A Taste Of Weekend Racing

June 22, 2010 by Aaron in Formula 1

Most of us weekend track racers will never enjoy the benefits of a team preparing our cars for the track. We spend countless hours under the hood with blood, sweat, and tears to get our cars ready for some casual racing. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button got a little taste of what it’s like to not be a professional driver and have to work on the car you drive.

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  • vince sweeney
    June 25th, 2010 / 13:43 PST

    Now that was cool…………

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F1 Turkey

June 3, 2010 by Aaron in Formula 1

A fairly uneventful race in Istanbul, Turkey this past weekend.

Well, except for dumbass #5 and #6 teammates crashing into each other. Everyone knows rule #1 within the team is “don’t crash into your teammate”. Regardless of whoever fault it was, there was obviously a lack of communication in the team which was indicated by the team’s reaction on the pit wall. Seb probably saw an opportunity to pass and tried to take advantage of it but MW probably didn’t get any notice he was coming so the two morons lost a lot of valuable points and dropped themselves out of leading the constructor’s championship. Lewis Hamilton then inherited first and went on to win the race.

In the closing laps there was some good wheel-to-wheel action between the McLaren teammates and we saw Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger over-reacting in the garage like she knew what was going on; sit down lady, this is racing.

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F1 Monaco

May 17, 2010 by Aaron in Formula 1

The Grand Prix of Monaco is undoubtedly the most prestigious race on the F1 calendar. F1 cars have no business racing on such narrow streets with no run-offs, no place to pass, and an ocean just a few feet away from the most dangerous part of the track but because of all the history behind and events surrounding the race, ol’ Bernie just can’t pull it from the schedule.


Red Bull seems to have ironed out their reliability issues so if they can keep development up, they stand a good chance of going all the way. Rumors of the end of a drivers contract always seems to light a fire under their ass, which might have been the case with Mark Webber. The car already had the pace but it looks like all he needed was the extra edge of pressure to push him ahead of Vettel.


It was unfortunate that Alonso crashed on Saturday, putting him last on the starting grid, but it did add a little more entertainment to the race watching him move up in the field. Judging by his race pace, it didn’t look like he would’ve been fast enough to fight for the win but Alonso’s aggressive driving style is always fun to watch in a tight course like Monaco.


Leave it up to Michael Schumacher to add some drama at the end of the race by passing Alonso right after the safety car pulled off. In the past, cars weren’t allowed to pass after the safety car period until they pass the start/finish line but the rules have changed for 2010 to where they can but the debate lies in the fact that the race was ending with a safety car period but Michael was trying to take advantage of either a mistake with race control or a loophole in the new rules. He has been handed a 20-second penalty which dropped him back a couple spots pending his appeal with the race stewards. Coincidentally it’s the same corner Michael parked himself at during qualifying for the 2006 Monaco GP and blocked Alonso on his hot lap. Damon Hill is also a steward for this race so it should be very interesting. Look up Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill, Adelaide 1994 for some insight into their history.

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The Real F1 Season Begins

May 8, 2010 by Aaron in Formula 1

Now that the F1 circus is back in Europe, the real season begins. The flyaway races are great but all the new Herman Tilke designed courses just don’t have that historical F1 feel like Spa, Silverstone, Monaco, Monza, etc. With most of the courses being within a few hours from most teams’ home bases, upgrades are quickly put on the car and great for fans like me to see development from race to race. Something I’ve always had a strange interest in are the team motor homes they are now able to drive to the paddocks. These extravagant mobile buildings are something that don’t get much coverage but are simply incredible. The trailers morph and expand into giant hospitality suites and has even become a behind-the-scenes competition amongst the teams.

Some pictures of team mobile homes:
(remember, these are all mobile trailers!)

Some of the teams have a little catching up to do. Obviously McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull have the most extravagant ones but I hear Vijay Mallya is building a badass one for Force India that will be debuted later this season.


Now that the teams have arrived in Spain, Mercedes looks to have one of the biggest upgrades to their car. They have a radical new air intake channel and a longer wheelbase car, hopefully this gives them enough pace to battle with the Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s up at the front.

Sauber has struggled to get sponsors at the beginning of the season but looks like they managed snag Burger King for Spain. But just doesn’t seem to look right on an F1 car…

Here’s a cool preview of Spain with Red Bull using their F1 simulator.

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The Cost Of Carbon Manufacturing – BMW & SGL Carbon

April 29, 2010 by Aaron in Automotive

To put into perspective how much carbon fiber SHOULD cost to produce. BMW and SGL Carbon have announced a joint venture where SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC will build a state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, WA. During the initial phase, US$ 100 million will be invested and 80 local jobs will be created. Compare this to the cost of cheap replica carbon manufacturers and you get a sense of the cost of properly produce quality parts. Granted this facility won’t be producing carbon fiber hoods or cosmetic accessories but actually carbon composites for upcoming BMW vehicles, it is is something to think about when loosely using the word carbon or dry carbon to describe parts. Not all carbon is created equal.

As another comparison, the Challenge Technology Center in Japan which produces ASM dry carbon and frp products is a million+ dollar facility with state of the machinery. So do the math, a million dollar facility to produce a $1500 bumper compared to a couple thousand dollar facility to produce a $500 replica part, which is a better value?

See the ASM aero part manufacturing process

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F1 China

April 20, 2010 by Aaron in Formula 1

This race had all the great elements to a race. Unpredictable weather, controversy, multiple winner favorites, crashes, and lots of passing. The only thing that could have made it more exciting would have been a better announcer. F1 is covered by Speed Channel here in the states and Leigh Diffey stepped in for Bob Varsha during the Malaysian GP and it was a bit of a treat to have an energetic Aussie calling the race. I never really had a problem with Bob Varsha until how incredibly boring he is compared to Leigh Diffey, the announcer really does make a difference in the entertainment value of the event.

Back to the race, I’ve always been a fan of Jenson Button, likely because of his loyalty to Honda during the bad and less bad times. He may not have the raw talent of other drivers but he’s consistent and lucky enough to walk away with a championship last year and already 2 wins this year. Congrats to him on the win over the weekend. Lewis Hamilton still continues to walk away with no penalties for his actions on track, whether you believe it was his fault or not, you can deny that F1’s golden boy seems to be able to get away with more than others have been able to. In general, the race stewards seems to be more lax these days with handing out penalties. During qualifying, Christian Horner was bold enough to broadcast and make light of the accusation Red Bull has a ride height adjustability system and even though Red Bull took the front row, they never seem to take advantage of the weather, this is one team that I’d like to see get a lucky break. Looking forward to the European rounds coming up in a few weeks!

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The Others from RevSpeed Tsukuba Time Attack 2009

April 8, 2010 by Aaron in Motorsports

Although the primary reason we were at Tsukuba Time Attack was to help and support the ASM team, we did have some time to walk the paddock and check out what the competition brought out.

The Voltex Cyber EVO driven by Tazan Yamada was able to break the 55″ mark with a time of 54″925, .3 sec faster than last year with some minor aero improvements.
The organizers might have to start enforcing ride height rules if everyone starts dragging bumpers like this!

Voltex was also showing off their street trim EvoX.

Tarzan was out in the Cusco/Tomei STi that was at the Redline Time Attack in Buttonwillow just a few weeks before. The Brembo magnesium-alloy calipers didn’t break a sweat at a short course like Tsukuba with the cool weather.

The all dry carbon Revolution FD3S was like looking at a SuperGT car and it managed a 55″915. It looks like this car was capable of much more with some development.

F360 on TE37’s, nice.

Nobuteru Taniguchi gets a Segway while Hiroki Kato has to make to with a mini-bike.

Random pictures from the event:

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Mercedes SLS GT3 – WOW!

March 24, 2010 by Aaron in Motorsports

I’m normally not a huge fan of Mercedes or the SLS but wow, the SLS in race trim sure as hell looks very good in an old school modern vintage racer kinda way. Thumbs up to Mercedes for building these for privateer racers! Not only does the car look nice, the composition and quality of these pictures are amazing. Mercedes is trying hard to make a mark of their own in the modern supercar arena without McLaren.


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F1 Bahrain – Season Opener

March 15, 2010 by Aaron in Formula 1

The events leading up to this year’s F1 opener in Bahrain has made this one of the most anticipated F1 seasons in recent times. The top stories have been the new team, Virgin Racing, Lotus Racing, HRT F1, and of course the failure of USF1 to make it to the grid. You could say USF1 is was so fast they finished the season already but in reality they just reconfirmed why US teams have never been successful in producing an F1 contender. The other major headline has been the return of 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher. He’s been one of those F1 figures that you either hate or love but most will respect the magnitude of his achievements in the sport. The driver shuffle has also made it an interesting year for team/driver pairings resulting in an all-British team at McLaren, an all-German team at Mercedes, and an all-Latin team at Ferrari.

Season opener impression: Overall, fairly uneventful with no surprises. Seems that pre-season testing was accurate in judging the relative speeds of each team. It was no surprise Ferrari had the speed this year and regardless of my opinion of Alonso, he is one of the fastest drivers in the field and capable of winning if put in a competitive chassis. Seems as though Adrian Newey’s decision to skip the first test in lieu of more windtunnel testing gave them an aero advantage but maybe as a result the car suffered from a mechanical failure that may have been solved with more on-track testing. You know what they say, doesn’t matter how fast a car is if it can’t finish the race. As for the new teams, I give Lotus a lot of credit for finishing the race. It is an achievement just to be on the grid let alone finish their first race with both cars. Although HRT retired early, they were at least able to get 2 cars onto the grid and get them off the line when the lights went out, considering the hurdles they went through, they have something to be proud of. If the season unfolds the way Bahrain did, it may end up being an uneventful season. Let’s hope the mid-pack teams can catch up with development so we can start seeing some wheel to wheel action.

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