Web­ber in driver’s seat with cars for ev­ery need

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By CRAIG DUFF and PAUL GOVER

UTE man Mark Web­ber turns to a Nis­san Navara when he’s not hit­ting 300km/h on the grand prix cir­cuit in his Red Bull Racer.

The haul­ing ca­pac­ity in the back makes the big dif­fer­ence for a man who spends at lot of time at his lux­ury man­sion in Bri­tain do­ing or­di­nary stuff such as car­ry­ing bi­cy­cles and dogs, as well as his friends and fam­ily.

Web­ber also has a V10-pow­ered BMW M5 and an age­ing Re­nault La­guna in the garage, as well as a Yamaha mo­tor­cy­cle. Then there’s the ride-on mower his fa­ther Al­lan drives when he vis­its from Aus­tralia to watch his son in ac­tion.

But Web­ber has a new love from the Porsche fam­ily — even though he gets free cars from In­finiti and Re­nault as part of his For­mula One spon­sor­ship pack­age.

The man who earns an es­ti­mated $10 mil­lion a year splashed out last year on a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, priced at $560,000 in Aus­tralia. ‘‘I’m very, very happy to have one of these at home,’’ Web­ber tells Cars­guide. ‘‘It’s amaz­ing. By miles the best road car I’ve been in.’’

The RS is a 500-run lim­ited edi­tion ver­sion of Porsche’s quick­est 911. It takes the 3.6-litre twin-turbo en­gine from the all-wheel drive Turbo model — com­plete with 456kWs and 700Nm of torque — and fits it into a much sharper rear-wheel chas­sis. The re­sult is a claimed 0-100km/h time of just 3.5 sec­onds.

Porsche has made the most of the Aus­tralian’s car choice with a YouTube video show­ing him tak­ing competition win­ners for a spin in a GT2 RS— al­though not his.

There are other cars in his life, in­clud­ing at his hol­i­day home in the south of France, but these are the ba­sics. ‘‘I’ve got the Nis­san Navara, In­finiti M37, M5, Porsche Turbo and Porsche GT2 RS, and a Yamaha Fazer,’’ Web­ber says.

He also has a Red Bull RB6 he was given by his team as a re­ward for his suc­cess last year, al­though it’s not the car he re­ally wanted.

Web­ber was promised the car he drove to vic­tory in the Monaco Grand Prix, but that was be­fore he trashed it dur­ing his scary 250km/h back­flip at the Euro­pean Grand Prix in Va­len­cia.

The Nis­san ute gets a lot of work but Web­ber re­veals his other Porsche — a 911 Turbo — is his first-choice as a daily driver. ‘‘If I’m on my own, I’ll go in the

F1 driv­ers like to have a bunch of cars — I love my driv­ing

Porsche Turbo; if there’s a group of peo­ple I take the In­finiti (a four­door lux­ury sedan),’’ Web­ber says.

‘‘I think F1 driv­ers like to have a bunch of cars, ob­vi­ously, and we have a deal with In­finiti and Re­nault, so we work with those guys closely, but if I want to have a mo­tor­bike or dif­fer­ent types of his­toric cars or other cars— I love my driv­ing— we can do that.’’

He has a Yamaha Fazer mo­tor­cy­cle for fun, but re­sisted the temp­ta­tion of an all-out road rocket in favour of the ‘‘naked’’ ap­proach.

‘‘It lets me know how quick I’m go­ing, which is al­ways good. My dad had a Yamaha deal­er­ship for 20 years, so I’ve got a huge back­ground in mo­tor­bikes.’’

It’s no sur­prise to hear that Web­ber prefers to do the driv­ing him­self. ‘‘I rarely am a pas­sen­ger, I al­ways drive,’’ he says.

Mark Web­ber, who earns an es­ti­mated $10 mil­lion a year, splashed out last year on a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, priced at $560,000 in Aus­tralia

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