Boyz racer: Shane Lynch takes on Top Gear's Stig
Boyzone’s Shane Lynch says he’s firmly in the driving seat of his life.
The singer admits the break from the band left a gap in his life and sent him in search of the thrill of screaming fans and live gigs.
He found a new buzz behind the wheel of a car and says he still can’t believe his luck.
The singer is back in the limelight showcasing his drift skills against Top Gear’s former Stig in Ben Collins Stunt Driver, just released on DVD.
Game for a laugh Shane plays it mean and moody behind a mask with Collins, who reckons he ‘looks like a biter’, but in real life the pair have been pals for years.
“I’ve known Ben for years through motorsports and the mask is a beard protector you wear for fire safety, although I don’t have a beard any more,” says Shane.
“It’s all part of the role and having a bit of crack.
“He actually did me a huge favour on the day we filmed because a part went on my car, which I was taking to Norway that day for an event. If I hadn’t been racing Ben I’d have gone all the way to Norway and it would have broken down there.”
Shane says cars were always his first love after tinkering with motors in dad Brendan’s garage as a boy.
By the time he was a teenager he’d planned to start work as a car mechanic, until manager Louis Walsh and Boyzone came calling in 1993.
The band had six number ones and scored a host of awards including Brits and an Ivor Novello before taking a break in 2000.
“After that I felt I had to fulfil a massive gap in my life,” says Shane.
“Being a part of music was my world and it was the life that I led.
“In terms of excitement how do you get the buzz of standing in front of 10,000 people?
“So I went back to what I know, cars, and I’ve been very lucky.”
Modest Shane had more than luck on his side, competing with the best at the British GT Championships.
His celebrity helped him secure a drive but it was his own need for speed which helped make his mark.
“I didn’t have to build a racing team. I was blessed to be able to go in as a guest driver – teams were willing to let me drive their car.
“I got to drive the best supercars in the world. But it all started to get very serious.”
He discovered a love of drifting when the sport was in its infancy and found he could beat the best at that too.
At the start he didn’t have to be the fastest to win, or have the most expensive car, but in the last eight years the sport has become world class.
“Doing something in a car that it’s not meant to do is such a thrill. You can’t win by being the fastest – I didn’t know a car was capable of doing such things,” says Shane.
The dad of two has also gone back on the road with Boyzone with a series of summer tours to mark their 20th anniversary in 2013, and says they’ll be back again to mark 25 years.
And most days he’s well aware that he’s had two dreams come true.
“As a little boy you want to be a pop star or a racing driver. I get to do both,” says Shane.
Ben Collins Stunt Driver is available in shops and online now.