Video: Thierry Boutsen dances a Cobra around a soaking Mugello

13th May 2022
Simon Ostler

Generally speaking, anyone willing to send a Shelby Cobra around a racetrack at anything like full speed has to be considered something of an adrenaline junkie. Cobras are known for their bite at the best of times, but factor in a bit of torrential rain and the talent required to maintain control is near-on immeasurable.

That’s why it’s usually left to the best in the business to take the wheel of cars like this, which in this case is where Thierry Boutsen comes in. We’re afforded the perfect drivers’ eye view as he takes the wheel of this 1963 Cobra 289 in treacherous conditions.

After a steady start out of the pits, our man Thierry soon starts to get a handle on things as that small block V8 begins to roar, and we’re treated to a masterclass of driving in the wet. It’s a great insight into how this Formula 1 veteran picks his lines as he searches for grip, tickling the throttle and just barely turning the wheel as he ventures oh so carefully into each corner, waiting until he’s got the car pointed in a perfectly straight line before unleashing all of that power. It’s an exercise in feel rather than vision, because those windscreen wipers are pretty unhelpful.

It all looks like incredible fun, but we’re happy to live vicariously on this one and pretend we are also immensely talented racing drivers – that way we won’t end up in the wall.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: We’d like a ride in Mad Mike’s crazy taxi

  • Elevenses

  • Video

  • Onboard

  • Shelby

  • Cobra

  • Thierry Boutsen

  • Mugello



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