Codename WTF86

Toyota’s GT86 remains one of the best cars I’ve ever driven – front engined with rear wheel drive and sharp handling, resulting in a sports car that’s very fun to drive.

Some critics, however, have complained that the performance from the 2.0L boxer engine is somewhat sluggish – a recent review in the Telegraph described its 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds as “slow compared to its price tag.”

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Full Throttle – The Goodwood Festival of Speed

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The Goodwood Festival of speed is nirvana for petrolheads, an oasis in a world full of speed vans and city cars, where trivialities such as fuel efficiency and boot space are discarded and horsepower, thundering engines and burning rubber reign supreme.

Last weekend I had the chance to take in two days at the Goodwood, located on part of the 12,000 acre Goodwood Estate managed by the Earl of March in Sussex. The festival, which has been held every summer since 1993, has been described as the ‘world’s largest automotive garden party’, featuring over 600 cars and motorcycles across the weekend in a celebration of the history of motoring and motorsport. Each year a sculpture, created by Gerry Judah, is placed outside Goodwood House, commemorating a different automaker every year. For 2016, BMW was chosen in the year of its centenary. The arching sculpture, rising 40m into the air, illustrated BMW’s sporting success throughout the years, featuring Gordon Murray’s Brabham-BMW BT52, the Le Mans-winning V12 LMR and a 328 Mille Miglia Roadster.

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The Beast is back

Attention Silverstone Classic fans, we have some good news – the iconic AMC Javelin will be racing at this summer’s Classic.

A crowd favourite back in the 1970s, the 6.4L muscle car competed in the Saloon Car Championship and the Special Saloons series, with several top ten finishes and pole position in two Special Saloon races in Silverstone in 1972. Owner and racer David Howe bought the Mustang and Camaro rival in early 1971 from a US serviceman who had been posted to the UK, having witnessed the success enjoyed by muscle cars in saloon car racing.

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Topping out on the Isle of Man

Some people do their job so well that all you can do is sit back and marvel at their skill, and perhaps display just a hint of jealousy.

British Rally champion Mark Higgins is one such individual. Driving the dangerous 37.7 miles Isle of Man circuit, which requires vast levels of concentration, cool and a hefty dose of skill behind the wheel, Higgins bettered his own record by tearing around the circuit in a time of 17:25.139s, at times reaching eye-watering speeds of 175mph (281km/h). For reference, a jetliner will generally take-off between 150 to 180mph.

Higgins was at the wheel of a specially designed Subaru WRX STI (which cost around €631,000), tailored to go around the TT circuit, with an engine tuned to output 600bhp, with 0-100km/h in a mere 2.6 seconds, topping out at 289km/h.

His average speed around the Snaefell Mountain Course, which has claimed the lives of 252 people since 1911 (including four killed in 2016 alone) was a blistering 128.7mph. What’s almost even more incredulous is Higgins’ calm demeanor as he narrates some fairly hair-raising manoeuvres.

I’d say sit back and relax as you watch the video, but your fingernails might get a little trim.