Last week I asked about the Old Speckled Hen beer in the UK.
The beer got its name from one of the UK’s most famous motoring marques in a
very roundabout way. I wanted to know the car company and how it was involved in
conjuring up the name of The Old Speckled Hen beer. A look at the label on a
bottle of Old Speckled Hen was the first major clue - it is octagonal, the shape
that relates to the MG Car Company. It appears that MG had an old delivery van
that was not painted properly, the colour was all ‘speckled’ and the van was
known by the workers from the nearby brewery, as the “old speckled ‘un”
and when they needed a name for a new beer it was named after the MG delivery
van but became the Old Speckled Hen! Mein host at the Old Speckled Hen pub in
Jomtien, Martin Smith, assures me this is correct.
I must make mention of the entries for the Morgan front
suspension question, with Mog owners around the world emailing in.
Unfortunately, the first in was my old mate, MacAlan Thompson in Thailand.
So to this week. With the F1 championship kind of hanging by
a thread at the time of writing, who won the world championship and everyone
said it was a fluke? He returned the following year and scored five wins in a
row and won the championship again. Six years later he did it again in a car he
built himself. Who is this driver?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct
answer to email [email protected]
Another new circuit filled with Turkish delight
With the push to take Eff Wun away from Europe and Canada
because of the bans on tobacco signage, new circuits are springing up in the
Middle East and Asia - but don’t hold your breath waiting for the Thai Grand
The latest to stick its hand up is Turkey, with details of
the new Istanbul F1 circuit just released. The ground-breaking ceremony for the
grandly titled Istanbul Turkey Grand Prix Circuit took place on September 10 in
the presence of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and FOA President
Bernie Ecclestone. The bank-breaking ceremony will be done in Bernie’s office
later (or perhaps even done already!).
It is expected that the Herman Tilke designed circuit will be
completed in early 2005 with the inaugural Turkish GP due to take place later
that year. And your guess is as good as mine as to which circuit will be dropped
to leave space for Turkey. But it will be European, believe me.
It joins a minority group of circuits in that it is run in an
anti-clockwise direction, with a total length of 5.3 km. Maximum estimated speed
is 321 kph and the slowest corner will be 96 kph. Spectators are catered for
with a covered grandstand capacity of 75,000 and grassy seating areas for
FIA releases the 2004 F1 calendar
The dates and circuits to be favoured have just been released
by the FIA, with few surprises. Bahrain and Shanghai are in, with Bahrain
getting Brazil’s slot and Brazil becoming the last race of the season. Canada,
as previously reported has been dropped and China gets in instead. Here are the
dates and places for next year.
March 7 - Grand Prix of Australia (Melbourne)
March 21 - Grand Prix of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
April 4 *** - Grand Prix of Bahrain (Bahrain)
April 25 - Grand Prix of Europe (Nurburbring)
May 9 - Grand Prix of Spain (Barcelona)
May 23 - Grand Prix of Monaco (Monaco)
June 6 - Grand Prix of San Marino (Imola)
June 20 - Grand Prix of USA (Indianapolis)
July 4 - Grand Prix of Great Britain (Silverstone)
July 11 * - Grand Prix of France (Magny-Cours)
July 25 - Grand Prix of Germany (Hockenheim)
August 15 - Grand Prix of Hungary (Budapest)
August 29 ** - Grand Prix of Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
September 12 - Grand Prix of Italy (Monza)
September 26 *** - Grand Prix of China (Shanghai)
October 10 - Grand Prix of Japan (Suzuka)
October 24 - Grand Prix of Brazil (Sao Paulo)
* Provisional (subject to contract)
** Provisional (subject to tobacco law)
*** Subject to circuit approval
Better racing at Bira
The race meeting at Bira saw David Auger, one of my old
compatriots from Oz, racing in the Group N (sedan) classes. David who is the ex
2 litre touring car champion has been coming up to Thailand this year and enjoys
the Bira circuit.
The decisive winner in the sedan car group was the Toyota
Corolla Altis of local star Nattavud. The Toyotas are heavier than the Honda
Civics and are slow off the line, so that even though he was pole-sitter,
Nattavud was back in around fourth after the first corner. He then just slowly
picked off the opposition, one at a time, made even easier when Grant Suppapongs
(Honda) broke his suspension and had to retire.
After assuming the lead, Nattavud just kept the field a safe
distance behind him, with Chayut (Honda) 2nd, Apatron (Honda) 3rd, “Pete” in
the second works Toyota 4th and David Auger (Honda) 5th after Hathai in the
Honda was disqualified for fuel irregularities.
In the main event, the 35 lap Sport Grand Champion class, it
was again a Singha Beer benefit, with the Bhirombhakdi boys (the Singha Beer
company heirs), Piti and Sant coming in 1st and 4th, and the Singha Beer entries
of Chayanin and Sanchai, 2nd and 3rd.
The first event for the novices, in the Sport Challenge class
was not a close affair with Kitipong running away from Chaivuth (2nd) and Opars
3rd. Kitipong was 14 seconds in front at the flag and more than a second a lap
quicker than anyone else.