By trade he is a lorry mechanic, but Guy Martin is best known for being a motorcycle racer and fronting TV shows The Boat That Guy Built and current Channel 4 programme How Britain Worked. He also played a prominent role in the critically acclaimed 2011 docu-filmTT3D: Closer to the Edge. Guy made his road racing debut in 2003 and since then he has raced at the likes of the North West 200, the Isle of Man TT, and the Ulster GP. This week Scrutineering takes a closer look at Guy Martin, his racing career, his TV shows and what the fans say and like about him!
Road-racing (2003 – present)
Guy Martin made his Irish road-racing debut in 2003 for Team Racing and he certainly made an impact as he won the Cock o’ the North and International Gold Cup races at Scarborough. For 2004 he moved to Uel Duncan Racing, retaining the Gold Cup and making his TT debut. He continued with the team in 2005 before moving to AIM Yamaha for 2006, where he really started to make an impact. He won the Gold Cup for the fourth year in a row, equalling the record in the process, as well as taking four wins and a second place at the Ulster GP. In 2007 Guy moved to Hydrex Honda, and contested a full season in the British Superbikes with them in 2008. After that he spent time with Wilson Craig Honda, the team with whom he featured in TT3D: Closer to the Edge, and Relentless by TAS Suzuki, known as Tyco Suzuki for 2012. He has enjoyed varying success through the years, including multiple Ulster GP and Gold Cup victories, eight podiums at the TT, and numerous other podiums and victories such as at the Southern 100. He holds the record for most successive Gold Cups wins with six. He also competes at other Irish national road races such as Armoy and Cookstown.
Guy has fronted two TV shows over the past two years. The first of these, The Boat That Guy Built, was broadcast on the BBC in early 2011. The six part series followed Guy and his friend ‘Mave’ as they restored a canal boat using tricks and tools from the Industrial Revolution. Those who know Guy will know that he enjoys his tea and the first episode of the series reflected this as the pair had to make their own tea pot in a blast furnace as well as tea cups, just so they could enjoy a ‘cuppa on board their boat. This demonstrated how Guy brought his own personality and take on things to the show.
His second series, How Britain Worked, debuted on Channel 4 on the 21st October. It is another six parter which once again focuses on the Industrial Revolution but this time sees Guy restoring machines and other things from the times. In the first episode he helped to restore an old steam train to working order – undertaking tasks such as repairing the railway line, cleaning the inside of the train, and climbing into the small firebox to check for loose or weak parts which would have to be replaced – revealing just how much work the railway workers undertook without full recognition or appreciation. One scene showed Guy making his own shovel at the blacksmiths, which he later used to cook himself an egg and bacon buttie!
In 2011, Guy fronted the More4 coverage of the sheepdog trials.
Guy was one of the main focuses of the 2011 film TT3D: Closer to the Edge, which focused on the build up and the races themselves. The documentary film was very highly rated and proved popular, even amongst those without an interest in bike racing, as it highlighted the story and allure of the Isle of Man TT – the dangers associated with it as well as the triumphs of winning such a prestigious event.
Guy’s mechanic, Danny Horne, who has played a big role in his recent career, also appeared in the film.
What the fans say and like about him!
- Quite the character – he always says it as it is
- A “top lad”
- The sideburns
- Always has time for a chat
- His TV shows – The Boat That Guy Built and How Britain Worked – highlight different aspects of engineering and make it fun and interesting
- TT3D Closer to the Edge gave a good insight into him and road racing
- He is a “real” road racer – he hates chicanes and likes fast flowing corners which are aplenty on the road
- He is a good role model
- He always wears his green Hope shorts
- His Red Torpedo range is amazing!
- He presented the sheepdog trials
- His four race wins at the Ulster GP in 2006 were outstanding
- He is a modern day Fred Dibnah
- He is a very down-to-earth man
- Record breaking Gold Cup wins!