Anthony Brewer tribute
From Sayell Racing website

The Grand Prix Midget fraternity received a double blow in one weekend when two of their drivers lost their lives in the space of two days. Anthony Brewer from West Sussex lost his battle with cancer on Friday 31st August 2001 and Steve Piggins lost his life on Saturday 1st September as a result of injuries received in a road accident, on Bank Holiday Monday. The Club remembered them both just 24 hours later at an emotionally charged June Cochrane Memorial meeting at Alwalton Raceway, Peterborough on Sunday holding a minute silence immediately prior to their first race.

Anthony Brewer came to the Grand Prix Midgets in 1977 from the long circuit scene, racing Midgets on and off until 1990. Racing a Mk 18 Dastle Anthony, was a star grade driver who was renowned for his gentlemanly style whilst finishing regularly in the top 6 placings. He finished 5th in the 1988 Championship and 6th in 1989, winning the Graham Hill Trophy in 1986, the Derek Kisby Trophy in 1987 as well as a 3rd place in the 1988 World Championship. Anthony also carried out an excellent job as Club Chairman for 4 years between 1986 and 1989.

Anthony surprised his former race colleagues when he designed and built his new car with an almost rear engined appearance albeit with the Ford still in the front for a return to the formula in 2000. Results showed that he was just as capable of winning whatever the design taking 2 heat wins and finishing 6th in the Series.

Anthony had not raced in 2001 advising the club that he was unwell but typical of this unassuming "private" man he had not let on just how ill he was. Although only a few of today's current drivers, knew Anthony from his original Midget days, those who met him for the first time last year all liked and respected him and he will be sadly missed. Anthony's car is now with his good friend and another former Midget driver and official Dermott McGivern who we understand plans to refurbish and then race the car in due course. We wish him well with the project and look forward to seeing the car again.

Feature from Competition Car, Issue 21 by Anne Sayell

Anthony Brewer, a timber merchant from Haywards Heath in Sussex has raced Grand Prix Midgets since 1977 and after an initial learning process, when he "hardly ever seemed to finish a race", his name featured regularly in the top rankings. He finished 5th in the 1988 Drivers Championship and 6th in 1989; he won the Graham Hill Memorial Trophy in 1986, Derek Kisby Memorial Trophy in 1987, came third in the 1988 World Championship and took last year's Bill Boarer Trophy. Very unassuming by nature, Anthony shuns limelight but in fact has a very interesting past in motor sport.

His first interest was in 1959 when he built up an Austin 7 Special from an Austin Ruby with a hand built 2 seater body. His next project was a Ford 1172 Special on a ladder frame chassis with independent front suspension and a 100E side-valve engine. Next came a Formula 2 Stock Car using a Ford Popular and refinements included Amal Garbs and chain running round the gearbox and chassis to keep the engine in on impact! He vividly remembers ending his first white top race upside down after being up-ended by a notorious rolling barrel marker whilst in fourth place.

A short spell with a Formula IV, using a JW4 powered by a Villiers Starmaker 250cc two stroke engine, was followed by a Modsports Sprite with a Lenham glass fibre body and a short stroked S engine. Racing mainly at Brands Hatch and Lydden Hill, he had several second places.

Anthony then moved on to a F100 Dulon using a 1300cc BMC A Series engine and a Hewland gearbox before he turned his attentions to flying lessons for a few years.

1976 saw Anthony return to motor racing when he went into Prod Sports using a Morgan 4/4 1600 with a Blueprinted engine, racing almost every weekend at numerous tracks including Brands Hatch, Castle Combe, Oulton Park, Mallory Park, Snetterton and Silverstone.

He finished the season second in his class in the Northern Championship and second overall in the combined Northern and Southern Championships. But the season had proven very costly in both time and money and Anthony, remembering an advert for single seater oval circuit racing, decided to investigate. He tracked down June Cochrane, Fixture Secretary, who put him in touch with Brian Forrest who was building a new car and Anthony bought his Dastle. Having fitted the BMC engine from the F100 he started the learning process. Once convinced he'd found the Formula for him, Anthony then bought a Mk18 Dastle from Geoff Rumble who modified the design to take the Hewland gearbox, also from the Dulon F100, and Anthony fitted a Steve Greenald Ford engine. There have been some modifications over the year to suspension and the back uprights but the car is basically the same as Geoff's original.

Besides racing, Anthony has carried out an excellent job as Club Chairman over the past four years and retired this year due to work commitments. When asked what he liked about the Formula he said that he felt it offered close fast racing without the expense usually associated with single seater excitement He enjoys shale and also wet meetings because he: "can't see once his spectacles get covered in muck"; he took them off once at Arena and ran into the back of a stationary Mick Bonner! Anthony does excel in those conditions for whatever reason. He is joined by his wife Doreen in their love of the front engined design of Midget, in fact Anthony said he would not race if there were only rear engined designs, as the Dastles add character.

Dastles were the first true Midgets founded in 1967, when the success of Midgets in the USA prompted Spedeworth's Les Eaton & Associates to plan a basic design for Midget racing on short circuits. Geoff Rumble designed the Dastle in 1967 after seeing a Midget at the Racing Car Show. The Dastle Manufacturing Company started taking orders in 1968 with the first ones costing around £350.

Finally, Anthony asked me to express his thanks to Dennis Hackling of Verrolec for their sponsorship of the International Meetings staged at Alwalton Raceway in recent years, also thanks to Alwalton Raceway itself for their support and to thank Doreen and stepson Rod McLaughlan for their tireless efforts as pit crew. Anthony describes himself as "too old and too old fashioned", I prefer to describe him like a good wine - improving with age in the nicest possible way!