Drive time

Round & About

Formula One

Whatever your vintage or passion, March is a great month for motoring enthusiasts.

Waylands Group shows off the UK’s first plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV

Waylands Volvo in Newbury, Oxford, Reading and Swindon has announced it is now offering the UK’s first plug-in hybrid premium compact SUV to customers. Volvo is the UK’s first car manufacturer to offer plug-in hybrid versions across its entire model range, and its new petrol-electric XC40 T5 Twin Engine completes a full line-up of hybrid cars.

The XC40 has also seen enhancements, with new engine features and generous specification levels adding to its desirability, connectivity and safety – including technology such as the Blind Spot Information system, which monitors and alerts the driver of rapidly approaching vehicles.

John O’Hanlon, CEO of Waylands, said: “We’re pleased to announce that customers can now come and test drive the new petrol-electric XC40 T5 Twin Engine, which is set to be hugely popular.

“Volvo is committed to giving customers the best possible choice when it comes to cars that are better for the environment, practical for their lifestyles and safe for their families. The electrification of our model line-up is just the tip of the iceberg for our sustainability journey, and we’d encourage people who are looking to reduce their environmental impact to come and test drive one of these amazing cars.”

Waylands also offers a wide range of new and Volvo Selekt Approved Used cars, in addition to the plug-in hybrid XC40, and later this year customers can look forward to the pure electric XC40, Volvo’s first all-electric car.

More info

To find out more about the new plug-in hybrid Volvo line-up, visit or email [email protected]

Start your engines! March is considered by many petrolheads & motoring enthusiasts as the real start of the year. With the start of the Formula One World Championships (in Australia 13th-15th March), the Techno-Classica Essenin (Calais, 25th to 29th) and the British Touring Car Championships (Donington, 28th & 29th), there’s tiger in the tank for car fans of all persuasions.

One familiar broadcaster who is looking forward to seeing Lewis Hamilton et al coming off the blocks is ITV sports anchoman Steve Rider. “I’m always excited about the new F1 season,” says Steve, 69, who lives in Bucks. “This year I look forward to a greater injection of competition but am more pessimistic about the sports ability to make the commercial and sporting changes required to make this possible long term.”

Round & About Towers is populated by your larger-than-average number of petrolheads and we’re always interested in what people drive. “My first car was an electric blue Austin A35,” says Steve. “Today I drive a Land Rover Discovery Sport.” Steve, who was the lead presenter for ITV’s Formula One coverage from 2006 to 2010, has seen his fair share of supercars… so what’s his dream car? “I’m not flash! My dream car was an MGB and it still is.” What about Steve’s perfect road trip – what would be his ideal route and who would be his lucky passenger? “The Pacific Highway on the west coast of America. I would auction the passenger seat to the highest bidder to enable me to make the trip in the greatest luxury.”

Industry analysts have heralded 2020 as the year of the electric car, with Oxford car giant Mini, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500 joining the rapidly expanding European EV market. “Electric cars seem to be the future and now we’re being told it’s official,” says Steve.

However, when it comes to technology Steve is very much of the mindset that older can certainly sometimes better… “There is information overload every time you step into a modern car. I look forward to a serious reduction in the constant data a car bombards you with. I also own a 1971 Fiat 500 and am President of the Fiat 500 Club of Great Britain. Motoring at its most basic and enjoyable.”

More info

Steve is the host of the Monaco Business Seminar on 21st & 22nd May. This exclusive two-day event on board a yacht will offer insight into what makes the world’s sporting elite tick, including guest speakers Paula Radcliffe MBE, Sir Clive Woodward OBE and many other stars of the world of motor racing. To book or make any enquiries please contact Ben Lambourne on 07771 760979 or email [email protected]

Driving force

Round & About

Formula One

Oxford teacher David Johnson has a racing start with his art, catching the eyes of his driving heroes Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart

Even from a young age David has always had a fascination of Formula One. After initially watching the sport on television, David attended his first Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1997. What began as an interest evolved into a true passion.

As a child he was always found tinkering in the garage with his granddad, building and restoring all types of products. This hands-on approach built the foundations for an enjoyable journey under the umbrella of design and technology at school. St Augustine’s in Oxford provided many exciting opportunities for students to take part in D&T projects. Under the eyes of his teachers, Mr Rose and Mr Humphreys, David remained drawn to F1 and was encouraged to get closer to the sport. His fondest memory is of the Formula Schools club that saw a team of students design, build, and race a remote control car around a small track at Silverstone.

When leaving school, as a hobby, David started to create paintings depicting some of Formula One’s greats. His first was of Jim Clark racing at Silverstone. Curiously, David decided to sell the painting that gained much interest and realised he could be on to something. As time passed this hobby grew, as did his career. He was now a teacher at St Gregory the Great Catholic School. Always aiming to get closer to the sport, he ran many exciting extra-curricular trips and activities, including Formula Schools which gained much success and recognition. He also organised trips to Formula One events and even took a group of students to Sir Stirling Moss’s home to meet the legend himself.

Throughout this time he strived to apply more focus on artwork and developing his style. It was at this point he contacted Sir Stirling Moss.

Back in 2008 he had sent a letter to Sir Stirling Moss, explaining the desire to create a painting of one of Sir Stirling’s favourite cars, with the hope he would sign the prints. In just a matter of days he received an envelope through the post with the initials SM on the reverse! On the response Moss showed a keen interest having viewed David’s previous artwork, and was happy to discuss his favourite racing cars over the phone.

With the decision of which scene to paint made, David began working on the 1956 Monaco Grand Prix with Sir Stirling Moss leading the pack in his Maserati 250F, holding off Juan Manuel Fangio to secure his first victory at the Principality. In just over a month, he had completed this art piece and it was ready to print. It was then one of David’s proudest moments, as he had journeyed to the home of the personality he’d read about and admired as one of his favourite drivers. Sir Stirling Moss hand signed a number of limited-edition prints and posed for a photograph, and the sense of achievement was great.

From this point he was on the motor sport map. He was approached by motoring publications asking to display his work and exhibited at a number of shows. As he continued to still develop and perfect his skills he had worked with other racing greats along the way including John Surtees, Jody Scheckter and Sir Jackie Stewart, just to name a few. He found himself returning to see Sir Stirling Moss regularly for the breakfast signing slot. Sir Stirling could also see David’s talents grow and wrote to him encouraging him to always follow his passion.

David has started a clean chapter with a new challenge; the palette knife. He has swapped his fine grade brushes with great success and has applied a fresh new look, still with an eye for detail. This modern approach has drawn great interest through social media, and will see him attending the Grand Prix Ball and British Grand Prix where he will be exhibiting and live-painting.

Driver signings continue. In April of this year David proudly met once again Sir Jackie Stewart, this time with a palette knife painting for signing. This was unlike anything Sir Jackie had seen before on canvas as he was astonished by the artwork. The painting is now due to be auctioned in Monaco to raise funds for Race Against Dementia.

David continues to develop his skills with a focus on capturing the excitement and atmosphere of the race. Through his art he hopes to meet and work with many more drivers in the future and leave a lasting impact on the artwork within the motor sport sector.

Please visit David’s website to view more of his work at