An Epsom drag racer is revved up and ready to take on Europe after securing his first domestic title at Pro Rod level.

Rick Garrett secured the biggest win of his career last month by toppling former three-time British champion Andy Hamilton in the opening round of the MSA British Championship.

The win leaves him top of the leaderboard, and the 52-year-old hopes to keep his winning streak going in the second of five rounds this weekend.

Garrett said: “I’m still on a high from the other week to be honest, it was an incredible feeling.

“I had never actually won a final at Pro Rod level before so to win was quite a feat, especially to beat somebody of Andy’s calibre.

“We have known each other for years and he was a really good sport – he wished me all the best.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Garrett

Snazzy mover: Rick Garrett in his 1941 Willys Coupe   Picture: David DJ Jones

Garrett has been involved in drag racing for the best part of 23 years and reckons he has the recipe of success sussed.

His crew consists of his two sons, and Garrett feels their efforts behind the scenes have played a huge part in his success.

“The boys do a fantastic job as part of my crew – they aren’t going to send me up the track in a bad car are they?” he said.

“I know they are always there for me and, for me, this is the only way to do it.”

His sons were integral to his last victory after they located an engine problem in his vehicle before the qualifying pass.

And when his car is reaching speeds of 196mph to cover a quarter-mile track in just 6.98 seconds, it is vital nothing is left to chance.

Garrett, who drives a 1941 Willys Coupe containing a 21.1l V8 engine, said: “In the first round, I thought the engine was oiled alright but, if one push rod hasn’t oiled up right, it fails you.

“Looking at the weather forecast before the racing began at that meeting, none of us even expected to end up out there on the track.

“We had never raced in such snowy conditions before – just one speck of rain on the track can be dangerous at these speeds.”

Teams lose vital championship points if they fail to turn up at meetings but there is no danger of Garrett not turning up with his loyal crew.

“The day it becomes stressful and stops being fun is the day I’ll call it a day,” he said.

This weekend’s meeting supports the FIA Pro Rod European Championships at Wellingborough.