German GP this weekend at Hockenheim
This Sunday is the German GP being
held at Hockenheim, not Nurburgring. Hockenheim was opened in 1939, 15 miles
from Heidelberg, and was used for German national car and motorcycle racing.
In 1965/6 it was uprated to a design by John Hugenholz because one end was
lost when an autobahn was built. The resulting circuit 6.7 km long remained
blindingly quick for most of its length, with a slow section in the
‘stadium’ (i.e. grandstand) area, similar in concept to the arena course at
Silverstone a fortnight ago.
Hockenheim achieved notoriety in 1968 when, at one of the first major races
held at the circuit, Jim Clark was killed in a Formula Two race following
presumed tyre failure. His actual death was caused, however, by the fact
that his car was able to leave the circuit unimpeded and hit a tree.
While the Nurburgring was being made safe, Hockenheim staged the 1970 German
GP with a layout made slower by the construction of three chicanes. It was
not a popular choice of venue but, following Lauda’s accident at the
Nurburgring in 1976, Hockenheim became the home of the German GP for many
years, but these days alternates annually with the ‘new’ Nurburgring.
With Alonso in the Ferrari at the top of the world championship table, Mark
Webber second and German hero Vettel third, expect this to be a fiery race.
We will be watching in front of the huge screen in Jameson’s Irish Pub, Soi
AR, next to Nova Park. The race starts at 7 p.m. Thai time, but get there
around 6 p.m. for a good seat and join us for some dinner and a couple of
drinks before the start. We watch the dedicated F1 channel which has no
breaks for adverts during the race.
World’s longest running motoring event
London to Brighton.
Information is just through from the British Royal
Automobile Club which is hosting the 2012 annual Celebration of Motoring
with the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the RAC Future Car Challenge
and the Regent Street Motor Show. These are to be staged in London during
the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year.
The FIA award-winning annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which
celebrates the dawn of motoring, is the world’s longest running motoring
event. One hundred and sixteen years since it was first run, the event will
take place on Sunday 4 November and the maximum entry of 550 pre-1905
vehicles will once again be reached months before the closing date. The
largest number of overseas entrants ever has already been confirmed and the
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run Concours d’Elegance - arguably the best
in the world - will feature more than 100 pre-1905 vehicles from outside the
UK, including entrants from the USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and
Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee, says:
“The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run gets more and more popular each year
and we’re expecting another full entry of 550 pre-1905 vehicles for the 2012
event. Each year we choose a different country for the London to Brighton
Veteran Car Run to celebrate and in 2012 it is Great Britain, in recognition
of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games. There will clearly be a lot of interest from overseas in
events taking place here this year and we have already had more entries from
abroad than ever for the 2012 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.”
This year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run has clearly attracted a large
international participation because it is the third world-class event in
England this year following the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
On Saturday afternoon 3 November, around 100 of the pre-1905 cars take over
Regent Street (closed for the event) in central London for a Concours
d’Elegance. This display is a free-to-view show for the public and is an
opportunity to see the machines that will be taking part in the Veteran Car
Run on Sunday.
During the afternoon, these veteran cars will be joined by low energy use
(electric, hybrid, hydrogen and ICE) vehicles arriving from Brighton having
taken part in the Royal Automobile Club’s annual RAC Future Car Challenge.
The official finish line is in Regent Street and so is a good place to
spectate. This annual free show will include iconic vehicles to celebrate
the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring.
The first car in the Veteran Car Run leaves Hyde Park on Sunday 4 November
at sunrise (07:02 a.m.) and the 550 drivers taking part will attempt to
cross the finish-line in Madeira Drive, Brighton before 4.30 p.m. As one of
the largest free events in the country it will be supported by tens of
thousands of spectators along the entire length of the route.
The Royal Automobile Club, which was founded in 1897 by Frederick Richard
Simms and given the Royal title by King Edward VII in 1907, is pleased to
welcome Bonhams and Tindle Newspapers as joint title sponsors of the 2012
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Bonhams will once again host the annual
Veteran Car Run auction as well as a reception and hospitality for entrants.
This is the 19th year that the newspaper group proprietor, Sir Ray Tindle,
has sponsored the event. EFG International, RAC Motoring Services, Hagerty,
Abels, Regent Street Association and Kuoni continue their partnerships with
the Veteran Car Run and the RAC warmly welcomes their continued support.
Want a contract to drive in F1? Let’s look at your bank account!
The Venezuelan racing driver Pastor Maldonado has a seat
at Williams F1. He has produced the reputation of being somewhat wild, and
in most races it seems as though he will be involved in hitting someone
along the way. Last meeting at Silverstone he successfully put paid to any
chance for Sauber’s Sergio Perez, leading to Perez wanting more official
sanctions against the Venezuelan.
However, if you think the Williams F1 will do the ‘noble’ thing of
sidelining their driver - think again. Maldonado pays for his seat, and pays
Formula 1 is famous for its paying drivers, those who bring sponsors’ money
to the team, and those who earn a seat for a season or even just a few
races. But it looks like that no one has paid more than PDVSA, the national
oil company of Venezuela, who signed a USD 46 million check to the benefit
of the Williams F1 in return for a seat for Pastor Maldonado, for the 2012
F1 season. The check was paid on October 31, 2011.
How did this knowledge become public? Details of the check came to light due
to allegations coming from President Hugo Chavez’s opponents, who demanded
the contract be made public. A photo copy of the invoice Williams issued to
PDSVA confirms the amount. According to various leaks, the contract runs
until the end of the 2015 season with a payment increase by 2015, when PDVSA
will pay Williams F1 USD 63 million a season.
Maldonado’s rookie season in F1 with Williams F1 last year wasn’t a
brilliant one, as he finished in the top 10 only once, scoring 1 point for
the season, and never made it to Q3 in qualifying. Last season was Williams’
worst season ever as the team collected only 5 points and finished a distant
9th in the Constructors’ World Championship. By the end of the season the
team lost its major sponsor AT&T and still hasn’t revealed a new title
sponsor. During the season most of the senior technical staff parted company
with the team and new staff was recruited to design Williams’ 2012 car. The
team also broke its engines supply contract with Cosworth in favor of a new
contract with Renault.
This year, Bruno Senna joined Maldonado, and he too is a pay driver. Driver
payments offsetting somewhat the loss of revenue from sponsors. However, if
you can top Maldonado’s USD 46 million, I am sure Sir Frank Williams would
like to hear from you.
A new and improved masking tape
While vehicle paint technologies and repair techniques
move on, some of the fundamental consumables, like masking tape, have
remained largely unchanged - until now. In launching its 3030 Premium Auto
Refinish masking tape, 3M has turned its attention to a product that has
seen little change in more than a decade and come up with a new, improved
version that offers a host of benefits for today’s paint shop.
Scotch Tape 3030 Premium Auto Refinish Masking Tape from 3M has been
designed to deliver effective, instant adhesion and superior holding power
even on problem surfaces. The improved adhesive will not leave residue when
it is removed, which can often save up to 15 minutes per repair.
With a smooth surface and excellent solvent and water
resistance, it enables a clean paint line to be achieved with modern paint
systems and, when wet-sanding, there is no need to re-mask. It is
temperature-resistant to 100°C and capable of going through two or more bake
cycles, so an optimized single-step masking process can be achieved, saving
time and materials. Scotch Tape 3030 Premium Auto Refinish Masking Tape also
resists slivering during both unwind from the roll and removal and, unlike
many other masking products, will stay firmly in place during the bake cycle
while applied tape-on-tape.