Paul O'Neill: Sporting Memories Patron

Paul O'Neill became a Patron on World Alzheimer’s Day 2018. A firm favourite with BTCC race fans, when Paul is not racing he can be seen alongside fellow network supporters Steve Rider and Louise Goodman as part of ITV4's commentary team, sharing some great insights into what it takes to reach the top step of the podium.

Paul's love of cars started when he was 4 years old when Santa brought him a Scalextric. "It was the best present ever and I used to annoy everyone in the house because I used to squeeze the track into the living room which was tiny and then hit my sister's feet with the cars as they flew off the track. Every Christmas I can guarantee that I have had something to do with cars bought for me, from remote control rally cars to air fresheners for my car. At school I was well known as being a car nerd, as it was all I ever talked about. I even used to list car registration numbers, makes and models, then put them in a file. For any projects at school where you were allowed to pick the theme, it was always on cars... But ever since I saw Nigel Mansell go around the outside of Nelson Piquet at the end of the Hanger Straight at Silverstone in 1987, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I was older."

Achieving the dream of becoming a racing driver then saw Paul secure a maiden win at his home circuit.

"I got by going down toward Island Hairpin. It was really hot in the car and I had the windows down a couple of inches to try to keep cool. Even over a 7.5K RPM downshift I could hear the crowd going mad, cheering me on. It was just unbelievable."

Although no longer regularly competing, Paul’s career path continues apace, passing on his knowledge via punditry and as a skilled driver coach for the UK’s up and coming motorsport talent.

Follow on Twitter @PaulONeill29