New regulations for the 2006 Championship
Yet again, the F1 regulations will be
changed for 2006. The World Motor Sport Council met in Rome
and approved the following regulations for the 2006 FIA
Formula One World Championship.
Tyres: No longer will it be one set of
tyres per Grand Prix. Each driver will be permitted to use
seven sets of dry-weather tyres for each event. All tyres used
for qualifying and race must be of the same specification.
Tyre changes will be permitted at any time during the race.
Qualifying format: The one at a time
qualifying format was neither equitable nor exciting, so I am
glad this has been changed. Now all cars are permitted on the
track. At the end of the first 15 minute period the slowest
five cars can take no further part in qualifying. These cars
will make up the last five grid positions in the order of
their times, the fastest occupying 16th position.
The remaining fifteen cars then come out
for the next session. At the end of this 15 minute period the
slowest five cars will take grid positions 11 to 15 in the
order of their times, with the fastest occupying 11th
position. This means that if it suddenly rains for this
session, the times set by cars on grid slots 16-20, which
would be faster, do not count. They have already had their
chance. This is a ‘knock-out’ style of qualifying.
For the final period, lasting 20 minutes,
the remaining cars will be arranged on the grid in positions
one to ten in the order of their times, with the fastest on
Fuel may be added to cars at any time
during the first 40 minutes of qualifying and any car
eliminated during the first two periods may then be refuelled
at any time until the pit lane opens for the race. Teams will
be required to fill the 10 cars taking part in the final 20
minute period with the amount of fuel with which they intend
to start the race. Any fuel used during the 20 minute period
may be replaced before the start of the race.
If 22 cars are eligible to take part in the
event, six cars will drop out after each of the fifteen minute
periods leaving ten for the final 20 minutes. If twenty four
cars are eligible to take part in the event, six cars will
drop out after each of the fifteen minute periods leaving
twelve for the final 20 minutes.
In essence, the important new rules allow
tyres to be replaced during the race, and qualifying should
keep everyone trying in every session.
Nattavude win the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia?
The 2005 Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia
title will be decided on Macau’s legendary Guia street
circuit on November 20, in what promises to be one of the most
thrilling races ever.
Just 17 points separate the top four
drivers, and (mathematically) with 20 points up for grabs, the
title could go to any one of them. Adding to the close nature
of this series, championship leader and reigning British GT
Champion Jonathan Cocker has no previous experience of the
demanding and unforgiving Macau Guia street circuit. In fact,
it will be the first time he has ever raced on a street
Local Thai champion, Thailand’s
Charoensukhawatana Nattavude trails Cocker by five points
having led the championship from round two right up until the
race in Shanghai last month. Nattavude has a wealth of
experience at Macau having competed there for many years in
touring cars and, more recently in the Porsche Infineon
Carrera Cup Asia. In fact, Nattavude has been a winner at
Macau on two wheels and four, having been the Macau Grand Prix
Super Bike Champion 1989, 1991 and 1993 (Kawasaki ZXR
750-750R). He has also been the Thailand Grand Touring Car
(TGTC) Champion in 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and
third in 2002; Asian Touring Car Champion 2001 and was third
in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2003.
The other two contenders include Darryl
O’Young, a 25 year old Hong Kong driver, and defending
champion Matthew Marsh, both of whom have also much experience
of the Guia Circuit which can be relied upon to produce plenty
of unexpected additional drama. This is one circuit where one
mistake wins you a wall, not a championship cup!
I have a very high regard for Nattavude, and consider him
to be the most polished current race driver from Thailand. Not
only very skilled, but a nice chap as well.
Carbon-Ceramic brakes. The
What have Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, Ferrari
and a Formula 1 car all got in common? Well, apart from the
fact that they are all high performance automobiles, these
manufacturers are now also offering the ultimate in braking
technology hardware for the top echelon of their products. The
common factor is Carbon-Ceramic brakes.
Use of this composite Carbon-Ceramic
material was developed in the aircraft industry. Aviation
researchers noted the potential for reduced wear and for a
higher and more stable friction coefficient. Use of this
material also reduced brake weight. In aircraft operations,
these carbon materials result in a more rapid operational
turn-around, as they lose their heat much more quickly than
conventional metal discs, and the plane can then be refuelled
safely much earlier than with metallic brakes.
With Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and
Porsche all offering Carbon-Ceramic brakes as an option, it is
worth looking at why these are just so expensive.
For example, Porsche Ceramic Composite
Brakes (PCCB) use a cross-drilled, carbon fiber reinforced
ceramic disc with special composite pads. The new PCCB brake
disc weighs 50 percent less than its cast-iron counterpart
despite considerably larger dimensions. Another key benefit of
PCCB is the carbon brake’s exceptional life. While the
actual rate of wear on all brake components, particularly pads
and discs, is entirely dependent on individual driving style
and vehicle usage, comparison testing reveals a much longer
life expectancy with PCCB than with conventional braking
systems, where Porsche claim 250,000 km or more under normal
So in summary, Carbon-Ceramic brake discs
offer substantial improvements in several fundamental areas.
The ceramic brake disc achieves not only very high, but also
consistent frictional coefficients, maintaining them
independent of temperature and weather conditions.
Carbon-Ceramic brake discs also offer a tremendous weight
advantage over traditional grey-cast iron components. This
reduces the weight of the suspension and means a reduction in
unsprung mass resulting in a further improvement in shock
absorber response and road-holding behavior.
Last week I mentioned that four wheel drive
is commonplace these days, but this was not always the case. I
asked what was the make of the first four wheel drive to run
in a hill climb. Clue, the car was crashed on its second
outing, driven by a man with the same name as the car. The car
was the 4.9 liter Bugatti driven by Louis Chiron at the Swiss
Klausen hill climb on the 7th
of August 1932. One month later it was taken to Shelsley Walsh
in the UK, where Jean Bugatti crashed it in practice.
So to this week. Brooklands racing circuit
once saw a Charron stop for no apparent reason, thought the
driver, until it was noticed that the fuel tank had fallen
off! Quite the opposite was a famous NASCAR episode where the
scrutineers had removed the fuel tank of one car to check its
capacity, and the car was driven off without it. I want to
know who prepared this car?
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