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I am Stigtacus Comrades!!!

I have been and remain a big fan of Top Gear, but of late my watching of the show has declined in the first instance its move to Channel nine has made watching the show rather painful as it now has so many ads that I just can’t stand it, the fact that they endlessly repeat the same old episodes does not help either. However all of the palaver about the Stig being revealed to be Ben Collins and the report that he has been sacked from the show while not unexpected but the reactions by  Clarkson and May has lowered them in my estimation.

Jeremy Clarkson has said the Stig is 'history' to the Top Gear team. Photograph: Owen Fisher Ltd/Rex Features

Clarkson said he felt “a bit hurt really”. “It was such a shock. It was horrible actually because I liked him and he came round to my house and had drinks and all that time he was writing a book,” he added, in a video interview published online today by Oxfordshire-based community news service WitneyTV.

“He’s just decided he’d rather be … put it this way he’s history as far as we are concerned. He’s sacked,” said Clarkson, who was interviewed at a charity auction at Chipping Norton Lido.

“I’ve spent the last three weeks doing nothing but trying work out what out what an earth to do instead. You may remember a film called Wall Street in which Gordon Gekko said greed was good and greed works. It doesn’t, if you’re watching this children, greed is bad,” he added.

The show has worked because the presenters Clarkson, May and Hammond have developed a ladish Everyman persona that makes each of the petrol head fans who love cars think that they too could be behind the wheel of the cars that are tested on the show. But there is no doubt that the Stig was the one with real cred when it came to driving fast cars with skill and precision but that fact was clearly not recognised properly as the show began to make Mega bucks for the BBC, especially in the marketing as I noticed in the number of “Stig” themed gifts in the shops for fathers day. It must have been eternally galling for Collins to see so much exploitation of the Stig character rise exponentially but not see a commensurate rise in payment form the BBC.

Ben Collins AKA the Stig

But what has disappointed me most is the rancour from Clarkson and May they are behaving as if the Stig is just some uppity serf who is trying to rise above his station by demanding what amounts to due and fair recognition that he is more than just a white suit and with a dark visored helmet. This is just the most petty sort of snobbery as far as I am concerned and after seven years I think that the mature thing to do would have been to admit that the conceit that the the Stig is other an other worldly superman is now an old joke an openly welcome Colllins to the team as himself and the show would be better and stronger for it.

However from the way that I expect things to go is that they will probably try to reincarnate the “Stig” with some other “tame racing driver” in the suit this time I don’t think that the public will allow the conceit to last seven years. This time I think that there are enough people like me who think that the person behind the visor deserves full and adequate recognition that the secret will not be kept for very long at all.
And then there is the fact that Ben Collins may well be offered a spot on a rival program like Fifth Gear or even his own show I know that Collins was the holder of the real Gravitas of the Top Gear concept and without him its just three middle aged hooligans being paid to show off in the cars that we all dream of driving giving a bit of flash chat doing regular stand up routines about cars.
We Love it but we also love seeing driving done very well indeed by some one who really knows how to take a car around a track on the perfect line. When the petrol fumes have melted away every petrol head  dreams of being the Stig (just a little) so If the BBC does decide to hang Collins out to dry for daring to formally out himself then we should be inspired by the slaves who  refused to give up Spartacus to the Romans and declare that we are with the Stig  by proclaiming that we are all Stigtacus and demanding that The BBC accept that the man behind the mask should not be crucified for his defiance.

You know that it is the right thing to do!

I am Stigtacus  Comrades!!!

Half a million page views at the Sandpit

I know that statistical miles stones are really meaningless but that does not stop you feeling pretty good when you reach them. Well if you keep an eye on the hit counter at the bottom of the page some time today I expect that you will see the counter tick over t0 the magical “500,000” mark . That is pretty good for a modest blog written as a bit of fun .

Thanks very much to all of those who take the time to read what I and my friends put up  here and a special thanks to all of those who take the time to comment and argue with what is on this web-page. Commentary and argument is the life blood of blogging and long may it keep pumping at the Sandpit.

Cheers Comrades

Thats way cool!!!

Found this vid and showed it to my daughter who was quite impressed…

Petrol head nirvana….

Cheers Comrades

Public service post – if they sell out you miss out

The Deni ute muster (in Deniliquin) attracts 20,000 bogans. They cannot all be wrong. These blokes in this photo are about to participate in the great traditional Deni 'Ute Root'. This could be you!

This is a public service announcement and Im making it as a public service.

Tickets for the Deni Ute Muster in October are selling out. And its only June!

And when you take a look at the great line up of great acts and legends it is not hard to understand why. Wrap your eyeballs around these. So much class has never before been assembled in one place to perform to so many bogans. Its a world record.:

Organisers revealed last week that legendary Australian rock band Cold Chisel would be giving their only major performance of the year at the muster.

They join country superstars Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson and James Reyne in performing at the two-day event.

With the Cold Chisel announcement today ticket sales are going beserk.

Its a cavalcade of great Aussie Rock & Country Legends & Superstars. With beer. And utes. And bogan chicks.

Get in for a Deni ‘Ute Root’.

Book now or you will miss out. Tickets are available at http://deniutemuster.com.au and you can get some by clicking on the clever hyperlinks I have inserted and imbedded in two places. (look for the words that are underlined and click on them).

A certain “warm inner glow” about the latest Prius woes for Toyota

A Prius hybrid sits at a Toyota dealership in Stone Mountain, Georgia, one of the US states where some dealers are pulling ads from ABC television. Photograph: Erik Lesser/EPA(photo from the Guardian)

I must confess to having a certain “warm inner glow” about the latest woe for Toyota, not so much about the problems that have plagued them about sticking accelerator peddles, which is a big blow to their corporate prestige and one that I am sure won’t hurt them in the long run if the handle the recall and fix fro the problem correctly as they seem to be doing.No what strikes me about the problem with the brakes on the Prius is that it just exemplifies  the old adage that teh more complex you make something the more likely it is that some aspect of that complexity  will fail or just not operate as it should. Frankly I love power brakes on cars I recall what it was like to drive a large car (a Landrover) that did not have any power assistance, in fact I think that cars like that brought more people into communion with the deity than a whole bus load of holy rollers because nothing focuses your mind  on the next life like ineffectual brakes on a big heavy car. But I digress the thing that worries me with the braking system on the Prius is the fact that it requires a computer to make it work properly. Oh I very much appreciate the point of regenerative braking in terms of recovering some of the cars kinetic energy back into the battery but that delay between hitting the stoppers and having the car respond could be very nasty in an emergency. ABS is part of the equation as well and my experience with that on loses surfaces left me less than confident that it is the boon that many think it is control it with the same computer and you must need some very fancy software just to make it work. From what I can gather it is software glitch that is the culprit here ….
I keep coming back to my oft stated premise for economic and environmentally friendly motoring, its all about  mass and aerodynamics reducing the former and being mindful of the latter when designing the shapes of our cars and motorcycles. Isn’t it about time that the use of light weight materials and optimised and simplified design migrated from the race shop and into the mainstream vehicle design? After all isn’t racing supposed to be all about improving the breed?
Cheers Comrades

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