Journalism can change the world, but it needs facts

From Cicero to Absolute Power, PR has long been described as a manipulator of truth – practitioners are masters of the silver tongue, concealers of the facts, but this caricature belongs to a time where professional journalists held the power and searched for the truth. Today things have changed and we are in the era of the amateur blogger and worse, the opinionated layman who…Read more

Reality is merely an illusion

Virtual Reality (VR) still seems like something you’d encounter in the depths of a science fiction novel, not readily accessible in your own living room. The development of virtual reality has grown exponentially since its initial conception in the 1980s, although attempts at creating the sense of visual transportation were practiced as early as the 19th century in the large panoramic paintings of landscapes and…Read more

Total Competition- Lessons in Strategy from Formula One by Ross Brawn and Adam Parr (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

  “Total Competition” captures the excitement, culture and pressures of motorsports at the highest level. This is the story of Ross Brawn's forty-year career from apprentice to Team Principal at Mercedes, with stops along the way to collect trophies and more than twenty championships at Williams, Benetton, Ferrari, Brawn and Mercedes. The book combines backgrounder facts, extensive interview-style dialogue between co-author Parr (previously Chief Executive…Read more

Whatever Happened to Homologation Specials?

Ask any petrol head to draw up a shortlist of their all-time favourite cars and it’s likely to include one or more of the famous ‘homologation specials’; machinery like the ‘whale tail’ Sierra Cosworth RS500, the outrageous 1969/70 NASCAR models like the Plymouth Superbird/Dodge Charger, or the exquisite Lancia Stratos with its Ferrari Dino V6. Less widely known creations include the Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution, a…Read more

Porsche 911 R

What impact are halo models having on the market?

The ‘£100k Garage’ feature has become a regular piece on and rightly so as most petrolheads love to play this game. For those of you who don’t know how to play, you are given a theoretical £100k to spend on as many or as few cars as you would like. Unfortunately, for a lot of us it is just a dream garage but for…Read more

Ducati 1199 Panigale

Big Powerful Motorcycles: A bleak future or a bright one?

Living in a mature ‘Western’ motorcycle market, it’s easy to become despondent about the future for large, charismatic motorcycles – the kind that have inspired enthusiasts for generations. Dwindling sales figures have been variously blamed on: the tortuous path to obtaining a full licence; a lack of interest from the ‘video game’ generation; increasing traffic density and more widespread speed limits. By contrast, there is…Read more

Audi R18 LMP1

Audi pulls the plug

My first Le Mans coincided with the first time Audi brought a diesel car to the race. I was working at Zytek at the time (now Gibson) and we went with high hopes having qualified 3rd in the previous outing and sat on pole until a few minutes from the end of the session. 2006 was a bit different. Audi essentially wrote the regulations for…Read more

Martyn Roberts

The value of good technical writing

There is a division in society, between those with technical knowledge and those without. Engineers spend much of their time communicating with one another, often using technical shorthand and taking for granted a mutual understanding of basic principles, which creates a barrier between themselves and the wider public. This leads to unwelcome consequences. In the UK particularly, the value of engineering as a means of…Read more

BMW RR S1000

Motorcycles: you won’t believe how small the gap between Road and Race has become

Something quite astonishing happened at this year’s TT races on the Isle of Man; a virtually standard production bike very nearly beat the lap record for outright racing machines from a standing start. It lapped at an average speed of over 133 mph, missing by a hair’s breadth the outright record which stood at 133.39 mph. Later in the week, the outright record was raised…Read more

Confessions of a petrolhead

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can ease its transition into decrepitude. OK, even with the knees of an (unhealthy) 75-year-old, I may be overstating my level of dilapidation, but in automotive terms I’ll admit to being a dinosaur; a fan of interesting old cars, modern design naysayer and techno-sceptic. However, the arrival of Charlton Jnr and subsequent purchase of a…Read more