Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Pirelli World Challenge

Autoguide today are recommending that I watch the Pirelli World Challenge racing series.

It has to be said, it looks very tempting.

Their Website is here.

It also looks a bit confusing with lots of different classes of car competing - a bit like the BTCC used to be.

And what's with this "world" business - it's only in America.  I know the World Series has an excuse because it was sponsored by The World newspaper but this seems to be sponsored by Cadillac - the coverage at least.

The lineup seems very impressive, especially the GT3 class:
They have Ferraris... 
...and McLarens... 
...and Lambos and Audis and non-European stuff too like Acuras and Caddies.
And, like the BTCC, and unlike F1, the coverage is free to watch.
So I decided to give it a go...
Never mind, BTCC starts this weekend too and it looks like another brilliant season with SEVEN champions competing.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

UKIP on wheels

I did consider calling this post "Grumpy Old Men" and making some reference to Clarkson & May but I think the UKIP similarities are more apt.
UKIP are basically elderly Conservatives who have fallen out with their constituency parties and gone out alone.  Some of these then fall out with UKIP and go out further alone - quite funny really and I do like the way they split the right-wing vote in a Tea Party sort of way.
But let's get this back to cars - specifically F1 cars. 
The elderly conservatives here are Dietrich Mateschitz, Bernie Ecclestone & Ron Walker.
I recently read this interview Dietrich gave to the Austrian newspaper Kurier and I didn't understand a word of it - presumably because it isn't in English.  However, someone at the BBC could understand it and explained it to Andrew Benson who wrote this article for the BBC F1 Website.
The gist of the interview is that Dietrich is unhappy with the way F1 is being run - especially the new rules about the engines and engine-noise.  He is also unhappy at his Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix for fuel flow issues.  Anyway, he is so disgruntled that he is talking about pulling his two teams (Red Bull & Torro Roso) completely out of F1.
Yeah - right.
Meanwhile, moving from an Austrian to an Australian, Ron Walker is chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and is also unhappy with the noise (or lack of it) from the new engines.  The Telegraph report this here.  The story continues in The Independent here.  There is much threat of litigation for breach of contract. Tracks are saying they will pull out because the new engines do not provide the noise (and therefore excitement) that was paid for.  Ron & Bernie are old chums so are probably both very publicly arguing for the same thing (we know Bernie hates the new engines) to wind up the FIA.  Sort of playing UKIP to the FIA's Conservative Party.
Ronnie is also threatening to drop F1 and switch to Indycar Racing.
Yeah - right.
None of this affects me after I gave up on F1 years ago.  But, even so, what's so bad about racing cars that sound like goats?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Shopping Car(t)

I don't often get directed to the "femail" section of the Mail Website.  But that's where I found myself reading this story.
I'm surprised that with the huge publicity and marketing resources Tesco have at their disposal, that I've not seen this elsewhere but I'm sure it will be turning up in every ad-break on all commercial TV channels very soon.
Basically, Tesco have taken an ordinary car and covered it in their grocery products to promote their latest money-off fuel promotion.
It is a working car but I have to question the road-legality given that its headlamps are saucepans.
Also, given what its seats are, I wouldn't fancy driving it very far... 

After studying the short video in the article, I eventually ruled out it being based on a Vauxhall Corsa and decided that it started life as one of these:
I don't know if The Mail are in league with Tesco, or with the car's designer, Anthony Farquhar-Smith - both seem to be getting a good, free ad.
So what next?  A Morrison's Minor or That's Mazda Price!

Sunday, 9 March 2014


Don't often find interesting car stories on a Sunday but the Telegraph had this one today.

It's about the Metropolitan Police moving their collection of historic vehicles to a new home at Hendon Police College.

I don't think I've done anything about Police Cars since October 2010 so it's about time I did.  Here's a picture of the procession:

You will see a Morris Minor in that procession:
When I saw that I thought the registration number looked fake.  But it isn't! 
I'm not too sure when this actually took place.  The Telegraph say is was "this week" but the official website say it was February 26th.  In either case, the official Metropolitan Police site is very interesting - definitely worth checking out.  The move has been given the name #CopGear mimicking the logo from Top Gear.
Here's one of the cars that didn't make the journey under its own steam:

Shame as I have quite a soft-spot for Triumphs.

One of the Telegraph readers asked "Where's the Quattro?"

Here ya go...

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Don't Look Back in Angles

Nissan have introduced a new accessory.

It is a rear-view mirror that allows you to see through people's heads.  It uses a camera at the back of the car to broadcast onto the mirror.

Fox have the story here while Autoguide have it here.

Nissan have given the product a silly name and produced a silly video:

Fox say that they don't know which countries are going to be offered this and it is difficult to tell from the video - the car is right-hand drive - it isn't Britain - the sweaty lad in the back is wearing basketball gear and the people are Caucasian.

As for the silly name, Nissan are calling it the "Smart Rearview Mirror".

Sounds sensible doesn't it?  It is silly though because another product with that name already exists providing rearward vision to drivers of Smart cars.  Here's a picture of one I found on e-Bay:
It perfectly demonstrates its reflective qualities showing the hand and cameraphone being used to take the photo.  It is from a Smart Fourtwo.
Nissan's idea is a good one though - ideal for van or Lamborghini Countach drivers especially.  It looks like they have also been clever enough to reverse the image rather than just showing straight video footage.  It would be confusing and possibly dangerous not to do this and all emergency service vehicles would need to have the backwards writing on the fronts put back to the right way around.  No more ECILOP.
Something to reflect on then.