On Tuesday 31 October, the Club played host to a series of Motoring Lectures at its Pall Mall clubhouse in London, bringing together some of the finest experts in the field of motoring and motorsport.
The Lectures, which take place during the Club’s annual London Motor Week celebrations and are available to both members and non-members, provide access to some of the biggest names in the industry, with the opportunity to hear their unique journeys first-hand.
This year’s speakers included renowned German racing driver Hans-Joachim Stuck, Board of Management for Production Oliver Zipse, Chairman of Prodrive David Richards CBE and Dr Craig Horner of Manchester University.
With 43 years of world-class motorsport experience, spanning Formula 1 and touring cars, Hans-Joachim Stuck told us his experiences of driving the Nürburgring – also known as ‘The Green Hell’ – from a unique driver’s perspective, while also sharing a handful of his career highlights, including working with Bernie Ecclestone, jumping over the Pflanzgarten at the Nürburgring in the legendary BMW 3.0 CSL and how he first drove the Nürburgring at the age of nine.
‘It is a pleasure to be here today and, following my visit to the Club, I truly understand what heritage means,’ said Stuck. ‘My father taught me how to drive the Nürburgring when I was a young boy, and I went on to win my first 24 Hour race on the same circuit in 1970. Formed in the early 1920s, the Nürburgring is a place of drama and glory; many drivers have lost their lives there, while others have been victorious.’
The second speaker of the day was Oliver Zipse, who provided a thought-provoking insight into the factors that influence car production and award-winning car plant design, with a focus on vehicles of the future and vehicle electrification. ‘When I think of manufacturing, I tend to think of an iPhone,’ explained Zipse. ‘It’s perhaps not the greatest, most interesting technological display, but it’s the most popular manufacturer of mobile devices. The secret to its success is behind the product integration, seamlessly integrating apps, for example, to achieve the best product for its customers. This is similar to our philosophy when making cars. Product and production, in my opinion, are in a race; manufacturers have to keep up with the industry trends and their final products have to meet consumer desires, otherwise they’ll be out of the business.’
Throughout his distinguished career, David Richards CBE has been Team Principal for the BAR and Benetton Racing Formula 1 teams and he is a former Chairman of Aston Martin. A world title-winning rally co-driver, David gave his thoughts on The Changing face of Rallying.
‘It’s not just about winning races,’ he said. ‘You have to ask, why will car manufacturers invest in rallying in the future? When was the last time you saw a manufacturer showcase its 0-60mph time in The Times? Business plans are changing and electrification is becoming ever-more dominant. Motorsport is going to have to change. It’s no longer a case of “win on Sunday and sell on Monday”; motorsport as a whole needs to become more entertaining and more relevant to the next generation.’
Our final speaker of the day, based upon his new book, Dr Craig Horner explored the life of Edwardian racing driver and Napier salesman Selwyn Francis Edge, and his long and established relationship with the Club. Using new research sources, this lecture offered the most in-depth examination of this extraordinary pioneer of early motoring.
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