Welcome to the newest edition of Ask a Gearhead, our Q&A series with enthusiasts and personalities in the automotive space. Last time we spoke with entrepreneur/YouTuber Tom Exton, and today we are very please to feature Oliver Webb!
Oli is a European Le Mans Champion from Manchester, who currently drives in the World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) LMP1 class for ByKOLLES Racing. For non-motorsports fans, that’s the fastest class of cars in the world’s premier endurance racing series. The first race on the WEC calendar for the 2020 season is the 6 Hours of Spa in May.
Outside of racing, Oli is a bit of a renaissance man. He does stunt driving for films like “Mission Impossible” and “Men in Black.” He coaches other stunt drivers for other projects, travels all around the world with his fiancé, and generally seems to live the jet-setting lifestyle of an international race car driver. Check out Oli’s Instagram feed for an enviably steady stream of crazy adventures with crazy cars in crazier places.
What was your family car growing up?
My family had four Toyota Shoguns in a row. I had two brothers and it was just a family car that did the job, so we kept going back to it.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever driven?
Maybe the most disappointing car I’ve driven — which is going to upset some people — was my dream car, the Lamborghini Countach. I had the opportunity to try it but then realized how sh*t it was to drive. Amazing car, but hugely disappointing to drive. Mostly because my expectations were so high and it just fell so short.
If you could own just one car for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well I like big estate- or GT-shaped cars like the RS6, anything with that longer sort of shape with a big boot and four seats but that’s still quick. The Ferrari 812 Superfast GTO isn’t out yet, but I feel like it would be the one. So many cars are so good now but they’re good in such specific ways, and this would cover a lot of bases.
Favorite road trip?
Last May I was the lead driver on an organized tour that started in the very Northeast corner of Spain and ran down to Monaco. It was just a really well-planned route with the best winding roads, best views, and the weather was amazing. I drove a McLaren 720S, which was fantastic. It was a five-day tour that finished in Monte Carlo, just in time for the Monaco Grand Prix.
What’s in your Netflix queue right now?
I’m halfway through that series “Messiah” on Netflix right now. But I’m always a sucker for that old-school comfort stuff, like I always have “Friends” on in the background 24/7.
You’re directing Fast & Furious 9, what’s the hero car?
Has an Eleanor-style Mustang ever been in one of the movies? Definitely that one, but it needs a futuristic take on it. There’s a company called Charge that makes 1967 Mustang GT500s that are fully electric, four-wheel drive, and have bespoke luxury interiors. In terms of being able to do stunts, it would be much easier to do in this car than the old Mustangs. Wouldn’t be as exciting without the noise but it would still be really cool.
What would be the best animal to ride if it were scaled up to the size of a horse?
It’s gotta be a dragon, doesn’t it? That way you can fly.
What activity are you excited to be able to do in a car when self-drivers arrive?
Find out where the fuse box is so I can cut it up. And I will have both hands available to do that.
What’s your go-to Mario Kart character?
Probably Bowser. The big one.
Who would play you in the biopic of your life? And what is it called?
Well everyone always jokes that I would play [F1 driver] Nico Hulkenberg and he would play me, because we look exactly the same. And we’d call the movie “Doppelgänger.”
If you had an ice cream truck, what song would you play from the speaker?
I think I’d play the main Ludacris song “Act a Fool” from “2 Furious 2 Furious” really loud.
What’s the last car you rented, on any platform anywhere?
Well normally I always try and rent the most basic car possible where I’m traveling, to save the race team some money, you know? But the last car I got to properly use for myself was the new modern G-Wagen from Turo, which was amazing to drive. My fiance and I had two friends with us as well and we easily fit all our stuff in the back. It was the full G63 version with all the AMG stuff so that was really nice.