Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – May

So many good books have come off the press here at Veloce of late, that it can be hard to keep track of all that goes on around a publication. Luckily for us, author Oliver Winterbottom has been keeping a diary account of what he's up to in helping to promote his autobiography A Life in Car Design. Here, we have compiled the end of April's and the entirety of May's diary entries for your reading pleasure. We'll share more of Oliver's diaries over the coming weeks...

26 April – British Motor Museum, Gaydon say they have been notified of delivery. 
Mike Kimberley emailed re delivery and arranged a purchase.

29 April – Tom Smith in Texas, USA receives his book air mail, ready for Lotus X100 exhibition and book promotion.

30 April – Donington Park Historic Festival.



Angus Marshall bought 40 books from Darlington to Donington which have been delivered on 28th. I signed most of them, many with messages for LotusExel.net member. Sara had five and I had three copies at right royal price pf £24.00, thanks to club discount. It was good to meet everyone who came along to Donington.

"Yesterday was a great day with Ollie Winterbottom signing his book (thanks for organising this Angus) and chatting with us. What an interesting guy – I've started to read his book and it is fascinating. The illustrations include many of his original drawings. I'd rate this as (so far) the best auto industry autobiography I've seen and it's well worth buying a copy for all of the historic information along." ATB Richard (Comment on lotus excel.net)

3 May – MJK calls to say very much enjoyed the book. Thought the last chapter a bit brief/ Amazed at the detail earlier in the story.

8 Copies arrive for me by courier art 3:59pm (for a 4pm latest delivery!).

4 May – Andy Parsloe, school friend gets in touch after many year – buying the book.

6-7 May – Lotus X100 displayed at Keel and Wheel in Texas with some book publicity.



6 May – "Hi Oliver, Good to hear from you. I have spoken with your publisher and we will be starting to take pre-orders for your Big Bad Wedge Fest book signing within the next couple of weeks. It will hopefully add to both your book sales and the success of the event. Exciting times! Best regards, Howard." (TVR Wedgefest)

7 May – "Good day Oliver – I'd like to arrange for my copy to be suitably inscribed with one of those elegant yet pithy epigrams for which you are so well known. Can I arrange for it to be shipped to you, then on to a family member in York for eventual retrieval? Best regards, Clive" (Roberts, ex Lotus and China). Replied positive.

9 May – Steve from Barnham Broom had not had notification after requesting it in March. 
"Hi Liz, Do you think there are other enquiries that have got 'lost'? There are other people that I would have expected to have got a copy of the book by now – but no one has been in contact to say so! If the system has failed us, I could circulate my contact list suggesting they apply for a book again. Rather not do that, but will if you say so. Best, Oliver"
"Hi Oliver, I've just heard back from our web hosts. Apparently there was a problem with the server connecting properly. They have now fixed the issue but you are right – no-one from the last few months will have had any in-stock notifications for any of our books – so thank you for bringing this to our attention! We are able to get a list manually – so today I will have a look at the list and contact everybody that was missed to make sure they are aware the book has com in. For your book there was about 12 requests so I will be contacting them shortly. Sorry about all this! Best wishes, Liz.

11 May – "Hi Oliver, Hope all is well – I've just received my review copy from Veloce – looks very good at a first glance and I'm looking forward to reading through it. A copy of our latest issue of Club Lotus News with my review is in the post to you by the way. Speak soon – do stay in touch, Kind regards, Alan" (Club Lotus)

12 May – "Hi Oliver, Amazon have just delivered your book – I'm looking forward to a good weekend's read! I've delivered the TVR book to Crowood, and hopefully it'll be out before Christmas. Regards, Matthew Vale" (Author forthcoming TVR book)

15 May – Steve Cropley, editor Autocar claims not to have received the book. Liz at Veloce says Royal Mail have delivered it. Leave them to it!
Agree to do BBC Radio Norfolk interview & discs Tuesday 23 May 6:00-7:00pm. 

16 May – Club Lotus France invite me to their club HQ at Dijon Prenois race circuit Saturday 10 June. I will sign books if they have any (suggest direct from Veloce). I will be visiting France for 1 well including Dijon historic races.

Seems that LotusExcel.net club have 'sold out' of the book 13 May. "Angus, Can you still get signed copies? I know I am very late on this. I would like to buy 2 please. Justin"
"Sorry, there's only one left and I'd need at least 20 ordered to get the discounted price again. (and another event that both Ollie & I will be at to get them signed)
Steve Cropley finds his book!

17 May – Met Faye McCloud at Gaydon Museum / Jaguar Heritage to present book, photos and drawings for the archive as copyright 'payment'.

18 May – Jaguar ex-apprentices annual lunch, Coventry Transport Museum. Gave their gift shop book details, suggested they contact Veloce.

19 May – Eastern Daily Press interview at home agreed for 11am Monday 22 May. 
Stephen McAllister, Farnham Broom Bel gets book, I sign it. 

22 May – EDP reporter and photographer visit at home. Reporter doesn't seem to have read the book! Says will send report end of the week.

23 May – BBC Radio Norfolk Matthew Gudgin went very well. Good interviewer. Bell Pub said it was a good show!

24 May – Mr. Nelson next door heard radio and will get book. Phil Hopf in USA says book now available. Sally Pepper says radio good. Classic & Sports Car magazine out with TVR at Eleven and book mention.

25 May – Breakfast at Alvedon and show magazine to some of the staff who know of the original photo shoot last year. (I had already written to thank Lord Iveagh).

27 May – Letter forwarded from Veloce replied to. From an ex-Jaguar apprentice in Lancashire who enjoyed the book.

28 May – Eastern Daily Press 'on line' newspaper have my book review on the 'News' section. (Copy available).

29 May – Eastern Daily Press paper edition has my book review. Unfortunately don't have a copy as they did not alert me! 

30 May – Eastern Evening News, I am 100% PAGE 3 (totally clad!). Have 3 copies.

31 May – Jerrold's (Norwich booksellers) dept manager says book in stock and starting to sell.

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design here, and make sure to keep checking the Veloce blog for the next instalment of Winterbottom's diary.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Beezumph 26


The twenty-sixth Trident and Rocket 3 Owners Club (TROC) annual rally – Beezumph – took place over July 14-15th, at Anglesey Race Circuit. We take a quick look at this year's event, with the help of Veloce author Chris Rooke.



The Beezumph will be more than familiar to any BSA Rocket or Triumph Trident owners out there, and, chances are, many other marque owners, too. The idea initially came from two TROC members, Chris Judkins and Richard Darby, who suggested renting a track for a day, for club members to ride their own bikes.

Superb MkII BSA Rocket III,
 with revised styling.
The original 'British bikes only' idea was expanded, encompassing the newly-launched Hinckley Triumphs, Honorary Members of TROC, and other bike clubs were invited to join in, too. The very first Beezumph was born, and – despite a heavy soaking from the rain – all agreed it was a great success.

That was twenty-six years ago, and the event has changed much over that time, growing from a one-day event, to a two-day rally, with camping from Thursday until Sunday … live music, BBQs, autojumble, food (of course!) … it's now recognised as one of the best (if not THE best) track-based events in the UK.

Beautiful MkI BSA Rocket III.
Friday gave participants the chance to noise-test their bikes, with the option of a 'No Limit' track day, or an organised ride around Anglesey's roads. This was followed by an evening of autojumble, and a short presentation, was rounded off with some local music.

Saturday meant an early start for those sessions on track, with the spectacular action taking place after the compulsory safety briefings and checks were complete. This was followed by a paddock  display of some superb Triples, with the best in each class receiving trophies for their efforts (plenty of photo ops here), followed by a raffle draw of prizes donated by sponsors.

A lovely example of a 'Nocket:'
a Rocket III engine in a Norton Featherbed
 frame. Nice!
For the non-riders in attendance, there was an all-day merchandising stand, a static Triples display, and exhibitions by the London Motorcycle Museum, Racing Triple, and George Pooley. George is famous for his hand-built specials (and for having a cup of tea almost permanently attached to his hand). Also in attendance was a certain Guy Martin, who needs no introduction, and who delighted everyone by taking his bike out on track. 


For the second year running, Guy Martin visited.
Inset, is his homemade Suzuki-based racer.

Saturday evening was party time, with a bar, a band, and a barbecue: what more could you want? Of course, it was early doors for some participants, as Sunday again had a No Limit track day … while those who had enjoyed, shall we say, a more 'fully-immersive' party experience, could quietly pack up.

A highly original race bike, brought to the event by the
National Motorcycle Museum.

Veloce author Chris Rooke attended, and could be spotted riding the circuit on his T150V and T160 (not at the same time, you understand), and taking along a few copies of his Triumph Trident/BSA Rocket manual (and a cheeky flyer for his book). He was also busy with his camera, and was kind enough to let us use some of his shots … thanks, Chris.


BSA Rocket IIIs at the parade.
Triumph Trident T160s line-up …
… and T150s on show.
Replica of Slippery Sam, the bike that won the Isle of Man TT
five years in a row, in the early 1970s.

Why not hop on-board and take a virtual ride around the Anglesey track with him, via the wonderful world of Facebook videos. Chris manages the Triumph Trident Restoration Manual Updates Facebook page, and posted his rider's-eye views there … full screen, sound up, enjoy! As you'll see, the weather didn't always play ball, but it didn't dampen the fun.

So, big thanks to Chris once again, and we look forward to the twenty-seventh Beezumph, next year … we might see you there!

You can pick up a copy of Chris' Triumph/BSA triple restoration manual from Veloce Publishing … click the pic …




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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Veloce Sponsors Formula Ford Fest at Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb

Set amongst the patchwork fields of Wiltshire, Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb hosted the Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest, over the weekend of 22-23 July. In true British style, the battle was close-fought, the weather was changeable, and the conditions were challenging!



Now in it's second year, this competition for pre-1994 'Kent' engined Formula Ford cars takes place at one of our best known, best loved, hillclimb venues. Twenty-four drivers from all over the country took part this year, and the event looks set to grow and grow … it's already talked about as a 'must-do' fixture on the FF hillclimb schedule.

#123 Simon McBeath. (Courtesy Steve Lister)
This year is the 50th anniversary of Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb, and of Formula Ford itself, and with Simon McBeath and Ed McDonough, two Veloce authors, piloting their way to the finish, plus event sponsorship from ourselves, what better way to celebrate, and enjoy the sights and sounds of open-wheeled racecars sprinting up the hill?

Formula Ford came about in 1967, and has changed numerous times since, but the 1600cc Kent engine variant has endured. Adopted shortly after the formula was instigated, it persists today, in local, regional, and national championships worldwide. If you're clued-up on your engines, and are *ahem* of a certain age, you may know the Kent from the Ford Anglia of '59. This used a pre-crossflow engine, but the later crossflow version, as used in the Cortina GT, was, and is, the basis for the FF race cars.

#119 Andrew Henson.
(Courtesy Steve Lister)
All the cars use Hewland race gearboxes, and Avon treaded race tyres, designed specifically for FF use around the world. Formula Ford has also been the first step on the ladder of greatness for many famous racing drivers and F1 champs … Senna, Mansell, Hunt, Button … the list reads like a Who's Who of World Champions.

Unsettled weather across the two days, meant track conditions were different for every run, with three different leaders across Saturday's four practice runs. Paul O'Neil, former BTCC winner, and ITV4 BTCC commentator, led the field on the fourth practice, sharing Mark Alley's Swift FB91.

On Sunday, twenty-four drivers started the competition, with Simon leading by a small margin each time up. Staying just ahead of former record-holder Andrew Henson, in his Van Diemen RF91, Simon eventually took victory by just 0.34s. A well-deserved third went to Nev Rollason, who was just 0.21s behind, in a Jamun M90. Despite his performance in practice, O'Neil ultimately finished eighth, 0.59s behind Alley, while Ed McDonough, despite running in faster conditions, only managed 20th, in his Dulon MP15, after recording a Fail on his second attempt.

Winner Simon McBeath (centre), 2nd placed Andrew Henson (left), and 3rd placed Nev Rollason.

This year, as with last year, Simon donated his prize to the Marshal of the Year. Chosen by his or her peers, at the end of the season, the lucky winner will be presented with the prize at November's annual awards day.

Full results as follows …

Hillclimb Formula Ford Fest Gurston Down 2017
P
#
Name Vehicle
Run 1
Run 2
Best
1
123
Simon MCBEATH Swift SC92F
41.78
39.96
39.96
2
119
Andrew HENSON Van Diemen RF91
42.44
40.30
40.30
3
118
Nev ROLLASON Jamum M90
41.98
40.51
40.51
4
117
Mark ALLEY Swift FB91
43.42
40.99
40.99
5
115
Richard SUMMERS Van Diemen RF80
41.97
41.17
41.17
6
112
Iain HOUSTON Van Diemen RF89
46.15
41.29
41.29
7
116
Russel HAYNES Zeus ZR163
44.42
41.58
41.58
8
917
Paul O’NEILL Swift FB91
42.02
41.64
41.64
9
120
Les BUCK Pringett Mistrale
44.63
41.79
41.79
10
902
Simon ANDREWS Van Diemen RF90
43.02
42.14
42.14
11
114
Charlie REILLY Van Diemen RF92
44.52
42.46
42.46
12
103
Shaun MACKLIN Swift SC92
42.48
42.71
42.48
13
102
Bernard KEVILL Van Diemen RF90
44.64
42.64
42.64
14
916
George HAYNES Zeus ZR163
43.64
44.81
43.64
15
113
Paul MORCOM Merlin Mk 11A
46.24
44.20
44.20
16
91
Samantha LESTER Van Diemen RF92
45.05
68.70
45.05
17
111
Chris GUY Reynard
49.88
45.22
45.22
18
911
Peter HAWKEY Reynard 89FF
50.43
45.90
45.90
19
109
Chris WARDEN Swift FB91
45.99
FAIL
45.99
20
107
Ed MCDONOUGH Dulon MP15
51.42
47.29
47.29
21
919
Nicola DEARDEN Van Diemen RF91
53.17
47.73
47.73
22
110
Doug AULD Swift SC93
48.68
N/S
48.68
23
108
Jeremy BOUCKLEY Swift FB90
52.10
N/S
52.10
24
104
Geoff LANCASTER Swift SC92F
55.25
81.67
55.25

Gurston Down has a packed programme … checkout its website for details of forthcoming events: http://www.gurstondown.org

#107 Ed McDonough could only manage P20 in changeable conditions.
(Courtesy Steve Lister)

#118 Nev Rollason took third place, just 0.55s off the pace of Simon's winning time.
(Courtesy Steve Lister)


We'd like to say thank you to everyone who made the day possible, and BIG congratulations to Simon … it'll be fingers-crossed for a hat-trick next time!