Man­ual

The Advertiser - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

mov­ing on to cor­rect cor­ner­ing.

He might have won fame for his dis­ci­pline and per­fec­tion as The Stig, but Collins pep­pers his story with ex­am­ples of his own mis­takes. In­clud­ing some youth­ful crashes and ex­pe­ri­ences at Top Gear.

His book rat­tles along, although there is a ma­jor short­com­ing — non-metric mea­sure­ments — for Aus­tralian read­ers.

He has tapped some sur­pris­ing sources, not just for the me­chan­ics of driv­ing but also the men­tal­ity of driv­ing.

“So many times I get asked what I think are very ob­vi­ous ques­tions,” he says. “I’ve writ­ten it with my best un­der­stand­ing, but I’ve lib­er­ally stolen the good ad­vice I got from the po­lice and army. I freely ad­mit I don’t know ev­ery­thing, and no one does.”

But he was also con­scious that peo­ple ex­pect The Stig to come through in his words.

“Every­body can and does want to learn. And you can make a huge dif­fer­ence with a rel­a­tively small ef­fort. It was one of the coolest parts of the job as The Stig, tak­ing a short time and see­ing a huge dif­fer­ence.”

Now he hopes to make a dif­fer­ence with a man­ual that’s far more than a how-to book.

“I wanted to write some­thing that was en­ter­tain­ing, but also taught peo­ple. I hope peo­ple will en­joy driv­ing more,” Collins says.

“I didn’t want to write a man­ual that would put peo­ple to sleep. You might dip in and out of this book. There are sto­ries from Bathurst and Top Gear and movies like James Bond. I wanted to make it some­thing that prop­erly ex­plains how to drive, but that it was fun to drive.”

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