Quick 10 With…..Josh Files

He is an exciting young talent who began his career racing historics with his father. The father-son driver pairing achieved race wins in their first two years competing together, before he embarked on a title-winning rookie campaign in the 2010 Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship.

Having discovered a natural aptitude behind the wheel of a racing car, he stepped up to the Renault UK Clio Cup. In 2011, he landed a seat with the multiple championship-winning Team Pyro outfit. He achieved podium finishes and fastest laps to become ‘Rookie of the Year’ and continued building upon that success in 2012 with additional pole positions and top three results.

A supremely consistent and mature season followed in 2013 and, having notched up ten podium finishes he was crowned the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion. In addition, he had a sensational maiden season in the Renault Eurocup Clio Championship that culminated with him winning the 2013 title at the first time of asking.

Since joining the TCR concept in 2016, he has become the only Double TCR champion. In the inaugural season of the ADAC TCR Germany Touring Car Championship in 2016, he went on to take the drivers’ title with a succession of impressive wins, pole positions and podiums. To add to that he went on to win the 2017 TCR Middle East championship with Honda, making him the only double TCR Champion of two different championships.

These are his Quick 10 questions and he is…..Josh Files

What is your favourite racing circuit?

Red Bull Ring.

 

Who was your racing idol?

Rickard Rydell.

Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

Gabriele Tarquini.

Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo.

ADAC TCR Germany, 3. – 4. Lauf Red Bull Ring 2017 – Foto: Gruppe C Photography

If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

Matt LeBlanc, Adele, Mila Kunis and Lionel Messi.

ADAC TCR Germany, 3. – 4. Lauf Red Bull Ring 2017 – Foto: Gruppe C Photography

Your personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?

99 – No reason apart from 9 is my lucky number.

What is the best race you have been involved in?

Nurburgring, Race 1, TCR Germany 2017.

Is there a race or series you have not competed in that you would like to or had wanted to?

Australian Supercars.

 

How did you get interested in motor racing? What ignited that spark?

My dad raced club level and wanted to race as father/son. The rest is history.

What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

Everything happens for a reason.

I would like to thank Josh for taking the time out to answer these Quick 10 questions, it has been an absolute joy watching his races and wins in the TCR Series and I would like to wish him the very best heading into the 2018 season. If you want to know more about Josh, visit his website at http://www.joshfiles.co.uk/

(c) Photographs – Fabian Werner – taken from http://www.joshfiles.co.uk/

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Quick 10 With…..Dino Zamparelli

He began in karting, the usual route for racing drivers, before moving to the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2007. The following season he took 10 wins and 5 podiums to claim the Ginetta Junior title.

It was in 2009 that he moved to Formula Renault BARC and finished third with 2 wins. The following season he competed in two Formula Renault BARC races and also in the Italian Formula 3 Championship but it was in 2011 that he returned full time to Formula Renault and took the championship title with four wins on the way. That very same season he was a finalist in the 2011 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

He moved to the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2012 and the following season signed for Marussia Manor Racing to compete in GP3 as part of their Young Driver Programme.

He made the switch to sportscar racing in 2015 and began competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, he finished 6th in the championship in his first season and in 2016 and this season finished runner-up to Dan Cammish and Charlie Eastwood respectively.

His dream is to race Le Mans, these are his Quick 10 and he is…..Dino Zamparelli.

What is your favourite racing circuit?

My favourite circuit has to now be Le Mans. I’m not sure it’s the traditional answer as it’s very much a one-off race circuit. But I raced there this year at the Le Mans support race in Porsche Carrera  Cup and it blew me away. It was just amazing and very enjoyable. Over 4 minutes long and the corners were incredible. Other than that, under the normal circuits, Spa and Silverstone are my two favorites. Both for having so much history and some epic corners.

Who was your racing idol?

I suppose I used to love watching Michael Schumacher growing up. I loved his desire to win at all costs.

Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

Well recently, over the last 3 seasons of Porsche racing, I’ve enjoyed a tough battle against Dan Cammish. Him and his team Redline have been a super consistent and fast package. We ran him close to the title for half a season in 2016, and had some great duels. I wasn’t happy with the performance of my team mid-year onwards, so changed to JTR for 2017 – we had a strong year and had some great battles against Dan and eventual champion Eastwood. Eastwood won it by taking one more win than I did but we scored exactly the same points. It was another good season in Porsche with a new team, and I thoroughly enjoyed racing against Cammish again in 2017.

Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

I used to really enjoy watching Juan Pablo Montoya in his prime, when he first burst onto the F1 scene with Williams. He was fast and feisty. So I would probably have him as my driver. I’m also a huge fan and always have been of Fernando Alonso. Both drivers would be capable of winning the championship on pure speed and talent. And both drivers would provide an awful lot of entertainment over the radio comms I’m sure!

If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

I’d invite my favourite comedian to make me laugh, Ricky Gervais. I’d invite James Hunt, to sit and listen to his countless stories from the 70s. I can’t think of another two, so I’d get Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg along and subtly have every collision they ever had on TV in the background and sit them next to each other. Give them both a beer and see what happened over the night.

Your personal racing number? What was it and the reason behind it?

It’s number 8 because I like it and believe it’ll bring me luck, like the Chinese.

What is the best race you have been involved in?

I would say one of the best races recently was this year at Le Mans for the Porsche Carrera Cup support race. Four of us could have won the race going into the last lap. I climbed back up from 4th to finish 2nd in the end, and we were all nose to tail. I was gutted not to win it overall, out of 60 cars at the famous circuit, but it was an epic battle. It got put up on Facebook later on and received well over 1.5 million views!

Is there a race or series you have not competed in that you would like to or had wanted to?

I always admired the intensity and race craft of Formula Ford. The overtaking in that series was seemingly every lap/every corner. It always looked like a lot of fun. I’d quite liked to have also given GP2 a proper crack. I tested a GP2 car in Abu Dhabi and it was amazing, so I can only imagine racing them would have been a huge experience. F1 as well was the dream when I was younger. Although for pure racing, it would be more GP2/Formula Ford.

How did you get interested in motor racing? What ignited that spark?

It was a local karting track in France where I lived at the time. I went round a few times and got the bug. I never looked back ever since. My wallet certainly has, a number of times.

What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

The best advice I’ve been given is that ‘Motor Racing is primarily a business’. In other words, someone somewhere has to pay for it, be it sponsors, family or manufacturers. This bit of advice helped me to carve out my Porsche sponsorship programmes and continue to race in sports cars, and hopefully allow me to race for many years to come. It’s the advice I say to every young driver who asks me. If you’re quick, then 99% of the time it isn’t enough, you have to offer more than that.

Dino Zamparelli

I have to agree with Dino regarding the Porsche race at Le Mans, I was on the edge of my seat during that race. Epic battle!

I would like to thank Dino for taking the time to answer the Quick 10 and wish him the very best for 2018 and hopefully one day, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

(c) All photos courtesy of Dino Zamparelli and for more photos visit his Facebook page here

You can also visit Dino at https://www.dinozamparelli.com/

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

 

Quick 10 With……James Whitham

His Twitter bio reads “Ex bike racer . . have been skilfully avoiding a proper job for 30 years .. stunt dad”

Prior to gracing our screens, he has won the 80cc British Championship, the 1300cc Production British Championship and the TT Superbike Challenge.

He is a British Superbike Champion having won the title in 1993, was BSB runner-up in 1996 and raced in World Superbikes from 1994 to 1998, a team mate of Carl Fogarty. He competed in World Supersport from 2000-2002 and held the track record at Donington Park until 2007.

He runs trackdays with Paul Drinkwater Sports Motorcycling and his famous “6T9” logo can be seen on the leathers of big names in bike racing and around the circuits all over the UK.

British and World Superbike viewers will recognise him from Eurosport as a TV commentator and pundit. His quick wit, humour and amazing technological insight into bikes is without doubt the best you will find on television. His commentary partnership with Jack Burnicle for British Superbikes is quite possibly the most entertaining TV motorsport duet on air.

He is a true legend, a fantastic bike rider, a respected man on and off the circuit and a genuinely top bloke. His biography ‘What A Good Do!’ is a brilliant read (I highly recommend it).

These are his Quick 10 questions and he is……James Whitham.

What is your favourite racing circuit?

You tend to favour the tracks you go well at, regardless of whether they’re interesting to ride . . my fave UK circuit is Cadwell Park and worldwide is Monza

Who was your racing idol?

Mike Hailwood

Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

Carl Fogarty

Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

Mike Hailwood and Jarno Saarinen

If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Nando Parrado and Muhammad Ali

Your personal racing number? What was it and the reason behind it?

69 – reads the same either way up !

What is the best race you have been involved in?

’01 World Supersport race Monza . . . 6 of us glued together for the whole race

Is there a race or series you have not competed in that you would like to or had wanted to?

I would’ve loved a season on a 250cc (2 stroke) GP bike

How did you get interested in motor racing? What ignited that spark?

My dad was a motorcyclist and took me to spectate at some race meetings as a kid . . . I was doomed from there really !

What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

Mick Grant always said that I should leave a team or sponsor on the best of terms . . . Don’t burn your bridges I suppose . . . good advice.

 

I have said this before, but when you get to interview somebody who you are a fan of and have great respect for then as a writer it is a dream come true.

In this instance I am truly thankful for James taking the time out from his busy schedule to answer the Quick 10 and can’t wait to see him and hear his funny, intelligent and interesting insight on BSB next season. I want to wish James all the best of health and thank him and Paul Drinkwater for this opportunity.

For more information on James and the track days on offer please visit http://www.jameswhitham.com/ and you can follow him on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/Jimwhit69

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Quick 10 With…..Jody Fannin

 

He started his career in karting from 2006 to 2009, becoming the Midlands Minimax champion  and Bayford Meadows Winter Champion in 2008. In 2010 he finished 4th in the Ginetta Junior Championship with 2 wins, 4 podiums, 2 fastest laps and a pole. 

The following season he finished third in the Ginetta G50 Championship and then moved onto become the GT4 champion in the British GT Championship for 2012. He was selected as BRDC Rising Start in 2013 and raced in the Blancpain Endurance Series and various European GT events.

In 2014 he had a wind and a second place in the International GT Open at Silverstone with Darren Turner in an Aston Martin which was followed up in 2015 by being selected for the Aston Martin Racing Evolution Academy. He took two podiums that season in the British GT Championship

For 2016 he competed in the GT Open at Barcelona where he obtained a podium place and again competed in the British GT Championship.

This season he competed in and won The European Le Mans GTE class with Rob Smith for JMW Motorsport in a Ferrari 488 GTE. He took a win and four podiums.

His helmet design is based on the South African flag, where his father originates from and the Union Jack, for his mother. He also has his name on the side of his helmet, exactly the same as Jody Scheckter, the 1979 Formula One World Champion who he was named after.

These are his Quick 10 questions, the newly crowned 2017 ELMS GTE Champion and he is….. Jody Fannin.

What is your favourite racing circuit?

Spa-Francorchamps because of its massive elevation change and speed. If you are walking along the Kemmel Straight, there is a bit where you can look across at the Bus Stop Chicane. You realise then just how much elevation change there is on the track; it looks so far down! Also, through the middle sector of the lap especially, each corner leads into the next, so if you make a mistake through one, it will affect your run through the next, amplifying the error. It’s a real challenge… and obviously Eau Rouge is a proper corner in a GT car!

Who was your racing idol?

Allan McNish because of his undoubted speed and killer instinct through traffic.

Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

Difficult to single anyone out, but competing in the European Le Mans Series against multiple factory drivers is as tough as it gets in GT racing!

Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

Mario Andretti because of his versatility, being successful in so many different sorts of cars, and Ayrton Senna because of his prodigious speed.

 

If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

It would be fascinating to have people, each from a different era of motor racing, so I could learn about eras that I haven’t lived through and get first hand accounts of what life was like back then. Stirling Moss, Derek Warwick, James Hunt would have some very interesting stories I’m sure..!! Then probably Murray Walker because of his inside knowledge of all aspects of motor racing over many decades.

Your personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?

27 because it was Gilles Villeneuve’s number and I admire the way he drove and raced!

What is the best race you have been involved in?

At Monza this year, it was the swansong race for the Ferrari 458 Italia GTE after 7 years of service. No one expected us to have a chance against the newer cars, but we had a fairytale race and managed to win. I had to hold off the Aston Martin of TF Sport for the final stint and gave it absolutely everything. It was an amazing feeling to get the job done! And that chassis actually won its very first and last race, so it was a perfect end to the chapter for the car.

Is there a race or series you have not competed in that you would like to or had wanted to?

Le Mans is the ultimate race for me; I have been to watch the race 15 times, and everything about it is just magic. Racing through the night is an amazing experience, and to race there would be a privilege. To compete in the World Endurance Championship as a factory driver would be very cool.  The Bathurst 12 Hour is a race that I would really like to do as well. The track looks awesome and the race is growing in stature year on year.

How did you get interested in motor racing? What ignited that spark?

My Grandad and Dad were both into motorpsport (didn’t have any direct involvement though), so I grew up watching F1, Sportscars, MotoGP, just about anything, so I was surrounded by it from a very young age. I didn’t start karting until I was 11, but I haven’t looked back since! I have always wanted to be a racing driver for as long as I can remember, and being named after Jody Scheckter, guess I was always destined to have something to do with Motor Racing!

What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

Always be ready for the next step up in category/car (both mentally and physically), because if you suddenly get asked to test/race, you need to be immediately ready to go and do the job.

I want to thank Jody for taking the time out of his busy schedule to take part in the Quick 10 feature. Always ready for a quick chat and a very friendly person Also want to congratulate him, Rob Smith and JMW Motorsport on their ELMS GTE title win. The Pit Crew Online wish Jody even more success for 2018.

(c) all photographs courtesy of Jody Fannin

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Interview With Matt Neal

 

An Interview With Matt Neal

He made his BTCC debut at Silverstone in 1991 and has competed in 600+ British Touring Car races, has 60 wins, 16 poles, 49 fastest laps and is a 3-time BTCC Drivers’ Champion and 6-time Independent Drivers’ Champion. He has raced in Australia and Europe and was awarded the Autosport National Driver Of The Year in 2005 and 2011.

What is your favourite circuit?

In the UK Brands Hatch – Been a good hunting ground and is more old school. Overseas either Bathurst or Nordschleife. 

Who was your motor racing idol?

Nigel Mansell – He was always a fighter.

Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

My team mate Flash (Gordon Shedden).

Do you have a pre-race ritual/superstition and if so, what is it?

I have lots, I am annoyingly superstitious. 

Is there a race or series you never competed in, but would like/have liked the opportunity?

Not having done Le Mans is a regret, but I ain’t done too badly so I’m not complaining.

What is the best race you have been involved in? For what reason?

Bathurst 1,000km 1998, we almost won it as complete outsiders and underdogs, so it was what we all achieved together.

Personal Racing Number? What is yours and the meaning behind it?

Used to go with 5 as felt it was lucky and Mansell was always red 5, currently I’m 25 because that’s how long I’ve been racing, plus I had a big win years ago running as 25.

What was the best piece of advice given to you in your racing career?

A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor.

Who is the funniest person or your best friend in racing?

Steve Thomas is one of my best mates, his laugh is infectious.

Considering drivers over all-time and series’, if you were a team principal, which two racers would you have in your team if you owned one?

Current drivers, Flash and Tom Onslow-Cole

Touring car fans will be familiar with you commentating on the WTCC, is this an area you would move into in the future and what do you enjoy about it?

It’s ok I enjoy it and the people I do it with.

How did you get into motor racing, what ignited that spark to race?

All I ever wanted to do from a child was race, as soon as I could drive at 17 I bought a motocross bike and trailer as cheapest thing to get into for biggest adrenalin rush, raced that for 4 years then my Dad got me into a car simply to get me away from bikes and went from there.

Who would you say has had the biggest influence on your racing career?

My Dad without doubt.

British Touring is gaining more and more exposure recently (and rightly so) but is there anything you would like to see happen in the media to improve this?

I’d like a two driver race back like in Australia be fun and add another dimension, although that’s not exactly media related.

Outside of racing, how do you relax, what are your hobbies or favourite other sports?

I’m away so much it’s lovely to go home and spend time with the family. But mountain biking, martial arts and training I keep myself pretty busy.

If you could invite 4 famous people (dead or alive) for dinner and drinks, who would they be?

JFK, Elvis, Adolf Hitler and the Queen, just be really interested on each of their takes on life.

Who is your favourite artist or band?

Paul Weller is pretty cool and has some absolute classics all through his career.

And finally…….If you could give advice to anybody (in racing or in life), what would they piece of advice be?

Get a good education and make sure you have a good exit strategy because more don’t make it than do.

This interview took place last year and I would like to thank Matt for taking the time out to answer these questions and wish him the very best for the remainder of the season.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Ryan Vickers Q&A

courtesy of Gareth Davies of Full Factory Photography, which you can follow on Twitter and Facebook.

After a few too many pints, I spoke to Ryan Vickers, a National Superstock 600 rider who is more than certain to be in the running for race wins throughout the remainder of the season. Under the guidance of former Grand Prix winner Alan Carter, he is improving all the time and despite a tricky weekend in Scotland, he looks forward to going to his home round at Snetterton in just under two weeks time. Here’s what he had to say about a range of topics and his own career.

What do you need to do to make the next step forward in Superstock 600?

Well, at Snetterton, I want to get on the podium. We had a test there last week and we was in the top two, also because it is my local circuit. I’ve just got to aim for the highest position I suppose and see where we go from there. We’ve got to keep working in order to see the best and be the best and keep moving forward.

What got you into motorcycle racing?

My dad to be honest. He finished 4th in the world wheelie competition. I just got on a motocross bike and rode around in field. I started my first ever race when I was 7; I got a 3rd in the first race, a 2nd in the second race and a win in my third. I carried on with motocross up until a couple of years ago, when I switched to the tarmac and stayed ever since.

Where do you see yourself come the end of the season?

Towards the end of the season and especially the next six races, we will be pushing for higher results. I’ve got my worst circuit out the way now so now, we are aiming for top fives and trying to get championship points. It is a long championship so we’ve just got to keep pushing but we hope for a top five at the end of the championship. We came into Knockhill 7th in the championship and dropped to 10th which isn’t very good, but we can focus now on recovering that.

Who is your main rival in 2017?

There’s two riders who are dominating this year: Dan Stamper and Tom Oliver. They’re way ahead in the title and if I can consistently stay with them or beat them then that’s a good objective and quite helpful in progressing up the order in the championship.

What is your end goal?

As you know sometimes it can change because the main goal doesn’t necessarily work out. I’d love to go the Spanish route, via Moto2 and then into the MotoGP paddock. I rode a Moto2 bike in Spain in February and it was absolutely awesome. You’ve got to take the routes that open door and I’m open to all options, whether they be BSB or World Supersport or World Superbikes. As long as I conquer the classes I’m in so I can progress to the top I’m happy.

What’s your opinion on Moto2 being phased into BSB to be raced alongside the British Supersport?

I definitely think that it should be phased in because it’s sort of the way everything is going and it’s a stepping stone. It would make a great intermediate class. I think there should be another route as well for aspiring Superbike riders. Moto2 in BSB is going to be awesome because young riders – like myself – who want to jump on a Moto2 bike and go to the World or Spanish championships need a stepping stone like Moto2. It’s a good thing also with the price, because no matter what class you pick at that level will be expensive no matter what way you look at it. Being on Moto2 bikes will be more supported by small companies because it’s more looked at. It will be good to see how well it comes along as a route to MotoGP?

Are you more interested in going to MotoGP or World Superbikes?

My preference is definitely MotoGP? I like the whole prototype aspect. MotoGP is the pinnacle of all bike racing. I don’t really know why if I’m honest, it is just more my route, however, getting to World Superbikes would still be a mega, mega achievement.

World Superbikes has declined in the last few years – why do you think that is and how would you improve that?

That’s a hard question. They’ve tried bringing it back to life with the starting grid reform for race 2, which I support a bit, but also disagree with a bit. Rea, Davies, Melandri etc are all coming through and it all finishes the same at the end. I am more pro-reverse grid than anti-reverse grid. It does make it a lot more interesting because you don’t always know how well they will come through. Especially, the first round they did it because you asked yourself ‘can they really do it?’. It has become almost boring in a way, because you know the results by the time certain riders have come through. So maybe one way to get people interested into WSBK would be like a production line into that series, to give them more young riders. Like I’ve said, WSBK seems to be more of a dead end and maybe there needs to be another step up at the end of that. One thing it does need is maybe more personalities. It would be nice to see someone like Rea pushed up to MotoGP and give someone else a chance

With the proposal of the controlled ECU for 2018, would that maybe discourage Kawasaki and Ducati from coming into the championship?

No, I don’t think so, because they’re top class manufacturers who will always find ways around it. It’s definitely going to make it closer because in the British championships – where the rule is already in place – a variety of people can win the races, as we saw this weekend. It might make it closer but again, you can’t take it away from Chaz or Jonny, as they are unbelievable riders.

Would you say there are too many Brits in WSBK?

WSBK is not a dying class but it hasn’t really progressed. It’s come to a little bit of dead end. Hopefully things like the World Supersport 300 class will revitalise it a little bit. It’s been a very successful class I’d say. It has a massive grid and a massive range of talent on the grid. They’re all on identical machinery. It gives young riders the chance at a cheaper rate than Moto3 or Moto2, to be successful. They’re in the right paddock and can travel the world and also gives the sponsors the opportunity to progress. It’s a great stepping stone on a road-go bike and is great for the manufacturers too. It’s great for race craft, like in Imola where you’ve got a massive battle for the lead.

Do you think the British Talent Cup will be as successful?

I do support it, and I don’t support. I think the age limit should be expanded a bit because whilst they’re trying to promote riders to Moto3, the majority of the top Moto3 riders are in their 20s. It cancels out people like me. I’m 18 and kind of in the mid-ground where there’s not many opportunities to progress and that’s hard. I came into short circuits late and it’s hard to get in the GP paddock at an older age, even though I’m not really that old. There is still time. I dont feel like there’s much support for my age group. I’d probably have to take the old fashioned route through BSB, WSBK and then onto MotoGP. I can’t even apply for Red Bull Rookies. It is good that they have taken an insight into Britain though, because we as a country haven’t really been pushing talent through.

Do you think Superstock 600 in BSB should be promoted more?

Yes. I definitely think so, arguably more than Supersport because there stock class is more or less completely off the shelf, give or take a few mods to make it safer for racing. Pushing the Superstock 600 class might possibly even make the sales of 600cc bikes go up, even though some might say it’s a dying class.

Photos

Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko

Quick 10 With…..Neel Jani

 

He is a Swiss racing driver of Indian Gujarati origin who began karting in 1998. In 2000 he moved up to Formula Lista Junior for a year before moving to the Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup and then the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup.

He raced in the GP2 series from 2005 to 2006 with Racing Engineering and stepping in for a race with Arden. He put his name in the record books as the only person at that time to drive F1 and GP2 on the same day as he was test driver for Formula One team Toro Rosso. In GP2 he won at the Hungaroring and Monza.

He combined his GP2 driving to race in A1GP for Team Switzerland. He took the championship in 2007/08 and finished second the following season. He switched to the Champ Car World Series for 2007 but it was his move to sportscar racing which heralded even greater success.

Driving for Rebellion from 2012 to 2013 in the World Endurance Championship he caught the eye of Porsche and made the move to factory driver in 2014.

In 2016 came his greatest success by not only winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans but securing the World Endurance Drivers’ championship with Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas.

He is a reigning world champion….these are his Quick 10 questions and he is…..

NEEL JANI

1. What is your favourite circuit and why?

Le Mans and the old Kyalami circuit are my favorite. Both are kind of old school race tracks where one small mistake could result in a big crash. It takes a lot of skill to go quick. You really have to know the limits and drive very precise.

2. Who is/was your racing idol?

I had several idol’s growing up from skiing to racing. I was, and still am, always impressed by the attitude and ability to perform under the extreme pressure of competition. It doesn’t matter which sport you do, the pressure is the same.

3. Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

For 2017, Toyota will be our toughest opponent.

4. Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

Jim Clark and Juan Pablo Montoya

5. If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer, Mahatma Ghandi

6. Personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?

#18. It gave me a lot good memories in 2002 during my Formula Renault year.

25.01.2009 Taupo, New Zealand, Neel Jani (SUI), driver of A1 Team Switzerland Neel Jani (SUI), driver of A1 Team Switzerland wins the feature race – A1GP World Cup of Motorsport 2008/09, Round 4, Taupo, Sunday Race 2 – Copyright A1GP – Free for editorial usage

7. What is the best race you have been involved in?

A1 GP Durban because I was sick and I still won the race! My Le Mans 2016 victory because it was a race for the history books and it was an emotional roller coaster

8. Is there a race or series you have not competed in, that you would like to or had wanted to?

No, I am very happy how things went in my career. Everything has a reason!

9. How did you get into motor racing? What ignited that spark?

My family got me into racing, luckily, and we only lived about 5km from a go kart track and the home of Swiss Hutless Karts

10. What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

Give your best and you can be happy, because you cannot do more.

I would like to thank Neel Jani for taking the time out from his busy schedule to answer the Quick 10 and wish him the very best for the forthcoming season. An absolute honour for me to be able to put these questions to a reigning World Champion.

See you at the chequered flag.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Quick 10 With…..Max Pucher

Born in Vienna, he is an Austrian businessman and rallycross driver, he is also co-founder of a Swiss-Austrian software company.

He competed a full 2015 season in the World Rallycross Championship and selected events in last year’s European Rallycross Championship.

He is responsible for pairing up Kevin Eriksson and Timo Scheider this season and has signed Andrew Jordan to compete at Lydden. He is the team boss of MJP Racing, these are his Quick 10 questions and he is…..Max Pucher

1. What is your favourite circuit and why?
My favorite track for fun driving is Hell, Norway.

2. Who is/was your racing idol?
I really do not have idols. I admire quite a few drivers for skill and personality and Timo Scheider and Patrick Sandell belong there.

3. Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?
In RX there are always 4 opponents in each heat and they are always the toughest right now.

4. Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?
In RX I would choose Kristofferson and Loeb for speed and marketing value. But Timo Scheider comes right afterwards.

5. If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?
As I would cook myself I would invite Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Wolfgang Puck and Giada De Laurentiis.

6. Personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?
My number is 31 and it is my birthday.

7. What is the best race you have been involved in?
My best race will always be the next one.

8. Is there a race or series you have not competed in, that you would like to or had wanted to?
I am really just interested in Rallycross.

9. How did you get into motor racing? What ignited that spark?
I did motorcycle racing when I was 20 and came back to car racing with 59 when I started RX. I raced the World Championship in 2015 at 60.

10. What is the best advice in racing you have been given?
Patrick Sandell: ‚All four wheels must point where you want to go when you hit the throttle!’

I would like to thank Max for taking the time out to answer these questions and I will accepting his generous invitation to visit the team garage at Lydden Hill this weekend.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Images courtesy of MJP Racing

WRX Week – Quick 10 With…..Kevin Eriksson

World Rallycross

 

He started out in the RX Lites Cup before progressing to the European Rallycross Championship. He made his debut in the World Rallycross Championship racing at RX Argentina in 2014. Since 2016 he has been a full time driver on the Supercar grid where he burst onto the scene with Olsbergs MSE before signing for MJP Racing this season.

He has also competed in Global Rallycross and RallyX On Ice.

He has one WRX win to his name (World RX of Germany 2016) and is remembered for THAT move, ‘Round The Outside’, at Estering last season.

These are his Quick 10 questions and he is……Kevin Eriksson.

1. What is your favourite circuit and why?

My personal favorite track is the more old school type RX track and to name 2 Montalegre and Estering. There’s more flat out and sideways action and that’s a lot more fun to drive if you ask me

2. Who is/was your racing idol?

Since I grew up in paddocks in both Rally and Rallycross whatching my father race I obviously looked up to him a lot and still is but another driver I always enjoyed is Kimi Raikkonen, for just being himself.

3. Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

During the beginning of my career I had a lot of good battles with my namesake Kevin Hansen. Now we’re both in the top tier of RX and racing against guys like Ekstrom, Solberg, Loeb so I would say that those more experienced guys are the toughest at the moment.

4. Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

If I would be looking at results and making the choice I would go for Michael Schumacher and Sebastien Loeb for obvious reasons. Good mix of disciplines and a lot of championships.

But back to this day I would go for youth and my little brother Oliver Eriksson and Mitchell DeJong.

5. If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

Hard question…. I would invite LeBron James, Zlatan Ibrahimovic just because I’m a big fan of them and their sports as well as Hmmm… Eminem and Michael Jackson because I like their music. This dinner wouldn’t last very long I guess, haha

6. Personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?

My number is 96 and it’s a real simple reason behind it. I’ve never really been the number guy but when I started with RX you needed to have a personal number so I just went with the year I was born. I also liked 96 because it’s say 96 if you look both from the front and back

7. What is the best race you have been involved in?

My best race so far during my career must be World RX of Estering last year where I grabbed my first World RX victory and did the Round the outside move around the guys in the first corner.

8. Is there a race or series you have not competed in, that you would like to or had wanted to?

I have always wanted to try one of the 4wd 900hp Pro 4 trucks they race over in the US. Those trucks looks like a lot of fun.

9. How did you get into motor racing? What ignited that spark?

My whole family have been into different types of Motorsport but the biggest influence was still my dad since he raced in high level in both Rally and Rallycross as I grew up.

10. What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

Oh there’s been a lot but the most recent one was connected to tennis and goes like this. “There’s only one ball and that’s the one your playing right now” which means that whatever happened in the heat before you need to forget that and focus on the next.

I would like to thank Kevin for taking the time out from his busy WRX schedule to answer these Quick 10 questions and wish him all the best for the rest of the season. Thanks also to Max Pucher at MJP Racing for making this interview possible.

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

Images courtesy of MJP Racing

Quick 10 With…..Carl Fogarty

Neil Simmons

He retired from motorcycle racing in 2000. He won 7 world titles, four World Superbikes (1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999) as well as three World TT (Formula 1) titles (1988, 1989 and 1990).

He helped develop the Petronas FP1 racing team in the early 2000’s.

In 1998 he was awarded an MBE.

In 2002 Ducati, in recognition of his services, released a special limited edition model (only 300 units were built) in his honour.

He is the global ambassador for Triumph, he is also endorsing for ZONA (see the official ZONA press release and competition and how you can enter at the end of the interview).

He started 219 World Superbike races, with 108 podiums, 16 double wins, 29 race wins and totalled 3,008 points.

Add to that he was crowned King Of The Jungle for I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here in 2014.

These are his Quick 10……and it is my absolute honour to say he is Carl Fogarty……or to his fans…….FOGGY

1. What is your favourite circuit and why?

Assen. It was my most successful circuit. The old circuit’s banked corners suited my riding style of high corner speed.

2. Who is/was your racing idol?

Kenny Roberts. He was the most successful racer when I was growing up and I loved seeing him in the TransAtlantic races at Oulton

3. Who would you regard as your toughest opponent?

Either John Kocinski or Scott Russell – two tough Americans who wanted to win as much as me

4. Considering racers of all time, you are a team principal and money is no object. Which two racers would you have in your team?

Mike Hailwood and Valentino Rossi

5. If you could invite four famous people to dinner (past and present), who would you invite?

Donald Trump, Liam Gallagher, Gazza and James Whitham

6. Personal racing number? What is it and the reason behind it?

Number 1. No explanation required

7. What is the best race you have been involved in?

I probably remember my two wins at Brands Hatch in 1995. It was the perfect weekend. I was fastest in every session, on pole, broke the lap record and won both races in front of 60,000 fans.

8. Is there a race or series you have not competed in, that you would like to or had wanted to?

It would have been nice to have had 2 or 3 seasons on the Marlboro Yamaha in Grand Prix but it didn’t happen, probably because World Superbikes was so big at the time

9. How did you get into motor racing? What ignited that spark?

I raced motocross as a boy and followed my dad when he was racing. So it seemed the natural thing to do.

10. What is the best advice in racing you have been given?

I’m still waiting for that!

How did you get involved with ZONA?

I receive a lot of approaches to get involved with new products but it has to be the right product. I honestly believe ZONA can improve safety and the riding experience for every rider.

Tell us about the product and how it enhances and assists road bike users?

ZONA is a unique and solution to the age-old problem of poor rear vision for motorcycles. It’s an in-helmet display wirelessly linked to an intelligent rear camera. The intelligent vision and delivers clear and wide screen stabilised rear views without interference to riders’ forward vision, as well as eliminating vulnerable blind spots.

Is there anything more you’d like to see done regarding road safety?

I think technology will play a bigger and bigger part in making riding more safe.

ZONA

Overwhelming biker response to ZONA reveal at MCN London Bike Show

Zona – a new motorcycle accessory – was revealed at the MCN London Motorcycle Show.

There was a tremendous response to Zona at the show with 2,500 people visiting the stand and around 1,000 trying the product for themselves. During the show over 500 hundred people registered for Zona news updates and dozens of people took advantage of the show’s pre-order offer and purchased the product.

Zona is a unique solution to the age-old problem of poor rear vision for motorcyclists. It can be fitted into any helmet and on to any bike. It’s been carefully engineered to extend the rider’s view – enhancing the riding experience.

Using cutting edge patented technology and advanced optics Zona is a state-of-the-art in-helmet display wirelessly linked to an intelligent rear camera.

The team received excellent feedback about the product and in response they are adding an extra feature – loop recording – to Zona at no extra cost ahead of its official release in the summer. So if anyone is shunted from behind they will have video footage to support their insurance claim.

Customer Dave, at the MCN London Show, said: “I think it’s brilliant. I saw a similar product a few years ago, it was too intrusive in your helmet but just trying this on now it’s fantastic, completely out the way but what you can see behind is incredible.”

Customer Graham Lynch said: “Incredible idea, can’t wait for it. Roll on summer for sure, even more safe miles now seeing everything around me thanks to Zona.”

Zona is an invention that 7 x World Champion Carl Fogarty knows will change the way bikers ride forever.

Carl has been influential in developing Zona and was at the MCN London Motorcycle Show on the Sunday to talk about the product, which generated even more interest in the new accessory.

Zona is easy to fit and can be used with any motorbike and helmet. It has flexible fitting options to suit individual rider preferences and once fitted it provides a clear wide screen rear view to the rider with a single glance into the in-helmet display.

The rider sees a stabilised full rear view through Zona’s micro display and optics fitted inside the rider’s helmet. It appears to the eye as a 30” flat screen at 3 metres distance from the rider, giving a comfortable focus for the rider’s eye when looking into the helmet-mounted display, and works equally well for riders who wear glasses when riding.

Zona is not only about enhancing the rider’s experience and enjoyment, it’s about keeping them safe too. The product eliminates vulnerable blind spots and automatically adjusts to remove blur giving riders a better view of any potential hazards around them.

Zona’s Intelligent Rear View System becomes a natural extension of the rider’s senses, giving them better awareness of what’s around them and more time to focus on the road ahead, and ride with more enjoyment, freedom and confidence.

John Hale, Founder and CEO of Zona, said: “We’ve been blown away by the fantastic response at the London Show. We were hoping for a positive reaction, and this was even better than we had expected.

“I’ve been riding since I was old enough to get my bike licence. I know that poor rear vision for bikers is a real problem. Not being able to see clearly behind the bike affects us every day. Motorcycling is an experiential activity – it’s all about connecting with the road and enjoying the ride.

“Zona is a revolutionary solution to this problem and will change the way we ride our bikes forever. It helps bikers focus on the road ahead, improving their overall experience by making them feel more comfortable and the ride more enjoyable – that’s what it’s all about.”

Zona has been a real labour of love for John as he initially came up with the idea back in 2003 when he was nearly knocked off his motorbike on his way to work after not being able to see a motorist behind him.

Initial research and designs led him to putting the idea on hold until the correct technology was available. In 2010 John secured £100,000 funding to develop the first prototype to prove the concept of Zona.

Following the concept design and further investment the final prototype was completed in 2016 and the product is now ready to take to market and will be available in June.

** COMPETITION **

For your chance to win a ZONA just re-tweet this article on Twitter or share it on Facebook. Yes, it is that simple to win this state of the art bike technology.

I wish to thank Carl Fogarty for taking the time out from his busy schedule to take part in this Quick 10, it was an absolute honour to put these questions to not only a racing legend and champion but somebody as a fan I cheered on. I would also like to thank his manager Neil Bramwell for the help and assistance in making this interview possible, always at the end of an email with quick responses. Really appreciated. I would also like to thank Sarah Jeffery the Senior PR Executive at Gardiner Richardson in her help and generosity with ZONA. Without these people this interview would never have occurred.

Ladies and gentlemen that was the Quick 10 With…..Foggy

Visit Carl at: http://www.carlfogarty.com/

Follow Carl on Twitter at: @carlfogarty

Visit ZONA at: http://www.zona-store.com/

Neil Simmons

Twitter: @world_racing

(c) Carl Fogarty images courtesy of permission from Neil Bramwell (no credit required)

(c) ZONA images