No, no, he didn’t slam you, he didn’t bump you, he didn’t nudge you… he *rubbed* you. And rubbin, son, is racin‘.’ – Harry Hogge, Days of Thunder 

Admittedly, my concentration during the presentation at the Porsche Centre West London on the A4 in Chiswick, had been mildly strained trying to lance olives with a plastic tapered cocktail stick. Consequently I missed the part where professional racing driver Mark Webber told the crowd that he’d be taking the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid LMP1 across the streets of Westminster tomorrow morning.

Porsche 919 and Panamera Hybrid, London Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Porsche 919 and Panamera Hybrid, London. Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

Of course I wasn’t just invited to devour a record amount of olives and drink chilled Peroni, but to see both the 919, the new Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and have a chat with the Le Mans winning driver himself, Mark Webber, on how the technology translates between the two vehicles.

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At the start of the interview Mark points casually, in a typically Aussie laissez faire way, to a seat next to him which I take. Brimming with garlic and a four beer-buzz I go straight for the jugular.

So Mark, what are your thoughts on the 1971 Le Mans film starring Steve McQueen?”

Marks brow furrowed, noticeably I’ve caught him off guard. He shifted his weight in the chair as if mirroring his own now nebulous impression of me from welcoming, to ‘this guy came all the way down here to ask me that?‘ We spoke briefly about Le Mans, before we manoeuvred swiftly onto the drive tomorrow. Of course having not paid attention earlier I clumsily asked “which one of these beauts will you be ragging over Westminster bridge?” Waving my arm ostensibly across the showroom, littered with Porsches.

You kidding mate? I’m ragging that thing.” he points to the 919 Hybrid LMP1 and my mouth drops.

Wow it will just be like that scene in Driven when Sylvester Stallone has a chase with his team mate in Formula 1 cars through the streets of Chicago!”

Mate don’t talk to me about that film.”

What about Days of Thunder?”

Sure, that’s a quality film.

You’re damn right it is.

RP - 919 London-7

For a more comprehensive review of the brand new Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and further snippets from the interview, read my article on the Menswear Style here. If you’d like to see that scene from Driven that they blatantly nicked the idea from, check out the YouTube clip below.


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