Wednesday, 11 January 2017

25-YEAR ANNIVERSARY COMPETITION WINNER

Thank you all for your entries to our 25-book giveaway, which we launched in September last year to coincide with the company's 25th anniversary. We had a great response with some superb entries, and as a thank you for all of the kind words and photos, we've decided to award prizes to 5 runners-up, each of whom will receive a £25 Veloce gift voucher.

And the winner is ...
Iain Gordon

Ian Gordon chose La Carrera Panamericana by Johnny Tipler as his favourite Veloce book.
Congratulations, Ian, We hope your prize gives you many months of happy reading!

"Amongst my many books, my favourite book from the Veloce stable is Johnny Tipler's wonderful weighty tome on La Carrera Panamericana. It's a truly wonderful book, packed full of information and excellent photography that brings this famous event alive and is surely the best guide book and inspiration for anyone considering entering or even just following the route of this incredible historic event.

I love how the book brings the event truly to life by covering not only all the competitors and their machines, but also capturing the very essence of the event with atmospheric photography of the area and its people and culture and the minutiae of daily life interspersed with an historic motor race. With the superb colour full-page photographs, I can almost hear the brass salsa bands jumping out of the page!" – Iain Gordon

Runners-up
Jack Shepherdson
Federico Lago
James Foreman
Sébastien Martin
Davide De Giorgi






"Choosing just one title for entry into your competition is extremely hard as I have long been impressed by the high quality, passion and knowledge of your company and the authors
you publish." – James Foreman

"I love your books because they are written so well!" – Federico Lago

"As far as a favorite ... each book fulfills a certain "need," I can't say I like the Bahama Speed Weeks more than the Mexican RR or the T40 more than the T46/50, for example. They're all great in their own way." – Ron Scoma

"I wish to congratulate you all on the amazing milestone of 25 years of publishing some of the greatest automotive books ever written." – Jack Shepherdson

From now on, any reader photo we feature in On the Grid will automatically win a £25 Veloce gift voucher.
Be imaginative, we want to see your pics; if we like it we'll use it here!

Thank you for joining us in celebrating our 25th anniversary.


Monday, 12 December 2016

AN INTERVIEW WITH NIGEL BENNETT

We asked Nigel Bennett a few questions about his career in motor racing ...

How big was the learning curve in F1 during the 70s and 80s, an era when aerodynamics became so important?

For me, the whole business was a huge learning curve during this period, even though I had been involved in top level motor racing since 1967 as a Firestone racing tyre designer and engineer to many of the top teams in F1 and sports cars. However, from 1974 I was working as an engineer within racing teams – Hesketh and Team Lotus until 1978 – so I was in at the deep end, learning about car construction, working with the mechanics and home based fabricators, machinists and designers. And, of course, motor racing as an industry was learning fast too, particularly about aerodynamics.
Initially in the 60s, it became apparent that downforce, through the use of wings, meant that cornering grip was increasing rapidly, but so was drag: so subtle compromises were required to find the best combinations for each circuit. Then of course the huge ‘find’ was when, partly by accident, it was discovered that air flow beneath the car could be channelled to produce unheard of levels of downforce, with remarkably small increases in drag. All this was discovered at Team Lotus during my four years with the team.
And working for Colin Chapman, probably the greatest innovator the sport has seen, was a huge advantage to me when I left Team Lotus, and started to design F1 and Indycars myself.

You say in your book that you believe the 80s and 90s were the most wonderful period of motor racing. Why?

What was so challenging in Indycar racing in that period was, like F1, we raced on street circuits and road circuits, but Indycars also raced on Short Ovals and Superspeedways. At the one mile Short Ovals, for instance at Phoenix and Milwaukee, there was racing 3 and 4 abreast at times, and no lack of overtaking. And the G-forces were enormous: at Phoenix the drivers would be pulling some 5G lateral for over 7 seconds through turns 3 and 4. And the speeds at Michigan, or Indianapolis, were tremendous with lap average speeds of around 230mph and top speeds of over 240 mph. The aero rules, and even suspension parts, differed for these different types of circuits and with over 800bhp the cars were fast and spectacular.
Indycars raced not only in the USA, but in Canada, Brazil, Australia and,on occasion, Germany and Great Britain. Then, on both sides of the Atlantic, motor racing was still a sport with much less evidence of big business than is the case today. Teams were so much smaller, budgets were a fraction of today levels, and racing was all the more enjoyable for that.

Hesketh was an extraordinary private team, famous for partying as hard as it raced: your time with Bubbles, Lord Alexander, the Doc and James Hunt must have been extraordinary?

Even in the days when F1 was serious, but fun, Hesketh Racing was an anomaly. It had a reputation of enjoying the parties with the racing as a side show. False! There was a serious side to the team.
I only worked for the Hesketh Racing for a few months, and fresh from a Firestone tyre background, my learning curve was steep. Many of the wild parties happened in the earlier days before I joined as, by then, money was getting tight and the F1 team folded at the end of the year. Despite the Lord’s antics, the team had excellent hard working mechanics. Harvey Postlethwaite was a talented designer and ‘Bubbles’ Horsley a fine Team manager. James Hunt? Well there’s plenty about him on film and in print. And he still owes me £5!


Have you seen the film Rush? How accurately, in your view, does it portray James Hunt and his rivalry with Niki Lauda?

From what I saw Hunt and Lauda were good friends., despite the obvious rivalry on the track. I thought the Rush Lauda character was brilliant, Hunt less so. The real Hunt was more extreme and outrageous than the film dared to show!

What was it really like working with the genius Colin Chapman? Have you got any anecdotes you can share?

Without doubt a brilliant man, very brave, charming, but a bit of a rogue none the less. A fantastic leader with a mercurial brain, he could persuade ordinary mortals to do things, complete tasks, they would never dream possible on their own.
Colin loved to be the centre of attention, with a loud laugh, but could fix you with a steely eye if he thought you weren’t giving your all.
100 hour weeks were not uncommon working for Colin Chapman!
A true innovator, an original thinker, but many of his schemes were failures, it’s just that he came up with so many ideas, that the innovator image stuck. For instance, he claimed he thought through the possibilities of ground effect while on holiday, but, in fact, that was far from the truth as I explain at great length in my book.
His main failure as a designer (thought he seldom, if ever produced final drawings, rather than sketches), was he always wanted to be one step ahead, and developing a design to it maximum, bored him. He always wanted to innovate, at many times to his cost.
He was a good pilot, but wasn’t above flying to his own rules when it suited him. He once flew himself and a couple of crew members to Holland, his secretary had filed the flight plan and informed the local airfield at which he had declared he would land. En route he changed his mind and landed at another airfield (without informing anyone) and departed for the race meeting in a rental car. On arriving back on the Sunday night he found padlocked chains wrapped around the plane’s props. It seems the first airfield, on his non arrival, had assumed he was missing over the North Sea, and alerted the authorities who started a costly search. The police were not amused and took steps to teach him a lesson.


What was it like seeing ‘your’ cars on the front row at Indianapolis?

Great pride that I ,and my design team, had come up with a car that was ahead of the competition, and thankful that I was working for a great team such as Penske racing, which could deliver the true potential of my cars.

What role has tyre technology played in top level motorsport through your working life?

Of course tyres have always been super important in motor racing. Nowadays, there is seldom any tyre competition in that most series, including F1 and Indycars, have one supplier, so it is down to the teams to get the very best from the tyres they are supplied with. Back when I was involved, there were often two or three tyre suppliers, so a tyre war could make it unfortunate if one was contracted to an inferior product. This was very much the case in the mid- to late-nineties, when Penske suffered considerably being contracted to a supplier which was a step behind in development.
When I worked for Firestone, in the late 60s and 70s, there was intense competition with Goodyear and Dunlop, and we often came out on top with superior Firestone products in F1 and Sports cars. Again, many great tyre innovations were stumbled upon by accident, including how slick, plain treaded tyres came about, a story recounted in my book.

What is unique about your book amongst other books that cover a similar era of motorsport?

I believe the book is unusual. Firstly, because it covers a long period in motor racing history from the point of view of one person, but also there are chapters by my main rival designer and the Penske team manager. Secondly it is not only about F1, or even F1 and Sports cars, but also about tyre design and development back in the 60s and 70s.

You met and worked with many great motor-racing characters, which of them really stand out and why?

Mauro Forgheiri ,who took the time to talk to me about his cars, and explain how he went about tuning his cars, his subtle use of shock absorber settings to change a car’s balance. A great character who would organise great meals for his team when time allowed.
Colin Chapman, as described above.
Mo Nunn, a team owner and engineer who struggled with indomitable spirit for years but with inadequate budgets.
Carl Haas, a laugh a minute as a team owner.
Roger Penske, the perfectionist team owner, who allowed me so much freedom to design the cars as I wanted.

What do you regard as the pinnacle of your design work?

Probably the first Lola Indycar that I designed. Although I had designed an Indycar while at Theodore racing, it was a converted F1 car. The Lola T800 was innovative in that it used a lot of carbon fibre in the chassis moulding, a first in Indycars. I had a relatively small amount of design help from other draughtsmen at Lola, and wind tunnel time was severely limited. Of course, the T800 won the Championship with Mario Andretti driving for Newman Haas Racing. Later designs at Penske Cars were even more successful, but I had much better facilities and more people to work with.


What inspired you to bite the bullet and get down to writing the book?

I thought it was worth doing as so many people had asked me about my career. My memory is awful, so it did me good to research the history in which I played a part.

Can you describe how you think F1 racing will have changed by 2020?

No, not really. I think the 2017 F1 rules are a mistake and won’t encourage closer racing and, if nothing is done to bring down costs, F1 will strangle itself.
On the other side of the Atlantic if Indycar is to survive they must get away from these oh so ugly spec cars. The fans do have an interest in seeing different cars, after all the drivers are hardly visible anyway.

Available now! Inspired to Design – F1 cars, Indycars & racing tyres: the autobiography of Nigel Bennett

In this unique autobiography, Nigel Bennett describes his life and career, from growing-up influenced by car design, to his education, and the building of his ‘750 specials.’ He describes his work as Firestone Development Manager, recounting many tales of the outstanding designers and drivers of the period. Detailing his work in Formula 1, as a Team Lotus engineer, and then as Team Ensign designer, he also covers his Indycar designs at Theodore, Lola Cars, and Penske Cars. Life after his retirement, his involvement in boat design and with modern F1 teams, is also recounted. More info.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

FIRST LOOK AT ADVANCE COPIES OF THE ULTIMATE BOOK OF THE PORSCHE 911

We've received the first advance copies of this beautiful Catalogue Raisonné – a 592 page, large format edition – limited to 911 numbered copies and covering all the air-cooled Porsche 911s in the minutest detail.

Pre-orders on specific numbered copies are selling fast. Please reserve your prefered number now to avoid disappointment. We expect to begin shipping books mid-December. Take a look at the finished product ...


Only available through the dedicated website ultimate911.veloce.co.uk.
The book is not on sale through retail outlets or web-based sellers.

DEPOSITS ON SPECIFIC NUMBERS ARE BEING TAKEN NOW!


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

ENGINE DESIGNER MIKE COSTIN CURATES 5O YEAR COSWORTH DFV ANNIVERSARY DISPLAY AT RACE RETRO

Race Retro, the international historic motorsport show, will bring together an incredible collection of Cosworth DFV powered race cars, to celebrate 50 years since one of the world’s most iconic engines made its debut on the track.

The collection, which includes the Williams FW08 driven by Keke Rosberg to win the 1982 World Drivers’ Championship, has been curated by Mike Costin, who along with Keith Duckworth gave his name to the powerplant.

Mike will appear at Race Retro and will be interviewed on the Motor Sport Live Stage. “I am delighted to be involved in this display to mark the anniversary of the Cosworth DFV story,” said Costin. “I look forward to being reunited with some of the star cars of the past.”

Event Director Daniel Nwaokolo said: “The Cosworth DFV is synonymous with the greatest era of Formula 1 and to have the display curated by designer Mike Costin, one of the greatest engineers of our time, just makes it even more special.”

Held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from 24-26 February 2017, Race Retro’s display will include stunning cars from the Donington Grand Prix Collection, all to be hosted in the dedicated Motor Sport Hall of Fame.

Christopher Tate, Managing Director of Donington Park, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Motor Sport Magazine to put on this fantastic display at Race Retro to kick off the 40th anniversary celebrations of the re-opening of Donington Park. We’re looking forward to showing some of the most famous cars from our Grand Prix Collection and welcoming a large number of enthusiastic race fans ahead of what is certain to be a special year for Donington Park.

“And we can announce one special feature – if you can bring and show us your treasured ticket or programme* from our historic opening event in 1977 at Donington Park, we will exchange that, in advance, for free admission to one day of this year’s Donington Historic Festival, April 28/29/30.”

As a statement of its intention as the new owner and to celebrate the event’s 15th anniversary, organisers Clarion Events will be staging a ‘Super Show’ for 2017. The Cosworth DFV display is the first of many celebratory features to be hosted within the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, with other iconic motorsport names, cars, bikes and technological advancements to be recognised.

Race Retro will also welcome motorsport industry traders with over 85 specialists already committed to attending including Demon Tweeks, Classic World Racing, Millers Oils, and the Vintage Sports Car Club.

Tickets are now on sale for Race Retro, held from 24th to 26th February 2017 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors. For the latest updates and ticket information, visit www.raceretro.com.

– AVAILABLE FROM VELOCE –

Grand Prix Ford – Ford, Cosworth and the DFV by Graham Robson.

A limited edition of 1500 copies. In 1965, Colin Chapman persuaded Ford to underwrite development of a V8 engine for the new 3000cc Grand Prix formula. Built by Cosworth, the new DFV engine won Lotus four World Championship Grands Prix in 1967. A year later, and now available to other constructors, the engine began its domination of Grand Prix racing.
More info.

Lotus 49 - The Story of a Legend by Michael Oliver.

The definitive story of the Lotus 49 from inception to the fate of the cars today. Includes a racing record and individual chassis histories. The Lotus 49 was one of the most evocative & successful Formula One cars of its era, & the first to use the Cosworth DFV V8 engine. Here is the definitive story from inception to the fate of the cars today. Includes a racing record & individual chassis histories. A high quality artpaper production. A highly acclaimed book. More info.

Forthcoming in 2017! COSWORTH - THE SEARCH FOR POWER (6th Edition) by Graham Robson.

COSWORTH - THE SEARCH FOR POWER covers the entire history, life and times of the famous British high-performance engineering company, from its 1958 foundation by Keith Duckworth, through its often-exciting and always fascinating evolution, expansion and worldwide success in both motorsport and high-performance road cars. More info.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A DARRACQ CALLED GENEVIEVE BOOK LAUNCH

Rodney Laredo, the author of our new book A Darracq called Genevieve – The story of veteran motoring’s most famous car was at Bonhams Veteran Car Run Auction and The Regent Street Motor Show at the weekend for the launch of his new book. Special thanks to Bonhams for hosting the launch and to the Louwman Museum for the presence of Genevieve at the event.

Genevieve is normally on display at the Louwman Museum, The Hague, Netherlands.


Bonhams Veteran Car Run Auction – Friday 4th November 2016



The Regent Street Motor Show – Friday 5th November 2016

The life and times of the world’s most famous veteran car!

A Darracq called Genevieve is the story of the car that starred in the Bafta award-winning Genevieve, Best British Film of the coronation year 1953 with an Oscar nominated music score by harmonica player Larry Adler. The film became the catalyst for unprecedented interest in veteran motoring worldwide.
Genevieve’s participation in the annual London to Brighton run for veteran cars, alongside her rival, a throaty, bright yellow Dutch Spyker, has become a legendary tale. But what of this 1904 French Darracq’s life before and after it’s film career?
Rodney Laredo’s in-depth biography of Genevieve is the first of its kind. It charts both the public and private life of this famous identity within the old car industry.
For more than forty years the author has collected an extensive pictorial and documented archive of material, through his own personal association with Genevieve and her respective owners and restorers in England, New Zealand, Australia, and Holland. Much of the material is new, and made available here for the first time.
Intriguing recollections – from those who starred in the film Genevieve, who were involved in its production, and who became friends of the author over a long period – are likewise included.

A Darracq called Genevieve by Rodney Laredo is available now! Click here for more information.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS AT HMI FOR THE DFV – F1’S GOLDEN ENGINE

Cosworth to display the DFV and some of the cars it powered at new show.

On a bright summer’s day in June 1967, the combined genius of Colin Chapman, Jim Clark, Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth changed the course of Formula 1 racing when Clark drove his Lotus 49 to a resounding win in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

It was the first outing not only for the Chapman-designed Lotus but, significantly, also for the Ford Cosworth DFV engine that powered it. ­

The DFV, standing for Double Four-Valve, was a 3.0-litre V8 racing engine developed by COStin and DuckWORTH’s Cosworth company and funded by Ford. An instant success, the engine went on to dominate Grand Prix racing for the remainder of the 1960s, through the entire 1970s and into the 1980s.

Between 1967 and 1985, the DFV won 155 Grands Prix from 262 races. Its last win came at the 1983 Detroit Grand Prix when Michele Alboreto took the honours in a Tyrrell while at the 1985 Austrian Grand Prix Martin Brundle, also in a Tyrrell, became the last man to race the DFV in F1.

In various forms, this remarkable engine also enjoyed success in sports car racing, including a win at Le Mans, and also formed the foundation of the ultra-competitive F3000 single-seat series.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of that 1967 debut win, Cosworth will be showing not only a DFV but also a number of the cars it powered in a special display at Historic Motorsport International (HMI).


A brand new show dedicated to historic motorsport in all its forms, HMI will be held at ExCeL London from 23-26 February and is aimed at anyone with an interest in classic racing and rallying.

“Cosworth was founded in 1958 and initially operated solely in the motor racing world. Today we remain the market leader in the development and supply of electronics to the global motorsports market and we are also actively involved in the drive towards connected, autonomous road vehicles and intelligent mobility.

“But there is no doubting the significant role played by the DFV in our story and we are delighted to be able to celebrate this achievement at HMI,” said Bruce Wood, Managing Director – Powertrain, Cosworth.

“Anyone watching motor racing from the 1960s onwards will be aware of the place the DFV has in motorsport history. During the 1970s, for example, every car on the F1 grid, bar the Ferrari, was powered by a DFV. We are honoured that Cosworth has chosen HMI to launch the 50th anniversary celebrations of this highly significant British engineering achievement,” said HMI said show director Ian France.


HMI promises a feast of motorsport nostalgia for everyone. Historic Formula 1 will be represented not just by Cosworth, but also by FORCE who will be showing cars from the 1990s, while the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) will be celebrating another golden anniversary, this time marking the 1967 launch of Formula Ford.

HMI will also have stands and displays from organising bodies, suppliers, preparation experts and specialist dealers – more than 100 classic competition cars will be offered for sale at the show. Other features include the inaugural Historic Motorsport Conference, which will examine a number of topics central to historic motor sport.

HMI is staged by Brand Events, the company behind a raft of successful motoring events including CarFest, Top Gear Live and the recent IGNITION Festival of Motoring. It will be held alongside another motoring exhibition from Brand Events, the London Classic Car Show, now in its third year and looking to build on the record 33,000 visitors who visited the 2016 event.

They will be held at ExCeL London, on 23-26 February, with access to both shows included in the entry price. Historic Motorsport International will open its doors at 10am on Thursday 23 February, while the London Classic Car Show will burst into life at 3pm that afternoon.

Tickets to Historic Motorsport International 2017 are now available from the show website – historicmotorsportinternational.co.uk

– AVAILABLE FROM VELOCE –


First Principles – The Official Biography of Keith Duckworth by Norman Burr.

This is the story of perhaps the most talented engineer to emerge from Britain in the 20th century. Keith Duckworth's contribution to motorsport, through Cosworth Engineering, is well documented, but the story of how he arrived at that point is much less well known. More info.

Grand Prix Ford – Ford, Cosworth and the DFV by Graham Robson.

A limited edition of 1500 copies. In 1965, Colin Chapman persuaded Ford to underwrite development of a V8 engine for the new 3000cc Grand Prix formula. Built by Cosworth, the new DFV engine won Lotus four World Championship Grands Prix in 1967. A year later, and now available to other constructors, the engine began its domination of Grand Prix racing. More info.