The Truth About Cars » stig http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:00:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » stig http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Deepest Sand… In The World http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-deepest-sand-in-the-world/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/whats-wrong-with-this-picture-the-deepest-sand-in-the-world/#comments Wed, 13 Oct 2010 20:41:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=368548 “Former Stig Ben Collins endured a difficult debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship during the final rounds of the 2010 season at Brands Hatch.” What have we learned from this? Well, the recap indicates what all race car drivers know but most Top Gear viewers don’t, namely that there’s no magic to […]

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“Former Stig Ben Collins endured a difficult debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship during the final rounds of the 2010 season at Brands Hatch.”

What have we learned from this?

Well, the recap indicates what all race car drivers know but most Top Gear viewers don’t, namely that there’s no magic to the business and that you have to work hard to win races.

One championship-winning Grand-Am owner summed it up very well on his Facebook page:

A very sad, if not unexpected, end to The Unmasked Stig’s first weekend in British Touring Car (at Brand’s Hatch). Proof positive that he should have stayed where he was rather than proving he’s not really the mythical man in the white suit we all hoped he would be.

For the record, in my professional touring-car debut I was three seconds a lap off Randy Pobst’s pace in a fairly similar car but at least I drove it for 45 minutes without crashing! Unfortunately, my co-driver Jamie had a missed shift on the back straight four laps after kicking my slow ass out of the car.

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Oh, To Be A Stig http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/oh-to-be-a-stig/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/08/oh-to-be-a-stig/#comments Mon, 30 Aug 2010 20:05:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=364265 NB: I stole the above photo from my own “The Truth About Stigs” article. Said article might be worth a brief glance if you’re really interested in this topic… From Top Speed: After a scandalous trip to the courtroom over a planned autobiography and a not-so-smooth release of official documents from the racer’s company, Collins […]

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NB: I stole the above photo from my own “The Truth About Stigs” article. Said article might be worth a brief glance if you’re really interested in this topic…

From Top Speed:

After a scandalous trip to the courtroom over a planned autobiography and a not-so-smooth release of official documents from the racer’s company, Collins Autosport, Ben Collins has been revealed and canned from playing the part of the world renowned Stig.

Who is Ben Collins? What does all this mean?

In the same way that our “Booth Babe” can be reliably provoked by unattractive men holding Canon Rebels in the low-angle position beneath her turntable, I am always ready to get worked up when people talk about “The Stig” being the greatest driver ever. I’ve continually maintained that he was a simply a touring-car veteran or similar junior-pro-level driver. Of course, the original Stig was the engaging, amusing Perry McCarthy, whose book “Flat Out – Flat Broke” is worth a read by anybody who has ever wondered how people get rides in major pro racing series.

Well, it turns out that the post-McCarthy Stig has been the same fellow for the past seven years, namely Ben Collins. Ben’s Wikipedia entry is here and it has reasonably complete details on his competition history. He was a standout open-wheel driver who transitioned into a modest career as a sports-car, touring-sedan, and stock-car guy. Think somewhere between Bill Auberlen and Boris Said in terms of career and results.

Collins had been “outed” as the Stig previously but the BBC had always denied his involvement. The recap of the legal action is worth reading; in it, the BBC clearly states that the mystery of the Stig’s identity is crucial to the show. They’re probably right; while your average club racer or autocrosser would have a lot of respect for time that were explicitly set by Mr. Collins, the average non-racer is under the impression that a Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton would be vastly quicker than somebody who had the same early career path but didn’t have the sponsorship, luck, or right results to make it all the way to the top.

There’s already a new Stig doing public Top Gear events, so the people who care will continue to have a chance to argue about his (or her) identity. Who knows? Maybe it really is Michael Schumacher this time… but more likely, it’s one of those guys whose name commands respect in a touring-car paddock.

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