Scarecrows adorn the entrance to a barren Korean International Circuit
Thursday, 30 June 2011
One of the most spectacular races in a very long time produced an appropriately stunning win from Jenson Button in the Canadian Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver came from last place to first in the space of 30 amazing laps on a track that, while it regularly produces the best race of the Formula 1 season, has never produced a race quite like this one.
It will surely go down as one of the most amazing grands prix in history and Button's performance matched it.
For a long, long time, Sebastian Vettel appeared to be on the way to another imperious victory, but the German made his first mistake in what has been a virtually flawless season to hand his English rival a fully deserved victory half way around the last lap.
"An amazing day," said a scarcely believing Button as he sat down in front of the media a few minutes after climbing out of the car.
And as if to underline just how incredible it was, how much the end result turned on the right decisions and the right breaks at the right time, the heavens opened again no more than an hour after the end of the race, in even more dramatic fashion than they had in the course of an afternoon that left almost everyone involved dizzy.
For more than half the race, Button appeared completely out of contention.
He collided with team-mate Lewis Hamilton - an incident for which he apologised even though it appeared to be at least as much Hamilton's fault; made five pit stops to change tyres; survived a collision with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso; and visited the pits a further time to serve a drive-through penalty for going too fast when the safety car was deployed.
Button was last at the penultimate of four restarts under the safety car, with 30 laps to go.
And yet he sliced through the backmarkers with the clinical precision he displays when he is on top form and timed a final pit stop to change to slick tyres perfectly - only one lap after Mark Webber made the call himself, one that was instrumental in moving Vettel's team-mate from the midfield into podium contention.
Those final 20 laps were some of the most exhilarating I have witnessed since I started watching F1 30 or so years ago, as Button closed in on the lead at a pace Webber described as "on a different planet from the rest of us".
With 15 laps to go, Vettel looked unassailable as he pulled away in the lead and Button homed in on a battling Michael Schumacher, who produced by far the most convincing drive of his comeback so far, and Webber.
A final safety car on lap 57 was what put Button into victory contention. He would have easily passed Schumacher and Webber, but the safety car reduced Vettel's lead from a probably uncatchable 10 seconds to zero.
At the restart, the German pulled it out to 3.1 seconds again while Button battled to get past Webber and Schumacher but the Englishman was in range.
He closed remorselessly in - 1.6secs, 1.3secs, 1.1secs, 0.9secs - and Vettel buckled under the pressure.
Hamilton paid generous tribute afterwards. "Jenson drove absolutely amazing," he told BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz as he filmed his behind the scenes report for this website.
"With all the commotion going on, the pressure he put on Vettel at the end, I knew he was going to get him."
Despite his error, Vettel is still in a very strong position in the championship. He actually extended his lead by two points and is now two wins and a fifth place clear of his closest rival, which is now Button following Hamilton's retirement.
His mistake proves that he is beatable if he is pushed hard enough, as was the case last year.
But Hamilton - who still seems the man with the biggest chance of overhauling him for all Button's genius on Sunday - will need to get his act together again if he is to do so.
His controversial collision with Button led to his visiting the race stewards to explain his actions for the sixth time in seven races - an extension of a record that led to the McLaren driver coming out with his now-infamous Ali G remarks after the last race in Monaco.
In the midst of Hamilton's reaction, one phrase was particularly telling. Where does your season go from here, he was asked. "Onwards and upwards," he replied. "Go to the next one and try to stay out of trouble."
Hamilton at least finished an incident-packed race in Monaco. In Canada, where in hindsight he could have won, there were more errors.
He was in the wars as soon as the drivers were released following a safety car start, colliding with Webber in an incident Hamilton admitted was his fault.
Two laps later, as he fought to make up lost ground, came the collision with Button.
It was a racing incident - Button should probably have seen Hamilton, who should probably have realised the gap was going to close.
But who was to blame is not really the point. Hamilton does seem to have turned into a magnet for trouble this year, and there seems little doubt that the situation is arising out of frustration at helplessly watching another title slip away.
Be that as it may, a slight change of approach is required if Hamilton is to deliver fully his fantastic potential.
"It's the nature of Lewis's attacking style," said David Coulthard as he analysed the Button-Hamilton collision on BBC One. "It's easy to knock someone when they're involved in a series of incidents, but it's why Lewis has so many fans around the world.
"This is just a phase he's going through. He believes he's the best driver in the world. Right now McLaren are not able to give him a winning car, and he's getting frustrated.
Lewis Hamilton was penalised twice by the stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight ago. Photo: Getty
"He wants to win, and that passion, that drive, is what's causing him to get up close and personal with other cars. If I was his management, I'd be saying: 'Chill. Everyone knows you're a great driver, just enjoy it.'"
Undoubtedly Hamilton shares their speed, their verve, their charisma, and their good looks. But he also shares their occasional tendency to go over the limit.
That is, of course, what has given all three their enormous global appeal but in all three cases it also led to races lost through going too far.
Hamilton might well think he fancies his chances against Vettel in a Red Bull.
And, brilliantly as the world champion is driving at the moment, Hamilton is not alone in thinking that is with good reason. What a battle it would be.
But, apparently under contract to McLaren until the end of next season, that prospect is probably not a possibility for the foreseeable future.
Hamilton has to do battle with what he has and make the most of it. If he is to do that, he must stop fretting about Vettel and relax into his racing. In that, he could learn a thing or two from his team-mate.
Scarecrows adorn the entrance to a barren Korean International Circuit
A car such as the Gallardo cannot be trusted to just about anybody, but SR Auto Group has consistently prepared dominating packages for the super car and their latest project is certainly no different. Being a natural beauty to begin with, the LP560-4’s body was accentuated with the use of clean, sophisticated lines provided by a two-tone finish front bumper, carbon fiber side skirts, and a carbon fiber rear spoiler. The polished look was then capped off with an Ocean Blue paint job and new set of Monotec T04 wheels offered in size 20" and painted in a gloss black finish.
No updates were provided for the supercar’s 5.2 liter 560 HP V10 engine, but the sounds reverberating from the vehicle get a deeper, more defined tone with a new RSC performance exhaust system. This does nothing for the 3.7 sec 0-60 mph sprint time, but it’ll surely get you noticed.
gallery: 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
Is it now a three-way battle for the title?
?Focus and concentration will be of paramount importance and there is none stronger in this regard than Ferrari?s Fernando Alonso.?The Guardian?s Oliver Owen thinks that it is Mark Webber?s title to lose now, and that this may be the Australian?s last realistic chance of winning the title.
?He has driven beautifully. Monaco and Silverstone spring to mind. He has been an uncompromising racer, not giving Vettel or Lewis Hamilton an inch in Turkey and Singapore respectively. Most importantly, he has largely avoided the bouts of brain fade that can wreck a season ? his on-track hooning in Melbourne when racing Hamilton being the only exception. But there is a feeling that for Webber it is now or never, that a chance of a tilt at the title may never come again. He is certainly driving as if that is the case and that has been his strength.?According to The Mirror?s Byron Young, both McLaren drivers are now out of the title hunt after their fourth and fifth place finishes in Suzuka.
?McLaren's title hopes died yesterday in a weekend from Hell at Suzuka. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth in a Japanese Grand Prix they had to win to have the remotest chance of keeping their title bid alive."The Sun?s Michael Spearman was of the same opinion, saying ?Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button's title hopes were in tatters after a shocker in Japan.?
Scarecrows adorn the entrance to a barren Korean International Circuit
I have an AMT 1958 Plymouth Belvedere and i want to make it into a Christine which is a fury and need to know if there is anything other than the removal of the belvedere badge required to make the belvedere into a fury?
Also if anyone has built a 58 Fury please post some pics of the engine, interior and underside. your help would be appreciated.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Every year, Ford rolls out a special edition one-piece Mustang for the very purpose of auctioning it off at the EAA AirVenture in July for the benefit of the EAA Young Eagles program. These babies - as with all one-off edition cars - are exceedingly rare for the very simple reason that there’s only one of them being made.
This year, the one-off, aviation-themed Mustang GT was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of naval aviation. It comes with a specific blue-and-yellow color scheme that takes itself from the colors of the ’Blue Angels’ fighter group with a yellow "Blue Angels" script and crest on the doors. Likewise, the crest can also be found on the interior of the car, where they are stitched into the leather Recaro seats.
On top of that, Ford also upgraded the Mustang’s powertrain, improving the output of the car’s 5.0-liter V8 engine from 412 horsepower to 500 horsepower. There’s also a Ford Racing handling package, a new performance exhaust, and race-track capable brakes.
Last year, Ford was able to auction off the Mustang SR-71 "Blackbird" for $375,000. Judging by the enthusiastic turn out for these events, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Mustang GT "Blue Angels" Edition hits that mark again, maybe even exceeding it.
If you’re interested in bidding for this one-off bad boy, you need to pre-qualify by calling Matt Miller at the EAA Development Office at 1-800-236-1025 before July 25, 2011.
In the meantime, hit the jump to check out a short preview of the one-off Mustang.
gallery: 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0
Got this from a friend but I can't seem to build it oob....
I got it primered hope to have pictuers soon.....................
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
The McLaren driver quoted Ali G, the original spoof character dreamt up by Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, as he railed against the decision by race stewards to call him to explain his part in two separate incidents during Sunday's event.
Hamilton pointed out to BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie that it was the fifth time in six races this year he had been called to account for his actions, and she asked him why he thought that was.
"People want to see overtaking and racing and you get done for trying to put on a show and make a move," he continued. "Fair play. If I really feel I've gone too late and hit someone, I'll put my hand up and say I've caused the incident and been the stupid one."
Hamilton described his being called to account for incidents for which he felt was blameless as "a joke", and described the rivals in question - Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Williams novice Pastor Maldonado - as "stupid".
What was he going to do about the situation? "I'll just try and keep my mouth shut," he said.
It is too late for that, though, even though McLaren went into damage-limitation mode after the race.
"Immediately after the race he was very down," team principal Martin Whitmarsh said, "and during a post-race TV interview he made a poor joke about his penalties that referenced Ali G. However, I'm pleased to say that he chose to return to the track a little while later to speak to the stewards about the joke. They accepted his explanation."
Hamilton's remarks came at the end of a weekend when nothing seemed to go right for him.
A wrong call to do only one run in qualifying led to him starting the race from ninth place, after he made a mistake and cut a chicane on his flying lap.
Trying to make up ground in the race, a brilliant early pass on Michael Schumacher was followed by the two collisions with Massa and Maldonado.
Sir Jackie Stewart talks about the importance of ridding yourself of emotion before stepping into a grand prix car, but it looked as if Hamilton had not taken the great man's advice on Sunday.
Hamilton has made himself one of global sport's highest profile figures thanks to his inspirational driving, and cool, youthful image. And he has established himself in the four and a half years of his career as unquestionably the greatest overtaker in F1, as well as arguably its out-and-out fastest driver.
But he did not earn that reputation with performances like that in Monaco on Sunday. BBC F1 commentator Martin Brundle described his late lunge down the inside of Massa as "clumsy" and his attempt to pass Maldonado later on was similarly optimistic.
When Hamilton watches the incidents back, I suspect he might agree, as he may well regret his post-race comments when he calms down after what was admittedly an intensely frustrating weekend. It remains to be seen whether they will get him into hot water with governing body the FIA.
In the days of the former president Max Mosley, there is no question Hamilton would have been called up to answer a charge of bringing the sport into disrepute. His successor Jean Todt has taken a less antagonistic approach, but has not yet had to deal with a similar incident.
Brundle said he thought Hamilton had let frustration creep into his driving, and it certainly looked that way.
He entered Monaco expecting to fight for victory and was quick throughout practice on a circuit he adores and on which he excels, only for it all to slip agonisingly through his fingers.
That frustration will be heightened by the fact that Vettel is now in what has to be considered a virtually unassailable position in the championship.
Hamilton is well aware of how good he is. He aches to add more crowns to the one he won in 2008, and even before Monaco it was obvious that the fact this season is likely to be another barren year was already bubbling provocatively inside him.
But the sooner he realises that his quest to win the multiple titles he feels he deserves will not be helped by this sort of reaction, the better it will be for him.
While luck appeared to desert Hamilton in Monaco, the angels are truly smiling on Vettel this season. And it is not even as if he needs them.
Time after time, circumstance has intervened to make the German's path to victory easier than it should have been, and Vettel has taken full advantage.
Vettel's victory in Monaco on Sunday, his first in the principality, was his fifth in six grands prix so far this season. Only Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell, Schumacher and Jenson Button have achieved that and all of them ended the season in question as champions.
Vettel now leads the championship by 58 points - that means Hamilton, his closest pursuer, would have to take two wins and a sixth place with the Red Bull driver not scoring just to draw level.
It is the sort of margin that can be closed only by a driver in the best car. The problem is that it is Vettel himself who enjoys that luxury and, boy, is he capitalising on it.
His and Red Bull's domination is being founded on their blistering superiority in qualifying. In races, as Sunday demonstrated yet again, the Red Bull is far more vulnerable.
This time, a mix-up at Vettel's first pit stop meant he rejoined on the harder of the two tyre choices, the softs, when Red Bull had been intending to put him on the super-softs, which his closest pursuer Button chose to fit at his first stop.
The mistake made, Red Bull altered their strategy, in light of a mid-race safety car period, and decided to try to make it to the end of the race on those tyres.
That meant Vettel entered the final 30 laps of the race with tyres that were already 32 laps old and with two of F1's finest drivers closing in fast on fresher rubber.
The tyres on Fernando Alonso's Ferrari were 17 laps younger than Vettel's, Button's a full 31; and with a little less than 20 laps to go the three of them were running nose to tail.
Vettel, driving brilliantly as he has all year, had held them off relatively comfortably until a big crash involving Hamilton, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil brought out the safety car again and subsequently the red flag.
The 20-minute stoppage before the race was resumed robbed millions of viewers around the world of what promised to be a spectacular climax to the race - it meant all the drivers could fit fresh tyres and Vettel survived the last eight laps of the re-started race without incident.
It will never be known whether he could have held off Alonso and Button had the race not been stopped.
But McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz that by their calculations Vettel's tyres had no more than three more laps before they "dropped off the cliff", as F1 teams have taken to describing the moment the Pirellis that have done so much for the racing this year finally lose all their grip.
If Neale was right, even at Monaco Vettel would surely not have been able to hold Alonso and Button back.
Even Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted luck had shone on his team, saying the red flag was a "reprieve".
It was just the latest example of a recurring phenomenon this year. For all Vettel's searing qualifying pace, he is vulnerable in races, but events are transpiring to give him the breathing space he needs to keep winning.
Monaco followed Australia, Malaysia and Turkey this year as a race in which he might have faced a more serious challenge but didn't.
The championship may already appear to be a formality but the races themselves are making up for it with a combination of action and unpredictability that F1 has never seen before.
Next up is the Canadian Grand Prix, on one of the least favourable tracks for Red Bull, the long straights at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve favouring the extra power of McLaren's Mercedes engine and Ferrari over the Renault in the Red Bull.
Last year, Red Bull could manage only fourth and fifth in Montreal, behind Hamilton, Button and Alonso, in a race that prompted the decision to ask new supplier Pirelli to produce tyres that degraded rapidly.
The unique track surface there made the super-durable Bridgestones used last year behave like the Pirellis are doing at every race this season, and prompted the most exciting grand prix of the year.
If that happened when the racing was sometimes processional, even if the title fight was thrilling, the mind boggles at what could happen there in 2011.
Monday, 27 June 2011
This is my first work in progress online so sorry if my progress is a bit slow. I got the recently re-released big scale General for my birthday in April, and have now been working on it for about a month. This kit has a lot of problems because it is based of of a nascar kit ( not sure why!!!!!!!!!!!!! ) so I have had to do numerous modifications and this is my first real experience scratch building. It has been a bit frustrating so far, but I am happy with my results and I plan to take this to the NNL West show next year, hopefully it comes out good enough. I plan to make this as realistic as possible so hear it goes and thanks for looking!
This is about how it will sit, but not exactly because the body is only sitting on the chassis. As you can see there hasn't been any body work yet.
The kit has the exhaust incorrectly end at the headers, so I had to make my own out of 1/8 inch steel rod. The shocks are 1/8 inch OD aluminum tubing with snug fitting aluminum rod slipped inside. The kit has two shocks for each side which is also not correct for a stock 69 charger and the kit ones were rough at best. I figured it would look a lot better if I made my own. The tank straps were made by cutting strips from the frame holding some old photoetched parts and bending them into shape.
In contrast to the rest of the kit, this motor is probably the best I have ever worked with. It comes with easy to use plug wires and even the hoses to plumb the motor. I do think the distributor may be a bit out of scale but for me that is as small issue that I am not very conserned about.
BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey takes you behind the scenes at the shoot for the opening sequence for 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
Filmed & edited by Michael Cunliffe, Music - Bright Lights Bigger City by Cee Lo Green & Poker Face by Lady Gaga.
The Mercedes pit crew prepare for Michael Schumacher in Singapore
These are not select millionaires but up to 16 ordinary, yet gifted, guys; team mechanics who have worked their way up the system and often migrate from team to team, are paid real-world wages of between �30,000 and �50,000 a year, are drilled to perfection ? and whose split-second synchronisation brings their teams huge rewards.
Sunday, 26 June 2011
When I saw the Monogram F250 Super Duty kit, I thought, "Cool! I can build a model of my 1:1 truck, like this:
I got the kit, and discovered it is an F250 extended cab, with a V8, automatic trans, 4x2, power windows, bucket seats, body side moldings, and the wrong mirrors. My truck is none of those. Other than that, they are just the same!
So I added the Lindberg F150 Off Road, and the Monogram '80 Bronco. The Bronco has the right mirrors! Here's the kits:
To be continued: