Friday 30 April 2010


The sunshine island of Gran Canaria has joined the 2010 IRC calendar after the loss of the Asturias rally on mainland Spain in September.
With only a short break for the teams after the two rallies based in South America, it was full steam ahead to get the cars prepared for the first all-tarmac rally of this year's IRC. With the recent travel issues due to the Icelandic volcano, many teams have had major challenges just to get team personnel, equipment and cars out to Gran Canaria.

Peugeot UK, however, decided to go out early to test on the fast, smooth mountain roads which will make up the fifteen stages of the 34th Rally Islas Canarias. The special nature of the roads on the island makes the stages more like a race track with wide, fast-flowing corners and very high grip levels.

Both Kris and Co-driver Paul Nagle spent Monday testing their Peugeot 207 S2000 on a special test stage in the hills near the island's capital Las Palmas. The test provided the team and Kris with the opportunity to fine tune the set up of their Peugeot 207 and get accustomed to the type of roads, ready for the start of the rally on Friday.

After Monday's test Kris and Paul then got on with the job of creating the all-important pace notes which they will use during the rally. To do this they are allowed to drive each of the special stages a maximum of three times, no faster than 80 km/h and write down detailed notes about each corner and any hazards etc. Paul will then use these notes during the rally to guide Kris through each stage as quickly as possible. Unlike a racing driver on a race track, a rally crew is not allowed to practice on the actual rally stages so the only prior knowledge comes from experience of an event or their pace notes.

The 34th Rally Islas Canarias begins with the Ceremonial Start in Las Palmas tonight before the crews tackle the first stages on Saturday. On the first day, a total of 382.81 km will be covered by the crews, of which 137.25 km will be on timed special stages. The first stage starts at 9am on Saturday morning with the rally halting for the night around 8:30 pm. A total of nine stages will make up Day 1 with the first three stages run twice. The longest stage is 29.95 km - the longest of the rally - and will be run only once.

Day 2, Sunday provides the crews with a total of six stages, totalling 84.34 km, but the crews will have to cover a further 203.24 km just to get to the stages. The Sunday stages are run twice, three in the morning and three in the afternoon, before the rally finishes on Sunday afternoon. By the end of the rally, Kris's Peugeot 207 S2000 will have covered a total distance of 670.39 km and tackled 221.59 km of special stages.

After the disappointment of Argentina, Kris and Paul are ready and focused on getting back into their winning ways. As this rally did not feature in last year's IRC, it will be the most open of the season so far. None of the IRC's leading drivers has driven this event before.

Kris, who is currently lying in fourth place in the drivers' standing after just three rounds, said: "It's going to be a very open rally because, apart from the local drivers, nobody has done this event before so nobody will have an edge. That will make it really interesting and a hard one to call in terms of the result."

"It's also going to be much the same as we experienced last year on some of the island events on the IRC: there are guys that always compete in their local Championships, and when you're going to compete on a very small island, there's not that many roads. It's quite clear that those guys will know their roads very well, but we're happy to go and to focus mainly on our IRC rivals. Obviously the local guys may come into contention, but it's up to us to try to steer that to our advantage."

Kris continues regarding the stages: "I think the road offers very, very good grip even when it's raining, and though the forecast seems to be bone-dry, I know the island can create its own sort of climate and it can get quite misty with the odd spot of rain here and there in the mountains, so even if it does get quite humid, I know there's a lot of grip there in the asphalt. There's not a lot of cutting off the edge of the road like other events - I think all 4 wheels have to be on the asphalt all the time, and it's very close to what we would call a circuit-type event, though every corner will be different."

A total of ten S2000 cars and drivers will join Kris in his Peugeot 207 S2000 and the 49 other cars signed up for this year's event. A total of thirteen manufacturers will be represented across all the classes, with six Peugeot 207 S2000s battling for a Peugeot victory.

Follow the day-to-day progress of Peugeot UK and Kris Meeke in the Rally Islas Canarias via the team's Twitter link, web-based rally radio hosted on the website and all main rally websites and, for iphone users, the free-of-charge Peugeot sponsored irally App.

Coming soon from Veloce! Kris Meeke Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion by Simon McBride.

Kris Meeke – protégé of rally legend Colin McRae – and Peugeot UK won the Intercontinental Rally Championship in their rookie year. From the disastrous opening round in Monte Carlo, to the ecstasy of winning the San Remo Rally and the championship in the same weekend, this is the chronicle of a driver destined for greatness. More info.

Wednesday 28 April 2010


Click here for more info about the book.

Tuesday 27 April 2010


The Vauxhall Ampera passed an important milestone last Friday, when the first pre-production car rolled off the line at GM's Pre-Production Operations' assembly line in Warren, Michigan.
More validation Amperas will be built in coming months, and will be used by engineers in Europe and the United States for testing the production-intent design. The focus will be on developing the final vehicle software and controls, fine tuning the vehicles' driving characteristics, and performing safety and structural integrity testing.

"We're right on target for producing the Ampera for European markets later next year," said Andrew Farah, Vehicle Chief Engineer for Ampera. "There's still work to be done, but being able to drive an Ampera off our pre-production line is a great accomplishment for the teams here and in Europe."

The Ampera extended-range electric vehicle delivers up to 40 miles of pure electric driving before an engine-generator kicks in to sustain the battery charge and seamlessly extends the range to more than 300 miles. The battery can be charged by plugging the vehicle's on-board charge system into a standard household outlet. It is scheduled to be in UK showrooms by early 2012.

Coming soon! Electric Cars - The Future is Now! by Arvid Linde.
What if we all had to say goodbye to petrol cars tomorrow? Would you be ready?
There might be several reasons why you’re holding this book in your hand. Concern about the environment, determination to cut your fuel bill, or simply curiosity. Whatever the reason, the answer is within. This consumer guide is for housewives, petrol-heads, pedestrians, green activists, everyone – but most importantly, it’s for you. It will introduce the electric car to potential advocates and opponents, revealing all the pros and cons. Is such a vehicle really what it promises to be - the perfect answer to the fuel crisis and environmental issues? This book will help you find out. More info.

Friday 23 April 2010


Many thanks for submitting all your classic contenders for Veloce's Sleeping Beauty of the year 2010.
We've had contributions from all over the world, and there's still plenty of time to enter as the competition runs until August 15th 2010. So please keep those photos coming to:
Or by post to: Sleeping Beauties Competition, Veloce Publishing, Veloce House, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3AR.

Veloce's Sleeping Beauties now on Facebook. Upload your pictures directly to the page!

Thursday 22 April 2010


André Lefebvre and the cars he created for Voisin and Citroën by Gijsbert-Paul Berk is BOOK OF THE MONTH in Australian Classic Car (May 2010).

“Build me an umbrella with four wheels.” These instructions were given to Citroën engineers in 1936. Head of those engineers was Andre Lefebvre, and the result was the iconic Citroën 2CV. It’s one of the many stories contained in Andre Lefebvre, by Swiss national Gijsbert-Paul Berk. Andre Lefebvre graduated as an aeronautical engineer and was working for Gabriel Voisin during the dark days of WWI. A shrewd businessman, Voisin realised the demand for military aircraft would plummet following hostilities – so he began producing cars using many aircraft techniques. His engineer was Andre Lefebvre, who went on to design a range of road and competition cars used to promote the Voisin name. With engines featuring Knight sleeve valves, they proved successful until the Great Depression. Lefebvre then moved on to Citroën and his name will always be linked with the French manufacturer.

While Lefebvre died in 1964, his legacy (apart from the Viosins) includes such great cars as the Citroën Traction Avant and DS. The former was the world’s first mass-produced chassis-less car and led the way for decades to follow. The DS, of course, startled the automotive world in 1955. The 2CV? Well, looking at the initial cars you can understand how Lefebvre interpreted what an umbrella on wheels looked like. Andre Lefebvre is a most entertaining and informative book – I can’t say I have read much on Voisin cars, so that was a real delight (especially the parts about its competition cars). The text, which I suspect has been translated from French, is nevertheless easy to read and the period photos are a delight.
An excellent publication.

Click here for more info about the book.

Wednesday 21 April 2010


Thanks to everyone who helped to make Graham Robson's World Cup Rally 40 book launch such a huge success yesterday - especially Ford for providing both the star attraction - the winning car, FEV 1H, and the venue at Alperton, just outside Wembley Stadium.

Graham Robson.

Brian Culcheth & Paddy Hopkirk.

The winning car.

Andrew Cowan's Triumph 2.5PI

Tony Mason with Robson.

More pics on flickr. Click here for more info about the book.

Friday 16 April 2010


Leading British automotive publisher, Veloce Publishing, is delighted to announce that it has teamed up with one of Britain's oldest and most esteemed motoring organisations, RAC, to produce books carrying the RAC brand. The first fruits of the new relationship will appear in the Summer of 2010 in the form of -

"Electric Cars – The future is now"

Are electric cars a feasible alternative to conventionally powered cars? Here's a comprehensive guide - aimed squarely at the man and woman in the street - to the cars you can buy now, and what the future holds, priced at £12.99. Isbn: 9781845843106

"The Efficient Driver's Handbook"

With fuel prices at record levels, here's a timely guide to fuel efficient driving techniques and car choice, priced at £9.99. Isbn: 9781845843519

"Roads with a view – England's greatest views and how to find them by road"

A beautifully produced large format hardback featuring 44 breathtaking views, and how to get to them by road. Priced at £24.99. Isbn: 9781845843502

Many more books are in the pipeline, including technical books based on RAC's extensive automotive experience and data.

Rod Grainger, Publisher at Veloce, says: "This is a really exciting development for our company. It's a prestigious association with a hugely respected organisation which not only marks a coming of age for Veloce, but presents a huge range of potential publications which can be created in association with RAC".

Tuesday 13 April 2010


John Rosamond (author of Save the Triumph Bonneville! – The inside story of the Meriden Workers’ Co-op) has been out and about answering questions raised by the book at specially organised forums around the UK.

The first of these forums took place at the Manchester Branch of the TOMCC. Well organised by the Hon Secretary David Porter at the club's regular meeting place "The Arden Arms" in Stockport; over 30 enthusiastic branch members attended, taking part in a very lively "Q and A" session lasting over 2 hours. Sales of signed copies of the book took place at the end of the forum.

John, with two TOMCC members who bought the book.

John recently received a letter from Patrick McAndrew (an airline pilot) a very satisfied customer. He had read the book twice and wished to have it signed. He and his friend Mike, also an airline pilot asked John if he would meet them at the National Motorcycle Museum for the book signing.

John and Patrick standing behind a Co-op 750cc Bonneville Special.

The next Meriden Co-op Forum is at the TOMCC Peterborough Branch in May.

Monday 12 April 2010


The weather was kind on the first ever Dubs at the Bay held at Lodmoor Country Park in Weymouth, Dorset, yesterday. It made for a fantastic location with a turn out of some 2,500 people. Watch it grow over the coming years!

A total of £1029.75 was raised for the RNLI (Weymouth branch).


A remarkable man and his Vancouver-based sports car company

Paula Reisner of sports car builder Intermeccanica checks out the new book on the firm with author Andrew McCredie at the recent Vancouver International Auto Show. Read the full story here.

Intermeccanica – The Story of the Prancing Bull.
Frank Reisner, a Hungarian-born Canadian, turned a youthful passion for cars into one of the world’s most famous small sports car building companies. From modest beginnings in Turin, Intermeccanica designed and produced a dozen different and exciting models that shook the motoring world in the 60s and 70s.
More info about the book.

Tuesday 6 April 2010


From 19-21 April 2010 you can visit us at The London Book Fair at Earls Court. Come and have a chat, browse our books, and see what's new for Veloce in 2010. You'll find us at Stand R455. We hope to see you there!


Thanks to British Motorcycle Charitable Trust News for this review of Save the Triumph Bonneville! – The inside story of the Meriden Workers’ Co-op.

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