Last week I asked where did the name Aston Martin come from?
It came from the hill climb at Aston Clinton in the UK and Lionel Martin, one of
the founders of the company.
So to this week. Who was known as the Tigress of Turin? Clue: she at one stage
drove the car which had previously won the 1977 Australian Grand Prix.
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email
Malaysian Eff Wun GP next weekend
Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren
With the F1 season having kicked off in Melbourne, we now
have had the opportunity to see and compare the various teams and the
performances of the new cars (and drivers).
Ferrari is again the cream of the crop. Obviously fastest in
qualifying trim, and even more obviously the fastest in race trim, with
Raikkonen over 1 second a lap faster than the McLarens of Alonso and Lewis
Hamilton who had 4 hundredths of a second difference between them. This is why
Hamilton’s race debut was so impressive. He matched the current world champion
in equal machinery. Hamilton is the star of the future.
0.3 of a second behind the McLarens were the BMWs, with
Kubica marginally quicker than Heidfeld. Obviously an equal pairing.
Right in there with the BeeEmms was Rosberg in the Williams,
but he was almost 2 seconds quicker than his team mate Wurz. Sir Frank Williams
will be looking for an improvement, or things for Wurz will get worse.
Down in the Renault camp, Heikki Kovalainen was almost a
second slower than Fisichella, and he has been told in no uncertain terms that
he has to improve. Briatore describing the young Finn’s performance as
“rubbish”. Fisichella was much slower than Alonso last year, so it’s not as if
Kovalainen is being compared to the World Champion either. Heikki must improve
or he’ll be hitchhiking out of the Renault motor home.
The “works” teams of Toyota and Honda will have been
contemplating their futures in the past two weeks. With both teams having been
beaten soundly by ‘customer engine’ outfits (Toyota engines in the Williams and
Honda engines in the Super Aguris) it will be ritual hara-kiri if it happens
again. Heads bowing in apology will not be enough. Heads will roll, literally.
The rest did not do much, other than the Red Bull team which
managed to crash (Coulthard) and spin on the way into pit lane (Webber). There
is definitely a common bond between these two drivers, as Coulthard managed to
crash into the pit fence in Australia a few years ago when he was driving for
Let us see what improvements have been made next weekend in Sepang.
Local Motorsport Calendar
Many of you ask for the local motor sport calendar, and to be
honest, it has always been very difficult to get this information. Many reasons,
some tied up in language barriers, and others through a delightful penchant of
the promoters for changing the dates at seemingly a moment’s notice! However,
for what it is worth, here is the calendar, which came to me courtesy of Thomas
Raldorf from the Pizza Company Racing Team.
Go-kart: Thai National Championship Race series
Round 1: Saraburi February 25 (already run, results can be found on
Round 2: Korat April 1
Round 3: Bira May 20
Round 4: Bira July 8
Round 5: Saraburi August 26
Round 6: Saraburi September 30
Round 7: Bira November 18
Go-kart: Superkart Thailand Race series (Club race series)
Round 1: Bira March 11 (already run)
Round 2: Bira April 29
Round 3: Bira June 3
Round 4: Bira August 5
Round 5: Bira October 28
Round 6: Saraburi December 9
Supercar Thailand Race Series
Rounds 1 and 2: Bira April 28 and 29
Round 3: Squadron 206 Watthananakhon Srakaew July 8
Round 4: Bira September 16
Rounds 5 and 6: (Street Race, on provisional course) Bang Saen Beach, Chonburi
November 10 and 11
Toyota Vios and Yaris One Make Race Series
Round 1: Chiang Mai (Provisional Track at “Sanam 700 Phi”) May 5/6
Round 2: Ubonratchathani (Street race) June 23/24
Round 3: Phuket (Street Race) August 18/19
Round 4: Udonthani (Street Race) October 20/21
Round 5: Bang Saen Beach (Street Race) November 10/11
Honda Racing Festival (note these are all on Saturdays)
Round 1: Bira April 21
Round 2: Bira June 16
Round 3: Bira August 11
Round 4: Bira October 13
Round 5: December 15