AGE is no barrier to the need for speed and ‘historic’ rally drivers Graham Thatcher and Rob James are enjoying great success behind the wheel, writes Andrew Penman.

Cwmbran-born driver Thatcher, aged 54, is a company director for a minibus sales company and is now living in Ponthir.

And 61-year-old co-driver James from Garndiffaith is now retired and living in High Cross.

The pair first met in 1974 and, finding that they shared a love of rallying, they competed in the early 1980s.

After a break the dynamic duo returned to 'Historic Rallying' in 2010 in a Hillman Avenger.

Thatcher said: “Don’t confuse the term ‘historic’ with a pipe and slippers pastime.

“This is full on forest/gravel rallying. The car is fully prepared.”

Members of Three Counties Car Club, Thatcher and James were crowned BTRDA and Welsh Historic Class Champions in 2012 and Welsh Historic Class Champions again in 2013.

This year they are contesting the Welsh Historic Class once again as well as the RAC Championships.

They recently finished first in class in the Mid Wales Stages.

The pair said: “We are backed up by a fantastic service crew including Justin, Gino, Lionel, Andy, Derek and John and our success would not possible without them.” They added: “The next event is the Severn Valley Stages and we can't wait, it’s a great buzz.”

Thatcher and James are looking for sponsors to advertise on their car.

Anyone interested can contact Thatcher online at

The Three Counties Car Club members meet every Thursday at 8pm at the Spice Inn in Rogerstone.