Local lad making good!
Remember this name - Sandy Stuvik. I have mentioned Sandy
before, but he is now officially the strongest hope that Thailand has of having
a representative in Formula 1 in the future. Still only 15 years of age, Sandy
has been tops in every category he has competed in, from go-karts through to
Formula Renault. Yes, at 15 years of age he has just won the Asian Formula
Renault series, even though there are still two rounds to go! In the 12 races in
the Asian series the Pizza Company/Dacon sponsored young Norwegian/Thai driver
has been on the podium 12 times, a feat no other driver has managed.
Todt and Sandy Stuvik
The Royal Automobile Association of Thailand and the Sports
Authority of Thailand introduced Sandy to Jean Todt, the president of the FIA
who was in Bangkok on his way back to Europe after the Korean GP, saying that
the hopes of Thailand were resting on his young shoulders.
Having very convincingly won the F. Renault Asia, Sandy’s
next step will most likely be the European Formula Renault series, again
depending upon the level of sponsorship required. Getting to the top in motor
racing is an expensive business.
I know Sandy personally and he is a very personable and
polite young lad and will be an excellent ambassador for Thailand, but it is a
long way to F1. I saw Mark Webber as a 17 year old with enormous promise in
Australia many years ago, and it has been a very difficult road for him to be
only now challenging for the World Driver’s Championship. I hope it will not
take Sandy as long!
Brabus SV12 R Biturbo
Brabus, that modifier of Mercedes vehicles has come up with
what must be the ‘ultimate’ four door limousine, the Brabus SV12 R Biturbo.
Try these for supercar numbers - zero to 100 km/h in 3.9
seconds and zero to 200 km/h in only 10.3 seconds. To produce acceleration
figures like that from a two tonne four door sedan requires an enormous number
of neddies and incredible torque. The SV12 R Biturbo develops 588 kW from the
S-Class Mercedes-Benz’s twin-turbo V12 power plant and 1420 Nm (1047 lb-ft) of
torque, but Brabus limits its output to 1100 Nm (812 lb-ft) to keep its gearbox
internals inside the casing. Top speed? You should see 350 km/h (217 mph in the
old money). It is not a high-revving engine, with peak torque at 2100 RPM and
peak power at 5500 RPM.
To do this, Brabus took the 5.5 liter Mercedes V12 out to 6.3
liters, by enlarging both bore and stroke. The whole engine is balanced, has
high performance camshafts, flowed cylinder heads, a carbon-fiber air intake
system, four water-to-air intercoolers for the two turbo chargers and a
quadruple exhaust system.
The SV12 R Biturbo 800 uses enormous 12-piston, fixed
aluminium brake calipers on a 380 mm x 36 mm steel front braking system, and
there are six-piston calipers with 355 mm x 28 mm discs at the rear, to provide
more than double the braking power of the standard S-Class.
Brabus also modified the Active Body Control’s computer to
lower the ride height 15 mm to minimize body roll and to help keep the
aerodynamics more stable at high speed
It would be hard to imagine any four door sedan being as
quick as this. Price? I have no idea, but does it matter?
What was the first car offered with a reversing light? Clue -
it was 1921.
Autotrivia: I asked what was the first car offered
with a reversing light? Clue - it was 1921. It was the Wills-Sainte Claire in