May 21, 2015

Hamilton really, really wants to win in Monaco.


Of course everyone wants to win in Monaco because it's like Wimbledon: a step above the rest in prestige.

But Lewis, let's be honest, has not been very good on the streets of the Principality.

May 18, 2015

Lamborghini made Chris Harris eat his words.


Celebrity auto journalist extraordinaire Chris Harris was pretty smug towards Lamborghini at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year:

You can't argue with Harris' second point. Fair to say the vast majority of Lambos are owned by a very specific type. But then, you could make that argument with any supercar couldn't you?

For every Manuma there are a thousand Lambo kids and whole publications are dedicated to Supercar fail schadenfreude.

But the inherent understeer thing? I think the video of a new Aventador lapping the ring sub-7 minutes  clearly calls bull on that.

If your Lambo understeers it's probably due to the sheer weight of all the gold chains messing with the balance.   Remove gold,  get a proper alignment and this becomes possible:

You want a more detailed analysis of the Lambo's lap? Head over to BTG and read it from the local experts.

Watch Moto GP riders pass each other 15 times in 2 laps.

(Photo: Repsol)

Because Moto GP

Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone swapped positions an amazing 15 times in the closing stages of the 2015 French Moto GP race at Le Mans.

The Honda and Ducati riders were scrapping for fourth in a race which was dominated by Jorge Lorenzo from championship leader Valentino Rossi. Third place went to Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

Strange seeing Honda off the podium and Marquez off balance and down in the points. You almost have to wonder if Honda's F1 effort might in some way be weighing on their Moto GP development this season.

Of his game or not, Marquez did put on a hell of a show with "Crazy Joe" Iannone. Marc eventually built enough of a gap and finished fourth.


May 16, 2015

Nürburgring 24 Hours Live stream on YouTube


Vodafone will show off the speed of its LTE network with a broadcast,  live from the 2015 ADAC Nurburgring 24 Hours, via SIM cards installed in number  of cars and even a drone.

Vodafone promises not only networked cars but data from drivers wearing special race suits capable of measuring their pulse and stress levels.

Can Vodafone deliver HD signal live over cellular from inside cars speeding around the Green Hell straight to You Tube?  I'm guessing they figured it out:

The live stream starts a 9AM EDT    Go HERE for details

May 15, 2015

F1 proposes to cut costs with refueling and faster cars.


The Formula One Strategy Group has been meeting to propose changes aimed at ensuring the sport's future sustainability in the face of crushing costs and fan grumbling.

This is what they have come up with:

"The Formula One Strategy Group met yesterday in Biggin Hill to exchange views on the current challenges that F1 faces. Besides the statuary members of the Group, representatives of the engine manufacturers were also invited.

The Strategy Group members have debated a number of levers aimed at improving the show. An initial series of measures has been voted:

For 2016:
– Free choice of the two dry tyre compounds (out of four) that each team can use during the race weekend
For 2017:
– Faster cars: 5 to 6 seconds drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tyres and reduction of car weight
– Reintroduction of refueling (maintaining a maximum race fuel allowance)
– Higher revving engines and increased noise
– More aggressive looks

A few other measures have also been discussed but require further investigation before they can be implemented:
– A global reflection on race weekend format
– Measures to make starts only activated by the driver without any outside assistance

Furthermore, in light of the various scenarios presented by the independent consulting company mandated by the F1 Strategy Group, at the initiative of the FIA, to work on the reduction of costs and following a constructive exchange, a comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport has emerged.

The Strategy Group member Teams have committed to refine it in the next few weeks, in consultation with the other teams involved in the championship. On the engine side, it has been decided that stability of the rules should prevail in consideration of the investments of the manufacturers involved in the sport and to give visibility to potential new entrants. The allowance for a 5th engine to be used during the 2015 season has been rejected.

This constructive meeting between the FIA, FOM and the Teams has allowed paving the way for the future of the championship. All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation."

The idea of cost reduction and the re-fuelling seems typically F1 nutty as does making Pirelli offer all four tire compounds for every race, but what are your thoughts?

May 14, 2015

Pistons, Passions, Pleasures.

No comments:

"It was a crazy idea, not just a contest to find the fastest car but a challenge between man, nature and machine"

Silvana Paladino,  widow of the last descendent of the Florio family,  guides host Francesco da Mosto through the ghosts of a different and splendid moment in the history of Sicily.

"Pistons, Passions, Pleasures- A Sicilian Dream"  traces the history of the Targa and the Florio family from the turn of the 20th century to the end of the race in the 1970's when  Porsche and Ferrari were developing special short wheelbase versions of their prototype cars specifically for this race and when the realities of speed and danger finally killed off a race which made the Nürburgring seem like a kart track.

It was the Belle Epoque and a time of wealth and progress on the island, when Palermo was a destination for European royalty and when the Florios were one of Italy's wealthiest families.

Into that family was born Vincenzo Florio, he did not have to follow the family business and was free to pursue his love of things mechanical and fast.    The rest is history.

This week end, the commemorative Mille Miglia is taking place in northern Italy but even in it's glory days,  that race paled in comparison to the difficulties of the 146 km long Circuito delle Madonie on which the world's first endurance race, the Targa Florio, had been held since 1906.

Sadly, while the legacy of the Mille Miglia endures, Sicily is letting the Targa Florio slip with the passing of those lucky enough to have witnessed it.  A real shame.

This hour long film, directed by Philip Walsh, is beautifully shot and written and stars along with da Mosto, Alain de Cadet and Doug Nye.  It will be well worth your setting aside time to watch it this week end,  especially so if you enjoy films along the lines of those produced by Petrolicious.

1977 was the final year for the Targa Florio.  Since 1906  the greatest names in motorsport were winners there: Nuvolari, Varzi, Villoresi, Moss, Von Trips, Hill, Elford, Siffert, Bandini, Redman, Van Lennep and of course, Mr. Targa Florio, Nino Vaccarella.

Thank you to the producers for preserving their memory with this wonderful film.
(and thanks to Stephen Mitchell!)

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