Thursday, 14 June 2018

Driving in Europe: do you know?

Summer is officially here – although the weather is taking it's time to decide – and for many of us, our summer holidays are just around the corner. Have you got a Euro-trip planned? Do you know the road laws on the Continent? If the answer is no, you're not alone ...


Many Brits are left baffled when driving around the continent, as four in five struggle to correctly identify foreign road signs whilst driving abroad, according to a new study conducted by easyjet and Europcar. Other common aspects holidaymakers find challenging are: driving on the right-hand side of the road (59), identifying foreign traffic signs (44%), understanding foreign rules and regulations (51%), and knowing the difference between kilometres and miles per hour also stresses a quarter of Brits out. 



The majority (89%) of those surveyed admit to having little to no understanding of foreign regulations and road signs, and 87% conduct no research into a foreign country's Highway Code before taking to the roads. 

A lack of knowledge discourages Brits to take to the road, as 72% of Brits admit to feeling apprehensive when driving abroad and over half of Brits (58%) admit to have driven on the wrong side of the road. In addition, eight in ten admitted that they would be unlikely to pass a driving test in another country. 

This new research also revealed some of the quirky road laws. Of those surveyed, Brits weren't aware of the following European driving rules and regulations: 

  • Filling your tank while your radio is still on in Spain could lead to a €91 fine
  • Legally, you cannot wash you car on a Sunday in Switzerland
  • In Romania, you'll be fined if you're driving a dirty car
  • In Germany, you can legally drive nude as your car is considered a private space
  • Drivers in Denmark must check for sleeping children underneath their cars before they set off

It's estimated that 35% of Brits are planning on driving abroad this summer, and it's quite shocking to find that most of us aren't as clued up as we should be. Luckily, we may have just the answer. Julian Parish's The Essential Guide to Driving in Europe has recently been revised and updated, just in time for the summer season! Better still, its compact size means that it can easily fit into your glovebox, so there's no excuse not to get a copy!

Whether you're planning a long touring holiday in your own car, or hiring a car locally on a business trip or holiday, this guide will give you all the information you require. Whatever your destination in Europe, you'll find everything you need to prepare for your trip and to cope with the unfamiliar. There are sections on dealing with everything from winter driving, to towing a caravan, from travelling with pets, to taking a classic car overseas. And – should the worst happen – there's also a clear guidance on what to do in the case of a breakdown or accident. 



With chapters covering Western Europe (including France), Southern Europe, Northern Europe, and Central & Eastern Europe – 50 individual countries – all the information is based on extensive local research, and includes comprehensive details on speed limits, drink/driving rules, motorway tolls, mountain passes, and other local regulations. Extensive illustrations help you recognise and understand unfamiliar signs, whilst more that 25 port maps guide you safely to and from terminals in the UK and on the Continent.

So, before you head out on your European travels, make sure that you pick up a copy of The Essential Guide to Driving in Europe!


Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – March, April, and May

Can you believe that we've been following Oliver Winterbottom's promotional run for A Life In Car Design for a year already?  Momentum is still going strong for this insightful book, and in today's blog we'll be getting you up to speed.


1 March – Upon my snowy return from Leicestershire, I am delighted to receive the Veloce Publishing Catalogue Spring 2018. Very much appreciated is that my book is featured on the Contents page. It also is the first book listed under Biographies – but having a title beginning with "A" helps! Thank you, Veloce.

2 March – Amazon email me again, offering me my book for £21.91. Generous of them!

4 March – Write to renew my membership of the Bourne Motor Racing Club, and attached the background to my BRM connections. I also offer to give the club a talk centred around my book, if they desire. 

6 March – Three copies of my book arrive from Amazon – the price was too good!

8 March – I receive a response from the Bourne Motor Racing Club to my offer to give a talk based on my book. A possible date exists in November if the planned speaker is unable to make it, or it will be after March 2019. I am told the audience always likes the opportunity to buy speakers' books.

13 March – Delighted to see a new advertising idea when washing my hands at Hethersett Queens Head. A copy of my book flyer is posted directly above the hand dryer where you cannot avoid seeing it. It had been in the pub foyer – and still is – but folk don't linger there.

15 March Absolute Lotus magazine due today. On 13 February, I gave permission for a review in this new publication and the first issue of this new magazine (six per year) was due 15 March. However, just like my book, it has been delayed until 11 May.

16 March – Google at it again: Free Download A Life in Car Design.

A quick look at the web shows Amazon UK have 13 books left with more on the way. WH Smith have two in stock. 

19 March – It's a Monday, and the Google download has been removed.

20 March – Car goes in for a Service, so I visit Norwich. Jarrold's book shop recognise my book, and have it on the shelf. I slightly rearrange it to a more prominent position, alongside some Lotus books. Jarrold's motoring book selection is far larger than rival shops. Waterstones have a tiny Transport section despite being a huge shop; a few railway books, plus half a dozen motoring ones. WH Smith have a good motor sport selection, but no road car books at all, however, they have a fairly small shop in Gentleman's Walk.

22 March – A welcome email from the Authors; Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), and a small payment in my bank. 

23 March – Cannot help but check out Amazon UK. The price now £24.34 (£2.43 increase) and they have 12 left – so they have sold one! Meanwhile, Amazon Japan have it for 3470 Yen (an 11 yen increase) – a 7.4 English pence increase!

26 March – Siân of Veloce asks if there is any news on the potential programme for Only Motors TV. I tell her "not yet."

27 March – I email Only Motors TV to ask if they have any more details of when they may wish to film for their show, #Petrolheads.
Reply: We would still love to feature you on #Petrolheads. Unfortunately, at the moment, we have difficulty getting crew that can travel to Wymondham, but I believe this may change so I can keep you updated when it does. 

28 March – Bruce Kirkham, a past colleague in the USA, writes to say he is getting my book. I wish him every enjoyment reading it!

I see on the internet that the book is on Pinterest, whatever that is. To get any information, I would have to sign up to an organisation that I would not personally agree with. As a result, I don't know what they think!

I find Amazon Germany has a review of the book, which seems very positive. This is the Google online translation:

A life for the automobile led Oliver Winterbottom in many different companies and countries of the world. It was the wish of the Young Oliver reality to take care of the design of automobiles. From time to time some of the side-war scenes also played a role, which he filled with just as much devotion. The biography is a great and interesting journey through the history of the automobile, especially English, of course. Most of the lyrics are very entertaining and you almost feel like talking directly to Winterbottom. In addition, some barely published drawings and pictures are shown, which underline the work with emphasis. Again and again, the people around him are presented and the financial situation is assessed.  For the equivalent of just over 40 euros, the reader can travel through the past with Winterbottom and clearly understand his or her way of doing business. The working title of the automotive designer provides a great template for a book and is very worth reading, especially since it is always first-hand information that makes it all the more valuable. 

29 March – Visit Wymondham Public Library, and I am delighted that Norwich Millennium Library have a copy of my book listed on their stock computer. A quick search suggest Norfolk is possibly unique in stocking it. Thank you Norwich and Norfolk.

30 March – Good Friday: Classic & Sports Car online Newsletter features a reprint of the 2009 article "Designers pick the most beautiful classics ever." I am happy to be reminded that I was listed with the Maserati Boomerang as my choice. The 21 designers are featured including most of the household names of the time.

5 April – Message from Veloce Publishers: We received a message to our Facebook page, requesting a signed copy of your book. I reply directly to the woman asking for the signed copy; we arranged a date to meet.

Amazon ask me, as a previous customer, to review my book!
"5.0 out of 5.0 stars. In-depth story inside the business. I think this is an absolutely brilliant book from inside the motor industry. I wholeheartedly recommend it."

Amazon now only have six left in stock – six gone since 23 March!

8 April – Amazon only have five left, keep it up!

9 April – Hear the sad news that John Miles has passed away after a stroke. I have great respect for John, and all our dealings were a pleasure. Definitely a gifted driver and engineer.

12 April – Breakfast at Elevden Courtyard to sign my book for Terry Hunter, as organised with his ex-secretary from the Facebook message on 5 April. He is about to turn 80, and this reminder is a good memory for me. Terry was a formidable rally competitor in Porsche and as a works Triumph driver about 48 years ago. I hope he enjoys the book – and yes, he is in it!
Meeting his secretary after a gap of about 45 years, I was flattered (well, I think I was) to be told "I had not changed a bit!" – apart from some hair loss! It was interesting to learn that the lady found a reference to my book when reading a magazine in the dentists waiting room. She then remembered me.

14 April – Bruce Kirkham enjoying my book, good! It's interesting because the USA does not have the Aprentice system I started with. Bruce was a senior manager at GM Inland Division when we first put airbags into Lotus. A great help and enthusiast.

17 April – Go to the BRM Association Test Day at Blyton Park. At least four strangers said they looked forward to my talk to Bourne Motor Racing Club. I explained I had agreed to talk but there is no date yet. Most had read the book and enjoyed it. It was talked about a lot! Sold one copy as well.

A special day: one year since I stopped smoking!

18 April – Email from a TVR Tasmin owner in New Zealand. Enjoyed the book and asked some tech questions. Will point them at TVR Club. Its nice to know that it is around the world.

19 April – Amazon UK now have 10 books – more coming, so thats at least another five gone. Amazon USA have four left.

22 April – Visit the VSCC Historic race at Silverstone. Recognised by a VSCC member from the BRM event one week ago. A club official Hamish McNinch, with whom I had a long chat, also knows the book.

Evening meet with Stuart Elliot, who organises the Hinckley Classic Motorshow (16 September). Discuss possibility of having a stand to sell and sign books.

24 April – Write to Lotus and TVR Clubs about the Hinckley Classic Car Motorshow: I have had an idea, that would possibly be of me more good than anyone else – but that seems a good reason to support it! Sunday 16 September 2018, Hinckley, Leicestershire are holding their 8th Classic Motorshow. I know that some LotusExcel.net members attended last year and I hope that TVR "Wedge" cars could be put alongside the Lotus models. As I had a hand in the creation of both vehicles, it has been suggested that the organisers could provide a "tent thing" so that I could sell and sign copies of my book. I know many of you have already purchased it – for which I am ever grateful, but have I reached absolutely everyone? I circulate you all for your comments.

Response from Angus Marshall at LotusExcel.net: Well, I know at least one Lotus Wedge owner who also owns a TVR and is fairly local to Hinckley. Unfortunately, neither of his cars are in a drivable state at the moment, but I know that none of the Lotus owners would object to being located close to our NW cousins.

25 April – Following the meeting with Terry Hunter's ex-secretary, I have received this message from her as she had brought her grandson to the book signing: On returning to school after the Easter holiday, my grandson's class were asked if they did anything exciting over Easter. He replied that he went to meet (and have breakfast with) a "real live author" for a private book signing.

26 April – Response from Andy Hutcheson, re TVR at Hinckley: I will pass on the event details to the relevant person in the TVRCC who covers that area, etc. I will also publish the event in the TVR Wedge Owners and Enthusiast UK Facebook group, so maybe some of my fellow wedge owners may go along.

The 26th of April, 2017 was the day my book arrived at Veloce Publishers.



29 April – Richard Heseltine sends a message to say the first edition of the new magazine Absolute Lotus has gone to press. It should be with the publisher around 6 May. As it contains a review of my book, I await a copy with excitement!

Sunday 30 April, 2017, I was at the Donington Historic race meeting with LotusExcel.net to sign the first copies of my book. This year it is due 4-6 May; lets hope the weather stays fine.

30 April – Mike Taylor contacts me regarding the VARI moulding process used on Colin Chapman's boats. He is researching this for a magazine feature. I reply that I am happy to help, although I was not involved with the boats in the latter part of their production life. It's nice to be reminded of things so long ago! This all dates back to the mid/late 1970s.

Amazon UK celebrate the first anniversary of the publication of my book by suddenly increasing its price from £21.91 to the publishers full £37.50. They also appear to have sold another one since 19 April.


You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to check back on the Veloce blog for the next instalment! 


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

BTCC 2018 at Thruxton

This year, the MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) celebrates its 60th anniversary. The last event took place at Thruxton on the weekend of the 19th-20th of May, and our director Jude went along to take in some of the action!

Thruxton held its first BTCC race back in 1968, and with 11 corners over 2.36 miles, this track sees the highest average speed of any circuit visited by the BTCC. 2018 saw new records set for the circuit, with Matt Neal setting a new fastest qualifying lap with a time of 1min 15.612s (112.17mph), and Tom Ingram setting a new fastest race lap with a time of 1min 17.060s (110.06mph) – beating Yvan Muller's 2002 longest standing lap record recorded on the BTCC calendar. 



Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport's Adam Morgan moved to the summit of the BTCC standings with victory in the final race in front of a record crowd, following on from points scoring finishes in the first two bouts in Hampshire. 

Matt Neal claimed the early bragging rights as he converted pole position into a race win, before Josh Cook scored his second victory in as many meetings with victory in the next contest. Halford Yuasa Racing's Neal produced a commanding lights-to-flag performance in the opening race, after seeing off race-long pressure from team BMW's Colin Tarkington.

Despite the season so far largely being dominated by a number of young drivers, it was the multiple BTCC champion duo of Neal and Turkington that fought back at the UK's fastest circuit. Neal took a maiden pole position for the all-new Honda Civic Type R during qualifying on Saturday, and he duly converted that advantage into a 62nd career victory. Turkington pulled his BMW 125i M Sport alongside the Honda off the line, but Neal hung in at the Complex as all 32-cars made it through for the first time. Turkington kept Neal honest throughout the 16-lap duration, but their positions remained the same until the finish. 

The Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus of Sam Tordoff hounded down Dan Commish's Honda for the final place on the podium, but the latter fended off every advance, and grabbed the second outright rostrum of his debut season. Power Maxed TAG Racing's Cook then followed up his recent Donington Park success with another stellar display at the Hampshire speedbowl. 

Pole-sitter Neal couldn't hang on off-the-line as Turkington's BMW blasted ahead of the Honda Civic Type R on the run down to the Complex. Commish's Honda bogged down at the start, which allowed Tordoff's Ford Focus and Andrew Jordan's Pirtek Racing BMW by in a tussle for third. 

Progress was soon being made behind, however, as the Power Maxed TAG Racing duo of Cook and Senna Procter slipped past Team Shredded Wheat with Gallagher's Tom Chilton. Procter's advances were halted at that point but teammate Cook was on a charge as he saw off Tordoff and Jordan in quick succession. 

Cook's Astra then surged around the outside of Neal's Honda at the final chicane and by lap 10 the local hero was challenging for the lead. The moment of truth came at the end of the next tour as the Bath driver pulled an almost identical move on Turkington's BMW 125i M Sport.

Team GardX Racing with Motorbase's Tordoff held onto fourth from Jordan and Procter. Morgan's second win of the season came in dominate fashion as he commanded the final race from start-to-finish in his Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The Lancastrian driver got a good getaway from pole position and he was able to defend well from an early attack from the Vauxhall Astra of Procter. 

Morgan's job was made slightly more comfortable when a charging Jack Goff hauled his Honda onto the back of Procter's Astra, and a squabble for second ensued. Goff made his move stick on Procter in the final third of the contest, but it was too late to make any inroads into Morgan's advantage. The 29-year-old took the chequered flag and with it the lead in the overall driver's standings. 

Tordoff completed a solid day for Team GardX Racing with Motorbase by taking fourth, whilst team BMW's Turkington fired himself back into championship contention with another top five finish, following on from his double podium earlier in the day. 

Morgan leads the standings by just a point from Cook, with previous championship leader Tom Ingram a further ten points in arrears. Speed works Motorsports' Ingram endured a challenging day after a non-finish in the opener, but the Toyota star provided some respite with a seventh place and a brand-new lap record in the finale.

Results

Round 7

  1. Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
  2. Colin Turkington (GBR) Team BMW +0.860s
  3. Dan Commish (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.699s
  4. Sam Tordoff (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +4.040s
  5. Tom Chilton (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.290s
  6. Andrew Jordan (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +8.922s
  7. Senna Procter (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +9.361s
  8. Brett Smith (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +9.725s
  9. Josh Cook (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +14.929s
  10. Chris Smiley (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.436s
Round 8
  1. Josh Cook (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing 16 laps
  2. Colin Turkington (GBR) Team BMW +1.325s
  3. Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.285s
  4. Sam Tordoff (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +6.287s
  5. Andrew Jordan (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.595s
  6. Senna Proctor (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +7.005s
  7. Adam Morgan (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +7.419s
  8. Jack Goff (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +7.816s
  9. Tom Chilton (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +9.114s
  10. Chris Smiley (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +10.203s
Round 9
  1. Adam Morgan (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport 16 laps
  2. Jack Goff (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +2.433s
  3. Senna Proctor (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +3.147s
  4. Sam Tordoff (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +5.045s
  5. Colin Turkington (GBR) Team BMW +5.994s
  6. Josh Cook (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +6.544s
  7. Tom Ingram (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +6.922s
  8. Matt Neal (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.722s
  9. Chris Smiley (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +12.985s
  10. Rob Collard (GBR) Team BMW +13.205s

The next rounds of the BTCC take place at Oulton Park, on the weekend of the 9th-10th of June. 


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Think Bike!

A little change of pace now, as today's blog is all about motorcycles. 

Of course, we love all things motorcycle related here at Veloce – a number of the Velocisti regularly ride their bikes into work – so road safety is paramount to us. Sadly, a large number of motorcycle riders around the globe are involved in serious accidents annually, and with the weather getting warmer, it's even more crucial that we all THINK BIKE whilst out on the roads.

Locally, Dorset Police have launched a new campaign in order to encourage motorists to THINK BIKE on a more regular basis. This has involved putting up posters in 'hot spot' areas around the county where serious collisions have occurred involving motorcycle users. It is hoped that these signs will highlight that road users need to pay more attention to motorcycle users. You can see these posters on the following roads:

  • B3059 Somerford Road, Christchurch
  • A354 Weymouth Way
  • A354 Portland Beach Road
  • B3073 Christchurch Road between Dudbury and Wet Parley
  • A30 Babylon Hill
  • A31 just west of lake gates roundabout to just east of Merley roundabout
  • A348 Ringwood Road near Langham
  • A351 Sandford to Holten Heath



Further afield, Autotalks, the global leader in V2X (Vehicle to Everything) communication chipsets, has joined the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC). Autotalks will work with other CMC members to help realise the vision of a uniform motorcycle platform for V2M (Vehicle-to-Motorcycle) communication. Specifically, Autotalks and other CMC members will work together to enhance Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) applications in motorcycles in a way that will help minimise motorcycle accidents.

Autotalks' V2M solution is based on a second generation V2X chipset developed by the company, which allows motorcyclists and other drivers to receive alerts on life threatening situations, in order to avoid road accidents. The V2M enables detection of motorcycles that are not visible to the human eye, cameras, or other sensors. 

To highlight the importance of being aware of motorcycle users on the road, Autotalks' CEO Hagai Zyss points out:
 "Motorcycles have higher chances of being involved in a road traffic accident, meaning motorcycle users are at a greater risk of fatality. Studies show that in approximately one third of motorcycle accidents, the motorbike is not visible to the car driver. Autotalks is committed to minimising motorcycle accidents until there will be zero accidents on our roadways."



Whether you are a motorcycle rider or not, be sure to Think Bike when you are out on the roads!


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New MOT comes into effect

There are big changes coming to the MOT as of this Sunday, so are you aware of what these could mean for you and your vehicle?



There are three main areas where the MOT is changing, and these include:
  • New defect types, and new items to be tested
  • Stricter rules for diesel car emissions
  • Change of circumstances for certain cars over 40 years old

From the 20th of May, any defects found while the testing is being carried out will be classed as either dangerous, major, or minor. Any fault classed as dangerous or major will be an instant fail on the MOT, where as a minor fault would still be a pass. Further details on there faults are as follows.

Dangerous faults mean that there is a direct and immediate risk to road safety, or a serious impact on the environment. You will not be allowed to drive the vehicle until the fault has been repaired. 
Major faults mean that they may affect the vehicle's safety, put other road users at risk, or have an impact on the environment. You will be advised to repair a major fault immediately. 
Minor faults will be those that have no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. You will be advised to repair any minor faults as soon as possible.

MOT testers will also tell you of any advisory problems, which could become more serious in the future unless monitored and repaired when necessary. However, there have been concerns that this new way of classifying faults can be too confusing for motorists. Simon Williams, a spokesman for the RAC, said that the new classifications "will surely be open to interpretation which may lead to greater inconsistency from one test centre to another."

In addition to the new defect types, there will be a number of new items that will be tested for during the MOT. The main ones include:
  • If the tyres are obviously under inflated
  • If the brake fluid has been contaminated in any way
  • If there are any fluid leaks that pose an environmental risk
  • The brake pad warning light and if brake pads or discs are missing
  • The reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
  • The headlight washers on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009, if they have them
  • The daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018; most of these vehicles won't have their MOT until 2021


Limits for emissions are getting stricter for diesel cars with diesel particulate filters (DPF). If your car's exhaust emits smoke of any colour, or if the tester finds evidence that the DPF has even tampered with, it will be classed as a major fault and will fail the MOT test. 

There is good news if you have a classic that was first registered in 1978, as cars, vans, motorcycles, and other light passenger vehicles that are 40 years old or more will no longer require an MOT – so long as they have not been substantially modified. However, each time you tax your historic vehicle, you will need to declare that it meets the rules for not needing an MOT certificate. 

So, what do you think of these changes? Do any of them work in your favour, or will it strike up a lot of confusion? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Wednesday, 2 May 2018

What a race!

Here's hoping we aren't in for a Bank Holiday washout, as this year's Donington Historic Festival will be celebrating an iconic Formula 1 race ...

One of the most memorable events in the history of Donington Park, the rain-soaked 1993 European Grand Prix will be celebrated at this year's Donington Historic Festival – which runs from the 4th to the 6th of May – with on-track F1 car demonstrations on the Saturday and Sunday, plus static displays on all three days. In addition, DHF visitors will be invited to get involved by sharing their own memories of the race before and during the Festival.

The 25th anniversary activities add a further exciting dimension to the event, where visitors can enjoy three days of world-class historic motorsport from an outstanding line-up of grids featuring an incredibly diverse range of racing machines spanning nine decades!

The Festival's anniversary theme celebrates that unforgettable day in April 1993, when the crowds flocked to Donington Park as the circuit played host to its first Grand Prix in 55 years – and the first European Grand Prix in eight years. Torrential rain made the track treacherous, as, starting from 4th position, Ayrton Senna battled it out with Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher to win by an incredible 80 seconds.

The F1 cars on show pay tribute in particular to Ayrton Senna, and were either driven by him or against him during his career up to 1993. They include:
  • The Toleman TG-184-01 Hart Turbo in which Senna caused a sensation for Friday practice at the 1984 British GP
  • A Camel Lotus/Judd 101/3 campaigned in 1989 by Nelson Piquet and Satoru Nakajima
  • Gerhard Berger's 1992 Canadian GP-winning McLaren MP4/7A-8 (courtesy of the Donington Collection museum)
  • A 1993 Benetton B193B raced that year by Michael Schumacher and Riccardo Patrese
  • The McLaren MP4/8 was Senna's test car for the 1993 Donington Park race (courtesy of the Donington Collection museum)

The McLaren MP4/8


DHF visitors will be invited to share their memories of that famous race on display boards at the Festival and, prior to the event, motorsport fans will be invited to send in their own images and memories of the race, which will be printed out and put up on a 'scrapbook' board for everyone to enjoy. 

Do you have fond memories of that race on Easter Sunday, 1993? Be sure to share them with us in the comments below!


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The end of the diesel Porsche ...

Porsche news always grabs our attention here at Veloce, as you know how much we love the marque, but this news story got our attention for a different reason than normal ... 

It has been announced that Porsche will axe all diesel engine options from its range of cars with immediate effect, with the reason behind the decision being a "cultural shift" by the brand's customers which caused the demand for diesel models to fall. Instead, the marque is switching its attention to petrol and hybrid models. 

The decision was made the same week that Germany's top court ruled that cities have the right to ban diesel motors in an effort to improve air quality levels. The cities of Stuttgart – home of Porsche  – and Leipzig had wanted to stop older diesel vehicles entering the city limits, and now this can be possible. Similar proposals are being discussed by governments around the world, in order to reduce pollution in major cities. 

Last year, bosses at Porsche said that they would consider killing diesel altogether by the end of 2018. A reason this decision may have been brought forward is due to the new round of economy and pollution testing regimes (known as RDE and WLTP) which arrive in the autumn. Older-generation diesel engines could struggle to meet these new tests, so it makes sense for Porsche to halt diesel car production for the time being.



Further to this news, Porsche has announced its desire to reduce CO2 emissions by fuelling internal combustion engines with sustainably sourced fuels. The German company says advances in fuel technology means it is already possible to create petrol and diesel substitutes that do not use crude oil, and that such fuels can make a 'significant contribution' in the battle to reduce global warming.

"In the foreseeable future, powertrains featuring combustion engines that operate using sustainably produced fuels will be offered as an optimum solution for sports cars in terms of performance, vehicle weight and range – key considerations from the perspective of Porsche customer," detailed a statement from Porsche.

With diesel absent from the Porsche line-up for the time being, and the use of sustainably sourced fuels still in the early stages, electrification will step into the foreground. Further hybrid models – including a hybrid version of the next 911 – are in the pipeline, while Porsche will release a pure EV next year in the form of the production Mission E.

So what do you think of the, albeit temporary, absence of diesel Porsches? We'll have more on the changes for diesel cars in general in the coming weeks.