My Top Seven On Board Videos

Probably the most widely commented on video of this year’s Goodwood Revival is the on board footage of Kenny Brock driving Adrian Newey’s Ford GT40 in the wet. Mr Brock certainly isn’t short of courage and he’s not shy with the throttle. However, we’re mildly surprised at how famous it’s become. He’s not the first driver to be captured in motorsport videos at the pinnacle of their ability, indeed on board cameras have been around for many years. So we sat and though about our favourite and most memorable on-board camera videos from across the ages. Here are our top seven, chosen principally for how memorable they were the first time I saw them.

Patrick Depailler, Montreall GP, 1978

You though Goodwod 2013 was wet? Take a look at this motorsport video of an almost flooded track, Depailler in typical style in the Tyrell.

Driver – Patrick Depailler
Car – Tyreel F1
Track – Montreal, Canada
Year – 1978

Sponsored Links

Joey Dunlop

Shot before High Definition and GoPro cameras, this film has probably been superseded by better quality footage from modern racers. But you get a very short glimpse of the huge camera, the size of a microwave oven, that Joey had strapped to the petrol tank. This video sparked my interest in motorcycle road racing and elevated Joey Dunlop to legendary status as before this, nobody had really seen the Isle of Man from a rider’s viewpoint. Joey’s calm, laid back commentary is worth listening to.

Rider – Joey Dunlop
Motocycle – Honda V4 RS850R
Track – Isle of Man TT
Year – 1978

Petter Solberg

A long video, but stay with it. Solberg retired from the event the day before, but came back under Super Rally rules to attempt to break the stage record for this stage. Legendary in rallying circles, take a look you’ll see why. The key things are the way that Phil Mills’ pace note rate increases significantly as the stage progresses, he must be breathing in through his ears at some points. And listen to the engine and Mills’ notes. For quite long periods, the car is flat in sixth, on the limiter, with Mills’ comments of ‘flat six’ called very often. Don’t even think about crashing.

Driver – Petter Solberg
Co Driver- Phil Mills
Car – Subaru Impreza WRC
Stage – Ouninpohja, Finland
Year – 2004

Jim Clark

In complete contrast, Jim Clark’s on board shows just how calm the great man’s style was. Take a look at this example of just how easy you can make it all look if you are a true professional at your craft. Oulton Park is barely recognisable in this video, no barriers, lots of trees and people standing trackside.

Driver – Jim Clark
Car – Lotus
Track – Oulton Park
Year – 1963

Tom Walkinshaw, James Hardie 1000 qualifying

The James Hardie 1000 achieved ground breaking camera work, with multiple in car views and even interviews with the drivers as they raced. The 1985 race for me is memorable for the spectacular laps by Walkinshaw in the TWR Jaguar XJ-S. Bathhurst looks like one of those track that, like Spa, is a life changing experience once you’ve driven it. I particularly like the comment from the voiceover, “Here comes the Boss!”

Driver – Tom Walkishaw
Car – TWR Jaguar XJ-S V12
Track – Bathurst, Australia
Year – 1985

Ayrton Senna – Monaco, The Perfect Lap

Senna’s on board lap around Monaco made my eyes turn to saucers when I saw it on TV all those years ago. The McLaren Honda V10 sounds fantastic. no paddle shifts, hand often dropping to the lever for the shifts, one hand on the wheel.

Driver Ayrton Senna
Car – McLaren Hondaa V10
Track – Monaco
Year – 1988

Ari Vatanen – Dear God….

That famous “Oh Dear God!” moment when they clipped the dry stone wall and collected a puncture. The word ‘Flat’ used an awful lot, but I’ve never heard a pace note of ‘absolute’ before this video. Didn’t know there was a corner faster than ‘flat’…

Driver – Ari Vatenen
Co Driver – Terry Harriman
Stage – Isle of Man
Car – Ford Escort Group 4
Year – 1983

For sure there are many thousands of on board videos out there today, YouTube and the GoPro teaming up to create a continuous stream. But these are purely my own personal favorites, chosen because of the effect they had on me the first time I saw them. I’m sure you have your own.

Hang on a Moment! Did you enjoy the read?

If you enjoyed reading this, join our email list and get more stories like this one as they're published here.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Author: Neill Watson

If you love the sound of the Cosworth V8 as much as the V12 Merlin, the smell of Jet A1 as much as Castrol R and admire the late Ray Hanna as much as Sir Stirling, you’ll find you’re both on the same page. Neill's love of art deco buildings means that his ideal home would be a brilliant white, 1930′s control tower in Southern France, with crisply mown grass, biplane parked on the driveway and a Ferrari 288GTO in the garage. This is something that those around him tolerate, though it does concern them from time to time.

Leave a Reply