motoring-man: Blog https://www.motoring-man.com/blog en-us (C) motoring-man (motoring-man) Fri, 10 Sep 2021 06:09:00 GMT Fri, 10 Sep 2021 06:09:00 GMT https://www.motoring-man.com/img/s/v-12/u1021005937-o128665415-50.jpg motoring-man: Blog https://www.motoring-man.com/blog 120 28 LE MANS 24 HOURS: SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE! https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2021/4/le-mans-24-hours-some-things-never-change LE MANS SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE

KREMER PORSCHE 917 LE MANS 1981 FLAT OUTKREMER PORSCHE 917 LE MANS 1981 FLAT OUTTHE KREMER 917 K
1981 LE MANS 24 HOURS
With their 935 models selling by the dozens Kremer looked to spend their funds on a new project. The company discovered a loophole in the regulations that would allow a machine such as the old 917 to run once again. Enthused by the idea they set out to buy and modify a chassis to compete in the 1981 Le Mans 24 Hours.
The car’s tube frame chassis was re-engineered and strengthened and a brand new body was fitted. Other than the structural and aerodynamic changes, the car was basically the same as it had been in the early 1970’s. It still carried the 5L 912 air-cooled flat-12 engine, now producing around 570 horsepower.
ABOVE INFORMATION WAS SENT TO ME AND WRITTEN BY DYLAN SMITH
RECOMMENDED SIZE 12 X8 INCH
30 X 20 CM

They cut through the beating heart of the circuit and chopped the Mulsanne

Straight into three.

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So they demolished the beautiful old pits and built modern new stands.

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The Dunlop curve was made into a chicane.

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Carnage was reaped as the delightful atmospheric woods at the Esses sawn down!

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At the Fair Ground the Freaks were forcibly evicted along with the Snake Lady and the Strippers.

13988185_1044155999024765_4410517377268101826_o13988185_1044155999024765_4410517377268101826_o On the camping grounds marked pitches were measured up and sold like plots of land!

Le Mans 1963 081Le Mans 1963 081

But somethings never change! This is 1963 behind the main ACO Grandstand and it is still there and the same today. Oh how I love Le Mans!

 


 

 

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(motoring-man) https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2021/4/le-mans-24-hours-some-things-never-change Thu, 01 Apr 2021 09:12:20 GMT
Jaguar At Le Mans Conundrum https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/4/jaguar-at-le-mans-conundrum  

Jaguar #1Jaguar #1

JAGUAR SHOULD BE AT LE MANS

Talking to the once head of the London Jaguar showroom, I asked did it make a difference the Le Mans wins "Oh yes for sure! On the Monday after the race we had customers straight in the door." He also went on to say that the sports car racers were so much more accessible "It was not uncommon for Johnny Dumfries or Martin Brundle to pop into the showroom and be accessible to the potential clients."
It kind of makes you feel they are yet again missing out on the real market place Le Mans. Have the new owners bought a company and not even looked at the massive crowds supporting those cars in the 1980s and wondered "What the hell was going on there, lets have some more of that!"

Does Le Mans owe a debt of gratitude to Jaguar?
Obviously after years of going to Le Mans I have many special memories but nothing compares to the Jaguar wins in 88 and in 1990. It would be fantastic if they returned but I wonder what would have happened to Le Mans if they had not raced?
In the 1950s a remarkable large contingent followed the race from the UK through radio and papers and some adventurers attended. In the 60S the figures were not amazing with only a small increase in the 1970s. I believe in the early 1980s about 20,000 Brits attended the race as travel became easier. But as soon as Group 44 Jaguar entered the numbers spiralled until the amazing heights of between 50,000 and 70,000+ in the works Jaguar years 1987 to 1991. The scenes and atmosphere were incredible and even spread the patriotic news back home to the UK with TV and newspapers carrying a least one report on the race.
When group C ended it was almost like the fans were in limbo with no great reason to attend the race apart from the fact that it was a great weekend away. Gradually this has become more the norm. Its a fantastic week that is a cross between a car festival and a stag do. I am not in anyway condemning this as I am the first to act like a child and drink to much. In the 1990s and 2000s attendance at the race fell dramatically but Le mans could all ways rely on an influx of at least 30,000 to 40,000 Brits.
If Jaguar had not entered in the 80s and shown the way would we have pretty empty camp-sites dotted around the circuit and there would have been minuscule crowds in the late 90s making the ACO finances rocky? In the new millennium Le Mans rules changed and they obstinately went their own way and did not attract new manufactures.
So what was it about Jaguar? Bentley, McLaren and Aston Martin all raced but have never been the same kind of draw! I wonder if Jaguar returned as a works team there would be the same kind of support. Lets face it the scenes were unbelievable the first time around. I just wonder whether the ACO should be chasing them to return and not us! We can only hope. The way I see it Jaguar created the British race in France, because with out them it would still be a few coach tours like in the 1970s and a much smaller party.


Jaguar #4Jaguar #4

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(motoring-man) https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/4/jaguar-at-le-mans-conundrum Wed, 08 Apr 2020 17:15:00 GMT
Part 5 The New David Cundy Collection & My Group C Racing The Golden Years https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/3/part-5-the-new-david-cundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years Toyota #37Toyota #37

Toyota David Cundy Collection 1989

Link To Part 1 If You Missed it

Part 5

Silverstone Super Cup & Le Mans 1989

 

Silverstone 1989 is a forever memory and little did I know that it was the forerunner of many great memories! I took my long term girlfriend and what a time we had!

Being a real gentleman I decided that camping in May was a great idea but after leaving the Green Man pub very late on Saturday night it was not too clever to have forgotten the sleeping bags! Boy it was cold with just a small blanket. And bear in mind I only brought the blanket to flop over the barbed wire fence as I could not afford an entry ticket! Fortunately to my surprise she was still there in the morning! To be fair she was probably frozen to me!

  After telling her going over an 8 foot fence with barbed wire was a good idea, I was thrilled to witness her natural climbing prowess. I always knew I was onto a good thing after this!

  The Super Cup was a replacement for the 6 Hours because the main event for group C cars had moved to Donington that year. But it had a few C1 cars and was an opportunity to see if Wendy liked the look of them before I asked her to go to Le Mans. Well it went very well! I was frozen stiff thinking this is pretty rubbish without the Mercs, Mazdas and Jags, but she was loving it. What a result and yes she was definitely on her way to La Sarthe!

 

Le Mans 1989

 

So much was good about this years race! I was going with the most special person in the world, I was driving my newly acquired Classic Datsun 240Z (Admittedly in a range of colours and by no means really road legal) and Group C racing was at it zenith!

   At the time I owned a garage called Z Speed in Bournemouth, in which we specialised in Datsun 240Z and 260Z cars. I was only a very young man and in May Instead of concentrating on the business I was working flat out with my mechanic Ron Webb trying to get an MOT on my very own original 240Z. Well it was a close call but I did make the deadline even if the car was about four different colours! The car was an ongoing project to be a very fast road & race car and an advert for the garage. With a full race exhaust, a tiny fuel tank behind the seats and very thirsty triple webber carbs it was the last place you would want to put a pretty girl!

Well the day to leave for Le Mans arrived so I drove from home picked up my girlfriend! She didn't look too fazed at the technicolor monstrosity so I bundled her in before she could make a run for it, and we headed off to Portsmouth for the Monday night ferry crossing. Once again I kind of got the feeling that this was the girl for me when at just the twenty miles from home she offered to keep me company on the long walk with a Gerry can to the nearest petrol station! Boy the tank was smaller than I thought!

But we eventually made it to the port and I looked forward to a night on the boat before thrashing the car down to Le Mans on the brilliant straight roads.

Just like everyday of the 1989 Le Mans trip it started off bright and sunny, so as we rolled out of Cherbourg we just knew it was going to be a great day. Just like they all are when you are so young! Soon we started to open up “Desmond Datsun” (Remember I was young at the time and we all named our cars then! Didn't we?) And boy did it shift, and as for the sound, it really was bloody loud. A fantastic straight six has a wonderful sound. So with a beaming smile and my hands gripped onto the rim of the large wooden steering wheel we went through the 100mph mark. Then quickly we were onto 120mph. I glanced across to see the epitome of calmness from my beautiful passenger. She glanced across and smiled so my foot remained nailed to the floor and my eyes pinned to the horizon of the long straight French road. At about 140mph I eased off and we laughed at the thrill of it. A few minutes later I just new she was still the girl  for me. She was sat cleaning a fouled set of spark plugs with her nail file! 13988185_1044155999024765_4410517377268101826_o13988185_1044155999024765_4410517377268101826_o Arriving at the campsite we parked under the tall pine trees in the middle of Bleu South. In those days there were plenty of trees for shade and you took as much room as you liked. Being early we had most of the small site to ourselves. Space being a premium in the small sports car I was pleased to have still managed to bring two little frame tents. One for sleeping, one for supplies and of course one each if we fell out! Tents up and no hanging around it was straight down the supermarket for food and booze.
My god for 1989 we spent so much money in the super market! And France at the time was so cheap! The back of the car was resembling a food convoy and a mobile off licence. Seeing that we were in the city it seemed a good idea to go for a drink in the old town. The beautiful cobbled back streets of the old quarter are a beautiful place to go for a few drinks, and we did just that! First the tourist places were graced with our presence before we found the aptly named "Le Pub". A late afternoon early evening session in Le Pub will stay with me for ever! There was only me and Wendy in the little medieval bar but the owner and his wife were very welcoming, and we kind of got the impression they did not see many patrons! Soon we were trying all the local brews and playing darts with our new chums. I will never forget the Wife of the owner as she was wearing a dark green velvet dress and had her long hair braided, I swear she looked like Maid Marion! Halfway through darts match the classic Belle Vue beer was discovered and although not yet messy we were in a bit of a pickle.
Belle Vue beer is wonderful stuff but is not much help when remembering where you parked the car. Eventually we must have found it because I remember doing all that deep breathing shit to try and sober up, before driving back. I can still remember how confusing all those red, green and blue camping signs were on the outskirts of the city, but I made it back to near the circuit. At the Porte Du Pilotes bar I pulled over to ask a Gendarme for directions! A few points of his hands and the message was very clear “straight up there and make sure you don't drive any more”. It is hard to believe today the difference there was in attitude to drink driving in France, but that is the way it was back then.

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   My most endearing memory of Wednesday was one of the most fabulous parts of the Le Mans 24 Hours that is sadly no longer there, the “Pit Balcony”. The old concrete pits had hospitality rooms with windows and above was a spectator area. Outside the windows was a concrete balcony, and with no health and safety rules we climbed over the small railing and we sat on the concrete ledge. We were just feet above the pits and watched preparations for qualifying. I remember being above the Jaguar pit as well as the Sauber Mercedes apron. It was great time to fill Wendy in on the cars and drivers, and soon she had a favourite, a certain Pink Porsche.

Porsche #9aPorsche #9a

Pink Porsche David Cundy Collection 1989

Obviously we desperately wanted the Silk Cut Jaguars to win but with such amazing array of cars and manufacturers it was great to have other cars to follow. I had a soft spot for the Datsuns sorry Nissans! Another wonderful feature of the Group C racers was the distinct sound of each car. You could quite easily close your eyes and recognise the cars from each other by their sound. And we did just that. One car that was unmistakable because it made your ears bleed was the rotary engined Mazda. What a sound that car made.

Mazda #202Mazda #202
  Mazda David Cundy Collection 1989

As we were youngsters the draw of the fair in 1989 soon had us spending huge amounts of money! With copious amounts of testosterone, beating a punch bag trying to win teddies was par for the course.But the piste de resistance was that i managed to emulate Popeye! By ringing the bell with the great big hammer not only did I win a straw hat, I had won another for my “Olive Oil”. This in Wendy's eyes was close to having a hero!
The fair really was a massive affair and unrecognisable compared with today's offering. As you walked down from the Dunlop bridge you had to the right a freak show with dwarfs, snake lady, tallest man, hairy lady and more politicly incorrect attractions inside. You had then the 3 D Cinema, strip shows, the mouse chase roller coaster, the bob sleigh ride and House of fun. My favourite was next, the Bumper Cars then we had the crazy “ready stop go” go karts. There was a wrestling come boxing ring in the trees near the Esses. The general idea was that a member of the public would challenge the resident boxer to a three round fight. The public could then purchase tickets to watch how the hapless fool would fair. Often the challenger was some poor sod, who was a little worse for wear and convinced by his pissed friends that he was superman. Sometimes it got really quite messy for the hapless fools! But the next day the bruises were treasured souvenirs of another great Le Mans. Next door to that was another great feature of the Fair the big ferris wheel which was reputably the largest in Europe. Towering above the trees and circling above the track it was a brilliant place to take in the atmosphere and a favourite for photographers. Certain memories never fade and one was the sound of Elton Johns latest hit Sacrifice. Wether blaring out from the fair or on the radio, time and time again we heard it. As you can imagine it lives with both of us now as ”Our special song".

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Back at the race track we had the obligatory Chips and mayo or as they say in French "Frites" . We sat in the trees beside the Esses. The lights through the trees were the draw but the cooking smells, dust clouds and the noise of the fair in the background are what made it special. All this and with racing cars whizzing by are something that lives with you for ever. It was really special because the cars lights suddenly turned direction as the steered into the left right curves. The sky would light up and then darkness returned in an instance.Today the trees are mostly felled and a very special part of Le Mans is sadly no longer there. A drink at one of the numerous trackside bars and realisation that it was late had us returning home by midnight.

Thursday and we have neighbours as the campsite starts to fill. "Hello Darling need a hair dryer later?" Was the first words from the door of a Winnebago parked beside our tents. We did not know then that this group of lads would become firm friends for many years! But that is Le Mans for you. Breakfast was cooked by myself on the little blue camping gas burners that we all used to have. We then retired to the bank beside the road to watch the road cars go by. In the Silk Cut Jag years in a large percentage of the fans arrived in classic cars and literally hundreds of Jaguars. The age group was a little higher than today and was much more reserved around the roads. There was a real appreciation of the beautiful machinery and crowds gathered to socialise around the old cars.
Later in the day Desmond stretched his legs on the Mulsanne straight the four mile blast from one end of the circuit to the next. At the far end barriers were being repaired after a dramatic crash the night before, so we pulled over to check out the damage and saw the evidence of scrapping metal on tarmac as the main straight was scarred for literally hundreds of meters. This led us to plan our evening adventure, and once again something new for me! A trip through the woods to see the race cars flat out at the Mulsanne Kink! A slight curve in the straight taken flat out day or night with definitely no public access.
Later that night we drove out and hid the car in a country lane. We then set of on foot through the trees. We could see the gendarmes and although worried about dogs we made our way past the lawmen without being detected. Just a few hundred meters in front was the edge of race track with the lights of the cars piercing the tree lined horizon. The noise was shocking and to be very honest frightening. As we covered the last twenty meters or so there seemed a lull in the cars and the tremendous noise was dulled. We did not hang around and quickly made our way to the barriers, then the sound of cars in the distance built as they came closer. With no chicanes the scream of the engines at maximum revs was brutal and as they closed in there was no awareness of their proximity because an alarming noise and ground shaking explosion hit us like a bomb. I dived for cover to avoid tragedy as clearly something had gone wrong! But as soon as the cars were on us they were gone through the kink and up the small incline toward Mulsanne corner. I looked up to see Wendy laughing and peering right over the barrier as another set of cars came through. I will be honest I thought the noise and shaking could only be an accident, but it was just the amazing Group C cars at 230mph plus thundering by! To me it was rather like standing next to an airport runway and I can reveal I was never really comfortable with it. It was so frightening for me but a certain girl was loving it! After a short time I made my excuses saying it was probably time to leave in case we were caught by the police. I then prized her away. A fifteen minutes experience beside the barriers in the dark is still as vivid today as it was all those years ago but my god I was scared! I am glad I witnessed it because again it is something that no longer exists. In 1990 chicanes were added to slow the cars. Still amazingly fast but the talk at the time was of prototypes at well over 240mph!

The Friday was really special as the majority of the massive British entourage would be arriving on mass. But first tune into the fairly new radio Le Mans to hear how qualifying had panned out. I can still hear the sponsored jingle now and I have sung it many times to Wendy to bring back memories!
"Baby you make me go brum brum
Your just my kind of girl.
You make me feel like a motor car,
Filled up with Casrtol Oil."
Now remember this was 1989 and I didn't just have a radio but a Ghetto Blaster and boy did they eat a lot of those massive ever ready batteries! No problem I thought as I opened the back ripped out the spent fuel cells and fixed up some speaker wire to the plus and minus terminals. This is no word of a lie but just before I attached the wires to my cars massive battery one of the lads from next doors Winnebago popped out to see what I was up to.
"What are you up to mate"
"Bloody batteries have run out just going to attach it to " but before I finished the Ghetto Blaster speaker had exploded with an almighty bang and I had accidentally lobbed the offending item six feet across the grass. I stood quite shocked with my blackened hands in front of me. The Winnebago was now empty as the group of lads were out front staring at the terrorist in their wake.
"Wow nutter" and "You OK mate?" Before I heard a calm "Would you like to borrow a little radio we have a spare one here"
As if this was just an everyday explosion I calmly replied "Oh yes please, I don't think mine will work now"
Now we had broken the ice with our new friends we became part of their camp, as you do at Le Mans.
In the afternoon we headed off to Beaumont a village just a few mile north of the city. The thinking was of a relaxing afternoon sat outside the hotel bar watching the convoys of cars converging on the route down from all the ferry ports. Every few cars would be a vehicle of interest, the variety was quite incredible. Jaguar D and C Types were the favourites of mine, Gt40s always a great sight. A lot of drivers would stop for a break at Beaumont which gave us the opportunity to view the cars up close and chat to fellow enthusiasts. A pleasant afternoon and a nice opportunity to stretch the legs of the car on the journey back to the circuit.
The evening was spent in the Bar Portes Du Pilotes with our new friends from camp. As far as I remember it was a great evening and definitely remember we were wearing our straw hats with pride.

Jaguar #3Jaguar #3 Jaguar David Cundy Collection 1989

Saturday and I can really remember being excited. I just loved the cars, the racing and was passionate about the Jaguars. I had a huge green Jaguar Flag which Wendy had been wearing with pride all week. Our new best friends suggested we go into the circuit with them quite early to set up deck chairs right at the front opposite the Jaguar pits. The thinking was we could take it in turns looking after our patch. Well it was a brilliant plan and we went along with it. we had a huge supply of food and suncream and now hay fever pills for my streaming nose! They had cut the grass around the campsite and since then my nose and eyes were streaming! Still I vividly remember the feeling of being proud to be part of such an occasion as we spent the whole day waiting for the start. With the thousands of Jaguar fans we had every right to be proud. No trouble, just fun and British passion.
My memories of race day are quite vague for some reason but a trip to the Village behind the paddock are clear. We had a roast chicken from the spit roast, a drink in the German beer Keller and I discovered “Yop” a yogurt drink. I also discovered the fabulous Croquet Monsieurs. Boy I used to eat a lot in them days!

Saturday soon turned into Sunday as the race progressed and by mid day it looked like the Germans would be celebrating a Mercedes win.  As the race ended we climbed over the steep wall of the track and celebrated the occasion on track with the other fans. We took photographs of us in our hats and soon it was over for another year.

It may seem like I have ended my account of 1989 early but it is a recollection of my memories and this has been all of them. Over all I look back on it as a very special time with Wendy and get that kind of warm fuzzy feeling. I certainly bonded with a wonderful girl because of our trip, and we are still together now. I am not sure if she is still up for cleaning the spark plugs but I am sure she would still bump start your car! Thats my girl.

 

The Race 1989

Sauber #62Sauber #62

Mercedes David Cundy Collection 1989

In 1989 there were no less than seven manufacturers Mercedes, Porsche, Jaguar, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota & Aston Martin. Had there ever really been a stronger field. The Jaguars were favourites to win but upgrades to the Gear Boxes and Exhausts back fired and caused problems through out the race. The Nissans were fast and the Porsches were like clockwork. But the two Mercedes C9s ran like clock work too and were that little bit faster than the Porsches.

  I kind of got the feeling the result was not a disaster for the British fans because it was so good for the Group C racing to have different winners. It was a brilliant race full stop! And of course there was always next year!

The archive for 1989 has high quality pictures of every car in the race. Of course more are available by request from the full archive.

Photograph Link

    

  

 

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(motoring-man) 1986 24 956 C cut Golden Group gtp hours IMSA Jaguar le mans Mercedes porsche Racing rouge Sauber silk tetre The twr wec' Years 962" https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/3/part-5-the-new-david-cundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:00:54 GMT
Part 4 The New David Cundy Collection & My Group C Racing The Golden Years https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/3/the-new-david-cundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years-part-4  

Link to part 1 2 & 3 if you missed it.

Le Mans 1988
 

The Winners

Wow what a year I had a new sporty Hot Hatch Nissan Europa (Look it up: A Nissan Cherry with a powerful Alfa engine and clover leaf interior!) I was driving down to the race. I was taking friends to share in the experience!

Right from the start this was definitely like no other previous year. Everything was on a bigger scale. The whole ferry was just full of race fans, the roads were jammed with convoys of British plates and for the first time you had to drive on the left in the campsites! 50,000 Brits was a conservative estimate!

When we set up camp we were immediately greeted by our neighbours and offered a cool beer. It was a nice warm Le Mans week and this was a perfect start. Talk of the race was brilliant with the geeks like me explaining the ins and outs of Group C racing to the keen to learn Newbies.

Another new edition was the constant sound of the new British Radio station Radio Le Mans. After the influx of new British fans a rudimentary service was set up and sponsored by Jaguar in 1986 & 1987 now in 1988 it was a full on essential part of the British experience. And for the very first time it was very easy to follow the race with it’s commentary and witty banter.

I really do remember 88 in a special way: it was polite, friendly and was you might say grown up. It was certainly not wild, it was just really friendly.

              Waiting for the start of the race on the terraces opposite the pit lane was so exciting. The atmosphere was carnival like with all the Jaguar fans with flags on mass in front of the team garages. And of course the anthem, what a noise that was! The French fans even applauded afterwards as a show of respect for our enthusiasm.

When the cars went off on the parade lap for the rolling start I know so many people were saying to their first time friends “You are going to love this”.

And sure enough when the massive 55 car field crossed the start and thundered towards the dunlop curve they did not disappoint. What a noise and spectacle!

                  Although still young I was already a seasoned regular at the race great race but there was a new exciting experience for me in 1988. I finally got down to the famous Cafe Hunaudieres on the four mile Mulsanne straight. I still visit the Cafe today but it seems almost unbelievable that at the time you could sit beside the barrier and eat a meal or have a beer. Maybe even have a glass of wine safe in the knowledge you are protected from the 200MPH cars by a couple of straw bales placed in the gap of the single metal barrier. It was sheer madness but oh so exciting. The noise was insane! Even inside the bar it was deafening and the whole building would be shaking constantly for the whole time of the race. I was lucky enough to be in the cafe at night, I was sat at a table inside where a large group of Aston Martin owners were having a full on waiter service meal. I can remember giggling with my friends as the cars flashed past and their lights made the inside of the room look like a UFO had parked outside. Obviously some of the patrons were regulars and were acting as if it was perfectly normal to stand at the bar, eat a meal or sit and drink beer in a building that could be wiped out may a stray racing car at anytime! God it was brilliant!

Just before we left the Cafe at midnight I can vividly remember sitting in the car listening to Radio Le Mans. The race was so close I believe 6 cars were on the lead lap and the Jaguars were setting the pace! Great news.

                  Early morning the news was still good, Jaguar was leading but it was close very close! The Porsche 962 of Bell and Stuck had had an early problem but were now matching the Jaguar for speed. Worst of all showers were forecast and the car appeared to be faster in the tricky conditions! This made for one of the most tense days I have ever witnessed at Le Mans. We parked our deck chairs opposite the Jaguar pits and spent the whole day cheering the lead car as it passed us lap after lap. As the day wore on the carnival atmosphere of the start returned and the scenes were truly amazing. The Jaguar shop had made a fortune as it seemed nearly everyone had some kind of Silk Cut Jaguar team clothing or green Jaguar flags.

                  With about an hour to go I remember the contrast between the Newbies and the regular fans. Champagne corks were popping off left right and centre and a section of the fans thought the race was already run. The regular Le Mans fans were not so sure, with experience we had learnt that the race is never won until the car crosses the line. The last pit stop was one such tense affair! The lead Jaguar came in for the last time. The engine stopped and the crew refuelled, cleaned the screen and Tom Walkinshaw threw a bucket of water over the photographers who were getting to close. Opposite the crowd was strangely silent tensely waiting for the car to restart. After what seemed and age a mighty roar of 12 Jaguar cylinders broke the silence. Mass delirium for the supporters who cheered the car onward and back into the race. With about ten minutes to go, even I was certain we had the race in our pocket so it was time to drink the already half empty champagne we had brought. Gosh it was beautiful. The memory is a memento of a time when I was so proud, so happy and certainly not alone in France!

Jan Lammers on the Jaguar Le MansJan Lammers on the Jaguar Le Mans
Jan Lammers The Winner

                As the crowd invaded the track to greet not only the valiant winners but also all the finishers of this amazing test of endurance. I watched on as emotional drivers were embraced by the adoring fans. Jan Lammers was on the front of the winning car celebrating like a true English Dane! It was wonderful and I remember reflecting on my emotional journey to this point. I had discovered a marque to support seen it try and fail but now was  it’s time. And boy was the timing right! I really desperately wanted them to win in 88 like in no other year. The new fans were there and it was the start of what would become known as a British race in France which still holds true to this day. We came on mass in 1988 but we never left!

 

 

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(motoring-man) 962" group C Racing IMSA gtp le mans 1986 le mans 24 hours porsche porsche 956 Sauber Mercedes silk cut Jaguar tetre rouge le mans twr wec' https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/3/the-new-david-cundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years-part-4 Sun, 08 Mar 2020 13:05:39 GMT
Part 3 The New David Cundy Collection & My Group C Racing The Golden Years https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/2/the-new-david-cundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years-part-3 Link to part 1 & 2 if you missed it.

1989-02 Regout-Robinson-Yorino, Mazda 767B1989-02 Regout-Robinson-Yorino, Mazda 767B

Mazda

Le Mans 1986
It was the first year I noticed a big build up to the race in the motoring press. Autosport and Motoring News both had articles and news snippets on the new cars every week. Could the Jags challenge the mighty Porsche team was the big question.

When I arrived at Portsmouth docks I saw first hand how times had changed. The British were off on a jolly! So many GB plates but most amazing was the number of classic and sports cars! It was brilliant, like a great big family.

Down at Le Mans the qualifying and practice was exciting and colourful but the new fans had a bit to learn. The fact that Group C racing was a fuel based rules confused many British and German fans. The Germans thought their cars were far ahead of the opposition and the Brits thought the Jags were slow. Turbos and big fuel consumption was something the fans were learn all about over the next few years!

The race was pretty good and the place was packed but tragedy hit during the night with the death of Jo Gardner.

As it turned out the Jags all failed with niggling faults. Porsche steam rolled the race and Derek Bell became the most successful Brit to ever race at Le Mans with his fourth win! But the new fans had loved the spectacle. They had experienced the cars, noise, fair, bars and campsites! And the best moment of the weekend was when the Jaguar team came out with a banner “We’ll be back. Thanks for coming”. And they kept that promise.

Brands Hatch Comes Alive

In July the Brits were treated to an amazing Nigel Mansell win at the European GP at Brands Hatch. Before the race the massive six figure crowd saw a brilliant demo run of the Silk Cut Jaguars and a fantastic offer to see the following weeks Group C race for a pound.

r9 1000km brands 86 032r9 1000km brands 86 032 Fortuna 962 Brands 1986

Brands Hatch Group C and 40.000 people arrived. The massive cars looked brilliant on the close and narrow track. Once again the Jaguars had failed to win against the Porsches but yet more new fans had fallen for the beautiful Sports Prototypes!

1987

Around the world Endurance racing was becoming almost as popular as in the UK and in the USA the IMSA cars which were very similar to the group C cars were becoming popular. This was good for car manufactures as they could race similar chassis on both sides of the Atlantic. Porsche, Mazda, Nissan and Jaguar did just that.

To say most fans followed all this would be a lie, most people just loved the cars and loved the atmosphere of the races.

I started my year again at Silverstone and I can honestly say I can understand why only 20,000 fans came to see the Jags before Le Mans. It was bloody freezing!

But once again the build up to Le Mans was brilliant. Even more fans flocked across the channel. The ticket and programme featured the Jaguar which won a few more fans! But the race was once again a repeat of 86 and the Jaguar pit once again presented a banner that said “We’ll be back”. And of course the Brits cheered as Mr Bell became even more successful with yet another win.

1987-01 Elgh-Lees-Jones, Toyota 87C1987-01 Elgh-Lees-Jones, Toyota 87C
The beautiful Toyota 87c Le Mans 1987
1988

Well for me this was the year that started a four year spell of what was the best racing I have ever witnessed. It was not just the racing it was atmosphere, fun and something to be very proud to be apart off!

Once again Silverstone was chilly but 35,000 had arrived to see the Silk Cut Jaguars win! Jaguar had finally beat Porsches in the States at the Daytona 24 Hours race and the crowd finally felt the TWR Jaguars were more than a match for not only Porsche but the now very fast Sauber Mercedes.

And so it turned out! A Jaguar win, a close one with the Mercedes just seconds behind! But best of all a great celebration at the end. The crowd were hanging around well after the race all with the intention of wishing the Jag team well for the next race Le Mans!
R6 1988 1000KM BRANDS 004R6 1988 1000KM BRANDS 004

The Stunning Sauber Mercedes 1988

 

Part 4 In the next few days

Motoring-Man

 

 

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(motoring-man) 962" group C Racing IMSA gtp le mans 1986 le mans 24 hours porsche porsche 956 Sauber Mercedes silk cut Jaguar tetre rouge le mans twr wec' https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/2/the-new-david-cundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years-part-3 Sat, 22 Feb 2020 19:37:29 GMT
Part 2 The New David Cundy Collection & My Group C Racing The Golden Years https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/2/the-new-david-lundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years-part-2 Link to part 1 if you missed it 

Chapter 3 Le Mans 1983 To 1985

Porsche 956 Newman Brands Hatch 1000km 1984Porsche 956 Newman Brands Hatch 1000km 1984

Joest Newman Porsche 962

 

Obviously a Le Mans junkie like myself was at Le Mans every year, by hook or by crook I made it over to France. And although the impact Group C was having was gradual it was certainly evident. There were many factors at play but to me a few were quite obvious.

Porsche builds privateer cars! So for the first time in years there are more than just three or four cars that can win the race. In fact with 11 Porsche 956s, 3 Lancia works cars, an Aston Martin and a couple of Saubers there was around about 15 cars that could win the race! Not since the 1960s had the race been so open.

I do not think it was just me that had noticed but the shape of the cars lent themselves to some great advertising opportunities. And it wasn’t just cigarettes Kenwood, Grand Prix International, Martini and Hugo Boss were all on board. This of course added to the wonderful spectacle of Group C but also the opportunity to easily follow cars that appealed to the fans.

Most of the years up until 1985 I had witnessed predominantly French crowds, but thing were slowly changing. There were more and more racing fans coming from all over Europe. Not in massive numbers but it was noticeable. And then in 1985 it hit me big time! Group 44 had brought Jaguar back to Le Mans in 1984 and it was interesting but nothing much more. Then before the 85 race I was in front of the massive ACO grandstand just before the start of the race. In the famous build up to the departure of the grid, the national anthems were played. The German anthem was played and small ripple of applause could be heard among the crowd. The French anthem was accompanied by a few passionate Gallic voices singing along. Then the announcement that the British National Anthem was next for the Jaguar Team. Well the moment will stay with me forever as if from nowhere hundreds of voices cheered and sang God Save The Queen. I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I got quite emotional. It sounds crazy but it was like I wasn’t alone anymore! I was at my 6th race and still basically a kid. Each year if you bumped into anyone from the UK you would say hello as if you were part of an exclusive little club that had discovered this amazing event in France. All of a sudden it was like I was part of something special. Word had got back home and the Brits were coming!

Group 44 Jaguar le Mans John Watson Tony Adamowicz Lena 1984Group 44 Jaguar le Mans John Watson Tony Adamowicz Lena 1984

Group 44 Jaguars

Group 44 In IMSA USAGroup 44 In IMSA USAJAGUAR XJR7 GROUP 44 RACING PHOTOGRAPH USA 1985 BOB TULLIUS BILL ADAM

 

Chapter 4 Jaguar Challenge 1986 

1986 was a very exciting start to the year, I was off to Silverstone for the 6 hours race. Over the winter Group C had snowballed into a multi marque World Series with Mazda, Sauber Mercedes and none other than TWR Jaguar all trying their hand to beat the mighty Porsches. At Silverstone there was an impressive 11 Porsches 956 /962s and the incredibly fast Lancia LC2 to beat.

To see these cars at Silverstone was thrilling. The biggest change for me was that there was no waiting around to see the best cars come around. With about 30 prototype cars on track and all looking and sounding superb it was quite a spectacle. The new Kourus sponsored Mercedes even made the race programme look mint!

And another thing, with the Jaguar Team came fans, 25,000 thousand of them! It was so nice to see and feel a buzz around the famous old airfield circuit.

And just like all good fairy tales the Jag of Eddie Cheever and Derek Warwick only went and one. What a catalyst this was to boost the British presence in Le Mans. The fans really believed that the Brits could win the big one now!

Part 3 In the next few days

Motoring-Man Archive

 

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(motoring-man) 962" group 44 racing group C Racing IMSA gtp le mans 1982 le mans 24 hours porsche porsche 956 silk cut Jaguar wec' https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/2/the-new-david-lundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years-part-2 Tue, 18 Feb 2020 17:49:52 GMT
Part 1 The New David Cundy Collection & My Group C Racing The Golden Years https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/2/the-new-david-lundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years Group C The Golden Years

Just recently I was contacted by David Cundy a professional Motor Sport photographer who has given me access to an archive of thousands of amazing pictures. The biggest section of the collection is a massive selection of Group C Sports Car racing pictures.

Jaguar 1Jaguar 1

                                                                             Above Jaguar XJR12 1990 Le Mans Album


Sorting through these amazing images has brought back  some amazing memories for me. I witnessed every season of what I would say is the best period of racing ever!

I think maybe it is time to share my memories.

 

 

Part 1: My introduction to the great race 1977.

 

My First Le Mans

As a weekly subscriber to Motoring News when I was aged ten, I fell in love the Sports Cars. I am sure a lot of the fascination was due to the beauty of the Martini Livery on the all dominating Porches! The red, blue and white cars seemed to be on the front of every other issue

I was not from a rich family and the idea of going to the greatest of sports car races at Le Mans seemed a very unlikely prospect. Fortunately for me our family sometimes went on coach tours and one day through our front door came the Excelsior Brochure. An annual coach trip itinerary for the year 1977. Low and behold June 1977 a trip to Le Mans, for I believe £32. Well after an amazing amount of persuasion my parents reluctantly booked the trip that would change my life!
I can`t remember much of the coach journey but in the circuit I vividly remember the huge amount of people and hearing their different languages, the amazing fair, boxing booth, strip joints and a big wheel that stretched to the sky! It was my first experience of Germans with their beer benches which were padlocked to the fences beside the circuit. I think one of the most amazing things that grabbed my attention was not the cars but some amazing dough-nuts served at one of the many food outlets in the fair.

  Come night time I remember trying to sleep in the parked coach with the rain pouring down on the steamed up windows. Outside I had no idea that my hero Jacky Ickx was driving the race of his life! Yes I was there but only now do I think I know what was going on. But the sights and sounds I had witnessed, and the amazing reports I read when I returned had me hooked for good. I bought magazines, posters a programme and these were now my new best friends. I also knew I had to return to the great race.  The excitement of getting back was also doubled because on our budget trip we had cheap tickets that limited access to only the Dunlop Bridge to Tetre Rouge. I had to get hold of a full entrance ticket and see the pits next time! It was two years until I got back to my new drug but that is another story.

 

Part 2 The Group C Begins 1982

 

I got back to Le Mans again in 1979 then again in 1980 and 81. For 1982 I was 16 years old and desperate to be at the race, really desperate. I had become a big Porsche fan and had witnessed the debut of the new Rothmans Porsche 956 at the Silverstone 6 Hours. With just days to go I still had no way to get to France. But where there is a will, there is a way and there I was sitting at Portsmouth docks with a card board sign on the back of my rucksack “Le Mans Please”. I was hitch hiking!

I made it down to Le Mans and managed to blag a ticket and a Pit Counter pass. Amazing what a big smile and a story can get you!

I wanted to watch the rolling start from above the pits and went up there quite a long time before the four pm start time. I witnessed all the build up and can still feel the buzz of looking down at the Group C cars lined up on the grid. It was then I realised this was something very special. The cars were massive and oh so colourful.

   Incredibly I had a small ridge tent which I pitched on the banking of the Dunlop curve. Can you imagine that today? The best time was late evening when I was sitting in the front of the tent watching the cars sweep through the fast first corner. I am not sure if I imagined it but the 956 cars looked faster than the competition and were easy to spot especially in the dark due to their sleek long bodies. I was really privileged to have these memories and they will never leave me! Even if sometimes they seem totally surreal today.

The fact that the Porsches steamrollered the race didn’t really matter to much. I watched as the crowd swept onto the track as the 956s rolled over the line. There was such a buzz about the future and the cars looked so majestic.

1982 silverstone 6 hour race1481982 silverstone 6 hour race148

                            Above The very first images of the Porsche 956 Silverstone 82

Part 2 In the next few days

Motoring-Man Archive

 

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(motoring-man) 962" group 44 racing group C Racing IMSA gtp le mans 1982 le mans 24 hours porsche porsche 956 silk cut Jaguar wec' https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/2/the-new-david-lundy-collection-my-group-c-racing-the-golden-years Sat, 15 Feb 2020 19:02:49 GMT
Happy New Year 2020 & Enzo Ferrari https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/1/2020 $_1 (1) copy$_1 (1) copy

A Happy New Year to all my customers. I have a feeling 2002 is going to be a fantastic year.
I have just been reading an article on Le Mans 1966 film. A great motor sport story and brilliant piece of entertainment that has dominated the internet's racing pages since it’s launch! The article implies the Directors of the film included a scene of Enzo in the Le Mans pits, because he was a true sportsman and would have appreciated Ford’s hard work!
A nice thought but absolute rubbish! He was as hard nosed as you could get in relationship to such things! For those who are not aware Enzo never visited the race and scarcely ever saw his cars race.
In fact a little known story from 1965 was that he was willing to sacrifice the 1965 winning car when it became clear the NART Ferrari of Rindt and Gregory was going to win! He was horrified that the lesser known underdog Ferrari could win after an amazing race, because he had a deal with Dunlop tyres and not the Goodyears on the NART car! But it is only a film and a very good one at that so I have no problem with it at all.
But it did get me thinking.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/…/LE-MANS-1966-24-HEUR…/352890686510…

Link above is to top picture by Chris Dugan

 

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(motoring-man) 24 heures du mans 1966 carroll Shelby Ferrari Ferrari p4 ford ford V Ferrari formula one GT40" ken miles le le Mans 1966 le mans 24 hours le mans film mans tetre rouge le mans https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2020/1/2020 Mon, 06 Jan 2020 19:08:46 GMT
ArgentIna Temporada Races And My Exciting Discoveries https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/7/argentina-temporada-races-and-my-exciting-discoveries ArgentIna Temporada Races And My Exciting Discoveries

Oscar Gálvez now that's not a name everyone's familiar with, but he raced and beat Fangio along with some other motor racing greats! And to be honest he's not a racing driver I was familiar with either, well not until yesterday, when I had to look him up on Google. You see I have bought an amazing collection of photographs from Argentina a couple of months back and now it is time to get them identified and listed in my shop. They are from 1947 to 1960 and I have a book called "The Argentine Temporada Motor Races" to help me, as many of these one off photographs were used inside! But to be honest it has been a slow process as each picture tells a story that is both fascinating and surprising.
From what I can make out Temporada means Season, so we are looking at Argentinian Season. And between 1935 and 1941 there were 30 plus races on loose surface tracks all across the massive country. In 1935 it even hosted an international Grand Prix in Buenos Aires. This made Argentina one of the worlds' hot beds of racing before the outbreak of war in Europe.
After the war the motor racing mad Argentinians were desperate to get the European stars of the day to race on their home soil, and so the first so called Grand Prix took place at Retiro circuit. This was closely followed by a race at Rosario. From Europe came Archille Varzi driving an Alfa Romeo and Luigi Villoresi driving a Maserati 4CL. I have some brilliant photographs of the cars chasing through the amazing parkland circuit. One of the photographs I have is a super looking Alfa 308 with coloured bonnet. And this was the local driver Oscar Gálvez who not only raced, but led the Europeans before retiring with mechanical problems. He went on to not only win future races, but was Argentine Champion multiple times. So the puzzle really was why had I never heard of Oscar? From what I can make out it was purely political as the countries leader General Peron favoured his main rival Juan Fangio and a certain Froilan Gonzalez. Both of these great drivers received government sponsorship to race in Europe. The unfortunate Oscar had to remain in Argentina and only ever really got his chance to shine against the stars at the Temporada Races! He lived a long life though and eventually the Buenos Aires Grand Prix circuit was named in honour of him.

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Another major surprise for me was the inclusion of some fantastic racing photographs of the Mercedes W154. Now you have to forgive my ignorance but I presumed these were prewar pictures. I had always thought their racing days had finished in 1939. But no in 1951 Mercedes sent a team of three cars over to Argentina to contest the Temporada Grand Prix's. The drivers were Hanns Hermann and Karl Kling and ironically Juan Fangio. I say ironically because when the Automobile Club Of Argentina was setting out the race course Fangio complained that the two very long straights be shortened to lower the average speed. He insisted this was on the grounds of safety not of course because the very powerful W154s would utterly dominate. Fangio then found himself contracted to drive for Mercedes as he could hardly say no when he had just opened up a dealership in Argentina. As it turned out the Mercedes were still very fast and dominated practice but the Ferrari team had the edge in the races on the twisty circuit. 
We have a driver I'd never heard of, one of the greatest cars ever, making a ghost like appearance for the very last time. So as I make my way through the fifty or so other pictures, what other exciting fascinations will arise? I do know Ferrari's first win outside Europe was in Argentina. The first rear wheel drive Grand Prix win was here. And from some of the pictures I can guess that some of the biggest crowds in the history of Motor Racing were in Buenos Aires. And I haven't even looked into the picture of Evita Peron with Farina! 
Motor Racing memorabilia, memories and stories are often so much more interesting than the racing as the human side is often so intriguing and laced with mystery. I look forward to reporting on any other discoveries.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/motoring-man/_i.html…

Motoring-Man is a lifelong fan of Motor Racing and has a memorabilia passion / business

 

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(motoring-man) argentina temporada races mercedes w154 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/7/argentina-temporada-races-and-my-exciting-discoveries Sun, 21 Jul 2019 20:36:16 GMT
The British Grand Prix and Brexit “Deal or no Deal” https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/7/the-british-grand-prix-and-brexit-deal-or-no-deal  

I was lying in bed this morning and reflecting on the fact that I missed the British GP last weekend. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering if it would be my last opportunity to see another F1 race at Silverstone. But of course now they have a deal for five years. Deal! That was the word...And where have we heard that before!

For years it seems that Silverstone negotiated with an unelected Bernie Ecclestone declaring they must have a Grand Prix in Northampton. Every year it seems they rolled over and got a lousy deal which nearly bankrupted them.

But enough was enough and no deal was on the table this time. The circuit could concentrate on the the Moto GP and various international series like WEC if they could not secure a good contract for the Grand Prix.

So here we are and Silverstone have negotiated a better deal. There are no details of the new contract but we must speculate that it is a lot better.

So the BRDC who have been described in the past as lousy negotiators, have put “No Deal” on the table and come out smelling of roses. Maybe they should negotiate a deal for the UK Government with the EU!

 

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(motoring-man) BREXIT BRITISH GRAND PRIX SILVERSTON FORMULA ONE" SILVERSTON https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/7/the-british-grand-prix-and-brexit-deal-or-no-deal Sun, 21 Jul 2019 20:32:10 GMT
Niki Lauda My Hero https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/5/niki-lauda-my-hero Niki Lauda My Legend: I never was one for heroes! Probably because I only ever had one, and that was Niki Lauda. I was already a prolific reader by 9 years old and was reading lots about Niki's battle against Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974 and 75. In 1976 when the whole country here in the UK was desperate for James Hunt to win the Championship, I was a little alone in rooting for Lauda. By the time I had read Niki's "To Hell And Back" I had been influenced enough by the Austrian to believe only in myself hence no more heroes. He not only sowed the seeds of my life long interest in fitness and diet (Big cheer for Will Dungle too). He gave me the self belief to do anything I wanted and to ignore the negative influences of society! But now in my 50s I will thank Niki for giving me the life long interest and passion for Motor Racing. Cheers Niki my hero!

https://www.motoring-man.com/p1072008835/ea79961de


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(motoring-man) 1976 formula one Formula one world champion 1976 James Hunt Mclaren Porsche Niki Lauda Niki Lauda RIP rush Tag Turbo https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/5/niki-lauda-my-hero Tue, 21 May 2019 18:40:21 GMT
LOTUS GUYS FROM THE 1960s https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/2/lotus-guys-from-the-1960s RARE LOTUS COLLECTION PART TWO: On my travels buying and selling motoring memorabilia I get to meet an awful lot of interesting people, none more than two former employees of Lotus cars whom I have just bought two rare collections from. 
Both gentleman worked at the Delemare Road factory at Cheshunt in the 1960s and what struck me after all these years was their enthusiasm for the Marque. The first one worked in the Lotus Components building before moving onto sales and then finally working for the famous Rob Walker. The other was with the sales department from day one. 
It was quite obvious that both of them had other successful careers outside their years at Lotus, but for both men it seemed the time they had spent there was one of the highlights of their lives.
As we flicked through some of the photographs they had taken on promotional shoots it was great to hear and share the stories.
“Can you imagine we were just youngsters let loose with sports cars we could never afford. We would cruise down to London with our sharp suits and pull the girls. What more could we want”

313313 get the impression Colin Chapman would let anything go as long as the cars were seen and the lads got the sales.
One particular set of pictures with a pretty girl outside a traditional pub made me smile as I was informed with a pointing finger “This pretty girl here was no model. Me and the photographer would cruise around the countryside looking for a good location. The girl in this one happened to be in the pub when we stopped for a beer. She was a hairdresser cutting the landladies hair!” Judging by her appearance in lots of the pictures, I think they has a great day out!
The cars were often taken to Sloan Square Chelsea and Carnaby St. I guess the cars stuck out a mile in the 1960s so this was great promotion. My favourite picture is of the very first Europa parked in London with the driver beside in a fantastic sharp 60s suit! Wow no wonder they loved their jobs!

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The second part of the photographic section and other rare items will be sold commencing 20th of February at my eBay shop Motoring-man

http://www.ebaystores.co.uk/motoring-man/_i.html…

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(motoring-man) https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2019/2/lotus-guys-from-the-1960s Sat, 23 Feb 2019 10:46:30 GMT
Gilles Villeneuve Ferrari legend: would he have liked racing in Formula One F1 today? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/12/gilles-villeneuve-ferrari-legend-would-he-have-liked-racing-in-formula-one-f1-today I was reading the other day an article in which the well known and respected writer said that Gilles Villeneuve would have hated Formula One today. Immediately I agreed but then after a little consideration I was not so sure. 

  I started to watch F1 seriously in about 1976. I was eleven years old and the sport hit the headlines a few times around that period. David Price was killed by a Marshall and a fire extinguisher, Graham Hill’s plane crashed, Niki got burnt and James came home with the title! From then on I followed the sport religiously and onto the scene came a crazy guy named Gilles. When you are a teenager you certainly do not forget the guy who drives around the circuit like a looney on three wheels or drives through the rain like it is dry. He was the ideal hero to a young fan and in my eyes could do no wrong!

  Today the youngsters have Max Verstappen and I see similarities but it is easily argued that the sport is so much safer so there is no room for comparison. But I am not so sure. So here is my reasoning and why Giles may just have fitted in after all.

 

   After reading many books on Gilles it is quite clear he was relatively shy, he certainly did not chase stardom, so would the pits and paddock today not be a comfortable place to be? Protected from the masses by security and fences. He could still even stay in his Motorhome in relative peace. Gilles was also sidelined by many brushes with the barriers and scenery but today he could thrash the life out of any car and complete most races. 

   And just one more important point: would Gilles be around today if the sport had not taken his life? Probably not! Gilles drove his road cars like a lunatic and had near miss after near miss. Eventually his luck on the road would have run out. If that didn’t end him maybe the helicopter piloted in much the same way would have done! At least today he may well have been around for a few more years. What do you guys think?

  

 

 

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(motoring-man) 312t f1 ferrari ferrari formula 1 gilles villeneuve go imola monaco https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/12/gilles-villeneuve-ferrari-legend-would-he-have-liked-racing-in-formula-one-f1-today Wed, 12 Dec 2018 10:55:50 GMT
A Tribute To Jaguar Cars through The Art Of Chris Dugan https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/12/a-tribute-to-jaguar-cars-through-the-art-of-chris-dugan

 

Some great Art and a little history through the pictures :

Each link after description is to the corresponding Artwork.

The Jaguar XK120

The Jaguar XK120: Wow what a great second car as a manufacturer! It was built from 1948 to 1954 and there were over 12,000 made. Available as a fixed head or drop head coupe it certainly looked a 120MPH car as the name implied.

In racing it achieved notable victories across the world none more famous than the 1950 Tourist Trophy where a young Stirling Moss won at Dundrod aged 21 (It was his Birthday). Le Mans eluded the XK120 after a good showing but was of course replaced quite early on with the close relative the C Type. As an XK120 it was twice a winner of the Alpine Rally.

The now famous straight six engine was the class of the age for power and reliability and not widely celebrated is the many speed records once held by the XK120! The most significant must be the 100.31 average speed of a full seven days, set at Montlhery Paris.

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This stunning new artwork is a limited edition print of only 650 is signed by the artist Chris Dugan. Size is approx 57 x 42 cm

To Buy The XK120 Click Here USA

To Buy The XK120 Click Here UK

Number 2:

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The XK120 Below is a 50 x 63 cm limited edition print. Under the lights of Alexander palace

To Purchase Xk120 Alexander Palace Click Here

 

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The Jaguar C Type

Jaguar C Type: The Jaguar XK120-C was a winner straight out of the box by winning it’s firs race. Based on the running gear of the XK120 with an aerodynamic body it won the worlds most famous race Le Mans in 1951 & 1953. Disk brakes were used on the latter car which in turn led to the braking revolution that lead to nearly all cars in the world fitted with them as standard! The 1953 car was the first to win the 24 Hour race with an average speed of over 100mph! 53 C Types were built in total making it extremely rare.

Many of the worlds greatest drivers have driven Jaguar C Types including the legends Stirling Moss and Phil Hill. Behind the scenes notable engineer and test driver Norman Dewis played a massive part in the cars development.

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This stunning artwork is a limited edition print of only 650 is signed by the artist Chris Dugan. Size is approx 57 x 42 cm. The car is a 1953 example in British Racing Green.
Click Here To Buy The Above Jaguar C Type

 

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Jaguar XK140

The XK140 was the natural successor to the XK120. Introduced in 1954 for 1955. The badge was a celebration of the two Le Mans wins. Although not a 140MPH car like the badge hints at, it was a fast 120MPH +  car. The straight 6 engine had the C Type head and produced approximately 190 BHP.

 

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Jaguar XK140 limited to only 140 signed and numbered prints. Size is 57x42cm.

Click Here To Buy XK140

 

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Jaguar D Type

Ah the D Type my favourite Jaguar! A follow on from the C Type built specifically to race and to most importantly win Le Mans. The sleek new aero body, largely the work of Malcolm Sayer made the D Type not only beautiful, but competitive and with a top speed of 170MPH + it was one of the worlds’ fastest cars!

Le Mans eluded Jaguar in 1954 but the D Type won in 1955, 1956 & 1957. The last two wins were courtesy of a the famous Ecurie Ecosse racing team.

Famous drivers of the D Type included Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss and Briggs Cunningham.

The selection of stunning artwork below are all limited editions and fine tributes to this amazing car!

 

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Stirling moss at Arnage corner 1954 Le Mans 24 Hours. This picture is one of Stirling’s favourites with a copy hanging in his London home. Limited to only 250 prints with a size of 73 x 27cm all signed and numbered.

To Buy Stirling in the D Type Click Here

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Stirling Moss Jaguar D Type celebration. With reference to Norman Dewis. Limited to just 250 prints. Size 73cm x 27cm.

Click Here To Buy Double D type Moss Image

 

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The 1955 Jaguar D Type 3.4 litre Le Mans winner driven by Mike Hawthorn. Limited to 650 signed prints.

The size is 57cm X 42cm.

This car won the 1955 Le Mans 24 hours after completing 2569.61 miles at an average speed of 107.08mph. Driven by Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb.

Click Here To Buy Hawthorn Jaguar Le Mans 1955

 

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New for 2018. This really is a beautiful scene of the D Type outside a country home. Limited to 650 signed and numbered prints. Size is 56cm x 42cm.

Click Here To Buy D Type Country House

 

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Ecurie Ecosse

The tiny Scottish racing team that took on and beat the best race teams in the world, with the beautiful D-Type Jaguar, on two occasions at Le Mans.

Limited to only 650 prints
Size 42 x 30 cm 

To Buy Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar Click Here

 

 

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The Jaguar XK150

                      The next model after the XK140 and the final incarnation of the XK series, again with the badge depicting more success at Le Mans! A very fast 130MPH car with engine developments from the D Type racer. Launched in 1957 and built until 1961 the XK150 was available in both coupe and drop head. The power output increased year on year.

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This XK150 print is limited to 150 signed and numbered copies. Size is 50 x 63 cm

To Buy XK150 Click Here

 

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Jaguar MK1

The first proper saloon from Jaguar the MK1 was produced for four years between 1955 and 1959.

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This is a 1959 MK1 Jaguar which featured in the TV series Inspector Morse. Limited to only 650 signed and numbered prints with a size of 52 x 40cm.

To Buy MK1 Endeavour Click Here

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Jaguar MK1 Mike Hawthorn car. Stunning print of 650 signed and numbered by Chris Dugan. Size is 57 x 42cm.

Buy Hawthorn Jaguar Click Here

 

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The Mark 2 Jaguar

Produced from 1959 to 1967 it was the Saloon car to own in the 1960s. Grace, Space, Pace really was an apt description for this wonderful car.

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Jaguar MK2 3.8 litre depicted here in three images. Limited to 650 signed and numbered prints. Size 57 x 42cm.

To Buy Click Here

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Jaguar MK2 3.8 litre Straight Six. One of my favourite prints. This beautiful car in blue is limited to 650 signed and numbered images. 55 x 40cm size.

Click Here To Buy Jaguar Mk2

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The E Type Jaguar or XK E as it was known in the States is surely the most recognised sports car in the world. Produced from 1961 to 1975 it was based upon the racing Jaguar D Type. With a massive top speed of nearly 150MPH it was the car to be seen in. With many famous stars owning an E Type it still to this day epitomises  the marque.

In racing a lightweight aluminium bodied car was produced in low numbers and had a lot of success across the world.

 

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This E Type celebration print is 57 x 42 cm and is limited to only 650 signed and numbered prints. This really is a wonderful print to own and will hang pride of place in any collection.

Click here To Buy E Type Celebration Print

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Jaguar E Type Car Tribute. A limited edition run of 650 all signed and numbered by Chris Dugan. The size is 41 x 55cm. Beautiful art!

To Buy This image Jaguar E Type

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Fifty Years Of The E Type tribute print. Only 500 signed and numbered editions of this wonderful image! Size is 39 x 46cm.

Click Here To Buy 50 Year Tribute Jaguar

 

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Jaguar XJ6

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A celebration of a Jaguar icon the XJ6. Limited to just 650 signed and numbered prints. Size is 56 x 40cm.

To Buy XJ6 Click Here

 

 

 

 

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(motoring-man) Chris Dugan Jaguar Jaguar C type Jaguar C Type Le Mans Jaguar D Type Jaguar D Type Le Mans Jaguar E Type Jaguar limited edition Print Jaguar Mike Hawthorn Jaguar MK1 Jaguar Mk1 Morse Jaguar MK2 Jaguar Print Jaguar XJ6 Jaguar xk120 jaguar xk140 le mans le mans 24 hours Motoring-man xk150" https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/12/a-tribute-to-jaguar-cars-through-the-art-of-chris-dugan Wed, 05 Dec 2018 16:10:47 GMT
Aston Martin Artwork Collection and history from Chris Dugan https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/11/aston-martin-artwork-collection-and-history

Some great Aston Martin Art and a little history through the pictures :
Each link after description is to the corresponding Artwork.

Picture 1: How it all started

Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. It was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford.

The two had joined forces as Bamford & Martin the previous year to sell cars made by Singer from premises in Callow Street, London where they also serviced GWK and Calthorpe vehicles. Martin raced specials at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton, and the pair decided to make their own vehicles.The first car to be named Aston Martin was created by Martin by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini

To celebrate 100 years this tribute artwork has the first car next to the newest model in 2013. The setting is Callow Street where it all began. It is a fantastic picture by Chris Dugan and is limited to just 350. A must for any fan of the marque.

Click Here To View This Print
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Picture 2: The Aston Martin DBR1

The first Aston Martin fully designed for racing. Before the DBR1 the Sports Cars in the World Championship had to be based on road cars. Designed by Ted Cutting in 1956. This wonderful artwork is of Stirling Moss at the Nurburgring 1000km 1958. A race memorable for a stunning comeback drive by Stirling after partner Fairman lost time. This was the third victory in a row for Aston Martin at the ring and surely one of the most memorable!

Click Here For Details Of The Aston Martin DBR1 Moss
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Picture 3: Aston Martin DBR1 Jim Clark Nurburgring

In 1960 Jim Clark drove the Aston Martin DBR1/300 Border Reivers entered car in the Nurburgring 1000km. A car he shared with Roy Salvador he failed to finish after engine trouble.
This great picture by Chris Dugan has the recognisable eyes of the great man above the car at speed. I love this picture because Jim Clark was famous as a versatile driver but so few pictures exist of him at the ring and even. Less people know that Jim drove the car!

Click Here To See More

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Picture 4: Jim Clark Essex Racing Stable Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Only 19 cars were made by Aston Martin and the Italian styling house Zagato. This wonderful car the DB4 GT was built for racing and one of it’s most famous drivers was a certain Jim Clark. Jim had driven the DBR1/300 for the Border Reivers team but here he is seen in the beautiful Essex Racing stables car at the Silverstone International GT race 1962.

Click Here For Jim Clark Essex Racing Details

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Picture 5: Le Mans Winners 1959

After a few close calls Aston Martin finally realised the dream of winning Le Mans in 1959. The DBR1 of Roy Salvadori and American Carroll Shelby out lasted the opposition to delight the British crowds.
This brilliant image is available as a greeting card for any occasion such as Birthday or Christmas. Can also be mounted easily into a frame.

Click For Details Of Card

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Picture 6 : 1963 Aston Martin DP214

One of the most famous Aston Martin Zagato cars the DP214 was a wonderful Sports Racing car. Not Aston Martin’s most successful race car but surely one of the prettiest. The two cars built were raced at Le Mans in 1963 and the Guards Trophy Brands Hatch. The car won in Monza at the end of the season with Roy Salvador. In 1964 both cars were sold to John Downay and were raced all over the world. Daytona 2000km, Spa 500, Silverstone Gt and of course back to Le Mans.

This fine art picture shows DP214 in perfect studio stature alongside a smaller impression of the Aston racing at the 1963 Coppa Inter Europe Monza where the car was driven by Le Mans winner Roy Salvador. Available in the limited edition of 500 in this unique diamond shape.

This happens to be one of my favourite pictures as I have quite an interest in this Zagato designed car. I have quite a few period negatives which I have cleaned and produced for sale as photographs

For Details Of DP214 Click Here

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Picture 7: Aston Martin DB5

Designed by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera of Milan the DB5 Grand Tourer was released in 1963. It really was the height of luxury for Grand Touring with reclining seats, wool pile carpets, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels and more. As with the race cars it had a powerful straight six engine.
The DB5 was also to become synonymous as the 007 Bond car. 
This beautiful setting for the DB5 is the Swiss Alps.

Click For Details Aston Martin DB5

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Picture 8: Aston martin DB6

The successor to the DB5 the DB6 had revised Aerodynamics and even more spec! Released in 1965 it was built until 1970.
Unlike the DB5 it really did have enough room for rear passengers. Still a straight six with 282 HP and five speed box it was still the worlds finest GT.
In this fine artwork the DB6 is seen in its natural environment outside a fine house!

For Details Of The DB6 Click Here

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Picture 9: Aston Martin DB6 Study

The successor to the DB5 the DB6 had revised Aerodynamics and even more spec! Released in 1965 it was built until 1970.
Unlike the DB5 it really did have enough room for rear passengers. Still a straight six with 282 HP and five speed box it was still the worlds finest GT. 
This study shows details at all angles including a great insight of the interior. The talent of Chris Dugan is really highlighted in this piece of motoring art work! This celebration is limited to only 650 prints.

Click Here For The DB6

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Picture 10: Aston Martin DB5 & DB6

These two wonderful cars side by side in a suburban setting. Available as a greeting card for all occasions.

Aston Martin Card Click Here

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Picture 11: Aston Martin DB7 
The NPX project came 14 years after the DB6 and what a car designers Ian Callum and Keith Helfet came up with. Aston Martin were now close to super car speeds with the different variations of this model, but the DB7 was still an ultimate Tourer.
Seen once again in front of a fine property this Mendip Blue car is a limited edition artwork available right now.

Click Here For The DB7

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Picture 12: Aston Martin “Casino” DBS James Bond Car

James Bond drives the Aston Martin DBS, the successor of the Vanquish, in the 007 films,Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
The DBS featured in Casino Royale is silver grey. Bond receives the car in Montenegro (filmed in Czech Republic) and wrecks it in a spectacular way after a short chase. In the crash, the DBS barrel-rolled seven times, in the process breaking the record for a cannon-assisted barrel roll (the stunt car had an air-powered cannon behind the driver). Special features of the car include a secret compartment which contains Bond's Walther P99 gun, and an emergency medical kit with components of an emergency medical link to MI6, and a small defibrillator.

A stunning addition to any collection of art.

Click Here For Casino Royale

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Picture 13 Aston Martin V8s At Goodwood Volant POW Ecurie Ecosse & V8 Vantage X Pack

This motor car was constructed by Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, Newport Pagnell, in 1988 to the special order of the McCaig brothers, Patrons of the Ecurie Ecosse (Scottish) Racing Team. The factory built 26 examples of the “Prince of Wales” specification Vantage Volante before V8 production finally ceased in December 1989. Of these 26 cars, three were built to a special body specification which incorporated the Vantage’s spoilered boot lid and blanked front grille (which on this car has been replaced with the more traditional mesh grille). Now finished in Welsh Green (dark green) with a new Dark Green Mohair Hood and a Tan Hide Interior piped in Dark Green with Green Carpeting bound in Tan Hide. Specification includes both Fog and Driving Lights, Sports Exhaust System, 16” Ronal Alloy Wheels, Foot Rest to Passenger Foot Well, Remote Alarm System with Central Locking, Power Hood

V8 Vantage ‘X-pack’
(1986 - 1989)
formally known as Series 3. Also known as V580X or 'X-pack'

Once the limited edition Zagato was firmly in production, attention turned back to the Vantage. The X-pack or more correctly 580X is distinguished by larger 16 inch diameter wheels and the a version of the V8 engine effectively taken from the Zagato. The above rather special car is a UK specification 1988 example finished in Coniston Sand and unusually from new, the car features a stainless steel mesh V8 style grille. Generally speaking, only Vantage models exported outside Europe were fitted with the open grille to aid cooling.

This unique picture is limited to 650

Click Here For V8 Vantage

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Picture14: 1970 - 71 Aston Martin V8 at Newport Pagnell

In production the from 1969 to 1989 the mighty V8 Aston is one of the all time great classics. Taking over from the straight six the V8 was immediately a large bore GT with a 5.3 litre lump. With such a long production run it really saw the ups and downs at Aston Martin.
This tribute picture is of an early car outside the Newport Pagnell head quarters. Limited to only 650 prints

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351935873722

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Picture 15: Gerry Marshall and his three Aston Martins

A tribute to racing legend Gerry Marshall who famously drove the three cars featured on this art work.
The DBR4 Formula One car, Marsh Plant DB4 and mighty DBS v8
Available as a greeting card for all occassions such as birthday or Christmas. Could easily be placed in a small frame

Click Here For Card

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Picture 16: Aston Martin DBR9 Racer

Debuted in 2005 as a GT1 Le Mans racer this car is a racing classic. Based on the DB9 road car it retained a lot of the cars running gear, but with a carbon fibre panelled body and over 650 HP it was no road car!
The works team won the GT1 Championship and raced all across the world including Le Mans and Daytona.
This action print is simply stunning.

Click Here For Racer

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Picture 17: Aston Martin DBR9 GT1 debut car.

A return to racing for Aston Martin and a famous win in the Silverstone Tourist trophy. The DBr9 became a modern classic racer. This superb large limited to only 100 print celebrates Aston Martin racing and winning!

Click For DBR9

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Picture 18: The Iconic DBR9 S Gulf Racing

In 2007 Aston Martin launched the DBS road car a not to dissimilar car to the DBR9 and featured in the 007 Bond Film Casino Royale. The car was raced that season with number 007 & 009 in honour of Mr Bond.
I personally think the Gulf Coloured Astons were the most striking to race especially at Le Mans where they caught the imagination of not just the regular fans but the youngsters too!
This iconic print is available as a numbered and signed edition of 500

Click Here For Detail Of The Gulf Aston

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Picture 19: ASTON MARTIN LOLA LMP1 GULF RACING

The Aston Martin Lola was a return to top flight motor racing for the marque in 2008 after the purchase of a chassis from Lola. The next generation BO9/60 was an evolution designed and used by Aston Martin. With it’s Gulf Racing colours and 007 number it was a favourite at Le Mans and in the LMP1 series.
The car in this amazing piece of art not only competed at Le Mans but actually won overall in Barcelona the same year. Limited to just 120 prints

Click here For LMP1 Lola

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Picture 20: Aston Martin Bio DBRS9

The Lord Grayson Bio Fuel was the first car of it’s type to win a round of the British GT championship. At Snetterton in 2007 Paul Drayson and Johnny Cocker claimed a famous win.
This tribute picture is limited to only 350 prints and is a must for Aston Martin collectors

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252686852779

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Picture 21 NEW FOR 2018 Aston Martin  DB6

FRONT AND REAR ASPECT

Aston Martin DB6 Study The successor to the DB5 the DB6 had revised Aerodynamics and even more spec! Released in 1965 it was built until 1970. Unlike the DB5 it really did have enough room for rear passengers. Still a straight six with 282 HP and five speed box it was still the worlds finest GT. This study shows details from a front and rear aspect. The talent of Chris Dugan is really highlighted in this piece of motoring art work! This celebration is limited to only 650 prints. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/253974158619


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Picture 22 ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE #97 v CORVETTE C7R LE MANS 24 2017 GTE PRO FAMOUS BATTLE

LM GTE Pro battle of 2017 didn't just come down to a last hour shootout but last lap! 

Driven by Jonny Adam, Daren Turner and Daniel Serra the trio claimed a famous victory for Aston Martin that was decided at the Mulsanne chicane. On the very last lap during amazingly close racing the Corvette punctured a tyre going wide! This picture is coming through the trees on route to Arnage. This really is a stunning image by one of the World's best Racing Artists!

Limited to only 350 prints

Click For Aston v Corvette

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Picture 23 : ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE AMR #97 LE MANS 24 HOURS
LMGTE Pro has some stunning entries but the Aston to me is the jewel in the crown. The car was driven by Alex Lynn, Maxim Martin and Jonny  Adam In this picture the car is seen in front of the Ford GT coming through the trees on route to Arnage
This really is a stunning image by one of the World's best Racing Artists!

Limited to only 350 prints
Size Approx  80 x 46 cm
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Click Here For Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans

I hope you have enjoyed this collection of Aston Martin art and of course I would be delighted if you purchase some. Chris the artist and myself have always been fans of the marque. I myself have always longed for a decent attempt at winning Le Mans. Maybe in 2020 they will again be punching above their weight! Lets hope so.

 

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(motoring-man) aston martin db5 aston martin db6 aston martin db7 aston martin dbs aston martin james bond 007 aston martin le mans 24 aston martin lmp1 aston martin racing gulf racing aston martin https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/11/aston-martin-artwork-collection-and-history Sat, 03 Nov 2018 13:29:58 GMT
Disability, Safety, Discrimination and Motor Sport https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/11/disability-safety-discrimination-and-motor-sport  

A few years ago I wrote an article on safety in top class racing. Not something I recommend for the faint hearted as with all of todays social media it turned into a right bun fight. It really is something that splits opinion. It would be fair to say that a certain section of society would bring back the Roman amphitheater’s and Gladiators while others are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and would make everything as safe as possible. Obviously there is middle ground but it is hard to find! And controversially the comments and views to my article were much more fervent and aggressive on the side of safety. A small but interesting contradiction.
So while researching the participation of Ladies racing at Le Mans I discovered a similar and fascinating contradiction woven into the history of top level Motor Sport.
From the very first motor races the fairer sex have always excelled. In 1903 Camille De Gast competed in the Paris to Madrid. While on this side of the channel countless ladies competed in speed trials and sprints. During the 1920s & 1930s women in racing cars was certainly not unusual. At Brooklands there numerous females, and the likes of Key Petre and Glenda Stewart made their mark as great drivers. At the 1930 Le Mans 24 Hours the first all women’s team of Odette Siko and Marguerite Mareuse not only entered, but came home 7th overall and two years later Siko paired up with Jean Sabipa and finished 4th overall.

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In 1935 ten ladies entered and there were 4 all women crews! Right up until the 1950s women were a contstent fixture at the great race. And then in 1956 all women were banned! As far a I know “no women had caused a crash or died” but it was not until 1971 they were allowed back. Even Rosemary Smith the famous Rootes Rally driver was refused entry in 1969!

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In 1954 a certain Archie Scott Brown had just won two top class races at Snetterton when another competitor complained to the officials that Archie was disabled and should be disqualified! Yes disqualified for being disabled! Unbelievably Archie lost his British racing licence for a full two months and the future looked bleak but for a certain enlightened group of drivers and journalists who campaigned Archie’s cause. He regained his licence and went on to become one of the best Sports car drivers of his era. He became famous for his big drift and bullying style in the famous Lister Jaguars and Maseratis. But despite this, incredibly the ACO at Le Mans would not let Archie drive in the great race! He was one of the all time great sports car racers and was not able to drive at the sports car Mecca! In single seaters the story was much the same: Archie had won the Formula 1 Silverstone International Trophy in a Connaught and seven weeks later at Monza Archie had provisional pole position for the Italian Grand Prix! But it was once again not a happy ending as you might have expected, Archie was sent packing after his disability was highlighted and he could not appeal without an International licence, and guess what “Archie couldn’t apply for one of those as he was disabled!”

In the early years of Top Class racing across the planet, the roads were littered with carnage! Death by decapitation, burning or any other ugly end was common. It was accepted right up until the late 1960s. There were small improvements here and there but essentially motor racing was dangerous end of! But gradually things changed little by little. Through the persistent campaigning of drivers like Jackie Stewart and the professionalism of Bernie Ecclestone Formula One became unrecognisable from it’s gruesome past. In the USA, Indycars and Ovals cleaned up their acts with stronger cars and better medical back up. And so today we have maybe reached a point where it could be seen as too safe by some. A sport struggling to maintain excitement and appearing totally safe.

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In 2016 Frederic Sausset raced at Le Mans and finished 36th and it brought a tear to my eye when he crossed the line. Frederic has no limbs! A quadruple amputate who was lifted into the car. showed the world there were no boundaries to what a disabled person can achieve.

 

In the next year 2017 Billy Monger an up and coming teen racing star had a Formula Four racing accident which left him with one leg fully amputated and another gone from below the knee. Billy is still on the way up! He is in single seater F3 with two pole positions and an amazing sixth place in the final championship placing. He has tested a formula one car and looks set for a bright future! Alex Zanardi is a legend too! Overcoming such terrible injuries in his Indy car crash but going on to race again and not only that but in his spare time he is winning Olympic Paralympic medals.

62_AlexZanardi-720x34062_AlexZanardi-720x340Alex Zanardi dopo aver vinto il suo secondo oro alle Olimpiadi di Rio 2016 nella staffetta di handbike, insieme a Vittorio Podestà e Luca Mazzone, 16 settembre 2016
(AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)

So it is so ironic that in times when safety was just a minor irritant to the Motor Racing fraternity, a person could be biased against on grounds of gender or disability, and today in an ever cautious world the Ladies and the Disabled are encouraged to race. Yes motor racing is still dangerous; ask Billy! But it’s changed attitude to gender and disability is something that today motor racing fans should be so proud of. 
Billy and Frederic are looking to pair up for a crack at Le Mans in what would be the first ever all disabled team. Go Billy Go! Go Frederic Go! You have my support!

http://www.ebaystores.co.uk/motoring-man

 

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(motoring-man) 24 heures du mans 2016 24 heures du mans 2017 alez zanardi archie scott brown billy monger formula one frederic sausset https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/11/disability-safety-discrimination-and-motor-sport Fri, 02 Nov 2018 15:47:10 GMT
French Grand Prix 1906 & Reflections on Japan Today https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/10/french-grand-prix-1906-reflections-on-japan-today 06-bypass-at-Ste-Calais06-bypass-at-Ste-Calais

Today I watched the qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix and it was a reminder of how things have changed and how similar things are to the very beginnings in France more than 110 years ago!
It was only yesterday I was reading about the very first Grand Prix the French GP of 1906 in Le Mans. It was an amazing event held over a road course of 64 miles about 100km through the small towns and villages on the roads outside Le Mans city. The race of 769 miles over 1000km was contested over two days with cars setting of 90 seconds apart. There was a full grid of 34 cars from many countries. The big manufacturers of the time like Renault and Mercedes had professional crews of mechanics and workers, sparking controversy as this was considered the first seeds of professionalism penetrating the sport. The race was won by a well known French brand called Renault and the driver was Ferenc Szisz of Hungary.
Now you may ask how do this huge engined beasts in the French countryside relate to the technological marvels we see today? The first thing that caught my eye was that three of the top manufacturers in that first race are still on the grid today. Renault, Mercedes and Fiat (Ferrari). 
This morning Sebastian Vettel made a big mistake by opting to qualify on the wrong tyres. The first Grand Prix featured what could loosely be described as a tyre war. Three very familiar names supplied the black bits; Michelin, Dunlop and Continental. The race was lost by not fitting the new Michelin detachable rims! The new detachable rims took only four minutes to change compared to 15 minutes on the standard wheel! The winner Szisz made 19 tyre changes and the third placed car finished only 30 minutes adrift of the winner. Remarkably he shunned the fangled tyres (oh dear). Winning the race gave Renault a remarkable boost in sales almost doubling the next years turn over. I wonder if the old Ford quote “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still applies at today's Grand Prix? 
Frustratingly somehow I have a naive jealousy of how the French got things done in 1906. Just a few weeks ago Silverstone had the embarrassment of a cancelled Moto GP because the tarmac track surface was not up to scratch. With talk of contractors being sued and a massive over budget to Silverstone if they have to pay for the 3.5 miles 5 kms of track to be relaid, it seems remarkable that a few days before the 1906 Grand Prix they re-laid all 60+ miles of track! Where the circuit had to detour around villages deemed to small to drive through they quickly built wooden roads around them! At the bottom of my local road they are building a new 900 meter slip road that will take a year to complete and will cost 62 million pounds! Most people are pissed off with the two hour queues already and loss of income to businesses! Oh if only it was 1906!

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(motoring-man) Formula one Ferrari F1 Formula 1 French GP French Grand Prix Grand Prix le mans le mans 24 hours motor racing Scuderia Ferrari https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/10/french-grand-prix-1906-reflections-on-japan-today Sun, 07 Oct 2018 13:07:22 GMT
My fantasy 2019 Formula 1 Calendar https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/10/my-fantasy-2019-formula-1-calendar Back to my perusing of glorious old racing magazines, I have been loving the 1950s and 60s “Road & Track” race reports from around the world. Rather child like I love the pages of race results, with the circuit diagrams beside them. There is just something so cool about the shapes of racing circuits paper.
Today a circuit diagram is still presented in a race report and very often they appear for proposed new venues, like the recent talk of a Miami GP.

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The only trouble is that so often modern circuits do live up to expectations! “Tilk Dromes” I think they call them! They just become squiggles on a piece of paper. Bahrain looks great on paper and so does Barcelona but in real life, are they really that exciting. On the other hand a circuit like the the Nordscheifer with the most squiggles of all, certainly lives up to expectation. But I can’t see a Grand Prix ever going back there!
So what I have decided to do, is invite you all into my fantasy, where there is no health and safety, no political correctness and no limits. Let’s have a fantasy Formula 1 Callander for 2019!
We can start off with a replacement for Australia, Malaysia, China GPS before flying back to Europe for Spain and a European GP before moving onto the rest of the season later on. And I am going to give you may first five

1:The Australian Grand Prix: Bathurst looks good but I think Adelaide should return. I never been to Australia but was gutted when it moved from Adelaide because I think I would have gone there. It’s the old colonial buildings in the background that caught my eye, from the TV pictures they looked amazing. There were so many exciting moments like Nigel Mansell’s tyre blowout in 1987, Senna in the wet 1993 and what about Schumacher and Hill in 1994! Sadly I for one as a TV viewer do not find Albert Park that interesting so it’s back to Adelaide for me.

2:Malaysia: Here’s a shock I would keep it! It is one of the few races where it regularly rains, which is always good for great races. I still fancy a trip there to see the sights and sounds of what looks to be a great country. But most of all I do love a good Prawn in batter!

3:China: Lets go to Macau! What a circuit this would be for F1. It used to be the highlight of the Formula 3 season with the likes of Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher all staring on the streets of this colonial outpost. If the Motorcycle road racers can risk it today so can our new breed of Grand Prix drivers! No room for error with not only guard rails but rocky out crops to avoid! I bet Stirling Moss would go back in the blink of an eye!

4:Spain: Montjuïc! Another street circuit but what a beautiful place. Can there be a much more dramatic setting for a Grand Prix? And I for one would travel there at the drop of a hat. Approach by road and settle into the Spanish life for a few days spectating, eating and drinking. My Tapas and San Miguel dream circuit.

5:European Grand Prix: Imola, Imola, Imola! I just want to go back to Tossa corner and experience the joy of the northern Italian Ferrari fans. And to again be able to stroll straight from the circuit over the river and into the old town. With it’s narrow streets and plazas it’s the perfect retreat after the racing. Absolute bliss! I would again drive there and take in the Italian Mountains and Lakes, a diversion to Maranello nearby, before arriving early in the week at Imola to enjoy the build up to the festival of Ferrari. To sit in the sun drinking Moretti making new friends from all of Europe. The San Marino European GP Imola holds wonderful memories for me and should still be on any Calendar.

Come on tell me I am wrong! Where would you go?


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(motoring-man) Formula one le mans australian grand prix Ferrari F1 Formula 1 French GP French Grand Prix Grand Prix motor racing Scuderia Ferrari https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/10/my-fantasy-2019-formula-1-calendar Sun, 07 Oct 2018 13:00:43 GMT
Ron Dennis McLaren Hero Or Zero? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/9/ron-dennis-mclaren-hero-or-zero Ron Dennis
I was sorting through my old Motor Sport and Autosport magazines this week, and as usual an afternoon was lost reading. Enjoying flicking through a whole raft of history a certain Ron Dennis caught my eye. I only discover recently he was Jochen Rindt's mechanic at Cooper in the 1960s. But it was a couple of articles I read that were a bit newer that got me thinking.
When McLaren were not at their peak in the late 1990s Ron ruthlessly wooed a certain Adrian Newey away from Williams to work at Woking. Soon enough they soon got the results with back to back titles for Mika Hakkinen. In achieving this Ron again showed his ruthless streak by insisting Mika was a 100% number one driver and number two David Coulthard was to be the team man, even as far as pulling over for his team mate, even when in the lead. 
Right through the late 1990s to the new millennium Ron courted controversy at every turn. Magazine articles and journalists would poke fun at him calling his quotes Ron Speak. And of course there was Spy gate! A massive fine and a massive cloud hanging over the history of McLaren.
But right through all this he delivered us Lewis Hamilton and another world title. But when reading the journalists articles I find they in variably relished Ron's downs, more than his ups. In the year Lewis Hamilton signed for Mercedes the pre season review was of the opinion that he was crazy. "With Ron now out of the way McLaren and Jenson Button will certainly sweep all before them". A certain Martin Brundle was dismissive about Lewis moving and thought him crazy! Oh how wrong he was! If only Martin had moved at the right times in his career. 
And once Ron was ousted from his beloved Formula one team he set to work on a new British sports car in the middle of a recession! Once again a certain magazine ridiculed Ron for his timing and his obsession with perfection. Super cars are supposedly objects of art brought by the heart. 
And finally after all this Ron departed McLaren in 2017. Leaving behind an amazing billion dollar empire based at Ron's amazing legacy "The Woking Head Quarters" with it's lake and state of the art factory.
Honda, Renault, Whitmarsh, Zak Brown, Alonso can't seem to save McLaren at the moment. McLaren's boss was once the embarrassment, but now he has gone McLaren F1 are the embarrassment! I think Ron might just still be able to turn it around! But it ain't gonna happen!

Tell me what you think?

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(motoring-man) formula 1 formula one McLaren F1 Ron Dennis https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/9/ron-dennis-mclaren-hero-or-zero Thu, 27 Sep 2018 10:10:26 GMT
Michael Schumacher "Schuey" https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/8/michael-schumacher-schuey Michael Schumacher 
One of the greatest racers ever lies desperately ill right now and a large proportion of fans are desperate for him to get better. I for one am. I have followed his career since he was a junior Mercedes Group C driver at the Silverstone 6 hours.
Sometimes in the past I have wondered why people get so upset over the loss of a famous person. I can think of a few like Princess Diana , George Best, even Ayrton Senna. Lets face it it is not like you know them. They are just other people who are in the spot light. I have never considered anyone to be more important than anyone else. But when I heard about Schuey I suddenly got it! 
It isn't like I know him but he affected my life. I had forgotten but he was essentially part of my life. My wife and I, when we first met, followed the Group C races and obviously Le Mans 24 Hours . We were fascinated by the Mercedes Junior team of Wendlinger, Frentzen and Schumacher. We followed their paths and when Schumacher got his drive with Benetton we decided it would be a good incentive to travel across Europe to watch him race.
We had very little money a young daughter and a two year old son! We first went to the Nurburgring in an old van. It was an amazing experience mixing with the German fans who really did come out in their thousands.

14481894_1085209411586090_6867207744096476200_o14481894_1085209411586090_6867207744096476200_o Our kids embraced the whole affair by making flags and cheering on Michael. This made them very popular, and in essence secured our spot to watch the race, from a vantage point on some private land. We did not have enough money for tickets! 

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With just two weeks between races we set off from the Ring across the Alps to Italy and Imola. Our children saw the mountains for the first time, the beautiful Italian lakes and camped up early in the week at the stunning old town of Imola. We met fans from all country's and even had a Rest of the World v Germany football match on the camp-site. We incredibly managed a day trip to the seaside on the Adriatic. We watched free from Tossa corner after sneaking in and joined the track invasion after the race.

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We just about made it back with a plume of smoke trailing behind our struggling old van! 
From this first great trip it gave us the confidence to follow on, with more and more adventures. We saw the Hungary GP, Belgian, German, Italian, British and some of them many times. We ended up addicted to travelling and have now spend 20 years going away roughly once a month. My son is 24 now and has a motoring memorabilia shop and loves it! My daughter is 30 and carried on travelling seeing a very large percentage of the world and currently is a producer for formula one and incredibly knows Michael Schumacher.
Without that first real adventure to watch Michael our lives would have been so very different. So although we do not know you Michael thank you for being part of our lives. I think I speak for all my family when I say
" Get well soon Michael"

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(motoring-man) circuit" f1 Ferrari formula one grand prix imola Michael Schumacher nurburgring https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/8/michael-schumacher-schuey Fri, 31 Aug 2018 11:27:06 GMT
GAMERS OR F1 DRIVERS RULE OK? MAYBE EVEN VIRTUAL LE MANS? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/8/gamers-or-f1-drivers-rule-ok-maybe-even-virtual-le-mans GAMERS OR F1 DRIVERS RULE OK? MAYBE EVEN VIRTUAL LE MANS?
Now I am no spring chicken and I am desperately trying to embrace the modern tech world we live in! Right now I am on a WIFI connected I Pad Pro in the back garden typing this. All be it with one finger. So when recently I took an interest in Esports I was shocked how out of touch I believe F1 had become under Bernie. 
Tell me folks, do you know much about these new stars of today? And more importantly should us older Motor Racing fans not be more familiar with the stars of the electronic online world?

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Each team in Formula 1 bar Ferrari has a professional Esports gamer on the payroll, and over the British Grand Prix weekend, a selection of up and coming new talent were, put through their paces to become official pro E drivers. From thousands of entrants the last 40 took part in reaction tests, fitness test and real world driving. This all culminated in a live event in London where teams picked 16 drivers from nine countries to move onto the pro series championship. 
The event was live streamed to an audience of 800,000 people! Chase from Liberty Media was there along with Max Verstappen and other eminent Formula One dignitaries. 
So when we all asked ourselves last year “Why an earth are Liberty paying all that money for what looks like a sinking ship”. We may have the answer right here. Bernie Ecclestone made it very clear, that under his watch F1 was not interested in the online world. But all across the planet people are playing F1 racing games, and through this medium they are discovering the real world sport we love. 

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The Football World Cup in Russia has just finished and to some peoples surprise it was a major success. One of the reasons is because a whole new army of fans, are familiar with players and teams from across the world. This is down to the amazing popularity of the football game FIFA. Even in the USA, a country that has struggled to embrace Soccer in the past, is going through a mini revolution of popularity. Gamers are discovering football on their PC and then seeking out the real thing.
So do you think in the future we will be watching the F1 highlights show, that broadcasts not only the Grand Prix, but the virtual race as well. Pole position on the track and console could be compared. Interviews with virtual drivers alongside your Lewis Hamiltons and Vettels! 
Then there is the question: "Who will be earning the most money in ten years?"
My money will be on the gamers. Already the top 50 Esports players have all made more than a million dollars a year! And let's not forget they don't need to bring sponsorship with them. The sponsors are all over them.

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(motoring-man) ESPORTS F1 FERRARI F1 FORMULA 1 FORMULA1 GRAND PRIX CIRCUS le mans le mans 24 hours LIBERTY MEDIA MAX VERSTAPPEN https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/8/gamers-or-f1-drivers-rule-ok-maybe-even-virtual-le-mans Thu, 30 Aug 2018 09:57:42 GMT
Motoring-Man's F1 Camping Experience v Le Mans & Have Your Say? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/7/motoring-mans-f1-camping-experience-v-le-mans-have-your-say

Obviously after writing about my negative experiences of camping at the Le Mans this year, I was keen to see what the official camp site was like at the British Grand Prix. I have through the last few blogs taken onboard the comments I received, and the requests to see if the ACO would be interested in a few ideas to improve the Le Mans experience. But it is always best to see if fans really enjoy a different type of experience, so I went to Silverstone!

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  We arrived at Silverstone on Thursday lunchtime, and was shocked by just how busy the place was! Hammer time Hamilton has had a great effect on the crowd numbers. I had booked our motorhome into Woodlands the official campsite at the British Grand Prix. The young man who processed us at the gate was well up to speed, and filled us in on all the in and outs of our stay. We took our recycling bags, wristbands and our guide and were shown to a section for live-in vehicles. We honestly thought we would be placed as it was busy, but no! We had a choice of about 50 pitches.

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   We had never stayed here before so we were keen to look around and of course take notes and compare the experience here to the official Le Mans camping. And this is where this weeks blog becomes tricky! I did not in anyway intend to highlight the inadequacy of camping at the 24 hours, but almost immediately it was clear that Woodlands was in a different century. Silverstone a few years back was ridiculed for it’s archaic facilities, but boy has it moved into a different league. It saddens me that after camping at thirty eight 24 hour races, I can only highlight in the following paragraphs how far it has lagged behind!

    First stop for the wife; the loos! And boy what a lot of them in a modern clean purpose built building. Cleaned and serviced to a high standard every hour of the day. Disabled access and facilities looked good and the men were not using the womens' block! I think within 100 yards of my pitch there where approx 120 toilets and 60 showers in two blocks. Over the rest of the enormous camp there were hundreds.  There was also an electronic token system for the showers when busy, to save queuing. On the outside under cover are dozens of sinks for washing up. Hard to see how they could be bettered!

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A great simple idea next door to the main block was a small marque, with mirrors, tables and hairdryers for the ladies and I guess male grooming!!!!

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    It was boiling hot so we had a look around the entertainment area and had a German beer in the hot sun and an ice cold water proved free from a BWT.                 Now blogs are supposed to be fun and interesting but all I am going to end up doing is highlighting our underwhelming French experiences! And seeing as this is part of the objective I am going to stop right here!  I am just highlight the 5 points from the last blog which I will put to the ACO.

1: No open fires: Well to be honest there is no where really in the UK where this is going to happen.

2: Security: Very high quality, well trained, friendly, fun and lots of them. When I was pitched up I was politely asked to not go over the pitch lines as they were looking to create a fire break. In the morning they came down the lanes in pairs to ask if there were any problems in the night and wether we were having a good time?

  They enforced a no glass policy on site when away from your pitch. Even at midnight this was strictly enforced but not in a heavy handed way. Just constant mingling with the crowds.

   I am not sure what the policy was at night, but after 1am friendly requests to turn down any loud music were certainly observed. People were still sat around in groups chatting and laughing to the early hours, which was good.

   Police were also invited onto the site regularly each day and were greeted warmly by everyone I saw. It was interesting the police were running a "Smart Water Scheme". With dummy tents and belongings ready to catch out thieves!

  I also noted that fire trucks and engines were present. Now I am not sure whether these were private and public or both. There was even an organised time to meet the fireman! I didn’t attend but I did however see just how useful they were when a group of campers had there very large paddling pool filled from the fire hose!

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   A thought that came up in previous comments was an area for yobs and one for fans! A bit “tongue in cheek” but there was a massive family camping area at Woodlands. Security for your family is important, and after my experiences I have to ask myself, would I advise my friends to take there precious kids camping at Le Mans? And the answer is no.

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  When we were leaving on Monday we saw loads of punters thanking security and giving them left over beers and food. I could not fault them!

 

3 & 4: No Fireworks: Every campsite along the road in had signs up with “No Fireworks”.  Quite frankly I don’t think anybody really missed them.

 

4: Security searches: Now this one was quite interesting. In a booklet guide to the campsite, the first full page was dedicated to politely explaining why there was increased security. It was clear these were random and why they were happening. 

     Security at the circuit was casual to say the least, but at the gates there was a recorded message explaining why bag searches where being done. There was also sniffer dogs! I had a word with a dog handler and he advised me they were a great cheap option, better than humans but only for short working periods. Even dogs have unions! They were working forty minutes then an hours rest. Each dog has a speciality such as drugs, explosives and unexpectedly pyrotechnics “Fireworks”.

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                                         TO CONCLUDE:

So once again I can only ask for your comments? Were you at both events? Have you been to F1 but put off going to le Mans? Was your Silverstone Woodlands experience a hit or a great big miss?  I have had to remember that the points highlighted are only what I feel are relevant to what are two completely different events. The fact they had the equivalent of a mini Glastonbury with entertainment, shops, bars and food at what I considered fair prices is totally irrelevant. What I would say is I did enjoy the camping! Very much. And would I advise my friends to take there precious kids? An overwhelming yes! I hope soon I can say the same about Le Mans!

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(motoring-man) formula One le mans le mans 24 hours silverstone camping tetre rouge le mans woodlands Campsite https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/7/motoring-mans-f1-camping-experience-v-le-mans-have-your-say Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:13:20 GMT
Le Mans 24 What To Do Now? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/7/le-mans-24-what-to-do-now motorman201606201820240201 (1)motorman201606201820240201 (1)

 

Since writing my last Blog "BURNING TENTS AND THE ACO “s GREED?" I have been inundated with messages, replies and comments about similar incidents that have spoilt peoples enjoyment of the Le Mans experience. Now I write my blog as a motor racing fan who enjoys writing and of course as seller of motoring memorabilia. Not as revolutionary so to speak! But I do feel that after the support other fans have shown me I must at least use this opportunity to bring some of their problems to light. 

I looks like have the got the ear of a few representatives who may have access to the powers to be at the ACO. I have also been asked to start a petition to them! But here is the problem "What exactly are we the collective asking for?' 

There is a fine line between over policing the event and what we have now which is a free for all! I have a few ideas what I would like to see done but Mad Max and his chums, who don't forget read these forums, rather like the Thunderdome!

I will put down just a few things, that from reading all the comments, I believe should be changed or looked into and I hope that you will all give your views on each point. If it seems to be overwhelmingly clear that there is agreement on them I will do my best to get them to the powers to be. Lets see what you all think.

 

1 OPEN FIRES: Although fun to many it does seem crazy in a packed campsite. It is clear that so many people have had there weekend ruined by this.

 

2 Security: A properly trained professional security from Monday to Monday, that can just step in when things seem to be getting a little out of hand. 

 

3 Fireworks: No Fireworks on site. So many problems with them.

 

4 Fireworks: Dedicated areas for safe release. An idea adopted at big events in Germany. 

 

5 Gate security: A review of exactly what it is for? Is it alcohol? Arms? Knives? Terrorists? 

 

I am now of to Silverstone for the Grand prix. In stark contrast to Le Mans it is a bit of a rip off, lacks good spectator views but the Campsite at Woodlands does have a lot going for it now-days. We shall see!

 

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(motoring-man) https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/7/le-mans-24-what-to-do-now Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:40:49 GMT
BURNING TENTS AND THE ACO “s GREED? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/6/burning-tents-and-the-aco-s-greed So Motoring-man went to Le Mans and got his tent burnt down! I had lent this four berth luxury canvas home to my friend Dave and his wife Val and they carelessly got it destroyed by fireworks after just one night! 
All joking aside they were damed lucky to be alive or at the very least seriously burnt! After a wonderful evening out in the old town Le Mans, newbie Val was incredibly tired and needed her bed, but fortunately we missed the tram home and were delayed by half an hour! Thank goodness we were, as when we got back to camp, we were greeted by the smouldering remains of not just the tent but the air bed, clothes, shoes and all their personal possessions. “Val could have been in there“ Dave said as he broke down in tears.
The culprits were a group of french lads who kicked over a large aerial firework display that they were messing around with. I guess at first it may have seemed funny until a rocket hit a passer by sending him to hospital with a injured hand. Another rocket shot out horizontal piercing our two tent walls and straight into the sleeping area of the tent before going off! I honestly think if they had been in there, they would have had no time to escape, as it was right beside the pillows!
Now I have been to Le Mans 38 times and I love the partying, the drinking and the racing but........
The last few years I have been quite annoyed with the level of hooliganism that has crept into the whole event. I am talking of acts, that a small group of individuals think is fun but ruin other peoples whole weekend. 
A couple of examples from camping Houx last year. A couple of 350zs doing donuts in the dry sandy soil and sending up massive plumes of red dust. Whoops of joy and laughter from their friends but the couple in the motorhome beside the road left vowing never to return to Le Mans, after having their evening ruined, after everything including their dinner was wrecked. A classic example of how someone’s fun is at the total expense of others.
I was intending to leave on the Sunday after the race this year as fires on the campsite got completely out of hand last year. Quite ironically I said I didn’t want to risk having my tent and awning burnt! Again it’s great fun when the Dutch guys put on patio tables and two fridges! Thick black acrid smoke is so funny! But then again if you breath it in and shorten your life so what, and if you are camped just feet away in your Motorhome, you have to again pack and leave. Again the couple vowed never to return! I too had to leave early as I was a about 50 meters downwind and decided it was impossible to sleep inside the motorhome as the smoke was being drawn into the bedroom windows. Never mind as long as they enjoyed themselves!
So should the ACO take a little more responsibility? I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU GUYS THINK?
My view is that the ACO is getting greedy and to all intensive purposes selfish! I find it very difficult to criticise a place that I love so dear! But I must! Here are few points I have observed:
1: Security: Now France has had a pretty rough time with terrorist attacks so you can understand the stop checks at the campsites! The big guy has a look through your van or the back of your car, all well and good, but what is he looking for? Maybe explosives? No can’t be that, as there are enough fireworks to build a huge bomb! Knives maybe? Can’t be that either as we are all camping! I have no idea? do you?
When you leave camping Houx and go into the circuit the security take a look inside your bag and confiscates all alcohol! The very uninterested souls tirelessly stand for hours on end not making any effort to confront punters (Maybe terrorists) who just chuck a rucksack over the fence a few meters along. 
So are the ACO looking after their own coffers and making sure we pay a rip off 9 euros a pint inside or are they protecting us from would be killers?

2: With our camp on fire and a quite distressed couple genuinely in tears, it would seem sensible to call the police. While fellow campers who are now legends consoled Val and Dave, providing them with drinks, sleeping bags and blankets my wife and Dave’s brother walked down to the gate to ask security for help. The response was to say the least outrageous! Under no circumstances were we to call the police and my wife’s phone was taken from her and the call to them disconnected after a junior security man dialled it! To cut a long story short we had to travel into Le Mans city in the morning to the Gendarmery to report the event and get a crime report for insurance.

3: Back to the racing and back to my previous article “Have Le Mans fans been stitched up like a kipper?’ The LMP1s stood no chance at all and the balance of performance of half a second a lap was bull! But what surprised me was that all the fans I talked to had little or no idea of what was going on in the Le Mans 24 Hours! Most knew that Porsche and Audi had gone and Jenson Button was in the race but not sure which car! The ACO lost it’s manufacturers, for goodness sake don’t loose your fans. Otherwise it will just be a big piss up for lunatics who have scared all the others away.

I really did not want to come across as a boring old fart, but to be honest the whole tent affair was really much worse than can be written here. The young man next to us was in his tent at his first Le Mans. He was scared stiff and left early never to return. I will return to Le Mans, I will get drunk, I will do something daft but I hope as long as I live I wont spoil it for others!

PS Val you are a legend! In the over 50s club and your first Le Mans, first time ever camping (OK you vowed never to enter a tent for the rest of your life!!!!). All the time smiling in the face of adversity you stayed on to see the race, vowing that a group of idiots were not going to ruin your week-end! And I don’t think they did!

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(motoring-man) 24 heures du mans 2018 bmw le mans camping le mans le mans 24 hours lemans24 hours 2018 lmp1 motoring-man rebellion tetre rouge le mans https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/6/burning-tents-and-the-aco-s-greed Fri, 29 Jun 2018 10:53:51 GMT
Newbie At Le Mans 24 Hours Part 2 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/6/newbie-at-le-mans-24-hours-part-2 Part 2 No More Prep
Le mans 24 Hours & Newbie is on the road to the great race!

Arriving at the ferry port waiting lanes the boys can't wait to see what cars are on the pilgrimage. There is a good hours wait before boarding, so we all step out of the van. All except Bagpuss who's having a kip. There is a group of guys and girls behind us in a very old Winnebago so we share a few words, have a quick beer and a laugh and a joke.

I decide to go for a look around and Twit decides to tag along.
As we wander I almost immediately find racing fans are very easy to spot: the Racing Car Tee shirt, the Le Mans group type shirt (you know know the ones, Club Arnage, Beer Mountain, Drinking for Britain,) all self explanatory. But the older super car drivers in distinctive trousers catch me off guard! Will anyone ever be able to tell me why the red cords? Don't get me wrong if I ever get the Ferrari I will be straight down Moss Bros for a pair.
I guess it's code for" I am minted". 
Then there are the "Old Hands" with their deck chairs out with a picnic table, a glass of wine and nibbles. All compact enough to slip back in the boot of the Aston or the Jaguar.

The trip down: A time for breaking in newbees

Once on the French roads we are part on a massive cavalcade of British registered cars all on their way down to La Sarthe the area in which Le Mans resides.

Dell up front has so many great memories of his thirty five trips. He keeps chipping in with observations like "I remember doing 150 MPH once down this road in an old Datsun 240z, great car by the way"
There was a couple of classic remarks "I remember breaking down in this town back in 92" but the most common memories seemed to be "I remember that bar one year"

The journey down was really lots of fun, with a harmless playful vibe inside the van. And every beep of a car horn in recognition of another great sports car flaming past us made the feeling of sharing a very special event all the more real. I was starting to feel like one of the boys laughing at every turn as I skidded across the van floor on my plastic patio seat which was no longer wedged in as the beer crates were some what depleted by now!

And of course there was the "Le Mans" compilation of music! Basically driving songs and old classics belting out from the massive home speakers near my feet at the back of the van. 
We had Radar Love. Yellow's "The Race" with its superb sound of a V8. There was of course Madness Driving in my car. I was really enjoying doing an air guitar solo to "This sex is on fire". 
Then just outside the town of Sees Dell leans around again and commands silence as a low crackling noise comes from the sub woofers. To a man everyone goes silent and listens intently as the sound of windscreen wipers and a radio traffic message come through. Not sure what was going on both Scarey and Bagpuss smile. Bagpuss puts a finger over his lips to say shush. As the sound of rain and noise gets louder a guitar string sounds.Patiently we all wait then after nearly three minutes the whole van slowly recites the classic words; 
"Stood still on a highway, I saw a woman ......by the side of the road......With a face like I new like my own. Reflected in my window. .......Well she walked up to my quater light .......and she bent down real slow. A fearful pressure paralysed me in my shadow" by this point with the whole van, me and Chris Rea belting out Road to Hell I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stood up proud.

Things don't get much better than this I think as I took a deep breath before almost shouting "What are you doing here? 
At this point all hell did break loose as Chris's main guitar rift was joined by everyone's air guitar including Dave who was standing on his seat totally immersed in the song. "On your journey across the wilderness from the desert to the well you have strayed upon the......"
Suddenly from up front shouts of "Calm it down a minute in the back will you? Gendarmes. Should be OK they are just over-taking." Then a very serious Dell proclaims "Shit we are being pulled over"

The van pulls into a small lay you for lorries. As the vehicle comes to a halt Derek winds down the drivers window and leans to the back and reassuringly whispers "Keep quite and it should be OK"

Two Gendarmes approached the van window. " Vous avez papiers" Our cool driver handed over his driving licence, insurance and passport with no words exchanged and the two men in blue headed away from the van to check the paperwork. After what seems an age they returned to the window and in the back you could have hear a pin drop as there is complete silence inside the van.

"C'Est OK" they say. I feel a sense of relief now the situation seems to have been resolved...The Gendarmes started to walk away from the van. But what's this they have returned to the window and gesture to the back of the van. Team leader Derek jumps out and escorts them to the back doors. He then opens them wide to reveal me sat comfortably in my patio chair. They two officers of the law look dumbfounded and shake their heads at my precarious seating option.

They gestured for me to get out from the van. Everyone jumps out smartly to show solidarity. Once in the lay by my stomach turns over as I started to realise the seriousness of the situation. In an accent resembling someone I have heard before the first Gendarme speaks slowly and sternly in broken english "Your situation iz very bad. You av been very bad. Show me some identification now" he demands.

I desperately rummage through my pockets for my wallet and then struggle as my hands shake wildly as I open it. Fumbling I manage to extract my drivers licence and hand it over. He then looks over it and hands it to his colleague. They then both made eye contact and shake their heads simultaneously.
"Vee may av to arrest you and take you away so you must give me your belt to stop you urting yourself in custody. So aand... it to me now, let down your chinos to ankle height. Dis is a simply a way to stop you running avay do not be alarmed."

I couldn't believe the state I was in and was almost on the verge of tears. Fumbling again I undo the belt and with a feeling of solemn resignation I let my trousers fall to my ankles. Feeling totally vulnerable I resign myself to what ever fate be holds me. With my head down and despondent I notice the gendarme has a twitchy hand and it keeps brushing over his gun. It was like tunnel vision as I cannot take my eyes from the deadly weapon and the only thing I can hear is the policeman.
"Now I will decide your punishment! Bad people go to prison! But I could decide to punish you now" he retorts.
I swear I heard a couple of chuckles or were they coughs.
I think "Bastards! My so called new mates and not one is sticking up for me. And where the hell had I heard that voice before?
Suddenly I feel like I have woken up and something is not quite right but what. Damn what is it? 
The Gendarme speaks again "I ave decided not to prison you, but to spank your bottom, you naughty man" 
Suddenly I clocked it! It's voice of the guy from "Allo Allo".
I slowly and deliberately raise my head and in a very sarcastic voice declare "Don't tell me you will only say this once! You bastard".

Everyone lets it go and there is total mayhem and uncontrollable laughter from everyone including the Gendarmes. Still not quite sure what has just happened I collapse to my knees in relief and emotional exhaustion. Dell then crouches down beside me and puts an arm around my shoulder and introduces me to his brother in law Mike the Gendarme along with his best mate Colin. But the uniforms and guns" I declare. 
"We bought them about five years ago along with the fake guns. Even the moustache is fake! Mike does Le Mans every year and we arrange this for every Newbie. You didn't even notice the British plates on the blue car! Congratulations you are the first to actually get his trousers down".
"You bastards. I can't believe it bastards".

With everyone patting me on the back or congratulating me in tears of laughter the van reloads and I sit stunned and silent in my patio chair for a few miles. Eventually it dawns on me the brilliance of the prank and laugh out loud.

"Excuse me everyone. ...I will say this only once!" I pause "Bastards!" I shout "Bastards"

Hypermarket

I bet loads of fellow Newbies now and over the years are unaware of the supermarket stop and the protocol that goes with it. For me it was the Auchan on the North Circular just after we had the big cheer for the signpost. Well it did have "Le Mans" written on it!

"Here we are. We shall be just pulling into the shopping complex boys" a smiling Stu informs us. 
Always one for a bargain I pipe up "Did you see up there there was an Aldi and a Lidl,Dell?"
Dell turns around like a shot, and like a magnet I draw the stern looks of sixteen eyes all looking rather imposing "We always stop here! So first timers like yourself be aware we are not stopping anywhere else end off. Plus it's tradition OK?" 
Dell looks to me for a confirmation.
Weakly I reply "Fine by me everyone, I wanted to go in here anyway"
Scary pats my back and calmly says "That's the spirit" and beams his colgate smile directly at me.
"Come on bail out, your going to like this" he adds"

As we congregate outside the doors to Auchane Derek try's to organise us "Right then Scarey, Newbie, Stu and Bagpuss you get the trolleys here's the four Euros".
Scarey holds out his palm to accept the coins and then Dell says "Bagpuss you sort out the boxes OK" Bagpuss nods in acknowledgement.
"Right then Expert and Twit you get the empty pink Eski for good measure" 
"And what are you going to do Dell talk to officer Dibell?" Says Bagpuss.
Dell pauses before smiling and replying "You cheeky git! Top Cat does the driving so I might just do nothing! Ok with you Benny" 
We all laugh and get on.

The Auchane on the outskirts of Le Mans is truly enormous. It is a good five minute walk through the shopping mall just to the hyper market entrance! Once inside you can see row after row of aisles. "Right then we don't need much in the way of food just crisps and pistachios. We need blue cheese and that smelly French stuff"
"Camembert Dell" says Scary
"What is?"
"The name of the Bloody cheese!"
"Yeah Cannon something or other. Can you sort that out Scarey. I am going to the fish counter with the cool boxes, we'll meet up at the beer and wine aisle in ten"
"Fish Dell?" I ask puzzled.
With a chuckle and another beaming smile "Come with me Newbie" and with that we scoot off to the fish counter each with a trolley and each containing two empty cool boxes.

A few yards from the counter Dell without a care in the world wolf whistles the Lady behind the mountains of fish and ice. I just can't believe him but to my astonishment the middle aged women attired in blue overalls, wellingtons and a piny smiles and sets off out front to great him. With a warm smile and a wonderful soft French accent she joyfully cries "Derrick".
She then proceeds to hug him. I just can't believe it and look on in disbelief.

Dell places his hands on her shoulders and pushes her back a couple of steps and deliberately looks her up and down "Wow beautiful" he says.
She blushes and replies with a smile before grabbing the first trolley and taking it behind the fish counter. She opens the first box places the lid carefully on the side and then picks up a large shovel and proceeds to scoop up the fresh ice and fills the box. Nothing more is said as we both watch her collect the second trolley and repeat the process of filling the boxes with ice. She then delivers them back to the front. By this time a small cue is watching on and everyone seems happy enough to wait while once again the two old friends embrace kiss on both cheeks. "Au Revoir Dell"
"Au Revoir.....Till next year fish face" Dell shouts as he walks away.

As we push the now quite heavy ice laden shopping trolleys away I turn to Dell. I don't say anything but he replies "What?"
"You know what" I smile.
"Oh the fish girl" he chuckles like a schoolboy "Believe it or not I met her twenty years ago. She was a very young waitress in the cafe over there and I tried everything to chat her up. Four years in a row I stopped here and went for a coffee and another go at pulling her. I thought I got close once but no cigar. On the fifth year she wasn't there anymore so stopping here had lost its magic" 
Dell pauses leans on his trolley looking wistful before continuing "Well anyway I stopped here the next year just to get shopping and as I got around here by the fish counter she ran out and greeted me. She doesn't speak much English but I got the impression she missed me pestering her the year before, and now she had a job with the fish. The ice thing started about ten years ago. It's just a godsend having it for the beer and it will stay frozen for about three days if you pack things in it tightly."
I look Derick in the eye, frown and ask "Was any off that true"
He spreads his hands apart blows out his cheeks and let's out a long sigh before he calmly saying "No"
"Oh no don't walk away, I need to know you couldn't have made all that up could you?"
"Come on you muppet of course it's true. Now let's get down the booze alley."

As we arrive at the incredibly long wine aisle Derrick stops and looks around as if he has thought of something profound. He pauses before turning to me and says "You know the French supermarket is something the partners at home will never understand. At home we avoid them at all cost, they eat our money and are mundane. But the French supermarkets are great they only seem to promote beer, wine and food to accompany the alcohol. And it's cheap, well it must be because none of us ever check the price! We just throw it all in." He then points in front with a chuckle. And sure enough there in front of us is the rest of the group with their trolleys laden high to overflowing! Case after case of beer and wine.
"Hi boys" says Stu "I see you have the ice. We've gone for the healthy option of five a day"
Scarey holds up a shopping basket "I got the cheese and nuts Dell" 
He then comes close before smiling and then whispering to Dell "Be careful With Twit. Because at this point and being the youngest in the group he is at his most venerable!.....
Expert is now a fecking wine expert and you have left him with the halfwit"
We both smile before Dell replies "Look at the poor sod he is Mesmerised by the giant array of coloured wine bottles"
Expert stands back from the wine shelf bottle in hand and looks toward us before curtly stating "I can hear you lot insulting me, but I'll have you know I nearly bought a vin yard in Bulgaria a few years ago!"
"So how the feck does that relate to French wine?" Asks Dell
"Well in Bulgaria they have winters similar to the northern part of France and the grape harvest reflects" 
Expert is stopped mid sentence as Dell sarcastically yawns and says "Oh tell us something we don't know already".
Expert slams the bottle down with quite a clink and the bottles rattle on the shelf. He looks a little annoyed and worryingly marches the few steps over towards us. He goes very red in the face and loudly declares "Ok I will tell you something you don't know." 
We all keep quite as we are taken aback by his umbrage to the banter. His lips quiver in rage before stating "I used to have a dog! A golden retriever called Goldie. I loved my dog and he was a great family pet. I used to walk him every morning and evening. He came to the shed with me and just used to generally keep me company. And I miss my dog"
"Ah... ok Expert" Says Dell
We all look on puzzled by the statement and by the way Expert is staring straight ahead like we are all invisible. Just as it is getting uncomfortable Twit asks "What happened to your dog Expert?"
"Well one night I had a dream that Goldie was given a special power to speak four words to me! He had to be really careful and pick the right words so he could express himself. So after what seemed an age I was sat in my arm chair Goldie gets up from the floor walks over to me and sits in front of me and looks up to me just like when he wants a stroke. His mouth opens and he says four words." In this most surreal of shopping trips we all wait in the wine aisle with baited breath to hear what the four words were. 
Expert purses his lips and slowly states "I DON'T LIKE YOU!" 
He then just goes silent. Completely bemused I break the silence and ask "What's that got to do with you missing the dog?"
Expert looks at me as if I am stupid before stating what he thought was the obvious "Well I couldn't keep him could I? Not after a dream like that. For days every time I looked at him I could just see him saying I don't like you. I lasted about a week before I found a home for him with my nephew."
"Expert what the hells this got to do with anything" a bewildered Scarry asks.
"Dell asked me to tell you something you don't know, well you didn't know that did you" he Immediately he replies.
"Your off your head. In fact you are a complete fruit cake" Dell shakes his head in disbelief before again stating "Your off your box complete nutter"
We all laugh as Dell puts him arm around his shoulder and starts to lead him away laughing " let's get you back to the van". 
Then from around the corner comes Bagpuss armed with the biggest pile of French bread you have ever seen. "I could hear the laughter what have I missed?"


With the last of the extra supplies loaded into, onto and literally on us the van chugs away from the supermarket and back on to the main Le Mans ring road. Dave turns to me from his seat just in front of me and says "Do you know what Newbie. I still get a little excited on this part of the trip. I just love to see the old landmarks and once you get the first sight of the grandstands you realise this place is special" 
I smile warmly at Dave's sincerity and listened and looked intently as he first pointed to the east "If you look there that is the cathedral at the heart of the city"
Stood proud on a small elevation was the gothic church with clearly visible ramparts but no spire. Set amongst the sprawl of French urban planning it was very noticeable that Le Mans is a city, and a large one to. A few minutes later he was again urging me to look.
"See the coloured arrows on the junctions they are the different campsites. You can approach them from alternate routes. And this massive junction is Pointleau. In the early years of the race the cars used to race around the tight junction here".
As I looked out the window the massive billboard caught my eye. Three cars at speed with the words below "Le Passion Le Mans". It really was a fine piece of art.
If you turn up that hill it will lead you past the Carrefour supermarket and then the road turns into the straight!"
"What as in the circuit?"
"Yes, half the circuit is public road. We'll go down it in the van in a while. We carry on up here two junctions because we like to go over the hill which looks down on the main straight."

After about five minutes of heavy traffic we start to head up a small hill with a few shops and bars on either side. After about a kilometre we reach a roundabout at the top take the second exit and there it is. The whole horizon is dominated by the backs of massive grandstands, billboards and recognisable structures like the Ferris wheel, giant screens and a huge half a tyre in the shape of a bridge or is it a bridge in the shape of a tyre. I smile and try to imagine the track amongst it all. The sheer scale of the place is really so cool. 
The atmosphere in the van is electric as the whole entourage are excited to be here. Scarry slaps me on the back and says "You made it Newbie".
I smile and acknowledge the sincerity and warmth of Scarey's statement with a high five "Cheers"

We descend down a hill off the busy road and stop at a set of lights "That's the main entrance opposite and that to the left is the Le Mans museum, it's full of Le Mans cars and really cool" adds Twit.
"When have you been in the museum?" Dave asks.
"I haven't been in"
"Then how do you know it's cool?"
"Cos its full of Le Mans cars in it!"
Dave rolls his eyes and calmly replies "Yes it must be cool if it has those in it" he then leans toward me and Scarey and is grinning he then silently mouths "Twit" while shacking is head in disbelief.

The lights turn green and we turn left under a large bridge which carries the main road we have turned off. As we come out of the dark the-other side Dell slows and indicates right. Dave, Stu and Bagpuss cheer as they realise he is turning into the Carpark of the bar "I don't know about you guys but I'm gagging for a pint"

Aux Portes Des Circuit is on a red neon sign right across the front of this simple looking building. From an open front car park straight off the road the bar sits on an elevated concrete base. In front of the entrance is a two meter wide terrace with tables and chairs. It has a thick metal railing all the way around the veranda and a set of steps up the middle. There are a couple of sports cars parked and some tents on a strip of grass down the side of the bar.

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(motoring-man) 24 heures du mans 2018 camping houx camping le mans le mans le mans 24 hours le mans 24 hours 2018" lmp1 rebellion https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/6/newbie-at-le-mans-24-hours-part-2 Sun, 10 Jun 2018 12:17:15 GMT
First Time Le Mans Newbies and Preparation! https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/6/first-time-le-mans-newbies-and-preparation First Time Le Mans Newbies and Preparation!

What a beautiful day! I am sat in my garden, I have crisps, a glass of wine, sunscreen on and of course radio Le Mans on my blue tooth speaker. And after all the negative things I have written about this years Le Mans I can honestly say I am excited now. 
It's the same every year, even after nearly forty visits to the great race I get goosebumps once I hear the test day on the radio. You could say this is my test day out in the garden.

My friends that are travelling with me next week think that I am all cool and low key but once they read this they will realise that deep down I am just a little boy inside!
Next week I will be obsessed with prep! I am sure I am not alone on this one. All across the country Le Mans fans are readying! But what about Newbies?

If you are a Newbie it usually starts down the pub when you are sick to death of your new friends who go to Le Mans every year. The seem to only able talk about one week in June! Trying to change the subject is absolutely futile. 
Talk about the Footy World Cup, and the boys reply
"Fantastic! We will be watching the first match at the Harlequin bar in Arnage. The waitress there wears Tres Bonn Lycra as she serves seize-soixante-quatre".

Oh no not again! You try movies " Seen any good movies lately boys? "
"Yea saw Bullet and Great Escape! Did you know the bike was a BSA?"
Another will chip in with "I saw Towering Inferno and Papion".
Change the subject quick! I know lets try the weather, but alas you are more likely to hear, "I looked at Accu-weather for 51 week ahead forecast and its looking good for France in June".
"Alright, alright boys can I come?"
"Never thought you would ask, £100 deposit that will do nicely!"

From this point on some things will seem quite unusual and your friends behaviour on the build up to Le Mans will seem quite bizarre.
Vehicle preparation can not be underestimated. When you go on holiday you pack the car the day before you leave, but not so the team bus. The first items like tents, gazebos and patio furniture have to be in there at least two weeks before. And cleanliness is paramount, it may be the only time in a year that it will be washed and valeted, but for one week June it becomes a "classic transit". The music system needs the big speakers fitted, the public address system needs to be installed, racing stripes and team logo must be affixed.

SP0273SP0273
Also team preparation is very important to the Le Mans regular, it is something you can only understand once you are broken in. Already in shock after chipping in for some stickers embellishing Steve McQueen giving you the two fingers. You will wonder why you are chipping in for a paddling pool, high powered water pistols, rubber ducks, Christmas lights, a Satellite TV, a fridge and a fecking microwave! How much is this weekend in France going to cost. "More than you would believe young man".

Once you sign up to go to the great race your jaw will drop when team leader requests your measurements for your uniform (well team tee shirt) and he intends to have Chris the Knob the Le Mans Lemon written on the back! You may think you have made the worst decision of your life and you have fallen in to some strange occult group. Don't worry you have, and he has your deposit so you have to go.

The Le Mans regular will know that as the days slowly tick by and the leaving date gets closer the excitement builds up. Team meetings are not weekly but nightly as every minute detail needs to be planned. Wive's and girlfriends will fail to understand the phone ringing hourly with requests like have you a spare fridge, TV aerial or a hose fitting. They just don't get the constant checking of the internet for weather, traffic and forum news. Some partners don't even understand why you need a small mortgage to just watch cars go around and around. How silly is that?
This being your first Le Mans you try to engage with the group as much as possible. You offer your second fridge from the garage as Stu thinks fridge and freezer are a great idea. Your partner thinks taking white goods to a field in France is crazy but still lovingly empties and washes it with you and then threatens to kill you if it doesn't return in the same condition. Like a scalded child you promise to be a good boy. 

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When the big day finally arrives you are to meet at the pub at four. Your wife offers to drop you off. As you pull into the pub car park she sees the team bus for the first time. A look of puzzlement and a glance at you "Why is Steve McQueen on there doing that? And RAF circles? What's drinking for England mean? What kind of trip is this? ........You said it was just a Motor Race in France!" 
Then she bursts into tears and starts to wail manically and begs for you not to go on the asylum outing. You lean over towards the drivers seat, place your arms around her and hold her tight as she sobs. As you console her like a knight in shinning armour you notice out the side window a couple of the lads have walked over to see what the noise is and they start to mimic being sick and are gesticulating for you to come on. Board with the melodramatics you release your arms and explain the sooner you leave the sooner you will be back. Not strictly true but it does the trick and you smartly jump out grab your bags and don't look back. "

 

Once in the pub you kindly accept a pint and sigh as the lads grill you on what was going on in the car. 
"What did you do to make her wail like that? "
"Hang out with you gits" you retort. 
The time has come for Tee shirts to be handed out and the team members are excited to see what name they have on the back this year.
Derek has "Team Leader 35 and counting" 
Stuart has "Pissed Stu" 
One of the group you have never met before a beefy bloke who rather resembles one the Hairy Bikers has "Scary" on the back.
Dave has "Posh Git". 
Jonathan has "Wine Expert" which is a bit of a puzzle to him and you.
The youngsters have "Twit 1" and " Twit 2" and being youngsters are delighted with there derogatory aliases. Last but not least it is time for yours. You feel trepidation but Derek has been kind Newbey".
You feel quite a relief and take to your new alias easily.
A couple of hours later and team leader Derek is pleading to load the van or miss the ferry. Stu is pissed already and Dave is not far off, but everybody is ready for taking there places. But what's this eight of you travelling and only seven seats. You are far to polite and by boarding last you find you in the plastic patio chair! It is carefully wedged in between the beer crates and tied off with a piece of rope to the back door. Definitely not legal in the UK but pissed Stu is adamant it is legal in France and you can't argue with that can you.........................

Motoring-Man is a lifelong fan of Motor Racing and has a memorabilia passion / business
And loves to write!

Check out my new Blog and Web page

http://www.motoring-man.com/

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(motoring-man) 24 heures du mans 2018 camping houx camping le mans le mans le mans newbie lemans24 hours 2018 lmp1 rebellion tetre rouge le mans https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/6/first-time-le-mans-newbies-and-preparation Tue, 05 Jun 2018 09:02:49 GMT
ArgentIna Temporada Races And My Exciting Discoveries https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/argentina-temporada-races-and-my-exciting-discoveries ArgentIna Temporada Races And My Exciting Discoveries

Oscar Gálvez now that's not a name everyone's familiar with, but he raced and beat Fangio along with some other motor racing greats! And to be honest he's not a racing driver I was familiar with either, well not until yesterday, when I had to look him up on Google. You see I have bought an amazing collection of photographs from Argentina a couple of months back and now it is time to get them identified and listed in my shop. They are from 1947 to 1960 and I have a book called "The Argentine Temporada Motor Races" to help me, as many of these one off photographs were used inside! But to be honest it has been a slow process as each picture tells a story that is both fascinating and surprising.
From what I can make out Temporada means Season, so we are looking at Argentinian Season. And between 1935 and 1941 there were 30 plus races on loose surface tracks all across the massive country. In 1935 it even hosted an international Grand Prix in Buenos Aires. This made Argentina one of the worlds' hot beds of racing before the outbreak of war in Europe.
After the war the motor racing mad Argentinians were desperate to get the European stars of the day to race on their home soil, and so the first so called Grand Prix took place at Retiro circuit. This was closely followed by a race at Rosario. From Europe came Archille Varzi driving an Alfa Romeo and Luigi Villoresi driving a Maserati 4CL. I have some brilliant photographs of the cars chasing through the amazing parkland circuit. One of the photographs I have is a super looking Alfa 308 with coloured bonnet. And this was the local driver Oscar Gálvez who not only raced, but led the Europeans before retiring with mechanical problems. He went on to not only win future races, but was Argentine Champion multiple times. So the puzzle really was why had I never heard of Oscar? From what I can make out it was purely political as the countries leader General Peron favoured his main rival Juan Fangio and a certain Froilan Gonzalez. Both of these great drivers received government sponsorship to race in Europe. The unfortunate Oscar had to remain in Argentina and only ever really got his chance to shine against the stars at the Temporada Races! He lived a long life though and eventually the Buenos Aires Grand Prix circuit was named in honour of him.

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Another major surprise for me was the inclusion of some fantastic racing photographs of the Mercedes W154. Now you have to forgive my ignorance but I presumed these were prewar pictures. I had always thought their racing days had finished in 1939. But no in 1951 Mercedes sent a team of three cars over to Argentina to contest the Temporada Grand Prix's. The drivers were Hanns Hermann and Karl Kling and ironically Juan Fangio. I say ironically because when the Automobile Club Of Argentina was setting out the race course Fangio complained that the two very long straights be shortened to lower the average speed. He insisted this was on the grounds of safety not of course because the very powerful W154s would utterly dominate. Fangio then found himself contracted to drive for Mercedes as he could hardly say no when he had just opened up a dealership in Argentina. As it turned out the Mercedes were still very fast and dominated practice but the Ferrari team had the edge in the races on the twisty circuit. 
We have a driver I'd never heard of, one of the greatest cars ever, making a ghost like appearance for the very last time. So as I make my way through the fifty or so other pictures, what other exciting fascinations will arise? I do know Ferrari's first win outside Europe was in Argentina. The first rear wheel drive Grand Prix win was here. And from some of the pictures I can guess that some of the biggest crowds in the history of Motor Racing were in Buenos Aires. And I haven't even looked into the picture of Evita Peron with Farina! 
Motor Racing memorabilia, memories and stories are often so much more interesting than the racing as the human side is often so intriguing and laced with mystery. I look forward to reporting on any other discoveries.

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Motoring-Man is a lifelong fan of Motor Racing and has a memorabilia passion / business

 

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(motoring-man) argentina temporada races mercedes w154 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/argentina-temporada-races-and-my-exciting-discoveries Wed, 30 May 2018 18:59:05 GMT
Brighton Speed Trials Revelation https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/brighton-speed-trials-revelation I have followed and loved Motor Racing all my life and think I know a bit about most of it. But after digitalising a recent set of negatives from the 1960s I was shocked! I originally acquired the negatives for the wonderful GT and F1 cars on the film, but half way through was a set of pictures from the Brighton Speed Trials. And what wonderful pictures they are! The cars are amazing!

Now I knew of the Speed Trials but had always thought it was a small event on the south coast with little or no relevance to anything that interested me. Judging by the pictures it seems I had been missing out, so I have been doing a little research. 

The pictures are of 1962 a year when Dragsters were first invited to the 1km run along the Brighton seafront! Yes dragsters! The legendary Sydney Allard turned up with his beautiful Allard and was expected to break all the records. Unfortunately Sydney had some glitches with the car and secured only third place being beaten by a supercharged Vincent motorcycle and a Chevy powered Cooper of Chris Summers. 

Sydney Allard Dragster Brighton Speed Trials 1962Sydney Allard Dragster Brighton Speed Trials 1962Sydney Allard was expected to break all the record in 1962 but after a few problems and some demo runs was classified 4th with a time of 22.04 seconds.
This image is very clear for an amatuer picture and will enlarge quite nicely.

All together there were a massive 257 entries! This leads me to feel, that although there were exotic race cars and sports cars, this event was open to virtually anyone. The smallest car on my pictures is a super little 750cc Fiat Zagato Abarth. There are some very old cars from before the war including pictures of famous Brooklands Bentleys, this include three shots of the famous "Barnato Hassan Special". One picture is of a Fiat is a 21 litre, aero-engined FIAT “Mephistopheles” what a monster this is!

And then of course there is the exotic! I have a couple of stunning pictures of a Ferrari 250 MM by Pinin Farina and another two of a Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta. The first picture on the role is a super sleek Mercedes 300SL.

Now I have done a bit of research i will carry on taking an interest and learning more about this great event! Maybe you could too?

If you would like to see the pictures of the 1962 Brighton Speed Trials here is the link in red:       Brighton Speed Trials Photographs 1962 Link

 

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(motoring-man) barnato hassan special brighton brighton speed trials 1962 ferrari berlinetta fiat mephistopheles mephistopheles speed sydney allard trials" https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/brighton-speed-trials-revelation Thu, 24 May 2018 07:39:44 GMT
My First Le Mans In 1977 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/my-first-le-mans-in-1977 MY FIRST LE MANS

I am just coming up to my 38th Le Mans at least that is what I think it is! I have been with my Parents, my Friends, on my Own, with my Wife, with my Daughter and the last few years with my Son. I have written about Le Mans and sportscar racing but just the other day I was asked what made you first go. Well the strange thing was I had not thought about it for years! I just go! I really had to give this some thought as memories can be quite misleading. Here is the story how I remember it.

As a weekly subscriber to Motoring News when I was aged ten! I just loved the Sports Racing Cars. I am sure a lot of the fascination was due to the beauty of the Martini Livery on the all dominating Porches which seemed to be on the front of every other issue. When I was eleven years old in 1976 for Christmas I received the stunning automobile year book. I was completely loopy about F1 racing as well, especially Niki Lauda. Well as I poured over the wonderful Edita photographs in my book I eventually got to the Le Mans section. I am not sure if it was the incredible pictures of the pit straight with the enormous crowds or again a certain Martini Liveried Porsche beside the bright yellow Renault A442 that got me hooked on Le Mans racing. But that book changed everything. I just had to go to the great race! I was not from a rich family and the idea of going to the greatest of sports car races at Le Mans seemed a very unlikely prospect.
Living in Bournemouth I had a distinct advantage for securing my trip. Well at the very least I had something to play with. A local coach firm called Excelsior Travel used to mail shot my parents with the holiday brochure. We had been on some local trips with them before so over my cornflakes one morning I perused through the pages. I couldn't believe it there it was a trip to the 24 hours of Le Mans for £24 (I think). Oh my poor parents! I can't really remember too much but I knew I badgered them senseless until we had three seats booked for June.
It would be easy to say I remember loads but I don't. I have some very vivid memories that must have shaped my passion. I know that when we arrived the coach was parked at what is now the Tetre Rouge campsite beside what was the massive fair ground.It was parked up and left open for the duration of the race so we could come back and kip in our seats.Tartan seats and steamy windows with beads of rain at night. It must have been the first time i had heard different languages and been part of a huge crowd but it wasn't that that I remember first.It was I vividly recall that the Germans had drinking tables padlocked to the fence at the Esses corner. Fascinating stuff for a young boy!

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The fair just the other side of the fence was truly amazing and so exotic compared to home. Let's face it in those days you did not have naked women on the front of strip shows in the UK. And I saw nowhere at home where you could pick up a rifle for a few Francs and shoot china plates out of the tall pine trees! Wow I loved it. Another sight that lived with me forever was the gargantuan big wheel that seemed to literally stretch to the clouds. It was so tall and although we did not have the money to go aboard it provided yet another extraordinary memory. When you are a child certain memories live with you for ever and some are very strange. I vividly remember peering quite a lot at the floor because I found more than one ten franc piece. With this marvelous free fund I was at last allowed to buy the most gorgeous looking apple buns come donuts. I can still recall standing in the rain with the lights of the fair all around, the sound of the cars and very importantly the smell of the new and exotic. All that and I cannot for the life of me remember if the pastries were even nice!

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I have little memory of the racing but vaguely remember waiting lap after lap to see Jacky Ickx in the Martini Porsche 936. He went on to win with an amazing drive through the wet night. When we got home he became my all time hero but I think that was more down to reliving the events through every article ever printed on the race. I guess my feelings developed into a kind of pride, it was more about knowing I was there. The only other thing I remember clearly was that we were not able to walk around the full circuit. The trip provided a simple ticket to the Esses section which went from just inside the Dunlop Bridge to the corner at Tetre Rouge and the full entry tickets were much more expensive. Without this major set back I don't believe I would have returned so easily. Of course when I returned home and saw the pictures of the pits and straight again I realised I had missed out on something rather important! Back to badgering the parents. It then took two full years before my poor Mother gave in and took me on her own in 1979. We had a full ticket and boy it rained like you would never believe, but that's another story!

I guess I should also say thanks Mum & Thanks Dad

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(motoring-man) bmw le mans jacky ickx le mans le mans 24 hours le mans 24 hours 1977 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/my-first-le-mans-in-1977 Thu, 17 May 2018 07:26:25 GMT
WEC FANS! Have we been stitched up like a kipper? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/wec-fans-have-we-been-stitched-up-like-a-kipper  

WEC FANS! Have we been stitched up like a kipper!

Before the Spa 6 Hours I was really hopeful we were going to see a great LMP 1 battle. The rule makers seem to have lost their bottle again. It is just as in Formula One they only seem to care about the manufacturers. And even with a massive advantage over the field Toyota refused to let the cars race, what a farce!

What a waiste of time it was writing the blog below!

Has Le Mans Found The Key To Success For The Future

I feel very lucky to have seen the battle of the Hybrids over the last few years. The most advanced racing cars ever built in a mega dollar battle for supremacy at Le Mans. And it is worth remembering, if just a few mindless fools hadn’t rigged fuel emissions at the Volkswagen-Audi group, we may have been on the verge of yet another great season of manufacturer participation!
Well that’s not the case and once again Le Mans and WEC has been stitched up like a kipper. In the last few months the ACO has thrashed out an emergency set of rules and to all intense and purposes looks like it has come up with something really quite interesting! If you were glued to the internet yesterday for news of the entries to this years and next years super season I hope like me you were pleasantly surprised at the eight LMP1s announced to take on the mighty £300 million Toyota Hybrids.
Well do you think it will work? I don’t think anyone will know until a few races in but it surely stands a chance. There is also the possibility that the ACO may have just hit on a new successful formula for Endurance Racing and even Formula One! I really could not have foreseen Toyota accepting a balance of performance that may well see it beaten at a race that it invested so much in! It almost seems bazaar that we see a major manufacturer with a huge budget racing teams that to be fair do not even register in the same league and on what seems to be a pretty level playing field. If Toyota do not win Le Mans then it will be rather like giant killers in the FA Cup!
But this has got me thinking especially after reading just last night, how Ross Brawn is looking to help the smaller teams in F1 in his plan for the future. Could a similar set of rules see Mercedes and Ferrari being challenged for wins by a small team like Force India? Who knows: “What do you think”? 
If Formula One doesn’t do something soon I think it will stagnate as it is increasingly difficult to see anyone but the top three manufactures dominating while the rules are set in favour of massive budgets. 
But as we have seen, change can come quicker than we sometimes expect. The VW scandal highlighted that! And to see the top drivers competing in different formulas? Well two years ago I don’t think many would have predicted a big Formula One star like Alonso racing at the Indy 500 and then a full season in Le Mans cars. Maybe we should get used to a fast changing world of motor sport that reflects the fast changing world we live in? 
Whatever will happen next?

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(motoring-man) le mans 24 hours spa 6 hours 2018 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/5/wec-fans-have-we-been-stitched-up-like-a-kipper Wed, 09 May 2018 17:42:31 GMT
Why It Means So Much BMW M1 @ Le Mans https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/why-it-means-so-much-bmw-m1-le-mans  

BMW M1 Art Car At Le Mans


I was reading an article on a modern classic the BMW M1 and it got me thinking, just what vivid memories this car had given me, and without me really realising it!
When I was a youngster going to Le Mans in the late 1970s and early 1980s there were certain sights and sounds that had a lasting impression on me. For sure the fair was a massive assault on the senses! And for those who never saw the fair at this time I think it would shock you even today. There was the Rifle Range where plates were shot out of the tall trees, Strippers showing their wears, Boxers in the ring, Dwarfs in freak shows, 3 D Cinema and a whole host of other politically incorrect attractions!
The Esses at night was much more than a visual memory. Sat in the trees in the evening there was always more than the lights arcing through the trees. There was the smell of cooking frites wafting through the still night air and a mixture of sounds from the cars and rides from the fairground. All instilled in my mind for ever.
So something I had never dwelled on was just how little knowledge I had of what was happening out on the track. There was scarcely any English commentary on the PA system, and I had little idea of the what all the classes and marques were. I have since realised I was entertained by the sheer thrill of the cars at speed! And this is why I got thinking about the BMW M1.
If I ever pause to remember my early 24 hour races two or three vivid images hit my mind. One is a memory of looking across the Dunlop Curve, at this time it was an incredibly fast corner, and a car that is always dead centre of my thoughts is one of the numerous Porsche 911 935 derivates. With their rear ends hunched down under power and their classic road car shape it was a car I could picture myself in one day. I loved it!
The other vivid image etched on my hard drive of a brain, is a picture of me leaning on the railings between the Esses and the entry to Tetre Rouge corner At the time this narrow spectator area was one of the highlights of the circuit. The cars used to drop down the gears before accelerating into the corner and out onto the long Mulsanne Straight. And the car that is catching the sunlight as it screams into my sight is the BMW M1..... Gosh it sounded and looked so good. It was on the bedroom wall of so many young lads at the time, but I was lucky enough to see it in its glory and at full chat. But much more than that I was privileged enough to have my ears burnt by it! Wow what a memory!

 

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(motoring-man) bmw le mans bmw m1 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/why-it-means-so-much-bmw-m1-le-mans Sat, 28 Apr 2018 16:04:21 GMT
Part 2 Has Motor Racing lost its way in a sea of Bull? What do you think? https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/part-2-has-motor-racing-lost-its-way-in-a-sea-of-bull-what-do-you-think Has Motor Racing lost its way in a sea of Bull? What do you think? Part 2

After posting part one of "Has Motor Racing Lost It's Way In A Sea Of Bull..." I took a couple of weeks to reflect on all the comments, replies and opinions to this very question. There seems to be only one common thread and that is uncertainty over where we are heading. Most replies were considered and often very passionate about our wonderful sport and not forgetting our planet. I honestly get the feeling that, all that we love about racing is in the past and as we know we can't go backwards. Can we find new aspects to love in the future?

I started the last post with the following: "Last week Porsche ditched its WEC entry and confirmed it would not be defending its Le Mans title next year. Earlier in the year it claimed that sports car racing was the future proving ground for new road car technology, and the company had spent the last year using its considerable influence to help write the new rules for 2020. Well that was a waste of time and complete load of bull, as it now claims Formula E is the future with electric cars soon to be common place in our towns and cities. Yeah right!"

Well to me astonishment yesterday's Autosport headline was Porsche kicks WEC when it is down! It certainly is as it is claiming an interest now in Formula 1! What is even more staggering is that Porsche claims it can only become an engine supplier if the new rules for 2020 adopt a cheaper less environmentally friendly, less hybrid and further from electric engine formula!

Rather like politicians they just come out with contradictory bull.... and expect us to believe every word. The sad thing for us is that with manufacturers lurching from one stance to another it leaves Motor Racing in a terrible void. We have Le Mans and WEC with no real championship, Formula E as an interesting fad and Formula 1 treading water.

So what should the future be for the pinnacles of our sport. I write these articles and I believe I am fairly well informed but I have no idea! I was going to write up a complete follow up to the first post but I can't see a glorious future for the sport, full stop. The public is too divided.

Tell me what you think. What should the WEC do?
What should Formula One do?
Will Formula E float your boat?
Let see if we can find a direction in your replies!

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Motoring-Man is a lifelong fan of Motor Racing and has a memorabilia passion / business
And loves to write!

BELOW IS A SERIES OF REPLIES AND VIEW TO THE POST ABOVE

 

Anthony Offen-james The WEC concept us good, however they brought in the fixed engine selected chassis rule because they didn't enforce their own rule that each chassis muzt have a minimum of 6 entries, F1 ia becoming a joke with 14 of 20 cars having no hope of winning.F1 needs to cut costs by restricting number of staff at each race banning remite monitoring of cars AND SHARING INDY CAR ENGINES and reducing aero like indy has done . Formula E is crap slow misrrable go-karts racing around mickey mouse circuits .

 

Joe Era Fama Agree with you there and look at Indy Car nowadays big grids and they got it right

 

Peter McDonald I think motor sport would be better off with no manufacturers at all. The car has been developed to the point that the driver is secondary.
So clean sheet every thing and let the people who want to race, race what they want. And if people want to watch. Than they can come and watch. Let's not have the spectators determine what the driver and mechanics do in the sport. If they don't want to take an active roll, than they can watch PlayStation.
Cheap car racing is catching on and the competitors are hooked. And quite a few have proper race cars sitting in their garages unused. It's the basic racing with out the bull that's appealing

 

Simão Pedro Hydrogen engines should be considered. Batteries and electricity production will still produce a lot more pollution and wast than hydrogen would. And an Hydrogen engine is much more interesting than an electric one. We are totally in the wrong pass...

Motoring-Man For some reason manufacturers and oil companies are not keen on Hydrogen?

 

Peter Bowyer Agreed regarding the manufacturers - they see anything to do with motor sport as marketing material only and, if they do well will pull out once the goal of sales of road cars has been achieved.

Just look at Honda, pumped loads of money into their F1 team then, when it didn't work because it was run by a committee and market conditions also toughened up, they pulled out (only for that team to win both championships the following year)...

Mercedes will pull out if F1 sooner or later, possibly to do the same as Porsche with Formula E, but that too will be but a passing fad - when they have achieved their goals.

The problem is basically one of money. It is now so expensive to compete at the top levels you need a manufacturers' budget in order to get anywhere, or a company like Red Bull who make a lot of profit out of their product which they can invest into promoting sports generally.

Real racers, in F1 include Mclaren, Williams, Sauber etc, some obviously more successful than others but they carry on regardless - Sauber taking back the team from BMW who did the usual manufacturer's dalliance with F1 for a couple of years then left.

Exclude the manufacturers, cut the budgets by 3/4 and also remove the promoters who take such a huge percentage of the take to cover the interest on the money they borrowed to pay Bernie etc... But that's never going to happen now, because the money "owns" the show and it will not allow budget cuts to reduce their take.

 

Motoring-Man Fantastic point about Honda! You could also perceive that the board had no understanding of what they had in the palm of their hand. They then let it go saw the results and thought it would be easy to get back to winning ways with Mclaren. It clearly has not been easy!

 

Joe Era Fama Take a leaf out of Indy Car racing few years back it was in disarray near collapsing they got together to get it back on track and what a job they have done cut cost and big fields of cars and kept the cost down

Gary Valente @ Peter McDonald - Bingo! Give the man a cigar! Manufacturers come and go at the whim of their boards. They pump unlimited truck loads of money into programs to pummel opposition into dust then turn their backs when rules go against them. I say kick them all out. Leave the racing to racers. Let them build their cars and power them with engines available to everyone.

Frank Gray I think top tier racing series should be on the cutting edge of technology, in the past it was the test bed for ABS, active suspension, brake by wire and so on. That being said I think there Wil be a place for formula e like it or not, I'm of of age of big hp and the mystery of mechanics and I would hate to see it go, but nothing last forever. Hybrid technology seems to be the way forward and even though I work in the industry and understand the reason behind it I'm not a huge fan. It comes down to economics the sanctioning bodies are going to do what they have to do to remain solvent and viable

 

Jon Bickford Here's how I'd fix formula one: 44 laps of spa, you've got 25 gallons of fuel, you figure it out. 

Need to do some testing to develop that technology? knock yourselves out. While you're at it new drivers can learn their craft behind the wheel so they don't just crash into each other. Top teams are spending more money than that on super computers and simulations that the smaller teams can never afford so let them develop better mouse traps along with their talents on both sides of pit wall in the real world again and remove all the absurd development caps so that MAYBE the team that is dominant in Australia isn't still dominant in Abu Dhabi. All these rules that are supposed to keep costs down just make it more expensive and inaccessible than ever before to any team smaller than NASA.

Stirling Moss's greatest drive in formula one was in a Rob Walker ran Lotus, Jackie Stewart and Ken Tyrell's first championship came with a customer Matra chassis. Half the teams of the 70's started with a March chassis. Why can't there be customer cars in F1? If there's only three companies capable of building at the top level why can't force India run a customer ferrari? For that matter why can't Ferrari run 6 cars at Monza like Enzo did in 1961? There has been a lot of talk about how competitive indycar racing has been this year. what nobody points out is that the top 3 teams field 4 cars each in a 20 car field! Penske is qualified 1,2,3,4 for tomorrows race in Sonoma but each car has a different title sponsor and paint job so nobody notices I guess! 
...as for Formula E... I'm a huge fan of the potential of electric race cars and it is the future and it CAN be amazing. But from the outset formula e has seemed like a joke. A half cocked plan to discredit electric cars. I mean it's Spec chassis with treaded tires running lap times similar to a formula Mazda with car swapping are you kidding me? What electric racing needs is about 5 years of a wide open "can-am" style formula so that the technology can really get pushed into the future. individual motors in each wheel giving perfect thrust vectoring each wheel individually scratching for grip like a 4 legged animal, absurd never before seen acceleration out of corners in a 4 wheel drift hearing all four tires spinning and laying rubber out of a hairpin under brutal instant torque, something that is genuinely a jaw dropping spectacle to really end the debate about what the real potential of electric performance is. Formula E is just a horrible mockery but that's the FIA's fault not electricity's fault... in the meantime you can go buy an electric sedan with more than 3x the power of what's supposed to be a cutting edge world class formula?

Jonathan Green Formula E sucks. The cars are slow, can't go a whole race without changing cars. I kind of like the new look of the new body style but get rid of all that Electric B.S. and put ice in, and go racing, or bring back Formula 5000. Loud as hell, fast, pretty cars. I'd love to see a Formula E vs Formula 5000, and let the green people see and hear what a real race car should sound like.

 

John A Grimley V10 turbo engines. Spending cap. Unlimited testing. If you figure it out AND stay in budget, you will succeed. Refueling? Yes. Tire wars? Yes.

Kevan Sutherns Scrap formula racing and make all racing at minimum 12 hrs, allow all fuel racing by setting the power limits not motor type but include multiple numbers of refuelling through the race, make it development by manufacturers but only by them financing and doing the design etc no input to the racing but they get the benefits of seeing how there products compare against the competition, speed, acceleration etc

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(motoring-man) f1 formula one grand prix le mans liberty media https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/part-2-has-motor-racing-lost-its-way-in-a-sea-of-bull-what-do-you-think Wed, 25 Apr 2018 13:33:13 GMT
Has Motor Racing lost its way in a sea of Bull? What do you think? Part 1 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/has-motor-racing-lost-its-way-in-a-sea-of-bull-what-do-you-think-part-1

It's a bit of a harsh heading but I can think of no better word! Last week Porsche ditched its WEC entry and confirmed it would not be defending its Le Mans title next year. Earlier in the year it claimed that sports car racing was the future proving ground for new road car technology, and the company had spent the last year using its considerable influence to help write the new rules for 2020. Well that was a waste of time and complete load of bull, as it now claims Formula E is the future with electric cars soon to be common place in our towns and cities. Yeah right!

Just earlier in the month leading newspapers splashed headlines across the front pages claiming Volvo had signed the death warrant for the petrol car! Bullshit they did no such thing; they merely stated the obvious that all its cars will have some form of hybrid electrical system just like the very first Toyota Prius of nearly twenty years ago!
No matter what we think the future should look like, the massive car companies will always go where the maximum profit is and it certainly won't be for the benefit of the planet, environment or our lungs.

But it occurred to me that just maybe none of the big car giants really know where they are heading. It is rather like a Trump administration that hires and fires at will and makes decisions on the cuff of the moment. Take the Porsche story; maybe top board members thought they were certain that WEC and Le Mans was the direction that they were heading, only to be over ruled on a whim by a member of the VW group. Remember VW? They are the ones who bullshited their way through the emissions tests. With so many manufacturers heading to Formula E maybe the PR boys followed like sheep. After all it's cheap and it makes it seem like your trying to save the planet!

The trouble is there are no solutions to the problem that cars present. Quite simply no matter what direction car production heads there is no clean or environmentally friendly way to manufacture cars. Diesel cars were presented by governments as the savour to greenhouse gas emissions. Gordon Brown the British Chancellor even slashed the tax on the diesel motor cars to get us to ditch our demonised petrol vehicles. But just like all politicians or even the PR boys at VW there wasn't much science or even much thought behind such a massive decision. It turns out that because of the toxic fumes the diesel produce we have spent ten years ramping up the production of air pollution!

So maybe the problem with Le Mans and the ACO is that they have come up with a set of rules that are realistic but are being shunned by the automotive industry because they cannot be seen to be promoting reality! While manufacturers cannot be seen to be spending vast sums of cash on hybrid racing cars, it will behind the scenes be building hybrid cars! Meanwhile the advertisers will be have a field day proclaiming that participating in Electric racing is responsible and will save the planet.

Sometimes when problems arise that are on such a massive scale it is easy to grasp at solutions that are passionate and ease the guilt of the followers. Take electric cars and Elon Musk the incredible man behind Tesla. He produces fantastic electric cars and the company really did show the doubters that it could be done, even if it is with a lot of green tax breaks. But what is green for a city centre in the United States is not green for places like South America, Africa and east Asia. As Tesla sells more and more cars it needs more and more Lithium, Cobalt and Aluminium. Forget the fact that some of these resources are mined by kids, think about the massive areas of landscape poisoned and polluted for years. Cobalt is mined in the Congo which is one of the few large areas of natural rain forest in Africa. Lithium is from Latin America home of the Amazon rain forest. Now originally these are the bits of the planet that governments and environmentalists we were the most interested in saving! Believe me! I am afraid to say I am no green or environmentalist but it does seem to me that there is no solution to building clean cars. We can build better cars maybe and also clean up our polluted cities but Automotive Manufacturers are stuck with the fact that they have to promote a product that is killing the planet! No Bull!

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And loves to write!

 

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE REPLIES AND THOUGHTS I HAVE HAD ON THIS POST. FEEL FREE TO ADD YOUR OWN

 

Stefan Davies The problem here is that people are all too ready to lump formula e and electric cars into the far left tree hugging hippie crap they can't even see what they are arguing and end up confusing themselves

You do understand that a wider variety of areas other than just technology is a product of motorsport and it's far too easily forgotten 

Let's just put aside the fact 3-4 different drive train systems are under continuous development even if you just look at the people that are trained in this area, those people are trained to problem solve and have encounters and solved issues the rest of the motor industry will never have encountered yet

It's the same as in f1 where top manufacturers send their young engineers to work and gain experience in f1 because it proven that they come back with a much more confident productive attitude and they are able to problem solve and work at an extremely higher level of efficiency than other young engineers who do not get to work in that kind of environment 

You put all of that together with your drive train development and that's what they mean by road relevant, it's how you train your staff, the things that you Learn in that environment that you can apply to your industry........it's not just batteries

Jonas Andersson Too bad the teams in Formula E have to use the same battery. Where's the "road relevance" in that? :(

Jeremiah Schlup I can't wait for the electric Porsches! It's going to be great!! A whole new revolution of the sportscar is coming fast in more eays than one. I belve that Porscge made it's decision about formula e is bade on what Mate Rimiac has ecomplished withthe "Concept One"in 6 years with less than 50 employees. Every auto maker on the planet is saying what the hell just happened! We need to change now!

 

Lee Stones hat I find personally more disturbing is the rise of the so called autonomous cars obviously for the road - my main concern is servicing : obviously governments and manufacturers will insist on regular servicing and calibration to ensure the car is working properly, how will this happen?? you may argue that the car can take itself for service when not in use - you may not even have a choice in this matter - but as most car dealers make almost nothing from selling a car and most money from after sales and service - you see where I am going here - it is possible that if you fail to send (or pay for) your car being serviced the dealer can effectively halt its use - as no doubt such cars will have an element of connectivity and thus able to report and likely be controlled by the dealer. So you may end up with a very expensive bill you cant or dont want to pay , a car that is unusable and unsellable , and a court case affecting your credit status brought on you by the dealer. now maybe a bit far fetched and 1984ish - but am I totally on the wrong track? Will I keep my BMW E30 for such a rainy day? Will they be able to stop me in my race car?? · 

Motoring-Man I guess if we get to the stage where we are mostly using Autonomous cars, will we also be sharing them? The costs would therefore be shared and maybe reduced? Aire B&B Buy and Borrow for cars?

Lee Stones Motoring-Man his I understand is Ford's proposed method whereby you lease the car rather than own it. Can you imagine a generation that never experience owning their first crap car, that broke down all the time and forced you to think on your feet to get where you need to be, or to fix it there and then. Instead we will have the spoiled self important millennial types who will only ever see the interior of a new car and will never be late for their decaf soya lattes. 

Motoring-Man On a lighter note they may well be sat in front of a screen watching Steve McQueen in Le Mans instead of having to drive!

Lee Stones Motoring-Man more likely watching Cars 3 in 3D

Dino Michael Not often that I read such a long post. Glad I did. A great informative read. Still want a Tesla though.

Motoring-Man So do I!

 

Andrew Warner  Porsche fans hate change, just look at the massive fuss about the change to watercooled engines. 

Then there is the whole any shape headlight that isn't round on a 911 is considered ugly, because different is bad!

The new RSR moved its engine forward for better weight distribution making it mid engined and it is considered a abomination with some people even denying the engines location because Porsche fans can't contemplate the idea of a mid engined 911.

Moving to electric cars is just too much for some people.

As I have said on many other posts in several forums and pages electric cars are coming and you can either move with the times or fade into obscurity. Porsche is a brand I love and I don't want to see it end up like Kodak and thought in business studies lessons as an example of how failing to stay current can destroy a company.

LMP1 was down to just 2 manufacturers and was clearly dying. Formula E is a new sport and is growing, internal combustion engine cars will be disappearing in the next few decades and motor sport is always at the cutting edge of technology. 

As for the 2 cars per race I. Formula E that will be gone by season 5 as the new full race length batteries are already in testing and not only will they last longer they will deliver more power during the race increasing the speed of the cars.
2

 

James Turner Formula E isn't as green as it should be, as it doesn't use energy recovery to recharge the batteries. If it did, the cars would probably be able to get to the end of the race.

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(motoring-man) formula formula e formula1 grandprix le mans one" tesla cars https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/has-motor-racing-lost-its-way-in-a-sea-of-bull-what-do-you-think-part-1 Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:41:12 GMT
DAN GURNEY LEGEND AND GENTLEMAN https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/dan-gurney-legend-and-gentleman Now I am not of an age that remembers Dan Gurney in racing, but I think I have a good feeling of how the man was perceived! I have never found a bad word printed about the man. Now that’s rare in any walk of life but even more so in the cut throat world of Motor racing. So it was a sad day last week when we lost the great man.
Dan first came to my attention when I collected Autosport Magazines, as his beautiful blue Eagle F1 was so often on the front cover. I personally think that car was one of the prettiest and best presented cars of it’s era. I mean just look at that neat riveting and wonderful stainless spaghetti exhaust! 
Being a Porsche fan I of course read everything on the factory entries in the 1960s and that man again Dan Gurney cropped up. How sad was it that the other big win at Solitude was not an official Grand Prix? 
Only recently after receiving some photographs, I found out more about the Gurney Eagle Indy racers of the 1970s with Roy Winkelmann. It of course fired my interest in the man even more, and since have read articles and listened to pod casts involving the great man.
So even though I never saw Mr Gurney race it was a sad day for me too when I learnt of his passing. But there is one other thing for certain, whether you saw him race or not; Dan Gurney has left an indelible mark on Motorsport that cannot and will not be forgotten. Some things are more obvious than you may think!

Spraying Champagne: A spontaneous action after his Le Mans win that now is part of all Motor Sport.
The Gurney Wing: A end plate described as such even today.
The Gurney Bubble: Dan was over six feet tall and the famous GT40 Bubble in the roof was for him.
The Porsche factory’s only F1 win: Dan Gurney French GP 1962
Brabham: The teams first Grand Prix win
Eagles first Win Belgium: Becomes the only driver to score the first win in F1 for three different manufacturers; Porsche, Brabham and Eagle
Introduction of the full face helmet in F1: Dan at the Nürburgring 1968 was the first driver to wear a full face helmet.
So there we are a racing driver never to be forgotten.
Dan Gurney the Legend All American Racer Eagle Monaco GP 1967Dan Gurney the Legend All American Racer Eagle Monaco GP 1967

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(motoring-man) dan gurney eagle https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/dan-gurney-legend-and-gentleman Wed, 04 Apr 2018 19:49:43 GMT
The Halo: Or is it the Flip Flop https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/the-halo-or-is-it-the-flip-flop To be honest I think I am getting old and out of touch! It's just, I do feel that Formula 1 is too obsessed with safety. Don't get me wrong I do not want to go back to the days when drivers were dying left right and centre. But I would love to see a bit less fretting about our F1 mega stars.

I turned on the Grand Prix this Sunday, and although I have had, up until now, no complaints with the aesthetics of Halo design, I did kind of think the cars looked like prams from the onboard camera. Quite frankly I find it a bit absurd that the regulators find the protection of the top stars more important than any other drivers. Up until now I have not really thought of it this way. 

My question is this: "Is it ok for a Formula 3 driver to drive with out a halo"?

Maybe young F3 drivers and GP2 drivers lives are not as important? It must be OK for kids in Karting to hurt themselves! I don't write like this to be flippant but there does not seem to be a good balance between an extreme sport and safe at all costs sport.

So to provide you with a couple of things to ponder from news pieces released this weekend. 

Jenson Button has signed up to drive the TWR Jaguar XJR9 at the Le mans Classic. After years in the safety of F1 he will hurtle down the Mulsanne straight at over 200 miles an hour in a thirty year old car. The only explanation is that now he is out of the Limelight of F1 he does not need looking after.

The amazing young man Billy Monger came third this weekend in his first Formula 3 race since loosing both legs in a terrible racing crash.  So why in the eyes of F1 is it OK for Billy to race again without a Halo?

 

r11 1000km brands 87011The beautiful TWR JaguarPlease don't scratch it Jenson

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(motoring-man) jenson button le mans classic https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/4/the-halo-or-is-it-the-flip-flop Wed, 04 Apr 2018 07:38:28 GMT
Le Mans Gulf Porsche 917 Rose Tinted Glasses And The Art Of Time Travel https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/3/le-mans-gulf-porsche-917-rose-tinted-glasses-and-the-art-of-time-travel  

hi everyone
I was just thinking the other day whether the old races were better or do we look at things with rose tinted glasses. Well because I am dealing in memorabilia and books I came to the conclusion it is a combination of both!
My favourite cars were the group C Le Mans racers. So many happy memories following the exploits of the Jaguars and at first Porsche "yes I am a fan". The memories are not just the races but the travels, camp-sites, friendships and of course the many bars! There was also the pride of being there, the real fan at the track not just the TV watcher. All in all a lot of reasons to love this era. 
Then there was the realisation that someone who never went has just as much passion. My friend Chris is the wonderful artist who I promote. He is passionate about the great race "Le Mans", it`s cars and the history. But he has never been. If you talk to him you would think he had been there a hundred times as with a huge smile he describes the Jaguar xjr9! At first I though that this was slightly odd but soon realised I do the same.
I was to young to see the Porsche 917 race and so was my son. But for both of us it is our favourite car! We have the books, the posters, the Steve McQueen pictures even the film has been watched a hundred times. If we see the car at Classic races we drool over it. Goodness me we do the same as Chris? The 917 at the time could not have been that exciting because most of the races it won it dominated so much it would have been boring! But the legend is much more for for filling! To imagine every race was Jo V Pedro battling wheel to wheel or on the grass against the Ferrari like Mike Delaney.
A few years ago my son and I had an experience which just about sums up what I am describing here! At the classic Le Mans I visited the Cafe on the Mulsanne straight. The owners recognised me and said we were welcome to take our beers upstairs to the bedroom and watch from the window. Well this room is on the corner 3 meters in from the straight and is directly above the famous road. The vista has not changed in 50 years as it is above the fencing. The start of the next race for 1969 to 1972 cars was due to come past. There we were leaning out the window looking directly up toward Tetre Rouge as streaming down the straight toward as at 200mph comes the field headed by the Gulf Porsche 917. I swear the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my son was giggling like a fool. We slapped each other on the back a congratulated ourselves as we had mastered the art of time travel!
11927476_848536965253337_3656207789464841181_o11927476_848536965253337_3656207789464841181_oJo Siffert And Pedro Rodriguez Gulf porsche 917 is for sale

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(motoring-man) porsche 917 https://www.motoring-man.com/blog/2018/3/le-mans-gulf-porsche-917-rose-tinted-glasses-and-the-art-of-time-travel Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:07:43 GMT