Live, Breathe & Dream: Rallying With Toby Burton

by Jord Tury 8 months ago in interview

From childhood dreams to national championships

Live, Breathe & Dream: Rallying With Toby Burton

Rallying. It isn't everyone's cup of tea, is it? In fact, I'd say only a select few are brave enough to take the dip and venture off-road through horizons unknown. It's those specific petrol-junkie individuals that live and breathe the one thing that millions of others fail to do. And that is to bleed thrills and thrive in sixty-second adrenaline pumps. That's a lifestyle some quite literally live for, and everything else comes second to none without question.

Toby Burton, for example, is one of the many rally drivers who has devoted both life and soul into the motorsport for the foreseeable future. Ever since a remarkably young age, Burton has looked to build on his craft as the spotlight levitates over his admirable career in a glimmering light. And now, as he approaches his twenty-first birthday, the ambitious driver from Gloucester, UK, has already bagged a rather wealthy knowledge in the field and is on the road to inevitable success.

Toby sunk into the scene at a very young age. From fixing up old cars with his Dad as a toddler to building his very own rally car at the age of twelve. And now, with an impressive win at the Club Rallysport West Championship 2019 and a fast rise in rankings overall – Burton has carved his goal and began to make a name for himself on a national level.

Luckily, I was able to catch up with Toby and whirl through the background of his relationship with the sport and what's in store for him in the coming years. So, without further ado – Toby Burton, ladies and gentlemen.

How did it all start for you? What age did you first take an interest in cars?

So it all began as soon as I was old enough to know what a car even was. When I was a kid, watching cars and playing rally games, that's what hooked me. And then, watching rallying in person. That's what really made me fully addicted to the sport.

When did rallying become a passion for you?

Rallying fully became a passion when I was old enough to get involved; starting with spectating and marshalling. Then, I was lucky to get the chance to help teams on events by being a mechanic on the rally cars. Then, being able to navigate and drive became the dream come true after years of waiting until I was old enough.

What made you want to start building cars and competing in championships?

As soon as I was old enough to get started in rallying as a driver – that was the time to get a car for myself. Most people usually buy an already built car or they pay for a company to build them, but, due to a tight budget we had to build one ourselves. That made it a whole lot more fun. And, you appreciate what you really have rather than just paying for a car somebody else built. I enjoy building the car just as much as driving it.

What goes through your mind before, during, and after the race?

Weeks before an event, my mind is usually all over the place; thinking about all of the little details on the car that need to be done before the day. Plus, all of the planning I need to make sure is done, because otherwise the car wouldn’t be able to run on these events.

During an event the whole day just feels like a bit of a dream. When I’m actually in a car rallying, I feel like I’m in a different mindset completely. I don’t think of anything apart from driving the car as quickly as possible without crashing and breaking this thing I’ve had to save up for my whole life. {Toby Laughs}

After events I feel like it’s a comedown after all of the adrenaline.

Does winning matter to you?

Winning, to me, is a bonus. We all do it for fun and something to do on the weekend. Unless you have big money to win you won’t get very far in motorsport unfortunately. Some people do get lucky with raw talent and make it big, but money helps along the way. For me, I just do it for the adrenaline rush and the social aspect.

Do you worry about the dangers involved in rallying?

There’s so many dangers and possible things that can go wrong in rallying and any motorsport, to be honest. But the way I see it, is worrying about it won’t do you any good, and takes the fun and risky part out of the sport. Every sport has its dangers, but so does walking down the road to the kebab shop. {Toby Laughs}

What is the hardest challenge you've had to face in your driving career?

The hardest part of my career to date has possibly been either my bad accident a few years ago, when I hit a hay bale at about 70mph, and it smashed all of the front end of the car. That meant we had to rebuild most of the car again.

My other bad moment was when I had food poisoning the same day I was doing a rally. I was pretty much throwing up just before getting in the car ready to go out on the rally stage. But luckily, I managed to get through the day and I was okay the morning after. {Toby Laughs}

What advice would you give to anybody starting out in rallying?

My advice to anyone starting would be to just remember that it’s only a sport/past time and to not get too serious with it all. A lot of people get a bit mad with it and end up spending tonnes of money, and then they don’t enjoy it because they’ve spent all of this cash and aren’t winning anything. If you're driving a home built car that you built with mates on a budget and you are finishing events – that’s more fun then anything. That's what I think anyway.

Where will you hope to be in ten years from now?

In ten years time I am hoping to have developed my rally car a great deal to make it more competitive. And, to hopefully have more fun times – and maybe even win a few trophy’s if I’m lucky!

You can follow Toby's journey via his Facebook page here. Feel free to drop him a message of support and wish him luck on his next tournament.

Feeling a partnership on the horizon? Toby is on the scout for new sponsors for the future. So, if you'd like to buddy up then get in touch with him today.

Best of luck to you, mate.

#DayThirtyFour #VocalChallenge2020 #Wheel

Jord Tury
Jord Tury
Read next: 'Stop! We're Going to Crash'
Jord Tury

Just a regular guy living in the West Midlands, UK.

See all posts by Jord Tury