Thursday 31 August 2017

Road - DS3 goes contactless!

This may look like an ignition key. And it is, but it is so much more. Tomorrow (1st September) DS Automobiles is launching a new ‘electronic gadget’ which will appeal equally to trendies and geeks. This key fob has a hidden function, and it really is the answer to one of those ‘why has no-one thought of this before?’ moments.

Full story here:

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Rally - Grampian Classes

This must be a first? Surely? A Rally HQ in a railway carriage! It must also be a first for Brian Thomson of the 'Flying Finish' results service who had to set up his computer wizardry in the carriage too.

It's just a good job the carriage wasn't needed for its 'weekday job' of ferrying tourists in the 'Cream Tea Special' along the one mile stretch of this Royal Deeside Railway beside the Service Area at Milton of Crathes. The train is normally hauled by a diesel loco, but they do have a steam engine due to arrive soon, so maybe next year we'll get some soot and smoke thrown in as well. In other words, it will be well worth a visit after the rally - if only for the cream tea!

Anyway, that's all the info from the Classes on the Grampian Forest Rally now in the on-line mag. So if you want to know what happened (or didn't, cos they wouldn't tell me) to class rivals or family and friends, this is the one and only place you can catch up and be informed.

However, I have had a complaint, or more of a moan really, from one avid and regular reader. He will read the main Rally Report and the News & Gossip section from start to finish, but he can't be bothered with the Classes roundup even though a couple of his friends are regular competitors. I think he does look up the particular class for a particular name and that's it. Fair enough, but that surely is the point of the roundup? And yes, I do agree it's not the most readable format, but when trying to cover everyone, it does look like more of a list than a report.

Which has given me an idea. Does anyone remember the old crew-by-crew format in the much loved and now lost 'Rally Sport' mag? I'm thinking of doing something along those lines. Would that be better than the current format? All ideas and suggestions will be welcomed (well, some of them might be) with open arms and healthy scepticism.

Monday 28 August 2017

Rally - Grampian report

That's the main headline report from the Grampian Forest Rally now on the website along with Fastest Stages Times from each of the six tests. A roundup of the Classes will follow next and then the News & Gossip after that. Just one round to go now, the Armstrong Galloway Hills on the 9th of Sept.

Sunday 27 August 2017

Rally - Vive la révolution

My big pal Jaggy Bunnet is currently in a bit of a tizz, thanks to a pictorial timely tip-off from France (thanks George) sent secretively by email from abroad. It would appear that the French are way ahead of us Brits and them Eurofolks when it comes to Brexit negotiations.

The attached picture proves that those sneaky wine swilling, cheese chomping furriners are already planning their own international 'Jaggy Bunnet Zone' when the Brits go it alone in the world of high finance, commerce and political flag waving. Currently the international debate has stalled as the Brits want the Euroists to build a wall along the northern coast line of France - and want them to pay for it. Apparently this is a fashionable national border accessory these days!

Naturally the Euroelitists are up in arms. If  'les Britanniques' want a wall then it should be built it along the southern coast of Englandshire - and 'les Rosbifs' should pay for it.

Which leaves the problem of the Tunnel. Who is going to pay for filling that in?

But as I say, the French are way ahead of us in post Prexit planning with their own version of Mr J Bunnet who has actually been spotted out and about in public. This has caused consternation in certain quarters, primarily a certain address in the Place de la Concorde in Paris - the home of the FIA as we all know.

It would appear that the Paris based world motor sport governing body is concerned that there will arise from this international political disruption a new voice of dissent when the Non-Brit Europia is eventually declared. It is further rumoured that they have already initiated secret negotiations with the MSA on the matter of how to handle opposition and disruption amongst the peasants.

Mind you, having  had some experience of this in the past (200 years ago!) there are thoughts of refurbishing the guillotine which is currently on display in the Orsay Museum in Paris. There is a suggestion that this should be installed in the middle of the Place de la Concorde as a visible deterrent to those who wish to disagree with the political masters of motor sport. Fortunately the MSA has a more conciliatory approach to such divisive measures hence the choice of 'ostrich and hole in the sand' as opposed to an 'eagle fighting a dragon' on their coat of arms.

However, it is the appearance of this French imposter which has upset my big pal. There is one saving grace, he has the right credentials, a job in the wines and spirits trade. Maybe there is room for re-establishing the 700 year old Auld Alliance between our two Kingdoms - Vive le Châteauneuf du Pape, vive le Courvoisier VS Le Cognac de Napoleon et vive le fromage Brie.

C'est la vie vie, eh?

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Road - Batman cometh

Looking like something out of the next Batman movie, and nothing to do with rallying, Ariel Motor Company have released a few details about their all new, ultra-high performance, range extended, electric sports car project called the 'HIPERCAR' - which stands for 'High Performance Carbon Reduction'.

Known for its skeletal Atom and nut-job Nomad, this new Ariel vehicle is scheduled for release in 2019 and full production in 2020. Plans are for both a four and two wheel drive Series Hybrid EV (Electric Vehicle) featuring a 750 Volt, 42 kWh or 56kWh, lithium-ion, cooled and heated battery pack which is charged, when required, by a 35kW micro-turbine range extender. 

Powered wheels are driven by inboard motors via integral, single speed step-down gearboxes direct to driven wheels, with each individual motor developing 220kW (295bhp) and 450Nm (332 ft lb) of torque

In 4 wheel drive, total power is therefore 880 kW (1,180bhp) and in 2 wheel drive form   
440kW (590bhp). 

Total torque is 1,800 Nm (1327 ft lb) at motor and 9,900 Nm (7301 ft lb) at the wheels in the 4 wheel drive HIPERCAR, and 900Nm (664 ft lb) at motor and 4,950 Nm (3651 ft lb) at the wheels in the 2 wheel drive car. 

The complete motor, gearbox and inverter assembly weighs only 57 kilos, but even with the weight of the battery pack, performance will be 'electric' (sorry, couldn't resist it) with a nought to 60 time of 2.4 seconds and nought to a 100 in 3.8. Even more impressive will be the nought to 150 time of 7.8 seconds!

As I said, nowt to do with rallying, but this technology could be coming to a forest or closed public road soon, or maybe not, depending on the future of rallying.