Known as the racing reverend, Simon Butler – a classic car racing enthusiast and the associate rector of Ashtead Parish in Surrey – will be taking to the track to take part in the upcoming RAC Woodcote Trophy.

"Racing embodies for me the idea of living life to the full," commented Mr Butler. "When I'm behind the wheel, I feel I'm pushing boundaries and taking myself and the car to the edge."

He added that the race is all about grabbing hold of what is on offer and taking your chances when they come – a philosophy which Mr Butler believes hold true in many walks of life, not just racing.

Mr Butler will be talking part in this year's race in his fully-restored 1952 Jaguar C-type, which will be running in French racing blue to mark the vehicle's heritage as one of a handful of Jaguars on the grid to have seen this type of sport in the past.

"The damaged car sat in a yard for almost 20 years, until it was restored, piece by piece, in the 1970s by a prominent French Jaguar collector … It did a little historic racing in the 1990s, but has now been brought back to its original specification ready to compete in 2012."

First launched in 2006, the RAC Woodcote Trophy has grown in stature and popularity over the last six years and is now one of the most fiercely competitive classic car races in the country.

Set to take place at the Donington Historic Festival, this year's event forms one of five stages towards the overall winner of the RAC Woodcote Trophy, but Mr Butler is intent on getting his hands on the title.

Last year saw Barry Wood, Tony Wood and Barry Cannell pick up the prestigious trophy, with the honour presented by Ben Cussons of the Royal Automobile Club.

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Posted by Michael Yates

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