One racer's rain-off is another's boost as crews set off on cross-Atlantic contest

Fast, fast, fast was the prediction from all five skippers as they left New York for the Krys ocean race across the Atlantic to Brittany as sailors were set to profit from the same, basic meteorological factors that were causing such problems for Formula One drivers at Silverstone on today.

Five-minute memoir: Adrian McKinty recalls a scary school run during the Troubles

Each weekday my brother and I would walk over to the major's house and wait with his son, a boy at our school, while he went outside and looked under his Ford Granada for a block of Semtex. When he was satisfied that there was no bomb, he would tell us to come outside and then he'd drive us all to school. This went on for several months until one particular snowy morning in January 1982 when the major muttered that it was too cold for that nonsense and we were all just to get in the car.

With records in mind, Giovanni Soldini will be relying on the sail power of a beefed up 70-foot yacht, rather than V8 power of a Maserati GranCabrio Sport

Giovanni Soldini talks up Class 40

He’s raced around the world alone, crossed the Atlantic umpteen times, and is currently chasing records in a supercharged beast of a Volvo 70, but Giovanni Soldini, highly critical of the current state of ocean racing, is telling everyone who will listen that a much smaller yacht, the Class 40, is today’s best bet for the next few years.

Canada, By Richard Ford

In the lonely wilderness of America, the dreams of childhood, and of parenthood, come to grief.

Tourist's car blown up by terror police

A tourist had his car blown up by anti-terrorist police after it broke down – and he also got a parking ticket.

Ford Focus ST

Ford Focus ST - First Drive

An outstanding effort that easily matches or exceeds the standard set by its predecessor. David Wilkins delivers one of the earliest reviews

Jens Gram-Hansen (second from left) at the helm of SAP in the Extreme Sailing Series off Istanbul

Extreme Sailing Series director predicts fewer events

South coast gales in an English summer were in stark contrast to the race track off Istanbul, between the Aegean and the Bosphorus, as the founder and organiser of the Extreme Sailing Series, Mark Turner predicted: “There will be less professional sailing events in the next three to five years.”

Work at the Hams Hall plant

BMW produces three-millionth engine at UK plant

BMW has now produced three million four-cylinder petrol engines at its plant at Hams Hall in the UK Midlands. The factory has supplied engines for the Mini since 2006, when the company started phasing out the Chrysler-sourced power units that had previously been used, and it has been producing engines for BMW-badged cars such as the 1-Series, 3-Series and X1 for over a decade.

Rallying: Loeb stretches his advantage after testing rally in Greece

Sébastien Loeb extended his World Rally Championship lead to 31 points after he clinched his fourth victory from this year's six rallies in Greece yesterday.

The Peugeot 301, a compact saloon, is the first of a range of “01” badged cars

301 saloon heralds new chapter for Peugeot

A new Peugeot, the 301, promises to be one of the most significant models in the venerable French car-maker's history. It is the first of a separate range of cars designed to meet the specific requirements of customers in emerging economies but also marks a big change in the system of model names Peugeot has used for over eighty years.

The appliance of science: Bill Williams hopes to train young people in technical skills

UTCs aim to give teenagers the technical expertise they need for apprenticeships

Richard Garner hears about plans for a ground-breaking new college.

Ford regains its credit rating and famous logo

Ford has reclaimed control over its famous blue oval, six years after it mortgaged the logo and a host of other assets in a desperate attempt to avert bankruptcy.

Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost

How Ford has cut its Focus's CO2 output without compromising power

The 1.0 Ecoboost has three cylinders, turns out 123 brake horsepower of work and 125lb of torque

Small but mighty

Bigger means more power. Right? Wrong. A new generation of compact petrol engines could help transform the car industry, and help the environment too. Jamie Merrill reports

Under starter's orders: Shelby gives the command to start a Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway in 2009

Carroll Shelby: Racing driver who won at Le Mans for Aston Martin

Carroll Shelby," the great American racing driver Dan Gurney said, "was an automotive visionary and leader. His West Texas down-home bib overalls style had a huge emotional impact on me and when he launched his now legendary Ford-powered Cobra team, I found myself a very willing volunteer to lend my driving ability to his quest to take on the established European teams on their home turf."

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore