It’s back in 2004, the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Rain is falling in those annoying short showers that just stop the track from drying completely. Tricky conditions, the sort of thing that sends cars into the wall of bales if they drop a wheel onto the wet grass. A day for the lesser talented to learn humility. But a day for the talented to show how it’s done. Someone on the startline is wearing a Gilles Villeneuve helmet... [quote]the nose turns in and with a sharp stab of power, the driver … [Read more...] about Villeneneuve, his father’s GPA and the Ferrari 312T3 at Goodwood
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This TV ad was made back in 2007, but it's still one of our favourites. A superb cross section of racing cars through the ages, shot in location across the world and presented in chronological order throughout the advert. Spot how many you recognise and also how mny of the locations are familiar too. And just in case you're muttering "CGI" under your breath, here's how it was done... … [Read more...] about Shell Ferrari, ‘The Circuit’ TV Advert
The ignition key is tiny, with a black grip worn by the passage of time. The door key plain metal and even smaller. I scoop them up and walk towards it, bright red paint shining in the sunlight as only a Ferrari can wear, chisel edged front spoiler like a blade at shin height, four driving lights recessed deep below that. Beyond the curve of the front wings and the jet fighter-like rake of the windscreen, there are those iconic door mirrors, up high on stalks to give the driver a view rearwards … [Read more...] about Ferrari 288GTO Driven
It's not often that I write here about some of the cars I drive in my line of work, but this one is a superb piece of engineering that deserves a mention. OK, I'll be the first to admit, my Ferrari relationship has been a love / hate one. Sometimes, they can make the most beautiful cars that you'd want to fall in love with. Elegant curves that no-one else can create, the most stunning engine noise to die for. Icons like the 288GTO and amazingly practical daily drivers like the 456GT. Then … [Read more...] about Ferrari 458 Italia – just six miles driving, but wow..
I've written before about how I genuinely believe that we have all of the tools that we need to fix the problems that we have as humans on this planet. We can do this with small environmental lifestyle changes. You may not think so, indeed I know that many people are despairing right now. Some feeling frustrated. Others are feeling helpless. There may even be a tiny twinge of guilt every time you fuel up your car. Or you may be simply saying "screw it, there's nothing I can do, lets make the … [Read more...] about How Do We Save the World and Still Love Our Lifestyles?
Back in 2011 I wrote a blog post about the Porsche 996 Turbo, how I thought it was undervalued at the time and also how I figured that it would never really be collectable. A lot has changed in the Porsche 911 marketplace since then and indeed that article has been updated twice now. It has attracted much interest, so in response to various direct contacts and comments on that blog post, I've been asked for my views in the current state of the Porsche 911 marketplace. This could get messy, so … [Read more...] about The state of the collectable Porsche marketplace in 2020
I began Historic Racer in 2013. At the time, I was in full on motorsport instructor mode, contributing to various automotive editorial titles and designing digital marketing ideas for other people. I knew that the genre of classic and historic car racing was increasingly buoyant, with investment pouring in from both individuals and trust funds. Historic Racer was an itch I wanted to scratch. What made me start it? Quite simply, I don’t often read other writer’s automotive output. I felt, … [Read more...] about I Killed My Most Successful Blog – Here’s Why
This is a true story and probably one of my most inspiration days of work ever. It made me realise that disability is what you make of it and that humans are actually really complicated things. It was also truly humbling. A day spent on track coaching blind drivers in supercars. I learned an awful lot that day. Working for a supercar experience company few years ago now, I was booked to instruct for what I'd initially thought was a junior driving day. Letting kids drive supercars is perfectly … [Read more...] about A Blind Man Driver – Aston Martin Track Instruction That Taught Me Some Lessons
In track instructing on public days, there are several mantras that any track instructor has to learn very quickly to survive, remain safe and still deliver a worthwhile driving experience to the clients. I won’t go into all of them here, instead I will pick just two elements. The Shit Drivers and The ‘Good' Drivers Who Try and Kill You. People ask me how I was able to sit alongside people in a variety of Ferraris and Lamborghinis as they drove with widely differing ability on track for more … [Read more...] about On Track As An Instructor – The Biggest Save Of My Life
The Supercar Driving Experience industry is in pain and quite possibly dying in the UK. It’s an industry I worked in as an instructor for more that a decade and so it saddens me deeply to be writing this post. I have a great affection for the industry, the great people within it and the many, many high quality, professional race instructors who worked within it and earned a living speaking very quickly indeed from the passenger seat of a supercar. Today, the industry is suffering and … [Read more...] about Supply and Demand – the Needless Suffering of the Supercar Driving Experience Industry
Some people look at me in a very strange manner when the subject of Porsche 911 driving techniques are mentioned. There’s actually a very large slice of people out there who just don’t ‘get it’. I know good drivers, experienced people, who’ve driven Porsche 911′s and simply don’t like them, cannot see what all the fuss is about. “Engine’s in the wrong bloody place, I prefer my Ferrari any day…” I sympathise and try and explain, reminded of my own first Porsche 911 experience. Then right after … [Read more...] about Driving Tips – Why Learning to Drive a Porsche 911 Takes a Little Time
This great YouTube video is one of a series of Top Fives from Porsche. Anyone with even a passing interest in Porsche will be aware that Rennsport Porsches are minimalist and light weight. The 2.7RS is considered the Holy Grail of collectable, lightweight Porsches. However this video highlights the fact that there are at least four other Porsches that are significantly lighter in weight. The cars are, of course all historic racing Porsches with the emphasis on hillcliming. So what better place … [Read more...] about Top Five Lightweight Porsches and the GT3 RS that is ‘Almost’ Lightweight
We’ve all had it. As a professional writer, sometimes I’m asked to write about topics that may not be the most enthralling. Most times, I write about things Im’ passionate about - both hates and loves. That passion inspires me when I open up the MacBook. Curing writer's block is not often a problem for me. I am lucky. Sometimes though, it just isn’t there. The clock is ticking, I have an editor, a client or simply myself to answer to, so simply making yet another coffee and strolling over to … [Read more...] about Curing Writer’s Block – How To Write When The White Screen Stares back
“How can you find so much to say about just one car?” It’s a question I’m frequently asked with regard to the Porsche 911, generally by people who are perhaps not the most diehard of Porsche enthusiasts. It is indeed a reasonable question to ask as, to the casual observer, Porsche 911s are all the same. Rather Germanic, still with the engine in the wrong place and for those with a love of curvaceous Italian cars, not particularly attractive with engines that have a gruff exhaust note and none … [Read more...] about Three Porsche Features, three utterly different 911 genres, one Porsche magazine
Just when I thought that the 997 GT3 4.0RS was quite probably the last definitive, cerebral Porsche 911, Andreas Peuninger’s team introduce the 911R. In an interview with Evo’s Henry Catchpole, Andreas sets the record straight on his ethos as design head. His passion for driving is clearly evident as he talks about the process that went into developing the 911R. Throughout the chat, he talks far more about the engineering that goes into the feel and pleasure of driving the 911R that the bare … [Read more...] about The New Porsche 911R – There’s Life in The Heel Toe Gearshift Yet.
France has a rich history of motor racing and while the country did not have the huge number of redundant post war military airfields that started motorsport in the UK, if you're enjoying a driving holiday in France, they have some truly superb tracks for driving and competing. The walled town of Angouleme in The Charente is famous for the Circuit des Remparts street race. Each September, the town centre is closed as historic racing cars from all eras converge for a spectacular, maniac street … [Read more...] about On Track in The Charente – Circuite de Haute Saintonge in France