The latest motoring-inspired books, games, films and tv shows

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The Mechanic's Tale, by Steve Matchett (Orion Publishing. Price: £7.99)

Originally published in 1999, Grand Prix mechanic Steve Matchett's autobiography is honest, philosophical - and a great read. This book is the enthralling follow-up to his earlier work, Life in the Fast Lane, although it stands alone as an account in its own right. Between the two books, Matchett documents 10 eventful years in motorsports, from his days as an apprentice to his experiences working with Ferrari and BMW and ultimately his time spent in the demanding world of Formula 1. The Mechanic's Tale exposes the fast and fickle side of the motorsport world. Matchett recounts his conversations with some of F1's most famous faces and temprements and explains how, in the midst of madness, he never lost touch with reality.


Juiced: Eliminator. Format: PSP Price: £34.99 Release date: 21 July

Juiced: Eliminator takes advantage of the PSP's capabilities, which means it includes a huge range of multiplayer games. A brilliant feature is the new title-snatching 'Eliminator' mode, where the slowest driver per lap is removed from the competition, ultimately leaving the winner driving alone as the last competitor left in the race. Juiced is a long-standing leader in the street-racing genre and for its fans this updated go-faster model will be a must-play. Likewise for dedicated PSP fans, as this version of the game was built from the ground up on PSP, with new PSP-friendly cars, tracks, characters and game modes. There are also two new locations each with eight unique tracks. So put your foot down.

Mario Party 7 (Format: Nintendo GameCube. Price: £39.99)

As the seventh addition to the long-running Mario Party series, GameCube owners clearly cannot get enough of this board-game-inspired, multiplayer title. And many fans will find that enough tweaks have been made to make it worth investing in. New characters have been added, as well as a whopping 86 new mini games, a new Mic Grand Prix mode (a microphone-based voice-over section) and some beautiful new world boards. Impressively, eight players can now do battle at once, reinforcing the series's appeal to group players. Unfortunately, this emphasis on group-play means the single-player mode is disappointing - play can be tediously slow. But MP7 is still worth it, especially for when your mates are round for a party!


The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (Cast: Lucas Black, Brian Tee. Directed by: Justin Lin. Release date: 21 July

In the latest installment of The Fast and the Furious series, Shaun Boswell is a loner and an outsider. He gains street cred by illegal street racing - until his family pack him off to live with an uncle in Tokyo, Japan, seeing that as the preferable alternative to jail. There, thrill-seeker Shaun discovers drift racing - and soon lands himself in hot water again by unknowingly taking on D.K., the "Drift King," and making himself an enemy of the Yakuza clan. Shaun is forced into the dangerous Tokyo underworld, and there follows an all-action rerun of a film we've all seen before. There will be no surprises, but if it's your kind of thing, you'll love it.

Cars (Starring: Owen Wilson, John Ratzenberger, Michael Keaton, Paul Newman. Director: John Lasseter. Release date: 28 July)

Cars is the latest comedy animation from the geniuses behind The Incredibles and Toy Story, moving the cartoon action onto the racetrack... and off it! While speeding down to a big race in California, hot-shot, big-talking stock car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) crashes quite spectacularly, waking the sleepy town of Radiator Springs up with a jolt. The cocky roadster is then sentenced to community service and forced to stay put. There, his adventures really begin when he meets a host of other colourful car characters. If you've loved the other Pixar films, then you'd be silly to steer clear of this one, as it'll surely race past its cinema rivals this summer...

Top Gear 3: To The Metal. (BBC DVD/video. Price: £15.99. Release date: 5 June)

More TV highlights from competitive petrol-heads Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. Oh but those boys have fun, don't they? They race, they crash, they invent silly games to play in the most unlikely vehicles and scenarios. It's every reckless motorists' dream, given acres of uninhabited land, a massive budget and millions of viewers to impress. And, grudgingly, impress they generally do - by dint of their fearlessness and off-the-wall ideas. Here's the best of Top Gear series six and seven all stitched together and sold in the most gloriously boisterous package - including other great extras. Overall, it's exactly what you'd expect: yet another ludicrous rollercoaster of wheel-related mayhem.

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