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.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yokohama A048

Just had these installed and here's a quick review based on the drive home.

1) The grip is astounding. Even without performing any stunts or driving at high speeds the response is incredible. No scrubbing, the car just turns wherever you point.

2) Road noise is loud.

3) Same price as RE070!

Wonder how it wears though, it could get very expensive... we'll see.

Update (11-Feb-06):
The tires are great for track use, but given the tread-wear rating of 60, might be better off served by using RE070. Wet performance is better than expected, the compound is excellent. Used to get wheel spin on higher RPMs on damp surfaces but this just holds on.

Worn tires

This is how my tires looked like after TCC trackday. They weren't in much better shape to begin with but decided to see what they were capable of without trying for time.

Overall I'm impressed with this set of tires. Grip is excellent, although I would still rate it slightly below the OEM Evo Yokohama A046s.

Would recommend if not for the price, around 340 SGD each at the time of this writing.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Politician in the making

My nephew, who's 5 years old, has been wetting his bed. When confronted about this, his response was that it was not urine but his perspiration...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Let the good times roll

What has happened in 6 months? Same hardware, same gear, same boost but with more mileage and worn tires. Note the gradient of the black line. About 0.2 seconds worth of elapsed time between passing speeds have been reduced from 4500 RPM onwards.