For well over a decade, Niki Richardson has been best known for being the official test driver for Club100 as well as being a driver coach. However, his career goes back as far as the late eighties when he began karting at Tilbury and Rye House, often under the guidance of the late Dan Wheldon.
His karting career began in earnest in 1990 when he won 5 out of 6 races as well as taking part in the televised Gulf Oil Super Prix. The following year, he became a works driver in the Super 1 Cadet championship and finished behind future Formula 1 stars Jenson Button and Anthony Davidson. He became Southern Area champion that same year. 1992 was a breakthrough year and saw him finish runner up in the Super 1 series and take numerous other titles including the cadet O Plate. He became a works driver for Wright Kart and Rocket Engines and also became friends with Prince William and Harry - even giving the future King of England some tuition.
The following year Niki once again finished runner up in the Super 1 Cadet series, beating future McLaren test driver and DTM champion Gary Paffett. He also continued tearing up the club scene, winning numerous titles and prestigious events including the Silverstone Kart Grand Prix and the Meccano kart Super Prix. At the end of the year, he became a works driver for Zip Kart and in 1994 finally won the Super 1 championship, beating the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Paul di Resta. He also won the O Plate title and Silverstone Kart Grand Prix again.
Despite this success and his obvious talent, Niki’s career trailed off after this and he never reached the heady heights of Formula 1 like some of his former rivals. Nevertheless, F1’s loss was Club100’s gain and he has been a permanent fixture as a test driver, driving instructor, mechanic and occasional steward in the various Club100 championships.