Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia 2013 Monza

F1_Monza_2013 (43)With the famous Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix taking place at Monza this weekend, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a look back at the 2013 race, which Any Given Reason attended. If you can’t be there in person you might as well be there in spirit, right?

F1_Monza_2013 (38)This post won’t attempt a blow-by-blow account of the race because you can find that elsewhere, written by far more knowledgeable and experienced scribes than myself. This post aims to give a glimpse of what it’s actually like to attend the Italian GP; information that doesn’t make the international broadcast.

F1_Monza_2013 (67)The Monza circuit is situated near the city of Monza, around 50km north of Milan in northern Italy. Below it sits Italy’s motor valley and the homes of Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Pagani are all less than a couple of hours drive away. Around 30km north of Monza sits Lake Como, the gateway to the Alps and the rest of Europe. Monza is the spiritual home of modern Formula 1, and is the only circuit to have held a round of the World Championship every year since its inception.  Continue reading

Welcome to Sant’agata Bolognese. Home of Lamborghini.

SantAgata 771It’s quite common to be disappointed in a product or angered by the service received from a company. ‘It’s my money’, you cry, ‘and I could do a better job than these monkeys’. Most of the time these resolutions remain mere dreams, however in the early 60’s an unknown Italian industrialist named Ferruccio Lamborghini somehow turned his dream into reality. So angered was Lamborghini at the poor quality of his Ferrari’s and the shocking treatment he received from Maranello, that he set up shop just an hour down the road with the specific goal of beating Enzo at his own game.

SantAgata 876Situated in the heart of Italy’s ‘Terra dei Motori’ (motor valley) between the cities of Bologna and Modena, Lamborghini is within an hour’s drive of Ferrari, Maserati and Pagani. Don’t let the building’s fresh facade fool you, because behind it lies essentially the same factory that has produced every Lamborghini model since 1963. It sits in the tiny village of Sant’agata Bolognese, a village surrounded by agricultural farming land and one that takes no more than a couple of minutes to drive through. It’s all refreshingly humble – you can be lost on a back road in sun drenched wheat fields and an Aventador on Italian ‘Prova’ (testing/proving) plates will blast past you, just as the Muira and Countach and Diablo would have done in decades past. It helps that speed limits are negotiable in these parts, too.

SantAgata 773The museum sits opposite the main administration building and design centre within the factory, and begins on the ground floor by chronicling each Lamborghini model produced. The gleaming yellow Muira SV steals the show on entrance, but the story begins with Lamborghini’s first car – the 3.5 litre V12 350GT of 1964. Continue reading

Adelaide Motorsport Festival Media Launch

AMF_Media_Day 905The upcoming Adelaide Motorsport Festival was launched to the media last week with a display of several important racing cars on the Victoria Park circuit, including two Formula One cars that raced in the Adelaide Grand Prix in the eighties.

AMF_Media_Day 909The inaugural event, to be held on the weekend of 12-13 April, has been described as a virtual ‘museum-in-motion’ and celebrates South Australia’s rich motorsport heritage. The event commences on Saturday with the (still to be confirmed) Windy Point Hillclimb, although Sunday’s Victoria Park Sprint will be the headline component and the one that draws the crowds. A section of Wakefield Road will be used to link up a complete circuit with the permanent section of the Clipsal 500/Grand Prix circuit in Victoria Park, creating the perfect setting for the competition vehicles to stretch their legs in the heart of the CBD fringe.

AMF_Media_Day 893Ten Formula One vehicles have so far been confirmed for the event, including the first ever Lotus F1 car from 1957, a 1974 March, the Beatrice Lola Hart driven by Alan Jones in 1985, his 1980 World Championship winning Williams and the car’s shown here. It will be a rare opportunity to not just see these cars, but to hear and experience them being properly worked as their designers intended. Continue reading

The Goodwood Festival of Speed

DSC_0176Sometimes in life we are blessed by experiencing something truly incredible. Be it driving a particularly fast or rare car, making no mistakes on the perfect rally stage, finally hearing a favorite song live or witnessing the sun rise over a remote mountain range, these are the rare moments that are remembered vividly, never forgotten and used as comparison for everything that comes after.

DSC_0422These moments are bittersweet, because whilst experiencing them is something of a privilege, it is tinged with the knowledge that this is probably going to be the pinnacle.

DSC_0727Sitting back now and writing this post about the Goodwood Festival of Speed, I’m coming to terms with the fact that there’s probably not a lot out there that can compare to the magic of Goodwood. The sheer quantity and quality of cars, the peaceful forest surroundings, the relaxed and open atmosphere and the diversity is something impossible to replicate. Continue reading

A tour of Prodrive

DSC_0054The name Prodrive is synonymous with motorsport the world over. This small contract engineering firm located at Banbury in England’s so called ‘motorsport valley’ is the knowledge, experience and brainpower behind some of the worlds most successful motorsport endeavors.

DSC_0130Say you’re a large manufacturer and you want to go racing but you don’t have the resources or expertise to run a race team. You contact Prodrive, and they assume your identity and run your campaign for you, leaving you to simply sign the cheques. The Subaru World Rally Team and Mini Rally Team in WRC, Aston Martin Racing at Le Mans, Ford Performance Racing in V8 Supercars, BAR in Formula 1 and countless others. All Prodrive.

DSC_0193Prodrive was founded in 1984 by ex World Rally Championship co-driver David Richards and Ian Parry. Housed throughout several buildings on a 14acre site in an Industrial estate, you wouldn’t really know what is inside these generic looking white warehouse buildings if you were to just drive past. The only building to carry major signage is the main admin office and reception building. Visiting Prodrive for the first time is almost a little underwhelming – I was expecting a car or at least a trophy or two in the reception, but there was nothing. I was greeted by Jackie, my guide for my two hour tour, and we were off through a nondescript, unmarked white door…

DSC_0045… which led through to the Prodrive Heritage Centre. It was literally like bursting through into Narnia. A simple door in a boring white office leads through to this. There are around 13 cars and various bits of memorabilia on display on the floor, and photos of Prodrive’s past drivers line the wall. Continue reading

Climb to the Eagle 2012

The Climb to the Eagle is without a doubt one of the highlights of the Adelaide automotive calendar. The event has now become a first Friday of November institution for all of us, signalling that the start of the summer season is not far away.

What could be better than skipping work on a sunny Friday morning to go hang out with a cool bunch of guys and a couple of hundred classic and sports cars on an old F1 track?

And not only that, but after checking out the cars, you get to go and sit on the side of the road in the hills and watch them all roar past. And what’s more, it doesn’t even cost you a cent. You can then roll back into work around mid morning, still on high from the morning’s activity. Brilliant. Continue reading

Is Formula 1 coming back to Adelaide?

Any Given Reason has learnt that preliminary talks are reportedly underway with a view to bringing back the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix to Adelaide in 2016.

Whilst the idea is still in the very early stages of gestation and nothing is even remotely formal yet, our reliable source informs us that it is planned for Formula One to return to Adelaide as a night race in late October, and be held on the weekend before Bathurst. The Clipsal 500 would then be moved to the weekend before the Grand Prix creating a solid week and a half of motorsport action in the heart of the CBD. Continue reading

The Top 10 Sports Car Music Videos

If there ever was a single invention that advanced the fine art of procrastination like nothing before it (yeah, like we needed that…), it’s got to be YouTube. I’m sure you’ve all been there – somebody links up a video on your Facebook, you click it, watch it and then notice something else that looks interesting in the ‘recommended videos’ section to the right. One crazy Japanese guy drifting Ebisu while eating a hamburger video after another and suddenly it’s 1am and the whole evening is gone.

With that in mind, I thought I’d gather a collection of the 10 (give or take) best sports car related music videos that I know of. Music has always had a way of contextualising the feelings we experience when driving, seeing or being around the cars we like, and call me weird but the proper placement of the right car, the right song and the right artistic direction holds a power and gives a mood that almost nothing else can. But of course this list is purely my subjective opinion, and I obviously haven’t seen every music video out there. Do you have anything else that really should make this list?

Nero – This Must Be The Feeling

Directed by Warren Fu, Nero’s latest video is set in a future imagined by somebody in the early 1980’s. It’s an Orwellian world much as described in his book ‘1984’, a world where renegade agents take on the establishment in a DeTomaso Pantera.

Jamiroquai – White Knuckle Ride

I really don’t want to sound like I have a man-crush, but Jamiroquai front man Jay Kay has to be just about the coolest human being alive. A modern day McQueen, the guy has the same passions and tastes as we do except he has the means to live out his fantasies. In this video, Jay Kay flies a helicopter and chases a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS along a whole lot of twisty roads in the California desert. It gets a whole lot cooler when the Porsche hits the gravel and gets covered in dust, still driving flat out. Jay Kay is actually doing the aerobatics in the helicopter too. Apparently he recently got his pilots license, and filmed this video just because he’s always wanted to fly a helicopter in a music video. Say no more.

Continue reading

Off track action at the Australian Grand Prix

Obviously the main attraction at the Australian Grand Prix was Formula 1, however there was also a lot of other fascinating displays happening off track. This is a bit of a random grab bag of the interesting things that stood out to me at Albert Park.

The trip for us started as soon as the clock at work ticked 430pm on Friday afternoon. Racing out the door and straight into the Miata, we hit the road and arrived in Melbourne at about 130am.

It was pretty dark out there at midnight in the middle of nowhere. I swear we didn’t imagine that… Continue reading

Shannons Historic Demonstration at the Australian Grand Prix

The Shannons Historic Demonstration at the Australian Grand Prix had an extremely simple premise – take a whole bunch of rare, priceless and desirable racing cars, and let their owners loose in them around the Grand Prix circuit for fifteen minutes each morning. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear cars on full song that you usually only see on static display, or in photos.

One of the highlights for me was the Ferrari 156/85 F1 turbo that Michele Alboreto drove in the 1985 Formula 1 season. Continue reading