By on October 13, 2010

“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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21 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Deepest Sand… In The World...”

  • avatar

    Even Lewis Hamilton goes off every now and then.

  • avatar

    When the front left tire loses its air things will end badly.

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  • avatar

    Ben Collins deserves nothing but scorn for becoming a race car driver after playing a well-liked character on a popular TV series that people on the internet take way too seriously.

    Also, Facebook insults?
    Stay classy Grand AM people. I’ll see you in homeroom.

  • avatar

    I recall reading that on a pound per square inch basis that the tread of a main battle tank places less weight upon the ground than an infantryman’s boot.
    No attempt to ascertain the pertinence of that currently unprovable-by-me declaration due to my main battle tank not being at hand relevance to the picture above.

  • avatar

    Ben Collins was a race car driver before becoming the Stig, and not entirely unsuccessful. Does that mean he’s the best out there, certainly not.  Who thinks that?  It’s crazy.  What he is though, is the race car driver best acquainted with the Top Gear track.

  • avatar

    Ben Collins is just a Stig in the mud.

  • avatar

    Are the people who appear on TV the best at all of their respective talents, above all others?
    Ever notice how many stupid people are on Jeopardy or Millionaire or Smarter than a 5th Grader?
    Sometimes “Good enough” is plenty good in show business. The rest is screen presence and poise and…aw, f*ck it: Connections.

  • avatar

    You’re taking this guy too seriously.
    I’m seeing the shosss now, after the local cable company decided that yes, if we pay for it, we can have it (the signal, that is). It’s fun and entertaining and sometimes plain ridiculous and stupid, but I don’t think the Stig is such a legend to deserve the attention it’s getting. Those 3 stooges are basically incompetent at driving, and the Sting is there just to get around that and avoid them to destroy expensive machinery.

  • avatar

    This is what happened:
    Collins had gearbox problems on his car which meant he had to start from the back of the grid and after a 14th place finish in race one, going on to race two he finished 12th. The final race of the weekend ended when Collins caught the wrong gear going into Paddock Hill Bend and spun backwards in the gravel trap. “My lack of experience with the cars gearbox caused me a few problems today, which I suppose I could have expected seeing as the first race was my first opportunity to test it,” he said. “It was a very quick learning curve today, and I needed to make a few changes to get the car set-up just right, the stuff I should have done during qualifying. “With the changes made the car felt great, and it was my error popping it into second instead of fourth that put me off. I loved the experience though and working with Airwaves BMW and I’d love to be back next year.”

  • avatar

    Big deal. Ben quits Top Gear, goes back into racing and has an unlucky turn thanks to a doggy gearbox.
    All the mudslinging doesn’t change the fact that he’s at least a halfway decent driver and probably deserves a seat. And that the learning curve getting into a new touring car is pretty steep.
    The rest of us already knew the “Stig” thing was overblown. Now the rest of the world is finding out, too. Still… a midlevel touring car driver is still miles away better behind the wheel than 99.9% of the people that watch the show.

  • avatar

    Man you’ve got a real hard-on for the Stig, Jack.

  • avatar

    WHOA! 3s off the pace? That puts you firmly in the ‘gentleman drivers’ category then…
    But yeah…stiggy qualified at the back of the grid and says a bad shift caused him to run off the track. Even for people who knew not to expect any ‘magic’ that’s still somewhat disappointing. Also, (former?) fifth gear presenter Jason Plato took the title on the same day…Ouch.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I think with another day in the car I’d have done better, but not much better. I absolutely cannot afford to total a $95,000 Koni car and my exaggerated courtesy on-track reflected that fact .

  • avatar

    I found the “Stig” character to be nothing more than entertainment. But man does he entice some serious jealously amongst other racing/car types. I guess in part because he has a pretty cool gig going.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    And now, it’s time to hand the BMW 320si over to TTAC’s tame racing driver.
    Some say…that his interpretation of the Pobst Position is to bend over and touch the place where his toes should be. And that he used his very own hand as the model for the “thumbs-down” portion of the TTAC logo.
    All we know is, he’s called the Jack.

  • avatar

    People don’t have a good idea how difficult it is to go quickly in a race car. Even some so-called fans think it’s a matter of getting in a car and driving fast – which is just as absurd as the people who think that NASCAR is no different from a freeway drive.
    To give an idea what a warped perspective of motorsport people have (at least in the US), an ESPN (IIRC) article listing 200 sports in order of ‘physical difficulty’ ranked auto racing between badminton and shuffleboard. You’ve got to wonder if the guys writing that article had ever even bothered to watch a race…

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