When Dave McMillan won the Lady Wigram trophy in 1979 driving his Ralt RT1, it wasn’t just another trophy to add to his cabinet – Wigram was also where it had all started for ‘Swift’ McMillan. Born in Christchurch, Dave went to school in Riccarton and his dad was in the Royal New Zealand Air Force based at the Wigram air base, where the family lived.

Dave had won at Wigram previously in a Formula Ford, but that win in 1979 added his name to a trophy that had engraved on it the names of some of the world’s best-known drivers, including Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss, Bruce McLaren, Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark and Jochen Rindt.

The McMillan family moved from Christchurch to Hamilton in the North Island where Dave continued his schooling, then began an apprenticeship at St Andrews Motordrome. It was there he first got involved in motor racing. Initially the motordrome was owned by a man who was into speedboat racing and Dave did some work on his boats, but then Ivan Segedin bought the business and established the Motordrome Racing Team, with Denis Marwood (Humber 80); Howden Ganley (Lotus 11); Ross Grenville (Lotus 18 FJ); and Brian Innes (Zephyr then Mini Cooper). Ivan later raced a ’65 Mustang.

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