A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that the Citroen SM was
announced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970. I asked what did the initials S and
M stand for? Peter Eades claimed a friend who had one said it stood for
Sado-Masochist! (The correct answer was S for the project code and M for
So to last week. The world’s first half-tracked vehicle to traverse the snow was
built for the Tsar of Russia. I asked when was this? Clue: Kegresse. Kegresse
was the engineer who came up with the rubber half-track belts and fitted them to
the Tsar of Russia’s vehicles. Dates are given variously as between 1902 and
So to this week. The name Cooper is famous in motor racing. When and where did a
Cooper first have its overseas success? Clue: it was in Asia.
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email
Pizza Company to rival Red Bull?
The involvement of the Pizza Company in motor sport in
Thailand is now very deep, encompassing Formula BMW, sedan car racing, go-karts,
and even a scholarship scheme for up and coming junior drivers.
The scholarship was decided after a traditional ‘shoot-out’ formula, but the
young hopefuls were not just judged on speed, but also on race craft, attitude
The drivers were very close, and at the end of the day after all the tests, the
judges still had three drivers whom were equal on most points, but they all
agreed that 10 year old Wautier Khan just had that little special thing about
him and he was awarded the 2007 scholarship.
Wautier Khan is a Thai national with a Belgian father and a Thai mother. He is
now having his team racing wear made up so that he will be in full team race
colors when he joins his first race in Pattaya on the 11th of March in the Mini
Italkart is having a brand new 2007 frame flown in from their factory overseas,
which he will be racing in during 2007, and the importer of the Mini Rok engines
is currently preparing his brand new engine for collection next week.
Paul Kenny, CEO of the Minor Food Group, told the press that he did not expect
young driver Khan to go and win first out, but that it was important for him
that Khan got the proper teaching during the year, and grew with the task as the
year went on, and he wished him all the best.
Another recipient of Pizza Company sponsorship is James Grunwell, a young driver
who did well in his first year in a world series, competing in Formula BMW. Last
week the Pizza Company confirmed continued support for Grunwell in the 2007
FBMWA season, after he came second in the Thai National Go-Kart Championship.
Thomas Raldorf (L) and Paul Kenny
(R) with Wautier Khan.
Grunwell said, “I am (now) ready for the Formula BMW
championship. The level of competition in the Thailand Nationals was higher than
ever before and it shows how much Thai motorsport is developing. The Meritus
team and I are at the moment still trying to finalize the plans for the 2007
season, which includes finding more sponsors for the BMW races and testing in
Europe and USA.”
Official testing for BMW begins in March with the first race in May at Sepang.
Formula BMW returns to Thailand in June for the second round at Bira
Meanwhile, the ‘original’ Pizza Company Race Team of Paul Kenny, Thomas Raldorf
and Martin Stuvik, who competed in the Toyota Vios series last year, has decided
they enjoyed the experience so much that they have all moved up a category into
the Toyota Yaris one-make series for 2007. Having been a guest driver with the
Pizza Company Racing Team for the Four Hour Endurance race in January, I am
looking forward to having a drive in their new vehicles as well. More on this
In the meantime, if you think you would like to experience the thrills of sedan
car racing, it is possible to have a drive in the Pizza Company racing Vios
vehicles. More details on this by contacting Thomas Raldorf on 081 929 1940.
The team also offers corporate events, where they take company staff or
customers around the track as passengers, and if requested, also let some of
them drive themselves. Bookings for events like these have to be made minimum
three weeks in advance, and can only be on Saturdays or Sundays.
28th Bangkok International Motor Show
The officially world recognized Bangkok International Motor
Show kicks off at the end of this month, running from March 30 through to April
Held again at BITEC (Bangna Km 1), this is the largest show of its kind in the
ASEAN region, and a tribute to the foresight of Grand Prix International’s Dr.
Prachin Eamlumnow, who has been the guiding force behind this motor show for the
past 28 years. With well over 1.6 million visitors, it is definitely popular
with the masses. There is parking within the BITEC grounds as well as parking
areas on LaSalle Street for another 4,000 vehicles. If you are coming by public
transport, then go to On Nut Skytrain terminal and catch one of the 10 shuttle
buses going to BITEC.
Many concept cars and concepts in new technology are promised for this year’s
show, including automotive directions in making this a ‘green’ motor show.
Alternative energy sources will be on display as well.
The main halls are of course for cars and pick-ups, but there are also halls for
motorcycles, heavy machinery, auto equipment and after-market gear for off-road
activities as well as the usual go-faster modifications and another hall for