Laughing-stock Lada on a roll

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 09:16 08/07/2014
 David Taylor

FLIP TOP: Rally driver David Taylor proved there is still strength in the Lada’s Soviet steel when he flipped the car while racing in the Marlborough Car Club gravel sprint.

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A car that spawned a deluge of playground jokes in Britain may be gaining kudos in Marlborough motoring circles.

Burgeoning rallying driver David Taylor said he isn't keen to put the brakes on his motoring career after a crash in the unlikeliest of speed machines - a humble Lada.

The Russian-made car proved a laughing point in Britain with the familiar pub joke: What do you call a Lada with a sunroof? A skip.

But Taylor proved there is still strength in Soviet steel after escaping unscathed following a crash during the Marlborough Car Club gravel sprint.

Taylor took a spill while negotiating a corner in Reserve Rd in Seddon during a race meet on Sunday.

"I went too quickly around a corner," he said.

"I nudged the bank and gently rolled on to the roof."

Taylor was the only person in the car and was not injured.

It is only the third time that Taylor, a Blenheim business mentor and the chairman of Marlborough Public Health Organisation, has been rallying.

He sees the funny side of racing in a Lada.

"The Lada is a bit of a laughing stock as Britain's worst-ever car," the Scotsman said. "It used to get flak that its best feature was the heated rear windows because you have to push it so often. I have probably garnered it a bit more respect."

A video of the crash posted on the club's website is entitled "Taylor fails in his attempt at a full barrel roll at the Reserve Road Sprint".

Taylor said his exit strategy from the car proved ungainly.

"I had never experienced being upside-down in a car before. You have your harness belt on and once you release that belt, you fall and hit your head off the roof. I am sure there will be a few jokes."

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- The Marlborough Express

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