Dr. Iain Corness

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 16:10

AFG looks at Employee Fraud

The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) invited Orion Investigations to address the group on the subject of employee fraud.  This turned out to be one of the most interesting lectures held this year.

Thursday, 10 October 2013 15:19

Japan GP this weekend

One of the greatest tracks used in Formula One today, Japan’s Suzuka circuit is a massive test of car and driver ability.  Built by Honda as a test facility in 1962, the track was designed by Dutchman John Hugenholz, the Hermann Tilke of his day (but don’t let that put you off).  A huge theme park was also constructed at the track, including the famous big wheel which dominates the Suzuka skyline.

Thursday, 10 October 2013 15:18

Korea KO’s some drivers’ aspirations

If you can find any bookmaker anywhere who will give you odds on “The Finger” Vettel (Red Bull) winning the 2013 driver’s championship, take it.  Once again total domination by the German driver, winning as he pleased despite two Safety Car periods.  However, during the slowing down lap, there was one plus side to the interruption in service caused by the rain in Pattaya.  We were spared the girlish screams from the winner!

And while still on Red Bull, does Helmut Marko have a “magic button” with the power to cause Webber’s Red Bull to ignite?  Two fires in two meetings, and a KERS that wouldn’t charge properly, and a puncture.  Webber will be glad to leave the Red Bull corral and move to the uber-reliable Porsche stable.

Once again Mr. Pirelli’s tyres were the recipients of attention, with another delaminating tread causing havoc.  It simply isn’t good enough that Pirelli (in cahoots with the FIA) produces tyres that last 10 laps and can delaminate.  The positions in any race are now dependent upon how many laps have been done on the tyres, with five seconds difference per lap between new and “old” (more than 10 laps) race rubber.

The two “Lotus” entries circulated happily and collected second (Raikkonen) and third (Grosjean), though this only occurred as the safety car periods meant that their tyres could then go the distance.

Of the drivers without a seat, but hopeful of getting one in a competitive team, very few covered themselves with glory.  Massa (Ferrari, but soon to be unemployed) managed one of his spins under pressure and spent the rest of the race playing catch-up.  Di Resta in the F1ndia, a driver who has had his hand up for Ferrari (unsuccessfully) had yet another accident through driver error.  Sorry Paul, stay at Team Poppadum (if they’ll have you back again).

His running mate Sutil is another driver hardly covering himself with glory.  It was his spin that collected Mark Webber and set the Red Bull alight.  (Perhaps he is in the pay of Helmut?)

Fortunately Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) has already signed his contract with Red Bull, to take over Webber’s seat, or he would be another doubtful with his current performances.

The standout drive came from Hulkenberg (Sauber), who withstood all the pressure that Hamilton (Mercedes) could throw at him.  Pencil in Hulkenberg at “Lotus”.  He really deserved the Ferrari drive, but “Lotus” is second best.

The rest of the field was notable by not being seen, other than Perez (McLaren) who remains a loose cannon.  And an excitable one at that!

For most of the race, it really was a high speed procession, despite two DRS zones.  The cars were just holding station until the last 10 laps when they had a go at passing each other, generally without any luck, such as Hulkenberg (Sauber), Hamilton (Mercedes), Alonso (Ferrari) and Rosberg (Mercedes) who finished still in that order.

The long term future of the Korean GP must be in doubt.  Hours away from any large city and the spectators stayed away in droves.  Some grandstands had no people in them at all.  Their GP is an indulgence, brought about by Malaysia, Singapore and India having one, so they want one too.  If a Thai GP ever happens, it will be for the same reason.

16 March Grand Prix of Australia

30 March Grand Prix of Malaysia

06 April Grand Prix of Bahrain

20 April Grand Prix of China

27 April Grand Prix of Korea

11 May Grand Prix of Spain

25 May Grand Prix of Monaco

01 June Grand Prix of America, New Jersey

08 June Grand Prix of Canada

22 June Grand Prix of Austria

06 July Grand Prix of Great Britain

20 July Grand Prix of Germany (Hockenheim)

27 July Grand Prix of Hungary

24 August Grand Prix of Belgium

07 September Grand Prix of Italy

21 September Grand Prix of Singapore

05 October Grand Prix of Russia (Sochi)

12 October Grand Prix of Japan

26 October Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

09 November Grand Prix of USA (Austin)

16 November Grand Prix of Mexico

30 November Grand Prix of Brazil

Thursday, 10 October 2013 15:16

Natter Nosh and Noggin

The Pattaya car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park.  The next meeting is on Monday October 14 at Jameson’s at 7 p.m.  A totally informal meeting of like-minded souls to discuss their pet motoring (and motorcycling) loves and hates (plus lies and outright exaggerations).  Come along and meet the guys who have a common interest in cars and bikes, and enjoy the Jameson’s specials, washed down with a few beers.  A couple of the members are scrutineers at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so they may have some scuttlebutt about the F1 scene, with one having just been over to the US to watch the Indy 500.  Always a fun night.  Be prepared to laugh a lot at some of the antics of the members (when they were younger)!  The Car Club nights are always on the second Monday of the month (not every second Monday)!

Last week I asked which horseless carriage added a horse’s head to stop it frightening horses?  It was in 1899 with the Horsey Horseless, a “brainfart” writes Time, that came complete with a model horse’s head on the front of the car in order to make actual horses more comfortable around cars.

So to this week.  Grand Prix engines have been twin overhead cam and four valves per cylinder for 101 years.  Who was first?

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, 10 October 2013 10:19

Living Wills - make one before you need it!

One medical situation that appears not to be well understood, is the making of Living Wills.  I am repeatedly asked about whether a Living Will is legal in this country, and how do you enforce the provisions.  Read on, all will be made clear.

A short while ago there was a small paragraph in one of the Bangkok English language daily papers, reporting on the fact that Living Wills were now accepted as being legal in Thailand.  I cheered as I read it.  It was ‘about time’, in my opinion.

However, there is confusion in the minds of many people, as to what a “Living Will” actually is and what it covers.  Borrowing from the Mayo Clinic in the US, it states on their website: “This written, legal document spells out the types of medical treatments and life-sustaining measures you do and don’t want, such as mechanical breathing (respiration and ventilation), tube feeding or resuscitation.”  The important words to note are “life sustaining” and “resuscitation”.  Neither of these concepts imply medically assisted suicide, or euthanasia.

Once again from the Mayo Clinic: “Injury, illness and death aren’t easy subjects to talk about, but by planning ahead you can ensure that you receive the type of medical care you want, to take the burden off your family of trying to guess at what you’d want done.”

Remember that we are talking about terminal situations here.  Not situations from which it would be reasonably expected that you will recover and still have a good quality of life.  A fractured hip when you are 90 is a serious situation, but provided you are healthy otherwise, then it would be expected that you would recover.  You might need a stick for a while, but you would still be able to have a beer with your mates or play Scrabble or whatever your pursuits were before the incident.  In other words, the expectancy of a reasonable quality of life is there.

However, if you are in the terminal phase of metastatic cancer, which has progressed despite treatment, the future quality of life is not there.  Artificially prolonging life under that situation is then covered by the Living Will.

As an example, I ask you to note the following:

The Living Will is made while in sound mind.  It is not something you scribble out while lying in God’s waiting room.  An example of a Living Will.  “Being of sound mind and understanding all the implications, I ask that this document be brought to the attention of any medical facility in whose care I happen to be, and to any person who may become responsible for my affairs.

“This is my ‘Living Will’ stating my wishes in that my life should not be artificially prolonged, if this sacrifices my Quality of Life.

“If, for any reason, I am diagnosed as being in a terminal condition, I wish that my treatment be designed to keep me comfortable and to relieve pain, and allow me to die as naturally as possible, with as much dignity as can be maintained under the circumstances.

“As well as the situation in which I have been diagnosed as being in a terminal condition, these instructions will apply to situations of permanently unconscious states and irreversible brain damage.

“In the case of a life-threatening condition, in which I am unconscious or otherwise unable to express my wishes, I hereby advise that I do not want to be kept alive on a life support system, and I do not want resuscitation, nor do I authorize, or give my consent to procedures being carried out which would compromise any Quality of Life that I might expect in the future.

“I ask that you are sensitive to and respectful of my wishes; and use the most appropriate measures that are consistent with my choices and encompass alleviation of pain and other physical symptoms; without attempting to prolong life.”

Now those are only examples.  The Bangkok Hospital Pattaya has a pro forma Living Will, which is also repeated in the Pattaya City Expats website, I believe.

The message is that a Living Will is not euthanasia, and that you must lodge it, before you need it!

Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:01

Korean GP this weekend

The fourth annual Korean Grand Prix is on this weekend.  Following a very successful first three Grands Prix, there is quite an air of optimism this year.  There was much conjecture initially as to whether the Grand Prix would go ahead, as the circuit fell behind in its completion date.  Many reasons were touted, including the weather and public holidays!  But 2012 was relatively trouble free.

Thursday, 03 October 2013 15:59

Thailand Super Series this weekend too

If the ultimate in supercars is your idea of motorsport then Bira is the place for you this weekend.  Expect to see Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis, a V8 Holden Supercar, an Aston Martin Vantage, several Lotus and anything else expensive, in door to door paint swapping.  I was in contact with Henk Kiks of B-Quik and asked about his preparation for the races.  He replied, “What can I say? It’s a Porsche so it only needs to be started. ;-)”  The Bira circuit is on Highway 36, around 3 km past the Regent’s School on the right, heading towards Sattahip.  Racing from around noon.

Super Series carsSuper Series cars

Thursday, 03 October 2013 15:57

How I ended up in a Mk 1 Escort (again)

In around 1975 I was approached by a young chap asking if I could help him build a racing lightweight Lotus T/C Ford Escort Mk 1.  Having built Australia’s fastest MGB, I did have the experience, so I agreed.

Page 58 of 175