a competitive spirit deep inside Ben Collins,
and it started to show from an early age. By
the time he was nine he had already
achieved Junior Olympic standard as a swimmer,
but a life in water wasn't where he saw himself
heading. Despite failing an RAF medical on
the basis that his eyesight wasn't good enough,
he embarked on a high-speed career in motorsport.
It was one of the best decisions he ever made.
early track record is fairly impressive, with
successful debuts in Formula First and Formula
Vauxhall Junior. His controlled aggression
on track, confidence both in and out of the
cockpit, and an affable nature got him noticed.
In 1995 he was nominated for the
prestigious BRDC Autosport Young Driver of
the Year award, and stepped up into Formula
3. He spent three season there, before a brief
stint with Indy Lights in America, and then
a return to F3 with Carlin Motorsport in 2000.
However, even an impressive second place in
the international Marlbro Masters event wasn't
enough to dissuade him from a sideways move
into sportscars and his selection
as works driver for the
fledgling Ascari team in 2001.
year saw Ben make his debut in the Le Mans
24 Hours. His stint included several hours
in the wettest conditions at the wheel of the
Ascari A410 LMP1, and he was consistently one
of the quickest drivers overall. He edged the
car up to fourth place before handing on the
Ascari to his co-drivers. It eventually retired
with fuel pump issues.
remained an Ascari works driver for seven years,
making appearances in the FIA World Sportscar
Championship, Le Mans 24 Hours, Sebring 12
Hours, American Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship.
2003 he was selected to race with RML in
the oval-style European ASCAR series. He
dominated from start to finish, taking six
wins, three additional podiums and six poles.
He established a succession of lap records,
two of which (at Rockingham and Lausitz Speedways)
still stand. He set nine fastest laps and
his record of wins, championship points and
lap records has never been bettered. “Ben
is a class driver; he knows how to get the
most out of the car and thoroughly deserves
to be Champion,”
said his 2003 team manager at RML, Phil Barker.
2008 Ben was chosen to head the driver line-up
for the ground-breaking Eco Racing Radical
SR10 BioDiesel project. Unfortunately the
team’s appearance in the Sebring 12
Hours floundered over homologation issues.
Last season Ben competed in the Australian
V8 Supercar Endurance championship with Kelly
Racing, co-driving the #15 Jack Daniels Holden
Commodore in races at Bathurst and Phillip
addition to racing, Ben also runs a driver
training programme and lends his talents
to journalism and test driving. In 2009 he
reviewed the Le Mans-winning Audi R10 TDI
for Autosport magazine, for whom he regularly
contributes features and articles. He also
writes for The Sunday Times, and is in some
demand as an after-dinner and "inspirational"
public at large may also have admired his
driving skills, without realising it was
Ben at the wheel, through his work as "The
Stig" on BBC's Top Gear. He
took over the role from Perry McCarthy in
2003, and performed anonymously as the Stig
for seven years, until his identity was
revealed through the High Court in September
2010. His autobiography,
The Man in the White Suit, was published
in September 2010, and is reviewed here.
The paperback edition was launched in April
is also much in demand as a stunt driver,
and has appeared in films such National
Treasure: Book of Secrets and James
Quantum of Solace, where he acted as
stunt double for Daniel Craig. Following his
retirement as The Stig, Ben worked as co-presenter
on Channel 5's Fifth
Gear, although he has also reappeared
on Top Gear - as himself.
a while he acted as Scalextric brand manager
for the Hornby Group, and he has also done
a stint in the British Army. Ben is
an active sportsman, triathlon competitor
and London marathon runner.
accounts even suggest that Ben holds the world
distance record for “skiing”, or
driving a car on two wheels, but this isn't strictly
true, and anyway, it's a skill he won't need
when he drives RML’s HPD.
has launched a new website: Ben
Collins. He also has a very active Facebook
is married to Georgina and lives in Bristol.
He has two daughters, Izzy, four, and Scarlett,
two, and his first son, Cassius, was
born on August 31st 2010.