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Ex-British rally champion Gillanders to launch book in Aberdeen

Gillanders racing in 1993.
Gillanders racing in 1993.

Aberdeen’s former British rally champion David Gillanders says he has bared his soul in the book about his life.

Gillanders, 69, who won the British National Rally Championship in 1987, before lifting the Scottish Rally Championship in 1995, will release I Do All The Talking! on June 13.

He decided to commit his experiences to paper after a serious heart in 2015.

Gillanders said: “I was lying in hospital and I was really very ill.

“The grandkids came in and sat with me for 10 minutes and it was touch and go.

“I said to Gladys, my wife: ‘If I survive this, I need to write a book, because there are a lot of tales to tell and if I passed away tonight the kids wouldn’t know who their grandfather was.’

“I survived and we started writing the book. It’s taken two-and-a-half years.

“I’ve bared my soul.”

Gillanders obviously goes into rallying exploits during the 1980s – where off road supercars made the sport equal parts thrilling and dangerous.

However, he insists the book is about more than racing.

David Gillanders is releasing a book about his life.<br />Picture by Kenny Elrick

He said: “I drove something called a (MG Metro) 6R4. It was a group B rally car in that very famous time of Audi Quattros, T16 Peugeots and Lancias.

“Rallying went wild and then Henri Toivonen was killed and group B changed to group A and it all got a bit more homogenised.

“But the group B days was like Formula One in the forest. Unlimited horsepower, everything.

“I won the (British) championship in ’87 in one. I won the Scottish in 1995, and that was in a (Ford) Escort Cosworth. That was group A.

“The 6R4 has a big following down south, because they were only around for a short space of time. But my story is more about what happened after motorsport.”

Gillanders, who went on to work for Land Rover and racing team M-Sport, thinks readers who aren’t motorsport “anoraks” will find the story of an Aberdonian meeting the world’s rich and famous fascinating.

He added: “I had breakfast with Jane Fonda, met Bill Clinton, I flew an F-15 jet and these are things money can’t buy.

“Being an ex-rally champion opened the door.”

David Gillanders – I Do All The Talking! will be launched at the Malmaison, Queen’s Road, on June 13 at 5.30pm.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.