Thursday 27 September 2012

Drag racing in South Africa.

Caption: Louis Lima launching his machine in 2002 with a time of 8.6 seconds.

In South Africa, Drag racing is an established sport, with a number of strips around the country including: Tarlton International Raceway, ODI Raceway and Killarney Racetrack to name a few. Drag racing is controlled by Motorsport South Africa (MSA) and all drivers are required to hold a valid Motorsport South Africa license. Drivers can compete in a number of categories including Top Eliminator, Senior Eliminator, Super Competition Eliminator, Competition Eliminator, Pro Street Bikes, Superbike Eliminator, Supersport Shootout (motorcycle), Street Modified, and Factory Stock. These events are hosted on a regular basis and a schedule can be found on their website:

Caption: The fastest BMW of its kind on this planet!

The sad thing is that in South Africa, we do not have a set drag racing series for Top-fuel drag racing cars or funny cars, but at many national events, you would be able to see these machines, and impressive enough some of South African drag racers have world records, namely: Butler Motorsport with a record time of 7.69 seconds and the machine of choice is a BMW E20, which is South Africa’s first 7-second turbo car, followed by Louis Lima with 8.6-seconds in 2002, which has now been broken but his choice of weaponry was a Nissan Champ 1400 bakkie, which did some crazy wheelies when launching off this line.

If you like what you reading, grab a copy of Speed and Sound Magazine at any stockist and you can obtain the schedules of South African events and even get up to gate on currently events and upcoming monster machines. Grab it while its hot!

Watch this space.

Caption: Need I say more!

Yes, I’m telling you my reader to watch this space..... because great things are set to happen, not only on this blog, but with the content. My passion for motorsport and writing has grown tremendously over this ‘schooling’ process, and YES from now on in my blogs will be improving on a content basis as well as on a motorsport update level.

A writer aims to please their readers, but in this instance, I’m trying to convert you into the fun side of life (motorsport). And, NO guy’s motorsport isn’t just about going around in circles; there is more that meets the eye, if you actually follow these sports. Therefore, I really hope that you will enjoy the content!

What is drag racing???

Caption: This is drag racing, but always remember to keep it safe!

Yes, my fellow readers. It’s once again another awesome week of schooling you about the different forms of motorsport. I truly hope that you are enjoying it! Drag racing is a competition in which specially prepared car (vehicles) or motorbikes who compete, usually two at a time, to be the first to cross a set finish line. The race follows a straight course from a standing start over a measured distance, most commonly ¼ mile for most cars, where as a shorter distance of 300 m for some Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars. Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s.

Caption: This is a purpose top-fuel dragster, with common times of 5-6 seconds!

An example of a drag race: You are placed in your category from A-Z for normal cars, and you line up next to your competitors, you now have a minute to warm up your tyres to get the perfect traction (grip) off the line, which would assist you in gaining a faster time. Warming up your tyres in this sport is commonly known as burn-outs, following this process. You line up next to your competitor, and you wait for four white lights, which indicates, that you are lined up correct. The next step would be to raise the revv count, which would give you a perfect launch and with this you’ll have to react quickly because a set of red, amber and green lights will go off in a few seconds, which now unleashes you and it’s you and your competitor on track, until passing the finish line, and if you won (well done).

If you want to try this out (drag racing), Killarney Racetrack in Cape Town regularly hosts Street to Strip events, in where you would be able to race your vehicle in the confines of a safe environment.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Formula 1 – A technical background

Caption: In cockpit with Lewis Hamilton.

Now that you know a bit about Formula 1 let’s move onto the technical elements, which separates this sport for the others. There are 15 elements, that ensures the successful running and participation of all teams in Formula 1, which will now be discussed. Read and enjoy!

Caption: Aerodynamics is extremely important in Formula 1.

1. Aerodynamics
The modern Formula One car has almost as much in common with a jet fighter as it does with an ordinary road car. Aerodynamics have become key to success in the sport and teams spend tens of millions of dollars on research and development in the field each year, which sets this sport apart from the other forms of motorsport.

2. Brakes
Formula One cars are surprisingly closely related to their road-going cousins, as ABS anti-skid systems have been banned from F1, but these brake systems and kits have been adapted to the stress and pressure that these machines place on them, for example the high corner braking heats up the brake pads, which then cause a red glow and normal cars would catch alight instantly, but this is a story for another day.

3. Cornering
Cornering is vital to the business of racing cars, and Formula One is no exception. On straights the battle tends to be determined by the power of engine and brakes, but come the corners and the driver's skill becomes more immediately apparent.

Source: Jenson Button showing you how fit you need to be.

4. Driver fitness
Formula One drivers are some of the most highly conditioned athletes on earth, their bodies specifically adapted to the very exacting requirements of top-flight single-seater motor racing. They are projected to forces that could snap a neck (break neck speeds).

5. Flags
Marshals at various points around the circuit are issued with a number of standard flags, all used to communicate vital messages to the drivers as they race around the track.

6. Fuel
The fuel it runs on is surprisingly close to the composition of ordinary, commercially available petrol.

7. Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS)
The acronym KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System. The device recovers the kinetic energy that is present in the waste heat created by the car’s braking process.

8. Logistics
Logistics plays a key role in Formula 1 because it deals with the transportation of these cars from country to country.

9. Overtaking
One driver can only occupy on pole position for a race, and the entire grid wants to finish on the top step of the podium, overtaking is of vital importance in Formula 1 not only for the championship, but also for the business side of Formula 1.

10. Pit stops
The precisely timed, millimetre perfect choreography of a modern pit stop is vital to help teams to turn their race strategy into success - changing a car’s tyres, which is the only thing that can be added to the car as the 2012 rules have stated that no refuelling can take place.

11. Race control
Overseas the entire weekend of motorsport (Formula 1).

12. Race strategy
The team employees’ key strategist, which solely works to improve the performance and chooses options that, would best suit the team.

13. Steering wheel
Modern Formula 1 cars steering wheels focus on elements to control parts of the car to create an advantage, to slowing the car or even turning up the motor, another famous gadget is the flappy paddle gearbox, which it uses.

14. Suspension
Suspension is what harnesses the power of the engine, the downforce created by the wings and aerodynamic pack and the grip of the tyres, and these elements are all controlled by the FIA with their strict rules and regulations.

15. Tyres
A modern Formula One car is a technical masterpiece. But the tyres are still a race car’s biggest single performance variable.

My favourite Cat in the Hat book is ‘How the Frinch stole Christmas!’; because.....

Caption: A very interesting story, which was converted into a movie.

Honestly, who can’t remember this book even before the release of the movie, which started Jim Carey. The book discusses how the ‘Grinch hates Christmas’ and wants to stop it from coming by all necessary ways. So he forms a devious plan to impersonate Santa Claus and to steal the Christmas presents, which would be delivered on Christmas eve.

But on the Christmas morning, the Grinch is in for a shocking surprise. He did not stop Christmas from coming! And the Grinch realizes something new. That maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. That maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!

This is bluck of the story, but other than that what is your favourite book, in the Dr. Suess collection?

Motorsport + Formula’s = Formula 1

Caption: The amazing Formula 1 logo.

That is a simple motorsport equation. Yes, dear reader it is officially another week of schooling you about the world, my world for that matter, which revolves around this form of motorsport. Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the ‘FIA Formula One World Championship”. The "formula", designated in the name, refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply with.

The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix which is held on
purpose-built circuits and public roads across the world. The results of each race are combined with a points system to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors. The racing drivers (Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton), constructor teams (Ferrari, Mclaren, Redbull, Mercedes etc), track officials, organisers.

Caption: These are a few teams in Formula 1.

Formula One car’s are the fastest circuit-racing cars in the world and this is a fact, owing to very high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to 340 km/h with engines limited in performance to a maximum of 18,000 (RPM) in relation to the rules and regulations put in place by the FIA. The cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of 5 g in corners. The performance of the cars is very dependent on electronics – although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008 – and on aerodynamics, suspension and tyres.

Caption: Fernando Alonso leading the pack into the first corner in the 2012 season.

Now that you have learnt a bit, let me move on to the technical elements of Formula 1. I truly, hope that you are enjoying this read!

Monday 17 September 2012

Five Easy Steps to Become a Drifter

Caption: Otto Graven, the first South African drifter to participate in Formula Drift.

Have you ever thought of becoming a drifter? Well, I have 5 easy steps that would ensure that you could become a potential drifter sooner than later. Drifting of the art of taking corners at high speeds while the rear of the car is at an angle to the corner. The drifting scene has exploded on South African soil, with many local events being hosted around South Africa. There are many people out there who fit the criteria to be a drifter, but they most likely don’t know what, where and how to get involved.

Caption: Tips on putting your car sideways!

Ernest Page a well known motor journalist and judge said, “....get a banged up rear wheel drive car. Make it reliable, lock the differential and put it sideways”. Advice given from professional drifters across the world is that you should watch drifting videos, as some videos demonstrate the techniques that we as professionals use within our careers.

Before you can actually master the art of drifting you should practice, practice and even more practice is needed as once you have mastered to control the machine (vehicle) you have one foot in the door. Some advice from the top South African drifters are, “.....don’t buy a brand new drift car, before you have learnt the art of drifting, settle for something rear wheel drive, that would survive some torture before, you really get deep into drifting, where you then will require a serious drift machine as you then enter Drift competitions and series.

Caption: Otto Graven in the house!

Otto Graven, the South Africa Drift King (D.K) said, “....If you would like to be a drifter you must eat, sleep, drink drifting, it must take over your whole life. My business revolves around drifting, so if you’re serious about drifting Monstermob has an extensive drift programme for beginners.

If you have not picked up the five steps they are: you should eat, sleep and drink the sport, buy a banged up rear wheel drive and lock the differential, watch some drift clips and try to get your hands on a copy of the Drift Bible and Initial D, practice continuously and remember not to buy a brand new car for learning how to drift, as you will damage it!

Why I have conversations?

Caption: Conversations assist in sharing all forms of information.

Well, without conversations information can’t be exchanged, and ideas can’t be formulated, but I will now give you tips on how to have a great conversation:
1. Be confident – Being around confident people makes you feel good, in where the other person energy and enthusiasm would be infectious, and makes all the conversation participants feel confident and comfortable.
2. Find out about the person you’ll be talking to before you actually talk to them, if you can – basically do research into their work, hobbies etc.
3. Ask Questions – What do they like to do? What sort of things have they done in their lives? What is happening to them now? What did they do today or last week? Etc.
4. Listen – This is one of the most important parts of your conversation because without listening you won’t be able to respond appropriately. Pay attention to what is being said.
5. Consider your response before disagreeing – If the point was not important, ignore it rather than risk appearing argumentatively.
6. Don’t panic over lulls – This could be the point where you could easily inject your thoughts into the discussion.
7. Remember that sometimes of a conversation isn’t going well, it might not be your fault – Sometimes the other person is distracted/lost in thought, isn’t willing to contribute, or is having a bad day.
8. Know when the conversation is over – Even the best conversations will eventually run out of steam or be ended by an interruption.

Think about this, and in your next conversation use these tips, and let me know how it goes!

Drifting – taking corners sideways!

Caption: This is the art of drifting!

Let me begin my series of blogs on motorsport. If you are not sure as to what drifting really is about, you’ll now learn a bit about this awesome sport. Many of professional drifter’s define drifting as taking a corner at high speed while the rear is at an angle to the corner that has been taken. Drifting can be compared to power sliding as the car slides into corners, but the only difference would be that the car is taking the corner at an angle while being controlled by the driver. There is loads of tyre smoke as the car flows through corners, moving from point A to point B.

The most important requirement while drifting is that the driver is required to balance the vehicle as it is essentially out of control and regarding control once the corner has been exited. The most commonly used drift machines (vehicles) in South Africa are: Nissan 200sx, Nissan 350Z, Mazda RX7, BMW E46’s, Nissan R34 and R35 Skylines. These vehicles are seen at all the local events in South Africa. South Africa has a drift king by the name of Otto Graven. Otto Graven hales from Kimberley and owns Monstermob raceway. Apart from his building, Otto owns a Nitros Oxide System (NOS) Nissan 350z, R33 Skyline, BMW M3 CSL (monster) and lastly a Mustang GT500 fastback, all of which are his drifting tools.

Hope you enjoyed and learnt a bit about the motorsport called drifting!

Monday 10 September 2012

Motorsport (brum, brum)

Caption: This is Formula 1, and you'll soon read about it.
Source: googleimages

For those of you, who aren’t sure as to why I’m writing this blog, well it’s to inform you my readers about motorsport. Motorsport or motorsports is the group of sports which involves the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. MotoSport refers to motorcycle racing specifically and includes off-road racing such as motocross.

In today’s age, there are hundreds if not thousands of motorsports around the world, namely:

Caption: Welcome to Drifitng!

1. Formula 1
2. Karting
3. Drifting
4. Truck Racing
5. Drag racing
6. Track (oval) racing
7. Formula VW
8. Production Car racing
9. Supercar racing
10. LeMans 24 Hour
11. MotoGP
12. FMX
13. Sideways motorcycling
14. Powerboats
15. Air racing
16. Monster Truck racing, and many more………

Motor racing is the division of motorsport/motosport activities which involve competitors racing against each other, in all of the above mentioned racing programmes or forms of racing. Motorsport is an extremely difficult sport to break into, because you need money and many of us do not have extra money for this type of hobby. Plus, your fitness levels need to be top notch, because racing involves focus and a slight itch here or there could distract you, which could lead to an accident etc.

Through, the next few weeks, I’ll be schooling you on a bit about these different forms of motorsport. Stay tuned! But sadly enough in South Africa we participate in a few forms of motorsport namely: drifting, drag racing, MotoGP, Formula VW and track (oval) racing.

100 things to do before I die!

Caption: My bucket is overflowing sadly enough.
Source: googleimages

There are more than a million things that I’d like to do before I die, but I think it won’t come true because we all die on 21 December 2012, but let me not get started there. Below you’ll find a list of my top 68 things, that I’d love to do before I die, enjoy the read!

1. Bungee Jumping.
2. Skydiving.
3. Shark cage diving.
4. Jump off a high cliff into the ocean.
5. Scuba Diving at the Great Barrier Reef.
6. Water skiing.
7. Windsurfing.
8. Surfing.
9. Whitewater rafting.
10. Go on a Safari.
11. Go up in a Hot Air Balloon.
12. Quad biking on dunes.
13. Ride a Camel.
14. Ride an Ostrich.
15. Driving a Formula 1 car at break neck speeds.
16. Owning a Lamborghini or Ferrari.
17. Flying an aircraft.
18. Go camping.
19. Holiday with best friends.
20. Roadtrip.
21. Trip around the world (in 80 days).
22. Make a wacky snowman.
23. Go Snowboarding and skiing.
24. Living in Antarctica.
25. Throw a huge house party.
26. Go to Brazil (2014).
27. Visiting the Eiffel Tower.
28. The Pyramids of Egypt.
29. The Grand Canyon.
30. The Komodo Islands.
31. The Statue of Liberty.
32. The Great Wall of China.
33. The Roman Colosseum.
34. Vegas (what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas).
35. Monaco.
36. Learn 8 exotic languages (French, Italian etc).
37. Experience the Rio Carnival live.
38. Make R1,000,000,000.
39. Get my Fortune Told.
40. Go skinny-dipping in the ocean.
41. Abseiling off the tallest building in Abu Dhabi.
42. Get Married.
43. Have my own family.
44. Become a professional photographer.
45. Helping someone without wanting anything in return.
46. Be a teacher (for a limited period).
47. Getting my life in shape.
48. Make a difference in the world.
49. Meditating.
50. Plant a tree.
51. Own a Husky.
52. Learn to play bass guitar.
53. Learn to play drums.
54. Learn my favourite song on an instrument (Linkin Park).
55. Learn the Salaa and Jazz dance.
56. Making money from my business.
57. Building my own professional website.
58. Making a top class movie.
59. Writing a book (better than 50 shades of grey).
60. Eating insects (in foreign countries).
61. Eat something raw.
62. Catch a fish.
63. Climb Table Mountain.
64. Build something that will last for centuries.
65. Attend a concert or musical festival.
66. Sending a message in a bottle.
67. Dance in the rain.
68. Make a donation.

This is a list of 68. If you have read my blog before, there are a number of other things that I’d like to add, but what would you add to my list?

Quote by an inspirational man!

Caption: An inspiration to all mankind!

An inspirational man, to all of society Nelson Mandela, the father of South Africa and our rainbow nation said:

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

Through his life, he said a number of things, which I totally agree with. These wise words of Tata Mandela are so inspiring and my understanding thereof, is that you can lead from the back and let everyone think that they are succeeding and surpassing you, and when you do have an edge to show your true advantage. A simple example, A quiet student at varsity, that rarely speaks or engages, is asked to present in the class, and he or she blows everyone away by their ability.

What is your take on this quote?

Monday 3 September 2012

Time consuming

Caption: Plan your time!

In the 21st century, we have so many activities that consumes our time, and I believe that to be something very negative in terms of stress and the statistics of people having heart attacks etc., which I find very shocking. Just the mere fact that it can happen to you at any point in time, whether you are healthy or unhealthy, do something and fast regardless of your time being restricted.

I have unbelievable deadlines, but with time management or great time management for that fact, comes great responsibility. I manage my time effectively in ways you can’t believe. Every day, I take a 30 minute jog just to relax and unwind, as I need this down time.

Exercising the most important muscle in your body needs to occur on a regular basis or things could go pear shaped, in terms of your existence on this earth, and you could land up 6 feet under before you know it. Time stands still for no money, so what I suggest is effective time management. In where, you can schedule some form of exercising to better yourself.

Time and deadlines can be overcome with a strict schedules, and I suggest that you write or draw one up A.S.A.P.

My big fat BIG dream

Caption: Dream big!

My dream as a young boy came from my toys, in where I use to play with fire trucks, and make the actual sounds, in where my grandmother always used to run to the closest window and check if there was an actual emergency out there. While, I continued inside my room, she came to realize that I was in fact the culprit.

In all honesty, my passion for cars grew when I disassembled my model cars in the attempt of “modifying it”, the sad thing is that I destroyed some beautiful cars back then, if I could reverse time I really would not, but enough about that let me get into my dream.

Caption:Something I'd love to do!

The biggest dream, I have had for ages now, is working within one of the world greatest motorsport racing team “Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 Team.” This passion grew from, when I had seen them in action at the actual races.

With that said, you can establish that I am a huge “petrolhead”, with a dream that thousands of men out there have, but I have an edge over them because, I have not only worked with a team, but I’m involved within the motorsport fraternity.

So let me just rephrase this again, my big fat dream is to work with the motorsport fraternity, for the best team in the world “Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1”. If this dream can become a reality, I would be one of the happiest persons (men) on earth.

VIVA Scuderia Ferrari, VIVA!!!!!!!!!!

Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Caption: Would you?

Of course I would, wouldn’t you! Love and passion forces you to do absolutely crazy things, whether it be proving yourself by doing something you usually wouldn’t. This then shows us that we would go through anything or would do anything for a loved one.
Believe me, if a loved one suffered a harsh crime. For example, a robber broke into my uncle’s home, in where my cousin was terribly injured. Your emotions automatically kick in and you do things you shouldn’t, namely:
1. Fight,
2. Hunt down,
3. Or even confront.
Anger and mixed emotions can lead to harsh consequences, but we end up breaking the law to ensure that our loved ones could come to terms with whatever had happened to them. If something was to happen to your family member, wife, child, husband, etc. You can’t tell me, that you will let law take its course, no matter how easy it could be to say that. In all honesty, you would only know when you are in this situation.