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Thursday 19th April 2012


CHRIS HARRIS VIDEO: NOBLE M600 AND ATOM V8

An Ariel Atom V8, a Noble M600, the 'ring ... and Chris wants to talk insurance?


Getting these two together was, at first, easy. Ever since I first drove an M600 back at the end of 2009, I’ve been badgering Noble MD Peter Boutwood to let me take one to the ’ring. I suggested the Destination Nurburgring event in March. He said, “That’s fine, where do you want to meet?”

Which is scarier round the 'ring?
Which is scarier round the 'ring?
Tom Siebert from Ariel was cooler still - if that’s possible. We just had a chat on the phone and he texted the next day to say he’d booked a chunnel ticket. “You’re buying beers and I’m not sharing a room with you.”

It’s cool stuff. In fact these little Brit sports car companies can teach their vastly more self-impressed continental rivals several lessons on the subject of cool.

And that was it - £350K and 1125hp borrowed to lap the world’s most dangerous circuit. That last adjective, however, would soon complicate things.

"£20,000 excess if I bin it then?"
"£20,000 excess if I bin it then?"
A week before we were due to leave, I decided to check the respective insurance cover on each car. Pete said the Noble was insured, so long as he sat next to me.

“Pete, will you sit next to me?”

“No.”

Tom didn’t even let me ask the question: “You’re insuring it.”

Shit.

And that’s how I was introduced to the rather frightening world of insuring fast, expensive cars at the Nurburgring. I started off phoning regular insurance companies, and they laughed. Not one wanted to touch either car. At that point I thought all bets were off.

At least the weather was playing ball!
At least the weather was playing ball!
This forced me down the racing route. A company called MIS (Motorsport Insurance Services) has covered the Porsche I’ve raced at the ’ring for years, so I figured they’d have a view on two days cover on these fast Brits. They did, but it wasn’t quite the view I’d hoped. The quotation was horrendous.

It’s at this point that I found myself in the faintly ridiculous situation of attempting to persuade an insurer that an Atom V8 didn’t pose that much of a risk because, as the driver, I was rather incentivised not to have a crash on account of the fact that it would probably hurt quite a lot. And you know what, they sort of listened.

Many people ask if it’s possible to get insurance at the ‘ring. Based on this experience, for tourist sessions, it’s nigh-on impossible. But for track days it’s not too hard so long as you’re willing to suck up some excess.

Personal risk element reduced Atom premium
Personal risk element reduced Atom premium
So what does it cost to insure a £220K Noble M600 for two days lapping on the Nordschleife? Through MIS, it was £1,750. I still don’t know quite what to make of that sum because on the one hand it made a catastrophic dent in my film budget for 2012, on the other hand, the underwriters were exposed to a potential £150K payout. All it would have taken was an oil spill or a SLOT (sudden loss of talent) from yours truly to make a Lloyds name somewhere get quite sweary. Then again, my excess was £20,000.

You remember that sum when an Atom V8 starts to wander about at 145mph, with no run-off

As for the cars? Watch the film, you’ll find out.

Oh, enjoy the vid.

Track photography: Frozenspeed



   
   

 

Author: Chris Harris
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