Chris 'Cheesy' Hutchinson

About Me

I’m 39, I’m a project manager and in my spare time, I play at being a racing driver!

Ever since my college days, the nickname ‘Cheesy’ has stuck. It’s been with me all through Uni and work and it’s followed me into motorsport. As many people call me ‘Cheesy’ ‘Cheese’ or ‘Ched’ than call me Chris! In fact, I’m fairly sure there are people out there who have no idea what my real name is!

My story seems common with many other people who take up the challenge of becoming a racing driver. I’ve always wanted to race cars. I never had the chance in my younger years, but from the first time I had a go in an indoor kart at about the age of 16, I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue.

Over the years, whenever money has allowed, I went on track days, rally days and experience sessions. All give enough for a smile on the face but all leave you wanting more.

Saving over the years and selling my beloved Lotus Elise released just about enough funds to make the journey into full sized racing viable and in 2013 I took part in the ever popular Caterham Academy Championship. The year was a brilliant success. Not only did I very nearly win the champinoship, I got to experience the highs, and lows of success and failure. Nothing makes you feel more alive!

In 2014 I upgraded my Academy car to Roadsport specification. Another really strong, consistent, season saw me highest points scorer, but dropped scores saw me 3rd in the Championship, just 4 points back from the win.

In 2015 the car moved onto Tracksport spec. And I had a roller coaster of a season with podiums as well as my lowest finishes to date. An unbelievably close and competitive seasons racing, with 10 people regularly fighting for podium slots. After the success of Academy and Roadsport, it was somewhat of a bump down to Earth.

In 2016 and 2017 I ran in the Caterham Supersport Championship. In what turned out to be the final year that Caterham would officially support this class of car, my 2017 season ended at Brands Hatch, with a dominant win, followed by a huge, season ending, crash. Sadly, that was the end of the original cheesemobile and it has been karted off to the great race track in the sky.

However, I have found a replacement Caterham 310R race car and this year I will be taking part in the Caterham Seven 310R Championship.

I will be ably supported by my family, once again, who’s tireless efforts to keep my headed in the right direction are utterly undeserved but thoroughly appreciated.

I am also supported this year by DPR Motorsport who’ve been an amazing help all through my racing to date. I love working with the team and I’m hoping this year to repay the help and support with a successful campaign.

10 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Cheers Porky – you almost make it sound sad that it’s almost over for you – when you haven’t even got out on track for your first race yet!! I’ve seen the videos of you on track 🙂 There’s a lot of action yet to come!

    You’ve already been a great help to the 2013 lot at the open day etc and if you’ve got any insite to add to any of the articles on this site, or you can think of something that you would have appreciated knowing at the stage we’re at now, please do post up in the comments etc.

  2. As a Rover 75 (diesel) driver, Caterham is a place in Surrey near where I grew up & Old Nick, history teacher, said it was a Roman settlement(yawn) & we used to get him talking about fighting Panzers in N Africa during WW11 whenever possible instead. Your insurance costs frighten me a bit. Stay safe. Great website. Good luck.
    Regards
    Chris

  3. Thanks Chris! I bet the insurance doesn’t frighten you as much as it does my bank balance! It’s already pretty darn exciting and is getting more so by the day!

  4. Hi Chris,
    I’m a retired engineer and businessman and I have ordered a 420R kit and have been looking at your build diaries with great interest. Can you tell me what camera system and software you used to create the build diaries and the onboard racing videos? How do you get the lap times and g data superimposed onto the picture? I know nothing about such things hence the question as I would like to do something similar to help other future builders.
    Great website and video record.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Derek,

      Thanks for your message and support. I’m glad my blog/diaries continue to be popular! Firstly, congratulations on your kit order. As you will have picked up from the diaries and posts, building a Caterham is a whole mix of fun, bemusement, frustration, enjoyment and achievement. At the end of it, you’ll have an amazing car to drive and enjoy – whether that be on road or track. There really isn’t anything similar.

      As for the technicalities… The diaries were filmed on a Panasonic X900M. Although, that’s really overkill and anything that gives a reasonable picture would be a great resource for others online. Even a modern camera phone is easily enough now to get good video.

      As for the racing videos – I’ve used a selection of cameras over the years and sometimes, in combination. The data feed you see on videos comes from a Video VBox Lite camera system. This is a box of tricks with front and rear facing cameras, GPS and sensors which records all your action onto SD card. It overlays the data directly on the video and also records all the raw data to card so you can do some in depth data analysis of your laps at track.

      As well as the Video VBox, I use an Action Cam Pro 3 (http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/astak-action-pro-helmet-cameras.html) to record HD footage. More recently, I’ve switched this for a GoPro Session (http://www.dogcamsport.co.uk/gopro-4-session-uk.html). Often times, when I upload a video to YouTube, I will use Video Editing software to combine the HD video feed from the Action Cam / GoPro, with the sound and data from the VBox. However, that’s not a straight forward process and isn’t for the technically shy! I use Adobe Premier Pro for this work – which again, comes with a learning curve!

      No matter what you use to record your time building / driving, you’ll find that it’s great to have it recorded and you’ll enjoy looking back at the footage.

      1. Many thanks Chris and sorry for my tardy response. Given me plenty to research and think about.

        Good luck with your future racing and keep posting , it’s a great inspiration.
        Best regards

  5. Hey Chris, Dan (Pete Walters mate) we re chatting in te garage at Redhill…. Got a couple of questions, can you drop me an email? Cheers

  6. Hi Cheesy, great to read your blog . I am racing the Academy in 2019, and am following a similar journey, but have no experience of karting and Caterham track driving except on experience days, where I felt out of my comfort zone!Reading your, and Matt Sheppard`s blogs have been inspirational in getting me into the sport, and pointing me in the right direction. Please keep up your blog and race/car prep vids. There are many of us novice drivers that will benefit!

    1. Hi Lydia, welcome to your Academy adventure! I’m jealous that you get to do it all. Feel free to ask any questions you have. Always happy to help. I’d recommend you get out on track and get rid of some of those initial nerves. Everyone progresses at their own rate but everyone who sticks with it gets there in the end and the feeling of driving fast is very addictive. There are more maintenance and tip vids planned, so watch this space!

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Taking to the track with the Caterham Academy