Saturday, 27 November 2010

McFly Visiting The Wirral

I'll start by apologising to all Wirral-based fans of popular teen beat-combo McFly because this post has bugger all to do with them. I've discovered that by mentioning someone popular and famous in the post title, you get a lot of hits. By far and away my most-read post is How Russell Brand is affecting the Top Gear Celebrity Lap-Times Board which does actually do what it says on the tin and explain how Russell Brand was affecting the Top Gear Celebrity Lap-Times Board.

I've got nothing against McFly - as boy-bands go they do not come into the category of band I hate where the looks and the dances are more important than the songs or the ability to sing - I'm thinking Boyzone, Atomic Kitten, Steps etc. The Spice Girls also come into that category with such marvellous (not!) lyrics as:

"I'll tell you what I want what I really, really want
So tell me what you want what you really, really want
I'll tell you what I want what I really, really want
So tell me what you want what you really, really want
I'll tell you what I want what I really, really want
So tell me what you want what you really, really want..."

This continues for quarter of an hour before the answer is revealed.

"...what I really, really want is to Ziggy Zig Ah!"

Total crap. The only Spice Girl with any proper musical talent was Melanie Chisholm whose brother is popular BTCC Driver Paul O'Neill. This has finally brought this post back to cars but that wasn't where I was going with this.

No, the McFly I was referring to was Marty McFly who must have been buying some hardware from B&Q's Wallasey Warehouse today judging by their car park where I spotted this fine vehicle...
A fine 1980 (judging by the number plate) left-hooker (as were all but 16 according to Wikipedia) DeLorean DMC-12 - not a spot of rust on it - then again, being stainless steel there shouldn't be! My main observation though, was just how low it was - it if wasn't for the gullwing doors, then you'd have to be Michael J.Fox sized to comfortably get in and out.

I've checked the weather reports and there's no sign of thunder and lightning so I presume he's going to be hanging around for a while.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Disco Fever

Auto Express and Autocar today are both covering the release of the latest Special Edition Land Rover Discovery, The "Landmark" edition. It's £47K though, which seems a bit pricey just to pretend you are in the rather good Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood.

Torchwood actually used a Rangey but it looks similar enough:Now, in case you're like a Chilean miner and have been stuck down a hole and never heard of Torchwood...

That was an excellent story - pity they had to kill off my favourite character, Ianto. And there's no sign of him being resurrected in the new Welsh-American co-production.

Monday, 15 November 2010

It's the Pits for Alonso...

...but good news for Sebastien Vettel! Good news for Sébastien Loeb as well but that's another story. It looks to me like Alonso was effectively scuppered by a mistake by Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.The story is covered by BBC News here so I'll not go into too much detail. Suffice it to say that Mark Webber clipping the barrier with his offside-right-rear wheel and causing a significant spark was not planned but it probably led to him being concerned enough about his tyres and wheel to pit earlier than planned.

This then spooked Ferrari into bringing in their drivers for fresh rubber.

This brought Webber (and the Ferraris) back into the race among traffic they would have been well clear of if they'd waited. Webber got stuck for a lap behind Jaime Alguesari who would have been in a bit of a dilemma due to the incestuous nature of F1 with his Red Bull sponsorship and Ferrari engine and no obligation to let Webber past since they were fighting for track position.

This left Vettel and the Mclarens of Hamilton and Button to take the podium positions and Vettel to take the Championship.

My prediction last November that Jenson Button will not be World Champion in 2010 came true last week when his mathematical chances were destroyed although he did finish up a creditable fifth including a couple of good race wins.

To my question last December, "Could 2010 be the best Formula 1 Season Ever?" I would say, "Despite a poor season for Schumacher, it's certainly been the best in a very long time."

2011 could be even better though.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A Load of Bull

Auto Express are covering a story today about a new SUV from Lamborghini. "Oh No!" thinks I, "...not another 'jumping on the bandwagon' offroader or four-by-faux" but then I saw this picture at the top of their article......and realised that I had completely forgotten about the predecessor of the luxury-brand off-roader - the Lambo LM002. Looking like an even-squarer Humvie, if that is actually possible, it was powered by a Countach engine and ran from the mid-Eighties to '93.

The new one, currently called the LM00X will share platforms and engines with it's VW-Group sister companies Audi and Porsche. Lambo, of course, currently offer 4WD in their current car range and do have a history of it as you can see from one of their older production models: Sorry, my mistake - that was a Porsche - here's the Lambo:

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Rallying Support

The World Rally Championship comes back to Wales tomorrow - but you'd be excused for missing it - where is all the TV coverage of what used to be a really big event?
For us in the UK, there will be, as has been for the rest of the Season, a fairly decent highlights/summary show on Dave after the event. But, if you want to catch more up-to-date (including some live) coverage, you'll need to tune in to the Welsh-language broadcaster S4/C. This is OK if you've got the right satellite or cable package, but for those of us without the urge to pay for such services, you need to be lucky enough to live in Wales or, like me, near enough to the border to pick up this channel.

Is rallying now so unpopular in Britain that none of the major broadcasters have any real interest? Has it really gone the same way as Showjumping and Rallying's sister sport Rallycross? I remember well as a child every Christmas watching "The Horse of the Year Show" on BBC1 from Olympia with Harvey Smith and David Broome and Alvin Schockemohle all trying to jump over "The Wall". I also remember Rallycross on a Saturday afternoon on Grandstand with lots of Minis, Escorts and Porsche 911s with plastic windscreens with little holes cut in them so that the drivers could still see when they were covered with mud. Rallycross still happens, check out their website - it just doesn't get the exposure.

The WRC has just about everything the other branches of motorsport has including pretty girls and a dominant champion in Sébastien Loeb. In fact, Sébastien's achievements are pretty remarkable - he has already claimed the WRC Driver's Championship this year and this is something he's now achieved for the seventh consecutive season. Incidentally, here's a quiz question based on a fact I learnt today: What has Sébastien Loeb got in common with Gabby Logan? Answer:They both used to be gymnasts. Maybe he should trail a pretty ribbon from his car? Then again, maybe not.

What the WRC doesn't have, though, is a Bernie Ecclestone/Alan Gow character in charge - I don't even know who is in charge of the WRC. Everyone knows who Bernie is - and what he continues to achieve as a grumpy 107 year-old (I may have his age slighty wrong there) is amazing. A younger, more Australian version of Bernie is Alan Gow who has just signed a new contract to keep him in place for three more years. Alan has steered the BTCC through difficult times and continues to see it thrive - including TV deals with ITV4 and introducing new rules to make it cheaper to compete.

Which brings us back, yet again, to Rallying. Whoever is in charge has done similar things to the car specifications/regulations and already attracted a third manufacturer in Mini (Sorry that should be MINI!) which will make a nice change from the leader-boards always reading Citroën, Citroën, Citroën, Ford, Ford, Citroën after each race. Now we need to sort out some TV deals - in the UK at least. Some big foreign stations already seem to be on board: TF1 in France, RTL in Germany, Network Ten in Oz.

So where are BBC Sport and ITV4? Channel 4 and five both did excellent work with cricket coverage in the past - let's have some mainstream channel showing live Rallying please.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


I'd never heard of this before but a new series starts on the Dave channel this Thursday involving Robert Llewelyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge) driving a different celebrity guest around in a Toyota Prius each week whilst interviewing them.

It's actually not that new because he's being making these shows for ages as Internet-only shows. I found his site and found a whole load of them to view. I watched the Phill Jupitus one and the David Mitchell one which were enjoyable - the PJ one was too sweary for inclusion in my Blog so I've embedded the one where Robert interviews my favouritest smarmy person - motoring journalist Quentin Willson:

There's a lot of pro-electric car stuff in that episode but it's done in such a way, by at least one petrol-head (Willson), that you can actually see the logic in the arguments and if the loony eco-mafia types had this sort of mentality instead, there'd probably be a lot less scepticism and disdain and milk-float references aimed at the whole electric car movement.

The previous guests on his show seem to be a varied mix of people with Sir Patrick Stewart probably the most famous. There's also nearly the full set of Robert's colleagues from Red Dwarf - so next time I've half-an-hour to kill, I may just give this a go.