March 2008

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Gordon Kirby From this month Gordon takes on the position of our US Editor. In every issue he will be discussing the hot talking points of motor racing in North America, contrasting the differences...
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Richard Heseltine A handsome Italian body with German underpinnings – no, not Heseltine, but the BMW M1 he drives this month. Created against a background of acrimony and corruption and then...
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The backlash had to come. This is Great Britain after all. But Lewis Hamilton didn’t exactly endear himself to his nation towards the end of 2007 – and I’m not talking about his failure to win the...
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World Champions Ferrari won the race to get the first 2008 Formula 1 car on track, beating McLaren by just 24 hours. But the first showdown between the two likely title contenders at Jerez in January...
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Giancarlo Fisichella has been handed a Formula 1 lifeline by Force India, where the 34-year-old Italian will partner Adrian Sutil this season. With his signing the revamped team has sent out a clear...
* Having announced his retirement from Formula 1 last October, Alex Wurz has made a surprise U-turn and signed up as Honda’s third driver. His reserve role means he would race should either Jenson...
Formula 1 team bosses have agreed that the best way to reduce future expenditure is to introduce budget capping, rather than force competitors to make cutbacks in specific areas. In December FIA...
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Reflections – The importance of the edge of risk in Formula 1 – Why losing traction control is symbolically vital – Life after Alonso and the spy scandal at McLaren At the end of the ’60s, when I was...
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An Aston Martin-engined prototype will bid for overall honours in the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hours in what could be a precursor to a full factory return to the classic event at La Sarthe. Prodrive, which...
Formula 1 design legend Rory Byrne will have a hand in the new ’Powered by Ferrari’ A1GP contender. Byrne, who stepped down as chief designer at Ferrari in 2006, will be a consultant on the project...
A project to turn the latest V8-powered M3 into a GT2 contender is known to have already started at BMW Motorsport in Munich, despite denials from the manufacturer. The car could enter service in the...
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The cancellation of the Dakar Rally for the first time in its 30-year history could result in a move for the event to South America. The Amaury Sport Organisation, which runs the rally-raid, called...
Honda is set to replace Alfa Romeo as the fourth manufacturer in the World Touring Car Championship this season. JAS Motorsport, which has run Honda tin-top programmes since the late 1990s, will...
The Monte Carlo Rally will not kick off the World Rally Championship next season, but could instead form the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. The event has lost its traditional...
Motogp Nicky Hayden finished the opening test at Sepang on January 22-24 on top with a best time of 2.00.326. * Pedrosa fractured his hand after crashing on the first day of testing but will return...
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* Sportscar legend Derek Bell was due to sign off his international career in style at last month’s Daytona 24 Hours. The 66-year-old was competing in the race for the first time in five years. Bell...
Ecurie Ecosse and works Jaguar and Aston Martin driver Jimmy Stewart has died at the age of 76. His racing career was short but promising, starting in 1951/52 with a Healey Silverstone in which he...
One of the last surviving people to race at Brooklands Track, Rex King-Clark has died, aged 94. He was the oldest member of the BRDC, having been elected in 1936. King-Clark raced an ex-works Singer...
Often cited as the prototype of the strategically-aware British co-driver, John Anthony Ambrose plied his trade during the 1950s and ’60s mainly with the BMC team. After winning a scholarship to...
British all-rounder Tony Dean, who was best known for scoring a surprise Can-Am victory at Road Atlanta in 1970, has died at the age of 75 following a short illness. Dean, who raced everything from...
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The US Scene The American racing season traditionally kicks off with the NASCAR Daytona 500 in the middle of February. It’s a perfect time for Americans, and Canadians too, to break out of the mid-...
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Road cars D’you know, this city – this city is hurting bad.’ The words may have been new, but the sentiment they expressed is one I’ve heard too many times in relation to the once great metropolis of...
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For those of us who feared for the future of Land Rover as anti-SUV sentiment rises steadily, it would be hard to think of a more confident, relevant assertion of its place in the modern car world...
It’s taken over 20 years, but Mercedes has at last built a small sporting saloon that’s better than a BMW M3. The omens were good from the moment the new C-class was launched last year for it was...
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Doing doughnuts Sir, First I would like to say, as a cyclist, how impressed I am with Alex Zanardi’s hand-bike efforts (February). Even in my prime I’d have been pushed to average 17mph on my bike...
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He was a hard racer, but Ayrton Senna was also a caring man who was appalled by the poverty in Brazil. We travelled to São Paulo to meet his sister Viviane and talk about the legacy he left behind....
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Smith and Wesson. Harley and Davidson. Prost and Senna. Inseparable pairings in everyone’s mind. Alain Prost talks about their years of battle and how his retirement affected his old rival By Pascal...
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The next generation of F1 and Indycars must balance green technology with better racing. It’s a challenge that renowned engineers John Barnard and Mario Illien have been contemplating for years By...
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It’s a powerful body that makes decisions which shape the future of racing. But who are the faces behind the World Motor Sport Council, and are they the right ones? By Joe Saward Otto Von Bismarck,...
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Matra had already won Le Mans – now it wanted more. Ferrari was facing a classic duel to remember – especially as it would be their last in sports car racing. The year: 1973 By Paul Fearnley Twelve...
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It was the car that, along with Cosworth power and Jackie Stewart, led Matra to glory before its F1 dream turned sour by Keith Howard Colin Chapman’s privileged access to the Ford-Cosworth DFV ended...
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The colourful Australian remembers his time spent racing and engineering a variety of cars in Europe during the 1960s and ’70s By Simon Taylor Frank Gardner doesn’t believe in giving interviews,...
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BMW is a team with no time to waste – not if it is to overcome Ferrari and McLaren for its first win in F1 By Rob Widdows The man is immaculate, not a hair out of place, not a crease in the crisp...
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High jinks mixed with high drama at the 1994 Australian GP, as former Benetton mechanic Greg Field tells Rob Widdows There is not much Greg Field hasn’t seen in over three decades as a racing...
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When it came to setting Land Speed Records, no one did it quite like the late Art Arfons By Richard Heseltine He’d faced down danger before but this was different: not only Plan A but Plans B, C, and...
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The best-looking Maserati in years has a couple of major flaws, but there could be a fix just around the corner By Andrew Frankel Iam not sure whether it has been achieved by careful strategy or...
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The differences between the ALMS and Grand-Am have allowed each to prosper. Yet both want the same thing: to be the best US sports car series By Gary Watkins Two sets of rules, two calendars and two...
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The 50th anniversary season of the British Touring Car Championship opened during Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC with a display of cars charting the series’ development through half a...
A new initiative called PF1 will allow people to own and drive recent F1 cars in up to four events a year at venues such as Silverstone and Spa. Created by Paul Osborn and Jonathan Kaiser, co-owners...
The 40th anniversary of the opening of the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire will be marked by a special celebration race meeting on Easter Monday (March 24). Formula 2 topped the bill on Easter Monday...
* Charlie Agg will return to a race series management role this year as co-ordinator of Group C/GTP. Agg formerly managed International Supersports racing but has more recently raced a Nissan RC90K...
The biggest package of historic and classic racing ever unveiled by one organisation has been confirmed by the Masters Racing Series for 2008. In total, 12 race categories will compete in 22 race...
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Motor Racing Legends is taking over the management of the BRDC Historic Sports Car race series, which will undergo a major overhaul for the 2008 season. The series for 1950s sports-racing cars will...
The Silverstone Classic is set to feature four races for 3-litre F1 cars in a programme that takes in both a round of the FIA Historic Formula 1 Championship and the Grand Prix Masters series. It is...
Feb 1-6 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, Monte Carlo. The annual classic event relives the golden era of the famous rally. www.acm.mc Feb 22/23 Rallye Sunseeker, Bournemouth. This year includes the...
* The much-hyped Grand Prix Live event, which ran in troubled circumstances at Donington Park last May, has collapsed with debts of more than £1 million. Plans to incorporate the event into the...
Mallock will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the debut of its first sports-racing car with a weekend dedicated to the constructor at Silverstone in August during a 750 Motor Club race meeting. The...
The organisation and promotion of the Silverstone Classic has been sub-contracted for at least the next five years as Silverstone’s management focuses its efforts on running the British Grand Prix....
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Edsel Ford’s favourite car should break £1m barrier In these pages we usually try to cover cars that have graced a motor racing circuit, hillclimb or a rally at least once in their life. The general...
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After a traumatic birth and instant redundancy, it was saved by a clever business plan and a brilliant promotional idea By Richard Heseltine / Photography by Howard Simmons For years, at the very...
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Christian Philippsen Since its inaugural edition in 1953, Automobile Year has offered a useful oversight on everything with four wheels. Although it is regarded by some as being too general, it...
David Murray and the legendary Scottish motor racing team Eric Dymock It’s a little poignant to be reviewing this after hearing that one of EE’s characters, Jimmy Stewart, had died, but this...
Formula 1, world rally and motorcycle Out of these three it’s The Motorcycle Yearbook that’s had to review the least exciting season, hence it is adorned with scantily-clad women in order to grab...
Rob Wiedenhoff and Ed Heuvink Anyone who’s witnessed the fervour Jos Verstappen whips up among his countrymen knows how much the Dutch love their racing. This stylish book perfectly encapsulates this...
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The Rootes Group achieved only minimal success with its Tigers, but one rally car turned circuit racer bucked the trend for a time Ever since I first drove a Sunbeam Tiger I’ve had something of a...
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Recently the heir to my overdraft flew into Tripoli, Libya, armed by me with misinformation. He was keen to see the North African state, and glancing at a map I’d remarked to him that he would be...
Computerised onboard data collection is standard fare these days in everything from Formula 1 to a bog-standard production spam-can saloon. Of course this hasn’t always been true. In the 1970s, Prof...
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The records show Ray Harroun as the first 500 winner, but that doesn’t tell the whole story Those who study motor racing history will know that the first BRDC 500-mile race was won by Jack Barclay...
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A knock on my door, and there were the Jehovah Witnesses. Did I believe in God? I said I’d been baptised and confirmed… It recalled a time when I had interviewed the all-round sportsman and racing...
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I have the greatest of admiration for Lewis Hamilton, but for me there are two types of competitor: racing drivers and Formula 1 drivers. Today’s GP participants, drivers and cars are committed to an...
Keith Howard’s article explaining desmodromic valve-gears in the December 2007 Motor Sport was very interesting, recalling as he does how this type of valve-gear was used for their racing cars by...

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