THE PISTONHEADS MOTORING WEEK
Geneva, Mallory Park and Renault at Le Mans: it's our round-up of all the big stories on PH this week
The Geneva Motor Show has dominated the week’s news – and rightly so, with so many big unveils coming through. But of course, there have been some smaller stories that haven’t escaped our attention. So sit back and enjoy our skim through this week’s headlines.
The week started with the first days of the Salon International d’Auto in Geneva, where of course, many of the biggest stories of the week unfolded. The much-anticipated unveils of the FerrariLaFerrari, McLaren P1, Alfa Romeo 4C, Porsche911 GT3, Rolls Royce Wraith, ToyotaFT-86 OpenConcept, C7 Corvette convertible,VW Golf GTI, Audi RS6, Bentley Flying Spur and Kia Pro_cee’d GT were joined by the surprise announcement of the Lamborghini Veneno. The latter’s mad styling and massive price tag aimed to trump everyone else at the show, but the Veneno was met with a mixed reaction on the PH Forum, with plenty more affection for both the Ferrari and the McLaren in evidence. That wasn’t all, though; PH editor Dan brought us an inside track on the goings-on behind the scenes with his liveblog, and also brought us a roundup of the supercars andtuners at the show. Of course, if all of that’s far too much to take in, you can get a handy breakdown with our Geneva-specific digest published earlier in the week.
It’s been a good week for videos on PH this week; we’ve had plenty with which to indulge your audio-visual pleasure. First up, an Atom Cup pit crew showed us how quickly they can do a full change on a Cup car by doing so at a set oftraffic lights on Oxford Circus. Next, our regular Ad Break feature returned with a classic Vauxhall commercial from the early 90s. That was shortly followed by another Time For Tea, this time featuring Merc’s somewhat unhinged Mercedes G63 AMG 6x6 going berserk in the desert. Which was, we must admit, pretty spectacular. Finally, Monkey himself brought us his personal take on the highs and lows of the Geneva show.
Two big stories have emerged from the world of motorsport this week – one good, one not so much. The former was the news that Renault will bereturning to competitive Le Mans racing with its Alpine sub-brand, fielding an entrant at the 2013 Le Mans race which might even pave the way for a full-blown LMP1 comeback in future years. The bad news came closer to home, as a furore over Mallory Park’s future spilled over into the public domain. With no easy solutions presenting themselves, it sadly looks as though there’ll be a long and arduous road ahead to ensure Mallory’s continued existence.
Our only Classified feature of the week brought into the limelight a fantastic example of the rare DeTomaso Longchamp. And while some of the comments were less than effusive, it made Scrof go all weak at the knees. And of course, this week’s Shed Of The Week brought more sub-£1,000 dreaming in the shape of a rather smooth-looking Peugeot 406 Coupe V6.
This week’s features kicked off with Scrof reporting back from Jaguar’s speedtrial over at Jabbeke. Intended to emulate the company’s record-smashing run of 1953, when Norman Dewis braved 172mph in an XK120 to set a new production car speed record, this modern-day recreation saw Andy Wallace in an F-Type V8S get within a hair’s breadth of the car’s quoted maximum on a two-mile stretch of closed road. Things went a bit surreal after that, though, as Jon Urry reported back on the Suzuki Inazuma’s dead squirrel carrying abilities and Monkey tested a... erm... diesel Golf for us. Normal service will be resumed shortly; please do not adjust your brains.
Dan’s blog on the subject of the new 911 GT3 sparked plenty of debate over on the forums, with many people weighing into the discussion of whether the new GT3 will still have the cachet of its predecessors. Meanwhile, Scrof pondered what to buy in the wake of his disastrous foray into Mk1 MR2 ownership,