Another silly name from a Japanese manufacturer, with the Mirage eco-car getting a boot and a new name. Attrage!
Now “Attrage” does very little for me, but Mitsubishi say it is the amalgamation of “attractive” and “Mirage”.
Far from electric cars taking over from the internal combustion engine, comes the news that Better Place, the battery swap specialists, has filed for bankruptcy.
The Canadian Grand Prix was well hyped up before the GP on the Sunday. Close racing was predicted, lots of passing with two DRS zones, long straights, it was to be a highlight of the race year. Unfortunately, the soothsayers did not do too well and it was a processional race, completely dominated by (The Finger) Vettel, who was in a class of his own. Now leading the championship by 36 points, he looks to be uncatchable. Vettel (Red Bull) finished 14 seconds in front of Alonso (Ferrari) and was doing it at a canter. His dominance was such that he lapped the entire field up to fifth finisher.
Interest in the race was sparked by the Finn Valtteri Bottas qualifying his Williams in third to claim his best ever start in F1. However, it did not require much imagination to understand that Bottas’ time was set on a greasy track (the great leveler) and that in a dry race he would become a mobile chicane. Which is exactly what he did!
After Vettel, the drive of the day was Paul Di Resta (Team Vindaloo) who quietly went about his business as a race driver going from 17th grid position, making his first set of tyres last until 10 laps to go, one stop for soft tyres and then finished 7th. By comparison, his team mate Adrian Sutil seemed to be perpetually bouncing off somebody, or some thing.
Fernando Alonso has certainly matured as a driver and his was a well thought out drive from 6th to 2nd. No dramas or risky overtaking moves. For me, now that he has given up the sulks, Alonso is the complete race driver.
Third was Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) who appears more interested in his public image than being a race driver. He has an enormous ego (which all race drivers need), but his results are not commensurate with his opinion of himself! And lose the dog.
Fourth seems to be as good as Mark Webber (Red Bull) gets, and he is embroiled in too many collisions these days. You are witnessing the slow demise of the Australian charger. He has one good season left in him, but expect more fourths. This time he was 25 seconds behind Vettel.
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) came home in fifth, the last runner not to be lapped by Vettel, but he was never in the hunt for a podium position. So much for the win at Monaco which was assisted by the fact that it is almost impossible to pass another competitor at that circuit.
First of the lapped cars was Jean Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) who was delighted with his sixth place, handsomely out-doing his team mate Ricciardo. There is intense rivalry between these two drivers, one of whom may inherit Webber’s seat.
Eighth was as high as Massa (Ferrari) could do after crashing (yet again) in Qualifying. Unless Massa finds his form again, he will be clearing out his locker at Modena and Jules Bianchi will be given the drive. 2013 would be a good time for the little Brazilian to retire.
The Hero to Zero award was easily won by Valtteri Bottas. Starting third on the grid, with huge expectations from the Williams team, to finally finish 14th.
The next GP is the British one at Silverstone on the 30th June. The current standings in the driver’s championship are:
S Vettel (Red Bull) 132
F Alonso (Ferrari) 96
K Raikkonen (Lotus) 88
L Hamilton (Mercedes) 77
M Webber (Red Bull) 69
N Rosberg (Mercedes) 57
F Massa (Ferrari) 49
P Di Resta (Force India) 34
Americans for decades have been fans of sport utility vehicles. According to the world-wide statistics, SUV sales are on the way up everywhere.
Ford Motor Co. is one automaker looking to capitalize on the trend. The BRICS market (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will see Ford offer a mix of small and medium-size SUVs for consumers there.
Last week, I stated that on the 19th of August 1959 a felony was committed by a motorist. He was fined GBP 3. What had he done and how was he apprehended? He had been over the speed limit and was caught in a speed trap (long before radar).
So to this week. Which racing car had two six cylinder engines mounted side by side with the crankshafts rotating in opposite directions?
The DeVine Wine Club presented another spectacular wine appreciation evening with five wines from South Africa served by waitresses in Crocodile Dundee safari outfits and the doors guarded by lovely ladies in long leopard skin outfits. The South African theme was continued with giraffes, lions and other South African animals in bas-relief and even depicted in the ice sculptures!
The humble cup of coffee has come in for another beating. This is nothing new as the controversy has raged since the Middle Ages as to the medicinal, or otherwise, effects of coffee. A 1661 tract entitled “A character of coffee and coffee-houses”, listed some of the perceived benefits:
“Tis extolled for drying up the Crudities of the Stomack, and for expelling Fumes out of the Head. Excellent Berry! which can cleanse the English-man’s Stomak of Flegm, and expel Giddinesse out of his Head.”
However, just like today, there was another side to the coffee bean. An anonymous “Women’s Petition Against Coffee” in 1674 declared: “...the Excessive Use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called Coffee has Eunucht our Husbands, and Crippled our more kind Gallants, that they are become as Impotent, as Age.” In the Middle Ages coffee cleared your head but had disastrous effects on the male dangly bits. Thank goodness we have the Blue Diamonds these days to counteract the effects of the coffee bean!
Unfortunately, there appears to be a rather large army of ‘researchers’ who are studying anything we enjoy these days, from coffee to genetically modified mouse droppings, and with a great splash come out in print with their latest findings and the latest thing that is going to kill you.
Every week in the lay press we are bombarded with horror stories of what dangers we all face. These horror stories come from reports done by legitimate researchers, by the way, picked up by the media and away it goes from there.
On the surface, it all seems very probable. Take the two cups of caffeine and be ready to miscarry item. Dr De-Kun Li of Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, whose study involved 1063 pregnant women who never changed their caffeine consumption during pregnancy. What they found was women who consumed the equivalent of two or more cups of regular coffee or five 340 ml cans of caffeinated soft drink - were twice as likely to miscarry as pregnant women who avoided caffeine.
However, this study of 1063 pregnant women is also a very small percentage of women world-wide who drink coffee while they are pregnant.
However, two days after the shock-horror miscarriage item hit the world media, there was another report. Researchers now claim the much-demonized substance may fight cancer.
After studying more than 80,000 women, US and Australian experts found foods containing caffeine - such as coffee, tea, cola and chocolate - may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, the sixth-most common cause of cancer deaths among Australian women.
According to Assistant Professor Shelley Tworoger of Harvard University in Boston and her colleagues - including medical epidemiologist Associate Professor Dorota Gertig of the University of Melbourne and Victorian Cytology Service - caffeine was beneficial, but decaffeinated coffee showed no health benefit at all.
For reasons they cannot yet explain, the group also found the beneficial effect of caffeine was strongest for women who had never used oral contraceptives or postmenopausal replacement hormone therapy.
The researchers analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing assessment of the well-being of 212,701 female registered nurses that began in 1976 when the nurses were aged 30-35.
Every two years, researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital checked up on the surviving women. After studying the nurses’ history, Professor Tworoger and Professor Gertig’s group found only a very small association between smoking and mucinous tumours, a rare form of ovarian cancer. They also found no connection between alcohol consumption and ovarian cancer.
Oncologist Ian Olver, head of Cancer Council Australia said, “It’s well worth looking into further,” and even coffee and chocolate couldn’t hurt and might even help. “My standard advice is everything in moderation,” he said.
The whole research really hangs on Professor Olver’s statement, “It’s well worth looking into further.” And research salaries and equipment costs money, and where does it come from? Make the biggest claims with the greatest amount of shock-horror and funding will be forthcoming. Mark my words, the chocolate manufacturers will jump on this like blowflies on a dead donkey.
And if you really want something to ponder - cigarettes are far more dangerous than your morning latte. Stop today!
The Grand Prix circus returns to Canada, a ‘real’ circuit for ‘real’ drivers, with none of the imitation glitz of the Monaco processions. The Canadian raceway is the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit, constructed on a man-made island which had been used originally in the 1967 Expo. Previously called the Ile Notre Dame circuit, it was renamed in Villeneuve’s memory after his death in 1982.
The Wärtsilä RT-flex96C is a two-stroke turbocharged low-speed diesel engine designed by the Finnish manufacturer Wärtsilä. It is currently considered the largest reciprocating engine in the world, designed for large container ships, running on heavy fuel oil. It stands 13.5 meters high, is 26.59 m long, and weighs over 2300 tonnes in its largest 14-cylinder version - producing 80080 kW.
Thai motor racing takes a step forwards. And it wasn’t just a little step; it was a big step. Thailand Super Series is the realization of the dream of Minister Sonthaya Kunplome; who has already turned the Bangsaen Thailand Speed Festival into an event that not only attracts attention far beyond Thailand, but also can be now counted as one of the country’s major annual domestic leisure events. Now there is his second dream of raising the standard of Thailand motorsport with the introduction of Thailand Super Series.