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On Wednesday December 5, 2012, Motor Sport Magazine will be hosting an exclusive readers' dinner with three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart OBE.

Its a bit of a Christmas and Birthday present rolled into one and its a once in a lifetime chance for me to meet one of my all time motor racing heroes.

I can't believe I'm going to be honest!

The evening will take place in the five-star London hotel The Landmark, in fashionable Marylebone.

A drinks reception will be held at the 'twotwentytwo' bar followed by a three course dinner in the historic Drawing Room.

After dinner you will have the opportunity to join an open Q&A discussion with Sir Jackie, Motor Sport's Editor-in-Chief Nigel Roebuck, and Editor Damien Smith.

For more information email: [email protected]
 

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Tony Condon
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Hi Ian
I am sure you,ll enjoy that ,please ask him if he still sends a christmas card to Max and Bernie


Cheers tony
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've been thinking about questions.

I was going to ask him these 2 if I had the chance.

"What team mate did you wish you had and never had the opportunity?"

and

"Imagine Stewart Grand Prix were starting up today but you could pick any car and any 2 drivers from history . . . . what would they be?"

What questions would you like me to ask?
 

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You're a lucky guy, Ian....one of my all-time favorite drivers as well. One of many things I like about him is his very smooth driving style. I would want
to ask him when his smoothness really made a difference in the race results. (such as preserving delicate race equipment long enough to win, or
weather conditions that should have been restrictive otherwise...perhaps winning on dry tires in the wet etc).

What I admire about him mostly is his amazing combination of passion and discipline...a man with learning disabilities who rose to championship levels
in two disparate sports (three if you count business!).

Hope you have a memorable night!
 

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QUOTE (Ian H @ 7 Sep 2012, 20:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Good one!

But lets face it, he would be there all night and probably get writers cramp!

I was fortunate to be in a hospitality suite at the British Grand Prix when Stewart GP were in the sport, Jackie and Paul Stewart came in to gave a talk to everyone at lunch.

Jackie's way of dealing with autograph requests was by announcing as soon as he entered the room, "Hello I'm pleased to be here, I'm sorry but I won't be available to sign autographs", this avoided the rush towards him at the end of the talk.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE (John Cahill @ 7 Sep 2012, 22:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You're a lucky guy, Ian....one of my all-time favorite drivers as well. One of many things I like about him is his very smooth driving style. I would want
to ask him when his smoothness really made a difference in the race results. (such as preserving delicate race equipment long enough to win, or
weather conditions that should have been restrictive otherwise...perhaps winning on dry tires in the wet etc).

No need to wait till December.

Here's the answer now!

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/OgSiK_VarK8?rel=0

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/vkq8Q26N52g?rel=0
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well my tickets have arrived with even better news!

Legendary mechanic and racing Guru Jo Ramirez will be joining us on the night for the Q&A session.

Some of you may know that Jo is an author and retired employee of several motor racing teams. From 1984 to 2001 Ramírez was coordinator of the McLaren Formula One team, including during the infamous Prost / Senna clash of the late-1980s.

During the 1960s and 70s Ramírez worked for several teams, including Dan Gurney's Eagle, Tyrrell, where founder Ken Tyrrell advised him to keep a diary of his time in the sport, and for Wilson and Emerson Fittipaldi in their Copersucar F1 team.

In 1984 Ramírez joined the front-running McLaren Formula One operation as team co-ordinator, becoming close friends with many top drivers including Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart and Mika Häkkinen.

In 2001, after 479 F1 Grand Prix, Ramírez retired from the Great Circus and was advised by team manager Ron Dennis not to write his life story as no one would be interested. Ramírez was left in little doubt that Dennis' true aim was to stop any undesirable details of the team's inner workings from becoming public.

From the pits Ramírez helped to win 116 Grands Prix throughout his long career.

I can't wait to be honest!
 

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Ian

Ask him the question.

If he could race now with all the safety aspects he and others fought for which are now in place, would he do it again (if he could) ?

Ian If you enjoy it as much as a similar Phil Insull and myself had with John Surtees you are in for a cracking night.

Ian J
 

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On my way home back to the Midlands after a truly epic evening with a legend.

I will post more details in the next few days but suffice to say he was an absolute gent to meet.

Utterly happy at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is the first chance that I've had to report back since Wednesday night.

Despite being late to my bed at 2am Thursday morning I still had the wherewithal to go racing at Bearwood last night despite being the "tiredest man in the world".

So how would I sum up my evening with Sir Jackie?

Quite simply it was one of the best nights of my life (aside from my first night of marriage and the night my daughter was born).

I/We were greeted greeted at the Landmark Hotel with a Champagne drinks reception in the 222 Bar. whereupon I immediately bumped into the racing legend Jo Ramirez, who was kind enough to sign a copy of his autobiography that I had taken with me.

Shortly afterwards Sir Jackie and Lady Helen Stewart came into the room and there was an audible silence because despite his short(ish) stature the man has immense presence.

I was able to say hello to Sir Jackie and he immediately, kindly signed a photograph of himself driving a Tyrrell that I intend to give to my father for Christmas.

When you speak to him a million images flood through your head, about his life and career and yet there he is in front of you, listening to what you say with interest and enthusiasm.

Sometimes in life you get the opportunity to meet a legend or personal hero. Sometimes that experience can be disappointing or somehow it doesn't live up to your expectations. I'm incredibly happy to say that meeting Sir Jackie was an utter privelige and in every way imaginable it exceeded all the expectations that I had.

When you shake hands with him you are struck by the fact that you are in the presence or one of life's lucky survivors that came through an era of the sport where there was a 66% chance that he was going to die at the wheel of a racing car.

You are struck by the fact that this man won 27 Grands Prix out of just 99 starts.

You are struck by the fact that he was three times world Formula 1 Champion and has lived a life racing against other legends such as Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bruce McLaren, Niki Lauda, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, John Surtees etc.

Yet the man is humble, funny and wise without any air of pomposity.

We went through to dinner where I enjoyed a "Masterchef Class" 3 course meal that was light, filling and completely delicious and I enjoyed the company of my fellow diners who came from the 4 corners of the globe to be there on that night. Paul (who was sat next to me) had raced short circuit cars during the 1960's and now ran a successful business and (you will never guess) a thriving slot car club! It truly is a small world sometimes.

After dessert and coffee Sir Jackie was introduced on stage by the editor of Motorsport Magazine to give a talk. Sir Jackie spoke about the past, the present and the future of the sport for 40 odd minutes. He was utterly engaging, funny and clearly up to date with the modern scene.

You have to remember that this is a man who is 73 years of age and he was about to orate for 40 minutes, brilliantly, completely "off the cuff" and unscripted. It was a stunning performance indeed.

Notably he said that Alonso had the best racing brain of the modern era, Lewis Hamilton was the fastest - most naturally talented driver - but was inconsistent. He said that Vettel was amazing for one so young in years and the Button was the cleanest smoothest driver with still the potential to win multiple world championships.

Of Michael Schumacher he had the utmost respect because with 91 wins and 7 world championships the figures speak for themselves, but quite incisively he said the Michael will never be "loved" by the public because of some of the dubious tactics that he has employed to achieve that goal. He did go on to say that Michael's contribution to the sport had been good for the German scene and that he had always found him to be very polite and courteous when he has met him at races.

I was able to ask Sir Jackie "What it was like to win 27 Grands Prix?" . . . . he answered "Oh it was easy!" he then went on to say that the numbers meant nothing to him until he won his 25th race. Significant because he had beaten Fangio's record of 24 wins. After he won his 26th race he realised he had beaten Jim Clark's total of 25 wins. It was only at that point that he understood the significance of what he had acheived.

He went on to say that Pedro Rodriguez was a "Charming man with really beautiful girlfriends!" and it is still clearly evident that he mourns the untimely deaths of all his racing friends, especially Francois Cevert and Jochen Rindt.

The funniest thing was that he said "in my era of driving the racing was dangerous and the sex was safe . . . today it's the other way around . . but I know which I prefer!"

After his speech there was a Q&A session with Nigel Roebuck (Motorsport Magazine Journalist) and Jo Ramirez. Where Jo Ramirez remembered Senna affectionately and regaled us with stories of the extent that Gerhard Berger would go to to make practical jokes he said "the great thing about Gerhard is the fact that he did not have any limits on how far he would go to pull off a practical joke". Clearly it made life great fun at McLaren!

I then met Sir Jackie again at the stage where he signed several books for me and he once again shook my hand.

Enigmatic, humble, funny, wise, clever and peerless. Sir Jackie continues to impress at the grand age of 73 . . . . and long may he do so.
 
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