Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 25 June 2015 11:23

Ford to challenge Le Mans again?

Le Mans has just been run and won by Porsche, taking the glory away from Audi. However, in 2016, Ford has indicated they will enter the new Ford GT in the LM GTE Pro class.

Thursday, 25 June 2015 11:21

Thai-built Chinese van for RHD countries

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and the Thai CP group is gearing up to build the LDV G 10 van range.

The vehicle will be built in Thailand for RHD countries in SE Asia and Australia. It will come in a commercial van guise and also in four and five row passenger variants. This will be alongside the SAIC/CP Group MG sports car lines.

After 60 years, Citroën’s legendary hydraulic suspension with the magic green spheres that were first seen on the iconic DS in 1955 is being phased out. The final model to have the oleo-pneumatic hydraulics is the current generation C5.

Thursday, 25 June 2015 11:16

What did we learn from the Austrian GP?

Well we learned that Formula 1 is getting to the stage of being Farce 1. How can teams continue with rules that can give one team 45 grid positions of penalties? Yes, 25 positions for Jenson Button (McLaren-Honda) and 20 for his team mate Alonso. Why? Because their unreliable and underpowered engines are giving good imitations of hand grenades, but the team cannot change the engines without accruing grid position penalties. This is nonsense. And change a gearbox that’s another 5 grid position penalties. Who dreams this up? It is bad enough that a powerplant doesn’t last - without more penalties on top.

McLaren aren’t the only ones getting grid slot penalties as both Red Bull cars also were penalized for changing gearboxes and/or the underpowered Renault engines in their cars.

Here are the “revised” grid penalties. Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) got a 10 place grid penalty for taking his fifth Renault engines of the year and started P14. That’s five engines since March!

His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was handed the same penalty but was not able to take the full 10-place drop, started P18 and had to take an additional five second time penalty. Great engines, these Renaults.

As for the McLarens, Fernando Alonso started the race 19th on the grid with Jenson Button P20. This was following numerous engine changes of the underpowered Hondas (I think they mixed up and sent McLaren a box of 125 cc motorcycle engines.) Alonso, though, was supposed to also serve a drive-through penalty in the first three laps of the grand prix while Button had to take a 10 second stop-go penalty.

All this was rather academic as Alonso didn’t make it as far as turn three ending on top of Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Button stopped on lap 10 with no power.

Back to being serious, the powers that be in F1 are supposedly very worried about the falling popularity of the category, but you certainly don’t fix the situation with nonsensical rules. And I notice that some categories in Thailand are also adopting this no engine change rule. Damn nonsense. The emperor’s new clothes comes to mind.

So to the race. He who wins the start wins the race it would seem. Rosberg (Mercedes) got the drop on his team mate Hamilton and never was headed after that. When Hamilton then received a five second penalty for crossing the white line on the exit from the pits, Rosberg could relax.

A very popular third was Felipe Massa , the resident dwarf at Williams, who held on to the finish despite being harassed by the driver formerly known as The Finger from Ferrari. Vettel’s team mate Raikkonen looks to have given Ferrari the fuel to set fire to his contract after losing the car (and the plot, it might seem) on the first lap, taking out Alonso in the McLaren.

Bottas took fifth for Williams after a busy race but stayed in front of Hulkenberg (FIndia) and the lapped rest of the final 14 runners, who did produce some passing action, even though so far behind.

The next race is the British GP at Silverstone (July 5) and McLaren are saying that they are making great strides forward. Bollox. McLaren should withdraw both cars from the race NOW, before they embarrass themselves further.

Will Ferrari replace Raikkonen? Not for this meeting, but wait till Italy.

Thursday, 25 June 2015 11:12

Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I asked what car was based on an ugly duckling production sedan, built by Jensen and finished by BMC? It was the Austin Healey 100 BN1 based on the Austin A90.

So to this week. The GT 40 show car of 2002 was legal, but GT 40s built subsequently would have been illegal. Why? Hint: do not forget the legal 2002 car in your answer.

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 .

Thursday, 25 June 2015 10:22

Joint Chambers meet at Dicey Reilly’s

The latest Joint Chambers Networking was hosted by AustCham and held in conjunction with the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM), the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT), the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC), the South African Chamber (SATCC) and The Belgian-Luxembourg/Thai Chamber of Commerce (BeluThai) and with special guests from the Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce. Add to those groups, the Automotive Focus Group (AFG) who held their networking meeting immediately before and were invited to join as well in the Dicey Reilly’s Irish Pub venue of the Marriott.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:50

Are you next for a stroke?

Just about everyone knows of someone who has had a stroke. It is also a very common condition and one of the major causes of death and disability. It can also be prevented which is why I made “stroke” the subject of this week’s “consultation”.

A stroke (also called a ‘cerebrovascular accident’ or CVA) occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen to a specific part of the brain suddenly burst or become blocked. When oxygen-rich blood fails to get through to the affected parts of the brain, the oxygen supply is cut off, and brain cells begin to die.

Strokes fall into several major categories, based on whether the disrupted blood supply is caused by a blocked blood vessel (also known as an ischemic stroke) or by a hemorrhage. Since each type of stroke has a different type of treatment, it is very important for the physician to determine the cause of the stroke, as well as the location, as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, it is no longer a case of guesswork, but several diagnostic studies may be needed to pinpoint the problem area, and to work out whether the stroke is from blockage or bleed.

Some of the treatment modalities include Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan which is generally the first diagnostic test done after a patient with a suspected stroke arrives in the emergency room. It is used to quickly distinguish between an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an advanced diagnostic tool that provides a high level of anatomical detail for precisely locating the stroke and determining the extent of damage. Due to its high level of sensitivity, MRI is considered especially useful when the stroke involves small blood vessels.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is another noninvasive technology for imaging the cerebral blood vessels, which yields valuable information regarding collateral (alternative) blood vessels in the brain.

Carotid Duplex Scanning is a noninvasive study to diagnose blockage in the carotid arteries. This technology involves recording sound waves that reflect the velocity of blood flow.

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) is a newer, noninvasive ultrasound procedure that allows the assessment of blood flow through the cerebral vessels via a small probe placed against the skull. TCD is a portable test, which can be performed frequently at the patient’s bedside to follow the progress of medical treatment for stroke.

PET Scanning, which measures brain cell metabolism, can determine if brain tissue is functioning even if blood flow to that area appears to be diminished.

Cerebral Angiography (angiogram) is a diagnostic study that requires injection of a contrast dye through a major artery (usually the femoral artery in the thigh) for evaluation of blood flow to the brain.

So are you having a stroke? The warning signs of stroke include sudden weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body), loss of speech or trouble talking or understanding language, sudden loss of vision, particularly in only one eye, sudden, severe headache with no apparent cause, unexplained dizziness, loss of balance or coordination (especially if associated with any of the above symptoms).

There are several risk factors, including:

Hypertension - having high blood pressure means the blood vessels are under more tension, and certain weaknesses (called aneurysms) can rupture.

Smoking - Smokers get more strokes than non-smokers.

Atherosclerosis - Deposits of cholesterol on the inside of the arteries predispose to blood clots being formed.

Diabetes - Uncontrolled diabetes puts the sufferer into a high risk category.

Alcohol and drug abuse - neither of these make life ‘better’!

Age - The chance of having a stroke increases with age. Two-thirds of strokes occur in persons over the age of 65.

Gender - Stroke is 25 percent more common in men than in women.

Race - The incidence of stroke varies among races. African-Americans have a higher incidence of hypertension than Caucasians, and also a higher rate of stroke.

Family or Individual History - A history of cerebrovascular disease in a family appears to be a contributing factor to stroke.

While you have no control over your family history, you can take steps to decrease your risk factors with appropriate medical advice.

Is it time to consult a brain specialist?

The Austrian Grand Prix returns to Austria and the Red Bull Ring. The circuit has had a revamp from Red Bull and Red Bull Racing will naturally be hoping they can get their first win on home soil in 2014. With Ricciardo’s performance in Canada and Red Bull making threatening “leaving” noises, hopes are not high in the Red Bull Racing garage.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:05

Anti-roll technology for busses

In 2007, NHTSA said ESC could reduce rollovers by 84 percent, preventing between 5,300 and 9,600 deaths annually and up to 238,000 injuries a year once all vehicles are equipped with it.

Around 10,000 people a year die in rollover accidents, even though just 3 percent of crashes involve rollovers.

Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:03

Thailand joins the Speed Camera club

You (and I suppose me) will have to be a little bit more careful on the roads as Thailand does have speed cameras. One chap I know was done for 135 kph in a 120 kph zone. Not an enormous fine at B. 500, but it does get you into a data base that perhaps you might prefer not to be in! But on the plus side, you do get a black and white photo of your car for B. 500.

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