Be a Racing Driver, they said…

When I took the job of Circuit Manager at Cadwell Park, I remember wishing I’d had a pound for every time someone told me it wouldn’t be long before I was out on track doing my race licence.

Now, thanks to our useless politicians, those pounds wouldn’t have gone very far so I’m not so worried.

And almost three years on, I’ve given in and got my race licence. Well, almost. Just the medical to go, and with offers to drive a variety of race cars, I’d better hurry up and get it sorted!

If you’ve always fancied getting out on track, but don’t know what’s involved, or if by some glitch of human nature you actually just enjoy watching me talk about motoring stuff on video, you might enjoy my video blog from my licence day.

I hope you do, anyway. Sorry for the political joke (particularly if you’re watching this in 2034).

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World-class TV line-up for new Welsh closed road rally

[PRESS RELEASE]

World-Class Live Coverage Announced For Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion

Fans of the inaugural Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion are in for a world-class treat as organisers have drafted in the world’s top rally broadcasters to headline ‘Rali Live’ – an exciting initiative to deliver live coverage across the entire event.

Becs Williams and Emr Penlan, hosts of the FIA World Rally Championship’s renowned WRC Live coverage, will help deliver an unprecedented level of live coverage for fans at home and those attending the rally. They will be joined by top-level drivers and co-drivers, in the shape of the event ambassadors, who will provide commentary from some of the live stages.

Action from the historic event, the first rally to use closed public roads in Wales, will be broadcast on Facebook Live from no less than 20 different locations during the daylong, Aberystwyth-based rally – keeping fans up to date with live news, action and results.

Joining the WRC reporters will be the best of British with Matt Cotton, a regular end-of-stage reporter on British and Scottish championship events, and Paul Woodford from rally broadcaster ‘Special Stage’ Rally Review.

There will be live interviews with the top drivers at the end of all eight stages with Special Stage TV’s professional crews broadcasting live action of all competing crews on six of the eight asphalt tests. In addition, world rally stars Elfyn Evans and Phil Mills will be joined by rally legends Dai Llewellin and Howard Davies to provide commentary on both passes of the Nant y Moch stage.

The Rali Live reporting team will also have news from the service park at Aberystwyth University and at the start and finish ramps in front of the town’s National Library.

The Rali Live coverage will run from 8.30am on Sunday 8 September, with all the broadcasts available on the event’s Facebook page.

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British Rally Championship TV Highlights – Ulster Rally

The British Rally Championship is going down to the wire, with reigning champion Matt Edwards in the Ford Fiesta R5 pitched against Hyundai R5 driver, Tom Cave for the final showdown in Scotland.

The penultimate round took place on the formidable lanes of Northern Ireland for the Ulster Rally, and the points were decided in typical dramatic fashion, with the Junior BRC Category also decided with one round to go.

This season, for the first time I have been presenting the BRC TV series with the Special Stage Rally Review Team, and what an adventure it’s been since the Cambrian at the start of the season!

Enjoy the action from these iconic Irish stages…

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FORMULA ONE EXCLUSIVE: Racing Point Factory Tour

For a lifelong motor racing enthusiast like me, a Formula One Factory is a magical place.

I have a theory; that I’m not alone in that, so I teamed up with Ravenol, Racing Point F1’s official lubricants partner to bring you exclusive behind the scenes access at the team’s Silverstone HQ.

In this whistle-stop tour round the factory, join me as I bring you a closer look at the build process, from the drawing office to the race bay where the cars are prepared prior to a race weekend.

I even managed to speak to Star driver Sergio “Checo” Perez, and Team Principle, Otmar Szafnauer during the video, which was filmed during the build-up to the 2019 British Grand Prix!

A huge thank you to Ravenol, and to Sport Pesa Racing Point F1 for this incredible access. I’m really excited to be able to share this with you…

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Behind the scenes: BTCC Team, BTC Racing

We’re all used to seeing the glamorous side of motor racing, with the British Touring Car Championship in particular enjoying unrivalled television coverage on ITV4.

But the work going on behind the scenes; the car/driver preparation, the technical partnerships can often throw up some fascinating stories before tyres ever make contact with tarmac.

In the first of a series of behind the scenes features produced in association with Ravenol, join me for a look behind the scenes at Honda British Touring Car Team, BTC Racing…

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Ford Focus ST Diesel (don’t tell the polar bears)

It’s getting increasingly difficult to enjoy all-out performance cars in a real-world motoring environment.

So the rise of middle-of-the-road performance cars, which make the most of in-gear acceleration and combine comfort, economy and fun is no mystery.

Diesel hot hatches divide just about any room full of petrol heads, but if you can open your mind for a few minutes, join me for a review of the Ford Focus ST Diesel – in my opinion the very best of the batch.

Enjoy…

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After dinner speech: 10 years in the making

I had my after dinner speaker hat on at the weekend, telling some of my rally TV stories from the last ten years at the Knutsford & District Motor Club Annual Dinner.

One of the organisers just wrote to me, with some feedback, which in the spirit of self-promotion (who else is going to do it?!), I felt like sharing…

“Although organising [the event] was quite stressful, I breathed a sigh of relief once you were talking and I heard people laughing as you stood there telling us about your life and experiences – It really was a great speech and we have had lots of feedback telling us so!”

Thanks to the club and the organisers of the evening for their support. What a great night to have been a part of. 🚗🎥

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Next Stop: Formula One…maybe!

OK, so the title may be somewhat misleading, but I was lucky enough to do some audience engagement work at the amazing Palmer Sport facility at Bedford Autodrome recently.

In case you don’t know, Palmer Sport was set up in the early 1990s by Formula One driver, commentator and MotorSport Vision Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer.

Known as the greatest driving experience on earth, you can actually strap yourself into a variety of sports, GT and single seater racing cars on a proper race circuit, and race against the clock.

Here’s my lap of the West Circuit at Bedford, driving one of the Palmer Sport Formula 3000 racing cars; a F1-inspired machine with full aero package and a screaming Cosworth V6 engine.

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Group B noise!

Group B is an era of rallying that feels like it’s in my blood, albeit I was only on planet earth for the very end of the era. 

Armed with one of the Metro 6R4s which took place in the 1980s Birmingham Superprix street race events, I called on the specialist skills of Special Stage Rally TV Producer Wayne Goldring with his MSA-approved drone, and filmed a lap of iconic Cadwell Park to promote our rally in November.

This was not about lap times, this was about noise, and stunning visuals, and showcasing one of the most evocative rally cars the world has ever seen.

Turn up the volume and enjoy!

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Audi R8 V8 Supercar Review

Following on from my Rover P6 classic car review which was released last week, I thought I’d continue my impromptu V8 #CarFilms series with the Audi R8.

Winter roads, 430bhp and 4.2 litres of Germany’s finest engineering, you could say I did my best to turn Audi’s debut mid-engined supercar into a rally car.

Famous (?) for being the car which Iron Man launched in the movie, and for being a Decepticon in the Transformer film franchise, the R8 somehow managed to capture the imagination of petrolheads despite lacking the exotica of the Lamborghini Gallardo, which shared a chassis with the R8.

Find out why it wasn’t such a bad thing that the Audi couldn’t compete on equal terms with its fellow supercars back in 2007.

Enjoy that V8 soundtrack…

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