Sunday, December 24, 2006

Evo 9 GSR on ATP 3071R

The owner of this Evo 9 GSR (with just 3000 km on the odometer!) used to own a heavily modded S15 with more than 500 whp and so had a very good idea of what he wanted out of this car. It had to be quick enough to get from A to B but practical enough to be used on a daily basis.

A suggestion was made to reprogram the factory ECU which was met with initial skepticism, but quickly gained favor when it was proven that it had no problems with controlling larger injectors and was able to maintain drivability with no stalling or hunting at idle. Factory knock control is retained, ensuring a balance between engine longevity and performance.

  1. "Off-road use only" exhaust

  2. 800cc injectors

  3. ATP3071R

  4. 1.6 bar boost with Blitz i-Color boost controller

  5. 98 RON octane

  6. Standard ECU, reprogrammed

Both runs were in 3rd gear, using an ambient temperature of 27 degC, relative humidity of 84% and atmospheric pressure at 100 kPa. SAE correction was applied.

Vehicle weight entered was 1555 kg inclusive of driver and full tank of gas, although a different vehicle with driver was weighed to be about 1620 kg (!) Actual shipping records reveal that the Evo is also around the 1.5 metric ton region, contrary to the declared "1420 kg" curb weight published in Mitsubishi's marketing material and workshop manuals.

Drag coefficient of 0.38, frontal area of 23.38 square feet.

ATP's own dyno data for a USDM Evo 8.

Peak HP and peak torque are practically identical to the ATP data, although the comparison vehicle has more torque earlier in the rev range. Could it be due to differences in gearing, causing the load to ramp up earlier on the ATP vehicle?

Monday, December 11, 2006

NBA 2K7 for Xbox 360

Pretty animations... could've sworn it's real live footage.

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

E=2 Extraversion
I=9 Introversion
S=11 Sensing
N=9 iNtuition
T=14 Thinking
F=5 Feeling
J=8 Judging
P=11 Perceiving
You are an ISTP

ISTP - Police, detectives, forensic pathologists, computer programmers, system analysts, computer specialists, engineers, carpenters, mechanics, pilots, drivers, athletes, entrepreneurs, firefighters, paramedics, construction workers, dental hygienists, electrical engineers, farmers, military, probation officers, steelworkers, transportation operatives, hitmen. With the ability to stay calm under pressure, they excel in any job which requires immediate action.

Interesting... I have held some of these positions in my work history. "Hitman" sounds the sexiest though.

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Small world

Doing my reservist now, and it sure is a small world out there.

#1 This morning my company went to the Singapore Discovery Center. Among the exhibits was a video segment about a music producer; none other than my ex-course mate Mr Clifton See.

#2 Eve's ex-classmate's cousin's husband is in the same cohort as I am.

#3 Same goes for my ex-colleague.

#4 This evening I was introduced to someone working in the automotive industry. Turns out we contracted his father's services just 2 days ago and he remembers me.

#5 My section mates were in the same batch as my cousin during active service.

#6 The perennial party-goer in my section also knows Eve and the extended Zouk fraternity.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Operative word: HOT!

Sam's car
Originally uploaded by crufty.
The A/C has been down for the last 2 days, and with just a fan for ventilation it gets unbearably hot to even think.

This week's mode of color: white! The shop has seen 3 white cars spending a lot of time in it. A few weeks ago it was red. Wonder what color would be next...

Speaking of colors, finally managed to capture Sam's car in its true hue. More pix here and here. Results best viewed on a properly color-calibrated Mac. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Dyno Day

2.2L GT35R on 98 RON petrol, 1.5 bar boost. Figures are "at wheels".

Total of 4 runs, on 2 different maps.

Props to all who consulted, supported or encouraged this effort. We are not done yet.

Friday, October 20, 2006

ECU trends at SAE Convergence

He (Steve Magner of Ford Motor Co) used the term "high degree of freedom" (HDOF) to describe the typical modern powerplant, and explained that the table-based method ("full factorial mapping") of calibrating ECUs has basically reached its limit. Where as it's desirable to complete the calibration of a new engine in about four months, a HDOF engine currently requires up to 15 months to fully define in the laboratory. In one example, developing just the timing maps for the EPA' s fuel economy test cycle involved 630 states of operation and three months of time on the dyno.

Via Autoblog

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2006 2.5L WRX STI test drive

Managed to test drive the 2.5L WRX STI. Motor Image supplied a basic model in black, with more than 2000 km on the odometer... tires are RE070 with 225 width, slightly worn, but still road-worthy.

First things first, the good stuff. Good usable torque down low in the rev range, decent interior. Suspension is firm, maybe a little too firm for local roads. That's about it.

Now on to the stuff I didn't like.

Didn't get the chance to pop open the hood, but I suspect this model has a drive-by-wire throttle. The idling is uneven. The RPM nose-dives, sometimes even hitting the big "0" on the tachometer when making a turn, and the steering suddenly goes heavy at times. A quick prod of the throttle yields... NOTHING! Ironically a DBW throttle integrated with a good idle control system should have eliminated these problems, yet here they are rearing their ugly heads! And this is in a stock car! I've driven some very temperamental cars with aggressive cam overlaps and they don't exhibit symptoms as severe as this.

Secondly, the gear shift. Pushing the gear lever into first feels rough, as if the synchronizers are worn. Second is just as bad. Third and up feels fine though. Now if you're just moving off slowly from standstill, it's not so bad. But when the throttle is floored, and you depress the clutch pedal to shift into 2nd, you find that the linkage shifts so badly you find yourself shifting into 4th instead of 2nd!

Third... the differential is screwed. Making turns is difficult, and you can feel the inside and outside wheels disagreeing on the proper speeds to maintain. It became so bad until a loud "KLONK" could be heard emanating from the back. Eventually I just gave up and set the DCCD torque split to a RWD-biased configuration.

Maybe I was unlucky and drove a lemon. Maybe they need a reason for customers to buy the S204. I drove Edmund's 2.5L WRX and that was by far a much better drive. Sure the power is not up to par but it's a much better value for money. I would be amazed if anyone still put a deposit on it without at least giving an Evo 9 GT a test drive first.


So my sister-in-law, who's a teacher, was trying to instill in my nephew a sense of industriousness.

"Mommy works hard at school so that she gets paid and can buy things for the family."

At which point the little boy looks stunned.

"You mean you get paid?! I hate going to school but I still do, and they don't pay me!"

Couch potato

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Giants Sometimes Get Things Wrong, Too

Given David Buschur's standing in the US Evo forums, he's pretty much untouchable. It's impossible to hold a meaningful discussion there because his words carry a lot of weight and the fanboys are just going to jump in and start a slagging match.

My personal observation in the past is that if you put a GT3582 turbo on a car it is going to make XX power, depending on the parts combinations the car has on it. The absolute highest WHP I have seen from a GT35R is Curt Brown's car. It made right at 650 whp here on our dyno at 40 psi of boost. The turbo kit is an AMS GT35R kit. Now you need to understand that Curt's car has every single part you can imagine on it, everything has been lightened as light as it can go, wheels, tires, clutch, flywheel, brakes etc. This all helps to increase the power levels. Not taking anything away from it, just making a point that all of the power isn't from the difference in the turbo kit. I have dyno'd other AMS kits that made what I would expect, Curt, his car and his driving are all FREAKS!! haha

My personal RS with 17" SSR wheels, Neova tires, stock sized brakes front and rear, e-brake still instact, Exedy Clutch (20 pounds heavier than a Tilton) stock intake manifold and throttle body made 572 whp at 38 psi of boost. There more power to be had and I think I could have hit 600 whp with it. No telling how much power I'd gain if I took 20 pounds off the flywheel, put lightweight brakes etc on the car. Not sure that the sheetmetal intakes and 3" throttle bodies would pick up anything substantial or not. But these are all differences that need to be said.

Original thread here.

I don't see how you can gain power by lightening the vehicle. Can you?

This is not a bash. I feel DB makes some pretty good products, and is overall a straight up dude. But some things he says, just don't make sense at all. So... the point of this post is to remind everyone that even the greats are fallible. Be on your guard. Always.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lotus Esprit V8 GT1 on track

Importance of keeping hard braking in a straight line. Car sounded like it suffers from lift-off detonation too.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Why We Fight DVD

So I finally managed to get my hands on the DVD. This is a non-political film; in fact is was completed right around the 2004 US elections but the director chose to delay its release so as not to dilute its message with charges of partisanship.

It traces the etymology of the phrase "military-industrial complex" to Eisenhower and shows how American society has transformed into a militarized nation with imperial ambitions with its associated problems (need for a standing army, budget imbalance, resentment from foreign nations etc).

It is also not an anti-military film. In fact one of the stories is about how one young American signed up into millitary service as his only escape route out of a life of poverty. There are also interviews with ex-military/CIA personnel who have become disillusioned with the system and have chosen to speak up about what's wrong with it. Interviews with the 2 stealth fighter pilots who dropped so-called "smart bombs" which initiated the Iraq conflict.

Irony is not lost on the viewer when a Vietnamese war refugee who is now building "bunker busters" is asked about how she feels about war.

A deeply powerful film that needs to be watched.

Here's the synopsis from the DVD. It's a piece written in the NYT on 27 Feb 2006.

Ike Saw It Coming by Bob Herbert

Early in the documentary film "Why We Fight", Wilton Sekzer, a retired New York City police officer whose son was killed in the World Trade Center attack, describes his personal feelings in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11.

"Somebody had to pay for this," he says. "Somebody had to pay for 9/11. ...I wanna see their bodies stacked up for what they did. For taking my son."

Lost in the agony of his grief, Mr. Sekzer wanted revenge. He wanted the government to go after the bad guys, and when the government said the bad guys were in Iraq, he didn't argue.

For most of his life Mr. Sekzer was a patriot straight out of central casting. His view was always "If the bugle calls, you go." When he was 21 he was a gunner on a helicopter in Vietnam. He didn't question his country's motives. He was more than willing to place his trust in the leadership of the nation he loved.

"Why We Fight," a thoughtful, first-rate movie directed by Eugene Jarecki, is largely about how misplaced that trust has become. The central figure in the film is not Mr. Jarecki, but Dwight Eisenhower, the Republican president who had been the supreme Allied commander in Europe in World War II, and who famously warned us at the end of his second term about the profound danger inherent in the rise of the military-industrial complex.

Ike warned us, but we didn't listen. That's the theme the movie explores. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address to a national television and radio audience in January 1961. "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience," he said. He recognized that this development was essential to the defense of the nation. But he warned that "we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications."

"The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist," he said. "We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." It was as if this president, who understood war as well or better than any American who ever lived, were somehow able to peer into the future and see the tail of the military-industrial complex wagging the dog of American life, with inevitably disastrous consequences.

The endless billions to be reaped from the horrors of war are a perennial incentive to invest in the war machine and to keep those wars a-coming. "His words have unfortunately come true," says Senator John McCain in the film. "He was worried that priorities are set by what benefits corporations as opposed to what benefits the country."

The way you keep the wars coming is to keep the populace in a state of perpetual fear. That allows you to continue the insane feeding of the military-industrial complex at the expense of the rest of the nation's needs. "Before long," said Mr. Jarecki in an interview, "the military ends up so overempowered that the rest of your national life has been allowed to atrophy."

In one of the great deceptive maneuvers in U.S. history, the military-industrial complex (with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney as chairman and C.E.O, respectively) took its eye off the real enemy in Afghanistan and launched the pointless but far more remunerative war in Iraq.

If you want to get a chill, just consider the tragic chaos in present-day Iraq (seven G.I's were killed on the day I went to see "Why We Fight") and then listen to Susan Eisenhower in the film recalling a quotation attributed to her grandfather. "God help this country when somebody sits at this desk who doesn't know as much about the military as I do."

The military-industrial complex has become so pervasive that it is now, as one of the figures in the movie notes, all but invisible. Its missions and priorities are poorly understood by most Americans, and frequently counter to their interests.

Near the end of the movie, Mr. Sekzer, the New York cop who lost his son Sept. 11, describes his reaction to President Bush's belated acknowledgment that "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved" in the Sept. 11 attacks.

"What the hell did we go in there for?" Mr. Sekzer asks.

Unable to hide his bitterness, he says: "The government exploited my feelings of patriotism, of a deep desire for revenge for what happened to my son. But I was so insane with wanting to get even. I was willing to believe anything."

Why We Fight website
IMDB reviews
Director Eugene Jarecki interview transcript on PBS

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Moral dilemma

What would you do if someone you know (who's married) has gotten involved with a "village bicycle" who has a long record of breaking up marriages and not-even-God-knows-what-kind-of-STDs? Would you be unfazed and act as if nothing has happened? Would you be a busybody and try to find out what's going on? Would you be discreet and drop some hints to the unwitting partner?

For the Mac addicts

How firmware on new Intel Macs allows it to be compatible with PC operating systems.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Worn Ogura Twin Carbon Plate

This is what one of the clutch plates looked like after about 14 months of use. Check out the mirror-like sheen on the edge.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

evo magazine #094: Carrera GT vs 997 Turbo vs Evo 9 FQ340

Full article.

Summarized charts by me, below:

There's very little to no difference between the cars for 3rd gear acceleration in the 30-50 and 40-60 mph range, which are typical "real world" overtaking speeds. Obviously the more powerful cars enjoy a significant advantage at higher speeds.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Which Sportscar are You?

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Via Ben

Sunday, July 30, 2006

When drifting goes wrong

Thanks to Babyys who sent me this link.

Definitely not an easy skill to master since a car is not meant to drift in the first place.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Alan Smithee

Alan Smithee, Allen Smithee, Alan Smythee, and Adam Smithee are pseudonyms used between 1968 and 1999 by Hollywood film directors who wanted to be dissociated from a film for which they no longer wanted credit. It was used when the director could prove to the satisfaction of a panel of members of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers that the film had been wrestled from his or her creative control. The director is also required to keep the reason for the disavowal a secret. The pseudonym cannot be used to hide a director's failures.

In 1997 the comedy An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn was released, in which a director wants to disown a film but cannot because his real name is Alan Smithee. The publicity around this movie, and especially around the fact that director Arthur Hiller asked for and got an Alan Smithee credit for it, made the Directors Guild decide to discontinue using the Alan Smithee credit.

Via Wikipedia.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Matrix XP

Extremely well done parody. Make sure to watch the end.

More fun and games

Visual Pattern Test
Number Pattern Test


Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, first popularized the notion of measurable intelligence in the late 1800s. Charles Spearman later discovered that all mental abilities tend to correlate together when statistically analyzed. He called this G. Modern researchers tend to agree that there are two kinds of intelligence, crystallized intelligence (learned knowledge) and fluid intelligence (abstract processing ability). Most non-verbal intelligence tests measure the latter. Some research suggests that fluid intelligence may correlate best to G.

Your overall percentile is 79% which means you scored higher than 79% of the people who have taken this test. The internet population tends to be more intelligent so your percentile might be higher if the test taking sample was perfectly random. Keep in mind, taking this test more than once will render your percentile score inaccurate because the percentile score assumes these questions were fresh to the test taker.

The point of this test is to challenge you and show you how you compare to other test takers on a set of novel questions. Consequently, I need to keep the answers secret to protect the integrity of the test.

In other words, I'm stupider than 21% of those who took it :'( The number pattern test was fairly close at 77%.

Leader test results

Via Ben.

I don't have a good track record so if you're in my neighborhood and wake up one day to find a smoking crater, that would be me. Heh.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Mazda 787B

Hmm.... at idle it sounds similar to race cars with aggressive cams, only that it's camless by design.
McLarenF1 On board at Le Mans

Monday, July 24, 2006


Mods are:
Stock ECU tuned by Alfred at Tuning Technologies with ECUFlash: No AEM, No Speed Density, no piggy back.
Stock head
Stock intake manifold
Stock throttle body
Stock ignition
Stock MAF
HKS 272 cams
Vishnu cam gears set at 0 (stock)
AMS 2.3 without balance shafts
AMS 35R kit
AMS 880 injectors
Tuning Technologies affordable 700whp fuel system
Nisei Intercooler and upper IC pipe
Vishnu Signature 3 inch exhaust
C16 fuel @ about 30psi

Original thread on evom.

The lines in red are on 91 octane pump gas.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bruce Lee Animation

I like how the animator managed to reproduce all of Bruce's mannerisms. :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Evo 8 MR R/C Edition!

Spent last evening helping Ching with her new car... an Evo 8 MR R/C edition! Heh... was great fun, this model has got all the details right. The fitment is incredible, I would say it's better than even the real thing!

So I spent the next couple of hours just setting everything up for her... this included fitting on the Chargespeed body kit, miniature ADVAN RGII-lookalike wheels, changing the rear suspension to harder settings for some drift action etc. The final touch was to add the lights which made it look really cool :D There's also some accessory to add undercarriage lights but that was too over-the-top so we decided to just leave it as it is.

As is common with R/C models these days, practically all parts of the car can be modified e.g. higher RPM motor, 4WD setup, better suspension, better bearings, better tires etc. The list goes on, just like the real thing. What impressed me the most is that this is by far the most detailed Evo model I've seen to date, and being an R/C is a bonus. Really tempted to get my own. :)

For a slideshow of the car, follow this link. Or view the photoset with comments.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Idiot driver

#1 Don't know why the person who posted this tagged it with "Type R". That's definitely not a Type R. The dashboard suggests a Subaru. Based on the low speed, probably a 1.6L TS.

#2 Journey starts from former Mowbray Camp at Ulu Pandan Road heading towards town, making an off-camber left turn into Sixth Avenue. Hilarity ensues.

Crackdown on illegal racing

So the Malaysian police finally cracked down on illegal drag races in Gelang Patah. Malaysia's New Straits Times concentrated on reporting the facts while the tabloid New Paper focused on the innocent bystanders who were caught in the dragnet.

New Straits Times article
New Paper article

I learned about Gelang Patah some time back in 2003 from a friend. Back then it was just a place to have some impromptu fun away from the public. It was also where I made some friends like BK, Kelvin etc.

Over time, word spread about this sleepy little town near the Malaysia-Singapore border playing host to night-time friendlies. And it reached the usual bunch of losers who started using GP as another platform for demonstrating their lack of self-esteem and self-worth.

Soon all the car clubs knew about GP and that's when I knew it was time to stop going there as it would invariably lead to the usual one-upmanship bullshit.

It's one thing to have an occasional "friendly" in a remote area that's unlikely to pose a danger to others; it's quite another to go to the same hotspot night after night, on the same mods, against the same driver! If anything, the competing cars are just going to get slower due to higher wear and tear on the parts.

Drag races were going on every night now. It had become an purely ego-boosting platform. Or maybe it was the "promise of sexual favors" LOL.

These regulars never learned their lesson, despite having their cars damaged while trying to outrun the police. They know that no matter what, they could treat the police with impunity since the only variable was the size of the bribe. Police chases only added to the "thrill".

So it's no surprise that the big stick finally came down hard on all the people gathered there. Hell if I'm a resident of GP, I'd get pissed off too. For those who were truly innocent, my sympathies. If there's anyone to blame, it's the usual bunch of idiots who give all performance car owners a bad name.

Pasir Gudang holds legal races and all in it's less than 100RM (inclusive of fuel!), yet these people choose to race illegally and prefer to pay off police to the tune of hundreds of ringgit. If you fail to understand the logic of it all, you are not alone.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Slow Motion Racing

Check out the tire deformation.

Subaru fanboys

SUBARU overated? As long as its handles much more better than an overated EVO. I dont think so its quite common at the moment. Its all about enthusiasm, knowledge skills and most important is the driver. -- Sabelt
Original post on ZTH forums.

Let me start off by saying that I have nothing against Subaru cars. They are decent cars for the price. Some of the fanboys simply have no clue about the competition though.

The vast majority of drivers (this includes professional drivers, press and motoring public at large) have always given the handling edge to the Evo in head-to-head comparisons with a similar STI of the same model year. Just last month Best Motoring (a popular Japanese automotive show) conducted various comparison tests among some 4WD cars.

One segment had the cars travel on a course with a banked corner followed by a straight with cones forming a slalom. The idea is to test the top speed and slalom clearance timing. Weather was clear. Here are the results.

VehicleModeTop speedSlalom time
997 Porsche Carrera 4227.21 km/h6.5 sec
997 Porsche Carrera228.84 km/h6.675 sec
2006 Lamborghini Gallardo236.55 km/h6.469 sec
2006 JDM Subaru Impreza STI (2L)DCCD locked214.36 km/h7.108 sec
DCCD open6.684 sec
DCCD auto6.623 sec
2005 JDM Mitsubishi Evo 9 GSRACD Tarmac216.13 km/h6.518 sec
ACD Snow6.247 sec
2006 Audi S4211.76 km/h6.433 sec
2006 Honda Legend 3.5L V6174.96 km/h7.025 sec

Even in its "worst" mode, the Evo 9 GSR clears the slalom faster than the JDM STI in its "best" mode. The Honda Legend puts out 300PS @ 6200 and 36 kg/m @ 5000, is a 5 speed automatic and weighs 1780kg. And yet it clears the slalom faster than the STI in DCCD locked mode. Ouch~!

A subjective test had Keiichi Tsuchiya drive the cars around Tsukuba Circuit and rate them on their drift ability. For the Carrera 4, he gave 95. Gallardo, an 80. The Evo 9 he gave a 68 and the STI dead last at 65.

I shall refrain from posting the track timing results as the STI had to retire from the race.

Evo overrated? Guess the results speak for themselves while fanboys can continue blowing smoke.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Bad day for pro driver

Thanks to DEu for providing this link.

Goes to show, even the pros are prone to making simple errors.

What makes this funny is that he ditched the car not just once, but twice.

FWD, no ABS and not having a hand near the parking brake. Surely he should've learned from his prior mistake?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Super GT 06

Spent the weekend over at Sepang watching the Malaysian round of Super GT. Although the overall speeds were lower than previous years, there was still plenty of wheel-to-wheel racing, with cars making contact starting from the very first lap! The ARTA NSX was way ahead of the pack although the Motul Autech Z put in a very strong performance to close the gap towards the end of the race.

The Daily Show -when politicians talk about games-

Entertaining take on the crazy politicians in Congress.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Heat Wins

So the Miami Heat won 4 games in a row to beat the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals. I knew this team was good, but didn't realize just how good. They opened my eyes by handily beating the Detroit Pistons. Through it all, they never lost sight of their objective, despite being 2 down. Dwayne Wade won Finals MVP and deserved it. This young man is smart and a very good team player. At the individual skills level he is not as polished as Kobe but at least he understands the team concept. Assuming he is injury-free and Miami can find a good backup for Shaq, Miami will continue to be a strong contender in future playoffs. Also, I'm especially heartened that veterans like Gary Payton and Alonzo Mourning (pictured here with former arch-nemesis Shaq, now his team mate), who, despite criticisms and health problems, finally can retire with the knowledge that they will be inducted in the Hall of Fame with a championship ring. It has been a long time coming fellas, but it's been worth it. Congrats!

Photo credit: Victor Baldizon, NBAE/Getty Images

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sepang International Circuit

Here's the map from the Sepang website:

Its length is 5.542 km, spread over 15 turns.

The track is run only in clockwise configuration, except for drag races.

The longest straight is 927.543 meters and leads onto T1, a constant radius turn leading into T2, a tight kink. T3 is a sweeper into T4, a right-hander on an incline. This is where newbies on cold tires and an impatience to get on throttle are usually caught off-guard and run into the gravel.

T5 and T6 are the most dangerous parts of the circuit. It's a common mistake to unsettle the car's balance through improper brake or throttle application. Go into T5 too hot, and the car might oversteer. If you make it through but still carry too much speed, you'll have to take T6 while running wide, totally missing the apex. On the other hand, apexing too early on T6 will lead to understeer on corner exit, sometimes with disastrous results.

T7 and T8 are the bus stop corners. Proper threshold and trail braking allows the car to cruise through with the steering wheel fixed on an angle. Taken in 4th.

T9 is a sharp hairpin on a downslope so braking has to be hard and early. Normally taken in 3rd gear with a late turn-in. Corner exit is on an incline and here 4WD and RWD vehicles prove their worth. FWD vehicles may have torque steer, so if you're driving a FWD, roll on the throttle instead of mashing it.

T10... nothing fantastic, just take the classic racing line. T11 is another deceptive corner... turn in late to avoid surprises.

T12 is on a downslope. Again, braking balance is critical to avoid unsettling the car. If T12 was taken correctly, T13 can simply be tackled as a straight line. T14 is critical... blowing it means low corner exit speed onto the back straight. That would suck. T15... too many people think that corner entry speed is everything. Don't do it.

A back of the envelope guide to lap timings:

VehicleLap time
04 Formula 11'31"
JGTC GT5001'52"
Porsche GT3 (pro driver)2'27"
Evo 8 (very heavy mods)2'28"
Merdeka Millenium Endurance 04 STi2'32"
Evo 7/8/MR12'3x"
Stock Evo 7 (pro driver)2'37"
Evo 9/9MR (basic mods)22'3x"
Evo 7/8/MR (basic mods)22'4x"
Evo 7/8/MR (track newbie)2'5x"

1any multiple combination of upgraded ECU, coilovers, sway bars, tires, brakes, cams, turbo etc
AND lots of seat time.
2intake/exhaust, boost controller, stock turbo, fuel computer
3as 16 Jun 06, worn A048s. 2'37"xxx on 14 Oct 05, damp track.
4as of 29 Jul 05
5as of 1 Apr 05
6as of 10 Jun 05, with brake problems, cat, fuelling issues, AD07.

Transponded times:

DateLap timeEvent
16 Jun 062'36"xxxPrivate track day Worn A048. 1.1 bar boost, -3 deg spark advance

DEu. Very early retirement :(
10 Feb 06







21 Jan 06
Traction Circle ClubWorn RE070


Link to Sepang International Circuit website

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


The video response to 倒带.






我受夠了等待 你所謂的安排
總是要來不及 才知道我可愛
應該開心的地帶 你給的全是空白
一個人假日發呆 找不到人陪我看海
我在幸福的門外 卻一直都進不來
你累積給的傷害 我是真的很難釋懷
終於看開 愛回不來 而你總是太晚明白
最後才把話說開 哭著求我留下來
終於看開 愛回不來 我們面前太多阻礙
你的手卻放不開 寧願沒出息 求我別離開
你總是要我乖 慢慢計劃將來
過去怎麼交代 你該給的信賴

從我臉上的蒼白 看到記憶慢下來
過去甜蜜在倒帶 只是感覺已經不在
而我對你的期待 被你一次次摔壞
已經碎成太多塊 要怎麼拼湊跟重來

Isn't it ironic that it is Jay Chou who wrote the song? Sounds so much like my life. Jay's response video above... heh :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

F1 Carbon Fiber mousepad

Hand-made in England exclusively for Formula 1™ by specialist composite technicians who make Formula One monocoques, this carbon mouse mat was designed using state of the art automotive 3D modelling software.

Features include:

  • Solid polished carbon fibre with inlaid leather mouse area

  • Italian black suede backing

  • Embossed in carbon with the F1 Formula 1 logo

  • Carbon cured to 120º C at 100 psi

  • Suitable for an optical or ball-operated mouse

Wrapped in F1™ tissue paper and presented in a luxury matt black box subtly highlighted with the F1 Formula 1 logo.

All yours for the sum of £260.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Dark Phoenix

Torque band testing. Measurements taken when car is rolling to eliminate launching from the equation. Since these are speed-time graphs we are interested in the gradient of each line. Steeper slope = more power. As for the data we are interested in the passing speeds within each gea with no shifts in between.

First pic: black line is current setup, while red and green lines were recorded in Aug 05. All runs in 3rd gear. The drop off on the black line just shows that the car was decelerating after the run (i.e. hard braking).

Second pic: black line is current setup in 3rd gear, red line is previous setup in 2nd gear, green line is standard Evo 8 GSR with increased boost in 3rd gear.

Current setup is almost as fast 40-60 mph in 3rd gear as compared to the previous setup in 2nd. Despite getting on the throttle about 0.5 seconds later, the current setup (black line) is also about 1.5 seconds faster to 65 mph compared to the green line.

Preliminary data suggests that the airflow on current setup is choked though... is it time to move on from the stock turbo?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

LTA rant

I continue to be perplexed by the persistent display of ignorance or outright hubris of certain government statutory boards. In this case, the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Let's take one example: installation of an aftermarket exhaust system. From the onemotoring website:

The exhaust system, which consists of the exhaust manifold, catalytic converter and muffler, is used as part of a vehicle's exhaust emission control system to ensure that the exhaust emission meets our environmental requirements. Any modification to the exhaust system would therefore require LTA's approval. The following should be submitted to LTA for evaluation:
a) Certification from the product manufacturer stating that the proposed aftermarket exhaust system is suitable for the make and model of the vehicle.
b) Certifications or test reports from independent test laboratories such as TUV, DEKRA, JVIA, VCA etc. to show that the aftermarket exhaust system when fitted to the vehicle on a per make and model basis complied with prevailing exhaust emission standards.

After you fulfill the requirements, you pay a fee and submit the vehicle for inspection where a certificate will be issued to state that the vehicle has met all criteria. Hold on to this, I will get back to it.

Here is the infuriating bit.

If the exhaust in question does not possess TUV/DEKRA/JVIA/VCA or independent test lab reports that complies with "prevailing exhaust emissions standards", they will automatically reject your application to have the exhaust installed.

So now this begs the question: why do we need to pay the fee and submit the vehicle for inspection if the local inspection centers are unable to certify if the exhaust system in question can meet the "prevailing exhaust emissions standards"? What are the local inspection centers testing for then? By corollary, why is there a statutory requirement for all vehicles that have been registered for more than 3 years to be subject to these same exhaust emissions tests, with its associated fees?

Even the phrase "prevailing exhaust emissions standards" hints that the person who thought up this policy has no concept of the subject matter.

There are 2 kinds of pollutants: noise and chemical. A catback system by definition is physically located after the catalytic converter(s) and hence does not affect chemical emissions, only noise. So all they need to do really is to set up a mic and record the noise levels at various engine speeds. Simple as that.

And once again here we have double standards. Harley Davidson bikes with noise levels exceeding 100 dBA are allowed on the roads while catback systems at a relatively tame 87 dBA are not allowed. Why? Is it because they didn't have document X...?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Meme time...

Passing on the meme from Ben...

...write a post with 24 weird facts/things/habits about yourself (more or less in chronological order)

1) As a kid my favorite part of fried fish were its eyes.

2) When I was about 5 I backed into a fan which had sharp edges and cut the flesh near my right achilles tendon. My grandma flipped out and staunched the bleeding using ash. Worst part? Having to endure another 5 hours before my parents came to send me to the doctor so that the wound could be disinfected and stitched up. All this was performed without anesthetic.

3) I was still on the pacifier at age 7. Once, prior to embarking on a vacation to Malaysia, I couldn't find the pacifier and insisted that it be found before we could leave. After a frantic and long search it was finally recovered. By this time I had become pretty embarrassed at having everyone wait for me, and so hurled it onto the street with all my might so that I would never be bound to such material weaknesses ever again.

4) My father had a habit of first pouring his beer into a chilled mug and then taking a shower. One night my evil brother dared me to take a sip from it. Dad came back to find an empty mug and his 7 year-old son (me!) curled up in a fetal position sleeping soundly.

5) My first exposure to porn came about when I stayed at my uncle's place in Alor Setar, West Malaysia. It was a video tape with a label that read "Superman"...

6) I once caught a relative making out with her boyfriend. They ended up getting married.

7) When I was 12 someone challenged me to do 100 push ups in the school canteen.

8) When I was 16 someone challenged me to do 30 chin ups.

9) They both made themselves scarce just as I was completing the challenges.

10) When mountain biking was all the rage back in the early 90s a childhood friend and I each bought a MTB of the same make and model. One particularly interesting incident had us biking through Macritchie Reservoir and chancing upon some army dudes practicing section movement in military uniforms with camouflage paint, while both of us waited for it to end while wearing day-glo biking gear complete with spandex and helmets. Surreal.

11) The hottest chick back then was Nonie the MTV VJ. Last I heard she married some rich financial dude and is now a tai-tai.

12) My brother drove while I was the navigator for a little excursion over a Memorial Day long weekend. The journey took us all the way to Boston, MA and back. Total distance? About 2400 miles. Over 3 days.

13) My first Mac was an LC3 (aka the "pizza box" enclosure).

14) During college I stayed in an apartment complex which leased out office space to the local Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual club/society. I never saw anyone entering or leaving the place though.

15) There was this hot chick driving a Subaru SVX who stayed on my floor with vanity plates that read "THEW". No, she isn't Cantonese but Thai, and that's her surname. Hint: in Cantonese it is a vulgar term used for describing the act of procreation.

16) The fastest I ever ran for the 2.4 km test was 9'14" after just 2 trials. The motivating words were "long weekend". I now consider it a major achievement to get under 12 minutes. :p

17) The schedule for the last days of Basic Military Training in my company were ridiculous. A whole day of PT followed by swimming test in the evening. Next day was SOC test and 24 km route march. My OC joined us only for the route march and was incapacitated the rest of the week. Reveille the day after was an unheard-of 9 am. :D

18) I had my driver's license revoked due to someone else's brashness and arrogance.

19) I made it through NS without having to sign an extra.

20) I made my first $100,000 at 26.

21) Two of my favorite double-CD albums are Depeche Mode's 101 and The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness.

22) It took me 2 days to meet the break-in mileage for my Evo 7.

23) The fastest I ever drove was 280 km/h in a friend's car. There were 2 more gears to go but we decided discretion was the better part of valor and backed off.

24) I survived a number of car accidents but a particularly scary one had me flying over a bump on the road on a rainy night, crashing into the barriers at 140 km/h and walking away with a minor cut on the back of my head. My passengers were shaken up but mostly unharmed, fortunately. Thenceforth I resolved to keep my antics to a safe environment.

Monday, May 15, 2006

About friendship

Recent events have prompted a bout of introspection... and I came to realize that, more than ever, people whom I can really call on as friends are truly few.

What does it mean to be a friend? To me, he is someone who is generally supportive and shares a core set of ideals and principles. We may not agree on certain topics, but would respect him a great deal if he provided strong cogent arguments as to why our viewpoints diverge. Most importantly, he must nurture the friendship with integrity.

Thus imagine my outrage when I find out certain members of our so-called civil society are actually backstabbing sons-of-bitches claiming to be my friend and talking shit behind my back. It's in the plural because it has happened more than once.

If it's a misunderstanding or an unexpected result of some awkward situation where there's no decorum or protocol, sure I might let it slide. When it becomes a persistent pattern of behavior, that's when it's unacceptable.

First of all, what you see is what you get. If you ask my opinion on something, I will give you the unvarnished truth. That's what friends are for. If I had to mollycoddle everyone's feelings, especially for a guy (that's someone with a dick and nuts, in case you're reading this and still confused) who is already a mature adult, I would have no time left for anything else in my life with more pressing priorities.

Secondly, if you disagree with what I said, SAY IT TO MY FACE. As mentioned, if you give me good reason(s) as to why you disagree, I just might think you have a backbone and respect you for it despite our differing views. Or I might think you're a deluded kook, but that's a whole different ball of wax.

Don't go twisting my words or casting aspersions to my character or whatnot to mutual friends where I do not have an avenue for rebuttal. That, to me, is on the same level as "treachery" and the fitting end for such people in medieval times was to draw and quarter them.

Right now I have not yet determined whether it is out of pure pettiness or malice. If it's the latter then it would have satisfied the criteria for defamation, so don't piss me off or I just might be motivated enough to gather more proof of this malfeasance.

OK, I've said my piece. For those of you who weren't scared off by the strong words, allow me to reaffirm our friendship and say "thanks" for consistently being there every time I needed you, and hope you'll give me the chance to reciprocate should the opportunity arise. Good night.

Notes from a master

"If I tell you I'm good, you would probably think I'm boasting, If I tell you I'm no good, You KNOW I'm lying."

"Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there."

"When I look around I always learn something, and that is to be yourself always, express yourself, and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. Now that seems to be the prevalent thing happening in Hong Kong, like they always copy mannerism, but they never start from the root of his being and that is, how can I be me?"

"Put every great teacher together in a room, and they'd agree about everything, put their disciples in there and they'd argue about everything."

"If there is a God, he is within. You don't ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme."


The following passage is so good it has to be reproduced in its entirety:

The world is full of people who are determined to be somebody or to give trouble. They want to get ahead, to stand out. Such ambition has no use for a gung fu man, who rejects all forms of self-assertiveness and competition:

One who tries to stand on tiptoe cannot stand still. One who stretches his legs too far cannot walk. One who advertises himself too much is ignored. One who is too insistent on his own view finds few to agree with him. One who claims too much credit does not get even what he deserves. One who is too proud is soon humiliated. These are condemned as extremes of greediness and self-destructive activity. Therefore, one who acts naturally avoids such extremes.
Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know.
Stop your sense, let sharp things be blunted,
Tangles resolved, the light tempered and turmoil subdued;
For this is mystic unity in which the wise man is moved
Neither by affection nor yet by estrangement,
Or profit or loss or honour or shame.
Accordingly, by all the world, he is held highest.
A gung fu man, if he is really good, is not proud at all. "Pride," according to Mr. Eric Hoffer, "is a sense of worth that derives from something that is not organically part of oneself." Pride emphasises the importance of the superiority of a person's status in the eyes of others. There is fear and insecurity in pride because when a person aims at being highly esteemed and achieves such status, he is automatically involved in the fear of losing his status. Then protection of his status appears to be his most important need, and this creates anxiety. Mr. Hoffer further states that: "The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. One is proud when he identifies himself with an imaginary self; the core of pride is self rejection." As we know, gung fu is aiming at self cultivation, and the inner self is one's true self. So in order to realise his true self, a gung fu man lives without being dependent upon the opinion of others. Since he is completely self-sufficient he can have no fear of not being esteemed. A gung fu man devotes himself to being self-sufficient and never depends upon the external rating by others for his happiness. A gung fu master, unlike the beginner, holds himself in reserve, is quiet and unassuming, without the least desire to show off. Under the influence of gung fu training his proficiency becomes spiritual, and he himself, grown ever freer through spiritual struggle, is transformed. To him, fame and status mean nothing. Thus wu we is the art of artlessness, the principle of no-principle. To state it in terms of gung fu, the genuine beginner knows nothing about the way of blocking and striking, and much less about his concern for himself. When an opponent tries to strike him, he "instinctively" parries it. This is all he can do. But as soon as his training starts, he is taught how to defend and attack, where to keep the mind, and many other technical tricks—which makes his mind "stop" at various junctures. For this reason whenever he tries to strike the opponent he feels unusually hampered (he has lost altogether the original sense of innocence and freedom). But as months and years go by, as his training acquires fuller maturity, his bodily attitude and his way of managing the technique toward no-mindedness come to resemble the state of mind he had at the very beginning of training when he knew nothing, when he was altogether ignorant of the art. The beginning and the end thus turn into next-door neighbours. In the musical scale, one may start with the lowest pitch and gradually ascend to the highest. When the highest is reached, one finds it is located next to the lowest. In a similar way, when the highest stage is reached in the study of Taoist teaching, a gung fu man turns into a kind of simpleton who knows nothing of Tao, nothing of its teachings, and is devoid of all learning. Intellectual calculations are lost sight of and a state of no-mindedness prevails. When the ultimate perfection is attained, the body and limbs perform by themselves what is assigned to them to do with no interference from the mind. The technical skill is so automatic it is completely divorced from conscious efforts.

Read more.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Lame ass

To the lame ass who posted the illegal drag video on the internet, congratulations. You've just confirmed all suspicions that you have the smallest dick on the planet. This is not Workshop A vs Workshop B. This is a case of 2 individuals with too much time and money playing "whose dick is shorter" while putting other innocent lives at risk. It also draws unnecessary attention to Workshop A, which happens to service my car. So whoever you are, stop it. Grow some balls and take it to a real drag event e.g. Sepang Drag Battle.

Kids these days

This is what happened at my nephew's school recently. He's going to turn 9 later this year, BTW.

Friend A bought an exercise book and decided he didn't need it, so he passed it to Friend B. Friend B didn't know what to do with it so he passed it to Friend C (my nephew).

Turns out my enterprising nephew sold it back to the bookstore for its full value. And my sister-in-law found out only when he proudly proclaimed that he had increased his daily pocket money by 40 cents, an incredible 25% increase out of sheer ingenuity.

Warren Buffett, watch out.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

If you've got about 20 minutes, watch this hilarious clip about some Asian high school kids learning to rap.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Big Brother

It's not too late to start encrypting comms:
"According to Deep Packet ATT maintains numerous facilities that host very expensive Juniper routers for this project. As far as he knows there is no direct contract with the NSA. In other words ATT is paying for all of this. He feels that the reward is favorable treatment when ATT is bidding on less clandestine government contracts.

According to Deep Packet these Juniper routers have specially designed cards in them to shunt ALL OF THE TRAFFIC from ATT peering points to NSA analysis centers around the country. Peering traffic means not just traffic that begins and ends on ATT’s network but any traffic from networks that ATT has peering arrangements with. A quick look here indicates that is just about… everything."

Lifehouse - Blind

Major props to Angie for pointing me to this song. Lovely.

Breaking Kryptos

Mountains are not climbed nor marathons run merely to reach a geographical location—there are much easier ways to accomplish these feats—but as personal and spiritual challenges to the participants.

When confronted with a puzzle or problem, we sometimes can lose sight of the fact that we have issued a challenge to ourselves, not to our tools.
In the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, stands a sculpture that contains encrypted messages. It is called Kryptos, which means "hidden" in Greek. Up till now, only 3 out of 4 parts have been decoded. The quote above is derived from David Stein, the CIA analyst who was the first to partially decrypt the ciphertext.

Read about how he managed to accomplish this feat, where he explains his methods.

There's also a great website dedicated to Kryptos.

The twist in the tale is that the artist responsible for the sculpture has remained silent, and broke the silence recently only to correct a "typo" in one part of the solution!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Back in October I wrote about the acrimony between iTMS and the music labels. Guess the latter are ready to wave the white flag, as predicted.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cars stolen in Johor

Singapore Kopi Tok makes a case that Singapore cars are 10 times more likely to be stolen in JB. "In 2005, of the 1,394 cars reported stolen, 52 (3.7 per cent) were Singapore-registered cars."

According to the Singapore Police Force, there were 1058 cases of motor vehicle thefts in 2005; "more than two-thirds were motorcycles (756 cases), while cars and lorries made up 103 cases and 78 cases of the vehicles stolen respectively."

So let's see here. 52 in Johor vs 103 in Singapore. Almost exactly half. Does that mean that Singapore-registered cars are half as likely to be stolen in Johor as compared to Singapore? Obviously not! It is pertinent to take into consideration the population of the cars. Since half of Singapore cars are not in Johor all the time, it would suffice to state that the risk of getting your Singapore-registered car stolen is much higher than in having it stolen in Singapore. Counterpoint: has anyone ever heard of a Johor-registered car being stolen in Singapore?

HDTV Facts and Fiction

What is better, 720p or 1080i? This has been a topic of discussion for a long time. If only taking into account the technical aspects, the answer is simple. 720p is better than 1080i.

Sounds counter-intuitive doesn't it? Read on to get the full scoop on HDTV standards.

Via Teamxbox

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Trackday tips #2

  • Pit entry is near T15.
  • Pit lane is one-way only. Do not drive against traffic flow.
  • Speed limit in pit lane is 30 km/h.
  • No umbrellas allowed beside the front straight (trackside).
  • Children are not allowed trackside.
  • No smoking at any time in paddock or pit area.
  • Do not breach the white line coming out of the pit exit.
  • Yellow: caution. No overtaking. Slow down.
  • Red: no overtaking. Slow down and return to pit.
  • Blue: you are obstructing faster traffic. Move over.
  • Black: congratulations... pit in immediately and report to course steward.
General track safety
  • Helmets must be worn for both driver and passenger
  • No rear seat passengers at any time
  • Remove all unsecured items from the cabin e.g. loose change, canned drinks before heading out onto track
  • Be predictable and observant at all times!
  • To allow an oncoming vehicle to overtake, keep to the right if possible and just lift off the throttle.
  • If possible overtake only in the straights.
  • Vehicle with half car-length ahead has the right to the corner. Do not T-bone the car ahead when it turns into the apex. When in doubt, just stay behind.
  • Do not attempt to fight the car when going into runoff. Keep the steering straight and keep the brakes on.
  • Stay in the vehicle if the vehicle has gone off the track.
  • Do not stop to assist any vehicle that has stopped on the track. Return to pit to inform the marshalls.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Trackday tips

Here are some tips that I would like to share for improving one's driving. Some of them have been passed on to me by more experienced folks, others I found through observation or experience, so I cannot claim full credit for everything here. Hope they are of some use to the reader as well.

The driver's job is no more complex than that of traction management. The ultimate driver is one who can commandeer the vehicle at its traction limits, and be skillful enough to bring it back under control should it go beyond.

In order to achieve this goal, we must start with a plan:

1) Find the correct driving line. Wet weather can significantly change the optimal lines.
2) Find optimal acceleration point. This will be dependent on vehicle drivetrain layout, course layout, tire compound/condition, weather, so on and so forth.
3) Find optimal braking point. Start conservative, and work slowly, closer to the limit. Always leave room for errors in judgment. You are driving for enjoyment, not to seek an end to your life (or others').

While pursuing this plan, keep the vehicle in control at all times. This is where risk management comes in. Contrary to popular belief, it is very rare to completely lose control of the vehicle suddenly, except under uncommon circumstances e.g. oil spill, someone crashing right in front with no chance of avoiding etc. To minimize the risk of losing control there are some things one can do, namely: planning ahead (anticipation), knowing what to do and being decisive in a timely fashion about it, and finally, practice.

Equipment checklist:

1) Tire pressure gauge. Tires are the only contact surface with the road and thus are one of the most, if not the most, important part of the car. Use a suitable pressure range to match your skill level and preference.

2) Video recording and/or datalogging equipment. Sometimes it's not possible to see any mistakes until after the trackday. Being able to review past performances and making conscious efforts to not repeat mistakes is a basic step in improving any process.

3) Transponder or other timing equipment. How do you know your performance without a time sheet? In the worst case timecode information from videos is better than nothing.

Driving checklist:

1) If at all possible, get a reasonably experienced person to ride shotgun with you. Frequently the driver is actively driving and may miss some things which would be apparent to the passenger.

2) When going for "hot laps", concentrate on driving the lines instead of the vehicle ahead of you. Otherwise, you will subconsciously mirror his mistakes. This invaluable tip was offered by Shaun and it has helped me countless times.

3) Get on the throttle as early as possible, for as long as possible.

4) Get on the brake as late as possible without unsettling the balance of the car. Be firm on the pedal, but do not lock up the brakes. Be smooth. Always.

5) The fast corners have the highest priority, the slow corners, lowest.

6) Corner entry speed and cornering speed are highly overrated. A lot of drivers have tried to prove their mettle by turning in too early, only to allow another car to overtake them on the corner exit because the car was too unbalanced or too far off the line to get on the throttle early enough. On slow corners, this is not an issue. On fast sweepers like T5 and T6 on Sepang, this could quickly develop into a dangerous situation.

7) Speaking of the fast sweepers, Scott Speed was quoted to say that T5 and T6 are taken flat out. Always understand the context of the quote. Scott happens to drive a Formula 1 car. It is highly improbable that a mildly modified, full weight production street car can take those sweepers with increasing speed.

MB Inaugural Trackday

Friday was MB's inaugural trackday, marking the first of many events that will allow its customers to use Sepang as a safe environment to drive their cars to the max. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the event and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Besides the usual bunch of Evos, there was an R34 GTT Skyline, a Golf GTI, a Subaru WRX, a DC5 Type-R face-lifted Integra, and Eve's own DC5.

Even though I didn't drive my own car up, I had the opportunity to drive or hitch taxi-rides in others', including a pretty fast Evo 9 RS. Also sat in the DC5 Type-R and got a much better appreciation of what this car can do. Pleasantly surprised that it could exit T15 at around 90 kmh-1, although there's still a lack of raw power. Nicely balanced and drama-free.

Most interesting ride of the day was a relatively stock Evo 8 MR. It was really entertaining, requiring 100% concentration, and made me work the hardest. The rear was eager to step out under moderate braking, and power oversteer was a mere flex of the ankle away. Don't recall my car being anywhere near this twitchy. With so much feedback, this car should absolutely fly when driven at the limit. Awesome.

Overall everything went well and was incident-free. Definitely ranks as one of the best trackdays ever.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Formula 1 in Singapore

Seems that the motorsport world is abuzz with talk about a new F1 track in Singapore.

Ironic then that Tim, most decidedly a non-petrolhead, managed to find plans for a proposed street circuit.

If you click on the image, notice the name Tilke on the bottom right. For the uninformed, Hermann Tilke designed the Sepang, Bahrain, Shanghai and Fuji Speedway F1 circuits... While it remains to be seen whether the plans will become reality, at least there is some evidence of planning work, not just paying of lip service.

NB: I disclaim ownership nor any rights to the image, and it has been linked to for informational purposes only.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Closed minds

A minor controversy has erupted over the girls appearing on the New Paper... apparently the sticking point is that Shireen says that she did 240 kmh-1 on Sepang, while some guys totally write off the claim, and using some unkind words to the effect. e.g. "bullshit", "my foot" etc

Ignoring driver ability, let's do some quick calculations to see whether it's really possible to do 240 kmh-1 at SIC.

Based on personal experience and datalogs corroborated with 3rd parties, a realistic corner exit speed out of T15 is about 80 kmh-1. The Sepang website gives the longest straight into T1 at 927.543 meters. Let's just say 925 m for the sake of simplicity. Let's also assume that the driver intends to make T1 safely* and so let's pick an arbitrary but reasonable braking point at 150 m, giving 775 m as the available distance for acceleration.

From these figures, a car needs about 17.5 seconds at full acceleration to go from 80 kmh-1 to 240 kmh-1, given a distance of 775 m, or an acceleration rate of 2.55 ms-2. About 0.26 G's.

How fast does 0.26 G's feel? About as fast as a 270 whp Evo in 4th gear, which is not fast at all. I'm sure many of you have sat in vehicles that accelerate in top gear about as hard as a stock Evo in 3rd or even 2nd. Now those are real monsters.

Besides, I'm assuming the vehicle is a full-weight street car on street-legal tires. Hell even I'm getting a Vmax of around 225 kmh-1 when my underpowered car's driven in anger.

There's no doubt that a 240 kmh-1 Vmax is definitely possible.

In closing we should avoid making sweeping statements and hasty generalizations without having an appreciation of what it really takes to accomplish certain objectives or we might be branded as jealous, jaded, bitter old men, reminiscing about the times when "real men" didn't have electronics to help in the driving. But that's another blog entry. Heh.

* Since peak velocity is the focus, no mention is made about lap times. It is very likely that peak velocity can be achieved but the vehicle may not be settled enough to take T1 at the traction limit, resulting in lower segment times but possibly overall higher lap times. Quick proof: T1 can be taken at 80 kmh-1, which means the car has to brake at 13.17 ms-2 or about 1.34 G's.

Update: I'm grateful to Shaun for pointing out some flaws. I have since gone through the calculations and found an error in calculating the deceleration forces.

As for the braking aspect, here I made a major boo-boo. Reviewing my datalogs, deceleration from 215 kmh-1 to about 80 kmh-1 of 1.07G was achieved using the standard Brembo calipers and rotors, Ferodo DS2500 pads, RE070 tires and stock suspension. The car travelled a distance of 134.1m while all this is happening. Unfortunately I lack data on aftermarket brake and suspension setups to get an idea of what sort of deceleration forces are possible.

Just for the sake of the discussion, let's assume a 1.07G decelerative force applies; that means the car actually needs to brake at the 188m marker to make the corner, which means the available distance to accelerate should be reduced by 188-150 = 38m. This would mean that acceleration would need to be 0.27G's to make up for the shorter distance.

Comments and critique welcome as always.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bangkok trip

Just got back from the great nation of Thailand and enjoyed the trip!

It had been many years since I'd last visited, and modern-day Bangkok is very different from what I remember. For one, the streets are very clean. Singapore makes a big deal out of having clean streets; Bangkok is more populous yet its streets are immaculate.

The other thing is that they've got the world's longest elevated motorways that go on for at least 50km in both directions, and it's getting extended all the time. Totally mind-blowing.

Didn't get to see that many nice cars though... mostly the usual Toyotas, Hondas etc. Saw only 1 Subaru, a red GC8 WRX, stuck in traffic. And no Evos. Did catch a suspiciously fast 4th Generation Corolla (circa 1979) doing close to 160kph on the freeway though, and I know there's no way in hell that's stock cos I almost killed myself driving the same-model POS while trying to negotiate a right turn at 45 kph a few years ago. Bloody wheels almost came off.

Neither did I see see any demonstrations calling for the resignation of the Thai PM. Guess the media as usual is blowing things up beyond proportions.

With airline tickets at an all-time low, it's definitely worth a repeat visit.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Kung fu remix

Spotted this link on where they give the 70s kung fu movies a decidedly hip-hop flavor! Fricking funny... broadband connection and good speakers recommended.

Friday, March 10, 2006

MoTeC v3.3 software released!


After a long time in beta, MoTeC has finally released the v3 software. This is the ECU software to end all ECU software debates.

Let's talk about the basics first: fuel and spark tables. Pre-v3, you could have 40x21 tables. Total of 840 points, more than enough for most. With v3, you can have 40x24 for fuel, and 55x35 for spark. That's only for 3D tables.

You can now specify 4D tables for fuel and spark. In a "classic" EFI setup you get 3 dimensions, usually RPM vs load (spark)/efficiency (fuel), and the tuner specifies the third dimension which is the actual spark advance or amount of fuel injected. With a 4D table you have one more parameter to work with. This may be gear, throttle position, MAP, MAP/EMAP, so on and so forth. You can even use your own user-defined channel.

For 4D fuel, you can have up to 11 points for the 4th dimension, with 3D tables of 16x11. For spark, you can choose either 11 sets of tables of 16x11 (just like fuel), or 6 tables of 40x16(!). The downside to the latter is that the spark resolution is in steps of 0.2 deg.

You also get to decide not just the number and resolution of sites ("breakpoints", in AEM parlance) in practically any table, but also get to assign channels to either x- and/or y-axis. I'm unaware of any other mass-market ECU software on the market that does this right now.

You can also perform ref-sync capture in the software, obviating the need for an oscilloscope when working on unknown crank-trigger systems.

Major enhancements in the input setup screens.

Major changes in boost-, lambda-, traction-, idle-, nitrous- and cam control. 3D RPM limit maps. Revamped accel/decel fuel and spark maps. The list goes on and on.

This software is going to remain the gold standard by which others are judged for the forseeable future.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why We Fight

Was surfing the Apple movie trailers website and stumbled upon the trailer for Why We Fight. The film explores the rise of the military industrial complex, and how the American economy and society is strongly shaped by it. Definitely sounds like a film worth watching.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bugatti Veyron

Missed this... Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Bugatti Veyron for The Times Online.

Forbes has this to say...
Among the many options a Veyron buyer can order, are two one-carat diamonds, cut with 16 sunray facets (16 being the number of cylinders the engine features). The two diamonds reside, respectively, on the speedometer needle, and at the center of something Bugatti calls the "powermeter." The latter shows how much of the motor's available mustard is being put to the pavement. We happen to think this gauge will only be a source of frustration for any Veyron owner (even if he gets the diamonds), since using all 986 horses even once will prove a challenge unless you also happen to own a private racetrack.

Bunch o' Links

Guy gets run over (viewer discretion advised)
Pagani Zonda Roadster F
Ford GT crashes

Saturday, February 25, 2006

997 Porsche GT3 mini-site

Porsche North America has launched the new 997 Porsche GT3 mini-site... definitely worth checking out if you're on broadband.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

HKS V-cam video

Here's another oldie but goodie... HKS Skyline running on V-cams showing the difference what some proper variable valve timing on just the intake side can do.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Interpreting lap timings

A lot of people like to impose an artificial limit between what's a "good" lap time versus a "bad" one, and the generalization is to focus on the vehicle's performance. The truth of the matter is that the scrutineer would usually be better served by first looking at the driver's performance, followed by the vehicle data.

The foremost thing one should look out for is consistency. Second, consider the kind of vehicle that is being driven. Newer models tend to offer greater performance value. Thirdly, remember that due to the course layout, Sepang offers vehicles with high power a greater advantage.

And so you should be impressed with a female doctor driving a pre-2005 Boxster S (260 bhp) around Sepang in 2'47" consistently, for at least 2 years now. That's a scant 3 seconds off a typical stock Evo 9 that is deemed to be driven well. For someone unacquainted with such a feat, they would say it's impossible. From my own experience of trying to keep up with it more than a year ago, I would kindly beg to differ.

Dream on

About two years ago I set a personal goal of trying to lap Sepang in 2'40" on stock turbo, stock cams and stock suspension. Various reactions included sarcasm and even outright ridicule. "Don't believe in anyone without a transponder". Those words, relayed to me by a close friend, continue to ring in my ears. My initial reaction was of anger, but upon further reflection it only strengthened my resolve. Deep in my heart I knew it could be done despite what others may think.

And so with each passing trackday, the objective crept closer. Slowly but inexorably, it would come within striking distance. It was finally achieved in October, however it was only until a few weeks ago that transponders were used to keep an official record of time, leaving no doubt as to what has been accomplished.

I have never laid claim to being the best or the fastest, that would be hubris. But I do believe that should someone put in his best efforts in an endeavor, sometimes miracles happen. Prejudices are swept aside. The impossible becomes possible.

I wish to pay homage and express my appreciation to everyone who allowed me to share my dream with them. Without their encouragement, support, and insight, failure would have been all but certain. Every constructive comment, every sympathetic ear, made a difference. You know who you are. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

BMWSG Sepang Trackday Video 10 Feb 06

Mounting came loose resulting in a vertigo-inducing point of view. Oh well.


My car developed some problems since this past Saturday and an opportunity has come up to modify it. However I'm unsure as to whether this is the right path to take since I feel there's still more to be had from the car's current setup and the driver in the equation has not been balanced with the car's potential. On the other hand it would be a colossal waste of money to repair it and then decide to modify it at a later date. Comments?

Strings and Serenades

Went to the University Cultural Center for Corrinne May's sold-out one-night-only concert, and it was well worth it! The small but appreciative audience were enraptured when she sang perennial favorites like Free, Mr Beasley and Little Superhero Girl; we were also treated to new songs which further cemented her standing as a rising star. Eagerly anticipating her next performance.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006

World's Fastest Indian

So what kind of motorcycle movie might become popular? Consider using a screenplay based on the life of Burt Munro, living in New Zealand who spent the greatest part of his life trying to make a 1920 Indian be the world's fastest Indian motorcycle. Let this become an obsession that culminated in coming to the United States to try to set a world land speed record in the Bonneville Salt Flats. Consider the fact that he was doing this endeavor at minimal cost and was already into his late 60s trying to compete with riders still in their youth with modern machines and ample resources.

Major respect... read more here. Definitely making plans to watch it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

More beautiful photos

Came across some wonderful links of photos while surfing.

Awesome music utilities

OK this might be old hat for some of you but it sure as heck was new to me.

  • "Ever thought 'what is this song?' Let Tunatic hear it and you will get the artist's name and the song's title within seconds. Tunatic is the very first song search engine based on sound for your computer. All you need is a microphone and Internet access.
  • If your music library has got files with messed up ID3 tags, Musicbrainz will update the tags for you, automatically.