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Why heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hero again after â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the best wet wins everâ&#x20AC;?







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S E PT E M B E R 2008 ÂŁ4. 95

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1000 issues MS Media Pack 2008 1

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Welcome Motor Sport, founded in 1924, is the most established and perhaps best-known motor racing magazine in the world. Its reputation as the true voice of the sport was built largely on the work of our late continental correspondent, the great Denis Jenkinson. Today, Motor Sport lives on in the spirit of Jenks, every month offering the forthright opinions and insight for which he made the magazine famous. So if you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read Motor Sport before, or if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re rediscovering it for the first time in years, here is your guide to Motor Sport â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the magazine for the past, present and future.

NIGEL ROEBUCK, editor-in-chief

Celebrating 1,000 issues Our December issue marks a special milestone for Motor Sport. To reach 1,000 issues is something we are very proud of, and we will celebrate in style. Look out for star interviews, a 60th anniversary tribute to Porsche and a celebration of our heritage. The best writers, led by editor-in-chief Nigel Roebuck and founding editor Bill Boddy, will tell some of the quirkiest stories from our past â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a wealth of material! The 1,000th issue promises to be a collectorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; item â&#x20AC;&#x201C; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss it (on sale from October 31). T H E












Why heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hero again after â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the best wet wins everâ&#x20AC;?







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The past WHERE IT ALL BEGAN â&#x2013; Motor Sport has been linked with Brooklands since the magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception in 1924. Indeed at that time it was called The Brooklands Gazette. Even though much of the track has been destroyed over the years, Brooklands goes from strength to strength, recently hosting the popular Double 12 race meeting. And Motor Sport still has close ties with Brooklands, a relationship that has lasted for more than 80 years.


Enzo Ferrari establishes the team that will become the most famous in motor racing as the world recovers from war



Motor Sport launched as The Brooklands Gazette, the Organ of Motor and Motor Cycle Sport

Bill Boddy continues to edit Motor Sport throughout the war years


Name changed from the July issue to the all-encompassing Motor Sport


Motor Sport is taken over by Bentley owner TG Moore


Motor Sport is purchased by Wesley J Tee. Bill Boddy joins as editor






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The past


Giuseppe Farina wins the first ever World Championship Grand Prix at Silverstone

dbr1 double n The 1959 Le Manswinning DBR1 also appeared in the 2007 Legends race at Le Mans before the start of the main event. Driven by Sir Stirling Moss and Dr Ulrich Bez, the inclusion of the car in the race was apt, as Aston Martin triumphed again at Le Mans for the first time since its 1959 victory.


Motor Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest sporting success â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our continental correspondent DSJ wins the Mille Miglia with Stirling Moss


Aston Martin achieves its aim of winning the Le Mans 24 Hours

timeline 1950



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Lotus celebrates its first World Championship victory with Jim Clark at the wheel


Jackie Stewart wins the first of his three World Championship titles


Porsche wins its first race at Le Mans


Graham Hill wins at Le Mans to become the only driver to claim racingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s triple crown: the 24 Hours, the F1 world title and the Indy 500


Clark makes history by winning the Indianapolis 500 for Lotus




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The past


Damon Hill celebrates World Championship victory over arch-rival Michael Schumacher


Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost go head-to-head for the F1 world title. Senna prevails














again after Why heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a hero wet wins everâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the best

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Motor Sport celebrates its Golden Jubilee issue in August





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Nigel Roebuck joins Motor Sport and a new era for the magazine begins


Lewis Hamilton is born





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The Golden Age N EW of Motor Sport







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You can now revisit Motor Sport’s incredible heritage at the touch of a button, via our new range of archive CDs. Every page of every magazine from four decades is available to read on any type of computer. The CDs feature special search and zoom facilities for ease of use. So far we have produced CDs of the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, plus single-year CDs from 1957, ’67, ’76 and ’86 – four landmark seasons in the history of racing. The decade CDs are on sale at £39.99 and the selected single years are priced at £14.99. It’s never been so easy to dip into Motor Sport’s past and rediscover why our late continental correspondent Denis Jenkinson is still revered today.

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The present


Grand Prix News

otor Sport tackles the matters of the moment, in Formula 1 and beyond, telling you the stories behind the news and offering the opinions of the world’s top racing journalists and personalities. If it matters, we’ll write about it.

British GP reaction

Deadline set for Donington DONINGTON PARK FACES A RACE against time to have its rebuilt facilities ready to host the British Grand Prix in 2010. Circuit design guru Hermann Tilke has drawn up plans that include an extension to the track and new pit facilities as part of a five-year, £100 million investment package. Relevant planning permissions still have to be sought, however, and it remains to be seen how quickly the work can be done. Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone signed a 10-year Donington deal on the Thursday of this year’s GP meeting. Despite pleas from the British Racing Drivers Club, the FIA made an announcement on the Friday morning, diverting attention away from what was otherwise a hugely successful race weekend for Silverstone and the club. The announcement also came prematurely for track owner Donington Ventures Leisure Ltd, run by Simon Gillett and Lee Gill, which had not expected

to have to explain its plans so soon. To emphasise how far the project had already come, Ecclestone showed journalists a copy of Tilke’s master plan. Dated June 26, it pictured a new loop plunging downhill at Goddards, the current final corner, before returning just beyond it, opposite the current pits. That will extend the track from 2.5 to 3.0 miles. A new pit complex will be built on the inside of the back straight, with grandstands opposite. The startline will be moved so that – assuming the current chicane is bypassed – the Melbourne hairpin will be the new first corner. The existing pits will be retained so racing can continue while building work is undertaken. Ecclestone claimed that the deal could have been signed much earlier, and insisted he had given Silverstone and the BRDC a fair chance, having assigned a deadline of the British GP weekend.

“Obviously these people wanted to get it done quickly, because they’ve got to get cracking,” said Ecclestone. “We’ve mucked them about in all fairness. They would have signed three months ago, if they could have done. “I said to them wait until we’ve got a ‘no go’, and I said if we haven’t got a definite answer by Silverstone, we’re in business with you. So that’s what happened. Silverstone arrived, we didn’t have an answer, so that was it.” He insisted that without Donington, the race would have been lost: “If we hadn’t done this, these people [Silverstone] would have still been p***ing around, and I would’ve said, ‘That’s it, bye bye.’ There are plenty of people waiting. I would’ve been delighted to have this date for somebody else. It’s because this has happened that we have saved the British GP.” Ecclestone denied having

Martin Brundle ( Brdc vice-president ) “if you look for the positives, it seems like there will be a GP, which was in doubt. The drivers will be disappointed, because they love silverstone. i like donington, but i would’ve thought they need to be firing up the bulldozers now to have that ready to host the GP in 2010, and i’m confused about how it’s going to work with the roads and the infrastructure. but if it does the job, then fine. i was involved at silverstone in getting the roads and car parks changed, and then the next phase – replacing the pits – got switched off when octagon, or interpublic, left. The problem is that however you do the sums, all it’s ever going to do is lose a huge amount of money. i would imagine to some extent there’s relief, because they were probably going to mortgage themselves to the hilt to put that new facility up. They can still fill the place with other events.”

any personal issues with the BRDC or Silverstone’s management: “No, not at all. I don’t have those sorts of problems. It’s simple. They’d had a contract on their desks for a few months, and they haven’t signed. The important thing really and truly is that we have got a British GP still, whereas we would have lost it 100 per cent.” And he remains confident that the rebuilding work will be completed on time. “I expect it will be finished and we can go there. They’ll be in plenty of trouble if they don’t. I think they’ve got good help from the planners and the local people. “We don’t want them to build Shanghai, we want them to build what they were supposed to build here [Silverstone] five years ago, but they didn’t quite get it done. We need something good for the spectators, obviously. They need looking after. They know what we need for the teams.”

John watson ( 1981 British Gp winner ) “i’m sad that the GP will be leaving silverstone, but i’m not surprised. in fairness they’ve worked tirelessly to put together a package, and i think they woke up on the friday of the GP and realised they had found the end of a piece of string. equally i feel bernie has been fairer to silverstone, in terms of trying to accommodate them, than he might have been with other

venues. he comes in for unfair criticism of the way he handles the contracts with the circuits. i understand his frustration – i can see why he would feel frustrated. i’ve no idea about the finances at donington. They need to have a facility that is appropriate to the requirements of a modern f1 venue. if they’ve given an undertaking to deliver in 2010, and they do just that, then they’ve done a bloody good job.”

Jackie stewart ( forMer Brdc president ) “silverstone ilverstone has a mature and complete management structure to run a Grand Prix. nobody obody else currently has that for a GP in this country. There was no traffic at silverstone ilverstone this year because of the traffic management, because of the link between the M40 and the M1. i fear economically for what donington onington is going to have to do to be able to afford a GP. i think what will happen to them is what happened with octagon ctagon and iPG. everybody verybody gets intoxicated by the idea of, ‘‘i’m ’m going to have a GP.’ all the rich folk i know, they know how to make money, and enjoy making money. What they don’t enjoy is losing money, and when they keep losing it, they get out. We don’t need that. it’s t’s also under the flight path of an international airport with kerosene dropping all the time…”

Grand Prix News

rdc director ) Jackie oliver ( Brdc

“i’ll be interested to see whether they can bring donington up to silverstone’s standard, or more importantly above it, which would be the requirement of any contract. it will be sad for silverstone to lose the GP for a number of reasons, and they’re not financial. holding the GP is great for silverstone, and it has a halo effect. it’s never been the

Lewis and co are Jakob Ebrey

scheduled to race at Silverstone for the last time next year

most profitable event, but it was worth the effort – if you don’t try, you don’t get. Perhaps we should continue to try in case donington onington can’t host it. i hope if they do need to come back to silverstone ilverstone they haven’t damaged the process on which we’ve been working hard, making us a lame duck. iit would have been intelligent to pursue both options to see who would deliver. but ut that’s not the way of negotiating tactics in f1.” ferrari President

Keep up to date with the latest news from the world of Formula 1 with our monthly round-up of GP current affairs

21/7/08 16:14:29

Driver market waits on Alonso and Kimi WORLD CHAMPIONS KIMI RAIKKONEN and Fernando Alonso remain the keys to the Formula 1 driver market for 2009, as their plans for the future dictate the lineups of teams up and down the grid. Räikkönen is contracted to Ferrari until the end of ’09, and it is widely anticipated that the Finn will retire at that stage. Although he will only just have turned 30 years old, he’ll have raced at the top level for nine seasons – eight of them with the pressure of being in one of the two top teams. Ferrari has acted well in advance and lined up Alonso as his replacement, just as it contracted Räikkönen long before Michael Schumacher made his retirement announcement. The complication is that Räikkönen may decide to quit at the end of this year, although he plays down such suggestions: “I only said that I have a

James Bearne

son Alex at Spa in Formula Palmer Audi

Ah well, now, there’s a question. But let’s get away from contentious territory, and look at the season thus far – by which I mean the racing season, a topic somewhat overlooked of late, given the events of the recent past. “Well, first of all,” said Brundle, “McLaren have done better than I thought they would – I thought all the events of the last year would have taken longer to wash through than they have, although I think it’s still cost them plenty. Above: Brundle is “Hamilton lost a Massa fan, and a bit of focus believes him a title early in the contender. Right: season – I know Kubica is “the rival he dominated Hamilton most fears”. the first race, in Opposite: Alonso’s Melbourne, but huge talent is being if you analyse it wasted at Renault Ferrari made it very easy for Lewis that day. He had an awful race in Bahrain – did absolutely everything wrong – but that was inevitable

Mosley turns the screw on NOTW


we say, socially accepted practices?,” said howett. “if we are, then it’s different from setting one’s self up to define new technologies which will change the world. Frankly, when you look at what is being spent by car manufacturers and research institutes on things like KeRs, F1 budgets are minuscule. “i don’t think F1 pollutes, because the fuel we consume and the amount of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide we place in the atmosphere is relatively low. one could argue that if a few hundred million people stay at home to watch a race, that contributes more to emissions.”

n eastern creek in australia will undergo improvements in a bid to secure the australian gP when Melbourne’s contract runs out in 2015. Melbourne has so far refused to hold a night race, something that Bernie ecclestone has been keen to introduce. eastern creek has admitted it is carrying out the improvements with this in mind. n Following flash fires during refuelling at the hungarian gP, honda has said its hose wasn’t fitted properly, Williams believes it suffered fuel pressure problems and toro Rosso said there was no problem with the rig itself. n highly-rated Williams test driver nico hulkenberg lost out to team-mate Jules Bianchi in the prestigious Masters F3 event at Zolder in august. it was the first F3 win for Bianchi, the grandson of ex-le Mans racer Mauro. also, the fourth corner at Zolder is named after his great-uncle lucien, winner of the 1968 24hrs.

Heikki repays McLaren’s faith Heikki kovalainen was confirmed as a mclaren driver for 2009 even before he scored his maiden f1 win in the Hungarian Grand Prix. although there was never any real likelihood that the finn would be dropped, suggestions that nico rosberg was still in the team’s sights had created some degree of doubt. kovalainen instantly repaid mclaren’s faith by becoming the sport’s 100th Grand Prix winner when felipe massa’s late engine failure handed him victory in Budapest. He had already taken his first pole at silverstone. “we just want to win races, and our objective will always be to have the best two available drivers,” said mclaren boss ron dennis. “Heikki is going to benefit from knowing that he has a secure position next year, and we think it was the right time to tell him that we have belief in his abilities. we think he’s going to be an outstanding driver.”


scrap for the World Championship as purely a two-hander between Ferrari and McLaren, but during 2007 there was evidence of a sizeable step by BMW, and this year that momentum has been maintained, to the point that Robert Kubica has emerged as a serious factor more often than not. The win in Canada was perhaps unexpected, but not wholly so. In terms of pure natural talent, Kubica, we know, is the rival Hamilton most admires, and the one, down the road, he most fears. And Lewis knows whereof he speaks, having many times competed against Robert in their karting days. “No getting away from it,” said Brundle, “BMW are pretty strong these days. And Kubica’s slaughtering Heidfeld, which, as highly as I rate him, strikes me as a bit odd, because Nick’s a pretty handy driver, let’s

a party. I’m pleased that they’re going in the right direction – and I was very sad to see the end of Super Aguri, because those guys well outperformed their budget. “It’s interesting to see Ross [Brawn] making an instant impact at Honda. All right, they’re not at the front yet, or even close to it, but they’ve definitely progressed considerably in the time Ross has been there. “Just shows you, doesn’t it? You move teams, and you go to an outfit like McLaren, and you look for the three big light switches, so you can flick them on, and say, ‘Ah! So that’s how they do it!’ And you know what, there never is anything. The difference between the top teams and the midfield teams is so small, believe me. It’s just detail, really – and focus and determination and a winning mentality. Ross has obviously instilled some of that into the team. “The midfield scrap has always interested me – Williams, Toyota, Red Bull, Renault. I thought Renault would be better than they have been, I must say…” True enough, and from the sport’s point of view, the worst aspect of that has been that Fernando Alonso, as good a driver as there is in F1, has been relegated almost to the role of bit-player. Brundle agreed. “Yes, it’s true, Alonso’s being wasted at the moment. Mind you, I think, after the way he behaved at McLaren last year, he’s getting his just deserts, quite honestly. I mean, what do you not do on your own doorstep? I think he handled that whole affair so badly – there’s such an air of negativity about that whole group of people he’s got around him…” Alonso’s future in F1 has been the subject of much debate this season. There is all manner of talk about ‘get out’ clauses in his two-year Renault contract, suggestions that if certain performance parameters are not met, he can walk away at the end of this season – but where to? After all, Brown and Cameron will take holidays together before Fernando goes back to McLaren, and Luca di Montezemolo not long ago said – perhaps disingenuously – that Ferrari had no interest in changing the team in the foreseeable future. And as for BMW, the remaining team in the big three, well, 555

M a r t i n

B r u n d l e

face it. He’s changed his management, and I think he’s looked… out of sorts, really. “Of the rest, I think Mark Webber’s driving really well this season, and Nico Rosberg, too. Remember him at Monaco in the first session, on the Thursday morning? Absolutely bloody awesome,, I thought. Just the right approach – really attacking the race track. I rate Nico highly, and I like watching him drive. “Force India’s a breath of fresh air, I reckon. They’re here for a reason – and for the right reason, which hasn’t been the case with that team, under its various previous guises, for a long time. They’re not here for

15/8/08 16:08:30

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NIGEL ROEBUCK Editor-in-chief Nigel Roebuck is one of the UK’s finest motor racing journalists. Enjoy the most widely read, forthright and authoritative column on F1 and the racing world every month

Ayrton Senna stole the show


Bahrain is one of a wave of

rapprochement between Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley, the suggestion that – to a degree, anyway – it was peace in our time, and since Ecclestone has lately taken to using the journal as his conduit to the outside world (once the practice, until his difficulties with News International, of Mosley), we were inclined to go along with it. That was the main topic of conversation – until a colleague, sitting opposite me, routinely checked his e-mails, and came forth with an expletive that silenced us. “The Grand Prix,” he then said, “is going to Donington!” Once the shock had receded, the first response was cynical. Had there not, in recent days, been rumours of discussions between Bernie Ecclestone and the owners of Donington? Surely this was just a scam, another way of putting pressure on the BRDC, which is to say Silverstone. “Well,” our colleague said, “the announcement is from the FIA…”

lay on good motor racing, and – hopefully – make a profit from it. Unlike ‘new generation’ F1 countries, there was no access to unlimited bounty from governments and their tourist budgets. It was a fair point, and one made often by the British Racing Drivers Club in its unending struggles with Ecclestone over the future of the British Grand Prix. Bernie has long contended that the facilities at Silverstone don’t match up to what is required of a contemporary Grand Prix circuit, and while in absolute terms it’s difficult to argue with that, the continuing presence on the schedule of Interlagos should provide a certain amount of ammunition for the BRDC. Should, but doesn’t. For reasons unclear, the Brazilian circuit habitually escapes censure, while others – most notably Silverstone – are always in the firing line. The battle over Silverstone, though, C H R I has become motor racing’s equivalent of The Ring Cycle, and we have become thoroughly accustomed to it. The loss of Indianapolis was more of a surprise. Why? Because the facilities at the Speedway, while less flashy than those at some of the state-of-the-art ‘autodromes’ built in the recent past, are unimpeachable, and most folk in the business felt that, with Long Beach and Watkins Glen long gone as F1 venues, Indianapolis – a place, like Le Mans, synonymous with motor racing – had become the spiritual home of the US Grand Prix. Compared with some of the execrable tracks toyed with in the past – Detroit, Phoenix – the IMS conveyed the impression of a big occasion, and one always sensed a real effort to make this thing work. Given that an Indy crowd is raised in the

Nigel Roebuck O


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Singapore is happy to pay for night racing; Melbourne’s fate hangs in the balance because it is not

dead, to eighth place – and one point. In 2007 Kimi won the World Championship – by one point. Come November, little things can mean a lot.


21/7/08 18:23:16

f late there has been much discussion about the future shape of the World Championship, of new venues being picked up, others perhaps dropped. This season Valencia and Singapore are debutants, while Indianapolis – to the mystification of all save Bernie Ecclestone – has disappeared. Throughout the weekend of last year’s US Grand Prix, Ecclestone and the track owner, Tony George, had meetings to discuss a renewal of their contract. When I encountered George shortly after one of them, he was puce with rage: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a private enterprise, whose purpose was to

T 17/3/08 17:34:34

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a single huge investor involved been running Grands Prix for countries using government in the plans. The funding would 60 years. We all remember the cash to secure a Grand Prix come instead, he said, from Nicola Foulston/Brands Hatch debentures! As for planning episode in 1999, do we not? MS Roebuck/gb/gc/ds.indd 21 permission, well, there was And the third scenario? Well, 13/6/08 14:25:16 great optimism that this would it went like this. Under pressure be granted, but it had been from CVC Capital Partners, impossible to apply for it ahead the private equity company to of the British Grand Prix deal’s whom he sold the commercial announcement ‘for fear of rights to F1, and which tends giving theappeared game away’. to put earning vast profits If McLaren in very good order When I Ferrari heard this, rather higher on its to-do list at Melbourne, – savemyin first terms of wasnot, thatand Ecclestone is have than benefiting motor racing, basic thought pace – did it would not renowned for doing deals – Ecclestone needs must find been a flinty heart which felt no sympathy deals thatStefano he expects to comewhose ever more cash-rich countries for the amiable Domenicali, off, as anyway – with people on that basis. A British Grand Prix was assured, but I was thirsting for a Grand Prix. There are to be first race sporting director, in Jean Todt’s Bernie may problem be; one who one of many to feel less than confident 20 races in 2010, and the teams are stead,born this gambler was. A fuel pressure throws money onout a fire he isobliging not. about that. adamant that they will countenance no kept Kimi Räikkönen of Q3, we 15th, left Silverstone, warmed by Lewis “So it’s Donington, then?” I said to one more than that. If, down the pike, such him to As start and in the race the Hamilton’s victory, grateful of the inner circle on the day of the as India, Russia or wherever are to be engines of both imperious cars failed, as didand that Radio Five commentary announcement, and he responded with accommodated, it is no more than logical in thefor Toro Rosso of Live’s Sébastien Bourdais, of the Nadal/Federer epic to help away the what may be termed a wry smile. “We’ll that others – from among the impoverished who drove exceptionally well on while his longdelayed F1 debut, andon looked set to finish stationary hours the A43, what were we see,” he said. “We’ll see…” – must follow Imola into the skip. fourth, ahead of both thinking? That nextFernando year we’dAlonso be back here In the paddock several possible scenarios Many at Silverstone suspected that what and Heikki for theKovalainen. last time? That in 2010 we’d be were put forward, the first being that Ecclestone was truly seeking was a more Like Räikkönen, Alonso failed to make trying to get out of Donington, wondering Donington would raise the necessary palatable means of removing the British it intowhy the we’d final shoot-out in qualifying, ever complained aboutbut the A43? money, do the necessary work, and achieve Grand Prix from the World Championship in Fernando’s case this was his Or that we would be atbecause home, watching both in the necessary time. Not many calendar. When I mentioned this to Eddie Renault wasn’t enough. In thePrix in TVsimply coverage ofquick the new Grand takers for that, I have to say. The second Cheever at Goodwood the week after, race he was typically combative en route to Mumbai or Jakarta or somewhere? was that Donington would stumble, he responded with disbelief: “You can’t fourth place, years ago – weekend, also in a the Over but thetwo Silverstone although not necessarily at the first hurdle, be serious! No Grand Prix – in Britain? Renault – he waltzed it reaction in Melbourne, politically correct – even,and officially, and that the promoters would have to My God, that’s like the Pope not going to perhaps to him. news fromthat the thought BRDC –occurred to the bombshell come back to the BRDC, and seek a deal to Mass!” Changing times, Eddie, I said; Nelson hiswell, new at team-mate, made of the 555 wasPiquet, that, oh least the future put the race on at Silverstone, where they’ve changing times. no impression, but in his post-race comments Flavio Briatore was rather kinder safety car, obliging him to make his second Nico Rosberg, who joined Hamilton on than he had been a year earlier, following stop under yellow (and thus to drop to the the podium, were superb for BMW and the disappointing debut of Kovalainen. tail of the field), Kovalainen would have Williams respectively, but the man who At McLaren they have always liked been second, and his pass of Alonso in the most dreamed of it – Mark Webber – was Finns, and although it’s early days Heikki late laps was the best of the afternoon. again disappointed in his homeland, victim seems a perfect fit for the team. He couldn’t As the new season approached, many of an exploded brake disc in qualifying, stay with Hamilton in the race, but had team principals – from BMW to Red Bull and of someone else’s mistake on the first Timo Glock’s accident not brought out the to Renault to Toyota to Williams – suggested lap of the race. that while McLaren “Mark’s a magnet for bad luck,” MS Roebuck/gb/ds.indd 19 and Ferrari both remarked Christian Horner recently. “If remained a clear something’s going to go wrong, you can cut above them, almost bet it’ll happen to him…” True the fight to be fifthenough: Webber had been right up there, fastest was likely second-fastest, on Friday afternoon. to be more intense Even Honda looked better than than for many a expected in Melbourne. Jenson Button year. Broadly, that (unfortunately nerfed out on lap one) was looked to be the speaking in terms of a fresh three-year case in Australia, contract, and Rubens Barrichello, buoyed although BMW had by the presence of Ross Brawn, long startlingly improved familiar to him at Ferrari, drove a fine race on their testing to what would have been sixth place – had performance, and he not been disqualified for exiting the Coulthard qualified his Red Bull well in the Renault team pitlane under the red light. Australia, but clashed with Massa in the race fell somewhat short. The removal of Barrichello from the Nick Heidfeld and results elevated Räikkönen, his Ferrari

Nigel Roebuck

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toyota MotoRsPoRt PResident John howett has questioned the Fia’s move towards a greener future for Formula 1. in addition to introducing KeRs next season Fia president Max Mosley has called for 50 per cent reduction in fuel consumption by 2015. toyota has been a lot less enthusiastic about KeRs than other manufacturers, and howett would prefer to see the sport used as a promotional tool – ironically a path that honda has already followed – rather than a technological proving ground. “What we have to understand is, are we using F1 as a platform to promote ecological or, shall

15/8/08 16:08:05

Sut ton


The AusTrAliAn GrAnd Prix hAs been sAved A Aved AfTer the Melbourne authorities agreed to start the race at 5pm in the future. bernie ecclestone had been looking for an even later start and had made it clear that without a change, the race would be off the calendar. On the same day that he signed in Brief a contract with donington for 2010, ecclestone gmbh,deal a german agreed an extensionnofFormtech Melbourne’s on the company that builds parts for basis of a compromised late afternoon start. Max Mosley has continued his litigation the F1 industry, has bought the “i’ve extended theirfixed contract from against the News of the World by launching a libel assetsand offered by next the year onwards the race will liquidators start at 5pm,” ecclestone of super aguri. told suit against the newspaper, with specific regard to included in the Motor Sport at the british GP. “so it sale will was be the 7am in the april 6, 2008 edition – the follow-up to its original team’s leafield technical centre the uK and 8am in europe.” exposé a week earlier. where the design and ecclestone also confirmed that the nearly Mosley won his privacy action against the construction firm willrace expand its lost its slot: “They would have been aoff. it was business, employing number paper after Justice eady deemed that there was of ex-super aguri personnel. close enough that we only signed the contract no evidence that the Fia president’s s&M session yesterday evening. They would have been gone with five prostitutes involved any nazi connections, n dino toso, the if they hadn’t changed.” stance to the other teams, is seen and thus there was no legitimate public interest former director of by rivals as a positive step. aerodynamics at that could justify the story. Mosley was awarded Renault F1, lost his toyota motorsport president £60,000, but he did not win the punitive exemplary long battle with John Howett told Motor Sport: damages that he had also been seeking. the cancer on august 13. “at the moment newspaper had to pay costs of around £1 million. the italian was just the intention is to 39 years old. toso left Renault in the libel action was announced the following June after eight years with the establish articles of day. a statement from Mosley’s lawyers clearly enstone team. he had previously association and a implied that the action had in part been motivated been a race engineer at Jordan, proper constitution by the NOTW’s downplaying of the initial verdict. where he oversaw damon hill’s 21/7/08 16:31:20 Mosley is also taking legal action against for fota. from famous 1998 Belgian gP victory. that point on we german tabloid Bild and its website. n Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore have to see if it believes the introduction of KeRs is an effective body, one that in 2009 is too soon, following is given the relevant degree of fears the device is not safe and the costs of applying the recognition by the other parties.” technology are escalating. But f1 supremo Bernie ecclestone despite a BMW mechanic was at the maranello meeting, receiving an electric shock and insists that fota’s main role during a KeRs test at Jerez earlier this year, honda, Williams and is to address the issue of costs: BMW sauber are still backing the “all we want to do is to find an new system. unless all the teams agreement to cut dramatically reach an agreement over the the necessity to spend.” issue, the introduction looks likely

n This year’s doghouse fundraising dinner, an informal association of racing drivers’ wives and girlfriends created in 1962 by bette hill (wife of Graham), will be held in the brdC Clubhouse at silverstone on september 13. Tickets cost £75. for details contact leonora hill on 01332 691558 or e-mail

F1 race (the European GP in 1993)

20 Reflections – So, the British Grand Prix is saved. Or is it? MS Roebuck/gb/gc/ds.indd 20 – Lewis at Silverstone – a moment to savour – It’s time for Kimi to step up his game again

e wasn’t to know it, but DC’s timing wasn’t the best. For some time the word had been that Sebastian Vettel would be partnering Mark Webber in the 2009 Red Bull team, as formally confirmed at Hockenheim, and Coulthard, at 37, had decided that the runup to the British Grand Prix would be the ideal time to announce his retirement from Formula 1 at season’s end. Apart from anything else, two of the 13 wins in a fine career had come at Silverstone. Even in this Hamilton era, David’s announcement would ordinarily have attracted a lot of ink over the Grand Prix weekend; as it was, though, it – and everything else of apparent note – was overtaken by what Harold Macmillan called, “Events, dear boy, events”. Friday morning in the Silverstone press room was par for the course – chatting about this, laughing about that, moaning about the lack of space, even typing a little. In The Times there was news of a

Late start secures Melbourne race

Toyota boss questions F1’s green future

season you need to look at what the possibilities are. It is not the time now in the middle of August to think, but for sure in September and October, I will have a think and we will decide. “Obviously I am just 27 years old and still have many years to come. Even Michael Schumacher, the guy with more titles, spent four years at Ferrari not winning, so I need to be patient and I need to work harder than ever now to win again as soon as possible.” Should Alonso end up at Honda, either Jenson Button or Rubens Barrichello will become available, while a seat will also open up at Renault. Nelson Piquet’s form has improved of late and he may be retained, but Franco-Swiss GP2 driver Romain Grosjean is being groomed for promotion. Flavio Briatore could have a problem, however, finalising a line-up that will satisfy his bosses.

“If Mosley’s doing such a good job, why does he surround himself with spin doctors?”

The last time Donington hosted an

n Key speakers for the 2008 Motor sport business forum on december 10/11 will include indianapolis Motor speedway president and CeO Tony George and irl driver danica Patrick. familiar faces from the f1 paddock include nick fry, vijay Mallya and Christian horner. To register for the forum go to www.


Nigel Roebuck

sooner or later. But then he recovered well, and really began to come on strong again. His drives in Istanbul and Barcelona were excellent, and at Monaco he was brilliant. Pity about Montréal – he’d have walked that race if it hadn’t been for that silly incident in the pitlane. “Ferrari have obviously improved their car where it mattered – over kerbs, and out of slow corners. Those were their only real weaknesses before, and now they’ve got a hugely strong package. “As for the drivers, sometimes I think I’m the only Massa fan in the world! I know he’s not the most consistent guy, but on a number of occasions he has absolutely dominated both Kimi Räikkönen and Michael Schumacher, in the same car, on the same day. And you don’t do that – when they’ve also probably got more inertia and support in the team than you have – unless you’re bloody good. It’s a fact that Felipe excels at some circuits – Istanbul, Bahrain, Interlagos – and he’s less certain at others. And you also suspect that, in a head-to-head at Magny-Cours or Silverstone or wherever, when it’s a matter of going another couple of laps on the fuel, getting the quick laps in when you need to, Kimi will do it more often than Felipe. But I still wouldn’t write him off, in terms of the championship. At all.” We have for years tended to think of the

he raced alongside

n legendary watchmaker TAG heuer euer has joined forces with lewis hamilton, damon hill and sir stirling Moss to host a photography exhibition celebrating british f1. The images will be unveiled at a private preview in london on september 15, followed by a public exhibition on september 16-20 at the Mall Galleries, sW1.

The addiTion of The abu dhabi Grand Prix as the season closer is the only major change to the provisional 2009 formula 1 calendar. all of the ’08 events have retained their places, including the french GP, which seems likely to be back at MagnyCours. however the calendar does not include a return to indianapolis, despite Tony George’s efforts to secure an f1 date as the circuit enters its centenary celebrations. bernie ecclestone told Motor Sport that he is still talking to George, but the race could only be added now if there was some major juggling of the dates in June/July. The March 29 start in australia is the latest since 1988, when the first race was held on april 3, while abu dhabi will be the latest finish to a season since 1987, when the adelaide event was held on november 15. 2009 calendar The season now ends Mar 29 australia with five ‘flyaway’ races apr 5 Malaysia apr 19 Bahrain outside europe, a move May 10 spain that will be unpopular May 24 Monaco with team personnel. Jun 7 canada Jun 21 Great Britain The two-weekend Jun 28 france ‘summer break’ in Jul 12 GerMany august has also been Jul 26 hunGary auG 9 turkey dropped. The Turkish auG 23 europe (esp) GP, run in May this year, sep 6 italy returns to its original sep 13 BelGiuM sep 27 sinGapore august date. britain has oct 11 Japan been moved ahead oct 18 china of france, and italy is nov 1 Brazil nov 15 aBu dhaBi before belgium again.


Brundle showed he could still hack it when

n The inaugural brooklands Motoring festival: The double Twelve attracted almost 15,000 visitors and was won by Jonathan Oppenheimer in his lagonda v12 Prototype. The winner received his trophy from heikki Kovalainen, who was in attendance alongside lewis hamilton and sir stirling Moss.

Abu Dhabi will host finale in ’09

to go ahead as planned.

contract until the end of next year, and agreed to return to Renault in a twothen somebody made up that I will stop year deal. It’s not clear what legal hold at the end of this year or the end of next the Anglo-French team has on him, but year, but I never said that.” Renault has not reached the It seems unlikely that the Finn performance targets that lured would make such a decision the Spaniard back. before the outcome of this Honda’s Ross Brawn has year’s World Championship is expressed a keen interest in known. If he does stop Alonso hiring Alonso, even on the basis could step straight into of a one-year arrangement, his place, but there’s a because the team feels “Somebody question over how long the that it can provide him with made up that a competitive package. Spaniard would be able to I will stop at BMW has yet to confirm its wait until he has to make a the end of this drivers for 2009, and there commitment for 2009. year, but I never are question marks over If the Ferrari seat is not said that” immediately available he Nick Heidfeld’s future. K I M I R A I K K O N E N faces the prospect of a Alonso suggests that single season elsewhere. it may be a while before Last winter he was keen to find a onethe picture becomes clear: “I have a contract with Renault for the long year deal that would allow him to keep his options open for ’09, but ultimately term. But of course at the end of every

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Nigel Roebuck centimetres too high! I mean, it’s a bit ‘Jessie’, isn’t it…?” It’s always a pleasure to be in Martin’s company, for he is of a species endangered in this day and age, one who always says what he thinks. “I’m a straightforward bloke. I realise I’m not always ‘on message’, as they say, but I am absolutely passionate about Formula 1, and I think we should all be in it together.” This passion was there in spades during his years as a Grand Prix driver, and it abides, too, in his life today as a journalist and broadcaster. There have been retired drivers of my acquaintance who have taken a somewhat cavalier approach to commentary work over time, some of them clearly regarding it as something almost beneath them, but Brundle has never been that way. When the ITV offer came up, more than 11 years ago, he thought long and hard before making a decision, some of his colleagues, like Gerhard Berger, advising him not to move into the TV world. As it was, Martin opted to accept the ITV proposition, and his enthusiasm and commitment have never wavered. Over time, too, he began to involve himself with the printed word, and his columns in The Sunday Times quickly became required reading, for – as in his commentaries – there was no shirking ‘difficult’ topics: he is a man of strong opinions, and not about to be gagged. It was just such a piece, written last September (over the Monza weekend), that brought him grief from Max Mosley and the FIA, who lost little time in launching legal proceedings – since dropped – against both newspaper and writer. “As far as I’m concerned,” Brundle said, “I go into the media centre – or the commentary box – to do my job, not to be manipulated or intimidated. I was warned about my Sunday Times columns last year. If Mosley is doing such a good job, why does he need to surround himself with spin doctors and henchmen – political people? Why doesn’t he surround himself with true motor racing people?”

n The completion of the new pit building at 1 republic boulevard, singapore was marked with a small ceremony attended by Mr s iswaran, senior Minister of state for Trade & industry. The pit complex houses the race control facilities, media centre, winners’ podium, paddock club and the pit garages.

luca di montezemolo is to chair the new formula one teams’ association, a forum within which the teams can agree on future rules. the body was established as a response to a letter from fia president max mosley, which asked the teams to present proposals for new technical rules for 2011 and beyond before october 3. early talks led to an invitation from montezemolo (above) for fellow team bosses to join him in a meeting at maranello on July 29, where fota – as it is provisionally known – was established. the close involvement of ferrari, which previously often took a different

MS F1 News1&2/gb/ef.indd 13


n lewis hamilton will visit brands hatch on August 31 for round eight of the dTM series, where he will drive demo laps in his Mclaren f1 car. The british GP winner will also take part in an autograph signing session in the paddock. “i’m really looking forward to visiting a dTM race again,” he said. “i have fond memories of racing in the f3 euroseries at dTM events.”

Ferrari chief to head new teams association

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in Brief

expectation that racing cars will overtake each other, it was no more than inevitable that many of the 220,000 who attended the first Grand Prix, in 2000, should have been disappointed by the procession that was F1, and chose not to come back. But there always remained an audience huge by F1 standards, even after the fiasco of 2005, when only six cars – the Bridgestone runners – went to the grid, Michelin having goofed in a big way, and taken tyres to Indiana unable long to survive the banked turn at the end of the lap. For as long as I can remember, Ecclestone seems to have had an equivocal attitude towards the US and Grand Prix racing. Back in 1983, during the Long Beach race weekend, he and promoter Chris Pook were locked in debate about a renewal of the contract, and Pook – as George did last year – found the process plainly frustrating. “The fans here love F1,” P O O K he told me, “and the Grand Prix has become an established event, which I want to keep. But I’ve told Bernie what I can pay for a race so it makes financial sense to me, too, and I’ve also told him that if we can’t agree on that, on Tuesday I’m announcing that in future the Long Beach Grand Prix will be a CART race. Hope he believes me…” He didn’t – and a couple of days later Pook duly went ahead with his promised announcement. F1 never went back to California, and many in the sport were angered by that, just as they are now about the loss of Indianapolis. When Tony George sorrowfully announced that his talks with Ecclestone had come to nought, that there would not be a Grand Prix in 2008, Bernie was flippant in his response: “Well, let’s 555 see if we need America, shall we?”

“I told Bernie if we couldn’t agree, the Long Beach GP would be a CART race” S

19 17/3/08 17:34:51


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The Motor Sport Month

The Motor Sport Month

Audi wins electrifying Le Mans scrap

McNish, Capello and Kristensen with the spoils of victory

100 friends from the motor sport world filled our new riverside offices

first night race

Simon Taylor spoke to Sir Jackie Stewart…

Aston battled to GT1 win on

Ferrari dominated GP2,

Merksteijn Porsche won in LMP2

Gulf’s 40th LM anniversary

with Salo/Bruni/Melo

We have a new riverside home and we’ll produce our 1000th issue this year – two great reasons to celebrate with our friends

…Martin Brundle and Tony Brooks

Adrian Newey, Louise Goodman & Christian Horner

otor racing royalty turned out in force for Motor Sport’s 1000th issue celebration at our new riverside offices in Chelsea. Editor Damien Smith and marketing assistant Louisa Skipper greeted guests including Sir Stirling Moss and his wife Lady Susie Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Tony Brooks. Rowan Atkinson swung by, as did radio DJ Chris Evans, Christian Horner, Adrian Newey, David Richards and ITV’s much-loved Louise Goodman. Editor-at-large Simon Taylor chatted with selected guests about their memories of Motor Sport and how the magazine has evolved through the years, from road tests of tanks and MOTOGP HOSTED THE FIRST boats, to historic motor racing andWorld present-day night-time Championship Formula 1 coverage. Guests filledPrix up in onQatar delicious Grand on March 9, canapés and sipped Veuve sixClicquot months champagne before Formula 1’s while enjoying fourth-floor theinRiver first views floodlitofrace Singapore. Thames, before being The whisked away in lighting 5.4 million-watt complimentary Lexus cars. LS rig that illuminated the Losail circuit impressed most riders, including race winner Casey Stoner, who suggested that the artificial lighting actually helped his riding. “You don’t see the imperfections in the track surface, so you can ride more freely,” said the reigning World Champion, which makes you wonder how he’d go wearing a blindfold. Some of the riders enjoyed the17:40:59 night-time experience 18/7/08 because it made them nostalgic for their schoolboy


Dallara’s new Daytona Prototype has had its first test in South Carolina. Max Angelelli drove SunTrust’s Pontiac-powered DP-01 and said it was ”the most neutral handling new car I’ve driven”.

27 16/6/08 15:08:28


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Frentzen set for Le Mans return in Aston


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The Motor Sport Month

Our new office: MotoGP hails open for business


Marc Gené, Nicolas Minassian and Jacques Villeneuve. The Peugeot drivers pushed until the end, but the race had slipped through their fingers. McNish had his victory, Kristensen had added to his incredible record tally of Le Mans wins – he’s now on eight! – and Capello secured his hat trick. The GT1 class battle matched the Audi-Peugeot duel for ferocity, with the No009 Aston Martin and the No63 Corvette swapping places throughout the race. The Aston of David Brabham, Antonio García and Darren Turner finally took the chequered flag, but with the American car chasing hard on the same lap. For Aston it was a second successive LeChris Mans Evans & Louiseway Goodman class win and a fitting to mark the 40th anniversary of Gulf Oil at the 24 Hours, the most celebrated sponsor in sports car racing. The days of drivers running to a set pace to save the car Brundle, Sir Jackie at Le Mans are long gone. Martin Today, greater Rowan Atkinson reliability demands they run flatStewart out all& the way, sprinting over Sir theStirling 24 hours. And what a Moss spectacle this makes: watch the cars take the Porsches Curves with only a hint of a lift; see them brake beyond the point of comprehension into the chicanes on the Mulsanne. Le Mans is as special today as it has always been. To Audi and McNish, the satisfaction of a hard-won victory. To Peugeot, the pain of defeat with the knowledge it had the quickest car. The only consolation? It was beaten by a near-perfect team, and in McNish and Kristensen the best sports car drivers in the world. Ed Foster Marc Wright

WHEN A HEARTBROKEN Allan McNish was asked why he kept coming back to Le Mans after his car retired from a dominant lead on Sunday morning last year, he replied in a low voice, looking directly into the eyes of Motor Sport’s editor: “Because I must win. It’s just got to be done.” Well, a year on he has done it. Ten years after his debut victory for Porsche, McNish finally ended his Audi Le Mans drought – and did so after the most gruelling battle we’ve seen at La Sarthe this century. In its third year, Audi’s R10 turbo-diesel didn’t have the pace to run with Peugeot’s similarly-powered 908. “This one I have to say was probably the hardest race I’ve ever lived through because the competition was so strong,” said McNish. “We knew that we couldn’t make a mistake, we knew that if we had any technical problems we would be out, we just had to be perfect. We had one chance, which was when it rained in the morning, and we took that chance and took it very well.” The Peugeots threatened to run off into the distance in the opening few hours, but crucially the Audis could run a lap longer. McNish and his team-mates Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello pushed hard to stay in touch, McNish and Kristensen putting in heroic quadruple stints to do so. It all changed at 3am when the rain came. From a position of clinging on to the Peugeots, the Audis suddenly found the advantage had switched their way as the French cars struggled in wet conditions. The No2 Audi reeled in and passed the leading Peugeot of

This radical new LMP1 coupé should become the first Spanish-built car to race at Le Mans. The Judd-powered Epsilon Euskadi ee1-LMP1 will compete in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours.

Valentino Rossi leads Dani Pedrosa under the floodlights at Losail (left)

racing days. “Seriously, I want to do it every weekend – it reminds me of being a kid and racing under lights,” said seventhplaced finisher Colin Edwards. Concerns over floodlight glare and shadows proved unjustified, though the lights were so bright that many riders wore dark visors. The only real complaints concerned the low night-time temperatures which made the asphalt dewy and slick; ironic, since the race was scheduled in the night to avoid the daytime desert heat. Incredibly the big-spending Losail promoters have announced that they could introduce thermostat-controlled undertrack heating for the 2009 event. Mat Oxley Reuters

There’s so much more to modern racing than just F1. Find out what is going on around the world in our Motor Sport Month pages. We cover everything from Le Mans and world rallying to A1GP and MotoGP

THREE-TIME GRAND PRIX WINNER Heinz-Harald Frentzen is lining up a return to the Le Mans 24 Hours with Aston Martin. Frentzen, who hasn’t raced since bowing out of the DTM at the end of 2006, tested for the Prodrive-run factory Aston Martin team at the beginning of March. The 40-year-old, who previously raced at Le Mans in 1992, seems increasingly certain to take one of the vacant seats in the two Gulf-sponsored Aston DBR9 GT1 contenders. Frentzen said: ”I have not driven any sort of racing car for one and a half years, so this was a great opportunity for me to get back into action. I really enjoyed the experience.” George Howard-Chappell, who heads the Aston team at Prodrive, said: ”Heinz-Harald did a good job, as you would expect. A GT1 isn’t so much different to a DTM car.” An announcement of Aston’s six-strong driver line-up for Le Mans was imminent as Motor Sport closed for press.

ECO Radical ‘greenest ever’ A NEW BRITISH PROJECT IS AIMING TO GO TO THE LE MANS 24 Hours with the greenest car ever to compete at La Sarthe. ECO Racing, which shelved the debut of its new turbodiesel Radical LMP1 in the Sebring 12 Hours for homologation reasons, intends to race its car on ‘green diesel’ containing a 50 per cent bio element in the future. It also plans to run body components made from biodegradable hemp fibre and solar panels that power its ancillary electrical systems. The car will initially run on the Shell diesel mandatory in Le Mans-sanctioned races, but the ECO team is hoping that series organisers on either side of the Atlantic will open up their rules to its fuel, which is made from the jatropha plant. ECO Racing, which is run by stalwart sports car team boss Ian Dawson, should give the Radical a race debut in round four of the American Le Mans Series at Salt Lake City in May and plans to be on the grid at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2009.

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Gordon Kirby

The IRL’s new ‘round table’ will discuss tyres, chassis and potential rivals for Honda (above)


Andrew Frankel

imes change. This week a press release landed not on my doormat but, as they all do these days, in my ‘Inbox’. It was entitled ‘Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo test-drives the new California’ and in it he opines that it is ‘a great Ferrari that delivers unique driving pleasure’. Contrast this with the statement reputedly released by Maranello’s first boss Enzo Ferrari who, when asked in 1987 about his then new F40, said: ‘This car is so fast it’ll make you s*** your pants’. But whatever you think of mealymouthed press releases and the value of company presidents being first to pass judgement on their new product, from where I’m sitting the California still looks like a beautifully judged piece of work. The era when Pininfarina seemed unable to produce a less than utterly gorgeous Ferrari now seems like a very long time ago, but at last the styling house appears to have dramatically rediscovered its form. More beautiful still is its concept. Purists will sniff at its folding metal roof and automated transmission and conclude that Ferrari has gone soft, when in fact it’s just returning to one of its historically happier hunting grounds. Indeed I think there’s every chance this new California will prove a better car in its time than the original did half a century or so ago. It will not have escaped your notice that a 1961 short-wheelbase California recently changed hands at an auction held Purists may not like folding metal roof, but Ferrari is back to its best with new California

3/6/08 15:57:37

WHO’LL BUY THIS BEAUTY? in Maranello, with DJ Chris Evans paying a reputed £5.6 million, finally beating the auction record set by the Kellner coupé Bugatti Royale sold by Robert Brooks for Christies at the Albert Hall in 1987 (see Auctions, p123). If it seems strange that a reasonably rare but not particularly distinguished variant of a standard Ferrari road

current 15 years of age. And the recently introduced rookies cup allows 13-year-olds to compete at World Championship events on lesser-tuned 125s that nudge 130mph. Most people within the sport don’t consider this morally dubious, but consider the following… Reigning MotoGP champ Casey Stoner contested his debut Grand Prix season in 2002 aged 16, riding a 170mph Aprilia RSV250. He was allowed to contest that year’s Italian GP despite having fractured his right wrist less than two weeks earlier. Not surprisingly, the

can outprice one of the greatest automotive icons of all time, it’s nothing compared to the fact that the California also fetched more money than did an ex-works, Le Mans winning Testa Rossa at the same sale last year. I’ve never so much as sat in an original California but back in the ’60s my father briefly owned and hated an example of its successor, a 275GTS, never more than when suffering the indignity of discovering it was unable to keep up with a moderately well driven E-type. The new California, with its 454bhp V8 motor and a likely 3.8sec sprint to 60mph, will rarely if ever be outpaced by anything it’s likely to come across on the public road. Also, and for the moment at least, I have total confidence in Ferrari’s refusal to sit back and let the brand do its talking. At certain times in its past, notably in the early 1990s, it has become lazy and produced underwhelming, overpriced cars that sold simply because they were Ferraris, but I see no sign of such complacency at present. True, I don’t much care for the ugly and outsize 612 Scaglietti but there’s no doubting the integrity of its engineering, while the Scuderia and 599GTB are among Maranello’s greatest road cars of all time. But even Ferrari at its finest will be eyeing the immediate future with rather less confidence than it has become accustomed to of late. Of course there will be factors to mitigate the slow down – sales in China and Russia being the most frequently cited by the world’s luxury car manufacturers – but the emergent markets still represent a small proportion of overall sales compared to the giants of Europe and America, and there only the most blindly optimistic will assume it will be business as usual for makers of cars that are expensive both to buy and run. Evidence is not difficult to find. The British appetite for such cars can be traditionally relied upon to be more voracious than most, but some recently revealed figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders suggests that the edge has come off even our hunger for these machines. Ferrari, Maserati and Rolls-Royce sales are not listed because the volumes are too small, but year to date sales

over the odds for

ankle-breaking shunt

injury caused him to crash in first practice, this time suffering concussion. Remarkably, he was cleared to ride that afternoon by the Clinica, by his father and by his team. After that next outing a somewhat groggy Stoner said: “The brake markers seemed to move every lap, I was taking different lines all the time”. Nevertheless he decided to continue riding the next day when inevitably he crashed once more, breaking a finger on his left hand. Last summer a colleague interviewed one of GP racing’s new breed of 15-year-old starlets at the family home. The rider’s father was somewhat rankled when his son was asked about the dangers of racing, as if the kid shouldn’t compromise his potential by contemplating the possibility of breaking bones or back. Perhaps the father had never thought to raise the subject with his son. Motorcycle racers live with pain, it’s part of the job. It’s their decision to take risks and we admire them for that. But MotoGP needs to think carefully about its duty of care to schoolboy Grand Prix riders, or risk being branded some kind of sick freak show.


’61 California?

being in Germany, Italy and Spain at the same time. What I do know is that it looks fabulous – and, in the Alfasud, has one hell of an act to follow. I’d argue that the ’Sud was the greatest small car of the 1970s, at

Rossi, who has found a rich vein of form following his recent switch to Bridgestone tyres, is now on the verge of surpassing the all-time record of 68 premier-class victories, held for decades by 1960s and ’70s biking legend Giacomo Agostini. The Italian’s ongoing love affair with bikes looks like keeping him away from a switch to his other passion, rallying. Although Rossi came close to moving to F1 with Ferrari a few years back, his favourite four-wheeled motor sport has always been rallying. In 2006 he finished 11th in Rally New Zealand.

250 GRANDS PRIX: THE END IS NIGH Motorcycle Grand Prix racing’s second class is about to undergo the greatest overhaul in its six-decade history. MotoGP’s rights-holders Dorna is expected to announce that the 250cc category will be killed off at the end of the 2010 season and replaced by a 600cc four-stroke formula. The new 600s will run prototype chassis powered by street-based engines in an effort to minimise costs. The alteration is in line with the sport’s shift from two-strokes to four-strokes, a move started by the 990cc MotoGP bikes introduced in 2002 to take on (and eventually replace) the 500cc two-strokes.

Not everyone is happy about the passing of the 250 two-strokes, especially because they are being replaced by glorified street bikes. Two-stroke advocates argue that the acute nature of the two-stroke race bike – both in its set-up and behaviour – educates racers better. This is why, they say, MotoGP is packed with former 250 men, not riders from the street-based World Superbike and World Supersport classes. “Top MotoGP guys come from categories in which you must know about set-up,” says famed twostroke engineer Harald Bartol. “A 600 is not a race bike, it’s not a race horse. To me, 600s is donkey racing.”

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is that the astonishing recovery and return to profitability of its parent, Fiat, has been strongly product-led. There will rarely be a better opportunity to do the same for Alfa than that presented by the MiTo.

STAR COLUMNISTS to be heading this way and done so from positions far worse than those they find themselves in today. Whether the classic car market will match that resilience remains to be seen. The view I get from talking to people in the trade is that really good cars with great provenance continue to command exceptionally strong money, while more commonly occurring cars with more complicated histories are already starting to fall back. Time alone will tell whether Mr Evans’ California will turn out to be a shrewd investment or not. But even if it halves in value over the next couple of years, he’ll be able to take comfort from the fact that his would be far from the most heavily depreciating Ferrari of all time. That dubious honour must belong to a 250GTO sold privately in 1990 for £10.5 million and shifted on again two years later for £2.5m. To save you doing the maths, that’s a depreciation rate of approximately £11,000 for every day of ownership. Things might be bad now and they may be getting worse, but they’re nowhere near as bad as that.

ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE Aston Martin’s domestic sales may have dipped of late, but they’re going to be boosted by this new Vantage whose almost unchanged looks conceal a raft of welcome changes under the skin. Most importantly, its V8 motor has swollen from 4.3 to 4.7 litres to bring 40 extra horsepower which, while welcome, is nothing like so important as the huge slug of additional mid-range torque it offers. At once the most serious criticism of the Vantage has been addressed. It’s a better-handling car, too, thanks to the adoption of Bilstein dampers, while its transaxle has been modified to improve gearchange quality. There is a new suspension sport pack, comprising springs,

dampers and much lighter wheels, which looks good value for £2500 and makes the Aston a very serious B-road weapon. Nor is Aston Martin using the opportunity to put the Vantage’s price through the roof. At £85,000 in standard form, it costs just £2000 more than the 4.3, despite now having gorgeous 19in wheel rims. There are problems still, notably an interior which for all its good looks simply doesn’t work very well thanks to its nearly unreadable dials and horrendously fiddly switchgear. But you’re likely to forgive it all its failings the first time you find an open road. Aston Martin has thought hard how to address the shortcomings of the Vantage and the results speak for themselves.

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Good news for Valentino Rossi fans, bad news for up-and-coming MotoGP riders: the seven-time premier-class World Champion has announced that he may continue in MotoGP for another five or six years. “The age is not a problem,” says Rossi, who will celebrate his 30th birthday next February. “Look at Troy Bayliss [currently leading the World Superbike series], he is still very, very fast and he is 38. The same with Loris Capirossi, he is 35 and still very fast and hungry. So I see no problem at all in continuing until I am 34 or 35.”

on tracks. Left: Lorenzo’s


Did Evans (left) pay


Costa and Clinica Mobile keep injured riders



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Mat Oxley



and couldn’t make an impression on the leaders, having earlier dive-bombed his Andretti-Green Racing team-mate Kanaan while they were racing hard in traffic, forcing him to crash out. There’s no question that Dixon, Wheldon and Ganassi’s team are heavy favourites

to win this year’s championship. Dixon was o strum or wrote the following words beaten to last year’s title by Dario Franchitti hospital!” The last year on the occasion of the and AGR after a fierce late-season battle. bike racer’s onClinica Mobile’s 30th anniversary: Dixon and Ganassi (above) last won the the-grid battle “Our clinic has become a home championship in 2003 when it was almost cry is an only for heroes, an altar for riders to exclusively oval racing series, so it will be half a joke. celebrate the magical ritual with interesting to see if they can complete the Indy 500/IRL title double. is dangerous, which they resurrect from their everyone knows that. Just ask Jorge injuries, from their fractures, from Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha’s much their illnesses, to climb the enchanted battered-about MotoGP star who mountain of motorcycling, the recently turned the macho mantra mountain with only the stars on its head with a French Grand Prix in heaven above it.” Remarkably, ride that took him from wheelchair Costa’s operation (which is financed to rostrum. by commercial interests within the Lorenzo’s second place at Le Mans, sport) is often involved in clearing with broken bones in both ankles, injured riders to ride. was undoubtedly gritty. But it was Costa’s secret is mesotherapy nothing out of the ordinary in a sport pain-killing treatment, a specialist that expects riders to routinely grimace their technique that delivers micro-doses of painkiller MOTO GP way through the pain barrier, never mindToronto that could be on via dozens of injections in the injury area. IRL schedule next bike racing is a hugely physical sport,the riders The treatment itself is agonising, as Valentino year ifand AGR has its way wrestling their machines through each Rossi says: “I have very much fear of the every corner. mesotherapy needle”. Although Grand Prix racing is much safer Of course, mesotherapy doesn’t allow riders than it has ever been, thanks to wider run-offs to ride pain-free, it merely allows them to ride and much-improved riding gear, motorcycle when otherwise they might have to sit out the There was more good news during the racing and produced a memorable event accept theNigel inevitable race. They still have to deal with the pain. month of May with racers regards still to the IRL’s injury in 1993, as when Mansell and Paul Tracy of their ago the Five-time MotoGP champion Mick Doohan future. Andretti-Greendownside has purchased the vocation. staged aDecades fantastic duel. carnage in Grand Prix street was sickening. was renowned for his ability to race through suspended Toronto street race and will Theraces IRL desperately needs a race in the promote and revive “There the event nextsoyear. north east NHMS – owned by Bruton were many deaths thatand to be perfectly the agony, even without chemical assistance. Michael Andretti saidhonest his organisation Smith to – is it,” the only available.These There days the really nasty thing is riding you gotwillimmune says track Frank Back in the 1990s the Aussie underwent start pursuing sponsorship in a the next few are during no otherthe top-class ovals circuits Perris, Suzuki GP rider 1960s. hurt. Largely, it is a case of mind over matter, as “Inor road multiple operations for a badly broken leg, weeks and assured me he is committed to in the region and the history, politics and 1962 and ’63 there were 14 of us who got Lorenzo explained after his Lazarus-style after which his surgeon was moved to say: making the race as successful as it was in culture of the area mean there is zero killed. It’s pretty awful to say this but it didn’t comeback at Le Mans: “I thought I’d be lucky “Mick took so little pain medication, it’s almost its heyday through the late 1980s and ’90s. chance of a street race. NHMS executive worry me, top guys will Jerry tell you to made finish sixth or seventh. Always it’s a fight the who superhuman. It’s like he’s reset his pain There are hopes that a date willand alsoall bethe vice-president Gappens, same. It was awful, but we put it toout withsaid ofGeorge the two minds. One mind says to you: our in May, thermostat.” Some years later Doohan broke a found in 2009 for a race at New Hampshire a presentation Tony minds.The It was never going to happen ‘okay, you.” this race, just finish it, nothing else’. finger during German GP practice, refused Motor Speedway (NHMS). one-mile he was hopeful to that the IRL could return oval in New England is ideal for Indycar to New England after a 10-year absence. Then the other mind says: ‘you can painkilling treatment with the immortal words try to go with them…’.” “I’m not a painkiller type of person”, climbed Five-time MotoGP champ Lorenzo and his MotoGP rivals back on his bike and grabbed pole position. Doohan, below with Dr are helped in their brave (or should Sometimes determination can become Costa, had a remarkably that be foolish) endeavour by the desperation, as in the case of Italian rider Marco high pain threshold Clinica Mobile paddock hospital, Papa who tried reversing his Yamaha’s controls run by the eccentric Dr Claudio – clutch on the right handlebar, throttle and Costa. Costa’s House of Pain has front brake on the left – after he broke his right been patching up wrist during Malaysian GP practice a few years riders and sending ago. It took him three scary laps to realise the 3/6/08 15:58:11 (up to the end of May) for both Aston Martin them out for error of his ways. and Porsche are down by over 20 per cent, decades. The Italian Depending on your viewpoint, these men are while Bentley and Land-Rover are both down medic is a big fan noble braves, vainglorious fools or deranged too, but by a more modest 7.6 per cent. This in of Nietzsche, whose maniacs. But at least they are all fully grown a market that, as a whole, is off by only 0.6 per mantra ‘what does adults, quite capable of deciding what they cent. Interestingly the big premium brands like not kill us makes us want to do with their own bodies. Well, not BMW, Audi, Mercedes and, gratifyingly, Jaguar stronger’ perfectly quite. In recent years the minimum age for the are all strongly up but if you could break down fits the clinic’s smallest Grand Prix class – the 150mph 125cc their sales further, I suspect you’d find it’s only philosophy. Costa category – has been successively lowered to the There’s something wrong with a car’s name least until the Golf GTI came along, and because their volume sellers are relatively when even journalists know neither how to is still capable of teaching modern cars a inexpensive and powered by diesel. spell or pronounce it. I’ve seen Mi.To, Mito thing or three about steering, poise and, Even so, the greatest danger for all these and MiTo, the one currently used by Alfa above all, charm. My favourite was a precompanies is not the price of oil, but irrational Romeo. As for its pronunciation, I still don’t hatchback, 85bhp 1.5Ti, not least because fear gripping the market and knocking the know whether it’s Meeto, Mitto or Myto. aged 17, I was in one when I drove at an confidence from it. The truth Nor do I know whether it’s any good indicated 100mph for the first time. is all these marques have because Porsche, Alfa and VW all I’m not making any predictions about weathered storms far worse decided to launch cars to the press on the the MiTo, either. I’ve seen too many Alfas MS Oxley/gb/gc/ef.indd 40 10/6/08 same day, and I’ve yet to find a way of fail to live up to their promise. All I would say than any currently predicted


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Scott Dixon had the fastest car all month at Indianapolis this year and, after qualifying his Chip Ganassi Dallara-Honda on pole, he dominated a furious race, leading 115 of the 200 laps. The only other man to lead a substantial portion of laps was Dixon’s team-mate Dan Wheldon, but the Briton lost the handle on his car because of a broken shock absorber and wound up finishing 12th. Thereafter the only drivers to seriously challenge Dixon were second-placed Vítor Meira, third-placed Marco Andretti and Tony Kanaan. But Andretti made a late-race tactical error on downforce Motorcycle racing

F Kirn/K TM

aspects of an exclusive supply on tyres and the chassis,” Barnhart said. “We’d like to focus on multiple manufacturers on the engine side. I think that’s the direction the series needs to go in that makes the most sense. Exclusive supply on the chassis and tyres is the best way of controlling performance, speed, cost, safety – many of those aspects.”


Gold & Goose


Another benefit of turbo engines is that the boost control can be used by the sanctioning body to judiciously control horsepower outputs as development among competing manufacturers drives up power. This is one of the many areas in which CART failed to do the job correctly, ultimately chasing away rather than encouraging and maintaining multiple engine manufacturers. “We saw in CART, when there were three or four different engine manufacturers, that whenever there was discussion about changing boost settings for a race or what have you, you could never get all the manufacturers to agree to it,” Rahal recalls. “If one of them perceived that it was not in its best interest they would veto it. “So it’s difficult when you have multiple manufacturers. A lot depends on the sanctioning body, of course. If it’s considered of value to be involved in the series then the manufacturers will continue. NASCAR plays around with their engine rules all the time and nobody seems to say much. They all mutter, but nobody says much because they feel they need to be there.” Rahal believes kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) or any kind of hybrid should be considered for adoption by the IRL in 2014 or thereabouts, but no earlier. He’s convinced that it would be far too costly to introduce that kind of technology to Indycar racing at this stage of the game. “Longer term, we probably should go to flywheels,” he said. “But that’s maybe five, six or seven years down the road. You’ve got to be realistic.” Rahal agrees with Mario Andretti and many others in the sport who believe the balance between downforce and horsepower must return to where it was some years ago, with more power and less downforce so the driver has to lift substantially for the corners. “Along with the engines, the aero side has to be back where it should be, not where it is currently,” Bobby said. “In the 1980s and ’90s there was never enough downforce for the power. You might have been able to suck it up for one or two laps for qualifying, and that’s fine, but for the race you need to have it to where there is less downforce than power. The power-to-downforce ratio needs to be the inverse of what it is today. “The number one benefit of more power and less downforce is that it gives you separation, so you don’t have people running around stacked on top of one another. And number two is that the good drivers will be able to show themselves.”


All images L AT

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Bobby Rahal is an IRL team owner, three-time CART champion and successful automobile dealer. He is adamant that the new formula must begin to embrace the wholesale move across the automotive industry to build more fuel-efficient cars. Bobby is one of many people in the sport who also believe the turbocharger must be part of the new engine formula. Rahal sees a twin turbo V6 as the ideal way to go. “I personally think we ought to be looking at a small capacity 2.0 or 2.2-litre turbocharged V6 or V8,” he suggests. “Turbocharged smallcapacity engines are the way to go because that’s the way the automotive market is going. It’s already there, in fact, and with the turbocharger – especially if it’s a oneengine series – you can turn the boost up or down depending on the type of circuit and have varying levels of performance. “With a turbo you don’t have to worry about the noise issue when you go to street circuits or places like Laguna Seca where, increasingly, you have noise limits.” Rahal prefers the idea of a twin turbo V6 which he believes would be cheaper to build and run because it would have fewer parts than a V8. “I’d make it a twin turbo rather than a single because it gives better response and performance. We did a study some years ago at CART about the difference between a V6 and V8 in terms of parts, and it adds up. You’ve got a smaller crankshaft, two less connecting rods and eight fewer valves.”

Gold & Goose


he big news at this year’s 92nd Indy 500 was the creation of an industry ‘round table’ convened for the IRL by retired Ford racing executive Neil Ressler’s consulting company RWB. Under Ressler and RWB’s direction the assembly of engine manufacturers, car builders and other stakeholders in the sport will debate the 2011 Indycar rules this summer and help determine the new formula which everyone hopes will revive and recharge Indycar racing. At the same time Honda announced a five-year extension in its commitment to supply the Indycar series with engines until 2013. “We like the notion of competition that would include other manufacturers, so we are delighted with the league’s intention to host this round table,” said Honda Performance Development president Erik Berkman. “We think that by working with other manufacturers and discussing the concepts we can bring back some competition that will help to spice up the close racing we already have. “We could not be happier announcing our intention for five more years,” Berkman added. “That adds to the stability and what’s needed in going forward, so there is no doubt where Honda’s position is.” Berkman said Honda preferred to have competitors but would continue as the IRL’s only engine builder if that’s what it comes down to. “Having competition is something we really want,” he said. “But in the event we continue as a sole supplier, we will still benefit from that.” The IRL’s president of competition and operations, Brian Barnhart, also talked about the industry round table. “We would like to get the senior level management people from the automotive industry to sit down and see if we can find a collective agreement on what the technology should be,” he said. “We want it to be a fresh approach. When we get that many key players in the same room at the same time, if we can find a consensus among several of them who would like to participate in the Indycar series, we’ll be very open-minded.” Barnhart said the IRL is likely to continue with a single supply chassis. “I really like the

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For opinion that counts, don’t miss American editor Gordon Kirby on the US scene and acclaimed journalist Andrew Frankel on the world of road cars. Plus we have signed up the best bike racing journo around, Mat Oxley, to provide insight from the colourful world of MotoGP


MS Media Pack 2008 9

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The present A

t its zenith, Lotus was Formula 1’s most consistently successful team, winning 71 World Championship races in 19 seasons. Ferrari’s tally for that same period was 44. Any list of the all-time greatest F1 cars must include at least four Lotuses: the monocoque 25, the DFV-pioneering 49, the wedge-shaped 72 and the ground-effects 79. Those types alone won 52 Grands Prix. For 25 of its 37 seasons in F1, Team Lotus was powered by the restless genius of Colin Chapman. And for most of them Peter Warr was there: as Chapman’s right-hand man until the Lotus founder’s sudden death in 1982, and then as team boss for seven more years. During his career Warr worked with an extraordinary roster of drivers, including 11 current or future World Champions, and was on the pitwall for well over 300 F1 races. Few can match his knowledge of F1 through the 1970s and ’80s, not only from the Lotus perspective but also as long-time keeper of the minutes in FOCA meetings. And no-one knew Colin Chapman better, or worked with him more closely. Peter and his wife Yvonne live in south-western France now, in a charmingly eaved and turreted house on a wooded hill. All around, vineyards fill the view. We take lunch in the Hostellerie de Plaisance in St-Emilion, and Peter orders local foie gras and scallops. As we’re in the heart of the Bordeaux region the wine list is terrifying – the 1950 Petrus is £3400 a bottle – but Peter tactfully opts for a humbler 2003 Chateau Tour de Pas, costing a hundredth of that. “There was always a complete lunacy about working for Colin. He believed there was no reason on God’s earth why an idea he’d just had couldn’t be on the cars for the coming weekend. But his leadership, his ability to motivate, was such that people would start to believe it could be done, and they would perform way, way beyond their self-believed capabilities. If he said, ‘Right, lads, today we’re all going to jump off this cliff,’ they’d do it. He’d jump first, and they’d all follow him. “You cannot believe the hours people worked in the early days. Bob Dance [the legendary Lotus F1 mechanic] reckoned he was doing 73 hours a week on a regular basis – but on a Grand Prix weekend he’d clock up those 73 hours from Thursday to Sunday. Everybody was scared stiff they’d make a mistake and get on the wrong side of Colin – his temper was fairly violent, and he had a very short fuse. He’d come round and say to someone on the shop floor, ‘You’re meant to

Lunch with…



Lunch with…

chris amon

He didn’t achieve the results that his enormous talent merited, but no matter: F1’s ‘unluckiest driver’ is just glad to have lived to tell the tale By s i m o n Taylo r



Williams’ favourite son on dodgy campers, nightmare bosses and gelling with Frank and Patrick

13/5/08 18:13:41 James Mitchell


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croll down the roster of drivers who won a single World Championship – names like James Hunt and Jody Scheckter, Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill – and for each there’s a different reason why they never took a second title. In the case of Alan Jones, it’s probably down to the English weather. Between 1978 and 1981 Alan forged a tremendously strong working relationship with Frank Williams and Patrick Head. The three men, hardened racers all, were comfortable with each other, talked the same down-to-earth language, and wasted no time on sentiment or ceremony, and together they achieved one drivers’ title and two constructors’ titles. In 1982 a Williams driver won the World Championship again – but that was Keke Rosberg, and by then Alan was driving a tractor on his farm in Australia. “Over the winter of 1981 Patrick came up with the six-wheeler [the Williams FW07E] and Frank said I had to go to Donington to test it. I’d bought the farm, we had our son Christian, and I’d really got the shits with England. I stayed at that bloody motel at Donington, and I had to boil the kettle in my room to unfreeze the lock to get in my car the next morning. I thought, ‘This is exactly why I want to go home’. I tested the car, drove back to a cold, grey Heathrow and got on a Qantas jet. As soon as we burst through the clouds into the sunshine I thought, ‘I’m not going to miss Formula 1.’ But of course I did come back, twice. I’ve had more comebacks than Dame Nellie Melba.” Which is appropriate, because we’re having lunch at Melba’s, a swanky restaurant and nightclub just behind the gilded beach of Surfers Paradise, where Alan lives in a waterside 555

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Lunch with… …


16/4/08 12:13:59

SIMON TAYLOR’S LUNCH WITH… Simon Taylor’s Lunch With… stories are one of the most popular features of the magazine. Every month he meets a star name from the world of racing to discuss their careers in more depth than you’ll find anywhere else


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5/2/08 15:53:36

5/2/08 15:53:16


Racing fit for a Principality

Bronson (ERA) fends off Grist (Alfa) in the pre-war event. Below: Jacky Ickx demos V16 Auto Union. Bottom: Michael Willms (Ferrari 340 America) and Simon Diffey (Cooper-MG) in fierce sports car battle

The Grand Prix Historique provides more track action than modern-day F1 can usually muster, although there were some causes for concern

Monaco specialist Dayton won Pre-75 F1 race by just 0.2sec in Brabham BT33. Left: Julia de Baldanza in Maserati A6GCM at the harbour. Below left: Pane (Tyrrell) is chased by eventual winner Edwards (Penske) in ’75-78 F1 race


Dex ter Flint



ynics say the Monaco Grand Prix now provides less of what is good about modern Formula 1, and more of what is bad. For them, the Grand Prix Historique provides a welcome antidote. Town and track have both changed more than somewhat since the first Monaco GP in 1929, but it’s still magical to see and hear period racing cars battling through the narrow streets, with skyscrapers and mountains above, and yachts and blue Mediterranean below. When those cars are P3 Alfas, or Gordini T15s, or Ferrari 312s, or Matra MS120s, the years roll away and the old Monaco GP atmosphere is, very nearly, recreated. And these older cars can overtake each other, even on this circuit, so the racing is always exciting. Every visit to a historic race meeting starts with the paddock, and the Quai Antoine Premier is lined with neatly ordered awnings that display the cornucopia of cars very well, with no anachronistic motorhomes or ugly

trailers in sight. This event only happens every other year and, despite the huge cost of entry and accommodation, it is always very oversubscribed, so you don’t get to run at Monaco unless your car is a good one. There are the inevitable Gallic problems, of course: scrutineering this year seems to be more concerned with the labelling of a driver’s fireproof underpants than the safety and correctness of his car, and there is much angst when multi-spark MSD ignition, which many historic single-seaters have used for some time instead of the Lucas single-spark original, is declared unacceptable. Saturday provides two practice sessions each, and Sunday, race day, also has a single-seater Ferrari parade. Almost half of these are from the Schumacher era, allowing the very lucrative Ferrari Clienti operation to give its wealthy customers an expensive blast around Monaco. A couple of incidents in the races proper highlight an issue which the Automobile Club de Monaco must tackle before the 2010 event. A 1970s Formula 1 car, for example, is an 555

Second to none



Peter Sowerby’s Nissan R90 leads Kent Abrahamsson (Roush 16/5/08Mustang) 12:41:08

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THE HISTORIC SCENE TODAY Don’t miss the highlights of the rich and diverse historic racing scene, from the UK and further afield

F1 success was slow to come, but in F2 the spectacular Jochen Rindt set the benchmark – even for Clark and Stewart

Paul Whight raced Aston

Purple reign

AMR1 in tribute to David Leslie




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But unfortunately you only need one accident.” The labels his fellow drivers stuck on Chris were all about his speed. Jackie Stewart calls him one of the best he ever raced against, maybe one of the most naturally talented drivers of all time. Chris was blindingly fast on the really demanding road circuits: driving the bulky and unloved March 701, he still holds the F1 lap record for the old 8.7-mile Spa, at an average speed of over 152mph. He was also an extraordinarily astute and sensitive test driver, able to detect the effect of the tiniest chassis and tyre changes. And he raced to an old-fashioned set of values: he just didn’t seem to know how to behave badly towards other drivers, on or off the track. Yet his judgements about whom to drive for, and when, were disastrous. He always seemed to join a team when its fortunes were turning down, only to see them rise after he left. He was 19 when he first raced in F1, and by 23 he was No 1 at Ferrari. But somehow success always slipped out of reach, to be replaced by disappointment and frustration. At 33, after four twilight seasons with minor teams that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man, he went back to New 555

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John Downs

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oday’s media like to give our heroes convenient labels. Stirling Moss is “the greatest driver never to win the World Championship” – a glib line which says nothing about The Boy’s unrivalled versatility, or his racer’s heart. In the same unthinking way, Chris Amon is too often dismissed as “the greatest driver never to win a Grand Prix” or “the unluckiest driver in F1 history”. When we meet over an absorbing four-hour lunch in his native New Zealand, I ask Chris how he feels about his entire career being generalised in that way. He smiles ruefully. “I have a standard answer to that. People tell me I am the unluckiest F1 driver of my era, but actually I’m the lucky one. I’m luckier than Jimmy and Jochen, and Bruce, and Piers. Luckier than my team-mates Bandini, Scarfiotti, Siffert and Cevert. And there were others, guys who were my friends, people I raced with every weekend. I had several big accidents that could have killed me; I broke ribs, but I was never badly hurt. Clark never drew blood until Hockenheim. Rindt rarely hurt himself, either.

t was the ‘Summer of Shove’ – for Jim Clark at least. All-of-a-sudden Cosworth DFV shove. Most powerful engine, world’s best driver and most advanced car – the just-bolt-it-on-the-back, still-a-bit-twitchy Lotus 49: no contest. From June 4, when he dominated the Dutch GP, albeit in a nursing way – crabby clutch, snapping throttles and shaky timing gears – Formula 1 had a new parameter. Clark led all eight of 1967’s remaining Grands Prix and won three of them (reliability was the weak point). They also brought him six poles and three fastest laps. After a gap season using stretched Coventry Climaxes and bulging BRM H16s, he was unquestionably back on top – except on points. His F1 pretenders, meanwhile, were sinking slowly, dragged down by a pair of ‘blunder buses’: a CooperMaserati and a BRM H16, even the ‘lightweight’ T86 and

A Silk Cut Jaguar tasted victory at Le Mans again this year as the Group C series put on a spectacle ahead of the 24 Hours BY DAMIEN SMITH


wenty years on from one of the most famous victories in the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours, a Silk Cut Jaguar returned to win again at the Circuit de la Sarthe. A lot has changed in the past 20 years at Le Mans, but the passion stirred by those fag-packet Jags back in the 1980s lives on Donald Miles in Group 44 Jaguar XJR5 – as we discovered on the morning before this year’s 24 Hours. Group C’s golden era was faithfully recreated, with a 30strong grid of cars that were not only beautifully prepared, but also largely true to their period colours. The Group C historic series has stepped up a gear this year, largely thanks to the energy of new boss Charlie Agg. His aim is to do for Group C what he did for Can-Am in the Supersports Cup – and the Wayne Park’s 962 was third in 1988 24 Hours evidence at Le Mans suggested that it’s already ‘mission accomplished’. Agg believes in getting the detail right, “If you look at the series compared to last which is why he is determined that every car year, we’ve cleaned it up,” says Agg. “We’re entered runs in period livery – and period spec, too. Anachronistic developments such running just four races now to make sure we get 30-plus grids rather than just 12 cars or whatever. as modern, downforce-inducing winglets And the teams are reacting to the high levels of have sprouted on some cars as the series has preparation we are expecting of them.” become more competitive. But Agg’s having

Rob Sherrard’s C9 made series debut but struggled in the race

none of it. “They are all coming off,” he states. The 10-lap race at Le Mans lasted just shy of 40 minutes to avoid the complication of refuelling. Justin Law was the class of the field in his XJR12 and ran away with the race, but it didn’t matter. The event was still a spectacle to relish. But the race ended on a controversial note when Gary Pearson soured his charge from 13th on the grid in his XJR11 by assaulting Fredy Kumschick’s Spice at the Ford chicane on the last lap. Both cars spun, allowing Oliver Mathai to join fellow Porsche 962 racer Mark Sumpter on the podium. The most notable ‘new’ car to the series was Rob Sherrard’s glorious Sauber-Mercedes C9. He ran fourth early on before a spin, and then gearbox problems forced him out. Never mind, he’ll be back – and a Silver Arrow is just what the series needs. It’s Silverstone Classic next at the end of July, featuring longer races, driver changes and refuelling. As for Agg, he won’t be sticking around beyond the end of this season. Knocking Group C – and various egos – into shape has been hard work. But he can rest assured it’s been worth the effort.

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P115 versions. That’s why that season’s Formula 2 was so important to them. “I’m sure there was immense frustration,” says Jackie Stewart on Jochen Rindt’s behalf. “His success in F2 definitely kept him sane in motor racing terms. It was the same for me. Doing well in F2 was vital to keeping our reputations up there. And if winning meant beating Jim Clark in the process, so much the better.” F2 in 1967 – the first season of the 1600s (in place of the banshee 1-litres) and of the European Championship for non-graded drivers, i.e. up-and-comers – was a lip-smacker: Jimmy, Jackie, Jochen; Lotus 48, Matras MS5 and MS7, Brabham BT23; Firestones, Dunlops, Firestones and (once) Goodyears; all tied together by a common thread – the 220bhp four-cylinder twin-cam FVA, a DFV minus its other 555 half. This meant Clark was within reach in F2.

Rindt scored his 34th F2 win in a Lotus 59 at Tulln in 1969, beating Jackie Stewart. Left: Brabham BT18 lacked power in ’66, but Rindt never gave up. At Pau he was pursued by Stewart’s Matra MS5


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PLUS NEW STORIES ON THE PAST… We remain as committed as ever to bringing you new takes on the great stories from motor racing’s past, from every era of the sport


MS Media Pack 2008 10


The former Lotus team boss remembers the early days with Chapman, his struggles with Senna, and a certain ‘uncouth Brummie’…

James Mitchell


be the welder. I could weld that, so why the hell can’t you do it right?’ He could perform pretty much any task in the factory, and everybody knew it. If you survived working for him long enough to learn to understand him, you realised what an incredible mind the man had. “He’d go into the drawing office and look over the draughtsman’s shoulder and say, ‘No, no, no, that’s not what I want at all,’ and he’d grab his pencil and sketch on the side of the drawing to show him. And if the draughtsman didn’t produce exactly that, Colin would go on at him until he did. If someone else had an idea he’d listen, and sometimes it would suddenly become his idea. But more often he’d look at it from a completely different angle and he’d say, ‘Why don’t we take it a step further, why don’t we do this?’ And you’d think, ‘Bloody hell, he’s done it again’. “He didn’t actually invent very much. Aerodynamics had existed before the Lotus Mk 8. Monocoques had been made before the war. Ground effect wasn’t totally new. His genius was to be able to take an idea, refine it, adapt it, think it through from a different direction, and say, ‘I can use this in a racing car application.’ Then he’d engineer it so it worked how he wanted it to work. “His temper rarely lasted for more than a few minutes. And he could be incredibly generous. His most annoying characteristic was he was almost always right. You’d think, ‘He’s really gone off his rocker this time, I’m going to have it out with him’, and nine times out of 10 the bugger would turn out to be right. But when he did get it wrong he made some big ones.” In 1958 the 20-year-old Peter Warr made a pilgrimage to North London to take a look at the little Lotus factory behind Stan Chapman’s pub, the Railway Hotel in Hornsey. “We lived near Brands Hatch and I loved the small sports car races, the bob-tail Coopers fighting it out with the Lotuses: the Mk 8, the first aerodynamic one, then the Mk 9 and the Eleven. When I got to Hornsey I was told, ‘You can look around, but don’t get in anyone’s way.’ Then someone said, ‘Don’t just stand there, give us a hand.’ Next day I was on the payroll, a gofer at £9 12s a week. “The F1 car that year was the 16, the miniVanwall. I remember Mike Costin giving the chassis a shakedown around Hornsey, roaring through the busy streets in a bodyless racing car. By the time the police arrived the car was back in the shop, up on trestles, wheels off. Fortunately none of the coppers thought to put a hand on the 555 engine to see if it was warm.

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Weaver went through all the rigours of a debut Formula 1 test at Paul Ricard












“All your life you follow a dream to drive an F1 car – and then you have this chance...”




“Räikkönen and Massa are both very strong,” says Jackie Stewart, “and they, together with the back-up, the finance, the privileges, that Ferrari enjoy, adds up to a hell of a challenge for anybody else. At the moment McLaren seem to be the only team robustly structured enough to take that on, and their car is bound to be competitive, but – and I hope I’m wrong about this – problems within their infrastructure could well play a role in this not being their finest hour…”


It’s that time of the year again, when the first “In the post-Schumacher era,” he said, “I race of the new Grand Prix season beckons, think Fernando is now the best driver in the and invariably a moment when I talk through world. However, he’s with a new team, and prospects and possibilities with JYS. He may he’s got something to prove – he’s got to be 34 years retired as a driver, and eight as make his mark in the team, because he knows a team owner, but he remains closely involved that the McLaren romance with Lewis is a in the world of Formula 1, and among its most very big one. Yes, he’s a double World astute observers. A year ago, when considering Champion and Lewis is a rookie – McLaren’s apparent ‘dream team’ of but 86 when it comes to MS Alonso F1 drive/gb/gc/ds.indd and Hamilton, Stewart had his concerns – and McLaren it’s Fernando they were not to do with Lewis. who’s the new


boy, and after all those years with Renault, he stability with the drivers, been unending speculation about Ron Dennis’s technicians here havefor Heikki Kovalainen where he was the undisputed number one, he come in as that Hamilton’s future role in the team, some suggesting that his ahas catchphrase they team-mate, and the might find McLaren’s ‘equal treatment of both question of ego is “it therefore less on the line. motivation has been irreparably damaged by recite constantly: is drivers’ policy hard to handle…” Alonso, meantime, events of the last year, that it is by no means loud, it is normal, has it isreturned to Renault –B y the Ali stAir WeAve r Knowing what we know now, that sounds like a matter1”. ofAn delight to Bernie Ecclestone, who certain that he will be present at all the Grands Formula expression no more than common sense, but at the time always prefers see the top drivers spread Prix in 2008. that might soundtoobvious Jackie was unusual in sounding cautionary as many teamssofa as possible. Certainly, at the launch of the MP4-23 in fromathe grandstand oramong the comfort of your sign of movement, wanting it so badly. The It is a step into company that some find note: many more anticipatedsounds another McLaren, hardly beMsaid, he was little in evidence, and that Fto 1need F Ohas R been S A Lwheels E Stuttgart veryWorld different when you’re it pinned aT E A start to move, the clutch is out and the difficult to keep. The sport’s history is littered Championship for Alonso, with Hamilton a traumatic time, what with the fallout was unprecedented. It felt like a Mercedes, bulkhead withnot an F1 through engine vibrating through engine is still alive. I let out a yelp of delight that with protégés who fail to deliver where it really far behind, but not quite in touch. from the affair and dissent rather than McLaren, occasion, and rumours your bottom. The brutal, unmolested cry ‘Spygate’ that is best described as uncomfortably girly. I am counts. When Jan Magnussen dominated A year on, the signs are first thatseduced once again not only between the drivers, persist that Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh have me 30 years ago is being conducted living the dream; I am driving a Grand Prix car. Formula Ford and Formula 3, Sir Jackie Stewart Ferrari and McLaren will be the major forces, but also Alonso and the agreed to sell their shares to McLaren’s German by my right foot. The catchphrase carries a For me, this is fantasy F1, an invitation too described him as the next Senna, but the Scot but there are significant differences management. In partner. If this goes through, it is surmised simple hidden message: don’t stall. good to refuse from Renault sponsor ING. For would sack him four years later as his Grand from last season. At McLaren, recent months that Dennis will withdraw, and that the team I tease the throttle gingerly and feel the engine others, such a chance represents no more than Prix dream became a nightmare. Allan McNish there should be more there has will be operated by Martin Whitmarsh. 555 take a sip of air as the revs rise from their the end of the beginning. Just as I today have and Tonio Liuzzi never really got on terms with P2 DRIVER 6000rpm idle. Give the right paddle a flick to stepped from a Formula Renault to an F1 car, so Formula 1, while others, such as Nigel Mansell, engage a cog. Steady with the clutch. It’s like they will be swapping the intimate world of the found their niche in the highest strata. being 17 again: heart pumping, easing out the junior formulas for the high-budget, high-profile, In an environment where perception is as clutch, feeling for the biting point and the first high-pressure world of the GP circus. important as reality, the first F1 test can be

What’s it like to step up from a junior racing car to your very first test in Formula 1? It’s an experience that cannot be forgotten – by even the most experienced Grand Prix driver all-important. An eye-catching first test in a Prost was enough to propel 19-year-old Jenson Button straight from British F3 to a race seat with the Williams team. Eight months later he qualified third for the Belgian Grand Prix. Kimi Räikkönen made an even bigger jump, from Formula Renault to the Sauber F1 team, having competed in just 23 car races. Anthony Davidson, like Button, made the leap from F3 to F1, initially racing for Minardi in 2002. He still remembers his first F1 test, a year earlier: “Your first test is a nerve-wracking experience. I came straight from F3 into 555


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ron dennis

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Expect McLaren to chase Ferrari, but beware the lasting effects of a traumatic 2007

“I have so much ambition left...”

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Rosso upsale, for sale, buying a piece of the F1 action requires ToroToro Rosso is upisfor but but buying a piece of the F1 action requires far far


18/4/08 17:42:26

FORMULA 1 We offer the very best in Formula 1 insight, from the best writers in the paddock. Expect interviews with the leading lights, analysis of the star performers and glimpses behind the scenes of the Grand Prix business

Darren Heath

lettering through a stick of seaside rock. So, it was with much anticipation that I sat down to listen to his keynote address to a motor sport business forum in Bahrain. And what a speech it was, with a little help from his new PR guru Matt Bishop. This was RD right back on form, allowing himself the luxury of delving into a little history. ‘Once upon a time’ began his speech, and it went on to trace his steady climb from Cooper mechanic to chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group. Later he would relate how, at the end of the 1960s, he applied to Frank Williams for a job. “Might have been easier for Frank if it had happened,” he grinned. But although his speech began with an evocative account of his first Grand Prix, the 1966 Mexican, as a Cooper mechanic, it was much more than a self-indulgent record of his achievements over more than 40 years in racing. There was another message. And if I read it right, the headline was – ‘I’m back. I’m a bit battered, but I’m not about to walk away.’ He accepted the applause, long and loud, and answered some questions in those measured tones that mirror the carefully moving cogs of his brain. He even apologised for a lapse into a vintage piece of Ronspeak, which brought 555

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By roB WiddoWs

emarkable man, this Ron Dennis. He’s been through the wringer, and come out the other side as strong as ever. Battered and bruised, yes, but possibly more resolute than before. When a man faces a crisis, work or personal – and this man has been facing both – he may react in one of two ways. He may break down, or he may raise his chin, square his shoulders, and look life in the eye. Let me put my cards on the table. I like this man. We first met back in 1977 when he established a new, and enduring, record for the longest answer to any question I ever put during a radio interview. Ronspeak is not a recent affliction. But I don’t mind this quirk because this man is passionate, sensitive and very genuine. He may be tough, he can be ruthless, and he is sure as hell determined. But he is straight. I never believed for one moment the accusations levelled at him last year. I am not taking sides here. I am simply stating my position when it comes to the man who has spent the past three decades building one of the most successful Grand Prix teams of all time. McLaren runs through Ron Dennis like

more just money. there rewards tohad be had more thanthan just money. Still, Still, there are are rewards to be BY DAVID

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The traumas of 2007 have failed to kill the passion that Ron Dennis still has for McLaren and for Formula 1



15/2/08 12:44:10


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16/4/08 18:52:59


16/4/08 11:57:39

Motor Sport covers a wider breadth of racing than it has ever done before. We delve into the international racing scene, from touring cars to single-seaters and sports cars

A global smash

diesel in the WtCC

Now in its third year, the A1GP series has a lucrative Ferrari supply deal as well as grand expansion plans BY ROB WIDDOWS

A new world order A1GP in action: Oliver Jarvis is taken out of the Durban feature race by Robert Wickens


he helicopter came in low over the Indian Ocean, skimming the beaches known as the Golden Mile, before ducking down into a tree-lined avenue. As it hovered over an intersection, two white limousines slid into position and the traffic came to a disgruntled halt. The dark blue helicopter settled onto the highway outside the Hilton hotel and shut down. Out stepped a black man in a white suit, a glamorous lady on his arm. This is downtown Durban. I thought we’d left the high-rollers behind. The World Cup of Motor Sport is in town, and the sharks are in the ocean, not the paddock. Just for the duration, I ask you to put Formula 1 out of

your mind, pretend it’s not happening. All comparisons with F1 cease right here. We are in South Africa for the A1GP race around the streets, the track itself a reminder of sunny days at Long Beach. There is World Cup fever. “South Africa takes on the World! KwaZulu Natal is ready for you!” exclaim the newspaper headlines. In less than two years time the footballers arrive to play out FIFA’s version in newly-built stadiums right across this hot and dusty land. Now, though, it’s the turn of Tony Texeira, whose A1GP circus, with teams representing 22 countries, has pitched its tents alongside the ocean. All the talk is of Ferrari – not Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, but the bigger picture. The famous Italian car manufacturer has decided to throw its weight behind A1GP, supplying cars and

quiet ones ones quiet It’s the

engines for 2009 and beyond. Texeira, a South African entrepreneur from the mining industry, has persuaded Ferrari to replace the ageing Lola-Zyteks, used by A1GP for the past three years, with a new chassis built in England and powered by a 4.3-litre V8 from the back of the F430 road car. The drawings were doing the rounds in Durban and the car should be testing at Mugello in May. Under the direction of former Champ Car engineer John Travis, and with input from Rory Byrne, the chassis is currently under construction in Bognor Regis. It will bear a striking resemblance to the F2004, the last Ferrari F1 car designed by Byrne. The V8 engine will be refined, lightened and made ready for racing. The world of A1GP is very excited about all this, and rightly so.

Ferrari’s operations director Mario Almondo is in the paddock, as is Byrne, both men paying close attention to the modus operandi of this colourful single-seater series. They confirm that there is to be a “technological collaboration with A1GP, an agreement which covers the supply of engines and consultancy relating to the design of the chassis for the cars that will compete until 2014. This will also extend to a second series, A2GP, for which testing will start in 2009.” This is the party line. But, as always, there’s more to this than meets the eye. “I went to Ferrari with an offer to help them,” grins the irrepressible Texeira, a man not shy of the big deal. “I did not go to ask any favours but rather with ideas that could help them, and of course A1GP. This is a great opportunity both for us and them, commercially

and in marketing terms. It gives Ferrari a way to reach new markets for their road cars, especially in the Far East and across Asia. We go racing in these places and we are adding new locations in the years to come. I have big plans. We are launching A2GP and I have plans for A3GP, all with Ferrari, within the next few years. We have signed a six-year agreement. There is no better partner and they will be integral to the growth of both A1GP and A2GP. We are now officially powered by Ferrari and there will be national championships as well as international, with help from the governments of emerging nations. There is plenty of money around if you know how to find it. “There will be a ladder of talent, with young drivers – teenagers – coming through from A3 to A1 representing their nations. I think big, I

youhave have you

always have done, and I take big risks. But I do believe, in our third year, that A1 is now really beginning to work. The demand for hosting races outstrips supply. We have 16 countries wanting races, and we expect any new nation to bring TV coverage in their region.” The man has charm that won’t leave many birds in the trees, and he has a vision. Only time will tell if it can be done. In the paddock Byrne is enjoying himself, back in his homeland for a spot of sunny motor racing. “I’m not designing the new car,” he says. “John Travis is in charge of that. I am there as a consultant and, yes, the car will be very similar to the F2004, the last F1 car I did for Ferrari. I’m semi-retired now, six months in Maranello and six months at home with the family in Phuket. But I stay in touch, 555

watch… totowatch…



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7/3/08 16:24:22

SEAT’s diesel has risen to the fore in this year’s World Touring Car Championship, to the consternation of its petrol-powered rivals. And the battle’s coming to Britain soon


By RoB WiddoWs

he Pyrénées are hidden in

The big battle in sports car heavy cloud. The rain is falling on Pau, ‘ville de racing this year is between soleil et de jardins’. Every two teams with the quietest gust of wind, every passing cars on the grid. Audi and cloud, brings new anxieties for those who race around the streets of this Peugeot are competing lovely town in the foothills of the mountains. to see who has the best Twisting and turning, plunging and climbing tree-lined boulevards, this is truly a turbo-diesel – and thealong main driver’s track. The weather will play a big part prize is, of course, Le Mans in the 68th Grand Prix de Pau, a welcome wild BY ROB WIDDOWS

card in a pack that has become increasingly predictable just four races into a new season of the World Touring Car Championship. The peace of the Pays Béarnais is briefly shattered by the only street race to be held in France. The sharp exhausts of BMWs, Hondas and Chevrolets echo off the ancient walls. Then there are the whispering ones. Those yellow SEATS, sneaking up with their diesels, waste-gates popping, are beginning to dominate this series. ‘Doing amazing things with diesel’ – that’s the natty slogan from SEAT. Not to be outdone, the FIA promotes real racing, with real cars. Well, yes, real cars. You can go out and buy a SEAT Leon TDi. Alright, it may not be quite to the specification that Gabriele Tarquini has at his disposal – for it was the Italian who led the

series after Pau – but you can find the Leon in a showroom should you feel so inclined. But real racing? Now entering only its fourth season, the jury is deliberating. Just four manufacturers make up the WTCC, with cars from BMW, Chevrolet, Honda and SEAT. There are also Ladas, run by Russian Bears Racing, but they are considered ‘independents’. The first three are in something of a panic. As at Le Mans, diesel rules, and only a slug of lead ballast is going to redress the balance. And this is where the racing comes in – how real can it be when Tarquini carries an extra 61kg of ballast into the race at Pau? Well, that depends on how you define reality. Rules is rules, and under Section 79c of the FIA sporting code it is made quite clear that wins mean weight. Get ahead of your rivals and you will find a hefty bag of ballast in your boot. Those who like a flutter on the horses will be familiar with such a process. The WTCC is one of only three championships sanctioned by the sport’s governing body. The man in the firing line at the FIA is Jonathan Ashman, president of the Touring Car Commission and chief of the ‘FIA Bureau’ that massages the rules race by race to ensure that the racing is as close as possible. It is the bureau – sounds like the KGB – that decides 555 which cars must be helped, or hindered.

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MS Media Pack 2008 11

28/8/08 17:05:55

Motor Sport goes online VISIT THE MOTOR SPORT WEBSITE Don’t worry, Motor Sport is not about to desert its print magazine traditions. But it has expanded into cyberspace! To find out more about Motor Sport and read extra features not available in the magazine, log on to Our bloggers will keep you entertained with tales from life working for Britain’s most respected racing magazine. Read updates from web editor Ed Foster, US editor Gordon Kirby and features editor Rob Widdows – and for the lighter side of the sport, don’t miss Louisa Skipper’s social diary. If there’s a racing party going on, our Louisa will be there! And in this interactive age, each blog offers you the chance to contact the writers to tell them what you think. So let your voice be heard! You can also sign up to read even more from editor-in-chief Nigel Roebuck. If you can’t wait for the next issue of Motor Sport, log on to receive Nigel’s monthly news letter which you can only get via e-mail. He also answers readers’ questions – this is your chance to quiz the maestro! The website includes a letter from the editor, details of the latest issue on sale, biographies of our writers and a history of the magazine. Log on too if you would like to order our new and very special archive CDs (see page seven) and also to subscribe to the magazine. If you love Motor Sport, you’ll love our website.

Read exclusive content not found in the magazine ●

Put your questions to Nigel Roebuck ●

Discuss the racing with our writers


MS Media Pack 2008 12

28/8/08 17:06:43

The future


otor Sport has once again embraced modernity, just as it did when Jenks was our continental correspondent. And that leads us to write about the future of our sport. The world is changing fast and the car is having to adapt to keep up. The same goes for motor racing, which will come under greater pressure to justify itself as environmental concerns escalate. Inevitably, many of our features and columns about the future of motor racing dwell on the issue of making the sport greener. But future rules to make racing more exciting and relevant to road car technology is also a recurring theme. And we’re always interested in innovation, of course, just as Jenks was. The past, the present, the future: you could say it’s Motor Sport’s holy trinity.

Gordon Kirby

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guys. Let’s face it, they’ve tried more things on A m i d B u s c h ’s u n p o p u l a r a NASCAR engine than we’ve had hot dinners. dominance, NASCAR fans are faced That’s been an education.” with the sobering truth that it’s taken Lee White is TRD’s group vice-president and Toyota only one year to get to the general manager. He is proud of TRD’s design, front of the Sprint Cup series – much development and manufacturing capabilities. quicker than expected. Toyota has White has worked in racing for more than raced successfully in the United States 40 years as a driver, engine builder and team for more than 25 years, winning titles manager. He ran Jack Roush’s incredibly in off-road racing, IMSA GT and successful IMSA GTO team for six years in the GTP, in CART with Newman/Haas late ’80s and early ’90s. He also worked as in 2002 and the Indy 500 with Penske Newman/Haas’s team manager in CART for Racing in ’03. A key component in three years from 1995-97, before taking his its American efforts is Toyota Racing current job as the hands-on boss of TRD, first Development (TRD), the company’s in CART and the IRL, and then in NASCAR. racing division in Costa Mesa, This summer White has overseen TRD’s California. TRD employs almost expansion into a new chassis engineering shop 300 people. in North Carolina. Toyota started racing in NASCAR’s “We have eight or nine full-time race engine Truck series in 2004, won the championship THE US SCENE designers who have been with us all the way with Todd Bodine in ’06 and made its Cup back to the CART days,” White explains. “We series debut last year. The company got mud on don’t borrow guys out of the engineering pool its face at the start of ’07 when Michael Waltrip at the factory headquarters like the competition was caught with illegal fuel during qualifying does. We do our own development. We have for the season-opening Daytona 500. The rest centralised planning and purchasing. I think the of the year was equally uphill as the handful of only thing close in the USA is HPD [Honda Toyotas struggled to qualify for most races and Performance Development, also in southern rarely featured among the leaders. Former California], which is trying to be like us. Cosworth Formula 1 and CART engineer Pete Nobody else has anything like TRD.” Spence has been with TRD on and off for 12 In late summer, 40 people moved into TRD’s years. He rejoined the company last year as new chassis development operation on 100 In April and May, Busch went on a tear, vice-president and technical director. acres in North Carolina. “Our new engineering winning at Talladega, Darlington and Dover, “Last year we had some reliability problems,” facility will focus totally on chassis,” White and making his name as the man NASCAR fans he explains. “I would say the first third of the says. “Getting into the chassis engineering love to hate. Busch is reckoned by many fans year we worked on reliability and in the latter business is a whole new endeavour for us and to be a wild-driving, spoiled brat who never part we were learning from our adventures the reality is that’s where it’s at in NASCAR. admits to a mistake and, after a collision with along the way. We modified the torque curve on That’s where you win races. That’s the fertile Earnhardt at Charlotte in May, Busch has the engine to be better suited to the NASCAR ground for us.” regularly been greeted with the noisiest round environment. If you look at our chassis dyno Toyota has arrived in NASCAR with a of boos you can imagine, in sharp contrast to results from Atlanta in March we might have long-term plan and, as White says, TRD has had the peak horsepower by one hp, but our the unending cheers for Earnhardt. hired an impressive fleet of engineers from torque curve was terrible. F1, CART, Champ Car and the IRL. Never “We worked on it through the has NASCAR seen such an investment in Busch (above) and Toyota year and used the chassis dyno engineering and age. technology and it will be s e v e r y o n e may not be winning any more relevant in today’s ‘green’ data as a guide. Over the winter interesting seeneed what impact Toyota has over knows, Indycar popularity contests, but “There are so many thingstothat we did a minor repackaging of few years racing is trying they are ahead in NASCAR to be worked onthe andnext developed as faron NASCAR as a whole the engine and here we are.” and itsgo, all-American to pull itself as engine efficiencies and racingcompetition. Spence says he doesn’t expect In the past decade, together under has always provided the push to makeToyota has steadily caught overhauled the cash-strapped Detroit car any big technical breakthroughs. the banner of that happen,” and Mario said. “That’s builders inhave America’s “It’s incremental evolution of the Tony George’s Indy Racing League. why the manufacturers been passenger car and truck and it’s hard product to suit the environment. A bitter 12-year civil war has come able to justify markets, being involved and to imagine the company not doing the same I think we learn with every race to an end, and it’s encouraging to that’s why they’ll continue to bein NASCAR. If Toyota’s money, organisation and engineering prevail, and test. We’ve definitely learned hear both George and former Champ involved in the sport.” will NASCAR be capable of ‘levelling the from our association with Joe Car boss Kevin Kalkhoven say that He believes whatever the best rules field’ to help Gibbs, as we did with Bill Davis the key to Indycar racing’s future package may beplaying for F1 or Indycars in its seriously beleaguered domestic Racing. We’ve very much is the new formula for 2011, as the future, it must result manufacturers? in seriously enjoyed working with those discussed in this space last month. impressive straightline speed and Indianapolis Motor Speedway substantial braking into the corners. Andretti is convinced this is an president George added that the IRL is looking seriously at adopting essential element in testing the new technology and alternative fuels, drivers’ skills as well as providing a so it may be that I was too pessimistic last spectacle and passing for the fans. THE US SCENE month regarding the IRL’s internal discussions “The one part I don’t necessarily agree with MS Kirby/gb/gc/ds.indd 35 John Barnard about is the aerodynamic package about its 2011 rules. During this year’s month of May at suggests,” Mario observed. “He maintains 17/7/08he 09:42:15 Indianapolis, with all the teams competing for that there should be a drag increase to slow the first time since 1995, I expect to hear plenty down the straightline speed and I think that is of conversation about the Indycar of 2011. contrary to what needs to be done, because Two months ago in these pages John Barnard the slower you go down the straightaway, the and Mario Illien put forward their ideas for shorter your braking is going to be. If the both Formula 1 and Indycars of the future, and straightline speed in F1 is 230mph, then at least I hope their concepts form the basis of this you’ve got some braking distance to work with. debate. Mario Andretti is one racing expert “To me, straightline speed is essential for who agrees with Barnard and Illien. that Formula 1 needs to retain room for good braking before any kind of corner. “Those two guys get it and I agree pretty technical development. That is an essential part Otherwise, you’re where you are right now, much with everything they say,” said Mario. of the equation. It doesn’t make sense for the where the braking is so late that there’s no space “From an engine standpoint, Illien is saying manufacturers to race in F1 just for the show.” to outbrake or pass under braking. It’s a that if you take the development part out of the Andretti has always believed that making daunting job to try to create a balance for that equation for the manufacturers, why would better, more efficient engines is an integral part but I’ve maintained all along that’s the way it they want to be there? I’ve maintained all along of racing and is even should be. “It’s the same with running Flat-out racing in the IRL, with cars the ovals and Indycars,” in corners the same speeds on the straights as he went on. “You need (above), has limited overtaking straightline speed so you can back off for the corners. When they started curtailing the straightline speed on the superspeedways to about 225-230mph, the result was that the cars are now cornering at about the same speed. And that’s why it’s so hard to pass in Indycars. “You need to run 250mph on the straight like we used to run at Michigan in qualifying

nascar trying for full house NASCAR’s popularity and profitability peaked a couple of years ago. TV ratings bounced back this summer after two years of decline but the real measure is the declining ticket sales at most tracks in recent years. Empty seats have become a common sight at many tracks and sellouts increasingly are a relic of NASCAR’s recent, glorious past. Because all but two Sprint Cup tracks are owned by ISC and SMI – a pair of competing, publicly-traded companies – the lack of growth in ticket sales could become a serious problem. At the same time Toyota’s arrival has


offended many vocal, long-time NASCAR fans who threaten to turn their backs on the sport. But Lee White hopes Toyota will be recognised as a positive contributor to the American economy and job market. White also hopes the decline in attendance figures will begin to turn around. “Hopefully, the business will stay strong,” he says. “If we continue to be competitive this year and all four manufacturers are able to win their share of races, hopefully by the time we get to Atlanta in the fall we’re going to see every seat full instead of turn four empty like it was last year.”

Gordon Kirby


Dale Jr aims for chevy chase Dale Earnhardt Jr delighted his many in the mid-1990s. OK, you would get one lap in fans by scoring his first Sprint Cup win in qualifying that was flat, but in the race you 76 races, as well as his first victory with weren’t flat. You couldn’t run around there Rick Hendrick’s team, in a fuel-starved flat, because the straightline was too high race at the speed high-banked Michigan for the corners. That’s the way you maintain Speedway in June. some decent racing.” Earnhardt won on his debut driving one of Hendrick’s Chevroletswith at Daytona in I share Mario’s frustration the February in a non-championship seasonrulemakers who have made such a hash of the the previous sport over the opening years andevent both for of us hope thingsyear’s race and pole winners, but over the next will get better in the discussion, planning and four months he was neither quick nor lucky implementation of the IRL’s 2011 rules. “I don’t enough to succeed until long-time crew

chief Tony Eury Jr helped guide him to a tactical victory at Michigan. It was Dale Jr’s first Sprint Cup win in two years and helped consolidate his position at midseason in the top three in the points. Last year, Earnhardt finished the first 26 races outside the top 12 and therefore failed to qualify for the ‘Chase for the Cup’ championship play-off held over the season’s final 10 races. This year, he looks a sure bet to make the Chase and that’s a good thing for NASCAR, particularly in these difficult economic times.

mcdowell: next nascar star With Indy 500 winners Dario Franchitti and has earned his big break this year. At the Sam Hornish among the rookies competing end of March he replaced Dale Jarrett in in NASCAR this year, it’s tough for an one of Waltrip’s three Toyota Sprint Cup unknown to get attention. But keep an eye cars. Expect McDowell to start to make a on Mike McDowell. Star Mazda champion serious mark in the sport this year. in 2004, McDowell showed his ability in McDowell’s crew chief is Bill Pappas, a 2005-06 in Grand-Am and Champ Car. He veteran Indycar engineer who also joined co-drove to a Grand-Am win and qualified NASCAR last winter. Pappas engineered in the front half of the field for two Champ Gil de Ferran’s Indycars for five years, and 11/7/08 Car races. Last year, McDowell switched to 13:32:26 he compares McDowell to the title-winning stock cars, racing in the Midwestern ARCA Brazilian. “It’s exciting,” Pappas said. series where he won four races, led the “Mike has a lot of talent, he’s motivated most laps and came second in the points. and loves to think about the car. He’s That caught the attention of Toyota and going to develop very quickly into a very Michael Waltrip Racing, and the 23-year-old competitive NASCAR driver.”

All images L AT


yle Busch has emerged this year as the man to beat in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. The 23-year-old won five of the season’s first 16 NASCAR races and has taken a strong lead in the championship, more than 200 points clear of his closest rivals. In his fourth year in NASCAR’s premier division and his first with Joe Gibbs’ Toyota team, Busch has been a contender to win most races, easily leading more laps than any other driver and getting away with wild moment after moment as he has shown he can drive a tail-happy car more aggressively than anyone else in the sport today. Busch and older brother Kurt grew up in Las Vegas, racing Legends cars on local short tracks. The Busch brothers arrived rapidly and controversially in NASCAR, characterised by aggressive driving and confident talk. Kurt won the title in 2004 with Jack Roush’s Ford team before switching to Roger Penske’s squad where he has been conspicuously unsuccessful. Kyle broke into the Cup series at the end of ’04 with Rick Hendrick’s four-car Chevrolet team and was a regular frontrunner over the next three years, finishing fifth in last year’s championship. But he lost his seat in Hendrick’s all-powerful team to Dale Earnhardt Jr, NASCAR’s most popular driver, who brought with him massive sponsorship and notoriety to the outfit. Young Busch was quickly snapped up by Joe Gibbs Racing, a top Chevrolet team with three NASCAR championships in the past eight years, one with Bobby Labonte (2000) and two (2002 and ’05) with Tony Stewart. Last winter, Gibbs’ operation became the first major team to switch to Toyota and this year all three cars, driven by Stewart, Busch and Denny Hamlin, have been frontrunners in many races. Busch produced the partnership’s first Cup win at Atlanta in March, while Hamlin followed that up two weeks later with a second Gibbs/Toyota victory at Martinsville.



“You need to run 250mph on the straight like we used to at michigan” m a r i o

a n d r e t t i

think most of the people writing the rules understand what creates competition,” Andretti said. “To stay flat on the throttle all the time like the IRL does, where do you go, where does the driver reach to be able to pass? You’ve got to have it so you’re quick down the straightaway and have to slow down for the corner. It’s just a question of how much are you going to back off. That’s what’s going to make a difference and create some passing, which is so damn difficult right now in the IRL.” So the silence has been broken and the debate about the future has started. For the first time in many years I look forward to the month of May at the Speedway.

Force puts bad times behind him Drag racing legend John Force and his team had a terrible 2007 season. Force’s protégé Eric Medlen was killed in a testing accident early in the year, then in the fall Force crashed heavily during a race weekend and was seriously injured for the first time in his long career. The accidents prompted serious soul-searching inside Force’s team and resulted in some carefully engineered detail changes to their cars’ rollcages and chassis. Force, 59, has returned to action this

year, joined in his trio of Ford ‘Funny Cars’ by daughter Ashley and son-in-law Robert Hight. In February’s traditional NHRA season-opener at Pomona, California, Hight came through to score the team’s first win since Force’s accident, while Force and Ashley made it through to the semifinal rounds. So early in the new season all three Force Fords are in the ‘Funny Car’ title hunt. Force admits to being a more reflective and humble man these days, but he remains the NHRA’s biggest star.



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4/3/08 16:47:26

MS Kirby/gb/gc/ds.indd 33

4/3/08 16:47:46

NEW RULES The future of Indycar racing in America is looking brighter now that Champ Car and the IRL have reunited. But which direction from a technical point of view should US single-seater racing take? It’s a question that’s preoccupying our man in the States, Gordon Kirby



have been able to ascertain that the bonnet, bootlid and door inners are carbon fibre, nor that, unlike any normal Vantage, behind those 19in wheels lie massive carbonceramic brakes. But none of these really played much of a part in that oh-so brief moment of glory in the slipstream of the DBR9. It was helped for sure by BY ANDREW FRANKEL all those wings on the race car seriously limiting its acceleration above 170mph, but most of all by the fact that the Vantage also has a 6-litre V12 engine under its bonnet pumping out the same nice, round 600bhp. But these numbers, mighty as they are, fail to do justice to the way this, Aston Martin’s most exciting road car since at least the DB4GT, goes about its business. For a start it’s not only massively more powerful than a normal 4.3-litre V8 Vantage, it’s also lighter to the tune of 130kg. But the real revelation is that engine. It’s not to the same specification as the ultraexotic DBR9 motor, but then again nor does it need to be in order to produce similar power because it has no need to breathe through inlet restrictors. The engine is, in fact, from the GT3 category DBRS9, but fitted with a dry sump and free to gulp in as f the normal rules of car development direct fuel injection. In addition Porsche has than turn the key to glimpse the first sign of an because it was me who happened to be in the much fresh air as it likes. Which is about applied to the Porsche 911, itroad would thrown away its unsatisfactory Tiptronic issue 600bhp’s that goes worth. on to affect, and some might say car. I’d like now to say that, in turn, I duly have been dead 30 years ago.shot Indeed and the replaced it withgot a seven-speed infect, Aston every moment are at the wheel. chairmanyou David Richards was at past theautomatic DBR9, broke lap record, and as you will remember, that I’ll stop of calling a problem because the was girl and double-clutch rode off into thesemi-automatic sunset, but sadlytransmission Paulshort Ricard for theittest and it was he who when Porsche tried to kill it with much the way as a DSG box to many customers it will be which a welcome that the would that bearworks little in relation to same the truth. confirmed to me that the car, until now in a VW Golf, except that the seventh ratio is development, but toonly readers this title I suspect blunt instrument that was the 928 Nevertheless the very fact that an Aston road has appeared as aofstatic ‘concept’ exhibit only to find its 15-year-old son less than willing carultra-long allowing savings what at follows will be greeted with less thanbecome total a could cling even further briefly to the in fuel and the Geneva Motorshow, would to meekly accept its fate. The lad is all grown shirt-tails CO2. Indeed you choose a basic Carrera with approbation: youreality. can barely hearthink the bloody of aifGT1 class-winning production “I don’t we’ll make up now and for its 45th birthday has received Aston this race gearbox it is unique thing.many,” This new is so perhaps smooth ait’scouple as if of car suggests that among there is supercars in he motor said, “but an update that, at first glance, seems very rather avoiding Band tax disc.than is there hundred are not six horizontally morea to thisGVantage a year for three opposed years or pistons so.” Price? And it doesn’t stop there. Being Porsche there shuttling up and down their bores but right a couple appropriate to the Porsche way of doing things immediately apparent. “Around £150,000 sounds about to me.” and all the more attractive for that. is an so entirely new This braking system of gallons of silently churning cream. And it proves. is the Astonand extensive Production begins next summer. There is little that’s showy about its redesign Martin modifiV12 cations to theRSsuspension, EvenIfthe basicthe Carrera is and now knew a properly Vantage and thoughwhich retains I had money that the – you call closer it a facelift save its basicnext architecture but has otherwise quickproduction car, its 345bhp within exciting 10 behind him. Andcan’t if heeven looked still, abecause it will go into production summer, for now car wouldcoming be as viscerally somemight unsuitable LED running entirely So far so good. horsepower outgoing Carrera S’s output, fathomablefor thought enter his mind: could lights, this ais the only onebeen in the world.reworked. The louvred as this, of I’dthe already be in the queue. Its closest bumper changes and a new centre Butbut youI don’t have butinwhen you and seekprice, to make the to it be that itfew wasminor gaining on him? bonnet is not difficult to see wonder if to do more rival, both concept is likely this performance, inside, its appearance This tale console is not that of a modern Mitty buthas a barely you also spotted the carbon-fibre splitter at be Ferrari’smost 430 of Scuderia, but having the driven been touched. all the effort 911confi responds more in polite real event that took place onRefreshingly, the famed Mistrale the front, or the slightly more dramatic kick to both now I am dent the Aston is quicker has Paul beenRicard directed at theI bits you can’t see. straight of the circuit. know this, the lip spoiler on its tail. You certainly won’t and at least asagreement much fun. than howling The engines, for instance, are entirely approval. Naturally the new new even if their 3.6 and 3.8-litre capacities S, armed with 385bhp, is look superficially similar to those they quicker still but so lacks the replace. This means that while the original drama you might expect or air-cooled engine lasted 34 years, the first even hope for 13/3/08 10:02:34MS Aston V12/gb/ds/gc.indd 83 water-cooled 911 motor made just 11. PDK ’box has from a 911, that These engines are of course more twin concentric it looks quicker powerful and economical and produce clutches operating on paper than it less CO2 thanks to lower weight and, crucially, odd and even gears feels on the road.

Right now it’s a stunning one-off concept car, but Aston Martin has a chance to turn the V12 Vantage RS into its best ever road car


o the driver of the Aston Martin DBR9 Le Mans car, it must have been a bewildering not to mention somewhat frustrating experience. As he swept through the fast left flick that led onto the race track’s massive straight, the sight of the Aston road car at its exit barely registered. With his slick tyres and huge wings he was cornering at a speed quite beyond that of the little Vantage coupé and simply swept past, 600bhp V12 race engine howling with approval. But at some stage during the next 1.8 flat-out kilometres he would have looked in his mirrors and seen a sight he did not expect. Instead of the road car being a mere pin prick in the distance, it was right

82 MS Aston V12/gb/ds/gc.indd 82


“It’s impressive how right it feels despite little development time”

Concept car features mighty 600bhp V12 and massive carbon ceramic brakes (both left). Richards says production numbers will be limited

these issues aside and what’s left is fundamentally well balanced and predictable despite the presence of all that power, the absence of any driver aids, the shortness of its wheelbase and the early stage of its development. And it’s going to come at exactly the right time for Aston Martin, for next year it will also introduce the Rapide, its first four-door model since the infamous Lagonda. It will be large, luxurious and almost guaranteed to spark a certain constituency of die-hard Aston fan to conclude the company has gone soft. There could be no better rejoinder than the most exciting car Aston Martin has produced in almost half a century.


s h o u l d , h o w e v e r, attach a small health warning to this, for it remains to be seen exactly how diluted the V12 Vantage RS becomes while being prepared for production. At the moment it weighs just 1500kg but undoubtedly some weight will have to be added, not least because right now the car has neither airbags nor air conditioning. There will be a temptation simply to Perhaps its most impressive aspect is how take the Vantage and equip it with a standard right it already feels despite having had little V12 engine like the 470bhp unit just announced As for the PDK box, apart from an extra never feel natural. In short I can see its point for or no development time. When I climbed for the latest version of the DB9. That would be gear, it offers nothing VW and Audi have not those who use their 911s for commuting, but for aboard, its engineers were keen for me to cheap to develop, quite quick and an entirely made available on everyday hatches, saloons those wishing for more than mere transportation, understand that it was just a starting point and missed opportunity. and estates for years. It changes quickly and it is to be avoided. the process of refining the chassis was not With volumes as low as Richards envisages, cleanly and works particularly well in its But these revisions are not all bad. The even started let alone completed, so allowances the potential to create a stand-alone, truly automatic mode, but I made the mistake of changes to the suspension in particular have would need to be made. specialist Aston Martin is clear, one that focuses thinking it would add something to the driving made it a yet more capable and even more But they were wrong. I’ve driven a load of as much on the removal of weight as the experience, as the purely manual paddle-shift reassuring means of getting yourself from one one-off concept cars in my life and, until now, provision of power. No, it won’t come to ’boxes by Ferrari theengine, next in little time. Of every one of themused has come with ado. speed limit market withplace a fullto race butabsurdly something Worse (and quite astonishingly that courseshould the current generation ofa911 is a big, imposed by its manufacturer of 50mph or less given with 530-550bhp be easily possible in this Porsche we’re talking about), made car1600kg. compared the snake-hipped and all have feltisdreadful. But not this one. It’s it has car weighingwide less than With to a properly a complete mess of the shift I – and chassis originals, to basic anything like an true that some aerodynamic work is controls. needed Allhoned and a but few compared of the most else I have ever spoken to about it – comforts, Audi R8, it isisstill compact easy to thread because theeveryone nose starts to wander enough above creature there no reason at and all to want paddles behind the wheel, one (on thatthrough gaps. That bobbing 150mph for youare to two be quite glad by 170mph suspect the result would beslight anything less of the nose the right) to change change exhibited by 911s at Martin the exitroad of corners when that the straight is coming to an up, end,the butother that to than the greatest-driving Aston down. Particle physics it ain’t. The the car right on the traction limit has been will be easily cured in the wind tunnel. Likewise caronly the company hasisever produced. And from argument is whetherresponse they should or exorcised and while some the disconcertingly inconsistent of thebe static the company that has already given might us theregard that as with the For what a further dilution car’s character, it’s not brake pedalrotate will vanish oncewheel. they have ductedit’s worth, Ulster, Ithe DB2, DB4GT and of thethe original V8 towards Porsche something that I’ll be missing, particularly as it some moreincline cooling air to the the latter. front But discs. Set provides Vantage, that is truly saying something. not two paddles but four buttons sited not allows you to make even more of the 911’s behind the wheel but actually on it. Those you finest and most enduring talent – its ability to can see on the front both cause the gearbox to put its power where it’s needed on the road. change up, those mounted on the back of the As is the case more often with all generations wheel are responsible for downchanges. And as of 911 than any other car I have known, the 13/3/08 10:03:10 if having to push when you’re conditioned to simplest, most basic is best. A manual Carrera pull is not bad enough, the upshift buttons are is the pick of the bunch with the sole proviso so badly located you need to operate them with that you select the PASM active suspension the side and base of your thumb, which will option, not so much because it improves the


r oa d t e s t

handling but, curiously, because it does wonders for the ride comfort which is not quite good enough with the purely passive suspension. Even so, I’d probably fail to take my own advice and get a manual Carrera S, not just because it has PASM as standard but its wheels are prettier and I’d hope that one day I’d wake up and really be able to feel its extra power. It will be interesting to see what contribution the new 911 can make to turning around Porsche’s fortunes in this country. Sales this year to the end of May were down over 20 per cent over the same period last year and tougher times still seem to be ahead. That said, Porsche has weathered worse storms and done so from a position incomparably less profitable and advantageous than the one it enjoys today. I also think that this new 911 will find favour among most of its typical customers who are looking for an all-purpose, everyday car with the right badge and the right look. To them the fact it’s now quicker, more frugal, grown up and serious will be an entirely good thing. But as someone who saw in the original 997 the first true successor to the air-cooled cars of yore, I will continue to lament that these technical improvements have been achieved at the cost of so much of the old car’s spirit.

What lies beneath On the surface it’s just another 911. But in its 45th year, Porsche’s flagship has undergone an internal revolution BY ANDREW FRANKEL

Sometimes we get an exclusive sneak preview of the future… Here, Andrew Frankel gets to drive an Aston Martin Vantage that promises to be one of the greatest road cars of the modern age – when it moves beyond the concept stage


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MS Porsche911/ds/gc/ef.indd 91 17/7/08 09:52:30

11/7/08 14:45:25


MS Media Pack 2008 13

28/8/08 17:07:26

The future Andrew Frankel


here are few better ways to obfuscate the truth than to throw a superlative at it. In public your claim appears unambiguous and explicit, in private it withstands no scrutiny at all. Years ago I was proudly told by a car manufacturer that its shiny new product was ‘the most spacious in its class’. Seems clear doesn’t it? It was nothing of the sort. What it had done is calculate that you could get more ping-pong balls into its cabin than any other car it considered to be a rival which, if you’re a human being, is an entirely meaningless measure since pingROAD CARS pong balls can visit places humans cannot. Second, because there are no rules as to what qualifies a car for entry into any given class, it had made up its own which conveniently excluded a couple of spacious rivals. What, then, are we to make of: ‘this is the biggest revolution in the car industry since the Ford Model T’? It’s a claim so extravagant that, as it is also mere opinion, it would seem easy to pull it to pieces in seconds. Indeed it is probably the single most bold assertion I have heard anyone make in 20 years writing about Conceptually, the closest and, you might the industry, and I’ve heard a few. But if I had argue, only rival for the T25 is the Smart to guess, I’d probably go along with it. The ForTwo, a car for which I have almost unlimited reason why is simple: the claim was made by admiration. So here are a few facts for you to Gordon Murray. chew over: the T25 is 300mm shorter than a The revolution is his T25 city car, and when Smart, but will seat at least three and possibly he made his claim to an assembly of friends, four people, yet while the T25 will weigh 500kg, journalists, former colleagues and investors at the Smart weighs 750kg – half as much again. his design studios in Shalford one day last The cheapest Smart costs I doubt one of us you’ll forgive the month, pun, is the essence But it’s under the bonnet of the BMW 123d even blinked. of it. Honda’s solution to this is (pictured below) and it’s on sale now. Murray’s sketches Another quite believable a home filling station where your What is clear is that not only will further for the T25 show its Murray hydrogen is extracted fromsuperlative the same is that efficiencies be found from petrol and diesel compact dimensions the T25 – theand 25th car gas supply that cooks your food motors, there will be an increasing dependency which isheclever has for overseen heats your water. Which on bio-ethanol, particularly from manufacturers from concept to reality – is sure, but not exactly clean. of high-performance cars because it offers the challenge he The elephant inthe the biggest room that few blissful combination of being a nearly carboncareer to companies like tohas talkfaced aboutinishis that neutral and renewable energy source which date. When you realise no-one has yet discovered a viable actually increases engine outputs. Expect diesels this little on way to produce what hydrogen thatmiracle is to start finding their way into all sorts of wheels Steaming is trying toitachieve, both cheap and clean. unlikely cars too. Mercedes’ AMG division is you will that designing out of gas is affordable butsee dirty and actively considering it and when I put the once championship-winning F1 consumes valuable fossil fuel, while preposterous notion of a diesel-powered Bentley cars evenlikely, the world’s using wind, wave or, or most to head of engineering Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, he solar power, is clean but prohibitively said the huge torque and extra range offered by fastest supercar is as easy expensive. How long will it be before diesel made it a fuel entirely in keeping with as falling down the stairs. a truly cost efficient way of producing Bentley brand values, hydrogen cleanly is with us? No-one knows but estimates vary from ‘several years’ to ‘never’. Without a technological breakthrough, though, it is not unrealistic to think of a truly clean fuel cell future as being 20 or more years away. So what, then, in the meantime? It seems that despite it all, reportsMS of Frankel/gb/gc/ds.indd the death of the internal 36 combustion engine are once more exaggerated. It’s inefficient, unclean, noisy and increasingly unpopular, but it is also all we have. What is remarkable is how much development this 19th century technology still has within it. Even a decade ago the idea of a 2-litre diesel engine that would produce over 200bhp and power a four-seat coupé to 60mph in little more than especially as proper power can now be extracted 6.5sec, reach almost 150mph yet return over from diesel with no refinement penalty. The 54mpg overall would have been considered only question is ‘will our customers buy one?’, implausible to the point of being fanciful. and that, I guess, is something you’d only find out for sure by trying to sell them one. As for hybrid power, I suspect that were it not for the American and Japanese market’s historical and now nonsensical aversion to diesel, it would not even exist. A few weeks ago, two colleagues of mine at The Sunday Times drove from London to Geneva, one in a noisy, cramped and slow Toyota Prius (77bhp, 0-60mph in 10.7sec, top speed 106mph), the other in a quiet, spacious and swift BMW 520d (177bhp, 0-60mph in 8.1sec, top speed 144mph). Despite deliberately taking a route that included a fair mix of urban, country and motorway roads, astonishingly it was the big executive saloon and not the little eco-box that used the least fuel. Sooner or Honda’s home filling later the world will choose between diesel station – hydrogen is and hybrid, much like it chose between VHS extracted from your and Betamax. I know what my money is on, gas supply and it doesn’t have batteries.


Andrew Frankel


erhaps the most impressive thing I have seen from a car manufacturer of late is Honda’s decision to put its FCX fuel cell car into production. It means Honda is the first car company actually to do what so many others have threatened and, while the finished product is only available to lease in the US, it is a huge step in what the whole car industry and most of us who rely upon it for personal and public transport must fervently hope is the right direction. Fuel cells are fiendishly complex in operation but, mercifully, so simple in concept that anyone familiar with the world’s best-known chemical formula will understand its principle at once. They function by reacting hydrogen with oxygen, producing electricity that can power a car (or, for that matter, a house or pretty much anything else you choose). And the reason most of the world’s major car manufacturers are so excited by them? As we all learned at school, when you chemically combine hydrogen and oxygen, what you get is H²0 – pure water and nothing else. A bit better for the planet, you will agree, than the oxides of carbon and nitrogen and all the other nasties that currently cascade out of even the cleanest conventional exhaust pipes. In theory you can drink the liquid that drips from an FCX tail pipe and, having done as much and lived to tell the tale, I can vouch for the fact that it works in practice, too. So if Honda and many other manufacturers have been working on fuel cells since the 1980s, why have they only now started to become available? Firstly, this technology has taken a long time to develop into a form that


FUELLING, THE DEBATE might be regarded as a viable alternative to conventional fuels. Until recently, they were too bulky, too heavy and lacking in both power and range. But the FCX, with 136bhp, a top speed of 100mph and a range of 270 miles is at least respectable in these regards. The second problem is one of infrastructure: the energy companies won’t provide the hydrogen refuelling stations necessary to support a fuel cell future without the cars to use them; meanwhile the car manufacturers won’t make and sell fuel cell cars if there’s nowhere for their customers to fill them up. It may sound simplistic and even stupid, but that, if Fuel cells power the new FCX (above), which will be leased to customers in the US


press] will think it’s the car’s design, but for me £6905, the projected price of the T25 it’s the way it will be manufactured.” is £5500 which, if realised, would He elaborates further: “The car will not be make it one of the very cheapest cars a monocoque, but a body on frame design on sale. A Smart’s combined fuel allowing cheap panel replacement and six consumption is a little over 60mpg different body styles on one platform. Instead while the T25’s is a little over 80mpg. of having stressed panels, all ours do is keep the But while the Smart has a power-torain out. The whole car takes three hours to weight ratio of 81bhp per tonne, the build (a standard hatch takes around 10) and T25’s is said to be 92.7bhp. A Smart while the average car has 450 pressings this one emits 112 grammes of CO2 every has, er, none.” He won’t say what it’s built from kilometre, the T25 just 78. A Toyota but does say the bodywork material has never Prius, by the way, puts out 104g/km. been used in the car industry despite the fact And now a word of caution: all that, “it’s been staring us in the face for years. these figures quoted for the T25 are Think water bottles”. not real but computations, as the And what about if you crash it? “The car has first car will not run under its own already been through over 80 simulated crash power until next March at the tests at MIRA and has performed just fine.” He earliest. But Gordon Murray is the predicts at least a four-star Euro NCAP rating. man who originally promised the McLaren F1 The way it will be built is more astonishing would have at least 500bhp and when the car still. It needs a factory one fifth the size of that came out, it had 627bhp. required to put out an equivalent number of Sadly, although all the major design work of conventional cars, and the car can be shipped in the T25 is complete and a finished styling buck flat-pack form, which means 12 times as many exists and was at the launch, wrapped up in T25s can get on one boat. As Murray says the what looked like hi-tech tin foil, Murray economic advantages are considerable, but the declined to show it to us. The excuse, however, real appeal is likely to be in the environmental was good. Although Murray and his team are savings. “Look at current hybrids: they’re and will remain exclusively responsible for the environmentally great – as a marketing exercise design and engineering of the car, the rights to – but viewed over their entire life cycle from manufacture and sell it will be licenced to a manufacture to disposal they’re terrible. What major car company and until that is done, under is needed is a completely fresh approach in wraps it remains. Which company might it be? all areas from design and engineering, to Gordon’s not saying, though there was much manufacture and distribution.” mutter in the room about Honda and as he is a And if you’re thinking the result is going to long-time fan of the marque (owning an NSX be some shrink-wrapped Noddy car with all the for years and using its lightweight yet practical visual and dynamic appeal of something a dog design as inspiration in part for the McLaren might leave on a pavement, you reckon without F1), it seems an entirely credible option. Gordon Murray who couldn’t design a boring The T25’s appeal to an ever car if he tried. “Look at the original Mini – it more congested world is was a completely classless car and sold to clear. You can fit three in a everyone from rock ’n’ roll to royalty. Moreover, standard parking bay and, if the T25 weighs just 500kg – believe me, it will legislation can be drafted to be fun to drive.” allow it, two side by side in Murray first had the idea for the T25 in 1993 any given motorway lane, but relentless calls on his time have kept it on transforming the motorway the back-burner until now. Perhaps that will network’s potential capacity. come to be seen as serendipitous because there But perhaps the most is no question that the reception such a car remarkable aspect of this would it is When did younew last car see isa not car what receive a sois down a little, from 525 to 518bhp, buthave received even 10 years ago is very facelift that much really as worked? the totorque has fallen off a cliff – it nowdifferent musters to that it is likely to garner today. how it Either will come manufacturer does so little to the 464lb ft at 5200rpm, compared toEven 531lb so, ft he reckons it will be 2012 at the be. When I distinguish asked Murray new generation from the old you wonder revs. It before any one of us can go out and earliest what was more impressive,from the old engine at half those why they bothered, or they try to ‘improve’ sounds disastrous but, in reality, thisbuy new SL a isT25 – which, if the price of personal the car or the revolutionary the styling of the original and end up a sight more accomplished. Not only does continues on its current path, looks wayitin which willcamp be built,it do the boring stuff better – it usesmobility wrecking it. Sadly, is into theitlatter less fuel, likely to be not one moment too soon. he said, “You guys [the


that the Mercedes-Benz SL falls. Slapping a pugnacious nose onto the once svelte face has had a calamitous effect and suggests Mercedes still has an insufficiently firm grip on its new design language. The big change under the bonnet is the replacement of the 5.5-litre supercharged V8 that hitherto has powered the SL55 AMG with a 6.2-litre normally aspirated V8. Power

Rolls-Royce. But the news is not all good: they’ve stiffened the chassis, not by enough to make it handle but sufficient to remove the smooth edge from its ride quality. Also I can confirm that its much criticised ‘Sport’ button is not only inappropriate for such a car, it is also completely pointless. Nevertheless, it brought most of Geneva to a standstill so, from Rolls’ point of view, I suspect that qualifies as ‘job done’.

Ford Focus rs What’s the most impressive feature of this new Focus RS? Its 300bhp motor, sub6sec 0-60mph time or limited 155mph top speed? Not even close. It’s the fact that it achieves all of the above while directing its power through the front wheels alone. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, or at least torque-steering off the road. But Ford is adamant that four-wheel drive was ruled

out on the sole grounds that, with trick front suspension geometry and a Quaife limited slip differential, the car does not need it. Unfortunately it will take some time to discover the truth of it: while the RS will have been revealed to the world at the London Motor Show by the time you read this, it doesn’t seem likely that anyone will get to drive a production version this year.


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11/7/08 13:13:20

ARIEL, CATERHAM AND CAPARO T1 I bumped into ex-BTCC racer Phil Bennett recently at a fuel station near Silverstone. He is honing the Caparo T1, a car which has had more than its fair share of teething troubles. Bennett is evangelical on the subject of the car and if you think that’s because Caparo is paying him, you don’t know Phil. Not only are the numbers mindboggling – he reckons it would lap the old Nürburgring at Group C pace (and as a former lap record holder for a road car there, he’d know) – just as importantly the reliability, so conspicuous by its absence early on, appears to have been found. A few days later I got a call from Simon

Saunders, the founder of Ariel, to tell me about the 500bhp engine he’s slotting into the back of the gorgeous Atom, and then another from Caterham announcing that the same supercharged 2.4-litre V8 motor had been earmarked for one of its cars. That’s three British sports cars due on the market this year all boasting about 1000bhp per tonne. I’ve driven a few race cars with similar power to weight ratios and nothing short of a ride in a military jet will prepare you for the assault on your senses. Whether your idea of fast is defined by Golf GTi, Porsche 911 or Bugatti Veyron, these cars will take it and burn it before your eyes.

INNOVATIONS Alternative fuels continue to be a major talking point for the automotive industry. Andrew Frankel never skirts the subject in his column for Motor Sport

35 15/4/08 16:32:54

I reported on this coupé, the third car to be based on the Phantom platform, back in the April edition but, at the time, was allowed only to look around it. Now, after a day driving it in France and Switzerland, I can confirm it is very much as it appears: a svelte and sophisticated carriage which for its gorgeous looks and dashing character is the most appealing product yet launched by the renewed

emits less CO2 – it feels better balanced and sharper. You have to work the motor to get it to deliver, but with a new semi-automatic transmission that changes gear as fast as a Ferrari 599GTB, that’s rarely a chore. The SL is one of those cars you resent at first, but once you’ve dug beneath the surface, it turns out to be better, if less charming, than ever.

11/7/08 13:12:58

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rolls-royce Phantom couPé

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15/4/08 16:33:28

f1 in the Middle east


Formula 1’s shifting sands

Formula 1 never stands still, and we reflect that with features such as this one: how the Middle East’s influence on racing is growing ever more important, and how it will continue to do so in the coming years

Forget Monaco – the setting for this year’s F1 business forum was the desert kingdom of Bahrain, a sure sign of motor sport’s growing love affair with the Middle East By RoB WiddoWs


n the sweltering heat, on an island that floats in the Gulf of Arabia, they are building a Financial Harbour. There are plans for an Investment Wharf. They are constructing a new Bay of Bahrain, designed to be a mini-Caribbean for tourists seeking sand, sea, sunshine and gated security. There are cranes as far as the eye can see, bulldozers reclaiming huge chunks of land from the sea. The island is getting bigger by the hour. Until the advent of air-conditioning, the most valuable real estate was surely a pool of shade beneath the palms. Not now. This desert kingdom is booming, hot in every sense of the word. Bahrain means business. Bahrain is business-friendly, a message that hangs, in large letters, from hoardings on every horizon. These are the catchphrases, created by M&C Saatchi, of a campaign to sustain the country’s reputation as the financial hub of the Middle East. And never has the message been so important as it is in Grand Prix week. No wonder the Formula 1 community has taken to this sultry land where visitors, especially the wealthy, are received with open

arms, big smiles, delicious coffee and large helpings of traditional Arabic hospitality. The Saudis built and paid for a causeway across the sea from Saudi Arabia, so they too can join the party. Another causeway, this time to Qatar, is planned. Bahrain is making connections. And no wonder the Motor Sport Business Forum has, for the first time, ventured out of

companies, luxurious hotels and of course a Grand Prix circuit. The Bahrain International Circuit, celebrating its fifth year as part of the World Championship calendar, is host to the aforementioned forum. Before the racing cars take to the track, there are financial connections to be fostered. The Kingdom of Bahrain, in the shape of the Mumtalakat Holding Company, owns 30 per cent of the McLaren Group; its neighbours the Kuwaitis have the lion’s share of Aston Martin. Both Ron Dennis and David Richards, chairmen of McLaren and Aston Martin respectively, are here to speak at the forum. Just along the coast, Dubai is building the world’s first Formula 1 theme park in its newly created Motor City. Next year will see the first Grand Prix in neighbouring Abu Dhabi. Across the water in Qatar they’ve already held a Grand Prix at night, for the MotoGP series, and they are making noises about joining the F1 calendar. This month the World Rally Championship goes to Jordan. In October the Kingdom will host a round of the P1 Powerboat world series at a brand new marina in the south of the island. It’s estimated that in the past five years as much as 12 billion dollars has been 555

Monaco and put its toe in the warm waters of the Gulf. Motor racing is big business in the Middle East and, under the banner of Connecting Financial Markets, Bahrain is a big player on this world stage. The Kingdom, for example, has no corporate or personal taxes, and foreign ownership of companies is encouraged. Where once the Bedouins wandered with their camel trains and tents, out of this arid land have grown banks, insurance

Illustration: Danny Allison

“Before the racing cars take to the track, there are financial connections to be fostered”

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16/4/08 18:00:05

Kers in Formula 1

Spin doctors

Thinking inside the box

High-speed flywheels are one promising system designers are pursuing to meet forthcoming Formula 1 energy recovery rules. Motor Sport looks at the options BY GORDON CRUICKSHANK

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Massive computing power allows a British Top right: Inside CVT, company to streamline and test cars before rollers (in blue) smoothly they’re built, and even drive vary them virtually angle and therefore


B Y G O r d O N C r u i C k s ratio H abetween N k outer and

uccess has been heading Acura’s way in the ALMS sports car series. Good news for Honda, parent of the Acura badge. But racing is always about teamwork, and Acura has a significant but unsung team-mate here in Britain. You don’t see the Wirth Research name on the Acura’s flanks, but this young Bicester company has been crucial to Acura’s success, not only in the ALMS but also in the past few years of the IRL. Driving force behind the firm is Nick Wirth, who started out as an aerodynamicist with March and Leyton House and became chief designer at Benetton. In between, he founded and owned the Simtek F1 team. The

inner discs according to torque demands. Below

Light, compact F1 stood for Wirth’s connectionright: is relevant; Simtek version ofTechnologies, Torotrak CVT hasand simulation is firm Simulation been engineered by Xtrac the core of Wirth Research’s activities. Tall and tanned, looking younger than his 42 years, Wirth (left) talks with passion about how Britain is losing its technological leadership and how he wants his company to help regain it. This is not 16:23:24 traditional 16/7/08 patriotism: the Wirth office walls are lined with huge photos of British rock heroes. Wirth himself is plainly excited by recent proof he’s going the right way – the company has just received the Queen’s Award for Industry. Until this meeting Wirth has been in a cleft stick. Brought in by Honda Performance Developments, which builds the 3.4-litre V8 engines in the US, to maximise IRL results, the

Xtrac and Flybrid Systems. Xtrac, which builds F1 and Le Mans transmission systems, looks after the mechanical engineering, based on Torotrak’s compact CVT design, while new company Flybrid Systems, formed by two exRenault F1 engineers, has developed the flywheel end and is integrating the complete system. This meant solving a core difficulty of flywheels. For the same energy you can make it large or you can make it spin fast. High speed has major advantages: it keeps the unit compact and sidesteps precession

Would the flywheel fire out shrapnel at Mach 3? Not according to Hilton, who has conducted a 20g impact trial. The unit contains energy dissipation rings which slow any disintegration and keep the shards inside the housing. With these hurdles overcome, we have to connect the flywheel to the car wheels. Enter Torotrak’s CVT. This remarkable device offers continuously variable gear ratios via rollers running within a doughnut-shaped space formed between two discs, one driven by the engine, the other forming the output. If you swivel the rollers one way you connect the maximum radius on the driving disc to the minimum on the driven disc – gearing up. Swivel the other – minimum to maximum – and you gear down. The Torotrak design uses triple rollers and two disc sets to handle the torque, but as they are a licensing company it was Xtrac’s task to engineer and manufacture a version small enough for F1. The principle, says Torotrak’s Chris Brockbank, is not new but the difference is in modern materials and control. The steel rollers do not quite touch the disc face; they ride on a microscopic film of synthetic fluid which ‘shears’ to provide very high grip with effectively no wear. The ratio spread of 1:6 matches a normal gearbox, but with a lighting-fast change which can go from high to low in one revolution. Flybrid’s package integrates the flywheel, the CVT, a clutch to disconnect the flywheel at low car speed, an epicyclic gearbox which steps up the CVT revs five times to match the flywheel’s speed regime, and the electronic control system. This could offer many different modes, from overtaking power burst to a fuel-saving mode for in-laps or safety car periods. Flybrid is working with one F1 team so far, but until the system appears in a car we won’t know whether it might be used on a light C h r i s B r o C K B a n K throttle or with foot flat, but it must be driver-controlled. However, it is unlikely to be used to boost top speeds: forces – the twist reaction all flywheels exhibit as engine revs are limited to 19,000 you would when turned – which rise with diameter. Flybrid’s need to raise the gearing to compensate, which unit spins at up to 60,000rpm, but this equates would compromise the car at other times. to a rim speed of Mach 3.3. “If we left air in Only the KERS charge/release rate is limited, there,” says Flybrid’s Jon Hilton, “it would run not the total storage, and the specified 60kw rate at 400 deg C. We avoid that by running the equates to an 80bhp surge for a maximum of 6.7 flywheel in a very high vacuum.” Despite having seconds per lap. When not ‘charging up’ the a rotating shaft entering the chamber, Hilton CVT adjusts ratios so the car does not ‘feel’ the says that their bearing seal will retain the vacuum flywheel. But, says Hilton, for a small increase in Davidrace Brabham is Wirth’s driver, There this: CFD for an entire weekend, withoutdevelopment pumps. flywheel mass youare canthree haveprongs a largetoincrease in (a wind as much Bicester as Connecticut. a over computer), visualisation or 555 Whatspending about the effectstime of ain150mph crash? storage, tunnel another in edge batteries3D when When we meet at Wirth’s modest base he is fresh virtual reality, and an innovative movingfrom a class victory at Long Beach. platform racing simulator. We’ll start there. Several iterations have resulted in effectively Simulators are increasingly common, and an all-new car, the current ARX-01b – front row those used by Formula 1 teams are extremely on its first outing, class win and podium places sophisticated. Those, however, are fixed to the 16/7/08 16:42:55 under its carbon-fibre belt, potential winner floor, which means there’s no sense of motion overall. So where’s the story? Team builds fast (though Red Bull is rumoured to have a motion car – it happens all the time, no? Not quite; the sim). Wirth has adapted airliner flight simulator entire aerodynamics were designed and tested technology to offer the first racing sim with virtually. There were no wind tunnel models, no three-dimensional movement. Getting to it mock-ups before this car ran: the design was involves a startling scale shift: open a door from signed off digitally before any carbon fibre mat an ordinary corridor and the roof suddenly was cut. For Wirth’s business is virtuality. soars, pulling you into a room dominated by a That it fulfilled its designers’ expectations so towering 20ft high mechanical presence, a pod closely confirms that virtual development can perched on three sets of gleaming metal legs. It’s accurately mimic the real world. This is the core like discovering one of Wells’ Martians hiding in of Nick Wirth’s message: digital development a garage. With a loud hiss the legs extend and the can help you win, and save the planet too. pod begins to rock, nodding and tipping in a

“You have to credit Mosley for arousing interest in KERS. I’m talking to car and bus people”

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Wir th Research



s a PR challenge, making Formula 1 look green ranks with making John McCririck look stylish. But from 2009 (unless the teams’ request for a delay is granted) F1 introduces novel technology designed to boost efficiency which should have road car applications too, thus saving fuel, F1’s image, and the planet. It centres on recovering kinetic energy thrown away in braking. Slowing any car uses friction to turn that energy into heat – and currently we chuck the heat away into the atmosphere. A Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) aims to capture redundant energy, store it, then feed it back into accelerating the car out of a corner. There are several ways to do this: in braking, a hydraulic pump can compress gas in a tank, later released to expand and drive back through the pump. Or electrical: putting a resistance across an integral generator/motor will slow the car (electric brakes are common on coaches), and this energy can be creamed off, stored in a battery, and then used to spin up the motor again. But the F1 application requires grabbing power during braking, which may be intense but only lasts one or two seconds a time – not much time to compress air or boost a battery, even using advanced cells. Batteries and compression tanks are heavy and affected by temperature, and the output drops off as the energy is used. In addition, batteries have limited charge/ discharge rates, lose efficiency over repeated cycles, and include costly rare minerals hard to recycle cleanly. There is a mechanical alternative – connect a flywheel to the transmission and spin it up during braking. After the corner you reconnect it to the wheels, and as it slows it releases energy for acceleration. This way there’s no change of energy state from rotational to electrical to Sim pod outside (left) chemical and back, and every change means an and inside: can replicate efficiency loss. But to have a braking effect you anything from saloon to need to gear up, so the flywheel revs rise rapidly, F1. Only thing missing and for acceleration similarly gear down, and the is smell of brake dust ratio change must be both large and rapid. This is where one KERS project appears to score. Some F1 teams are developing their own KERS, but there are also commercial projects firm extracted from thethe most whichlarge will improvements be for sale. Arguably Dallara chassis, bringing championship forTorotrak, promising is thethe British combine of Andretti-Green Racing in 2004, and both title and Indy 500 victory in 2005. The kudos, though, went to AGR and Honda – a situation Nick Wirth completely accepts. But now, after four years of quiet partnership, the Japanese MS KERS-gb/ds.indd 59 firm is allowing Wirth to wave his own flag. When Honda decided in 2006 to get the Acura name into sports cars, with Andretti-Green, it sent a Courage chassis to Wirth to see what they could do with it. The much-revised result, the ARX-01a, scored a 1-2-4 in the LMP2 class in its debut race at Sebring in 2007; Honda was so pleased it told Wirth to start on an all-new car. Honda prefers to work with several existing teams rather than build its own, so Adrian Fernández and Gil de Ferran now run ARXs too. However, it’s Duncan Dayton’s Highcroft Racing which has the tightest connection, as lead pilot

crazy metallic dance which ties in with the raceengine audio track: on full-throat acceleration the pod leans back; through barking downshifts it pitches forward, before tipping sideways in a controlled lateral plunge. Inside, David Brabham is doing a demonstration lap of Silverstone. Fifteen feet below sit technicians in front of screens which show what Brabham is seeing and doing as he goes for a lap time. One of them is Mark Herd, son of McLaren and March designer Robin, and now Wirth’s head of performance and race engineering. He tells me that simulator times accord closely with a real lap, so a session in the pod does help a driver improve his lap, including all the real-life tweaks – damping, weight distribution, geometry, even weather. The difference here is the sensation of g-force and the shudder of thumping kerbs. The machine can’t exaggerate gravity, of course; its theoretical maximum 555

59 10/6/08 17:09:08 MS Wirth/gc/gb/ds.indd 59

An example of the incredible innovation that is being created at the cutting edge of modern motor racing. We profile a young company developing racing car design and simulation technology that is changing the face of the sport

5/6/08 14:15:38


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What they say about us

readers’ comments “I am always pleased when Motor Sport plops through the letter box, but this month I let out a little yelp of delight. Two of my favourite things on the cover – Sir Stirling and a Jaguar C-type. Great job” Damon Greeney, London

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On the farm with Fâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organic champ


The truth on Nuvolariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest win

WARWICK ON CHEEVER â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were ready to kill each otherâ&#x20AC;?

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Stirling and the C-type

Moss and the Jaguar that left the rest in their brake dust â&#x20AC;&#x201C; back together after 56 years


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