Italian GP this weekend
The GP circus moves to Italy, the home of Ferrari and the Tifosi. Spa was a good
race two weeks ago, so let us hope that Monza will give us some real racing as
well, and hopefully the Mercedes duo will avoid running into each other. Rosberg
has a cool head, Hamilton does not.
Monza is another driver’s circuit; however, like many other circuits, Monza has
not been a single layout, but a series of more than a dozen layouts which have
ranged in length from 2.4 km to 9 km.
The circuit was opened in the Monza Royal Park, near Milan, in 1922 and featured
bankings, though these were demolished in 1939. The bankings which featured in
some races, 1955-69, were new structures built on the format of the original.
Bankings were used for the Italian GP in 1955, ‘56, ‘60 and ‘61, and were last
used for racing of any form in 1969 when the concrete became in need of
substantial resurfacing and rebuilding.
The 1971 Italian GP holds the record for the fastest-ever Formula One race but,
emphatically, that is not the same as saying the fastest race for Grand Prix
cars. That honor remains in the possession of the 1937 Avusrennen with Rosemeyer
in the Auto Union recording a 276 km/h lap (that’s about 165 mph).
After 1971, the circuit underwent some revisions to discourage slipstreaming and
to lower the average lap speed. Chicanes were added in 1976 and, in 1994, the
second Lesmo Bend was tightened and the Curve Grande was re-profiled.
The World Championship which Rosberg has his eye on, is not a 100 percent surety
and is still quite open, with seven more GPs after this one and the silly double
points for the last GP of the year. We can expect that the main protagonists
will still be trying very hard, in particular Alonso, racing in front of the
passionate Ferrari fans.
The racing commences at 7 p.m.
Tripping quietly through the weeds
My clumsy parking.
I logged on to one of those YouTube sites with 10 minutes of
race car crashes, some of which were just incredibly spectacular. In my many
years of motor sport I have had a couple of never to be forgotten examples of
awkward parking, one fire and even a triple barrel roll at the Kaeng Krachan
Circuit two years ago. After all of these, I stepped out without a scratch, even
though the car didn’t look too good.
That led me to thinking about the roll cages inside my cars, and how they
stopped the distortion inside the vehicles, which when combined with seat belts
meant I was only shaken and not stirred!
The roll cages in most race cars generally have hoops to incorporate the A
pillars, the B pillars and the C pillars. The bottom of the hoops goes to the
floor chassis rails, making a “cage” which is securely tied into the shell of
the vehicle itself.
Thinking further, look at the twisted wrecks that occur on the Thai roads after
fatal road accidents, at probably around half the speed of a racing crash, in
which the driver steps out without major injuries.
Surely it must be possible to incorporate a roll cage in a body shell at the
original design? The extra cost would not be much at all, where the “cage” is
just part of the shell.
Of course it is necessary to be wearing a good seatbelt as well, to avoid being
thrown around inside, or out of the wreck. The car in this photo had done three
barrel rolls down the track before coming to rest upside down.
Nitto 3K races this weekend as well
The previous Nitto 3K meeting was held at the Kaeng Krachan
circuit out near Hua Hin last month. The big winners were the BMW’s of Rogero
Carletto and Armin Buschor who led the fields in the Retro division. Our TBX
Retro Escort Mk 1 came home with a 2nd, 4th and 5th trophies.
However, the races at Bira this weekend might show some differences in results,
as suspension settings that suit Kaeng Krachan often do not suit Bira.
There are two days of racing with multiple categories ranging from Daihatsu
Mira’s to hopped up pick-ups and everything in between.
The Retro group is racing Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, which works out
well in that we can go to the Jesters Fair Sunday morning with the kids and then
go to Bira after lunch.
Because of the Jesters Fair we will not be running the AA Insurances hospitality
tent this meeting, but feel free to come and join us in the pits. If you are
handy with a wheel brace, you could even find yourself in the crew!
How quick is your dream car?
Most ‘rev-heads’ have a favorite car, and most of those are
performance machines. Mine’s a Dodge Viper. However I was sent a link to a site
where the performance of various vehicles was concerned. Most had zero to 100
clicks in the 3 to 4 seconds class, and if they could reach 300 kph they took
20-30 seconds to get there.
One of the quickest, as you would imagine, was an F1 car, but you will not
imagine just how fast those cars really are. Zero to 100 kph took 3.2 seconds,
to 200 kph 5.9 seconds and to 300 kph 12.1 seconds, but that was nothing
compared to the times set by a Double A Fueller drag racer where zero to 100 kph
took 0.4 seconds, on to 200 kph took 1.03 seconds and to 300 kph took 1.57
Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=625747924150290
Some looks at longevity of a nameplate
The Mustang is one of the few cars in the world to clock up
50 years of continuous production. The other is the Ford Falcon (to be retired
in 2016 after 56 years), the Volkswagen Kombi (retired after 56 years, 1957 to
2013), the Volkswagen Beetle (retired after 65 years, 1938 to 2003), the
Chevrolet Suburban SUV (79 years and counting, since 1938), the Ford F-Series
pick-up (66 years and counting, since 1948), and the Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD (60
years and counting, since 1954), and the Porsche 911 Carrera sports-car (51
years and counting, since 1963).