Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 16 April 2015 12:57

AFG Annual Golf Tournament

The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) is Thailand’s premier automotive business leader’s networking group but each year they also promote a great day of golf, meeting people, fun and prizes.

Following the success of previous tournaments, the AFG is happy to confirm that the 2015 Annual Golf Tournament will be held on Friday May 8th 2015 at the Burapha Golf Club in Chonburi.

Registration is from 11.30 a.m., light lunch, tee off for all at 12:30 p.m. (shotgun start).  The drinks, dinner and prize giving will start from 6:00 p.m.

Registrations close by 20th April and the green fees, lunch, dinner and drinks are included in the price, with many prizes to be won.

Entry fees are THB 4,500 per person (includes registration, light lunch, green fees, caddy, buggy hire, drinks, dinner, great company and the chance to win some wonderful prizes).  Contact the AFG President to register before April 20.

The gold sponsor is Supply Chain Services International (SCSI) and minor sponsors include Tractus.  Sponsorship options are still available for a minor sponsor (THB 10,000 includes 1 free player).

There are many prizes to be won for those playing, including a two night stay for two (including breakfast) at the JW Marriot Khao Lak hotel.

Contact Frank Holzer, President Mobile 089 092 7104, Email frank.holzer@ automotivefocusgroup.com or Manita Boontham, (Marketing and Events) Mobile 081 862 4808, Email manita. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

One very new release was the Toyota Mirai (Japanese for “future”). This is a fuel cell vehicle (FCV) and is already on sale in California and destined for Europe later in the year.

Thursday, 16 April 2015 11:39

Bahrain GP this weekend

Yes, Bahrain comes straight after last week’s Chinese GP in Shanghai, and also arrives in Pattaya’s Songkran festivities. Sunday 19 is one of the very few days that Jameson’s will be shut (and I can’t blame Landlord Kim) so we will all have to fend for ourselves. The GP starts 10 p.m. Thai time, so find the closest (dry) pub, and best of luck. You can also watch on your personal computers with live streaming.

Last week I said that the C-Class Mercedes-Benz was one of the outstanding vehicles at the Bangkok International Motor Show. Hot on the heels of last week’s Pattaya Mail came the news that the C-Class has been awarded the World Car Of The Year (WCOTY) for 2015.

75 motoring journalists from 22 countries voted and it finished on top of a 24 car field and eventually beat the two other finalists, the Ford Mustang and Volkswagen Passat.

C-Class.

The other big prizes for 2015, Green Car of the Year and Performance Car of the Year, went to the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 and the Mercedes-AMG GT coupe (the car I chose as the car of the show last week in Bangkok).

The winners were announced at the New York Motor Show at an event hosted by Bridgestone Corporation and Autoneum at the culmination of a six-month voting process.

The C-Class delivers levels of refinement, luxury, safety, ride and handling that challenge best-in-class.

The awards are in their 11th year and previous winners include the Audi A6, BMW 3 Series, Lexus LS460 and Volkswagen Golf, Polo and Up.

To be eligible for the overall World Car award, candidate cars must have become available for sale on at least two continents between January 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015.

The WCOTY wins by Mercedes-Benz follow its victories in the Green Car contest in 2007 with the E320 Bluetec and 2012 with the S 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and its Luxury Car success with the S Class in 2014.

“We are extremely delighted of winning the honor of World Car of the Year,” said the chairman of Daimler, Dr Dieter Zetsche.

The WCOTY judging panel says: “Taking its design and technological cues from the S-Class, the C-Class employs an all-new aluminium/steel hybrid platform and updated rear-drive powertrains that delivers levels of refinement, luxury, safety, ride and handling that challenge best-in-class.”

The World Car awards for 2015:

Overall winner: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Green Car: BMW i8

Performance Car: Mercedes-AMG GT

Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S Coupe

Design: Citroen Cactus

Previous WCOTY winners:

2014: Audi A3

2013: Volkswagen Golf

2012: Volkswagen Up

2011: Nissan Leaf

2010: Volkswagen Polo

2009: Volkswagen Golf

2008: Mazda2

2007: Lexus LS460

2006: BMW 3 Series

Thursday, 16 April 2015 11:35

Autotrivia

Last week I asked what engine was described as having “pistons like dustbins, moving deliberately up and down like lifts by Nogood-Waytis”? This was in reference to the enormous displacement engines seen around 1910-20. This particular one was 21 liter and four cylinder. What was it? It was a Maybach.

So to this week. In an attempt to slow the Googlers, please identify this car.

For the Automania free beer this week, be the first correct answer to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Quiz Car.Quiz Car.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 15:42

Mammograms and BSE. Worthwhile?

The opening of our new Breast Center the other day made me think once more about breast cancer. Screening for breast cancer is still a subject that seems to be controversial, though honestly, I do not know why. The sensationalist press feeds on fear, and by instilling fear into women about detection of breast cancer will always sell a few more papers. Despite mammograms and suchlike, there were cases that escaped detection until it was too late and other such negative predictions. Was it all then a waste of resources and money?

No it is not, says the American Cancer Society’s director of cancer screening, Robert Smith, PhD, who says there is plenty of evidence that mammograms save lives, even for younger women.

“The American Cancer Society and other organizations have endorsed mammography screening for women in their 40s because direct and inferential evidence supports its value in reducing morbidity (injuries) and mortality (deaths) from breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in women,” he says.

Other groups that recommend mammograms every one or two years for women in their 40’s include the US Preventive Services Task Force and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The American College of Physicians guideline says mammograms can reduce breast cancer deaths by about 15 percent among women in their 40’s, but Dr. Smith says newer studies indicate the benefit is much greater - 40 percent or more.

Unfortunately, the cancer detection story is one that suffers from a problem which can be associated with an inexact science. Since we can put men on the moon, clone sheep (and even rabbits in Chonburi) and other incredible facts, we should then be able to diagnose human conditions with pin-point accuracy. Unfortunately no!

Diagnosis and detection are “real time” arts, not sciences. Sure, we use “science” as a tool, but that is all it is. A tool to help us see the problem. Just like we can use a telescope to see things at a distance - even if we can’t see the object, that doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t there. The telescope was facing the wrong way, the object was behind not in front.

There has been a bit of that thinking with mammograms of late. A lady has three annual clear mammograms and then finds she has breast cancer during year number four. Was the testing useless?

Again I ask you to look at the “real time” situation. So today cancer was found. When did it “start” to grow? This week, this month, this year? The answer depends upon the type of the cancer. Some fast growing cancers would be impossible to pick up, even if the person had monthly mammograms. The slow growing variety can be picked up years ahead. Unfortunately mammography cannot be a 100 percent indicator - we are not that good - yet. But it is still one of the best diagnostic procedures we have. And it is better than nothing.

Likewise, Breast Self Examination (BSE) has its detractors as well as its proponents. Sure, a lot depends upon how well the woman carries out this self testing, but again, surely it is better to look than to carry on in blissful innocence?

I do not believe the doomsayers who would tell you that the outcome is just the same. Breast cancer is like all cancers - the sooner you find it, the sooner you can deal with it and the earlier treatment is administered, the better the outcome. In fact, studies from the American National Cancer Institute show that 96 percent of women whose breast cancer is detected early live five or more years after treatment. This is called a 96 percent five year survival rate, one of the ways we measure the severity of life threatening cancers. If it were a 10 percent figure - in other words, after five years only 10 percent of the people were still alive, then I would probably also feel that predictive testing was not all that worthwhile. But it is not that bleak an outcome - 96 percent are still alive and many go on for many, many years.

With new 3D screening tests such as digital mammograms with tomosynthesis, breast cancer can be detected even earlier.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:47

AFG Annual Golf Tournament

The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) is Thailand’s premier automotive business leader’s networking group but each year they also promote a great day of golf, meeting people, fun and prizes.

Following the success of previous tournaments, the AFG is happy to confirm that the 2015 Annual Golf Tournament will be held on Friday May 8th 2015 at the Burapha Golf Club in Chonburi.

Registration is from 11.30 a.m., light lunch, tee off for all at 12:30 p.m. (shotgun start).  The drinks, dinner and prize giving will start from 6:00 p.m.

Registrations close by 20th April and the green fees, lunch, dinner and drinks are included in the price, with many prizes to be won.

Entry fees are THB 4,500 per person (includes registration, light lunch, green fees, caddy, buggy hire, drinks, dinner, great company and the chance to win some wonderful prizes).  Contact the AFG President to register before April 20.

The gold sponsor is Supply Chain Services International (SCSI) and minor sponsors include Tractus.  Sponsorship options are still available for a minor sponsor (THB 10,000 includes 1 free player).

There are many prizes to be won for those playing, including a two night stay for two (including breakfast) at the JW Marriot Khao Lak hotel.

Contact Frank Holzer, President Mobile 089 092 7104, Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Manita Boontham, (Marketing and Events) Mobile 081 862 4808, Email manita. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Let’s go straight to the show stoppers, and there was no doubt about the models from Mercedes-Benz. Just about every one of them reeked “class” and the new GT S from AMG was my favorite. Even in that sickly yellow color it attracted attention.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:06

Chinese GP this weekend

The Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai is this weekend. After a much more interesting race in Malaysia, compared to the season opener in Melbourne, we sincerely hope that the close competition will continue.

The race will start at 1 p.m. Thai time on Sunday, and we watch the dedicated F1 channel (no adverts during the race) in front of the huge screen at Jameson’s! I will allow myself a little longer traveling time just in case, with all the moles out tunneling on Sukhumvit, but the Grand Prix and the Sunday roasts together are too good to miss. Jameson’s is right next to Nova Park, if you are unsure. Get there at noon for lunch and an ale or three.

Shanghai

Here are the GP starting times in Thailand, for the rest of the year:

Apr-12 Chinese Grand Prix 1:00 PM
Apr-19 Bahrain Grand Prix 10:00 PM
May-10 Spanish Grand Prix 7:00 PM
May-24 Monaco Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Jun-08 Canadian Grand Prix 1:00 AM
Jun-21 Austrian Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Jul-05 British Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Jul-26 Hungarian Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Aug-23 Belgian Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Sep-06 Italian Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Sep-20 Singapore Grand Prix 7:00 PM
Sep-27 Japanese Grand Prix 12:00 PM
Oct-11 Russian Grand Prix 6:00 PM
Oct-26 United States GP 2:00 AM
Nov-02 Mexican Grand Prix 2:00 AM
Nov-15 Brazilian Grand Prix 11:00 PM
Nov-29 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 8:00 PM
Thursday, 09 April 2015 11:03

Pilleri Tyres coming soon

Pirelli, the Italian tyre giant, and supplier of tyres to the F1 circus, is being sold to China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) in a €7.1b ($A9.8b) deal that will see one of Italy’s most iconic brands under Chinese ownership.

In an address to the company’s staff, Pirelli chairman and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera told employees the move would strengthen the company both in China and the rest of the world.

Dad’s Tonka Truck

“The agreement with the Chinese will have no impact on employment,” he said. “The opportunity with a partner like ChemChina is for the company to become bigger and to have a more effective penetration of the Asian market. Our factories and employment in general.”

Tronchetti Provera also confirmed the company’s headquarters and research and development would remain in Italy, and the quality for which the company is known would not be affected.

I wonder if the new owners might produce F1 tyres that can last more than eight laps?

Tonka Truck for Dads

Ford’s F-750 truck is a life-size version of the Tonka. The F-750 Tonka was unveiled at America’s NETA Work truck show last week. It is a fully functioning real-life truck nearly 7m long by 2.5m tall.

Believe it or not, the F-750 it is based on and its F-650 sibling are models in the Ford line-up and can be used for many jobs including tipping and hauling. Some customers simply fit them with regular trays and treat them as personal monster truck utes.

Ford may be about to start building right-hand-drive Mustangs but none of the F-series trucks, including the tough F-350, F-250 or all-new aluminium bodied F-150, will be built with the steering wheel on the right.

The F-750 Tonka truck will be sent on a tour of various shows around the US before it gets to work. It won’t be available as a full-time production model, but there is nothing stopping a customer from buying one, painting it yellow and fitting the dumper tray and Tonka decals.

Its regular steel dump tray, built by Truck Tech Engineers, can carry nearly eight tonnes of rocks or sand. The new F-750, which has just been introduced in the US, has a gross vehicle mass rating (which includes the weight of the truck and the load) of up to 15,000 kg.

It’s far too heavy to push and is therefore fitted with a 6.7 liter Powerstroke V8 turbo diesel that at peak tune puts out 246 kW/983 Nm. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with torque converter. There is also a power take-off fitting, which allows the engine to drive an external accessory such as a concrete pump, a crane or in this case, the tipper mechanism.

Customers can also choose a massive 6.8 liter V10 (239 kW/624 Nm) but don’t even think about the fuel consumption! Ford says this petrol engine is easily converted to run natural gas or LPG, which it describes as more “cost effective” alternatives to petrol.

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