Lost racing films rescued by TV legend

Racing History

Voice of 90’s motor racing is completing project to revive hidden gems of motor sport film and television

Fangio Monaco Steve Rider

Racing scenes of old will be given new life

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One of the most famous voices in motor sport is launching a unique motor sport archive dedicated to bringing forgotten racing footage to a new audience.

The venture, called Racing Past Media (RPM), aimed in particular, at pre-1981 Formula 1 content will help bring new detail and perspective to the formative years of the sport, as the Formula 1 World Championship prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

It is being masterminded by Steve Rider who has presented the BTCC since 1988, and for years was the face of BBC Sport as well as anchor for the ITV F1 coverage.

RPM collates and manages content from a wide range of sources in order to assemble a swiftly-accessible body of material for researchers and documentary makers. It has already signed agreements with ITV Sport, BRM and the John Tate collection. Others are set to follow as the project gathers pace.

Gilles Villeneuve leads team-mate Didier Pironi

Villeneuve Pironi documentary used RPM footage


“This area of archive research has often been challenging and time consuming” said Rider. “We have been working on the detail for about four years and have identified material that even the broadcasters didn’t know existed. With the growing appetite for documentary making it will be exciting to see what producers can make of this footage.”

The RPM team includes experienced Formula 1 producers and researchers, including leading film archivist Richard Wiseman who has a string of credits to his name including Ferrari: Race to Immortality, Villeneuve Pironi and Steve McQueen: The Lost Movie. Interviewed by Motor Sport he described his work as “a never ending jigsaw puzzle” as he pieces together clips of lost film.

From the archive

RPM will not only focus on grand prix racing . Earlier this year it bought the archive of Barrie Hinchliffe Productions, which, from the early seventies to the mid-nineties, pioneered the coverage of world championship rallying and the British Touring Car Championship on programmes like BBC Grandstand and ITV World of Sport.

The acquisition gave access to coverage of 113 World Championship rallies, mainly from the spectacular Group B years, along with over five seasons of early coverage from the British Touring Car Championship as well as some hidden gems such as behind the scenes footage of the early karting days of Lewis Hamilton.

Material researched, sourced and licenced through RPM has already found its way into forthcoming documentaries as well as branded content films for organisations such as UBS. An increasingly wide-ranging library of content hosted on RPM’s cloud-based portal makes for swift and easy access to footage at a pace modern content makers expect.

RPM has also worked closely with Motor Sport as a media partner to source rare footage which we are using to celebrate our 100th anniversary.

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