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There's 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.

Ben Collins at Le Mans 2001His 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.

Ben Collins ASCAR champion 2003That 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.

Ben 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.

In 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.

Ben Collins with Kelly Racing 2009In 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 Island.

In 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" speaker.

Ben Collins. Driver with RML AD Group 2010The 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 2011.

Ben is also much in demand as a stunt driver, and has appeared in films such National Treasure: Book of Secrets and James Bond’s The 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.

For 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.

Some 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.

Ben has launched a new website: Ben Collins. He also has a very active Facebook profile

Ben Collins testing Audi R10

Ben 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.

Ben Collins racing with RML AD Group

Andy Wallace racing with RML AD Group
Birthdate 13th February 1975
British (Born in Bristol)
Married to Georgie, with three children
Blue with yellow "flames"
Race Debut
1994 (Formula First)
(excl. LM24)

1994: National Formula First - 5th (1 win)
1995: Formula Vauxhall Winter Series - 2nd
1995: Formula Vauxhall Junior - 3rd
Nominated for McLaren BRDC
Autosport Young Driver award
1996: Formula Vauxhall
British Formula 3 (National Class B)
3rd (5 class wins)
1997: British Formula 3 (Champ. Class)
1998: British Formula 3 (International) 7th
1999:Indy Lights (America) 5 top 6 finishes

2000: British F3 Marlboro Masters - 2nd
FIA World Sportscar Championship
(Harrier LR10, MacQuillan Motorsport)
2001: FIA World Sportscar Championship
(Team Ascari A410 LMP900/SR1) - 3rd
I win, 3 podiums.
Tourist Trophy - Winner
2002: American Le Mans Series
(Team Ascari KZR-1 LMP1)

Sebring 12 Hours - 6th overall
Daytona 24 Hours
2003: ASCAR - European Oval - Champion
(Territorial Army Deuce Racing
Chevrolet with RML)
6 Wins, 3 Podiums, 6 Poles, 2 Lap
Records, 9 Fastest Laps, record
Championship points score.

2004: ASCAR - European Oval - 4th
(Team Turn Four Pontiac)
1 Wins, 2 Poles, missed 2 rounds
British GT (Embassy Racing Corvette)
ASA Series (United States)
2005: British GT - 4th overall
(Embassy Racing Porsche 997 GT3)
2 Wins, 2 Podiums
FIA GT Championship
Spa 24 Hours - 5th o/all.
Silverstone - 2nd
Zhuhai (Nissan GT2)
2006: FIA GT3 Series - Lead every race!
(Team Ascari KZ1 GT3)
1 podium, 1 pole
Le Mans Endurance Series
(Reynard and Zytek LMP1)
Formula 1 Testing (Ascari)
2007: FIA GT3 Series
(Team Ascari
GT3) 4 podiums, 1 pole
Britcar 24 Hours - 3rd in class

NASCAR Testing (Red Bull)
2008: American Le Mans Series
(Eco Racing Radical SR10 BioDiesel)

Sebring 12 Hours

2009: Australian V8 Supercar Endurance
(Jack Daniels Holden Commodore
with Kelly Racing) Bathurst & Philip Is.
Formula 1 Testing (Red Bull Racing)
2010: Le Mans Series (Lola HPD with RML)
Algarve (1st LMP2)
Hungaroring (4th LMP2, fourth overall)
Silverstone 1000 kms (4th LMP2)
2011: Le Mans Series (HPD ARX-01d with RML)
Paul Ricard 6 Hours (4th LMP2)
Spa 6 Hours (DNSl)
RML AD Group Imola 6 Hours (8th LMP2)
Silverstone 6 Hours (4th LMP2)

Le Mans
2001: Team Ascari #20.
Retired after running 4th
2002: Team Ascari #21. Retired
2011: HPD ARX-01d (RML) 4th LMP2, 12th o/alll
Ben's alter ego as "The Stig" for the BBC Top Gear programme was revealed in the High Court in September 2010 - a role he adopted in 2003. He is an accomplished stunt driver and has also worked on several Hollywood blockbuster movies, including James Bond's Quantum of Solace. He is a TV presenter, broadcaster, print journalist and "inspirational speaker".

Visit Ben's Website

Visit Ben's Website