A modern take on tradition

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Damien Smith

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2kJap10Evolution, not revolution. It’s something of a mantra in motor racing circles, as teams refine and improve the breed. In the Motor Sport office this month, I caught myself quietly muttering it too, as the September issue began to take shape (I don’t think anyone heard me, which is probably just as well).

You see, we’ve made another tweak to the magazine as we strive to add greater depth and diversity. Nothing too dramatic, you understand, and certainly not a departure from tradition. In fact, you could describe it as an echo of times past.

Road cars always featured prominently in the ‘Green ’un’, thanks to the road tests and commentaries provided by the, er, independently-minded missives from editor Bill Boddy. He didn’t pull his punches when delivering a verdict. Today, we’ve continued to dip a toe into the industry waters thanks to the columns and tests of another forthright ex-editor, Andrew Frankel. But now we’ve dived back in head-first, with full commitment!

No more token efforts. Now the road car industry has its own section within the magazine, as Andrew guides us through the latest happenings, events and – most importantly – significant cars on the market. Each month, he’ll be cutting through the PR-speak to explain what is going on in the world of road cars: who is doing what, who is saying what – and what you should consider driving.

This month, Andrew kicks off by delivering his verdict on Goodwood’s first Moving Motor Show, finds out whether the new Mercedes-Benz SLS lives up to its classic ‘Gullwing’ forefather and bombards Bentley’s head man Dr Ulrich Eichorn for our new feature ‘20 Questions’.

And that’s not all. He’s been a busy boy. We also sent Andrew to McLaren to uncover exactly how Formula 1 thinking has influenced and shaped the stunning new MP4-12C road car. Want to know how motor racing brilliance can feed into the real world in the 21st century? Look no further than our cover story.

If you’re reading this and wondering what’s happened to the usual mix of racing stories past and present, never fear! Where else can you read about life in a Le Mans team, Ferrari P4 Can-Am cars, what Mika Häkkinen talks about over lunch, how F1 teams hit the track in Abu Dhabi – five days after racing at Interlagos, what Stuart Turner remembers about a colourful career in rallying… and why Nigel Roebuck found a kindred spirit in smokin’ daredevil Patrick Depailler?

You know the answer. So lock the door, turn off the phone and lose yourself in Motor Sport – a world with a proper sense of perspective.

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