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Detractors of ITV's Formula One coverage, rejoice - there is a website out there that is campaigning for the end of James Allen's reedy-voiced anorak coverage of your favourite motorsport. Oh, and it's pretty critical of the rest of the motoring industry too...
Motoring magazines, television programmes and websites are ten-a-penny these days, but few are by far and away as satirical and amusing as Sniff Petrol. Updated - or 'released' - once a month, sniffpetrol.com is a single page hilarious look at the motor trade and, most predominately, snippets from Formula One written and produced by an anonymous critic who writes under the pseudonym Sniff Petrol.
His wit and satire when it comes to the construction of his mini-articles are rarely surpassed and his amusing reinvention of old car advertisements leave you gagging for more; this month he's picked on the 1969 advert for the 'new' Austin Maxi, replacing the old strapline with the more modern "More than spacious enough for a threesome!"
On top of the remodelled car ads is a monthly spoof column by David "Crazy Dave" Coulthard, written in commemoration of the Scot's regenerated image after moving from McLaren to Red Bull at the start of last year. The two main articles at the top of the page are nearly always commensurate with the main stories in the motoring presses for the past month; in the case of the May edition Sniff focuses on the recent redundancies at the Peugeot plant at Ryton, suggesting that the French manufacturer might be crass enough to release a special edition Peugeot 206 Redundancé that includes unique features such as power steering to facilitate easier u-turns, reversing sensors to allow for sudden backing out of things and a powerful stereo so that the manufacturers don't have to listen to reasonable arguments. It might sound daft, but if you are up on the motoring trade, Sniff Petrol's amusing anecdotes and barbarous take on all that is car related is really a good read.
Each month, at the bottom of the page, the website puts a caption against a picture of Michael Schumacher talking to his brother Ralph, with a suggestion as to what the seven-times World Champion might be saying to his younger sibling. This month it's "personally I found being mid-field boring" but I can't wait to see what he comes up with in June following the German's actions in qualifying at the Monaco grand prix this weekend. Amongst the spoof articles and advertisements this month is Sniff's own promotion for keeping Goths alive and preventing the black-dressed trudging individuals from being run down: Visigoth, a reflective black band that hails under the advertising line of "Because you're only pretending you want to die."
It's important to remember that none of the advertisements or articles on this website are real, but instead the caustic ramblings of a man who seems to be able to see the perverse side of the motoring press and who is quick to pick on the more ridiculous of stories. The website is simply constructed, quick to load and easy to read as you don't have to follow menu after menu to find the article or story you are looking for; everything is there on the front page. The menu option at the top left of the page simply allows you to visit the archives of all previous Sniff Petrol issues (well worth doing), subscribe to an alert to tell you when the next issue is released, e-mail the author to abuse him or make suggestions and, finally, to join the forum where Sniff Petrol addicts discuss all things motoring. The spelling and grammar do take a little forgiving but in general the website is easy to read and, most importantly, entertaining. If you're in need of a chuckle then you can do far worse things than open up sniffpetrol.com and have a read through this month's rants and raves.
And if that wasn't good enough, you can join the "Stop The Cock" campaign, Sniff Petrol's own campaign to remove the everso slightly annoying James Allen from ITV's broadcast line up. I bought a t-shirt, why don't you?