“Some say, he is the best road tester ever,” so who better to test our Superchips remaps… Ben Collins
Better known as The Stig from BBC’s internationally acclaimed Top Gear programme, Ben Collins has coached hundreds of celebrities such as Tom Cruise around the race track, organised high voltage car chases and tested hundreds of priceless cars to the brink.
As the Stig, Ben Collins was the benchmark of speed against which all other drivers set themselves, and the man that everyone including Formula One World Champions from Nigel Mansell to Jenson Button tried and failed to beat. He has raced successfully in almost every class imaginable, from Formula 3 and the Le Mans 24 Hours to American Stock Car Racing. Jackie Stewart, watching a young Ben win a Formula 3 race, was blown away - “When you see the likes of Ben Collins in Formula One, remember you saw them here first.” It was, however, the moment Ben disguised himself in white suit and helmet, that he became instantly recognisable.
During a recent Media day with VW Commercial Vehicles at Silverstone to celebrate the launch of the New Caddy Van, Ben was able to sample some of VW Racing’s current machinery; all of these vehicles had been remapped at Superchips. Ben’s comments on the remaps were very positive and he was impressed not only by the extra torque and power available but also by the smooth, usable way in which these gains were delivered. We at Superchips look forward to putting the finishing touches to the mapping for Volkswagen Racing’s new Caddy Van Racer which is currently under development for the coming season and due to be debuted at Oulton Park in April.
And just when we thought things were exciting enough...Johnny Herbert turned up!
Yes, we had a visit from none other than ex-F1 driver and British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert here at Superchips HQ in Buckingham. In a typically understated manner Johnny arrived to have his own vehicle modified and was instantly recognised by the staff. Apart from one small hiccup when booking his car in on the phone - he gave his name as John Herbert, then said "Actually it's Johnny Herbert." “Like the racing driver,” was the polite reply. “Yes that's me!” exclaimed Johnny, only to be brought down to earth with “Yeah, of course it is” from our now much ridiculed member of staff. In typical Johnny fashion he shrugged it off with a laugh on his recent visit.
Johnny is known as one of the most cheerful and friendly characters in F1, and one of the most popular racing drivers in the world. Nobody in the F1 pit lane has a bad word for him. He is bright, bouncy and always ready with a laugh. He hasn't changed a bit since he won the Formula Ford Festival in 1985.
When Johnny won his first Grand Prix, his home event at Silverstone in July 1995, the other drivers on the podium, Jean Alesi and David Coulthard, spontaneously lifted him on to their shoulders in celebration. That David bore him no ill will was remarkable, given that the race could so easily have seen the Scot's own first F1 victory. Though Johnny's relationship with Jean Alesi soured later when they were team-mates at Sauber in 1998, everyone was happy for him after that first win and, after a decade in F1, Johnny remains one of the most popular personalities in the paddock.
Now Johnny has had a few weeks to sample the Superchips conversion in his VW, his comment was “the system works brilliantly and is very simple in operation... bluefin delivers exactly what it promises”.