Last year Ian Waller entered a car racing championship with his 1968 Ford Cortina but he wasn't expecting much success, writes CRAIG STODDART.

In fact, he now admits that he wasn't intending to take the competition aspect too seriously however, he's since finished the season in tenth position out of 35 and walked away with two trophies.

"I wasn't expecting it. I just entered it for a laugh," said Ian.

"The secretary of the Pennine Drag Racing Club said I should take it down to York (York raceway where each races is held).

At the annual presentation evening of the Hot Rod Gazette Northern Street Car Challenge Ian picked up the Driver of the Year 2000 and the Hard Luck Trophy - awarded in sympathy of his 14 engine failures!

His bright yellow 2.9cc 4 x 4 speed machine doubles as his on the road run-a-bout and can reach up to 150mph but despite being tax exempt because of its age, the car is hugely expensive to run.

Ian said: "I've been to Middlesbrough today and it cost me £30. It does about five to nine miles to the gallon."

But Ian is not prepared to swap it for something less costly.

"I've driven my dad's Escort before and watching the speedometer needle is like watching the months go by."

l Ian has paid tribute to Walkers Tyres of Darlington and Teesside Motor Factors of Middlesbrough for their assistance in his success.