Ken Tyrrell with a cup of tea, listening to a Test match… That was one unlikely memory stirred in Nigel Roebuck’s mind in Texas! Nigel loves US racing and while there are places he would happily never return to, he’s always pleased to be heading west, whether to Daytona, Indy or Montreal. Now he’s fallen for the liberal atmosphere of Austin too; but will we ever crowbar him on to a plane bound for Korea? Don’t hold your breath.

A race is only a success if the fans love it. With F1’s chequered history in the States Adam Sweeting took on the task of meeting the fans in Austin to find our what they thought. He writes on rock and classical music for the heavyweight papers, so Austin’s live music choices made him feel at home.

Our late Continental Correspondent Denis Jenkinson was another with strong feelings about Fl venues; when the Hungarian GP began he refused to go to the then-Communist country. But he might have been tempted to join Doug Nye on one socialist sojourn, given the prize a lost pre-war Grand Prix car. Doug brings us the story of his trip into unreconstructed Rumania to confirm the car’s identity if he could find it, that is…

Elsewhere, our if-winning two-wheel columnist Mat Oxley reflects on a different sort of baffle: Yamaha vs Honda, since 1983. Mat also samples a ‘bike that made him feel old and he enjoyed the sensation. He spends all summer reporting on MotoGP, and all winter digging into the past, when “racers lived like rock ‘n rollers, not like pro athletes. I prefer living in the past!” A big admission, Mat…