The Man in the White Suit: The Stig, le Mans, the Fast Lane and Me by Ben Collins

by |October 7, 2010

The Stig gets his kit off and reveals how he came to be Top Gear’s iconic racing driver and so much more – including what it’s like to thrash an Aston Martin DBS, train for the Army and face the terror of Jeremy Clarkson’s underwear!

When the Black Stig disappeared off the end of an aircraft carrier in 2003, we were introduced to The White Stig. Faster. Stranger. Harder to keep clean. And ever since, millions have wondered – who is The Man in the White Suit? They′re about to find out.

Ben Collins caught the car the bug young, kicking his dad′s boss in the balls for not giving him a company Jag. This was the attitude that eventually led him to spend seven years sharing a cabin with Jeremy Clarkson′s underwear, James May′s PhD thesis and Richard Hammond′s hairspray. Because he is The Stig.

Now he tells all about life inside the iconic white helmet. What it′s like to guide a blind ex-RAF officer around the Top Gear track; pit a drug dealer′s Mitsubishi Evo against a Trojan tank; set a Vauxhall Monara against Chloe the dancing Ninja; and race double-decker Routemasters against bendy buses. Not to mention all the inside stuff on how the show′s amazing driving sequences are made.

He also reveals how he got to be there – setting

a Dunsfold lap time faster than Michael Schumacher′s. Breaking records with the best of the best at Daytona and Le Mans.

It′s an awesome story, told by an amazing man.

Ben Collins – Top Gear’s ‘The Stig’.

Professional Racing Driver, Presenter, World Record Breaker, Hollywood Stunt Driver and Guest Speaker.

Ben Collins is one of Britain’s most renowned and unusual sportsmen. Ben’s rise through the ranks of international Motor Racing has been a unique journey and he recently made history by becoming the first Englishman to drive in NASCAR for some thirty years.

A Junior Olympic standard swimmer by the age of nine, Ben Collins entered Motorsport in 1994 and began a winning career in Single Seaters (International Formula Three, Le Mans 24 Hours, Formula One Testing). In 2003 a switch to American NASCAR racing brought the European Days of Thunder Crown. Ben destroyed the opposition to score a record number of points, beating experienced drivers from the ARCA, BUSCH and CHAMP CAR series. Ben served in the British Army for four years and maintains his personal fitness by competing in Triathlons and the London Marathon.

Ben has presented a TV show for the BBC called ‘Extreme Teens’ and has also been known to carry out some daring stunts on numerous car shows such as ‘Driven’, ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Pulling Power’. He currently co-hosts the NASCAR show for Sky Sports which is airing live on most weekends. Few racing drivers can boast to have won as many races in such a variety of racing series as Ben, from Le Mans racing to Formula Three and now Nascar Stock Cars. As a journalist Ben provides punchy reports on the hottest racing cars and Supercars for Autosport magazine as well as The Sunday Times. Last year he set multiple world records, drove a car on two wheels and dragged a professional surfer behind a car at over 50 KPH.

Ben Collins has worked with a number of celebrities over the years including teaching Daniel Craig the fine art of advanced driving for the 22nd Bond Movie – ‘Quantum of Solace’. As a consultant on set Ben was a key member of the stunt team which produced some of the most daring car stunts ever seen. From Uri Geller to Sir Jackie Stewart and Nicholas Cage, Ben’s career has been touched by the unusual, the extreme and the unknown.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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