Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Does anyone happen to have a spare motor with heads and Transmission from this kit?
I have all the rest of the engine parts. Ford 427 SOHC
In the midst of celebrating their title as America’s Favorite Performance Brand, Chevrolet invited a number of journalists over to the Virginia International Speedway to test drive their new Camaro ZL1. Lucky journalists signed right up to take advantage, but one got a little more than he bargained for.
Aaron Gold from About.com took his turn on the track after a rain cloud made its way through the area and tried to play it safe during his turn. Unfortunately, he may have played it too safe. Gold says that he was "way off the proper line" and had the car in second gear when it should have probably been in third. He "gave it a bit too much juice, broke the rear tires loose, and that was it." The Camaro ended up going off the track, sliding forward and sideways onto the wet grass, and went nose-first into the tire wall.
Gold didn’t suffer any injuries and GM has assured him that the damages on the Camaro ZL1 are cosmetic, which is all good news. Another plus is that Gold was able to test out the OnStar system, which automatically sent out an SOS call, before a live operator came on to see if Gold was okay.
As a refresher the ZL1 is powered by LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers a total of 550 horsepower and 550 lb/ft of torque. The muscle car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and can reach a top speed of 184 mph. So we guess these numbers are just too much even for a professional driver.
gallery: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Red Bull won both the drivers' and constructors' championships for the second successive year in 2011. Here, design chief Adrian Newey and team principal Christian Horner talk to me about their plans for 2012 and praise the dedication, hunger and desire of Sebastian Vettel, who became the youngest ever double world champion.
Hi all, thanks for your many and varied questions about the 2011 season. I've answered a number of them as well as giving my thoughts about how the season panned out and what I think will happen in 2012.
If you are outside the UK, you can watch the video here.
Monday, 27 February 2012
I've been holding on to a few Tamiya bike kits for awhile now and finally I decided to try my hand at one. I really like the awesome looking metallic black/red scheme they show on the side of the box so that's how I'm doing it. Right now scanning Google for references and I got most of the basic engine glued together and seams filled but no paint yet.
So, after four days of testing and nearly 3,500 laps of running at Jerez in sunny southern Spain, what has the first Formula 1 pre-season test revealed about the season to come?
The simplest answer – as ever – is “not much”. Testing – or the “winter world championship”, as McLaren chairman Ron Dennis famously described it – is a notoriously poor guide to form.
Or at least it is if you look only at the headline lap times. At the end of last year’s test in Jerez, the fastest man was Williams driver Rubens Barrichello – and his team were about to embark on the worst season in their once-illustrious history.
Likewise, if anyone thinks Lotus driver Romain Grosjean is going to win this year’s world championship after setting the pace in Jerez this week, they will be waiting a long time for those pigs to fly in front of that blue moon.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the fastest time on the final day of the first Formula 1 pre-season testing in Jerez, in Spain with a time of 1.18.877. Photo: Getty
Nevertheless, it would be wrong to say that Jerez has revealed nothing.
First of all, it has become clear the teams dislike the look of the new cars as much as anyone.
For them, the ugly step on top of the noses of all cars apart from the McLaren is an unfortunate necessity in the pursuit of the best possible aerodynamics, following a rule change requiring lower front noses.
"Performance comes before aesthetics," as Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey put it.
The teams head back to their factories with a mountain of data, on which decisions will be based about the direction in which to take the development of their new cars.
These gleaming machines are prototypes for their entire lives, but in terms of maturity right now they are still in the post-natal stage.
Nowhere, it seems, is that more true than at Ferrari, whose decision to start with a clean sheet of paper after a chastening year in 2011 has left them with a lot of work to do.
Fernando Alonso may have left Jerez with the fastest time from the final day - and the second fastest overall - but no-one was fooled by that.
The car, they said, was behaving inconsistently in the corners, and so far fixing its behaviour at one stage - the entry, say - messes it up at either the mid-corner or exit, or both.
This is not an especially encouraging sign for a team whose 2011 season came off the rails at the final pre-season test, when new parts that they expected to bring a chunk of speed actually made the car worse.
It turned out this was a result of a lack of correlation between the results that were being created in the wind tunnel and the actual performance of the car out on the track - a major problem in a sport where aerodynamics are critical to performance.
Ferrari spent most of last season trying to get on top of this, and by late summer they insisted they had. Yet when they introduced an update to the car at the Belgian Grand Prix in August, that too did not work.
Were they not concerned about this, I asked an insider a little later in the season. No, he said, they knew why it had happened - the wind tunnel correlation was fine.
Yet on Thursday this week, there was technical director Pat Fry admitting that there was still a small problem in this area. "There's reasonable correlation," Fry said. "I certainly wouldn't say it was perfect."
Despite that eye-catching lap time from Alonso, then, Ferrari's potential remains unclear.
"That time was on soft tyres," a source close to the team said. "It was not so special. The feeling is they are waiting for a lot from this car - but they don't know how to get it. It is impossible to say what will be the future."
But it is not just Ferrari. Over at McLaren, Lewis Hamilton has said his first impressions of the car were "all positive". But the more he talked, the more you wondered.
They had not found the best set-up yet, he said - unsurprising, perhaps, so early in testing.
"It feels like an evolution of last year's car in many ways but also there are some things that are not so good," he added. "The downforce on the rear for instance, is not as good through the high-speed corners as it was last year, but I'm sure we'll get that back."
Again, this was to be expected given the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers, from which all top teams gained huge amounts of rear downforce last year - and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel also noticed a similar experience in his car.
But perhaps Hamilton's most revealing remark was this: "You never know what fuel loads people are on. I think we've been quite aggressive with our fuel loads."
A translation of which seems to be that McLaren are running with less fuel on board than they might normally be expected to - which will make their lap times look more impressive.
Despite that, the car looked as if it was not quite as fast as the Red Bull, which Hamilton effectively admitted. "I think you can see the Red Bull looks quick," he said.
The Red Bull indeed appeared to do its times with relative ease, both in the hands of Mark Webber and, later in the week, Vettel.
Just as much of a concern for their rivals will be that pictures suggest the car seems to have retained what most believe to be its crucial secret.
That is getting the front wing to run closer to the ground than any other car, a critical aerodynamic advantage.
This is despite design chief Adrian Newey saying they had had to reduce the rake on their car following the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers and despite the introduction of a tougher front-wing deflection test.
And yet even Red Bull clearly have work to do. After three pretty much trouble-free days, an electrical fault appeared on the final morning, and Vettel lost an entire morning's running while the team fixed it.
In summary, then, Red Bull again look like the team to beat, and there is a mixed picture from McLaren and Ferrari.
Just as it did in 2011 when the team were Renault, the Lotus has left a good initial impression.
Toro Rosso and Williams also appear to have decent cars, while Force India fell back after a promising start, almost certainly because of losing a day to reserve driver Jules Bianchi's crash on Thursday.
There follows a 10-day break before the teams reconvene at Barcelona on 21 February.
The Circuit de Catalunya's mix of long corners of varying speeds have long been the ultimate test of an F1 car's all-round capabilities, so more pieces of the jigsaw should fall into place there.
In the round-up: Ross Brawn denies claims Michael Schumacher is about to be offered a contract extension.
Will Christian Horner regret not utilising team orders in Brazil?
?The extra seven points Alonso collected when Ferrari ordered Felipe Massa to move over for him in Germany earlier in the season are now looking even more crucial. ?And the �65,000 fine they picked up for ruthlessly breaking the rules will seem loose change if Alonso clinches the title in his first year with the Maranello team. ?Red Bull could have switched the result yesterday given their crushing dominance and still celebrated their first constructors' championship just five years after coming into the sport. ?That would also have given Webber an extra seven points, leaving him just one behind Alonso.?The Guardian?s Paul Weaver says that if Fernando Alonso does take the drivers? title in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari owes a debt of gratitude to Red Bull for their decision not to employ team orders in Brazil.
?If Alonso does take the title next week it would not be inappropriate were he and Ferrari to send a few gallons of champagne to Red Bull's headquarters in Milton Keynes. ?While Red Bull should be heartily applauded for the championship they did win today their apparent acceptance that Ferrari might carry off the more glamorous prize continues to baffle Formula One and its globetrotting supporters. ?Their refusal to make life easy for Webber, who has led for much of the season and is still seven points ahead of Vettel, means that whatever happens in the desert next week Alonso, the only driver who was capable of taking the championship in the race today, only has to secure second place to guarantee his third world title.?The Independent?s David Tremayne is also of the opinion that Red Bull may regret not using team orders in Brazil.
?Had Red Bull elected to adopt team orders and let Webber win ? something that the governing body allows when championships are at stake ? Webber would have left Brazil with 245 points ? just one point off the lead. For some that was confirmation of his suggestion that Vettel is the team's favoured driver ? which generated an angry call from team owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Austria and was much denied by team principal, Christian Horner. ?And it sets up a situation where, if the result is repeated next weekend, as is likely, Vettel and Webber will tie on 256, five behind Alonso.?The Mirror?s Byron Young has put Lewis Hamilton?s fading title chances down to an inferior McLaren machine and he admits the 2008 World Champion now needs a miracle.
?Sebastian Vettel's victory sends the world title fight to a four-way showdown for the first time in the sport's history. ?Hamilton goes there as part of that story with a 24-point deficit to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, but with just 25 on offer in the final round in six days' time it would take more than a miracle. ?Driving an outclassed McLaren he slugged it out against superior machinery and stiff odds to finish fourth.?
Sunday, 26 February 2012
I'm starting another build and I was looking for some inspiration in an old magazine and ran across this 71 Cuda 440 Clone. I have this kit in the closet and it doesn't look too complicated so here I go! I don't have the Sassy Grass Green paint but I do have a bottle of Lime Green metallic that is a 70 Plymouth color and will probably pass for the Amber Sherwood Poly for 1971. Its a little darker but should work. I will be able to do another vinyl top which I enjoyed on the 67 Chevelle I built and I think i still have a few B F Goodrich radials somewhere around here. So its time to get started! Thanks for looking!
The annual Formula 1 phoney war was in full swing at the second pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya this week.
Fernando Alonso was talking down Ferrari's form, Lewis Hamilton was talking up McLaren's - as, intriguingly, was Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. And the unlikely combination of Kamui Kobayashi and Sauber set the fastest time of the week.
As ever, the headline lap times were a poor guide to the order of the grid that can be expected in Melbourne at the first race in just three weeks' time.
But look behind the fastest laps, and there is usually a way of gleaning at least some sense of form ahead of the season.
Fernando Alonso's Ferrari could yet to turn out to be a dark horse. Photo: Getty
I'll preface what follows with a major caveat - this has been one of the most difficult tests to read for some time. But here goes.
Red Bull, as ever, looked especially strong. Vettel was fastest of all on the first day of the test, and throughout the four days he and team-mate Mark Webber set consistently formidable-looking times.
On Wednesday afternoon, Vettel and Hamilton set out to do race-distance runs at more or less the same time. Both did 66 laps - the length of the Spanish Grand Prix, which will be held at the track in May.
Vettel did five pit stops; Hamilton four. Discount laps on which they went in and out of the pits and they both managed 55 flying laps. Vettel completed his more than two minutes faster than Hamilton.
If that was repeated in a race, Hamilton would be lapped by the end.
And the pattern was repeated on Thursday with Mark Webber and Jenson Button, although the margin was reduced to about half a minute.
Of course, this is very far from an exact scientific comparison.
They didn't use the same tyres as each other - although they don't necessarily have to in the race either.
We don't know what they were doing with fuel loads - although it would be counter-intuitive to start putting fuel in at pit stops because it would provide the team with data that was never going to be relevant to competition.
And it's an especially confusing situation because only the day before Vettel was saying how impressed he had been with the McLaren's pace on the longer runs.
But there was more - none of it especially happy ready for those hoping for a close season.
On the Wednesday, Vettel's fastest time of all was nearly a second faster than Hamilton's on the same type of tyres. Although both were set on very short runs - suggesting a qualifying-type simulation - that's still potentially meaningless as there is no way of knowing the level of fuel on board at the time.
Nevertheless, if you then look at the lap times both were doing at the start of their race-distance runs, they were about the same margin slower than each driver's fastest laps as you would expect given a full race fuel load.
That suggests that the headline lap times of those two drivers could be a reasonably accurate indicator of form - again worrying for McLaren.
Of course, this is only testing, and teams have updates to put on their cars before the first race - as Button pointed out. And everyone expects McLaren to be a close to challenger at the front come Melbourne. Nevertheless, few are under any illusions about Red Bull's strength.
"You're old enough, Andrew," one senior insider said to me during the test, "to know that Red Bull look very strong. McLaren and Ferrari are a bit behind. Force India look like they have a quick car, too."
He might have added that the new Mercedes looks quite decent as well.
But few teams are as difficult to understand right now as Ferrari - who have not done any race simulations to compare with their main rivals.
The messages coming out of the team have all seemed pretty negative.
There has been a lot of attention put on technical director Pat Fry's remark at the first test in Jerez that Ferrari were "not happy" with their understanding of the car.
Start raking through the time sheets, though, and you begin wonder what's behind all the negativity.
On headline lap times, Alonso was less than 0.3secs behind Vettel. And on both his days he started 10-lap runs with a lap in the region of one minute 24.1 seconds.
If you take 10 laps' worth of fuel off that time, you are left with a lap in the low 1:23sec bracket - again, not far off what Vettel managed. And you can bet the Ferrari was running with more than just 10 laps of fuel anyway; most top teams routinely test with 60-80kg of fuel on board.
In other words, the Ferrari actually looks reasonably fast, and an insider did admit: "The car is not as bad as a lot of people think."
If - and it's a big if - Ferrari can start to extract that potential before the first race of the season, Red Bull might just have a serious fight on their hands. And that's without even considering what McLaren might be able to achieve.
After polishing off their RS2000 in 2011, Melkus went back and started working on a special edition to keep the momentum going. It’s called the RS2000 Black Edition and will, of course, be all about the color black, and not much of anything else. The new model will be priced at 149,900 euro - or about $200,000 at the current exchange rates.
The highlight of the new RS2000 Black Edition will be the brilliant deep black applied in six layers. Other than that, customers will get a carbon sport bodykit borrowed from the RS2000 GTS, including a carbon-fiber front spoiler and rear wing, a carbon-fiber diffuser, and side guides. For the interior, the new edition receives black leather seats, an Alcantara covered roof liner, and numerous piano lacquer and carbon trim pieces.
What the RS200 Black Edition lacks in exterior modifications, it doesn’t even make up for in speed. The special edition is powered by the same 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine delivering between 300 HP - 325 HP. Equipped with a a high-performance braking system, the new model will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and will be capable of hitting a top speed of 168 mph.