Alastair's Blog

Behind the Wheel - Student Radio Documentary

Alastair Caldwell - Thursday, May 29, 2014

Earlier this year I had a visit from two students, Sean Terry and Richard Anderson, who are attending Sunderland University. As part of their final year thesis they were producing a radio documentary on F1 and came over to my house to interview me and get words direct from the horse's mouth - so to speak!

Great production and includes interviews with a host of people in F1 across the years. Interesting approach that they took looking not just at the rigours of F1 but the effect on personal and family life.

You can hear it by clicking below and go to their SoundCloud page by clicking on the link below the image.

 

 Read the background for this project by clicking here


Social media links updated

You can now post on Facebook or Twitter by clicking on the social media icons on the left of the page and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by clicking on the social media icons at the top right of the page (these are all at the base of the page on tablets & mobile phones). If you want to share on other social media channels just click the '+' icon on the left and select another social media channel

Thanks to Maureen at Insight Group Marketing for arranging and coordinating the interview and to Sean and Richard for coming along and including me in their radio documentary - good luck with your final year exams! 

 

Olympic Effort on DK Greek Tour

Alastair Caldwell - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Adonis in Pelopennese, Greece!

And no that title isn't me talking about myself, but the GTO which, while it was alongside a raft of Ferraris, kept getting admiring looks from everyone we passed on the recent DK Engineering Greek Tour which finished at the end of April. 

Greece was so lovely it's hard to post images of cars when there was so much great scenery and wonderful locals.

I chose the Ferrari because it has now been fitted with some heat and sound insulation plus carpeting, so it is a lot more civilised than before - when it was like traveling in a very hot and very noisy tin box!

It went very well and lasted the course so very happy with our progress. There were some really nice cars on the rally and all the owners got on very well with each other which made it a great atmosphere for 'friendly' competition. Sadly one entrant managed to write off his lovely California Spider Ferrari on the first morning by spinning off the road into the trees - thankfully he and his passenger were both unhurt and were given rides in other cars for the rest of the trip.

To get going the cars were trucked down to Greece while we flew by a small turbo prop plane from Farnborough - a very very civilised way to travel!

The rally was managed by the great Ferrari specialists DK Engineering. For the duration of the tour we were based at the same hotel for our base and went out each day to a different destination. So many places to recount but the most impressive, and one that will stay with me, was Olympia. It was fascinating to see and hear about the home of the Olympics and walk on the original stadium surface which pre-dates the birth of Christ.

So this blog is all about the tour cars and Greece and less about the competition - but another rally report on it's way as we're off to the Paris-Madrid rally next, coming soon....

 

            

But in case you thought I was alwys on a jolly - you'll se below that it's tough on these trips!

      

 


Social media links updated

You can now post on facebook or twitter by clicking on the social media icons on the left of the page and follow me on facebook, twitter and youtube by clicking on the social media icons at the top right of the page (these are all at the base of the page on a tablets & mobile phones). If you want to share on other social media channels just click the '+' icon on the left and select another social media channel

 

And the results are in.. Pirelli Classic Marathon 2013

Alastair Caldwell - Sunday, June 23, 2013

2nd in Class -- 12th overall

Well here we are all over, we've already moved on and traveling around but taken some time to sum up the rally as:

"Great roads, great views, good competition. So very tired and very hot crew were very happy at the end! Car a bit battered but running well and sounding great."

Not as high in the rankings as we wanted and are used to, but for the first real outing of the GTO it was a good test and we overcame some 'challenges'!

 

At this stage there's not a lot more to add than that it was a great rally and thank you all for following and for your messages of support and of course at time the ribbing! We had some great times, some great weather (and some awful rain), got inventive with the air conditioning and cooling system and met a troublesome concrete post. The crew were marvelous and you can see below just how much the GTO inspired this bloodthirsty Swiss mechanic after cutting away our propshaft problem!

One of the more interesting challenges was the propshaft problems that we had, which ended up in needing to cut away the coupling so that we could get going again and run fast - proudly displayed on the wing:

Propshaft coupling price cut from car, now we could run fast againMy beloved Space Station sticker still hanging in there after all the heat and rain!


That's it for the Pirelli Classic - but watch this space, I don't like coming in down the rankings so I feel another rally stirring and next time.... we'll be right up there!

Keep following here and on my social media channels – updates coming when I can get time.

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Revisiting The Scene of the Crime on the Pirelli Classic

Alastair Caldwell - Friday, June 21, 2013

It’s still hot - but in more ways than one!

The route has been fun these past couple of days and it's been getting hotter and more humid. We wanted to 'develop' our air conditioning so adapted the modification to add some more oomph - not pretty and not to our standard of fit or finish - but it wroked! Judge for yourself:

Ferrri air con mods

Ferrari Air-Con modifications Mark II capitalising on the slip streaming from Ferrari and Space Station logos.

When we arrived in the Dolomites we took a chance to grab some sun, overlooking a glorious vista. The Dolomites are a wonderful range of mountains and when the weather is like this you can literally see for miles from this vantage point:

The Dolomites - glorious views and glorious weather. Ferrari looking cool. 

So at the beginning of this post I mentioned that it was hot in more ways than one. Well there we were minding our own business with the latest regularity when right out of nowhere we were attacked by a.... concrete post! At the time we just couldn't stop because of the regularity so we pushed on and then came back to revisit the 'scene of the crime' and snap a few shots. Not as bad as it looks but bad nonetheless. Not sure if the Ferrari or the post came off worst!

Hateful looks from the Ferrari as it eyes the 'downed' post!

By the time you read this we'll be on our last day - wish us luck!

Keep following here and on my social media channels – updates coming when I can get time.

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Pirelli Classic - Moving Ahead

Alastair Caldwell - Thursday, June 20, 2013

It’s HOT!

I know that the UK weather isn’t a glowing summer at the moment but over here it is just so, so hot and at times humid.

It’s been 3 days now on the Pirelli Marathon, we’ve had lots of dramas with the car but nothing that has stopped us – we wouldn’t let it!
  • On the first day Catriona had a stop watch failure which cost us time
  • The rally trip meter has given us lots of grief - first it wasn’t working at all then once we got it going again it failed to operate.
  • On one occasion it stopped during an extremely difficult navigation test but Catriona still found the correct route! Amazing what you can do under intense pressure
  • We have also had prop shaft problems but we’ve got those under control. But that’s meant for the last day we have had to impose a speed limit of exactly 62 MPH because at any speed over that the propshaft hits the floor hard!

Rally is really good. We have been driving on great roads in France and now Switzerland, steaming hot for everybody but especially for us as the Ferrari is set up as the original 250 specification with very little heat or sound insulation so we are suffering with lots of both inside the car.

Did I mention it was hot without air con?

Did I mention it was hot? Ferrari Air-Con modifications with extra slip streaming from Ferrari and Space Station logos.

Everybody outside the car loves it, telling us how great it looks and sounds. This, after spending so much time, effort and, not to mention money, getting the car to its current state is really satisfying.

We ended the first day at 9th overall and after three days we had moved up to 7th place. Not good by our standards - but a good result bearing in mind all the equipment failures.

Stayed in a lovely setting on Lake Luzern having crossed over the lake by car ferry. Lovely day if just too HOT – did I mention it was too hot?

Keep following here and on my social media channels – updates coming when I can get time.

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Here we go again! Time for another rally

Alastair Caldwell - Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just back from Croatia and thought things were a bit quiet so we (once again joined by Catriona Rings my faithful navigator) started the Pirelli Classic Marathon 2013 on Saturday! Never a dull moment round here. 

This is another great rally and what better way to join and run it than in the glorious GTO. It took ages to build and convert this replica Ferrari 250 GTO from my original Ferrari 330GT with a proper V12 4 litre engine. So I've been chomping at the bit to get a Space Station Self Storage rallying sticker on the body and have a real run out with it.

This will be the first time the GTO has been driven in anger so I'm really looking forward to seeing how it performs in its new guise. The rally started in Ypres, the Belgian capital of rallying with scrutineering on Saturday followed by the welcoming dinner in the evening. Then on Saturday morning we were off to Cortina d’Ampezzo via overnight stops in Luxembourg, Mulhouse, Engelberg and Bormio.

Ferrari on teh starting line ready to goThe rally commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the original Classic Marathon in 1988. Then they had a target of driving across Europe to Cortina and all the way back again to the RAC Club in Pall Mall, London. This time though the rally ends in Cortina, no driving back just staying on to celebrate in Italian style.

I'll be posting updates here and on my twitter and facebook pages, so if you don't follow me click on the links below and join me to read and see the latest news and gossip en route.

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Happy rallying!


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