Dr. Iain Corness

Thursday, 26 November 2015 11:05

Abu Dhabi GP this weekend

The Abu Dhabi Yas Marina grand prix circuit hosts the GP this weekend. Abu Dhabi is the most oil-rich in the region and the 5.55 kilometer Yas Marina Circuit has been built using the motorists’ money, extracted at the petrol pumps. Roll on electric power! It was also one of the most boring race tracks in living history and has been universally christened ‘Yawn’ Marina.

Thursday, 26 November 2015 11:03

SAIC pledges expansion for MG

SAIC Motor Corporation, has embarked on an aggressive global sales and manufacturing plan, promising a full range of passenger and commercial vehicles to tackle the world’s automotive giants head on. However, there is no mention of a sports car or even a convertible, forgetting that open air motoring was what made MG great.

Thursday, 26 November 2015 10:55

New “911” returns to turbo

After many years of naturally-aspirated power Porsche has returned to turbocharging with the latest 911 Carrera and its more sporting Carrera S sibling with even greater reserves along with vastly better fuel economy than ever before.

Thursday, 26 November 2015 10:54

Autotrivia Quiz

Last week I gave you an easy one all about a driver, the America’s Cup, Egypt and a camel, and asked who was this famous driver associated with all these things? It was Tommy Sopwith whose father competed in the America’s Cup. Egypt? He raced cars called the Sphinx and his family built the Sopwith Camel planes.

So to this week. Who is this? Patent holder for electrical control systems judged to be 70 years ahead of his time. Designer of one of the world’s best motor cars. Holder of the WLSR. So who is it?

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, 25 November 2015 14:45

I can see clearly now …

One of the medical journals I subscribe to has “Risk Factors” in wearing contact lenses as the leading article this month. They had carried out a large sample of contact lens wearers in the US, asking them about particular risky behaviors and their prevalence was noted as follows:

Sleeping overnight in contact lenses: 50.2 percent

Napping in contact lenses: 87.1 percent

Mixing new solution with old solution in a contact lens case (as opposed to replacing old solution entirely): 55.1 percent

Extending the recommended replacement frequency of lenses: 82.3 percent

Showering in contact lenses: 84.9 percent

Swimming in contact lenses: 61.0 percent

I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty to the lot of them.

You do take your lenses out each night, don’t you? Even with all the advances in lenses, the ophthalmologists still recommend you give the eyes a rest each night. After all, contact lenses are still ‘foreign bodies’.

As you can see (pun intended), it isn’t just a case of bunging some in and forgetting about it. Quite the reverse. With all our organs that can go wrong, did you know that eye problems are some of the commonest reasons for a doctor visit? And for those of you who wear contact lenses (like me) there are even more eye problems for us to get, despite the common use of contact lenses these days.

There are many types of contact lenses, the old hard ones were made of a material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) which is rigid and does not let oxygen through, but the newer ones have a material called siloxane which is gas permeable. These hard lenses are the most trouble free, although the most difficult to look after. Sounds topsy-turvy, I know.

The second type of lens is the soft contact lens, of which there is a “permanent” style and a disposable type. These are made of hydroxymethylmethacrylate (HEMA) which contains between 30-60 percent water and are gas permeable. However, soft disposable lenses give the most problems, but are the easiest to look after, in direct contrast with the hard lenses. Again sounds weird, I know.

The commonest problems with all contact lenses is infection, and since the lens is a foreign body, there is a good reason to get an infection immediately. For those of you who leave your lenses in the eyes overnight, you have an increased risk of infection by a factor of 10. Take them out every night, you have been warned!

Infection is not to be thought of as something that just happens and when it does you just pop in a few eye drops and get better automatically. Bacterial infection can be sight threatening and the cornea (the clear bit in the centre that you look through) can be destroyed in 24 to 48 hours. There is also a parasite that can get into the eye of contact lens users who have rinsed their lens with contaminated water, or who have worn their lenses swimming in contaminated water.

One very common problem is “losing” the lens in the eye, both the hard and soft types. The most important thing to remember is not to panic. The lens cannot go “behind” the eye. It just rolls itself up under the lid. Try to avoid rubbing and it will reappear in an hour or so. Just like the stray dogs in your soi.

The other very common problem is eye irritation. This is caused by material under the lens or damage to the lens itself, such as splitting or tearing. If you take out the lens and you find it breaking up, do not put it back in – you run the risk of damaging the cornea. Do not be like me and wear your “two week” contacts until they fall apart –you are running a risk!

Lens care is the most important feature and you should always wash your hands before removal or insertion. The lens container should be scrupulously clean and the storage/cleaning fluid should be fresh, and never use water.

Look after your lenses, take them out at night, change them frequently and remove them immediately when there is any irritation or redness. “See” you next week!

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.

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