Ben Collins (racing driver)

Ben Collins.jpg
Ben Lievesley Collins (born 13 February 1975) is a racing car driver from Bristol, England. He has competed in motor racing since 1994 in many categories, from Formula Three and Indy Lights to sportscars, GT racing and stock cars.

Collins was placed second in the Marlboro Masters Formula 3 championship event in 2000. He set the pace at the 2001 Le Mans 24 hours race in his first season for approximately four hours during the rain at night. After winning the European Stock Car Championship in 2003 ASCAR stock car racing he was signed by PDM Racing to do selected rounds of the 2004 Indy Racing League, but the car never appeared. In 2005, he competed in the British GT Championship in a Porsche 996 GT3, winning races on the way before moving up to the FIA GT Series with Ascari where he led races and scored several pole positions.

In addition to racing, Collins' company Collins Autosport Limited provides precision and stunt driving services, particularly for BBC Television, including Top Gear and Top Gear Live, as well as for the film industry, such as driving James Bond's car in Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale, and Eve Moneypenny's car in Skyfall.

In August 2010, several British national newspapers reported on an allegation made by The Sunday Times that Collins may be one of the identities of The Stig—an otherwise unidentified presenter on the Top Gear show—on the basis of financial filing made by the Collins Autosport company. On 1 September 2010 the BBC was refused a court injunction preventing Collins from publishing an autobiography revealing himself to be The Stig. On 1 October 2010, it was announced that Collins would join Fifth Gear as a presenter. In 2012 Collins joined as co-presenter of Polish TVN's Automaniak. In February 2014, he was added to the 'Drivers Club' of the newly formed Formula E series, but did not compete in the inaugural 2014-2015 season.

Collins was born in Bristol, but spent the first ten years of his life in California in the USA, where his father worked for a distribution company. Collins was educated at Blundell's School and after studying law at the University of Exeter, he spent around four years serving in the British Army, serving some of his time as a Special Forces driving instructor. His racing career started in 1994. He worked for Hornby as brand manager of the Scalextric model slot car division. As of 2010 Collins continued to live in Bristol.

Collins has competed in motorsport since 1994. In 1995 he competed in Formula Vauxhall Junior, finishing third overall with two wins and eight podiums. He also competed in the Formula Opel Winter Series, placing second overall driving for Sir Jackie Stewart who commented in Autosport Magazine, "When you see the likes of Ben Collins in Formula One, remember you saw them here first".

This page was last edited on 19 June 2018, at 17:25 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Collins_(racing_driver) under CC BY-SA license.

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