Sunday, 2 August 2015

Tony Southgate in his Own Words

A few years ago I read Tony Southgate's autobiography, which as motor racing books go is right up there with Vic Elford's Reflections and John Horsman's Racing in the Rain. If you've not read it and like the idea of motorsport being a freewheeling innovative place please track down a copy of it - trust me, you'll like it.

It's probably not the sort of book that would reward reading as an ebook. and I'm guessing your local bookshop won't have it in stock, so if you're looking for a bit of instant gratification have a listen to the latest Motor Sport Magazine podcast, where their usual roster of suspects travel to Northampton to sit down with Tony Southgate and produce an hour and a half of utterly absorbing conversation about racing car design touching on the period when Southgate worked and the present day.

As a hallmark of a great podcast it's not just crammed full of brilliant insights (not least Southgate's persistence in not enunciating the 's' in Arrows) but leaves you wanting to hear more - the Osella years, for example, always appealed to me, but aren't covered in the audio. As they say, this could have been an 8 hour production, and there's a lot of me that wishes it had been.

Seriously - go and have a listen, in an era of over sanitised commercial motor racing it's a breath of fresh air. For those of you of a South London persuasion (and my sympathy if you are not) it's also worth having a listen for the references to Lola's origins in Bromley - I've been trying to track down where exactly they were - there's a school of thought holding they were in Ravensbourne Road - but does anyone have anything more precise/accurate than that?

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