After his last win in Formula One, in Australia, on November 7th, 1993, Ayrton gave a press conference and British reporter Mark Fogerty asked who he considered his biggest rival in his career. Many people expected him to mention Alain Prost (who was sitting beside him), but the answer came as a surprise to a lot of people, since the Brazilian went back to his go-kart days, naming Terry Fullerton.
“I’d have to go back to 1978, 1979, 1980… when I was go-kart driving. I had a teammate, Fullerton – his name was Fullerton. He was very experienced, and I enjoyed very much driving with him. Because he was fast, he was consistent. He was, to me, a very complete driver. And it was racing, pure racing. There was no politics, right? And no money involved either. It was real racing. And I have that as a very good memory”, said Senna after the race in Adelaide.
Even as a more experienced go-kart driver, Fullerton finished behind Senna in the two instances Senna was the runner-up. But he had already won the coveted world title in 1973. The Britton never made it to F1, but he believed Senna had a lot of potential, at the time.
“Senna always knew how to bring together the people around him. He didn’t set out to do it intentionally, but he had the charisma, the ability and the talent to make people want to work with him, really support him”, said Fullerton in an interview to Tony Dodgins, author of “Senna – All His Races”.
As Senna made his move to Formula racing, Fullerton kept on driving go-karts. He raced until 1984, when he decided to end his career – but he never left the track. The Britton opened a driving academy, where he taught a few drivers who went on to achieve international acclaim: Dan Wheldon, Paul Di Resta and Allan McNish.
Now 62, Fullerton is still a driving instructor, travelling the world and doing what he loves the most: watching races and teaching young talents.