Track Torque podcast


It was only when we decided to put the podcast below together that I sat down and counted how many we had done. Since 2009 we have recorded 90 podcasts, which comes out at roughly 6000 minutes of audio. Astonishing.

In that time we’ve had an amazing array of guests from multiple Le Mans winners to multiple Formula 1 world champions via team principals, engineers and even some top-line ‘bikers. The most popular to date have been Derek Bell, Tony Southgate and Alastair Caldwell. All good story tellers.

The podcasts started after Nigel Roebuck had made one of his frequent visits to the offices. He’d just come back from a Grand Prix – I forget which – and spent 45 minutes regaling us with stories from the paddock. All of them were interesting, many of them unprintable. Despite this we decided to commit them to ‘tape’. How hard could it be? Well, quite difficult actually.

Whatever anyone tells you, audio recording is black magic. You can have all the right equipment (which I did), but be left with an audio file that sounds like it was recorded on an iPhone from 6000 feet away (which it did). After two recordings we admitted defeat and called in audio wizard Alan Hyde. We soon had guest appearances and the podcasts took on a life of their own, even winning the Guild of Motoring Writers New Media Award in 2012.

I digress… The podcast below is a bit different in that it is a highlights show made up of recordings from the late 1970s. As many of our regular readers will know, Rob Widdows used to host a motor sport show on Radio Victory called Track Torque. It quickly developed a cult following and even the likes of Frank Williams made the journey to the Radio Victory studio in Portsmouth. Alongside producer Mike Lawrence, Rob steered the show for several years into the early 1980s.

Since then Rob has held onto the old tapes of the shows. He came close to throwing them away every time he moved house, but something at the back of his mind (thankfully) told him not to. Last year we decided it was time to see what was on them. Niki Lauda? Ron Dennis? Frank Williams?

The tapes were delivered to Alan Hyde and he began the laborious process of digitising every one of them. Some were blank while others contained ‘Soul Source’ presented by a DJ called Dave Christian, which followed Track Torque. Some tapes, though, were filled with gems. What’s more, after some digital mastery the audio sounded like it was recorded yesterday.

The digital files were then ordered and we started putting 45-minute shows together (some interviews lasted for only a couple of minutes while others stopped halfway through). So far you can download Lord Hesketh (1979), Stirling Moss (1978), Denis Jenkinson (1979), a 1977 Le Mans/British Grand Prix special and John Surtees (1979). Before you recoil in horror – these do cost £1.99 to download. However, if we didn’t charge even a nominal sum, these never would have seen the light of day. Indeed, if we were to try and make a profit from these we’d have to charge £5.99!

The podcast below is a selection from the Track Torque shows mentioned above to give you a flavour of what awaits you in the Motor Sport audio archive. We’ll be adding a new one every month. We hope you enjoy them and appreciate the amazing window into the past they offer. It was only when Alan played me the Denis Jenkinson interview that I knew what he sounded like. An appalling admission when you consider I grew up reading his words and that I’ve worked here for over eight years…

To download the Track Torque episodes click here.

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