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
Track Driving and Driver Coaching
Whist many people know me as someone connected with automotive and cars for much of my life, in fact it is not the car itself that is the main attraction for me, it is the process of driving.
I have more than a decade of first hand experience as a professional track driver coach and still work with drivers who have a desire to improve their track driving skills.
Contrary to popular belief, I'm not 'into cars' I'm into 'driving'.
There's a difference.
Here you'll find an archive of my opinions and experiences on driving, why I think so many people simply don't understand the attraction and also why I believe that the perfection of driving is something that some of us continually strive for, but never quite reach.
Enjoy the journey.
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
Traffic Police. Just blokes driving about in the latest kit trying to nab you? Or a branch of the police tasked with looking at and dealing with the carnage of other people's stupidity while trying to catch the nasty little Chavs we all hate hanging around car parks? More than four years ago, I spend some time watching over the shoulders of traffic Police in training in a day alongside Durham Police under training for pursuit and something called Police TPAC Training … [Read more...] about The Police TPAC Driving Skill – Tactical Pursuit And Containment
In Porsche collecting circles, right now even a few months seems like an eternity. I originally wrote this article in 2011. In March 2016, I updated it to reflect the changes in attitudes towards the Porsche 996 Turbo. Buyers had realised that the engine was indeed pretty bulletproof and the cars were rising. I wrote with confidence, as you will see, that I thought the 996 Turbo was too numerous to become collectable...... Today, we're seeing Porsche 996 Turbo for sale that were previously … [Read more...] about UPDATED – The Porsche 996 Turbo – Why They’re Good Value and Why They’ll Never Be Truly Collectable
Driver Coaching. A hot topic as ever in motorsport and an ever growing area for discussion in Historic Motorsport. This is something we’ve written about before, so it was interesting to spot this film about the legendary Rob Wilson. Karun Chandhok says almost word for our our own beliefs: Tennis stars have them, golfers have them, footballers have them. Racing drivers have them too. But you’ll never see them. They are that shadowy figure at the back of the garage, rarely seen on the pit wall … [Read more...] about Rob Wilson and the Flat Car Mantra
If you are one of those drivers who doesn’t really ‘get’ the whole Porsche thing, then you must watch these three videos. People who are addicted to the Porsche 911 feel will know exactly what Richard Meaden is talking about. For those who are unconverted, we've written elsewhere about how it takes time to get to know a Porsche 911, so perhaps you simply haven’t spent enough time behind the wheel of them. There’s no doubt that Porsche 911’s aren’t for everyone. And I wouldn’t like it if they … [Read more...] about Three Porsche Drive Videos non-Porsche Owners Must Watch
The more Francophobic of my friends often ask me what’s my fascination for the old French farmhouse style? I’ve an affection for them that outpaces the inevitable rose tinted glasses of holiday memories so I guess it would be a good thing to give an explanation. Up there with the soft warmth of Scandinavian timber buildings and the sharp definition of Art Deco, Charente style farmhouses are one of my favourite buildings, here’s a few reasons why. They’re constructed almost like war … [Read more...] about Why I Have A Thing For French Farmhouses
Passion in motorsport competitors can be a double edged sword. They need the motivation, the desire, the ruthless streak that’s needed for that ultimate, championship winning passing move. But that same burning desire can have negative implications if it is allowed to become dominant above all. The same passion that puts a driver or rider ‘in the zone’ can also lose them entire world championships in a moment. The Moto GP race in Sepang this weekend was spectacular, with friction between … [Read more...] about When Racing Passion Boils Over
A couple of years ago now, I was booked for some work with a batch of electric Smart cars. Very much the early generation of car at the time, their Nickel Hydride battery packs didn’t like the cold and the range was just 60 miles or so. They were prototypes, designed as ‘proof of concept’. The Tesla roadster was newly launched and people were viewing electric cars in the same negative way that the Celica GT Four was the first car in the UK to run on 100% unleaded with a catalytic converter. A … [Read more...] about The Sound of Electricity
This was a self assigned photo shoot and feature for Historic Racer online magazine. Sometimes, you don't have the time to wait around for a magazine editor to give the nod, you've just got to go and do it. My good friend McKenna was due to shake down this beautifully restored Lola F5000 racing car at Blyton Park test facility, one of our favourite tracks, so although I didn't have as much time with the car as I might have liked, it was an opportunity not to be missed. You can read the full … [Read more...] about Lola F5000 Track Test – Rattling the Windows
It was truly heartening to spend the day recently at Blyton Park with the owner of a Ferrari F430 Spyder who had gone to great lengths to track down his perfect car. Nothing unusual there, I know you're thinking. Most people in the market for a Ferrari don't just buy the first car they see. They take their time, have cars inspected and study the market. But this car and owner combination was unusual. In the age of the paddle shift gearbox, I was very pleased to hear that The Owner had … [Read more...] about The Dying Art of The Heel Toe Downshift
Hybrid powered cars have been around for more than a decade now. They're part of our daily lives, yet until recently, I'd never really spent any time with one. You can read here about the ten days I spent in France with the Lexus RX450h hybrid, but one of the things I was asked all too often was the driving techniques. "But I bet you had to change your driving style a lot, right?" "Well yes, of course" "Thought so, bet is was flat as a fart, right?" "Well no, actually. That's not what I … [Read more...] about Hybrid Driving Techniques – New Tricks Needed, or Simply Another Car?
You don't often see the eyes of a fast jet pilot. They're nearly always hidden and anonymously cool, either behind a suitably chic pair of aviator shades, or the ominous Star Wars sinister smoked visor of the helmet as they taxi by, engines whistling at Ground Idle taxi setting. But sometimes, you get an idea of the mind set of the low level fast jet pilot when you catch a glimpse of the eyes. A few years ago now, Sunderland Airshow, the largest free airshow in the UK and possibly … [Read more...] about The Eyes of a Fast Jet Pilot
Creating aerial photographs that our clients would like to use is a large aspect of our business. And because we don't always know what the images will finally be used for, we shoot with the highest resolution HDSLR cameras by Canon. But sometimes, we stumble across an aerial filming helicopter with a camera system so stable, so powerful, that we just have to tell everyone about it. Keeping the camera stable in aerial photography is one of the principal considerations of aerial photographers. … [Read more...] about Like No Aerial Camera I’ve Ever Seen…
We have an obsession with the weather in the UK. After the usual formalities, it's the first thing British conversation moves onto. And this last twelve months or so, we've had a lot to talk about, much of it not good. If you're one of the many location car photographers uk, it's a big problem as the logistics and time schedules of a monthly car magazine mean that we need the co-operation of the weather. Those interesting, high performance cars are often owned by fastidious owners who would … [Read more...] about Porsche 911 Turbos and The British Winter
I learned to drive when I was eight years old. Many decades later, I never considered I'd be working on race tracks explaining driver coaching techniques. My first driving experience was on a faded blue Ford tractor on my uncle's farm in Yorkshire. With a hand throttle beside the steering wheel, no power assistance to either the steering or the pedals, I had to brace myself by pulling on the steering wheel to depress the clutch. Once in gear using the selector between my legs, there was no … [Read more...] about What Makes a Driver?