Good Oil: Goodwood’s altar of Ecclestone
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The 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed will pay tribute to recently unemployed Formula 1 overlord Bernie Ecclestone.
Each year the festival has a central feature, usually dominated by a tribute to a marque celebrating an anniversary of some nature.
Last year BMW played centre stage during its centennial celebrations.
This year, though, the Goodwood organisers have decided to honour Ecclestone and his enormous contribution to making money ... er sorry, motorsport.
No doubt slightly alarming attendees as they arrive will be a large sculpture of Formula 1’s pint-sized ex-boss called The Five Stages of Ecclestone.
The sculpture installation, which will sit in front of Goodwood House, will represent five distinct eras of Ecclestone’s involvement in the top echelon of motorsport, with five iconic F1 cars.
Ecclestone’s short driving career will be represented by the Connaught he competed in at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1956.
His time as a manager (of Jochen Rindt) will be represented by a distinctive Gold Leaf Lotus 72, while Ecclestone’s championship winning stint as the owner of the Brabham team will be marked by a Brabham BT49, which Nelson Piquet drove to the drivers title in 1981.
His years in the sport’s box seat will be captured by Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2001.
And, finally, Ecclestone’s lasting impression on the sport will be represented by the Mercedes-AMG W07; last year’s title-winning car, driven by the recently retired Nico Rosberg. Ecclestone will be in attendance on July 2; a day no doubt marked by long queues of VIPs waiting to kiss the ring.
Top Gear speedster raises Nordic ire
Chris Harris, Matt LeBlanc and Rory Reid stir up some controversy. Photo / Supplied
It appears the next-gen trio of Top Gear presenters are as keen on generating a bit of mayhem in their wake as their higher profile predecessors.
Norwegian police have revoked a special speed licence issued to the show’s production team this week, following a supercar tagged to the TV show being clocked travelling at three times the posted speed limit.
The special licence was granted for filming inside Norway’s famous 5.6km Atlantic Ocean Tunnel (a subterranean road the show visited during its Clarkson/Hammond/May incarnation, too).
Under the terms of the special licence, the production cars — a Ferrari GTC4 Lusso and Porsche Panamera Sport — were allowed to travel at up to 140km/h, rather than needing to adhere to the standard 80km/h restriction inside the tunnel.
That apparently wasn’t good enough for one TG type though, as one of the vehicles (it is unknown which one) was clocked at a somewhat brisker 241km/h.
The other big question is: who was behind the wheel at the time?
A BBC spokesperson has insisted neither Matt LeBlanc nor Chris Harris was anywhere near the location at the time of the speed violation.
So, that leaves third presenter Rory Reid; noticeably absent from the BBC statement.
Or maybe a producer or sound recordist simply had a rush of blood to the head?
Regardless, it appears the tunnel might be absent from the next series of the show.
Ram in disguise: world’s most pointless spy shots
All untrained eyes can see is a big, boxy truck that looks like other Rams. Photo / Supplied
The Ram Trucks division of Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) has started testing the next incarnation of its Ram 1500 pick-up on American roads.
While it might not be screaming around the Nurburgring at 10/10ths, the occasion has still been marked by the appearance of spy photos, showing a heavily disguised Ram 1500 lurking on city street corners like a half-size version of the truck from Steven Spielberg’s Duel.
The somewhat amusing thing, though, is, with the Ram basically having had the same boxy silhouette for the past four decades, the spy shots are unintentionally some of the more pointless advance images breathlessly revealed to the world.
We’re sure design and production experts inside FCA’s rival truck makers are poring over the images, tracing lines with engineers’ pencils and pointing out subtle features invisible to our untrained eyes.
Because all our untrained eyes can see is a big, boxy truck that ... well, looks like a Ram under a blanket.
According to rumour, most of the updates for this 2019 model will be inside the cabin, where its comfort and convenience feature set is apparently due a big upgrade.
There are also murmurs about a trick split tailgate, which will help ensure bulky or oddly-shaped items remain inboard with less effort.
None of the spy shots reveal anything about that, hough.
We can, however, hand-on-heart, reveal the Ram will remain big and square.
So, thank the spy photographer who managed to capture the shots for helping provide that crucial intel.