ICONIC classics - the power and practicality of the reliable 'Landy' and the super cool and cute Mini stand wing to wing in Tim Sugden's Horsforth showroom.

Launched in October, Purple-Dot-Performance.com is another turning point in Tim's glittering motor racing career which is heading full circle.

Coincidentally, the circular 'purple dot,' Tim explains racing drivers are clamouring to achieve on race timing screens symbolises success - it is, to put it simply, being the best you can be hence its inclusion in his business branding.

Glancing at the aforementioned wheels in the showroom in Long Row this is evidently the bar Tim has set himself in business as well as on track.

The Morgan parked elegantly in the window is brand new and unregistered; the 1979 MG Midget in pristine condition following its previous pampered existence inhabiting a heated garage in Switzerland; the C reg Mini Mayfair, cherished by one lady owner from new and with only a few thousand miles on the clock and one of the last Land Rovers to roll off the production line are among the prestigious marques Tim has procured through expertise.

Car sales was where it all began which is why his career is now coming full circle. As a young entrepreneur Tim began selling cars to fund the motor racing ambition he had harboured since taking the wheel of his first go-kart when he was 12.

By the age of 19, and with a boost from the Government's new business start-up scheme, Tim began selling cheap runabouts from two pitches in Lidget Green and Wibsey in his then home city, Bradford.

"They were £500, £600 Allegros; Marinas, Chevettes, Cortinas and old Minis," recalls Tim.

Years later he was climbing into the cockpits of some of the world's most iconic wheels, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes, the dream cars young boys pin to their bedroom walls on posters as aspirations of the symbols of success they yearn to own.

By this time Tim was literally living the dream - but it didn't come easy as anyone wanting to enter motorsport without money will know.

"We didn't have that sort of money. It is ridiculously hard to get into motorsport," recalls Tim.

His father, David, who effectively fuelled Tim's early fascination with cars when he watched Dad's brief dabble at amateur racing, recalls taking out a three year loan simply to fund a year's lease on a racing car while making ends meet on a sales rep's wage.

"I was 26 and still living at home with my Mum and Dad. I didn't have a penny to my name," recalls Tim.

Conscious of his own struggles, Tim's success has enabled him to establish a scholarship helping young talented drivers to rise through the ranks.

Coaching and motorsport management are other strands to the Purple Dot brand he is busy developing through initiatives such as the Purple Dot branded BMW racing car he runs on the famous Nurburgring racing circuit in Germany.

"Everything I do in motorsport is around the world," says Tim, who is eager build a 'car community' closer to home - hence the opening of the showroom.

While he's enjoying his success now, Tim recalls the struggles which forced him to briefly park his dream of becoming a racing driver.

It was, he recalls, a contact, he had known previously, who fuelled his enthusiasm to race again after popping in to the car sales pitch he was running.

"He said 'what are you racing these days?' I said I had stopped. He asked why and I said because it's a nightmare. I said I'd put everything into it and got nowhere. He said 'you shouldn't give up - you're really talented, you should keep going."

Tim took advantage of his wise words. "I could have started building the business up and I could have ended up with a huge car sales business if I'd stuck at it at 20, but I would have always looked back and regretted not trying to make a career out of what I had dreamed of doing," says Tim.

His lucky break, and the climb to the big-time began when renowned racing car manufacturer, Van Diemen, in Snetterton, Norfolk, loaned Tim a brand new RF87 and racing car engine builder, Scholar, gave him an engine.

Formula Ford beckoned and the offer of a factory drive through Swift catapulted Tim's career. He spent a season driving for Honda, finishing third in the CRX challenge. Tim recalls it was the first time he'd participated in a race without spending a penny.

"That was a real pivotal moment," says Tim.

It also paved the way for 1990 - the 'big year' when he was selected to drive for BMW's Junior Team following the company's talent competition to find young racing drivers.

Tim and two other young drivers were offered four races each. At the end of the year Tim was taken on full-time.

Finally he was entering life in the fast lane - literally. He swapped the unreliable Renault 11 he'd purchased for £75 for a brand new BMW road car and was competing in touring car races garnering significant numbers of spectators.

Three years after driving for BMW, Tim was approached by Toyota before switching to GT racing which saw him take the wheel of a range of sports cars; Ferraris, Porsches to name-drop a few.

He spent six years driving for a team put together by Pink Floyd manager, Steve O' Rourke, during which he participated in the world famous 24 hour Le Mans FIA World Endurance Championship.

After turning professional Tim's racing career began to go global. In 2002 he participated in 22 international races with 17 top six finishes, nine podiums and five wins.

According to David, only two British drivers won more international races than Tim during this period - Lewis Hamilton and Alan McNish.

In 2004 Tim competed in 29 races, finished in the top six 21 times; had 13 podiums and five wins.

Chatting about his son's career, David is naturally proud of Tim's achievements and the fact that he has 'stuck at it.' "It is the hardest thing in the world to do and be paid to do it since he was in his early 20s and that is what makes me proud of him."

Cars are a shared passion for father and son. "I had always been a car enthusiast and the opportunity to work for Aston Martin was heaven sent," says David, who worked at the Farsley factory after joining the company in 1956 as a 17-year-old apprentice.

He recalls Tim's interest developed as a young boy. "Obviously in a family like ourselves people bought him Dinky toys as a child. He always carried one in his pocket."

Now Tim is stacking them up - models of the super cars he has driven are neatly arranged in a tower on his office desk. A McLaren pencil tin, modelled on a car he once drove and once retailed through Woolworths, has a poignant memory for Tim who recalls signing autographs on the many brandished by fans.

Polished trophies are flanked by the poster recording one of Tim's many memorable achievements in 2005 as the only second British driver to win the Porsche Cup for 25 years.

His most recent success, bringing his story up to date so far, is with GruppeM, the racing team set up by Kenny Chen in 2004.

Tim, who already had the expertise of setting up and running his own race team for five years, helped Kenny form Gruppe M. He has participated in championships around the world, including Asia and America. More recently, and driving for Mercedes, GruppeM won the Blancpain Asia GT championship this year.

And so Tim's success continues through motorsport and his new business. "The idea is to build up a car community in this area," explains Tim, who is also offering track days for those who want to experience life in the fast lane.

Being a racing driver is a natural ability - according to Tim: "It is a real strange blend of qualities. I manage drivers now and it is controlled aggression but it is a rare set of traits," Tim explains.

"You have to have a good hand to eye coordination and a really good sense of balance and you need to have the ability to stay calm under pressure, your brain has to keep working calmly under pressure because everything is happening so fast," he says, hinting at the 180mph speeds they regularly reach on the racing track.

Fuelled by his passion, Tim is keen to continue living life in the fast lane. "The main thing is to keep doing what I am doing; keep enjoying what I am doing. My job never feels like a job."