Racing in Rally Australia is a far cry from insurance broking – which is exactly why John Lloyd enjoys it so much.The Jardine Lloyd Thompson director flew from London to take part in the event, finishing in thirtieth place.This was an impressive result considering the high calibre of professionals competing and that it was his first go at the challenging Perth course. Mr Lloyd said eighty-five cars started and fifty finished.“Professional drivers that earn up to £3 million a year have full professional backup – whereas I have four mechanics and a team manager,” Mr Lloyd said.“I came fifth or sixth in terms of the top thirty private – that is, mostly non-sponsored – carscompeting. So finishing 30th wasn’t a bad result in context.”This year’s Telstra Rally Australia was the sixth world championship rally event Mr Lloyd has competed in during the past year.“I’ve finished every event I’ve started. I came fourteenth in Kenya, thirtieth in Greece and thirty-fourth in New Zealand this year,” Mr Lloyd said.“Of all those I’ve seen, Perth’s rally is the best organised world championship event.”Mr Lloyd said rally driving could be hair-raising.“The trees are a bit of a nightmare – a chap hit one at 180 kilometres an hour and wound up with some pretty bad bruising despite the harnesses,” he said.“To be able to do this kind of racing, you have to have no fear. I probably should have got into it when I was a bit younger because you become a tad more conscious of death as you get older.“Even so, I think it’s safer doing 150 kilometres an hour in a rally car in the forest than doing ninety kilometres an hour on the freeway in a normal car.”Mr Lloyd said he would compete in eight world championships next year including those in Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, China, Italy and Kenya’s safari trail.“I’ll be doing the RAC rally in the UK when I return, which means I’ll be back in the office for ten days then back out on the track for another three days,” he said.The London-headquartered Jardine Lloyd Thompson employs about 3,500 people worldwide and has a market capitalisation of £5.5 billion.With Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, the Perth office is playing a pivotal role in the companies activities in the region.“For us, Perth is as big as Sydney,” he said.
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