13 Oct 2013

Catch-up Corner - some stories from the week we missed

Graham King rounds up some of the week’s motoring stories you might have missed

Murray Walker turns 90

Legendary racing commentator Murray Walker celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this week. It’s been a somewhat trying year for him, between a broken pelvis and a cancer scare. The fact he seems to have recovered from both completely unscathed just adds to my suspicion that he might in fact live for ever.

I met him very briefly when I was manning the gate at an event where he was guest of honour. I thought it highly amusing that he felt the need to introduce himself. It reflected the humility of a man who still towers above the field of motorsports commentary, 12 years after he hung up his microphone.

He’s still a regular in the Formula 1 paddock where a huge amount of affection still exists for him, as it does throughout the motorsport world. He is a true one-off and possibly even a genius in the commentator’s art. Despite the Murrayisms.

Quick quiz time: Only three drivers currently racing in F1 were on the grid for the Murray’s last race as commentator, the 2001 US GP. Who are they, what was their team and where did they finish? Tweet your answers to @HeadBoltz. No prize other than the glory of getting it right.

Alpina launches world’s fastest diesel

Master of understated madness Alpina has launched its new BMW 3-Series-based D3 Bi-Turbo, which claims to be the world’s fastest production diesel car. Using a tuned version of BMW’s 3-litre, straight-six diesel engine with 350bhp and a mountainous 700Nm of torque, it dispatches the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.6 seconds and runs onto 173mph. Yet it also does 53mpg and emits just 139g/km of Co2.

The difference between those performance and economy numbers is staggering and I can only assume that some sort of sorcery was involved in achieving them. Possibly even more remarkably, the saloon costs £46,950 while the Touring estate (how cool will that be?) is £49,950. That’s immense value.