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      17.04.2010 17:12
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      The best magazine of its type - but there isn't anyone else!

      Autosport is one of those publications which tends to divide people quite sharply, in that if you have any sort of interest at all in motorsport you probably either read it already or at least are fairly familiar with its name and what it is; but if the sport is of no interest to you then it is more than likely that you will never even have glanced at it, beyond perhaps noting its slightly odd name as you browse through the serried ranks of magazines in what is known by many as the WH Smith library service.

      I fall into the former camp, and read Autosport every week. While it has its flaws, I certainly miss it if I go a week without it, and for the most part I think it justifies its status as the most influential motorsport publication in the UK and (partly because a lot of the sport's industry is based here) one of the most widely read and talked about magazines among the participants as well as the ordinary fans like me. Yes, Bernie Ecclestone, we do exist, and hard as it may be for you to understand we do play our part in the sport's success!

      When I started reading Autosport in the 1980s it was quite a wordy magazine, and in all honesty at times it could be rather dull. These days it has gone, if anything, a little too far the other way with its bite-size chunks of info and race reports sometimes lacking as much in depth analysis as I would like. This isn't a problem with the "main events" such as Formula 1, which is given acres of coverage (and rightly so) with plenty of juicy titbits of news and gossip to go with it, but some of the articles on national and club events are very short, and something like a hillclimb may be given barely 100 words. For these grassroots championships it is probably best either to get the more club-orientated Motorsport News or to seek out a dedicated website.

      The layout of the magazine has undergone a slight change in recent times, with the letters page moved to the back (it feels like a marginalisation, whatever the publishers might say) along with the reviews section (which includes the usually very entertaining TV review) and the guide to upcoming events. Also at the back is what was once known as Club Autosport, but which has now been upgraded to "National", whether simply to make clubbies feel better or for any more sensible reason I really have no idea! Here also you will find the classified section, which can be fun as you sometimes find people selling off old F1 cars, or sportscar teams advertising desperately for drivers.

      The magazine's columns have long been one of the most interesting parts of Autosport, and this tradition remains intact. I still miss Nigel Roebuck's brilliant (and often brilliantly funny) columns, even if he did become a bit of a "New Labour - it's political correctness gone mad!" obsessive towards the end, but the likes of Mark Hughes' MPH column and - in particular - Marcus Pye's take on club-level racing in "Humble Pye" ensure that there is still plenty to interest you when you're starting to get a bit tired of page after page of straight race reports and statistical analysis. (Not that the latter bothers me too much. I like cricket, remember!)

      Autosport has a reasonably good reputation for independence and willingness to rock the boat when it is needed, and it's probably broken enough stories the rich and powerful didn't want people to know over the years to deserve that, although I have to say that I don't think it's really done as much on that score in recent times. Perhaps it's the lack of any real rivals in the marketplace that has made it seem slightly complacent of late - there's Motor Sport magazine, but that is focused on historic racing, while the various glossy publications dedicated to particular formulae tend to be not much more than promotional material for the championships in question.

      If you're any more than the most casual of motorsport followers and can spare three pounds or so a week, then there is no reason not to buy Autosport. Despite a few irritations it is easily the best general magazine on the sport available, and I'd feel rather lost without it. If you subscribe, you also get full access to the autosport.com website, which is of great use if you're looking for more up to date news than can be found in a weekly dead-tree publication. However, many people even in this age of the internet do still prefer to read their news on paper, and I find myself choosing the magazine over its electronic counterpart when being up-to-the-second isn't vital. All in all, Autosport generally does its job pretty well, and you're missing out somewhat if you don't even look at it.

      [Note: for those interested, this review was written entirely on the Psion Series 5 I wrote about a little while ago.]

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        28.05.2008 23:19
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        !

        Many of the newer motorsport magazines tend to be dominated by Formula 1 with perhaps a small amount of coverage of the World Rally Championship or the American ChampCar series. Indeed some now even appear to exploit the high profile of F1 and treat the sport as some sort of 4-wheeled soap opera.

        Autosport is a long established motor sport title and is extremely thorough in its coverage of all levels of motor sport in Britain. This is not to say Formula 1 is ignored, it certainly is not. And respected motor sport journalists such as Mark Hughes and Nigel Roebuck contribute interesting articles to the magazine. The magazine is not only interested in the drivers within Formula 1 however and thorough technical updates are given as cars are given minor chnages race to race. The reasons for these changes is given in terms understandable to a lay person.

        In addition to Formula 1 the feeder single seater championships such as Formula 3 are well covered. But it is not only single seaters which get coverage. The sports car championships and touring cars get full coverage as does the World Rally Championship withy previews, reviews and leading articles on the progression of these championships.

        The magazine carries full coverage of all main motor sport event held throughout the UK each weekend. At £2.60 every week Autosport can run out a costly magazine to be every week and the discerning buyer may choose to be selective on which editions he or she chooses to buy. Alternatively much of the main covergae and news can be found on Autosports execellent web site at www.autosport.com.

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        19.03.2008 19:00

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        Love or hate it

        Autosport - Is a weekly magazine on motor racing. It's a informative read about the going's on in the world of motor sport but also you can catch up on all the weekly results.

        At times the pages do not interest you as you have no idea who they are. It can be good to know who are the rising stars coming through the ranks. Like one person said on his review you can see most of the news on the web and when you read the magazine now, it's not like you didn't know that. For me the good thing still about a magazine is I don't have to browse all the different websites to find my news, i still prefer reading a magazine where I can get my information quickly. Also websites update all the time and change, Information gets deleted then you can't get back at that information. Which I wanted to use to back up my point maybe in a coverstation with one of my petrol head friends!

        Overall some won't like it but many do and many leading people in the profession read it as they are always adversing jobs in the magazine. This mean the magazine sometimes get exclusive interviews which most magazine wouldn't get with certain stars!

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        22.12.2001 00:52
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        >Driver’s Briefing Autosport is perhaps the world’s most famous motorsport magazine and is released weekly costing £2.70 which, let’s face it is way too much to pay for a weekly 100+ page magazine. Autosport is one of those magazines I enjoy reading immensely, yet I find that I seldom purchase it, why? I have no idea, but I think price is definitely an issue. And you never read it again… (isn’t that the point of magazines?) Also Autosport has a half decent (but underdeveloped) website at www.autosport.com >Free Practice Autosport is dominated by Formula 1, the front cover is always a Formula 1 story (even when the F1 season is over; okay, that may be an exaggeration) but the magazine does seem to have more F1 coverage than adverts if you catch my drift. The other main flagship series that are covered in depth are the BTTC, British F3 and Cart (if Dario Franchitti wins), quite understandable. Let’s face it this is what the average reader wishes to read about right? >The Grid The magazine usually starts off with the latest F1 developments. Lots of excellent photography blended into easily digestible chunks of interesting news, no complaints here. There’s a good dozen of these pages, I think this is about right. Then there’s what I would call the 2nd priority news, like British involvement in foreign top class racing, BTTC, F3000 and British F3. Then there’s the third priority, which is surprisingly another other interesting motorsport news and the FIA Rally championship, I would call the Rallying third priority, but it is just at the end. The letters section can be an interesting one, with the cartoon of the week and “star letter” and a comment by the editor. Following this, a few writers have a page of things to say, sometimes interesting, sometimes not! Then there’s a few pages of the cover story, in my
        opinion it lets me know everything I want to know about the issue and is always well written (this is usually about Formula One by the way). Then there may be the GP review/preview, which I find fantastic (particularly the previews as I like to know about the latest developments and regulation changes and their significance). The reviews in my opinion are excellent, the charts and excellent photography could be a substitute for watching the race. >Pit stops We’re midway through the race now, there’s usually some tacky (or nice if you are lucky) stuff in the centre of the magazine, celebration or advertising., fair enough. There is always some fascinating info about the past (like 10 years ago that day, 20 years etc etc…) Then there is what I like the most (apart from the F1), the GT section, it rightly starts with the ALMS series, one or two pages of that (this assumes there will be or was a race) and the FIA GT which gets little coverage (unless the number of pages is not a multiple of 4) and is focused on the GT battle. Sometimes they cannot even be bothered to display the full results! (I care about this because I am/was involved in a team that was not in the results, yet some cars that didn’t finish were displayed, but hey, every CM is money right?) Then we enter the European/American zone. Then onto the classifieds, and the club circuit, the coverage of the club circuit is about 6 stories a page (including results). >Advertisements If we exclude the classified section, about 1 in 5 pages are adverts, I don’t mind reading them at all, they aren’t relevant to me (maybe more enthusiastic race fans). The classifieds section is excellent, probably the best for motorsport; with appointments, cars for sale, motorhomes for hire etc… In fact I placed an advert there to sell a Porsche 993 GT-2 on behalf of my team and it was really efficient but rather expensive, but eith
        er way, it was probably the best place to advertise, though we only received 3 enquiries. >Alternatives Erm, there aren’t any, all the rivals are F1 obsessed! >The Chequered Flag You would find it strange that motorsport can grace a 100+ page magazine each week wouldn’t you? It’s a great read and has mostly what you need to know (about Formula One). When the team I am part of was about to enter the FIA GT, there was a paragraph about it (May 3 2001, page 19) and I was really surprised they mentioned it, because we were not going to get any points or make any other sort of impact, obviously there was nothing more on this afterwards. So what’s my opinion? For the perfect motorsport magazine, I would expect more, and if I wanted more, this would have to be a 200+ page magazine, and that would not be practical, so as it stands, I think Autosport is brilliant. However for just less than £3 it is overpriced, and this is why I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5. You can get a subscription and sae money, but I personally wouldn’t. It’s such a shame that we are all naturally F1/British content obsessed, and quite rightly Autosport caters for that, I am sure that there are a few more readers out there that want more on other series and I think that something needs to change a little for Autosport to maintain its international status. Autosport is the complete motorsport magazine for the average reader, it’s a shame that it has no rivals to make it work for its success.

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          23.01.2001 17:14
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          I started reading Autosport about ten years ago now. It was back when I used to visit my Dad a lot and he used to be flamboyant enough with his money to get Motoring News and Autosport every week. Of course it was a lot easier then as Autosport only used to set you back £1.60 then! My interest in Autosport at the time was generally picture related. While most newspapers used to carry an occasional black and white photo Autosport was filled with glossy pictures from the latest Grand Prix, and only four days after the event! Furthermore it was not just the leading cars that were featured, you were likely to see pictures of all the cars. As I matured (just a little!) the magazine became more of a read instead of something to flick through. The coverage of Grand Prix was exceptional, and indeed has remained so to this day. It is no coincidence that the formula for their coverage has hardly changed. You get two pages worth of reports on qualifying, qualifying times, race times, fastest laps, lap charts and little snippets summarising the race from the viewpoint of every team. Add in a chunky report on the whole weekend from Nigel Roebuck and it really is an impressive package that takes up at least ten pages in each issue following a Grand Prix. And remember that this is available to buy four days after the race itself! I mentioned Nigel Roebuck in the previous paragraph, and will do so here again. He really is a superb writer and has his own column in which it appears he has pretty much free licence to write about whatever he pleases. These are always worth reading, as among other things he really gets to know drivers from all categories of motorsport and is not afraid to write things that are controversial. Occasionally his viewpoints look back at the past through rose-tinted glasses, and he admits to having his favourites (e.g. Gilles Villeneuve) and people he dislikes (e.g. Nigel Mansell), but he tells it as he sees it and in my mind that m
          akes what he says far more readable. It is not just Formula One that Autosport covers comprehensively. While the blue riband class of motorsport is undoubtedly their primary focus, just about all forms of motorsport. Major international classes (Champcars, IRL, NASCAR, DTM, etc.), club races (both domestic and international) and rallying are all covered in depth. Quality writers are evident everywhere, with another favourite of mine being North American writer Gordon Kirby. However you are not buying a phone book, as Autosport comes in at a fairly manageable 112 pages or so. One thing I really like about Autosport is that it is a magazine that is unashamed to be British. When Nigel Mansell won the World Championship in 1992 I thought that Autosport had problems with their printer. As it turned out it was a special "green cover", with the word "Autosport" printed in British racing green instead of the usual red. These are only issued upon a major British achievement within motorsport, and I have the Damon Hill championship edition as well. The magazine also has columns from British drivers, Dario Franchitti and Mark Blundell being two of the more frequent contributors. As I said I do tend to keep my back issues of Autosport. Every once in a while I will thumb through them, and one feature tends to be consistently eye opening. When I look through the latest news section it is startling just how many pieces of gossip turned out to be true. While these are rarely marked as exclusives it is interesting to look at how people predicted events would work out, and how they actually did. To my mind this shows that Autosport is responsible in whom it listens to and what actually gets printed. Autosport is undoubtedly a fantastic magazine, but with two points which stop me from buying it more often than I do. Firstly there is the price. £2.60 is quite a lot in my opinion, especially for a magazine that comes out weekly. Th
          e problem with this is that the magazine makes good reading whether a Grand Prix has just taken place or not (or even when it is not Formula One season at all!), and so if you are not careful you can find yourself spending over £100 a year on the magazine. Secondly, can the magazine compete against modern technology? With the internet spawning a number of great Motor Racing websites pictures, reports and data from Grand Prix can be available on the night after a race. You do not need to wait until Thursday now. Therefore Autosport will need to keep ahead of the field, produce consistently excellent articles and worthwhile features to enable it to survive. I hope it does, and that lots more green covers are issued in future as a collector's item to go alongside British motorsport successes.

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            06.10.2000 22:33

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            I have read a few issues of this and it has a lot of information on various motor sports. I am an F1 fan and I enjoy rallying as well. I would read it for these articles, which are very interesting, but I would be put off buying it because of all the other stuff which doesn't interest me at all. The news which I do like reading is usually printed on the web, though, so I see little point in buying it. If you are a fan of motor sport in general and/or don't go surfing much then it might be worth it. Not for me though.

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            05.10.2000 16:48

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            Nigel Roebuck is no use as an editor whatsoever. He slags off any driver he can for no reason at all. His columns are always rubbish, and the sole purpose of them is to praise Max Mosley, and Bernie Ecclestone, and to talk about how much better Champ Cars are than F1, the only one of his views that I agree with. He keeps on saying that Montoya will blow everyone away in F1, an extremely stupid view, as he has not driven alongside any of the current F1 drivers except Jacques and Heinz-Harald, and he was consistently slower than the pair of them. Nigel also has a very boring voice, so its a good thing he doesn't do too much commentating.

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            26.09.2000 19:03
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            If you are a self-confessed petrol-head, then the weekly Autosport magazine is the one for you. I have been reading it for nearly ten years, and wouldn’t even consider anything else. It has the whole package; latest news and gossip, in-depth interviews, special features, and race reports from around the globe. In fact, they cover all aspects of racing, from Formula 1 to club rallying, American stock cars to European Drag racing, and at tracks from Indianapolis to Castle Combe. You would be very hard pressed to find a discipline that isn’t covered. With a vastly experienced writing team, the features are always interesting, and interviews are not always with the top stars, but with team members, new drivers etc. The gossip and news pages (Pit and Paddock), is a good read, although some of the stories are sensationalised somewhat (but then this is a news magazine!). They do, however, have some excellent contacts, and you can usually find a good news article here first, with the daily newspapers following in the next few days as they read Autosport, and pinch the story. Witness the story that Damon Hill would be sacked by Williams in 1996, which was published months before in was confirmed. Damon didn’t believe the story, and banished the journalist from his motor home. He only spoke to him again when the truth was revealed, and the journalist proven correct. This is just one of Autosport’s triumphs, as no-one had any idea of this until Autosport released it. After recently celebrating 50 years as motorsport’s unofficial Bible it is still as good as ever (you quite often see pictures of some of the best drivers in the world catching up on the news in the latest Autosport), and is great value for the discerning motoring anorak.

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            17.09.2000 22:34
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            I've been subscribing to Autosport for about 5 years now, and buying it regularly before then. The reason I've stuck with it is that their coverage of motorsport in all its forms is second to none. Other motorsport magazines go for the glamour of F1, but ignore everything else. Autosport covers all the main championships worldwide, and the vast majority of the UK club scene too. Its also got the best range of articles, from the driver columns to the excellent Fifth column, written by Nigel Roebuck. Add in the articles by some of the most distinguished motorsport writers and its pretty hard to beat. A subscription saves you a fair amount too.

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            29.07.2000 02:37
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            Autosport, one of the longest established motoring magazines, and without a doubt the best that focuses purely on motorsport, not only the main formulae, such as F1, CART, IRL, NASCAR, World Rally Championship, etc, but also encompasses the lower catagories, such as F3000, British F3, Hill Climbing, Formula Ford and Karting. Their reporting is always unbiased, objective, and informative, photography is relevant, and often spectacular. The recent 50 Years of The Best Motorsport supplement, whilst being priced at £4.99 is absolutely chokka thick with absolutely anything you could want to know about the sport in the last half century, without the interruption of adverts. A great magazine that is the sports bible

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            27.06.2000 16:48
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            I have been reading Autosport regularly for the past 20 years. If you want the latest news and race reports then Autosport, published on Thursdays used to be the only way to get them. Now there is an alternative, Autosport's own website www.autosport.com. Recently comprehensively updated, the site offers all the breaking news together with good background information and race reports. I still subscribe to the mag because of the detailed and informed reports that it contains although it has become a lot more 'tabloid' in its reporting lately. Nevertheless, it is essential reading for all serious motor sport fans.

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              26.06.2000 00:47
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              Autosport is a weekly motorsport magazine with coverage of many international series such as Formula 1, Formula 3000, CART, IRL, NASCAR, rallying etc etc as well as good coverage of various british national series. Most of the coverage however is directed towards F1. The magazine features race previews, race reports, interviews, technical features, race car tests ,post race analysis, readers letters and much more. This is the magazine to buy if you are serious about your motorsport.

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              22.06.2000 18:30

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              This is the only motorsport magazine which I bother to read on a regular basis. I do this mainly because it includes lots of information on national racing in a section at the back. As I am a race marshal, it is nice to see pictures of all the crashes that I have missed! It also has many other good features, like a letters page and cartoons, as well as driver interviews and opinions from people connected with motorsport. It also includes information on the American CART series. The only drawback is that the amount of Formula 1 and rallying coverage can get a bit tedious sometimes.

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