56th Macau Grand Prix next weekend
The famous round the streets race in
Macau will be held from November 19 to 22. This is the 56th
running of this amazing race for F3 race cars, with a full
card of supporting categories including the World Touring
The main event for F3 cars has brought 31 entries from the
British F3 series, the German, All-Japan, the Euroseries,
the Italian series, plus the GP2 and Formula V6 Asia. With
the unforgiving nature of the track, not all 31 will make it
to the finals!
With direct flights these days between Thailand and Macau,
if you haven’t been there for the GP, it is well worth it.
There are also many ways to get to Macau from Hong Kong,
including hydrofoil, ferry and even helicopter.
Of course, if finance/time is a problem remember we have our
own ‘round the houses’ event at Bang Saen November 27-29,
and more on that in a couple of weeks.
Vios Bang Saen, driver Dr. Iain
Old Bangers defeat
The 76th running of the London to Brighton
Veteran Car Run (LBVCR) a couple of weeks ago had to battle
the worst weather experienced in the history of the event.
However, the true grit of the 484 participants who crossed
the start line in Hyde Park shone through. The veteran cars
and their passengers endured the driving rain and gale force
winds, with the extreme conditions causing some mechanical
problems amongst the unique collection of late 19th and
early 20th Century vehicles. Amazingly, an impressive 375
vehicles shrugged off the challenges thrown at them to cross
the finish line before the official 4.30 p.m. close.
to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
The cars that finished included the youngest and oldest
drivers on this year’s event. Sir Freddie Sowrey (85)
crossed the line in his 1901 Darracq and Rowan Lawson (17)
steered the family 1902 M.M.C. to Brighton, complete with
‘L’ plates and father Henry at his side. Sir Ray Tindle,
chairman of the event’s title sponsors Tindle Newspapers,
also completed his 46th London to Brighton Veteran Car Run,
battling through the difficult conditions in his open top
1904 Speedwell alongside his son Owen.
Sir Ray Tindle said, “In my 46 years of taking part in the
London to Brighton Run, this is certainly the worst weather
we have ever faced. It is therefore a testament to the true
grit, both of the participants and of all those involved in
supporting them, that the Run went on to a successful
John Dennis was another of the London to Brighton Veteran
Car Run’s longest serving participants, and crossed the
finish line to record his 50th Run on the 1902 Dennis built
by his grandfather.
“This year the weather was certainly against us but this
made the participants even more determined to reach Brighton
and will probably go down in LBVCR folklore as ‘the great
blow of ’09,” said event director Roger Etcell.
The 77th LBVCR will be held on Sunday November 7, 2010.
Last week I mentioned that in 1964 saw the
release of the first of the muscle cars - the Ford
Mustang. However, there actually was another muscle car
released two weeks before the Mustang. I asked what was
it? It was the Plymouth Barracuda which beat the Mustang
into the market by two weeks, and Ivar Hoyem from Norway
was first in correct again.
So to this week. To get the name for their Road Runner,
and a horn that went “Beep - Beep”, Plymouth had to buy
the rights from Warner Brothers. How much did they have
to pay? Remember it was 1968.
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first
correct answer to email email@example.com
My good mate Alan and I, with my son in tow,
went to the Bira circuit the other weekend to watch a
club meeting there, which by the way was good fun. At
lunchtime we strolled up to the pits to find that there
is now a great area called the Bira Cafe, with a small
convenience store next to it. The eating area was clean,
tables and chairs, cutlery and refrigerated cold drinks,
and plenty of very inexpensive hot food. It was a
pleasure to eat there, and made the entire day more fun.
Well done, Bira.
Is Renault the next to
Renault have called for patience as the French
manufacturer weighs up the pros and cons of following Toyota
out of F1. Following an extraordinary board meeting to
discuss its future plans, there has been much speculation
that Renault will also walk away, following the lead of
Honda, BMW, Toyota and Bridgestone.
And with the recent Singapore race-fixing scandal fresh in
the minds as well as the two year suspended ban hanging over
their heads, the withdrawal of major sponsor ING and the
economic problems in the auto industry, who could blame
Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn has revealed that no
decision was made at the extraordinary board meeting,
although one will be forthcoming before the year is out.
“You will have to be patient,” Ghosn said. “We will make an
announcement on our participation in Formula 1 before the
end of the year.”
This is a rather strange decision (or lack of one) by the
normally forthright Ghosn. With Kubica having signed a
contract with Renault, where does he go if the answer is
withdrawal at the end of the year? Will Renault continue to
supply race engines to other teams? Toyota will not, so I
would expect Renault to do the same if they do not continue
as one of the teams. That will leave only Mercedes, Ferrari
and Cosworth as engine suppliers. Red Bull, which has used
Renault engines, will be watching (and waiting) with more
than just a little interest.
There are also other new teams which did not get past the
first round of talks with the FIA a few months ago, which
will want to take Renault’s place, but they will be left
with too little time to design and build a suitably
This one won’t
Toyota pulls the plug
As heavily reported elsewhere, Toyota has
withdrawn, with immediate effect, from the world of F1. The
team with the biggest budget just never made it to the top,
proving that money is not the winning factor - it is
genius/talent, call it what you want, that gets you to the
top of F1.
Look at names like Adrian Newey who was the genius behind
Williams’ successes, the genius behind McLaren’s successes,
and his genius has now placed Red Bull at the sharp end of
the grid. It is people like him and Colin Chapman, John
Barnard, Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn who get teams to
the top in F1. Toyota with its corporate committee structure
does not allow genius to flourish. Always remember that a
giraffe is a horse designed by a committee.
In its official statement of withdrawal, Toyota Motor
Corporation (TMC) said, “‘TMC also wants to express its
heartfelt gratitude to all Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers
to date and to all Toyota Motorsport GmbH employees who have
helped make the team’s achievements possible. TMC intends to
do its best to find a solution for those parties who will be
affected by any inconvenience this decision may cause.”
Large corporations always amaze me when they say things like
“for those parties affected by any inconvenience this
decision may cause.” Any inconvenience? They just threw an
entire workforce out of a job and they call this an
I’m sorry, but I believe in motor racing with cars built by
inventive genius, driven by drivers with a burning need to
win. The ‘corporate’ F1 world of Bernie and his ilk do not
understand what motor racing is, or what motor racing really
Bridgestone calls it
quits as well
The sole supplier of F1 rubber has been
Bridgestone, after Pirelli pulled out a couple of years ago.
However, the Japanese tyre manufacturer has now indicated
that it will also leave the sport (spectacle?) at the end of
It is very easy to understand the thinking behind the
decision. When Bridgestone and Pirelli were battling for the
championship, there was more than just a little interest in
which tyre was coming out on top. However, with just one
supplier, Bridgestone supplied both the winners and the
also-rans. No contest equals no interest.
Pro Racing Series this
The Bira circuit (Highway 36) is host to the
latest round of the Pro Racing Series. This comes between
the very professional SuperCar series and the amateur
SuperClub group. Motorcycles as well as cars and plenty of
races and categories. Action from around 10 a.m. until 4.30
p.m. Best viewing points are on the outside of the hairpin
at the end of the straight or behind the pits overlooking
the first chicane. To get there you will have to cross over
the circuit on the overbridge, or come in the back way off
Highway 36 (before the main entrance, coming from Highway
331), and go through the tunnel and then turn right and you
are on the outside of the hairpin.