Graeme Smith achieved a significant milestone in the APL Health Caterham Graduates Championship this past weekend (9/10 September) at Snetterton as he started his 400th career race in a Caterham car.
In what has been a momentous year for the series after celebrating its 20th anniversary earlier in the season, Smith marked reaching this milestone in fine style as he emerged victorious from the Classic class in the second encounter of the annual visit to Norfolk.
Competing across a host of different championships since he began his Caterham journey in 1999, the Macclesfield-based racer has become a cornerstone of the popular one-make BARC series.
“It is great to have reached such a landmark number,” Smith said speaking on the achievement. “I had always liked Caterham’s so when I saw that the scholarship was running I was drawn to it - that must be nearly 20 years ago now.
“I had built a car and originally competed it in hillclimb and sprint events. Since then I have raced and won at every contemporary circuit except Goodwood.I have some great memories as well as making so many friends along the way.
“To think that I have raced the same car for about 360 to 370 of those races is quite staggering. A few services here and there is all it has needed - it is still as competitive today as it was when I first got behind the wheel.
“During the mid-2000’s I must have been doing 50 races a year and even at one event doing seven races in a single day. I was jumping between cars - it was quite something to behold!”
With 400 races in Caterham’s to choose from, picking a standout race isn’t too difficult for the 46-year-old.
“There have been plenty of wins but ironically none of them are probably my favourite races,” Smith said. “I was once competing in the North West Sports & Saloon Championship and had dropped a lap down on the leaders.
“At the time the grid was made of different cars and weather conditions began to deteriorate. From there I was able to pick my way through the field, un-lap myself and almost take the win.”
Still harbouring a burning passion for motorsport, Smith has stated he has no intentions of letting his foot off the throttle just yet.
He explained: “The fire still burns bright although competing in another 400 races is going to be quite a tough ask.
“I'm enjoying racing week in week out and although I’ve been in many different championships I always come back to Caterham Graduates. It is one of the best forms of club motorsport and very affordable.”