January 2012

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Christian Horner was always canny, even when his team wasn’t winning. I first got to know him when his Formula 3000 equipe, the grandly named Arden International, was failing to deliver on its...
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History always gets more interesting when it’s told by the people involved, so Gordon Cruickshank was pleased when he arrived at Silverstone to inspect one of Ford’s Sixties sports-racing supercars...
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Bernie Ecclestone’s role in Germany’s biggest post-war corruption case was under scrutiny in November when the Formula 1 boss took the stand in the trial of banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is facing...
The British Racing Drivers’ Club is poised to sell a 150-year lease on Silverstone to a consortium from Qatar with a reserve list of bidders waiting in the wings if the talks fall through. In August...
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Kevin Wheatcroft says that winning permission to run 60 days of racing at Donington Park over the next two years was vital to securing the long-term future of the East Midlands track. Since the...
After working on it for years Bernie Ecclestone has finally achieved his dream of a Grand Prix in the vicinity of New York, with confirmation that a second US race will be twinned with Montréal in...
Aston Martin Racing will contest the new-for-2012 FIA World Endurance Championship – but not with its AMR-One prototype. The Aston factory squad has opted to mount an attack on the World Championship...
Speculation about a possible future for Nico Rosberg at Ferrari has ended after the German extended his deal with Mercedes. Already under contract for 2012, Rosberg has a ‘multi-year’ deal the team...
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The FIA has formally allowed three F1 teams to change their chassis names for 2012 in a move that also signals the end of the bitter legal battle between Group Lotus and Team Lotus over the use of...
The key feature of the 2012 edition of Race Retro, the International Historic Motorsport Show, will be a celebration of the 30-year history of the Porsche 956 Group C car. Porsche will be the...
The 2011 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (LBVCR) was a fitting tribute to the 125th anniversary of the first automobile. Jutta Benz, the great-granddaughter of Carl Benz, opened the 115th running...
Alex Wurz is bidding to become only the fourth driver to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with three different manufacturers after signing up to drive Toyota’s new LMP1 petrol-electric hybrid next season....
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The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed theme has been announced as ‘Young Guns – Born to Win’. On June 28-July 1 the Sussex estate will celebrate the young drivers, riders, designers and engineers who “...
The Hollywood film being made about the battle between Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1970s is set to recreate one of the most famous 1-litre Formula 3 races of the era. Oscar-winning director Ron...
The design of Le Mans prototypes will be tweaked again for 2012 in an attempt to further safeguard against cars taking off. A new rule communicated to the teams by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest at...
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Marco Simoncelli wasn’t your average 21st century MotoGP rider. He was a throwback to the old days: scruffy and wild, always determined to barge his way to the front, never mind who was in front of...
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Surfers Paradise, Australia In just two years, the Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercars event has cemented its place as a major international motor race that offers a wonderful throwback to how it used to be...
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Portimão, Portugal The Algarve Historic Festival at the magnificent Portimão circuit is the perfect way to bring another historic racing season to a close. Largely thanks to indefatigable promoter...
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Cardiff, Wales What should have been the ultimate title showdown became a tale of two broken radiators when the fight for the 2011 World Rally Championship reached its climax on Wales Rally GB in mid...
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Reflections - Champion Vettel is also a winner off the track - IndyCar was an accident waiting to happen As each Formula 1 season evolves, press conferences inevitably take on a familiar hue, because...
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During my time at Williams I have been privileged to compete against a number of designers whose work I have respected but tried to beat on track. Outstanding among these were Gordon Murray, John...
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It is part of motor racing folklore that Australian World Champion Alan Jones had little time for FIA stewards, or “those men in blazers” as he called them. I was therefore intrigued to hear his...
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The crash that claimed Marco Simoncelli’s life at October’s Malaysian motorcycle GP was very similar to the accident that killed Shoya Tomizawa during last year’s San Marino Moto2 race: the rider...
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There have been plenty of big accidents over the past 10 years in Indycar races on high-banked oval tracks. Davey Hamilton and Kenny Brӓck were seriously injured in wild accidents at Texas in 2001...
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Sir, As the restorer of the ‘Pink Pig’ for Porsche, I would like to correct one thing regarding the controversy about the cause of the crash (November issue). What I reported to Porsche was that when...
Sir, Concerning Rob Widdows’ intriguing account of the Porsche ‘Pink Pig’, I found it disappointing that Klaus Bischof denies the evident cause of Reinhold Joest’s crash in the race, given Gerry...
Sir, The Porsche 917 ‘Pink Pig’ story was fun, but there’s a bit more to it… As your story states, there was a third totally different body design being worked on in the Porsche Design Studio which...
Sir, The December issue brought back both sad and good memories. When we ran our Lotus 47 in the 1968 Sebring 12 Hours we crashed out in the 10th hour. After Jo Siffert won and finished celebrating,...
Sir, Thumbing through the December issue of your fine magazine, I came across Doug Nye’s article on Dr Tony Goodwin’s forthcoming autobiography. To my distress I see John Wickham has been blamed for...
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I read with interest in Doug Nye’s column that Dr Tony Goodwin is about to publish his autobiography. I am sure it will make great reading about racing in the 1950s and ’60s. I first met the good...
Sir, Stephen Campbell is not the only person to be irritated by the anachronistic hippies at the Goodwood Revival (Letters, December issue). Period dress is rapidly becoming fancy dress. Among the...
Sir, Your editorial in the November issue rightly gives credit to the Goodwood Revival meeting. However, your comment that you felt robbed by fate and time is very succinct. Good as the Revival is,...
Sir, It was good to be reminded of the life and times of the great Jo Siffert by Michael Cotton in the November issue. I must, however, clarify a couple of points over his early Formula 1 career....
Sir, Just a quick thank you from the USA for the terrific recent website podcasts. How wonderful it was to hear from the drivers at Goodwood. The two racing helmets that I used in my career were...
Sir, Douglas Kent (Letters, November) suggests Piero Taruffi’s Tarf twin-boom record car was based on similar theories to Smokey Yunick’s 1964 Indy ‘capsule’ car. The twin-boom Nardi Bisiluro which...
Sir, Having attended the IndyCar race at Las Vegas in anticipation of a great weekend, it turned into one of great sadness. I spoke to Dan Wheldon on Friday afternoon, just to wish him well for the...
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That’s how much time has passed since Johnny Herbert last raced an Audi R8 sports prototype – so how would its 2011 Le Mans-winning R18 stablemate compare? By Damien Smith Johnny Herbert is giggling...
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The risk of dusting off this irreplaceable Le Mans winner for a 20th anniversary test run terrified the men at Mazda. But their fear couldn’t quench the fun for our lucky driver By Sam Hancock If I...
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Want to know what the Mazda sounds like? Just ask its Le Mans-winning pilot Johnny Herbert Mazda might be protective of its Le Mans winner, but that didn’t stop Johnny Herbert rediscovering its...
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In seven seasons, Horner has led Red Bull Racing from struggling F1 outfit to the dominant force in the pitlane. And all because he could admit to himself that he wasn’t going to be the next Vettel...
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The 1981 World Championship decider played out amid the glamour of Las Vegas. It sounded like a good idea; the reality was quite different By Nigel Roebuck It was at Monza in 1981 that I asked Chris...
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After pushing at India’s door for many years, it’s finally been opened from the inside – much to Bernie’s delight By Adam Cooper There was a telling sight at the front of the grid just before the...
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In 1965 privateer Peter Sutcliffe reckoned the new Ford GT40 could be a paying proposition. So he bought one – or at least the components… By Gordon Cruickshank Anyone who owns a real Cobra or a GT40...
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And add employer and employee to that list. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have a unique relationship in NASCAR, as well as being two drivers who have redefined the sport By Gordon Kirby Between them...
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No one was better than Martin Hines at turning promising young karters into racing royalty. Mr ZIP kart may be gone, but he leaves a lasting legacy… By Rob Widdows Quiz question: what do Lewis...
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Taking to the special stages goes far beyond finding a car and a co-driver, so we asked a familiar face to provide his guide to rallying By Tony Jardine I have had a passion for motor sport from a...
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Scottish rally run provided not only a good result, but proof of how the IRC is blooming The RACMSA Rally of Scotland is one of my favourite events simply because of the stages, the location. I love...
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Triumph’s 675R proves that what’s left of the British motorcycle industry can still produce world-beating machinery By Mat Oxley Twenty years ago it was inconceivable to expect that one day a Triumph...
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If nothing else, Triumph managed to attract a very cool fanbase… Triumph never had Norton’s racing success, so lacked some of its great rival’s glamour. In the end, the two were merged during the...
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Spent a day this month messing about in a chum’s Peugeot 205GTI – an early 1.9-litre car without power steering, the best standard specification ever conceived for what I have no doubt is the...
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Vauxhall launch has press running for the hillclimbs Tried my hand at non- Goodwood hillclimbing for the first time, thanks to a novel idea by Vauxhall’s PR team to hold the press launch for its new...
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Just occasionally a convertible comes along that proves better to drive than the coupé upon which it is based. In theory, and all other things being equal, this should not be possible. Unless built...
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A diesel-powered Panamera should define all that can go wrong with a Porsche: large, ugly and not even very fast, it should be a car you accept only in the hope that its sales will provide profits...
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Another month and another Audi is launched. You’d think its relentless pursuit of sales and market share would compromise the product, but Audi’s strategy is the very antithesis of the stack ’em high...
Page 120
A message from James May brought back poignant memories of a vintage Bentley This particular recollection was prompted by an e-mail from James May. His is a name I feel qualified to drop because we...
Over the years there have been many examples of car manufacturers producing ostensibly credible and capable cars only to torpedo their chances of success thanks to some daft slice of alleged strategy...
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His marshaling efforts may have been a little half-hearted, but the Audi ace excels in his role as Scottish motor racing president Here’s a novel experience at a club meeting. I find myself stationed...
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Former champ shows same drive as behind the wheel in F1 Thanks to the recent Motor Sport subscribers’ competition, I spent a day at Laverstoke Park with the winners (below), eating buffalo burgers...
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Injured soldiers continue their build-up to 2013 Dakar rally with an indoor karting session On a recent trip to Team Sport Karting at Tower Bridge I caught up with Anthony Harris, driver for the...
F2 engines just a small part of specialist’s work Technical director David Mountain founded Mountune Racing in 1980 to build Mini race engines, but it’s the company’s Formula 2 contract that I...
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Beaulieu autojumble had a bumper crop of stands – but a bumper didn’t crop up Finally I got down to the Beaulieu Autojumble during autumn. I’d only ever been to the Hershey Swap Meet before, the...
A lunch to celebrate Mike Hawthorn leads to an unexpected private view At the Bill Boddy Tribute Day, Tim Ely, who owns Mike Hawthorn’s Riley Ulster Imp (top), invited me to one of the Hawthorn...
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A secret hoard on a yankee farm that ended as a blackened ruin On sale at Beaulieu was a Bugatti 57 Galibier saloon. It was described as a ‘barn find’, which swept me back to visiting the US in the...
What’s your history? My father Rex Woodgate was with HWM and Aston Martin for many years [as race team and US operations manager], and I worked for Arthur Mallock prior to a two-year stint at Van...
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News from the main auction houses around the world RM Auctions It was Italian machinery that made the headlines on the evening when the Canadian auction house held its annual UK sale in Battersea...
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This month we have rare behind-the-scenes footage from McLaren circa 1978, and Tasman Series action from Warwick Farm in the late ’60s David Munro Before starting college, David spent a season...
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Early city-to-city racing in France provided ample proof of the dangers of motor sport, but despite a public outcry such events were not easily curtailed Against the background of recent top-level...
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Bill Boddy and Jenks used to run a favourite little item in these pages entitled ‘The Things They Say’, in which they took a kind of school swot delight in pointing out the errors in other...
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Through much of the last century, this time of year was highlighted by the annual Monte Carlo Rally. While circuit racing had recommenced after World War II as early as 1945-46, to organise a cross-...

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