December 2013

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As the American Le Mans Series rolled into action on a sweltering afternoon in Austin, David Richards’ eyes were glued to the hospitality suite’s TV screen. But the images being relayed had nothing...
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Hooked on racing since Stirling’s Aintree win, Mike Doodson has been Team Lotus press officer and part of the BBC F1 commentary team, while earning renown as a racing journalist. It’s his friendship...
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New rules provoke fear of unfair weight penalties The issue of Formula 1 driver weight has been brought sharply into focus in recent weeks, as teams have come to realise that their 2014 powertrain...
McLaren has convinced Red Bull Racing’s head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou to return to Woking. Prodromou worked for McLaren from 1991 to 2006 before following Adrian Newey to RBR, where he has...
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The FIA World Motor Sports Council has approved a 22-race calendar for 2014 – despite the governing body’s own sporting regulations stating that the maximum number of events can only be 20. The...
Maria de Villota passed away on October 12, aged 33. A post-mortem found she died of natural causes, although her family believes these were linked to an F1 testing accident at Duxford Aerodrome 15...
A glance at developments from the Formula 1 pitlane Ferrari In an effort to erode Red Bull dominance, Ferrari arrived at Singapore with several revisions. A new front wing featured a steeper main...
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Dario Franchitti is slowly on the mend after a terrible accident during the last lap of this year’s penultimate IndyCar race, which took place on the streets of Houston, Texas. Ganassi racer...
Romain Dumas became the first Le Mans 24 Hours winner to score World Rally Championship points, on the Rallye de France in October. The Porsche driver, who won the 24 Hours with Audi in 2010,...
As new Le Mans hybrid makes public debut at Fuji Nissan has taken the first steps towards building a hybrid Le Mans 24 Hours challenger to next year’s LMP1 rulebook to take on Audi, Toyota and...
Porsche is close to finalising its driver line-up for its return to top-flight sports car racing for the first time since 1998. The German manufacturer has revealed that long-time Porsche factory...
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Bentley will make its return to international sports car racing this December, in the Gulf 12 Hours at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit. The event, made up of two six-hour races, has been set for the...
More and more young drivers have been making the grade in NASCAR in recent years. The latest young talent to earn a top ride in the Sprint Cup series is 21-year-old Kyle Larson, who will replace Juan...
We regret to report the recent death of former rally star Joginder Singh, aged 81. The Kenyan was a leading contender in endurance events during the 1960s and ’70s, taking Safari Rally wins with...
The Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans will undergo a raft of safety improvements in time for next year’s 24 Hours race. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest, which runs the circuit and organises the 24 Hours...
British motor sport was stunned to learn of the death of 26-year-old Porsche Supercup star Sean Edwards, who was killed during a private race tuition session on October 15. Edwards, the son of former...
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1916-2013 George Bignotti, one of American racing’s greatest chief mechanics, has died at the age of 97. Bignotti’s cars won seven Indy 500s between 1961 and 1983 and a total of 85 Indycar events....
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Grand Prix Annual As many of our readers will be able to testify, motor racing looks rather good on the screen of an iPad. Now joining the digital ranks is Autocourse, the essential annual compendium...
With Jim Clark and other storiesCedric Selzer Cedric Selzer is one of the guys we go to when we want to confirm tales about Lotus, Jim Clark or the racing Sixties, so his memoir has to be an...
Maurice Hamilton & Paul Fearnley Given our sport’s all-consuming obsession with lightness, it’s ironic that so much associated literature weighs more than a Lotus Seven. In this instance, though...
Just ColinColin McMaster & David Evans As a 12-year-old schoolboy in 1995 I was allowed one poster on the dormitory wall. There were quite a few featuring supercars (scantily clad women weren’t...
Porsche and the Targa FlorioMichael Keyser, Mark Koense & Enzo Manzo If you weren’t already keen on the subject, you’ll be hooked by this book’s stunning opening shot, a full page of a Steyr on...
Jimmy Dilamarter & Ren Wicks Jr Parnelli Jones is one of those drivers who very nearly did it all during his career but, because he never competed in Formula 1, often gets unfairly overlooked....
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Zytek is a great British success story. The University of Sheffield has recognised that fact with an honorary degree for company founder Bill Gibson | by Ed Foster The University of Sheffield has...
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They’ve won the most races, but which of the following do you consider the best driver? Ayrton Senna: 47% Alain Prost: 25% Michael Schumacher: 12% Fernando Alonso: 11% Sebastian Vettel: 5%
Mat Oxley Lorenzo vs Márquez Lorenzo’s Sepang complaint was farcical considering his earlier treatment of Márquez. When we asked Lorenzo during the post-race media conference if he had indeed touched...
Tony Brooks on how racing in the 1950s differed from today “It’s a question we get asked very frequently. I think people expect you to talk about the cars because all they have in common are five...
@matoxley So Pons says he crashed after getting rammed: “I noticed a strong blow to the back and have flown away...” Thanks, Google Translate. @PaulPunter Stopped by French customs this morning....
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The other German bike maker The appearance of a replica of a TT-winning DKW at the recent Classic TT came about thanks to the Audi Tradition team, which promotes the history of Audi’s former parent...
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Britain's rival historic rally championships will have greater separation in 2014, following the announcement of calendars for the British Historic Rally Championship and the RAC Rally Championship....
Circuit future further clouded as BARC quits talks | by Paul Lawrence The future of the Mallory Park circuit in Leicestershire has been thrown further into doubt after the British Automobile Racing...
Phil Hindley remains the man to beat on both the Tour and Mini Britannia when he extended his unbroken sequence to four wins during the third running of the one-day Mini Britannia in his Tech 9...
Eight Porsche 911s from the Tuthill Porsche team, including a car for 2011 winner Björn Waldegård, will head the field for this year’s East African Safari Classic (November 21-29). In a total entry...
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Fourteen years after James Thompson raced it to fourth place in the 1999 British Touring Car Championship, his old Honda Accord shone again in the hands of James Dodd during the Super Touring Trophy...
Barely 24 hours after he raced his Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk3 in the Fordwater Cup at the Goodwood Revival, Jon Gross died suddenly after losing his battle with cancer. The 70-year-old US-born racer...
The 2014 running of Race Retro, the International Historic Motorsport Show, will be from Friday to Sunday, February 21-23. The three-day exhibition event at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry is the...
A fresh fixture for goodwood Members Only. A phrase you never want to see. Unless you are a Member. It was Groucho Marx who observed that he would refuse to join any club that would have him as a...
Cheltenham-based Bugatti racer Stephen Jewell died following a practice accident during the VSCC’s annual race meeting at Snetterton (see also Simon Arron’s column, p165). The T35B of Jewell (63) was...
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An original road test taken from the Motor Sport archives, November 1956 | by Bill Boddy On arrival at Stuttgart Airport last month we found awaiting us a maroon Porsche Carrera and a grey 1600. The...
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Graham Budd Auctions @Sotheby’s, London November 4 Sporting memorabilia sale 47 motor sport lots, including: 1972 McLaren M19A nosecone (signed by Denny Hulme) 1973 Tyrrell 006 nosecone (signed by...
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Blown six to power M3 and coupé sibling | by Andrew Frankel What’s that dripping sound? It’s BMW starting the intermittent feed of information that will lead eventually to the unveiling of the new M3...
Fascinating if somewhat gruesome reading this month from Bernstein Research, in the form of the greatest loss-making model lines among European car manufacturers. Way out in front is the original...
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Another well-known turkey clucked its last this month: Aston Martin has finally killed its ill-conceived Cygnet city car after not quite three rather unhappy years in the marketplace. Rumour has it...
Sadly but inevitably Land Rover has finally called time on the Defender, which will be put out to pasture at the end of 2015, the company either unable or unwilling to get it through forthcoming...
The highest price you can pay for a series-production Porsche is now as close to £150,000 as will make no difference to someone rich enough to buy one. Porsche has just released details of the...
Good news continues to roll into the UK car market. Figures recently released for September this year showed that more than 400,000 cars were registered in a single month for the first time since...
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The 4C upholds the Alfa Romeo tradition – by being nearly great | by Andrew frankel My introduction to the Alfa Romeo 4C is not the one I would have chosen. As those who keep up with my weekly blog...
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The firm has some great products, but might be pushing the XF too far It’s all happening over at Jaguar. After the warm reception granted to the F-type earlier in the year, it showed its first SUV at...
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The pretence is over – now it really is an RR underneath A while back I drove a new Range Rover Sport on a test track for about five minutes and, unlike certain colleagues of mine, felt sufficiently...
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It’s fresh, it’s different – but is that enough to sway buyers? Imagine you are Nissan and own a premium brand that’s quite big in America but microscopic in Europe: what do you do? Do you try and...
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Delighted as we were to be mentioned in connection with another fine British brand, I have to report that rumours of The Beano’s demise have been much exaggerated (Motor Sport, October 2013). The...
Mike Doodson’s article on Great Train Robber Roy James was pretty near the mark and, as he says, Roy hated being called the ‘Weasel’. He was in fact not arrested for the GTR. Nor were two others,...
Re the sale of Dick Skipworth’s Ecurie Ecosse collection, I had to smile when I read your list of drivers who had driven for EE. I thought ‘why didn’t they mention me? They only mentioned the famous...
I thought Simon Hadfield’s drive in the TT was possibly the finest drive I have seen in historic racing. I don’t think any of the pros there would have done a better job on the day. I had the honour...
May I just reassure your correspondent Mr Black, ref his letter in last month’s Motor Sport, that what he saw in the Goodwood TT was the real Aston Martin DP212 Project Car. Wolfgang does have a...
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As a footnote to your fine article on Andrea de Adamich, during his tenure at Surtees he was also briefly dispatched to the USA to bolster the fledgling F5000 effort. It was exotic enough for us...
Congratulations on another terrific iPad edition. More than any other magazine I subscribe to you really bring the content alive with the richness of the images and occasional embedded videos. Well...
The story in November about the fictitious Salisbury Grand Prix was of great interest to me. I used those roads daily between 2010 and 2013, and it was the scene of my worst car accident. On a lovely...
Reading your article on Chris Bristow brought back memories of when as a young man a friend and I went to Brands Hatch for the Kentish 100 F2 race by public transport and thumbing a lift. The race...
I enjoyed Gordon Cruickshank’s article about John Wyer in the 1950s. I worked for Wyer from 1959, as sales and showroom manager at the London Piccadilly showrooms where David Brown had his main...
The Classic Test of the Lotus Cortina brought back memories of the years I spent working on these cars at Rowes of Chichester. The dealership was owned by James Elwes, Mr Jim to the staff, who was a...
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The continued dominance of Red Bull, the greatness of Sebastian Vettel... and the major teams’ unfathomable reluctance to capitalise on Nico Hülkenberg’s gifts As the Grands Prix roll by, I think...
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And he still doesn’t. Notorious Nelson Piquet stoked both anger and admiration on his way to three F1 titles. Images linger of a crass troublemaker – but lest we forget, he was defiantly talented,...
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Brabham’s one-time chief mechanic Charlie Whiting on Piquet… and tricks of the trade Charlie Whiting joined Brabham at the end of 1978, just a few months before Bernie Ecclestone signed Nelson Piquet...
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A second-generation Piquet created headlines in F1, albeit not in the manner of his father Mention the name ‘Piquet’ to motor racing fans today and the majority of them will think first not of the...
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Next season Colombia’s most famous racer will return to mainstream single-seater competition in America, where he shone brightly but briefly before switching to F1 and, subsequently, NASCAR. He’s...
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Montoya quit a McLaren F1 seat to turn his world on its head. HIGHS 2007: Early Promise Montoya’s time in NASCAR might be remembered as seven years of mediocrity, but he showed much promise when he...
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The Williams reserve driver and deputy team principal are racers at heart – they live and breathe the F1 life Which destination in the Grand Prix calendar do you most look forward to visiting?

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The saloon racing ace who has one eye on a helicopter – and the other on his favourite watch The 2006 Renault Clio Cup champion has been in the British Touring Car Championship since 2007. Now a...
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Graham watch founder on how racing influences his business and his own exploits in the Swiss Porsche Cup When did you become interested in cars? “I was always interested in cars. My first was an...
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The Goodwood Revival’s founder on Belstaff’s new clothing range – and very expensive spectacles… The Goodwood Estate is synonymous with motor racing to golf, horse racing to aviation. But what is...
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The three-time Le Mans winner on the pleasures of living in Monaco and his occasional two-wheeled treats How do you relax away from racing? “I’m not very good at relaxing. Now what I do is take one...
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Owner of Pullman Galleries, dealing in the rarest and most beautiful items of automobilia and transport interest Can you sum up your gallery’s focus? “We deal in late-Nineteenth and Twentieth Century...
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Serial adventurer on his love of motorbikes... and why everyone should take a ride to South Africa You’ve had a varied career as an actor, presenter and almost a professional traveller, but what’s...
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Many things have changed over the past 50 years at Lamborghini. Importantly, though, it hasn’t lost sight of why we all fell in love with it. Two o’clock in the afternoon is not a busy time in the...
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You won’t see Lamborghini’s name back in Formula 1 any time soon, but the company is once again taking a serious interest in motor sport Conversation has barely commenced when it strays from its...
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The Lamborghini Academy gives owners a better grasp of the potentially wild world in which they have invested It’s a little obvious, a touch gauche even. But if you could, you would… wouldn’t you?...
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As part of its 150th anniversary celebrations, an Italian institution conjured a cocktail of vermouth and famous competition cars… For motor racing fans, our arrival provided the highlight. As dusk...
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A chance encounter watching John Cobb inspired a love of speed record breaking. Now he heads the team that’s aiming for 1000mph "For Britain, and for the hell of it.” Just after he had finally become...
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It’s vast, brutal and makes a noise like nothing else on the planet – once you get it to fire… These days, and thanks to the explosion of interest in all things historic, it’s tempting for us...
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A British driver who is picking his own path through American racing and sports cars At the end of last year the outlook was pretty bleak for Mike Conway. Before the final round of the IndyCar season...
A British driver who is picking his own path through American racing and sports cars At the end of last year the outlook was pretty bleak for Mike Conway. Before the final round of the IndyCar season...
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For half a century motoring artist Michael Turner has welcomed Christmas with a special set of paintings you can send to your friends For the past 50 years, motor racing fans have enjoyed a...
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While Sébastien Ogier took a little more than four kilometres to become World Rally Champion for the first time, nine-time title winner Sébastien Loeb reckoned it would have taken 400 spectators to...
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Initially held in 1999 and then regularly since 2009, the Kop Hill Climb ‘revival’, near Princes Risborough, has gained rapidly in stature. That was underlined this year with milling crowds, record...
Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare was called to mind as the consistent, reliable Simon Hadfield and Leo Voyazides won their second successive Spa Six Hours aboard the Greek’s Ford GT40 in...
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Snetterton, September 29: a veil of sadness cloaks the VSCC’s season swansong "There’s not much point loitering here,” the marshal said, addressing a small media posse gathered close to the left-hand...
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Marina Bay, September 21-22: the comeback as an art form, but could this be the last time for GP2 in Singapore? The destiny of the ninth GP2 Series title will be settled a matter of days after this...
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Spitfire frolics above the Goodwood estate are nothing new, but one of this year’s pre-Revival flypasts had an extra touch of poignancy Writing this, still in the soggy and arthritic afterglow of the...
Brands Hatch, October 5: an object lesson for anybody who’s ever whinged about a bit of understeer There are no pampered egos here, just cheerful banter between the mostly ageing vans that serve as...
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The unloved Armstrong-Siddeley that had a feature in common with a car of the future, the Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 Back in 1988 Gordon Murray invited me to become involved with McLaren Cars,...
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Time spent as a long-distance rally organiser breeds a rich seam of anecdotes. Meet Jim Gavin... It’s hard to finish a conversation with Jim Gavin. Not because he won’t stop talking but because you...
Remember when Formula 1 cars had contrasting design features and distinctive silhouettes? A few years ago one of the Japanese Formula 1 magazines published a fascinating quiz. It was built around...
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What we’d blow the budget on this month Aston WorkshopAston Martin DBS Vantage If you like the pure DBS shape, a recent bare-metal rebuild, including enlarging the straight-six to 4.2 litres, and...
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Old-fashioned pursuits brought alive in a quiet Surrey village When a friend invited me to a hill climb in Surrey I thought he mean rambling; instead we watched E-type, Bentley, ’Nash, Integrale, 2CV...
Cutting remarks in Crewe as GC attempts to hand back a Bentley to its makers When I had one of the first Bentley Turbos on test, with the famous test plate 1900 TU, I’d driven the jet-propelled...

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