peterwindsor.com

…chance doesn't exist; there's always a cause and a reason for everything – Elahi

Autumn in New York

…and Sochi.  This week I caught up with Sean Kelly, an Englishman who happens to live in San Diego but who also stands as the world’s number one F1 statistician. What does that mean exactly? It means combining an intense passion for the sport with a clear head for stats – and then turning that into an industry. Sean works for several of the world’s leading F1 TV networks (including NBC) – which is why he was in New York prior to Sochi. I hope you enjoy our chat. It’s free-ranging, in the usual way of things, but I think Sean also highlights some fascinating trends and detail.

Thoughts of Japan…and Andrea

Apologies, first of all, for being away from this site for a little bit of time. I’ve been focusing on our fab new studio for The Racer’s Edge (see video below!); and, in addition, there were a couple of systems glitches with WordPress. Anyway, hopefully now all is in order. We’ve got lots of video out there on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/peterwindsor) and I’ll be posting some video highlights here, too – plus a little more besides. Subscription to the YouTube channel is free, so please go ahead and sign up with the widget here for your email notifications about all the new posts as they happen.
Here’s our latest video, introduced from our studio within the showroom of Joe Macari Performance Cars, near Wimbledon, London. It’s a breathtaking site full of exquisite machinery, some of which is red, some of which is eclectic. I love it there – and I aim to be sharing much of that passion with you.
In this vid, Rob Wilson gives his expert assessment of the Lewis-Nico battle in Japan; we talk about the amazing Daniel Ricciardo – and we both look back at the fast, irascible but always charming Italian that was Andrea De Cesaris.  This is Andrea playing table-tennis at the Kyalami Ranch in 1984.  Fit guy, too.  Sadly he lost his life in a motor-cycle accident in Rome last weekend.

06-21-2013_40

 

1000 miles per hour

I was fascinated, as a kid, by Donald Campbell’s land speed record attempt on Lake Eyre, Australia, in July, 1964.

403 mph.

At the time, his record seemed to be unimaginably fast.  And it was – as David Tremayne recalls in his excellent book, Donald Campbell: the man behind the mask.  (I recommend, too, John Pearson’s The Bluebird and the Dead Lake.) 

That, however, was then.  The last wheel-driven land speed record.

Craig Breedlove, the first man to break 600 mph, for me was up there with Superman. Art Arfons, meanwhile, could have been his sidekick.  Then came Andy Green – the first man to break the sound barrier and the current world record holder at 763.035mph.

To me, Andy is a hero – and I suspect this becomes obvious in the adjoining interviews.  Visiting him at the Bloodhound base in Bristol is to re-visit an F1 team as they used to hum along in the 1990s.  The right size with the right people.  An atmosphere of passion and detail.  Goals that broaden the brain.

I know some of you will think that these videos are over-length. My producers thought long and hard about editing them down…before we decided to stick with it. Andy is a compelling speaker as well as a compelling person.  His words, his knowledge, his experiences and his thought processes are addictive and emphatically not conducive to summary.  I had to be torn away from the Bloodhound base and I’ll be first in the queue when the car turns a wheel.

 

Rob Wilson’s world

He used to be a very fast (Nelson Piquet-, Nigel Mansell-fast) racing driver. Today he coaches personalities from all disciplines, including F1, GP2, GP3, F3, IndyCar, the WEC and the WRC. And, in between times, he writes music and plays in a band called Grand Prairie. He’s dedicated; he’s disciplined. And I don’t know anyone more passionate about the sport of motor racing. I recently spent a little time with Rob Wilson at his “second home” – Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, about 40 min drive north of Silverstone. I wanted to talk motor racing realities; I wanted to avoid the gloss. I can’t pretend ever to do justice to Rob Wilson but I hope some of the footage we shot  gives you some idea of why today he has the respect of most of the serious players in the F1 pit-lane. The concert clips, by the way, were filmed at the Grand Prairie CD launch party thrown recently by that pre-eminent performance car/F1 enthusiast, Joe Macari.  If you haven’t yet seen Joe’s new ensemble near Wimbledon, London, please try to do so.  Call it museum art-meets-cars-you’d-love-to-own.

And now for some Sussex air…

Continuing our pre-British GP roadtrip, we visited the Festival of Speed on Goodwood Saturday.  The crowds may be thicker, the memorabilia stalls less evident (such are the monies involved these days on the promotional side of Goodwood) but the magic never dies.  In this first of two videos from the day, we look at a very special John Player Special and a marshalling area that left you dizzy with the noise, the smoke, the scent, the cars…and the wonderful racing people.

Images: LAT Photographic and Peter Windsor

Sniffing the British motor racing air

In the build-up to the British GP at Silverstone I’m doing a quick round-robin of some of the key British motor racing institutions.  The road trip begins at Brooklands…

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 649 other followers

%d bloggers like this: