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Update May 2016


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Automania by Dr. Iain Corness
 

Update May 28, 2016

Monaco Grand Prix this weekend

The money’s in Monaco.

Following on from the win for Max Verstappen and Red Bull and another 1-2 self-destruction by Mercedes in Spain, is there anyone willing to hazard a guess for the winner at Monaco this weekend? With the limitation in passing opportunities round the Monegasque houses, pole position becomes very important. The most critical part of this Grand Prix will then happen on the Saturday. And that’s qualifying. He who is on pole, has a greater than 75 percent chance of winning. So who will be on P1? So far, all the money is on Hamilton, despite Rosberg’s poles this season. Mercedes has built cars that are very fast over one lap (Qualifying), resulting in pole positions at every GP this year, and their cars are nearly bulletproof, though not crash-proof as could be seen in Spain!
However, Monaco is the Grand Prix to be seen at this weekend (as opposed to a Grand Prix to see motor racing at). It is not the GP to go to, unless watching B List ‘super-stars’ is your idea of fun. This may, of course just be jealousy on my part, not even making the D List… The harbor will be bollard to bollard expensive yachts and the villa car parks will have all the Lambo’s, Ferrari’s, Bentleys and Maserati’s you would ever wish for, and so much for the global financial depression. If you go for the atmosphere, then this is the GP for you. If you go for GP motor racing, forget it and go to Spa. Monaco has been processional for the past decade, and in my opinion is unfit for real F1 racing (but then again, I forgot it is the Bernie Show).
I will be watching the race, from my perch in front of the big screen at Jameson’s Irish Pub, Soi AR, going there at 6 p.m. for a meal and a beer before the race at 7 p.m. Why don’t you join me?
Mind you, I did find an excellent viewing spot if you want to fly over. On Thursday May 26 you could have experienced a full day in Monaco on a trackside super yacht experiencing luxury hospitality including breakfast, lunch and a full array of refreshments including a complimentary bar with free flowing champagne and cocktails.
The luxury triple deck super yacht will be moored in a premium zone 1 berth along the Quai des Etas Unis (between the exit of the tunnel and the corner at Tabac), just meters from the track where you will be able to catch all the action in the most stylish surroundings. I’m sorry, I didn’t ask the price!


Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I mentioned that mascots were designed by the auto manufacturers or were added to as after-market accessories by entrepreneurial brass foundries until the Health and Safety wallahs got involved. Remember the Humber Super Snipe with the rubber beak? However, one manufacturer had a naked lady with a four cylinder engine adorning the radiator. What make were these upon? It was the French firm of Ballot, a French manufacturer, initially of engines, that also made automobiles between 1919 and 1932. Édouard Ballot became well known as a designer of reliable engines. He helped Ettore Bugatti in developing his first engines. Finally taken over by Hispano Suiza in 1931, the firm only lasted another 12 months.
So to this week. What European car was built after WW2 using appropriated German tooling. It had been originally sold pre-war by a German company. What car was this?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email [email protected] or [email protected] Good luck!


Update May 21, 2016

MINI goes even further away from its roots

New MINI 7.

If you are an aficionado of velour floor mats, MINI has just the job for you. Called the MINI Seven, it is supposed to make you hearken back to the original Mini which was released as a Morris Mini 850 and with another of British badge engineering brilliance, the Austin variant being called the Mini 7 with both released in 1959. (By the way, I use capitals for the new BMW MINI, and Mini for the original Issigonis designed car.)
To drum up enthusiasm for the “new” MINI, they have repeated an exercise done by General Motors in Australia in 1970 – fancy paint with even fancier names. The 1970 offerings included “Plumdinger”, a strange purple. There were rumors of “Come and get me Copper!” but I think that is stuff of urban legend. The new MINI paint colors include Lapisluxury Blue, Pepper White, Midnight Black and British Racing Green along with contrast Melting Silver roof. And that’s what happens when you subcontract the color choices to Womens Crochet Weakly or similar. By the way, there is actually no “official” British Racing Green (usually written as BRG) as the different countries adopted a color, such as silver for Germany, red for Italy and any sort of green for the UK.
The interior designer also went for fancy materials, including fabric/leather racing seats in Diamond Malt Brown and the velour!
Along with all the colors, your MINI 7 gets two-tone 17 inch alloy wheels, now there’s a strong selling point for you. There is an optional pack to add on LED headlights and other stuff, and VELOUR floor mats again
A range of safety features include active cruise control, collision warning, automatic high beam and road sign detection.
Engines are your choice of four on offer covering the 1.5 liter three cylinder petrol and diesel range and the 2.0 liter turbo four cylinder.
So there you have the “new” MINI Seven. Well worth your while looking this one over. It has velour floor mats.
Come on BMW, you can do better than that.


What did we learn from the Spanish GP?

Well, we learned that the young cloggy (Max Verstappen – Red Bull) is fast, has an old head on his shoulders and deserved his maiden win in Spain. Holding off both Ferrari drivers and his team mate (Ricciardo) he did not put a wheel wrong in an excellent drive. Congratulations Max, now the youngest driver to ever win an F1 Grand Prix.
One catalyst in bringing about the circumstances for a Red Bull win was the first lap collision between the two Mercedes drivers (Hamilton and Rosberg). It was unfortunate that they didn’t read my piece on how races are not won on the first lap – they are only lost on the first lap!
In essence, Rosberg having got the drop on Hamilton, was covering his position on the right side of the track. Hamilton, with an obvious red mist in his eyes went for the gap that wasn’t going to be there. A quick lift of the accelerator would have seen Hamilton slotted in behind Rosberg and ready to attack later.
Many armchair experts out there, many showing national bias, with Martin Brundle as the standard bearer amongst the British contingent, claiming that Rosberg was in the wrong, but I am more impressed with Niki Lauda’s judgment. “It’s very simple for me,” said Niki, Mercedes’ non-executive chairman. “It was a miscalculation in Lewis’s head, I blame him more than Nico. But for the team and for Mercedes it is unacceptable. Lewis was too aggressive to pass him and why should Nico give him room? He was in the lead. It is completely unnecessary and for me the disaster is that all Mercedes are out after two corners.”
The Mercedes duo now being out of the event left the race a straight Red Bull/Ferrari contest and after the first round of tyre changes the order was Verstappen (Red Bull), Raikkonen (Ferrari), Vettel (Ferrari) and Ricciardo (Red Bull). As the race went on, it became obvious that the best tyre strategy was a two stopper (Verstappen/Raikkonen) with the three stoppers (Vettel and Ricciardo) able to see the action up front, but not enough opportunity to pass them. This left Verstappen in the lead with the two Ferraris filling the minor podium positions.
As well as being on the wrong tyre strategy, Ricciardo also had his left rear tyre self destruct leaving Vettel unchallenged for third, while Ricciardo was able to pit and rejoin still in fourth.
I am noticing a tendency for world champions to feel they should not be challenged on the track, because they are the best. Hamilton and now Vettel having a whinge when he was attacked by Ricciardo. Sorry chaps, but there is no hook for your FIA medal in an F1 car! You’re on your own!
I also believe that Pirelli has far too great an influence on the racing and it is interesting to know that the cars will have transmitters to monitor the tyre pressures from the Austrian GP onwards. Reading between the lines, Pirelli is shifting the blame for exploding tyres back to the teams. My simple mind would suggest that Pirelli might try making stronger tyres instead of the eight lap specials they currently supply.
Not a bad Grand Prix, but the Catalunya circuit is known as being very difficult for passing. Not as exciting as the previous GP’s this year.
The next GP is May 29 at Monaco, a circuit where passing is almost impossible.
Top 10 finishers:
1 M Verstappen Red Bull
2 K Raikkonen Ferrari
3 S Vettel Ferrari
4 D Ricciardo Red Bull
5 V Bottas Williams
6 C Sainz Toro Rosso
7 S Perez Force India
8 F Massa Williams
9 J Button McLaren
10 D Kvyat Toro Rosso


Motor Racing is Dangerous

Just a little warm.

Throughout the world, your pit pass for a race meeting will have printed on it “Motor Racing is Dangerous.” This is a legal requirement in many countries, as otherwise the organizers might have to pay compensation if you get injured by a flying wheel or even a flywheel, which I have seen twice, coming straight up and through the bonnet of the Lotus Cortina while the car was in the pits! The other was a Cooper Maserati which had a monumental blow up with piston rings rolling down the main straight at the Lakeside circuit in Queensland, Australia.
But this is Thailand, and this concerns my TBX Retro Racing Ford Escort Mk1. The workshop we used to use was not far away from the Prince Bira circuit, and as the car was road-registered, we did not have the hassles of having to find a trailer and securing the car to it. It is a trifle noisy, but we trundle along at about 2,500 rpm maximum and there’s no real fuss. In fact, there is so little fuss with the car on the public highway that after practice one day, I decided to reward the pit crew and asked them if they would like to drive the car back to the workshop. The answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!” These were very inexperienced crew and quite a few years ago, but very willing to make up for their lack of race car fettling.
I had not gone more than 50 meters down the road when the phone rang. “We’ve lost a wheel,” was the message from the crew.
We drove back, to find the race car parked at the side of the road on three wheels and a dejected pit crew walking towards us with three wheel nuts.
Luckily the damage was not too much. A flare was broken, the rear guard creased and the wheel had some marks, but was still usable. We jacked up the car, replaced the wheel with the three wheel nuts and I drove it back to the workshop.
But the greatest damage was to the crew confidence as it became apparent that in their excitement to get going they had failed to tighten up the wheel nuts on the left rear wheel. Not only that, but as it started to fret on the studs as they drove along, they did not stop to find out what was causing the ‘clunking’, thinking that somehow all these strange noises were part of what a race car felt like in the inside.
We managed to repair the damage to the flare and guard, and it looked presentable for race day, so the crew was forgiven, but there was damage that we had overlooked. The battery lived behind the wheel arch in what used to be the well for the spare tyre, and the battery position had been moved as the wheel hit it. In the last race of the day, the battery moved further forward under braking and shorted out the terminal, causing the battery case to catch fire, and our first non-finish.
No, motor racing might be dangerous, but for me, just getting to and from is even more so.


Autotrivia Quiz

DeLorean DMC-12.

Last week I mentioned that one car manufacturer only made one version. It was bankrolled by a government. It failed. But it now has been resurrected and is being built again. I asked what is this car? It was the DeLorean DMC-12.
So to this week. Mascots were designed by the auto manufacturers and added to as after-market accessories by entrepreneurial brass foundries until the Health and Safety wallahs got involved. Remember the Humber Super Snipe with the rubber beak? However, one manufacturer had a naked lady with a four cylinder engine adorning the radiator. What make were these upon?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email [email protected] or [email protected] Good luck!


Update May 14, 2016

Spanish GP this weekend

F1 in Spain.

The Spanish GP is on this weekend, and the questions on everyone’s lips are, can Ferrari keep taking the game to Mercedes, and can Kimi stay awake long enough to put his countryman Bottas (Williams) down?
Spain has a long history in GP racing, and the 5 km Circuit Catalunya was opened in 1991. A temporary chicane was built at ‘Nissan’ (a very shallow curve) in 1994, but for 1995, ‘Nissan’ was straightened, reducing the length of a lap to 5 km.
Last year we had Maldonado, this year Kvyat has taken the mantle. So, will Kvyat hit three or four cars at the start? Will Alonso just keep his nose clean and get a Honda McLaren into the points again?
We will know the answers to all these questions by Sunday night.
Much speculation as to whether this will be Rosberg’s year for the Divers Championship, but he has only won four GP’s out of 21. This means there is another 425 points up for grabs. Honestly, this means that everyone is still in with a chance, even Kvyat!
I will be watching the F1 in front of the huge screen in Jameson’s Irish Pub (Soi AR, next to Nova Park). The race will start at 7 p.m. but we get there early and have some dinner from the Jameson’s specials menu. Join me for dinner and a beer before the race?


World’s Fastest Convertible

Fastest Topless.

The American tuner Hennessey has set new records with its Venom GTA Spyder with a top speed of 427 kph, quicker than the Bugatti Veyron.
That speed in an open car is quite frankly amazing, and is not recommended for Donald Trump or anyone with a hairpiece.
American tuner Hennessey Performance has claimed the new world speed record for a convertible this week after hitting a top speed of 427.3 km/h (265.6 mph) in the Venom GT Spyder – unseating one of the world’s largest car makers in doing so. With the speed verified by a Vbox measuring device, the open-top surpassed the previous 408.8 km/h mark set by the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse in Germany three years ago.
The new speed record places the Venom GT just short of the 435.5 km/h outright speed record set by the fixed head Venom GT, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this year.
At the helm of the new attempt was Ford Performance Racing School director Brian Smith – the same driver who set the outright record earlier.
The high speed run took place at the Naval Air Station in Lenmoore, California – a 4.7 km runway usually designated for high-powered jets.
The convertible, which is based on the Lotus Exige, features a rear-mounted 7.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 1082 kW at 7200 rpm and 1745 Nm at 4200 rpm. It sends drive to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
Transferring the power to the ground are Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres which enable a 0-100 km/h time of about 2.5 seconds and 0-300 km/h time of less than 13 seconds.
To commemorate its newest title, along with 25 years of operation, Hennessey plans to sell three Venom GT Spyder World Record Edition models. Each will be priced from $1.7 million before tax.
That record may not last as Bugatti is saying that 450 km/h is not outside the realms of possibility for its upcoming Chiron supercar.


Remember the ‘Twinks’?

 

Le Man MGTD.

The MGA was a favorite of mine, with the swooping curvaceous body being a total departure from the T Series that came before it. The MGA replaced the MG TF 1500 and was announced on 26 September 1955 and it was officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of which were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car.
What many people do not realize, was that the distinctive body shape was penned by MG designer Syd Enever, not for a new MG but for an MG TD in 1951, four years before it was used for the new MGA. The shape was Enever’s idea of streamlining to make the MGTD more competitive at Le Mans.
The first MGA’s had the B Series engine and was 1489cc, but this was progressively enlarged to 1588 and then to 1622, all pushrod single cam. However, a high performance twin cam version of the 1588 engine developing 108 BHP was released in 1958. With 40 horsepower more than the 1500, these should have set the world on fire – but unfortunately the T/C engine is remembered for its woeful reliability as it burned pistons, caused by poor quality petrol and the symmetrical hemi-head design.
MG did a hurried revamp, lowering the horsepower to 100 BHP, but too late! The damage was done and after 2,111 Twin Cams were built, it was dropped in 1960.
We re-designed a T/C engine in 1970 after being given one for no money – the engines being considered worthless.
Brilliant engineer, the late Ivan Tighe, took the capacity out to 2 liters, redesigned the cylinder head and made asymmetric pistons to optimize flame propagation and the detonation problem was cured. Estimated BHP with this engine was 175, which was enough to break axles, explode clutches and tail shafts in the MGB we had dropped the engine into. This car was described by British Leyland as the fastest MGB in the world in 1971. The T/C engine could be made to work.
And if you are an Elvis fan, in the movie Blue Hawaii (1961, Elvis Presley & Angela Lansbury) Elvis sings from his open red 1960 MGA 1600 Mk I roadster. The car made numerous appearances in the first half of the picture, often with camera work that seemed suspiciously marketing-like, panning back to the car or putting the car under complimentary soundstage lighting. Elvis so liked the car he bought it for himself, and after changing hands once or twice, he re-acquired the vehicle, which is now at Graceland with his Lincolns, Cadillacs and Stutzes.


Is this the driverless future?

Leading Australian ethicist Professor Robert Sparrow told the recent Australasian Fleet Conference in Melbourne that in a driverless autonomous future, cars should not be fitted with steering wheels.
He went further to say that when driverless cars are proven to save human lives by eliminating or reducing accident rates, it should be illegal for humans to drive.
Professor Sparrow, who works in Monash University’s philosophy program and in the Centre for Human Bioethics, outlined a future where people would not need to own or drive vehicles but would instead use public transport and mobility services provided by autonomous vehicles.
He admitted this suggested a bleak future for car-makers and, by extension, car dealers as far fewer vehicles would be required to meet society’s transport needs.
“When you talk to people who are gung-ho about driverless vehicles, they insist they will be safer than human drivers,” Professor Sparrow said. “I am inclined to say that, when they do start saving human lives, we should embrace them. Indeed, we should embrace them way more than people think. It should be illegal to drive in the future.”
He said that if the driverless cars of the future came with optional steering wheels, the standard of safety would decline if the driver actually took the wheel. “The full autopilot is better than you are. So, when you get into your vehicle, you place my life at risk,” Prof Sparrow said. “When you put your hands on the steering wheel, you are equivalent to a drunk robot, and you are elevating the risk to me. So I am going to legislate that your car shouldn’t have a steering wheel.”
Prof Sparrow said that even if cars were made with both autopilot and a manual mode, it should be mandatory to use the autopilot. “Steering wheels are dangerous for all sorts of reasons, but they are dangerous because allowing people to drive in the future – when the machines are better at it – elevates the risk to everyone else,” he said, adding that the proposition should be clear for fleet managers. “If you are a fleet manager, you should take the steering wheels out because your cars will collide less. Your fleet will be cheaper to run if you don’t let people drive them and if the machines do what’s promised.”
And that, gentle reader, is just nonsense. But the danger is, some groups of people will welcome this totalitarian rubbish. I think I’d better teach my 10 year old son to drive now, before Sparrow confiscates the steering wheel.


Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I asked what do these cars have in common? The Austin A60 Cambridge, Isuzu Bellet, Fiat 1400-A, Standard Vanguard and Borgward Hansa. And I didn’t mean 4 wheels! It was simply the fact that all were available with a diesel engine.
So to this week. One car manufacturer only made one version. It was bankrolled by a government. It failed. But it now has been resurrected and is being built again. What is this car?
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email [email protected] or [email protected] Good luck!


Update May 7, 2016

New Endurance race series for Thailand

TR Motorsport endurance racer being built.

Champion driver Thomas Raldorf has alerted me to the fact that the RAAT (Royal Automobile Association of Thailand) has authorized an endurance series this year. The races will be held at two different circuits, with two in Buriram and one at Bangsaen.
The series is called the “RAAT 6 Hour Thailand Endurance Championship”.
Race 1 will be held on the 14th and 15th of May in Buriram.
Race 2 will be held on 30th and 31st of July in Buriram.
Race 3 will be held on the 25th of November (a Friday) in Bangsaen.
Thomas will be racing his Honda Integra DC-5 in the 2000cc class, with co-driver Tony Percy who has raced with Thomas before for several years and who was a former team mate with Thomas in The Pizza Company Racing Team which Thomas ran from 2001 to 2010, prior to running his own team TR Motorsport.
Each race (round) is of six hours, with the winner being the team which racks up the most number of laps in the six hours. To add to the logistic problems, each driver is only allowed a maximum of 45 minutes at the wheel and if any driver exceeds the 45 minutes, a lap will be deducted from the team’s total for each minute over 45.
The 2016 final regulations have only just been promulgated so the teams do not have much time to prepare the cars before the May round in Buriram. Thomas’ team, for example is trying to source an FIA approved 100 liter fuel tank and it looks as if it will have to be brought in from overseas. The short notice of the regulations has not helped!


The Last RHD 1973 Porsche Carrera RS 2.7 found in Trinidad

Genuine 1973 RS Carrera with after-market whale tail.

The ultimate early 911 Carrera was the RS, which had the most powerful naturally aspirated flat six taken out to 2.7 liters and developing 230 BHP with a top speed of 150 mph (240 kph). To find one of these is a notable occurrence.
News came to me from a friend in the UK that the independent Porsche specialist Autofarm has continued its knack of uncovering rare Porsches with its latest find, originating in Trinidad. After a colorful ownership history, the last RHD RS 2.7 Touring Carrera produced, chassis number 1576 of the 1590 is also just one of 16 Royal Purple cars built, and has been brought back to the UK via the US by Autofarm’s Josh Sadler.
Sold in the UK in 1973, it was exported to Trinidad in 1978. Having passed through a small number of owners on the island, it was laid up in the late ‘90’s, and then left to bake in the Caribbean sun for some 14 years after its last owner was tragically murdered in 2002!
Despite having received a number of 1980’s style cosmetic modifications over its life in Trinidad, including the rear wing, alloy wheels, tinted windows and aftermarket seats and steering wheel, Autofarm has found an original survivor with a ‘matching numbers’ RS 2.7 with the added kudos of being the last RHD to leave the factory. With so many RS ending up in competition, cars with a documented history and retaining their core originality are extremely rare. And this one has also thankfully retained the unique ‘homologation’ technical features of the very last of the RS series, the ‘short’ trailing arms for what became the Turbo suspension geometry, and the stronger Silumin crankcase, the material used on the 1974 3.0 RS and RSR’s.
“The RS 2.7 is now highly revered by collectors and enthusiasts,” says Autofarm’s Josh Sadler who freighted the 911 back from Florida. “Having worked and raced these cars since they were new and tracked a fair few over their lives, we are often contacted about cars, either for sale, or for help with sourcing or checking if they are genuine specification. A good contact Rikard Asbjornsen in the US alerted us to this car. As is often the case, especially given the circumstances of the former owner’s demise, the family was understandably cautious about enquiries. They actually started to cover the car up with old furniture to conceal it and a number of dogs patrolled the garden. Eventually Rikard was able to agree a deal with the daughter and got the car back to Florida and I acquired it from him there.”
The condition of the car surprised Sadler, who has turned up a considerable number of barn find 911s. “It had literally baked in the sun,” adds Sadler. “The fuel tank was completely dry and I’ve never seen that. However, it remains a very good car and very rare in purple, though it has subsequently received a later metallic hue. Retaining matching numbers is remarkable and we are already in contact with the original exporter so hope to continue to gather ever more details of its fascinating history.”
Plans for the car remain fluid with Sadler debating to either sell or restore it, or even to get it running again and use it ‘as is’. “The modifications we now view as tasteless, but they do tell the tale of the car. It has led a remarkable life and the murder of its owner meant it was left undisturbed for a considerable time. I’m sure it will be worth a lot more if restored but cars are all about their owners and I’ve fallen for the story of this one.”
If you can’t wait to find a 1973 911 Carrera, you can always go and see the Porsche dealers in Thailand and slap 13.5 million baht on the counter and drive away with a new 911 Carrera S. Or if you just want a “Porsche” in your driveway, then you can have a Macan for a sniff under six million.
Addendum: The purple color was a genuine factory paint in 1973, with Porsche offering other strange hues, including pink, which was the color of my 1973 911 which I bought secondhand. I was always going to repaint it but when you are behind the wheel you don’t see the color of the outside!


Smashing time at Sochi

Allow me to reminisce. In my previous life, on Saturday nights we would go to the “Ekka” (the Exhibition Speedway) and watch the Sprint cars demolish each other on the first lap, resulting in re-start after re-start after re-start. The drivers were not professional racers, but were Saturday night heroes. They did not understand that you never win the race on the first lap – you only lose the race on the first lap.
Moving on a couple of decades and you have the highest paid professional race drivers in the world (we’re talking millions of dollars here) racing in Sochi in Russia. Would you believe that they do not understand that you never win the race on the first lap – you only lose the race on the first lap. Better believe, baby!
Russia’s future hope Daniil Kvyat crashes into four times champion Sebastian Vettel, not once, but twice on the opening lap. After smacking the wall, on team radio, Vettel said, “I’m out. Crash. Somebody hit me in the effing rear in turn two, then someone hit me in the effing rear again in turn three? Honestly. What the eff are we doing here?”
Well Seb, let me tell you what you are doing there – you have some older mature heads, such as yourself, racing against young hot heads, such as Daniil. And please don’t forget when you ran into your team mate, not once, but twice, when you were a new young driver too (us older chaps have good memories). These new young chargers have plenty of skill and enough hormones to keep an army upright – but lack maturity.
Also involved in a separate first lap tangle was Hulkenberg (FIndia) and Haryanto (Manor) which saw them first into the showers.
But back to the main crashing event, Kvyat was penalized 10 seconds – a piddling penalty. Exclusion from the next two meetings would have been more in order, and now on to the race report.
The Russian GP was Rosberg’s (Mercedes) to lose, rather than for his team mate Lewis Hamilton to win, coming from 10th on the grid after another engine failure in Qualifying. He benefitted by the opening shambles and was very quickly up to second place with Rosberg 12 seconds up the road, which he began to systematically reduce. However, it was not Hamilton’s day (again) and his Mercedes engine began to lose water pressure and he had to drive with one eye on the water temperature and the other on the track and had to settle for second.
After qualifying well, Bottas (Williams) was on the front row of the grid, but this did not last long, being passed by fellow countryman Raikkonen (Ferrari).
A short safety car period resulted from lap two to allow the track staff to pick up bits of Vettel’s Ferrari and a few spare expletives still ringing in the atmosphere, however, while following the safety car Kimi fell asleep (as is his wont) and allowed Rosberg to skip away when racing resumed.
Hamilton soon passed Kimi making the Finn third, a position he kept till the end.
The Williams team has been benefitting from their Mercedes power plants, but seem to get tired around mid race and both Bottas and Massa seemed to go into cruise mode till the end.
Mention must be made of Alonso (McLaren) who kept the pressure up, nipped and tucked cleverly and even dialed in extra fuel at one stage to set very competitive times. It was great to see the Spaniard obviously enjoying the race, and encouraging for Honda that they are on the right track (pun intended).

Results:    
1 Rosberg Mercedes
2 Hamilton Mercedes
3 Raikkonen Ferrari
4 Bottas Williams
5 Massa Williams
6 Alonso McLaren
7 Magnussen Renault
8 Grosjean Haas 52
9 Perez Force India
10 Button McLaren


Natter Nosh and Noggin

The Pattaya car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park. The next meeting is on Monday May 9 at Jameson’s at 7 p.m. A totally informal meeting of like-minded souls to discuss their pet motoring (and motorcycling) loves and hates (plus lies and outright exaggerations). Come along and meet the guys who have a common interest in cars and bikes, and enjoy the Jameson’s specials, washed down with a few beers. Always a fun night. Be prepared to laugh a lot at some of the antics of the members (when they were younger)! The Car Club nights are on the second Monday of the month only (not every second Monday)!


Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I asked what is this car? It predated the early Morgans which were related to it. It was designed by a woman. It was made in France. That’s enough clues! Related to early Morgans means a three-wheeler, and the French lady produced a car named after herself, the Marie de Bagneux made in Bordeaux in 1907.
So to this week. What do these cars have in common? The Austin A60 Cambridge, Isuzu Bellet, Fiat 1400-A, Standard Vanguard and Borgward Hansa. And I don’t mean 4 wheels!
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email automania@ pattayamail.com or [email protected] Good luck!


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Monaco Grand Prix this weekend

Autotrivia Quiz


MINI goes even further away from its roots

What did we learn from the Spanish GP?

Motor Racing is Dangerous

Autotrivia Quiz


Spanish GP this weekend

World’s Fastest Convertible

Remember the ‘Twinks’?

Is this the driverless future?

Autotrivia Quiz


New Endurance race series for Thailand

The Last RHD 1973 Porsche Carrera RS 2.7 found in Trinidad

Smashing time at Sochi

Natter Nosh and Noggin

Autotrivia Quiz

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