread with the Mallock family and its cars which has lasted ever since.
Micks enthusiasm was ignited by that first trip to Roade and I hope that by now Joan has forgiven Arthur for introducing Mick to a sport and way of life that has meant so much to him and taken so much of his time.
Through the late fifties and sixties Mick and Arthur built and both raced a succession of Mallock Formula Junior and 1172 cars.
They had much success and even included their own Trials car and Go Kart to their racing stable.
Always the vehicles were well thought out, well built, simple and lightweight and always they out - handled the opposition.
Mick and Arthur’s driving skills were also a match for the best, but sadly the budgets rarely were.
During the seventies, Mick built and prepared Mallock cars for a number of drivers including Frank Sytner and Andrew Neilson. Frank Sytner was always incredibly fast but more often than not, the car would come back to the workshop much worse for wear, after yet another trip into the tyre wall.
In the late seventies Andrew Neilson, Mick and I put a plan together to win the British Formula Atlantic Championship, with Andy as Team manager, Mick as Chief mechanic and me as driver. Sue was sandwich maker and time keeper and Sue's brother John as my other mechanic.
We started the year with a borrowed car, a borrowed engine from John Dunn and Andy's old transporter
After two races we persuaded Cliff Smith that we were a worthy cause, Cliff agreed to sponsor us and became an integral part of the Team. We took the Championship by storm.
During the following three seasons we got through a great deal of blood sweat and tears but a great deal of fun along the way.
In 1980 we tried our hand at the British Formula One Championship with some success and a steep learning curve.
It was during that year that we let David Leslie win the Atlantic Championship in our absence, and also took on our first Junior, one Daryl Cozens. In 1981 we went back to Formula Atlantic and won the championship again.
That period taught me a great deal, the importance of a single-minded approach, and that with good preparation and teamwork, you could achieve miracles.
It was Mick’s thorough approach to preparation and organisation that formed the backbone to our operation, crucially he knows the right balance between hard work and enjoyment to get the best out of the team.
As a driver, knowing that my car was prepared 100 per cent and that my team were pulling 110 per cent in my direction gave me the confidence to push to the limit and win the many races that we did.
In 1988 I persuaded Mick to leave the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to become my works manager on the short lived Aston Martin Group C programme.
When we established RML in 1990, Mick used his organised thorough approach, firstly to establish and then expand our unit at Castlethorpe, then move and set up here in Wellingborough.
Along the way I have had to ask Mick to wear a number of hats for different responsibilities. Without exception he took these on positively and I shall be eternally grateful for the way he applied himself to each task.
For me Mick has been an excellent mechanic, a superb driver, a teacher, supporter, motivator, confidant, manager and most of all a friend.
Mick on behalf of everyone at RML, on behalf of the Mallock family and from me personally, thank you for all you have done, it is very much appreciated.