Above: YouTube footage of Barry Stephen's celebration after becoming Spedeworth Superstox world champion for 2017.
BARRY Stephen’s schoolboy dream to become a world stock car racing champion came true in a thrilling final lap of his greatest-ever race.
Watched by his dad Hamish, who enticed him into motorsport at the age of 11, Elgin dad-of-three Stephen (38) triumphed in the Spedeworth Superstox world championships event in Ipswich in October.
"When I pulled up in victory lane and I saw my family, friends and the team, I was totally overwhelmed," he said.
"I have never seen so many tears of happiness and this proved to me how much this meant to all of us after many years of hard work, endless hours in the garage and thousands of miles travelled to finally win the ultimate prize."
The adrenaline rush and danger element of stock car racing, involving single seater vehicles driven with a license to knock your rivals off the track, lured Stephen in as a boy.
He started in ministox racing at the Crimond circuit in Buchan, and recalled as a schoolboy imagining the day when he could one day be the best in the world.
"We did this autobiography thing at school and I think I’ve still got it somewhere. I said then my ambition in life was to be the world champion in stock cars.
"To actually achieve it is a dream come true, just unbelievable."
In-car footage of Barry Stephen competing at Scotland's only Spedeworth Superstox circuit at Lochgelly in Fife
Stephen’s big race saw him take on 39 rivals over 35 laps of the Foxhall Stadium in Ipswich for the greatest prize in Spedeworth Superstox racing.
The Moray contender faced a tough battle just to remain in second place behind reigning champ Jason Cooper, when his big opportunity arrived on lap 34.
Cooper was jolted by an electrical problem which ground him to a halt and another car crashed into him, paving the way for Stephen to ease through and take first place.
"I knew I had one lap to go and I knew there was nobody close behind to attack me. So it was in the bag providing the car didn’t break down.
"Crossing that line was an amazing feeling."
Becoming world champ earned Stephen the ultimate accolade of driving with a gold roof in every race until the next world final.
He won the race using a car borrowed from a friend, having failed to win a race this season with his usual machine.
Both vehicles will now wear the gold top, and Stephen unveiled the cars with their crowning glory at a celebration bash at Elgin’s Mansefield Hotel last month.
Both Barry and his brother Brian raced stock cars from a young age, taking part in Brisca Formula Two competitions as well as competing on the Scottish rally circuit.
Barry switched to Spedeworth Superstox in 2013 and the move paid off with his stunning triumph, which he celebrated with girlfriend Rachel, their six-month-old son Shay and Barry’s two other children, Nicole (14) and Kerry (12).
"My parents (Anne and Hamish) have supported me since I first began racing," he added. "Their unwavering support and constant presence has played a huge part in my achievements to date.
Barry also thanked sponsors RS Coaches, CPH, Chris Hay Contractors, Stephen Timber Harvesting (STH), Gary Bruce, Ralph Sturrock, Robert Frame and Sons and Westfield Motors.