As the Stig, Ben Collins was the benchmark of speed against which all other drivers set themselves, the man that everyone from Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell to Jenson Button tried and failed to beat.
He has raced successfully in almost every class imaginable, from Formula 3 and Le Mans 24 Hour competition to American Stock Car Racing. Jackie Stewart watching a young Ben win a Formula 3 race was blown away: ‘When you see the likes of Ben Collins in Formula One, remember you saw them here first.’
Ben has put every known supercar to the test, racing everything from the Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari 430 Scuderia to a London Routemaster. From the anonymity of his white helmet he taught some of the world’s most famous stars how to lay down a fast racing lap, caught a parachutist in his moving car and coached a blind man how to take on a chicane.
Ben also set up and now runs Collins Autosport who have supplied precision drivers for Top Gear and Hollywood, with Ben commanding James Bond’s Aston Martin in the last James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, and performing as Nic Cage’s driving stunt double in National Treasure 2. Collins Autosport also offer the ultimate driving challenge in some of the fastest cars on the planet to an international clientele who are looking to take driving to a whole new level. Ben writes for Autosport and the Sunday Times and was a presenter for Channel Five’s Fifth Gear, pitting his skills against ex-professional racers Tiff Needell and Jason Plato. His bestselling memoir, The Man in the White Suit: The Stig, Le Mans, The Fast Lane and Me (HarperCollins, 2010) charts a life of passion, commitment and a determination to succeed in the highly competitive adrenaline fuelled world of motor sports.
Ben is an expert on driving and the mental aptitude required to be a professional in this highly competitive environment. He provides insight on what it feels like to race and perform in a high pressure environment where split-second decisions determine success or failure, and total focus is the key to unlocking your potential.
‘As is so often the case in every day life, it’s the little things that count in motor racing. To go that fraction faster through a corner than the next man means stretching yourself and believing it’s possible when everything is telling you it’s physically impossible.’– The Man in the White Suit
Ben shares the insights into successful teamwork his incredible career has afforded him – the driver in a racing team sits at the hub of a group of experts channelling their unique skills towards the goal of winning. Every individual is linked by that shared vision and invariably it is the weakest link in the chain that determines whether the team will win or lose. Words like camaraderie, commitment, motivation, team-work and trust find their true value when a racing car slides into the hands of the pit crew, at 3 o’clock in the morning of a 24-hour race, for a tyre change and a refuel during a monsoon.
Ben’s career was forged in competition and the search for inner strength. The Stig epitomised a superhuman quality that was effortless and matter of fact, but the man behind the mask had to dig very deep for every victory, every lap time and every inch of tarmac. His story is not one of indomitable victory, but of learning to overcome setbacks, of calculated risk taking and survival along with a little luck.
Motor racing is a sport that thrives on new technology and is pioneering the energy systems of the future that will replace the use of carbon-based fuels. ‘High tech’ requires investment and Ben works continuously with the media and focused organisations to deliver funding for his racing programs. In the modern media landscape of ‘here today, forgotten tomorrow’, racing provides a visceral platform for corporate communication with Ben delivering at the sharp end on and off the track.
Entertainment, Innovation, Motivation, Fear & Risk, Sport, Teamwork