For a nation endowed with the DNA of such maverick automotive legends as Chapman, Cooper and Brown, it seems ironic that the marque which now leads the plethora of niche British sports car manufacturers is one that was only founded in the latter part of the 20th century.
There’s no doubting that thanks to some exceptional individual and team performances at the 2012 Olympics, Cool Britannia is now very much back in vogue. Whether you’re lucky enough to have seen the action live, or have been watching at home, in a bar or at work, the sight of 000’s of Union Jacks waving in fervent admiration can only reinforce the feelings of pride and passion that resonate across this small island nation.
Anybody following the ongoing story of the cataclysm wrenching at the relationships between Group Lotus, its adoptive parent Proton, and Lotus F1 Team will be used to reading opinions so wide and varied that even the most extreme soap-opera storyline might seem tame in comparison.
With Caterham F1 due to launch their 2012 car in less than 48 hours, Kimi Raikkonen out on track in the 2011 Lotus Renault…
It is three years since I first visited Westfield’s Kingswinford factory; a trip that made such an impression that it would ultimately lead to me working there. Yet just over 12 months later, my faith was lost and exit swift.
The dust might have settled on the Buddh International Circuit but the celebrations of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix will doubtless have lasted long into the night. Before arriving in New Dehli, many in F1 had raised doubts as to whether the country and its new race track would be ready for a spectacle of this caliber.
Today registered another tragic loss in the world of motorsport. Marco Simoncelli was a remarkable motorbike racer; he was also a son and a lover.
But the loss of this prodigious talent has been overshadowed by the disdainful reaction of some within the online world. Numerous editors, bloggers and forum users rushed to upload links to video footage of the accident and photos of the reaction of Marco’s family & girlfriend. What purpose does this serve?
“How do you solve a problem like Maria?” … A question that may not instantly be burning on the lips of every motorsport enthusiast, but one, all the same, that requires consideration.
The sign on the side of the truck is simple yet evocative – “The Power of Dreams” it reads.
I’d been looking forward to EcoVelocity, London’s Low-Carbon Motor Festival. The choice of venue, the now defunct Battersea Power Station, was inspiring. I could picture the decaying edifice, a symbol of the once might of its smouldering furnaces, now nothing but a fossil, left for generations to wonder over. And there, emerging from the ruins would be living incarnations of the new era; cars and bikes, powered by clean, renewable energy and travelling through air fit for all to breathe.
There are few sights as mesmerising as a convoy of iconic supercars growling their way through the streets of London. Thousands of horses straining to be unleashed, clutches smouldering in frustrated anticipation; “look” I heard a young boy shout excitedly to his father, “an Enzo”.
It was whilst watching Dragon’s Den on BBC TV the other evening that I started to wonder about the physical input (time, management, direction) given to those who successfully pitched their ideas. The financial element is, of course, clearly stated but as most of us know, any venture that is struggling to capitalise on its potential needs more than just hard cash and “association”. This was absolutely the case with the fancy dress business which was eventually taken-on by Duncan Bannatyne.
The golden heads of rapeseed flowers wallowed loftily next to a lush green Duxford meadow last Wednesday. A more fitting backdrop to the stunning livery of the new Team Lotus Caterham could surely never be found.