Monday, 29 October 2012

Movember, Will you be going growing your stache?

Caption: Movember's logo, support by growing your moustache.

Will you be registering to grow a moustache for a good cause, I know I will be. In order to understand Movember to you, I used Movember South Africa’s explanation, which goes as follows: During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

On Movember 1st, guys register at with a clean-shave face and then for the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into fine moustachery. Mo Sistas are the women who register to support the men in their lives, raising funds by seeking sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. And No this doesn’t mean that women have to grow moustaches, you would be supporting your Mo Bro. Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

At the end of the month (30 days), Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate by either throwing their own Movember party or attending one of the infamous Gala Partés held around the world by Movember, for Movember.

Information obtained from:

The statute of limitation has expired on most of our childhood traumas

Caption: As the pictures says, great things have the possibility of coming true.


Despite all the challenges we face during our childhood we always have the power to control our future and make the correct decisions. We as individuals have dreams and plot the way forward by work towards them in order to make the rest of our lives an incredible turn around and a huge success.

To be honest, I was very lucky as a child to have a caring parents and family, have the opportunity to go to school and excel in all the activities I had been introduced to. However I honestly believe that a person who had came from a traumatic childhood is a stronger individual than we may think, some of these individuals have even more will and power to do so and achieve greater things in their lives than some us who had an easy life. These traumatic experiences add to these individuals’ characters which build their attitudes in improving themselves and everything around them.

My presumption would be that those with the will to alter and make their lives better will improve the way forward, for all parties concerned. Life is more you to live, and not for you to impress other!

A tribute to a living legend

Caption: Michael Schumacher in this Mercedes AMG F1 car.
Source: Googleimages

This week we turn our attention to a living legend, Michael Schumacher born 3 January 1969. Michael Schumacher is a German Formula One racing driver. Schumacher is a seven-time World Champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time. He holds many of the formula's driver records, including most championships, race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season – 13 in 2004. In 2002 he became the only driver in Formula One history to finish in the top three in every race of a season and then also broke the record for most consecutive podium finishes. According to the official Formula One website he is "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen". In 2009, a poll of 217 Formula One drivers conducted by the British magazine Autosport named Schumacher the second-greatest F1 driver of all time, behind Ayrton Senna. As of the 2012 Formula One season Schumacher is the only driver left competing in Formula 1 to have raced against Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, whose record of total career wins he beat with his 52nd win at the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix.
Caption: Michael Schumacher on the poduim at the Spanish Formula 1 GP in 2004.
Source: Googleimages
After beginning with karting, Schumacher won German drivers' championships in Formula König and Formula Three before joining Mercedes in theWorld Sportscar Championship. After one Mercedes-funded race for the Jordan Formula One team Schumacher signed as a driver for the Benetton Formula One team in 1991. After winning consecutive championships with Benetton in 1994/5, Schumacher moved to Ferrari in 1996 and won another five consecutive drivers' titles with them from 2000 to 2004. Schumacher retired from Formula One driving in 2006 staying with Ferrari as an advisor. Schumacher agreed to return for Ferrari part-way through 2009, as cover for the badly injured Felipe Massa, but was prevented by a neck injury. He later signed a three-year contract to drive for the new Mercedes GP team starting in 2010 and is currently is his last year, in where he has stated that he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of this season, as Lewis Hamilton will take his place at Mercedes GP for the 2013 season.

Bad things happen quickly

Caption: The Miroshga running into trouble.

Some of you would be aware of the Hout Bay sea disaster, which took place on 13 October 2012, in where three British tourists and a local man were among the 38 passengers ship wreaked off Duiker Island, near Hout Bay. The City of Cape Town’s Disaster Management Unit, the SAPS, and the Western Cape Emergency Medical Services responded efficiently and professionally and, so did the volunteers of the National Sea Rescue Institute. I do admit that bad things happen very quickly, but with the speedily assistance of these emergency services, the outcome and disaster was minimized.

The occurrences on the day: According to EWN news, “The skipper held a basic skipper competency certificate, but it was not endorsed to allow him to act as skipper of a small passenger boat as prescribed by regulation.”
Caption: The Miroshga capsized wreck.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) also explained its findings with regard to the incorrectly wired “Aft Port Bilge Pump,” a pump that may have been able to remove the excess water that the Miroshga was taking on board as a result of rough seas:
·         The Miroshga proceeded to sea with an incorrectly wired aft port bilge pump. The bilge pump float switch was wired so that it ran continuously with the switch in the off (down) position but tripped the circuit breaker when the switch lifted as a result of rising water in the compartment. With the port bilge pump stopped water ingress through the compartment vent was uninhibited resulting in an increase in vessel trim by the stern as well as reduced freeboard resulting in flooding of the adjacent compartments and water coming on to the aft deck.The power cut is what then likely led to the engine failure, and the ultimate capsizing of the vessel.
Caption: The NSRI racing to the scene of the incident.

According to SAMSA, “With all propulsion power lost the vessel drifted closer inshore over shallow waters. There was an initial lack of appreciation of the danger by the skipper and when the danger was realized there was a delay in deploying the anchor due to the anchor compartment being locked closed. The vessel drifted into shallow waters where it encountered steep and breaking waves which finally capsized the vessel.
The position of the vessel in shallow water further complicated rescue efforts by responding vessels. But the local sailors together with the NSRI managed to save 38 passengers, with two reported missing. Without the assistance of the NSRI and the local sailors the death toll could have been increased, and for that I say THANK YOU for your brave activities. Apart from this the morale of this blog is that bad things happen quickly and due to the captain not correcting and looking at the necessary problems, it was primarily his mistake.
Source: EWN and News24

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The end of something special!

Caption: The young Aryton Senna

The death of Aryton Senna was one of the biggest events to ever occur in Formula 1’s history. The events leading up to the incident: Senna's third and final race of the 1994 season, the San Marino Grand Prix, was held on the "Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari" circuit located in Imola, Italy. Imola had traditionally been considered the beginning of the F1 season proper, on European soil.
During the afternoon qualifying session, Senna's compatriot and protégé Rubens Barrichello was involved in a serious accident when his Jordan became airborne at the Variante Bassa chicane (the last of the circuit) violently slamming into the tyres and fence. In the impact, Barrichello suffered a broken nose and arm; injuries that prevented him from competing in the race. Barrichello indicated that Senna was the first person he saw upon regaining consciousness.
The next day, Saturday, Austrian rookie driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed during qualifying in a devastating accident when the front wing of his Simtek-Ford broke while going flat out at the fast Villeneuve right-hand bend, sending the car into a concrete wall. A distraught Senna requested a track marshall to take him to the site of Ratzenberger's fatal crash. Senna was met by FIA's Medical Chief Professor Sid Watkins, who recalled that Senna was tearful, despite having only just met Ratzenberger the previous day. Professor Watkins suggested to Senna on that occasion to stop racing and go fishing (a hobby they both shared), to which Senna said he could not stop racing.
To obtain information about his injured colleagues that weekend, Senna climbed the fence of the Medical Centre after he inspected the crash site. Senna had commandeered an official's car to visit that site, yet the FIA chose not to take any formal disciplinary actions against Senna. 
Senna spent his final morning making time to meet with fellow drivers to discuss the re-establishment of a drivers' group (i.e. Grand Prix Drivers' Association) in an attempt to increase safety in Formula One, because of that weekend's tragic events. As the most senior driver, Senna offered to take the role of leader, starting from the next race event in Monaco. During the drivers' briefing, complaints were raised about the use of a Porsche 911 lead car (for commercial reasons) for the warm-up lap.
At the start of the Grand Prix race, Senna retained the lead from Schumacher but proceedings soon became interrupted by a huge accident on the start line, caused by JJ Lehto's Benetton-Ford stalling, and an unsighted Pedro Lamy ramming him in his Lotus-Mugen Honda at nearly full speed. A wheel was torn off the car and landed in the main grandstand, injuring eight fans and a police officer. The safety car, a sporty version of the Opel Vectra medium family saloon, was deployed and the drivers followed it for several laps. The Vectra's slow pace was later questioned because of the consequential drop in tyre pressures on the Formula One cars. Under those safety car conditions, video footage shows Senna pulling alongside the Vectra, gesticulating to the Vectra driver,Max Angelelli, to increase his speed. On the restart (lap 6), Senna immediately set a quick pace with the third quickest lap of the race, followed by Schumacher.
Caption: The terrible accident that cause Senna's death.

As Senna entered the high-speed Tamburello corner on lap 7, the car left the track at around 205 mph (330 km/h), hitting the concrete retaining wall at around 135 mph (217 km/h), after what telemetry showed to be an application of the brakes for around 2 seconds. The red flag was shown as a consequence of the accident. Within two minutes of crashing, Senna was extracted from his race car by Professor Sid Watkins and his medical team. Initial treatment took place by the side of the car, with Senna having a weak heartbeat and significant blood loss (approximately 4.5litres). Because of Senna's poor neurological condition, Professor Watkins performed an onsite tracheotomy and requested the immediate airlifting of Senna to Bologna's Maggiore Hospital, where he was declared dead hours later. Watkins later said that as soon as he saw Senna's fully dilated pupils, he knew that his brainstem was inactive and that he would not survive.
It was later revealed that, as medical staff examined Senna, a furled Austrian flag was found in his car—a flag that he had intended to raise in honour of Ratzenberger after the race.
Upon watching the documentary on Aryton Senna’s life and death, I couldn’t believe how nice the man was, and I definitely felt saddened by the passing of this legend.

Source: Senna (2010) documentary.

A tribute to a legend!

Caption: Aryton Senna lifting the winners trophy at the Australia GP in 1988
Source: Formula

I personally believe that I need to highlight the life of an absolute legend! Ayrton Senna da Silva (21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994) was a Br racing driver who won three Formula One world championships. Senna began his motorsport career in karting, moving up to open-wheel racing in 1981, and winning the British Formula 3 championship in 1983. He made his Formula One debut with Toleman-Hart in 1984 before moving to Lotus-Renault the following year and winning six GrandPrix’s over the next three seasons. In 1988, he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda. Between them, they won all but one of the 16 Grand Prix’s that year and Senna claimed his first World Championship. Prost claimed the championship in 1989, and Senna his second and third championships in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, the Williams-Renault combination began to dominate Formula One. Senna nonetheless managed to finish the 1993 season as runner-up, winning five races and negotiating a move to Williams in 1994.

Caption: Aryton Senna piloting his McLaren around Monaco
Source: Formula

Senna has been voted the best driver of all time in various motorsport polls. He was recognised for his qualifying speed over one lap and from 1989 until 2006 held the record for most pole positions. He was also acclaimed for his wet weather performances, such as the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix, the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix, and the 1993 European Grand Prix. He holds a record six victories at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix, and is the third most successful driver of all time in terms of race wins. Senna courted controversy throughout his career, particularly during his turbulent rivalry with Alain Prost. Both the 1989 Championship won by Prost and the 1990 Championship won by Senna were decided by collisions between the pair at those years' Japanese Grands Prix.
Gone too soon!

Source: Senna (2010) documentary.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Le Mans 24 Hour...........WHERE?????


The competiton is held near the height if the European summer in June, leading to very hot weather conditions which can make it very tricky for the racing driver, who sit in a closed roof vehicle cabin which can heat up to uncomfortable temperatures with poor ventalisation.

The race begins in mid-afternoon, in where they race through the night and following morning before finishing at the same time the race started, the following day. According to LeMans guide, (2011), “Over the 24 hour period modern competitors will complete race distances well over 5000 km. The distance record is 5410 km, recorded in the 2010 race.” These distances are covered over 24 hours, which really stretches out the true reliability of the car competing.

Le Mans hosted the 2012 endurance race, which saw Anthony Davidson crashing out in horrific fashion after he turned sharply infront of a Ferrari GT race car. This ten led to the Toyota Denso Hybrid team withdrawing in the end after their car faced a number of technical problems. Audi Quattro E-Tron WON the 2012 season!

Be bold and mighty forces will come to you aid

Caption: Getting stuck on an island with absolutely nothing but a flare. What do you do?

Oh no! We are sinking. Yes, my dear reader, this week we are going in a story direction. Imagine the following, actually happening to you. You have now finished your studies, and think of taking a break by sailing on a ship to your dream destination. You now board the ship and it takes off, and you now think about all the goals and achievements you have just achieved.

Caption: Believe me, if they see the flare they will come!

It’s now 10 days into the journey, and the ship begins to sink and the closest thing to your eye is an Island, 2 kilometres away. Bad sadly, the ship Captain forgot to turn-on the tracking device for Rescue Services, and this now leads to the Captain firing flares into the sky’s and no response was obtained from this. Without a thought, you jump into the water in order to save yourself.

You and 500 other passengers on the ship are now on this deserted Island, and its day 6 of being stuck on this Island......................

What happens next?

24 Hours of racing.......that’s awesome!

Caption: The 2012 Le Mans winning car.

The Le Mans 24 Hour race (French; 24 Heures du Mans) is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually in the Town of Le Mans. This event is commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have a balance speed against the cars ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining any mechanical damage to the car and manage the cars fuel, tyres and brakes.

The endurance of the drivers is likewise tested as the drivers frequently spend stints of 2/4 hours behind the wheel before stopping in the pits. It has become a rule that there are three drivers, which share each competing vehicle.

Competing teams have a wide a variety of organisations, ranging from road car manufacturers to professional racing teams who represent their commercial companies and brands (sponsors).

Would you be able to race for 24 hours? Or even participate within this competition?

Is it a bird or a plane?.....NO, it’s Truck Racing

Caption: This looks extremely awesome, doesn't it!

You might be asking yourself, is he for real. Well, yes ladies and gentlemen, it is yet another week of schooling YOU my reader on motorsport across the globe. Let’s get into truck racing.

Truck racing involves modified versions of heavy duty tractor unites on racing circuits. This sport started in United States of America in the 1980’s. The races were mostly in Southern United States, and also the trucks used were actually real working trucks and used street tires. In England, truck racing has increased, and currently over 30 teams regularly compete.

Caption: One of the most nicest looking racing trucks.

The sporting regulations came under control by the International Motor racing Governing body (FIA) which ensured that the vehicles conform to the layout and original style of the truck, in where the safety standards were established. 

These trucks are restricted to 160km/h for safety reasons, and according to the FIA regulations the truck should weigh nothing less than 5500kg. On the day of a race, trucks are allowed to have a rolling start, in where the race commonly lasts from 8-12 laps.

Would you ever participate and this form of motorsport? (I would love to!)

If not now, then when?

Caption: It may seem hard, but think of the long run returns.

Save, Save and Save! What do I mean by this you might ask? Well this blog is about saving your money because ‘if not now, then when?’  What are you waiting for? Think about your future. Do you want to drive that (R Million) Ferrari or even own a Mansion?

You have to take responsibility for your life? If not, now then never. I suggest that you stop making excuses and start now to go for what you want in the future. The key word is: SAVE!!!!  Sadly, so in this day and age, there are so much temptations out there and influences, such as:
  1. Peer Pressure,
  2. Influence of being better than others,
  3. Advertising,
  4. Marketing.

These elements not only distract us from our ‘Saving Frenzy’, but makes us think! Why not spend a few (RAND) on that, it won’t cost a lot. In the end, you will be a multi-billionaire! Just believe in your will power and you can succeed!

Do it, do it Now!

The racing scene!

Caption: The construction of a world class truck>

We now take a look at the technical side of Truck Racing, because you might be asking. What do these trucks look like and what gets done differently from those we regularly see around use.

I will now dissect all the technical elements required for one to participate within this form of Motorsport. Trucks involved in this form of motorsport, needs to fit in line with the FIA requirements, and with this said, some trucks are built from ground up, with very stringent specifications.

The trucks are placed in a number of categories from A-F, with different regulations and specification, and to look closer at these trucks they pack a modified engine, which is able to accelerate faster, together with a better steering and braking system. There are also special tyres used and these vehicles are lightened for faster movements and speeds.

The safety elements:
  • A cage (bull bar) on the rear of the truck.
  • A roll cage inside the cabin.
  • A racing seat.
  • Racing seatbelts.
  • And, ofcourse a racing helmet and driver wearing a racing suit.

I really hope you enjoyed the technical side of Truck racing!

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!