Category Archives: Interviews

An Interview with Race Car Driver Dan Clarke

By   June 20, 2012

Dan Clarke (a.k.a. “Speedy Dan”) is a British born race car driver that recently has been tearing up the track in the Intercontinental Trophy Cup Racing Series in a Porsche Cayman. He finished first in the first four races of the season, dominating the series so far this season. Before getting into the Intercontinental Trophy Cup Racing Series Dan raced in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and before that IndyCar and open wheel racing.

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I was fortunate to get an opportunity to ask Dan some questions to find out more about him and his career.

Q: How did you get started in auto racing?

A: I was 8 years old and in love with Formula 1 watching Ayrton Senna dominate racing when a local kart track announced opening its doors in my local newspaper, The Rotherham Advertiser. They ran a competition with a really easy F1 question for a free go to someone and somehow my name was pulled out of the hat. I was only 8 against kids aged up to 15 but I did ok for a first time and I never looked back after that. And I’ve also never won a newspaper or call in competition like that again since.

Q: You come from open wheel racing, how have you liked driving in a closed wheel GT series?

A: I love driving the sportscars! They respond so much better to finesse and smooth driving. It also saves explaining what Champ Car is or Indy Lights when you can say “I race a Porsche” :) People really respond to that a whole lot better. I guess that’s the story of my life and open wheel racing I’ve come to realize.

Q: What do you like about the Porsche Cayman as a race car? What, if anything, do you not like about it?

A: I like the fact the ITC Cayman handles so well almost straight out of the box. Even the stock pedal arrangement in Caymans is just right for heel and toe downshifting. It’s been a seamless transition for me racing it. What don’t I like? Not having a couple more horsepower when a 911 rips me off on a straightaway 😉

Q: How does driving a racing Porsche Cayman differ from driving an open wheeled car like you drove in IndyCar?

A: There is a little more weight transfer to manage in a sportscar than an open wheel but that just takes an understanding and a feel for it and patience in order to quickly adapt. Beyond that, its a case of adjusting to the tire profile and size of the wings on the Isringhausen Motorsports Cayman and it’s been a lot of fun seeing just how quickly I can go on the Hoosier R6’s from being smooth.

Q: What type of car(s) do you drive as your personal ride?

A: Ha! This always gets people and every now and then I hear people have asked if I drive a Ferrari or something similar. I drive a Hyundai right now. I never made all that money the Champ Car Media guide booklets said I made. That prize money helped pay the budget for those seasons! I enjoy flushing my own transmission and making sure it doesn’t break down on me. My next car will be a MINI Cooper probably. Got to love those cheeky Brits..

Q: You have been dominating the field in the Intercontinental Trophy Series, providing things continue to go well, do you hope to move to another GT racing series in the future or are you planning to stay in the current series?

A: Yes without a doubt I want teams to notice these wins and give me a shot in the bigger cars and endurance races. I grew up believing you had a chance to earn opportunities if you worked hard and dedicated yourself to being the best there is at something.

Q: If you could drive any race car (past or present) what car would it be?

A: That’s a tough question. There are so many older race cars I’d love to drive. The current Le Mans Prototypes look so alluring these days. But it would have to be the 1988 F1 McLaren. 1400hp just for Qualifying!

Q: If you could drive any street car (past or present) what would it be and why?

A: I grew up loving Porsche 911s and cars like the Honda NSX, because of the Senna connection, and I’ve been lucky to drive them and on racetracks now also. Id say I enjoy driving everything at least once just to see how it feels and drives.

Q: Do you think Porsche should race the Porsche Cayman in other GT racing series, such as ALMS?

A: Yes. Definitely. Porsche should build a dedicated Cayman team, enter all the big races, and hire me to drive for them. Do you think they can hear me? 😉

Q: What should fans look forward to seeing from you in the future?

A: That’s a difficult question to predict where this career path will take me. But right now I’m pursuing all endurance racing challenges. So some fans may see me at a Chump Car race and some maybe at Thunderhill. I have my sights on Daytona 24hrs right now. Fingers crossed.

Porsche Artwork from Steve Anderson – Perfect Gift for Father’s Day

By   May 15, 2012

This past weekend I received something that I have been looking forward to getting in the mail. The item was a print that had a pictorial history of Porsche automobiles from 1948-2012. This includes images of the Porsche 356, 911, 928, 944, Boxster and other models. The print is of artwork done by Steve Anderson. Before I write anymore about this, I must let you know that Steve Anderson recently became an advertiser on this site. Having said this, the detail in the print that I received is very good and it is a perfect piece to complete that dream garage.

I would say the same thing even if Steve Anderson was not advertising on this site. In fact a while back I had an interview with Steve before he started or even talked about advertising on this site and I remember being impressed by Steve’s work (you can read that interview here). Steve also does much more than prints. He can take a few pictures of your prize automobile (Porsche or other make) and turn it into a great custom piece of art. From everything I’ve seen, Steve’s work speaks for itself (and at least with the print that I received, the detail is much better than it looks in catalogs or on the web).

But don’t take my word about Steve’s work, below is an excerpt from a past Interview with Steve from the In My Garage website by Griot’s Garage.

Is it possible to capture the essence of an automobile with mere ink and paint? For artist Steve Anderson, it’s an everyday thing… this magician of the marker creates fantastic, gallery-worthy automotive illustrations. Let’s hear what he has to say about cars, the creative process, and the future of the automotive industry.

IMG: Steve, you have such a technically-crisp, almost picture-perfect illustration style. Do you have formal training?

SA: I’m a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. There I received a B.S. in Transportation Design – I got into the illustration aspect as an integral part of my day-to-day job. In the automotive industry, many a design executive has been quoted saying “my eyes don’t have ears”, so drawing well is a means of survival. With my illustration business, I’ve been lucky enough to have found an audience which appreciates this type of effort.

IMG: How did this particular endeavor, creating custom illustrations, come about?

SA: Early in my career, I had the (amazing) opportunity to work alongside Freeman Thomas at the newly opened Volkswagen / Audi studio in California. He and I were both Porsche nuts. One day Freeman brought in a 911 body blueprint he was given while working at Porsche. I asked if I could make a copy and render it. It was just a fun exercise, but I soon realized that creating illustrations to depict the exact specification of a car would be a really cool way to enhance the ownership experience. I began showing the finished art to fellow enthusiasts in the local PCA community and the rest is history.

IMG: Who is your “typical” client?

SA: The typical client is a one-car guy who’s completely obsessed with his car and participating in the “complete” ownership experience. They tend to be more aesthetes – all about the design, colors and the way in which the car presents itself. At any given time, approximately 60% of my workload is return client, so these guys move on to something else and give me a call to “do the new one”.

IMG: Tell us a little about your process.

SA: Despite the computerization of modern society, I’m still what you would call a traditionalist or “old school”. My fascination and admiration for the early Italian carozzerie renderings dictate that I will always employ more of a hands-on approach when creating the art. I do rely on my Mac to get the post-production side of things perfect but in the end hope my clients appreciate the value and authenticity of a hand-crafted piece.

IMG: What’s the most unique car you’ve been commissioned to illustrate?

SA: The most unique wasn’t even a car but a Bar-B-Que! A client had me do an illustration of his 911 GT2 and wrote one day asking if I’d be party to creating a humorous gift for a friend – turns out, a rather strange request. It seems his best friend had seen the (GT2) illustration and remarked “the closest I’ll ever get to one of those is my Bar-B-Que!” It was actually a pretty nice grille and the illustration was a fun diversion form the car stuff – reminiscent of the product design consultation I’ll occasionally take on.

Car-wise, I suppose I’d have to go with one I’m currently working on for a client in Mexico. He owns (among many fantastic cars in his collection) an ex-Lauda Ferrari 312 B4.

You can read the entire interview here.

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As of the time of this writing prints start at just $35 (plus $5.95 for shipping and handling) and that is a great value. You can go directly to the Porsche prints section here (hint, they make a great Father’s day gift). If you are interested in something a bit more custom then head over to the main site by clicking here and take a look at all of the great custom work that Steve does.

An Interview With U.K. Top Gear’s Stig

By   September 14, 2011

This past weekend I had the opportunity to sit down with the Stig of Top Gear U.K. I was hoping to have him answer questions about the show, cars and if (as some say) he survives on a diet of only tin foil.

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Question: You have been able to drive many fast cars, including many fast Porsches, what was your favorite Porsche you have ever driven?

Answer: The Stig crossed his arms.

Question: What was your fastest lap time on the Top Gear track?

Answer: The Stig turned his head to the right.

Question: Have you ever recked any of the cars that you have driven on the show?

Answer: The Stig remained motionless.

Question: You often have to drive in the wet. Do you have any tips for other drivers having to drive in similar conditions?

Answer: The Stig turned his head toward me.

Question: Who is your favorite race car driver?

Answer: The Stig leaned to his left.

Question: Of the three hosts on the show, who do you think is the best?

Answer: The Stig leaned to the right.

Question: Of all the cars that you have driven on the show what was your favorite car, of any make, to drive?

Answer: The Stig sat up very straight.

Question: Is it true that you survive on a diet of only tin foil?

Answer: The Stig looked both ways and then back at me.

Question: Would you take your helmet off, so that I can at least get your facial expressions?

Answer: The Stig got out of his chair and left the building.

As you can see the interview didn’t go exactly as I was hoping. However, if you want to see the Stig in action you can watch him Monday nights on BBC America, here in the U.S.

In case you haven’t already seen the Stig in action below is a video of him on the Top Gear track as well as a review of the Porsche Carrera GT.

Disclaimer: This article was written for humor and no interview actually took place (a fun way to fill a slow news day). This blog is in no way affiliated with Top Gear, other than being a huge fan of the show.


All Porsche owners are a big family, no matter what model each person chooses to drive. Please remember to flash you headlights whenever you pass another Porsche to acknowledge this fact.

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Drive Melanie Snow on Fox Car Report – Video

By   July 7, 2011

Earlier today Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driver Melanie Snow was featured on the Fox Car Report. If you missed the episode you can view the entire episode below. We followed Melanie in the 911 GT3 Cup race held during the 24 hours of Nürburgring weekend. We feel she is a driver to keep an eye on as she has already had some success and has already shown she can pass the boys.

Note: to mobile users, the video WILL work on most mobile devices including the iPhone.

Steve Anderson Interview

By   June 21, 2011

You may or may not be familiar with Steve Anderson’s work. He is a talented illustrator that works on Excellence magazine as well as others. He was also involved in the creation of the New Beetle, Nissan’s Z and Titan, GM’s (Pontiac) Solstice, SoCal Belly Tanker and, most recently, the EcoJet supercar for Jay Leno..

I was fortunate to get a chance to interview Steve about his work and experience with Porsches.

Q. How long have you been interested in Porsches?
A. Since childhood – the early 70’s. A family friend was a Porsche owner and that exposure i what really started the fascination.

Q. What was your first Porsche experience?
A. Growing up in Pasadena, Ca, we lived down the street from the Rusnak (Porsche Dealer) family – always something interesting coming up the street at days end – after school, I used to sit and wait for the daily Porsche parade!

Q. What is your favorite part of working on Excellence magazine ? 
A. Working with Pete Stout was and is a pleasure. Pete really appreciates the idiosyncracies that give Porsche the credibility it has today. In the early planning stages of my illustration, which is featured in the pages of Excellence, Pete and I would have these great discussions of color, body style and options… how do we visually differentiate 60+ years of production vehicles and show them all in a very interesting light relative to their era. All the memorable details of Porsche’s production history – they made for some really fantastic illustrations.

Q. What started your passion for illustrating automobiles?
A. I was an artistic kid and loved cars, it just what I did. I’m pretty sure a touch of OCD hasn’t hurt either! Even today, creating a really successful illustration has, for me, the same feeling of satisfaction as having driven it.

Q. What has been your favorite Porsche related artwork?
A. Probably one I completed back in ’08, a 1976 Turbo. The illustration was created as a son’s gift to his father, the original owner of the 20th Turbo Built, on his 80th birthday,. The car had a lot of early production details and we ended up doing a five view illustration to really thoroughly “tell the car’s story”. The detail level was extensive… on the Instrument panel image, I swapped the odometer readout to show the car’s VIN!

Q. What automobile of any make would you love to have the opportunity to drive and why?
A. Porsche… the 904 or 935. The 904 for sheer lightness and delicacy. I can imagine it surreal being seated in such a unique and beautiful little machine. The 935 because I love 911’s and sort of came of age in the era where they dominated international racing. Moby Dick just does it for me – sorry Melville not yours. Non-Porsche, I would have to say a Bugatti Type 35 – just getting the pedals right would be a kick. I love everything about those cars.

Q. You where recently selected by Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche AG to be an officially licensed artist of Porsche automobiles. How did getting this selection make you feel?
A. Actually was granted the honor in ’03. Porsche has a great relationship and mutual respect for the work of the Excellence staff so my efforts were validated largely by association. I try not to dwell on it (and my similar arrangement with Ferrari SpA) as it is perhaps the highest honor for someone in this line of work – I never take something like this for granted.

Q. I have seen on your website that you are able to illustrate a clients car. About how long does it normally take to get a finished work of the car (with the understanding that time will vary)?
A. Yes, that’s actually how I got my start outside of my “day job” as a car designer. A coworker and mentor, Freeman Thomas, gave me a copy of an early 911 blueprint and I thought it’d be cool to render it out and match the exact spec of  an existing car. Word spread in the local PCA crowd and I was soon doing this for owners throughout the U.S. and points abroad. Today, this is my main endeavor – creating one-off illustrations which depict the exact specification of a client’s car. I try to keep the turn around within 3-4 weeks for the standard profile illustration but multi-views typically run 2-3 months depending upon complexity.

Q. What is the best way for one of my readers go about getting one of your works?
A. My prints are available directly (www.saillustrations.com) or through vendors such as Pelican Parts, Griot’s Garage or Auto Trend Graphics. Custom illustration orders are still done the old fashioned way with conversation and imagery via phone or e mail. It’s a privilege to have the talent to provide this service and I know these cars mean A LOT to the guys who commission my work so it’s important for me to understand their wants and how to best exceed their expectations. I’ve been lucky to have developed some great friendships out of this endeavor. My typical backlog is comprised of about 60% return clients.

After looking at Steve’s work I am planning to get an illustration of my current Porsche project once it is done. So, if you are looking for a great gift for a Porsche enthusiast or for yourself check out Steve’s website at http://saillustrations.com.

A special thanks to Steve Anderson for his time in take this interview and to Kerry Anderson for helping to setup the interview.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Steve Anderson in any way and this is NOT a paid interview.