Thursday 22 July 2010


Peugeot scored a dramatic one-two in this weekend’s SATA Rally Azores, the seventh round of this year’s Intercontinental Rally Championship (IRC).

This result was the first one-two finish for Peugeot in this year’s IRC campaign and is great testimony to the strength of the Peugeot 207 S2000 rally car and the determined drives by Peugeot Portugal’s Bruno Magalhaes and Peugeot UK’s Kris Meeke.

It was Bruno who crossed the line first to take his maiden IRC victory with Kris and co-driver Paul Nagle in second and, more importantly a good solid finish after their recent run of bad luck.

It was not an easy weekend of rallying for Kris and Paul, however, who had to overcome a number of hurdles on the way to their second place finish. The rally kicked off on Thursday with three special stages and, as the victor of last year’s rally, Peugeot UK’s Kris Meeke would be the first car to tackle the stages. The first five finishers from these stages would be reversed for the second day so it was important not to be fifth as, sweeping the stages for the drivers on day two, would be a big disadvantage.

Kris, however, was only able to set the fifth fastest time on the opening stage. He found the stage very difficult due to the loose surface gravel which he cleaned out of the way for the cars behind. “You could see the times of the guys running further back were much faster than those running up front and that was definitely the case for me” said Kris.

Stage two saw a tactical move from Kris when he dropped time to ensure he dropped back in the order to sixth and thereby ensure he was not going to be the first car on the road for day two. This honour fell to local driver Bernardo Sousa who would finish day one in fifth place. At the end of the first day, Skoda’s Juho Hanninen held a slender lead over Peugeot Portugal’s Bruno Magalhaes in his 207 S2000 and Andreas Mikkelsen in his Fiesta S2000; Kris finished in sixth 12.3 seconds behind the leader.

With the first five drivers starting in reverse order for day two, Kris would be sixth on the road and would now benefit from the drivers in front sweeping the loose gravel off the stages.

Unfortunately, it seemed like the Peugeot UK team’s bad luck had returned when Kris and Paul picked up a puncture on the first stage of the day. However, other drivers also picked up punctures and Kris and Paul finished the stage fifth overall. The impact which had caused the puncture had also upset the front suspension settings and on special stage six Kris spun the car and lost more time. On returning to the Service Park, the Peugeot UK team changed the set-up of the Peugeot UK 207 S2000 and Kris and Paul proceeded to set the second fastest time on special stage seven and the fastest time on eight. On special stage nine, Kris and Paul gave it everything they had and took eighteen seconds out of the next placed driver, Andreas Mikkelsen demoting him to fifth place overall and taking his fourth place position. Running in fourth place would also prevent Kris being the first car on the road for the final day when the running order was reversed again.

Sadly, special stage ten was to undo all Kris and Paul’s hard work as they picked up another puncture dropping them back into fifth place. With no spare wheel after the puncture, Kris and Paul had to drive carefully in special stages eleven and twelve and returned back to the Service Park physically drained and disappointed that they would be the first car on the road for the final day.

At the end of the second day, Peugeot Portugal’s Bruno Magalhaes was leading the rally by 2.2 seconds from Skoda’s Juho Hanninen with Kris, fifth, 51.7 seconds behind.

The final day of the SATA rally Azores was to be just as dramatic as the first two. Leaving the Service Park for the final seven stages, Kris and Paul’s first target was to get the fourth place position back off Andreas Mikkelsen who was 2.8 seconds in front of them. The first stage of the day, Kris set the fourth fastest time and moved ahead of Mikkelsen who was only able to set the sixth quickest time.

This is Kris and Paul’s second podium finish of the year and puts them back into contention for the 2010 IRC Drivers’ crown. The next round of the IRC is on the Portuguese island of Madeira (August 5-7) and the Peugeot 207 S2000s of Meeke and Magalhaes will be out to claim another set of podium positions.

Source: Peugeot

New! Kris Meeke – Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion
By Simon McBride

The story of how Kris Meeke 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 gripping tale of how Kris and Peugeot defied expectations and made their mark on this highly competitive championship. There are those who felt that Kris was quick but lacked the consistency to succeed at the highest level – but the man from Dungannon proved them wrong in the style of his mentor and rally legend, Colin McRae. The best of Kris is still to come ...
More info.

Wednesday 21 July 2010


Saab 96 & V4 (Rally Giants Series)
By Graham Robson

The front-wheel-drive Saab 96 made the brand into a rally icon in the 1960s. It succeeded in events as diverse as the Monte Carlo, Britain's RAC Rally, special stage events in every Scandinavian country, and the rough-and-tough Spa-Sofia-Liége marathon. This new book from Veloce Publishing's Rally Giants series tells for the first time the behind the scenes story of Saab's success. It describes how the big change came in 1967, when the 96 became the V4 and how works cars continued to be competitive in carefully chosen events for many years, and when they became outdated, the V4's successors – the much larger and more powerful 99 and 99 Turbo types – proved that Saab wasn’t done with rallying yet. With over 100 colour and mono photographs, many previously unpublished, this is an important and entertaining account of how more than any other car of its era, the Saab 96 and V4 models proved that front-wheel-drive allied to true superstar driving could produce victory where no-one expected it. Saab 96 & V4 by Graham Robson is available now from bookshops or

"There's plenty of gen on the characterful Trollhättan saloons and those that made them great." – Octane
"The campaign stories are illustrated with plenty of action photography and the work is worthy of a place on any Saab or rally enthusiast's bookshelf." – Classic Cars
"Graham Robson is to be congratulated on an excellent publication – this book is definitely one for every Saab enthusiast's bookshelf." – Saab Driver
"This book features excellent photos throughout, an entertaining text and some wonderful anecdotes – it's a very worthy addition to your rallying library." – New Zealand Classic Car

• Full detailed history of the Saab 96 & V4's rally career
• Complete story of concept, design and development
• Unrivalled coverage of people and influences behind the cars
• Step-by-step account of technical evolution
• Description of cars: why, how and when evolved
• Details of principal people involved
• Packed with colour pictures
• Comparison with rivals
• Complete listing of important successes
More info.

Tuesday 20 July 2010


Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Coupé - The Essential Buyer’s Guide
By Keith Booker

With the aid of this book's step-by-step expert guidance, you'll discover all you need to know about the car you want to buy. Unique point system will help you to place the cars value in relation to condition. This is an important investment - don't buy a car without this book's help.
More info.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider – The Essential Buyer's Guide
By Keith Booker and Jim Talbott

Buying a classic car is an expensive business and mistakes can prove costly financially and in time, effort and stress. Wouldn’t it be great if you could take an expert with you? With the aid of this book’s step-by-step guidance from a marque specialist, you can! You’ll discover all you need to know about the car you want to buy. The unique points system will help you to place the car's value in relation to condition, whilst extensive photographs illustrate the problems to look out for. This is an important investment - don’t buy a Spider without this book’s help. More info.


Another highlight of the Festival of Speed was the 60th Anniversary of La Carrera Panamericana. I caught up with authority on the subject, Johnny Tipler (full interview video coming soon). In the meantime, here are some pictures of the cars representing the 2100-mile open road Mexican epic in Class 4 at the event.

Johnny (centre) with his book.

Picture courtesy Tipler

Picture courtesy Tipler

Picture courtesy Tipler

Picture courtesy Tipler

Special offer!
La Carrera Panamericana – “The World’s Greatest Road Race!”
By Johnny Tipler

The story of the legendary Mexican road race, which lasts for 7 days and covers 2000 miles of central Mexico.

Click here for more info about the book.

Tuesday 13 July 2010


Honda’s legendary Fireblade has now topped the scales as ‘a work of art’ and can be seen like never before in a unique ‘suspended’ window display in the world famous Selfridges department store on Oxford Street in London.

The artist inspired window display features a sleek, black and white Honda Fireblade suspended from one side of a set of scales, with a fully disassembled Fireblade balancing these out with its hundreds of parts hanging individually on wires of varying lengths.

The display occupies the prestigious double aspect Wonder Room feature windows, on the corner of Oxford Street and Orchard Street, and is the focal point of a wider five window artistic display by up and coming young artist, Kyle Bean. The display theme is ‘The Conservation of Mass’, with the displays cleverly and innovatively highlighting how matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

This truly eye-catching and inspiring display certainly turned heads and attracted crowds outside the windows as the team undertook a daytime ‘live installation’, as the Selfridges windows are viewed by over 125,000 different people each day.

The artist won a competitive pitch process for the window display at Selfridges, which has recently been voted the world’s best department store and attracts over 20 million visitors each year. Kyle’s vision for the largest of his five window display was for an object that was minimalistic but had bold presence, would create intrigue by being in an environment out of its context, as well as being something that in its own form was stylish and compact, yet made up of an intricate connection of many parts – and a motorcycle was his obvious choice.

The Fireblade display can be seen in the Selfridges windows until the end of August, although a video of the intricate but fun build-up of the artistic display can also be viewed on the HondaUKMotorcycles channel on YouTube.

Source: Honda

Forthcoming! Honda FireBlade CBR900, CBR900RR, CBR1000RR. 893cc, 929cc, 954cc, 998cc, 999cc. 1992-2010 – The Essential Buyer's Guide
By Peter Henshaw

Having this book in your pocket is just like having a real marque expert by your side. Benefit from the author’s years of Honda FireBlade ownership, learn how to spot a bad bike quickly, and how to assess a promising one like a professional. Get the right bike at the right price! More info.

Friday 9 July 2010


Check out the Veloce photostream on Flickr as we are currently adding photos from our trip to Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend!

The event theme: VIVA VELOCE! The passion for speed, celebrated Italy’s all-consuming fascination with motor racing, and its global influence on the sport.

Click here to view the set on Flickr.

Also, check out the Veloce Facebook page for a competition we are running this weekend!

Thursday 8 July 2010


Selection of authors of Veloce books sharing their enthusiasm for motorsport and all-things Alfa Romeo.

'Viva Veloce - The passion for speed' (Goodwood FOS 2010 theme) celebrating Italy's all-consuming fascination with motor racing, and its global influence on the sport.


Last week the first London consumers taking delivery of their smart fortwo electric drives, as part of the UK’s biggest electric vehicle trial. Owners of Eco Age, an ethical store, design consultancy & green hub; Livia Firth and Nicola Giuggioli received the keys from motoring broadcaster and self-confessed electric vehicle fan, Quentin Willson.

Nicola Giuggioli, CEO at Eco Age; "For us, at Eco Age to be part of the smart electric drive trials is amazing and has such a great synergy with our business. The smart electric drive is the perfect city car, you can park it anywhere and it has zero-emissions so we can drive around guilt-free. I can't wait to see the face of our clients when we arrive for our eco surveys in our smart electric drive."

Quentin Wilson, motoring journalist and broadcaster comments: “The fact that Mercedes-Benz, the people who invented the car, say that the future of driving is with the advent of cars like the smart electric drive, is a monster milestone for electric vehicles.”

Funded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board, the nationwide trial is the first of its kind with over 340 vehicles being trialled on the UK roads. The programme sees 60 smart electric drives exclusively tested by residents in London and the South East for 12 months. A further 40 will be trialled by residents in the West Midlands.

David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board said: "It’s great to see the smart fortwo electric drive being handed over to the first drivers. This London based experiment is part of a much larger UK–wide trial funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Department for Transport. Low carbon vehicles are being put into the hands of real drivers in eight different projects. Vehicle performance and user behaviour is being monitored by computers in over 340 cars and data from trials across the UK will be collated and published in an act of open innovation designed to support the development of Low Carbon Vehicle technology”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “We are now on the brink of an exciting era of cleaner, greener electric motoring. London is already taking steps to ensure drivers in the capital will be able to embrace this new technology and plug in with confidence.”

The handover coincides with the publication of the smart Plugged-In report, commissioned to understand the UK perceptions around electric vehicles. The report reveals that the London consumer is ready to embrace the electric revolution with about two-thirds of consumers stating that they’re willing to consider an electric vehicle if the charging infrastructure is improved.

Source: smart

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.

Tuesday 6 July 2010


One of the highlights of Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010 had to be the historic Indy 500 winning Lotus-Ford 38/1. The car's victory in 1965, with Jim Clark at the wheel, was the first ever by a rear-engine chassis.

In 1965 Team Lotus brought in the legendary Wood Brothers from NASCAR to speed up its pit work at Indianapolis. The Lotus 38 that they assisted to Victory Lane languished in the Henry Ford Museum at Greenfield Village for decades before being returned to the UK to be restored by Classic Team Lotus. It was driven in public, for the first time since its win, at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Thanks to Ian Wagstaff (author of forthcoming Veloce book The British at Indianapolis) for these pictures.

'38/1' driven by Charles March

Clive Chapman being interviewed by the car

Present to see ‘38/1’ for the first time since May 1965 were two of the Wood brothers, Leonard (left) and Delano.

Coming soon! The British at Indianapolis by Ian Wagstaff
A history of the British influence on the Indianapolis 500, including not only the drivers and cars, but the many others – mechanics, designers, and officials – who have been involved. The story is set out in a series of stand-alone chapters, with a wide variety of informative sidebars, and goes back 100 years to the early days of the race, through the British-led, rear-engined revolution of the 1960s to the present day. More info.