Sunday, 31 July 2011

Arm-wrestling with Bernie

The truth is we'll never know the truth.

In the same way as we'll never know the complete hacking story we'll only ever hear part of why (and how) the Beeb lost/pulled out of/gave up F1, either fully or partly to share with Marvellous Murdoch's media empire, BSkyB.

I suspect the BBC decided that a cost cutting spectacular was needed to deflect attention from other more sensitive cuts taking place, reasoning that they were spending a lot of money on a small and predominantly male sport, they tried to get out of the contract 2 years early and then the wrath of Bernie fell upon them, prompting a plague of threatened litigation for breach of contract, and just when it seemed to the Beeb that they had more excrement colliding with more fans than anyone could ever want, Bernie threw them a lifeline - a compromise, a face-saver, and, throwing principles and good sense away they jumped at it..

As ever the losers are the fans, many - or indeed most of us - do not have, nay do not want Sky and all of its offerings.

Perhaps we should ask for a licence fee refund for a lesser service!

I guess the compromise reduces costs by covering the European races only and thus gives Sky time to gear up for a full takeover and cut us all out of F1 coverage.

Following the old adage, would you buy a used car from this man?

Here's a tip: never try arm wrestling with Bernie - you'll always lose (and probably your arm too).

Graham Benge

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Notwork Rail.

If you caught the most recent episode of The Nation's Favourite Motoring Programme, you'll have seen Clarkson, Hammond & May attempt to re-write the rules of rail travel with their own..unique approach to public transport.

Richard & James' approach was to string together a collection of caravans (what else?) as a bijou set of carriages towed behind an ageing Audi S8 'loco' shod with rail wheels.

Jeremy on the other hand - and somewhat predictably - set off down the high-speed route by hitching a cutdown caravan body to a V12-engined Jaaaag XJS and treating Rail Express' Editor Murray Brown to a rail journey he's probably unlikely to forget in a hurry in the somewhat-optimistically named TGV12, the poor sod..

Anyway, we're based not a million miles away from the Top Gear track & occasionally we'll spot cars from the show being filmed around the locale or the production crew enjoying lunch in one of the awfully pleasant local boozers near Dunsfold, Surrey; and this morning, as we blearily trundled through the village of Compton on the way to the A3, we found ourselves behind a low-loader sporting a rather familiar red XJS convertible & a somewhat-modified & equally red caravan..

With a big spoiler on the back..

Whilst we'll never make the ranks of Hans Lehmann & his prototype-bagging cohorts we did manage to grab this snap as the latest addition to the TG range of glorious failures headed off to parts unknown, although judging from the direction it was heading it could be on its way to the Top Gear exhibition at Beaulieu, so keep your eyes peeled if you're planning a visit to the excellent National Motor Museum during the Summer holidays.

If you're in the UK (or can spoof IP addresses), you can still catch the latest edition of Top Gear on the BBC's iPlayer until the weekend, but be warned, it'll probably put you off rail travel for the foreseeable future..

Dave Wakefield

Monday, 18 July 2011

Photos of Goodwood Festival of Speed

A small selection of the photographs captured by Mike Jones and Gary Ledden at the Goodwood Festival of Speed has been added to our flickr photostream...

Quite a bit of naming to be done, but feel free to add your own comments!

Goodwood from the air added as a taster.. ;-)