Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 19 November 2015 09:06

Bira races this weekend

The local Bira circuit is the venue for a packed motor racing schedule this weekend. This ranges from “club” style racing (run what you brung) to some very professional categories with many cars using this meeting as a shakedown for the Bang Saen ‘round the houses’ next weekend (November 24-29).

Thursday, 19 November 2015 09:04

Where did we go wrong?

Found some very interesting valuations on some rather expensive motor cars from the auction sheets in the USA. The cheapest was a 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra which went under the hammer for, $1,155,000. Yes, one point one five five million dollars. Not baht. Now I have driven a 289 Cobra, and it was a wonderful experience, but worth 1.1 mill? No way. Anyway, I’d want a 250 LM.

250 LM.250 LM.

The most expensive toy on the block was a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider at $7,700,000.

Next a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Coupe Aerodinamico, $4,070,000.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 (Chassis 10451), $3,657,500.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider (Chassis 16793), $3,300,000.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB (Chassis 08603), $2,750,000.

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO (Chassis ZFFPA16 B000055237), $2,750,000

1968 Ferrari 330 GTS, $2,420,000.

1966 Ferrari 275 GTS (Chassis 08313), $2,365,000.

1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6, $1,980,000.

1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, $1,925,000.

1971 Lamborghini Miura SVJ (Chassis 4892), $1,897,500.

1959 BMW 507 Series II, $1,815,000.

1988 Porsche 959 Sport, $1,705,000.

1962 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II (Chassis 3633 GT), $1,705,000.

1965 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (Chassis 904-107), $1,650,000.

2005 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione (Chassis ZFFHX62X000145369), $1,622,500.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTS, $1,595,000.

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster, $1,567,000.

1964 Shelby 289 Cobra, $1,155,000.

You can see that if you are looking at your vehicle as an investment, better get a Ferrari. I’m sorry but an Isuzu just doesn’t cut it.

Thursday, 19 November 2015 09:02

Will Mobileye save me?

I have just fitted a Mobileye system to my daily driver, as part of an ongoing test for the next couple of months. So what’s a Mobileye? It is a box of electro-trickery which looks down the road, with the same point of view as me as I look down the road.

Thursday, 19 November 2015 09:00

Going nuts in Brazil

The Mercedes steam-roller continued to be the class act of this penultimate Grand Prix in Sao Paolo, with Rosberg taking a lights to flag untroubled victory, with team mate Hamilton second but a high pitched whine was noticeable coming from the driver’s seat. “You have to look at a different strategy for me,” Hamilton told his engineer. “I’m faster than him (Rosberg) but it’s impossible to overtake.”

Thursday, 19 November 2015 08:58

The Evolution goes full circle

After progressive ‘evolutions’, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is about to go out of production. Mitsubishi has previously announced that the petrol, FWD Lancer will be the last Evolution badge in that guise as the Evo line-up will most likely be electric or hybrid SUV models in the future.

Thursday, 19 November 2015 08:57

Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I gave you an easy one – Mercedes had it in 1954, the American Corvette had it in 1957 and the British TR5 had it in 1967. These were all similar “firsts”. I asked what was “it”? It was Fuel Injection.

So to this week. A car was raced in the UK that had connections to the America’s cup, Egypt and a camel. Who was the famous driver?

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 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Good luck!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 15:40

deVine Wine Club has a Di..Vino Affair

The Royal Cliff’s deVine Wine Club went Italian at its recent wine dinner, introducing Federico Rainero, the export manager at the San Patrignano winery, Falesco and Castello di Cicognola.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015 13:42

Phuket launches offensive?

The Australian government is so concerned about their death toll from the annual influenza epidemic that they have once again included a Phuket strain in the 2016 vaccine. This is in addition to the home grown Brisbane strain.

The Brisbane and Phuket strains of the virus contributed to the 25,000 spike in reported cases, explained the Australian Health Minister Sussan Ley. To combat the increase from 65,000 cases to 90,000 cases, Australians will have access to the upgraded vaccine through the National Immunization Program.

In Thailand, from Jan 1 to Feb 23 this year, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) reported 10,032 confirmed cases of the flu, with eight deaths. According to Thailand statistics, a total of 30,024 people throughout the country contracted Type A H1N1 influenza virus last year and 50 of them died. Influenza is an important disease, especially as many Thai people do not have much immunity to the seasonal influenza.

All these statistics were backed up by the World Health Organization (WHO) which reported that in tropical Asia, countries in Southern and South East Asia reported low influenza activity overall - except India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand where activity mainly due to A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in India and A(H3N2) virus in Lao PDR and Thailand continued to be reported.

In South Asia and Southeast Asia, a decrease in influenza activity was observed during August and September, and influenza A (H3N2) predominated in Cambodia, India, China, and Vietnam, with smaller numbers of influenza B viruses reported. In Thailand, influenza B viruses were more frequently reported in July and August, but influenza A (H3N2) and pH1N1 viruses also were identified during May 1–June 27, last year.

All these figures show that the influenza virus is present all year round, and the 2016 quadrivalent vaccine is planned to cover two A strains of influenza (California and Hong Kong) and two B strains of influenza (Brisbane and Phuket).

So, what can you do about avoiding a full-blown influenza infection this year? In one word – vaccinate! My hospital has published some of the important facts about Flu vaccination. While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are still many good reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

Quite simply, flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children.

Flu vaccination may also make your illness milder if you do fall ill. A recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced young children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74 percent during flu seasons from 2010-2012. One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77 percent reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.

There are special vaccination instructions for children aged 6 months through to eight years of age as some children require two doses of influenza vaccine. Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time, as well as some who have been vaccinated previously, will need two doses. Your health care provider can tell you whether two doses are recommended for you.

Vaccination is so important that he Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) will construct the country’s first facility to make influenza vaccine in Saraburi’s Kaeng Khoi district, with production set to start in early 2018.

Following the Cabinet’s approval of the GPO project on Tuesday, Public Health Minister Rachata Rachatanavin said the facility would meet the World Health Organization’s manufacturing standards.

After undergoing lab tests and getting an okay from the Food and Drug Administration, the vaccines would be made available to public, he added. Initially, the facility is expected to produce 2 million doses per year, but that could rise to 10 million doses annually, or 60 million dosages in case of a pandemic.

In some quarters there is resistance to influenza immunization, but to be honest, I cannot understand why. Sure, there are risks involved with immunization, but those risks are very, very small compared to the risks in getting the flu.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:15

Brazil GP this weekend

The Autodromo Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo Brazil plays host to the F1 circus in this their last race for the season. However, with the Constructors championship already sealed, and the Driver’s Championship sealed, there will be no nail biting down to the wire racing at this meeting.

The Brazilian GP has been famous over the years for the unruly crowd and circuit signs that fall down. With the time difference between that side of the world and us, I believe the event will begin at 11 p.m. Thai time on Sunday November 15. Being the world’s great optimist, we watch the big screen at Jameson’s Irish Pub, hoping for some nail-biting action. Come and join us for a few ales before the start. I will be sitting on my usual perch in front of the big screen in Jameson’s, so come and keep me company. We’ll have a couple of ales and rubbish the commentary, unless it is a nail-biting race.

Brazil GP this weekend.

Interlagos Circuit History:

The name Interlagos comes from the Portuguese for ‘between the lakes’ because the circuit was built in a natural bowl which had two small lakes in it. Their position dictated the layout of the 7.2 km track which was built in 1954 close to Sao Paolo (Ayrton Senna’s home city).

Interlagos hosted the Brazilian GP from the first non-championship race in 1972 through to 1980, with the exception of 1978 when it was held in Rio de Janeiro. After 1980, it went to Rio again, until 1989 when it returned to Interlagos, where it has remained.

This coincided with a new layout which retained the old section on both sides of the start/finish line. The infield kept the character of the original, but lap distance was shortened from 7.2 km to 4.3 km. One of the new corners was named after Ayrton Senna.

The official name of the circuit is the Autodromo Carlos Pace in memory of Pace, the Brazilian who scored the only Grand Prix win of his brief career at Interlagos in 1975.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:13

Red Bull with no engine for 2016

F1 has got itself in a right pickle. There is the Red Bull racing team, winner of both the Constructors and Drivers championships for four years in a row, and now they are reduced to pedal power!

With the new engine regulations, the previously dominant Renault engines have been sadly lacking in the power output department. So much so that Red Bull wriggled themselves out of their contract with Renault which was supposed to run till 2016 as the performance just was not there. The reason for that was Red Bull had an agreement with Mercedes to use their engines, and Mercedes has been head and shoulders above the rest for the past two years.

Exploding Renault engine.

Only problem was that Mercedes backed out of any engine deal. After all why should they supply engines to a very real rival?

So Red Bull went to Italy and knocked of the door of Ferrari, to be met with a very polite, “sorry”. They would supply ‘customer’ engines to Toro Rosso (the junior Red Bull team), but no engines with parity to the factory race engines.

All that was left was Honda, who have had the slowest engine all year, but they are adamant that they can deliver for 2016. So Red Bull went cap in hand to Honda, to be told in no uncertain terms by Ron Dennis who has persevered with the Honda hand grenades all this year, that Red Bull could kindly eff-off.

F1 needs Red Bull, and a competitive Red Bull. About all that is left is for them to return to Renault, which is running its own team next year, so any Red Bull engines are very much ‘customer’ grade by this stage.

Watch this space!

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