THE MAN THEY CALL ‘McPINT’

If you were to stand at the top of Bray Hill, perhaps where High View Road faces the St Ninian’s High School green, and fired a bullet toward the base of the hill, where Stoney and Tromode Road meet, you’d be branded a lunatic and likely jailed. Sit, however, astride a 200-horsepower Superbike – Kawasaki,…

A TALE OF TWO WHEELS

Regularly looked down upon by the MotoGP faithful, the World Superbike Championship is all too often perceived as being the former’s less attractive sister; not as technologically advanced; less exotic somehow. Some of that is down to those mechanical animals that appear untameable for mere mortals such as you or me; the motorbikes at the…

ASTONS AT GOODWOOD

Firstly, an admission: I am hopelessly under-qualified to offer any noteworthy opinions on a road car’s performance; my car history consists of barely two chapters. Chapter one stars a 15 year-old Ford Fiesta called Queenie, equipped with non-matching hubcaps and not a lot else. Chapter two features a newer Citroen C4 Coupe, this time with…

WHEN TEMPERS FLARE

During the 1979 Daytona 500, a highlight of the motor racing calendar even then, Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough collided. The pair’s race ended on the spot but the drama was yet to come: the two drivers, neither particularly willing to back down from confrontation, proceeded to knock seven bells out of each other. It…

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

Following World War II, the surviving fighter pilot-types – the stereotypically brave, chiselled jawed soldiers every man or boy secretly dreamed of being – were left kicking their heels; grateful that the war was over, but missing the adrenalin-fuelled buzz of combat. Motor racing offered a release – an escape from the mundane world still…

THE FUTURE FORMULA

The concept was sound enough: one car each for a number of selected nationalities, represented by a team and driver of appropriate citizenship; identical cars with identical engines, competing during the ‘off-season’ winter months as a stopgap between Grand Prix seasons. A1GP was billed as ‘The World Cup of Motorsport’, a unique format where the…

SIMON ANDREWS & THE ROAD RACERS

Road Racers. The dare-devils that walk among us, disguised as ordinary folk but in possession of staggering ability, unrivalled testicular fortitude and lacking, it seems, any notion of fear or mortality. The thirst for adrenalin pushes them closer to the edge, closer to disaster, closer to death. It’s what they live for. All too often,…

SAM SCHMIDT’S REMARKABLE RETURN

Sam Schmidt was a 35 year-old, one-time race winner in the fastest open-wheel race series in the world. Then he hit the wall. Hard. It was during winter testing, at the┬ádeceptively light-hearted named Walt Disney Speedway, that Schmidt’s life changed for ever; the accident rendered him quadriplegic, unable to move from the neck down –…

GRAVEL-ON-CHIPS

Despite the diet entering only its 24th hour, I couldn’t resist the smell of greasy, salty, ketchup smothered chips that go hand-in-hand with slightly grubby, open-air stadium sports a step above ‘grass-roots’; the kind of food served in a cold port-a-cabin by an even colder woman. It was however, with a light dusting of sand…

END OF THE ROAD FOR FRANCHITTI

The powerful, enduring image of Dario Franchitti crying from the cockpit of his race car before completing a lap of honour in the name of his friend and fellow racer Dan Wheldon, just hours after Wheldon’s life-ending crash in Las Vegas, 2011, will stay with many fans for years to come. That Franchitti continued to…