Thursday, October 21, 2010

F1-Geeks Track Analysis - Yeongam

Part permanent, part temporary, the newest circuit to join the F1 calendar looks to be a good time.  Not much by way of history here so let's jump right into lap.

Turn one is going to be a mess.  I'm telling you now, it's deceptively sharp and has no damn room at all.  You have got to go into it wide so you can make a good exit for turn 2 (which is barely a flick of the wheel to the left) then you are on a pretty spooky straight.*  Creeped me out every time and about 50% of the time I would brake way to soon, realize my mistake, jump on the gas, brake too late, and then I'm on the run-off.

This track really asks you to attack the curbs, it's pretty cool when you get it right and surprising in how quickly it punishes you when you get it wrong.  One of the great things here is that the run-off areas contain a lot of pavement.  Saved me plenty of times.

Turn 3 is very slow but for some reason, easier to work out than turn 1.  Bit of a breather here as you fade right to cut the apex as shallow as you can for the first of a left right left sequence through which I had to keep remindimg myself to use the gas very sparingly. 

If you make it out of 6 OK then you get to stomp on it and see if you can go through 7 flat out.   This turn reminded me a lot of one of my favorite corners in all of F1, Eau Rouge, and while I could manage through 8 if I screwed up 7, nailing 7 was so cool that I often blew 8 completely.   With a little practice this should be a fun sequence.

9 is fairly tricksy as it looks like 8 but is much tighter.  I expect to see many offs here in practice.

Turn 10 slows you down a lot but sets you up for a nice series of corners through 15 that you can attack agressivly if your nerve holds.

15 is much slower than it looks and hitting 16 right is cirtical to have a good time through the next sequence.   You mess it up, you're practically head on into a wall and that's exactly what I did.  This is the first time I crashed and sustained enough damage that I could not continue the session.  Since I'm trying to make it as realistic an experience as possible**, I stopped practice and didn't get more laps in.  Kind of a drag but I do get another session.
If you do, however, get this right, you're turning right fairly hard accelerating really hard.  Straining the whole time until you snap the car onto the start/finish straight.  It feels cool and you will love the way it ends.  When done right it feels like a slingshot.

*I call this the Spooky Haunted By Two Creepy Dead Girls Redrum Hallway of Longness + 4.  I mean, really, this thing is long.  And it's spooky because you think it's going to end and then it seems to extend right before your eyes. 
**I also have a cardboard cutout of Nelson Piquet Jr. who I throw scraps of food at.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Objet d'Arte: Red Bull Style

If you've ever dreamed of owning a piece of a Formula 1 car, you're in luck.  If you've ever dreamed of owning a piece of a Formula 1 car that has been turned into a piece of art, you'll be ecstatic.  But, if what you really wanted was for that piece of art to be a functional object as well, then you're about to experience nirvana.

Red Bull Racing has announced a project that is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while.  Behold...

That my friends, is a lamp made from different gear elements from a Red Bull gearbox.  They point out that these elements spin at over 18,000 RPM when in use.  But there's more!  Salt and pepper anyone?

Another part of the gear box, filters this time, turned into nifty condiment dispensers, held in place by a beautifully machined segment of a carbon disk pad (not shown in this image).   Those are all will and nice, but check out this piece; an end table with a chromed, polished header.

These truly are beautiful objects, but there are several more to see, each more beautiful than the next.  Curiously, they don't mention the price of these pieces, but their used parts, so they can't be that much.  Right?  Take a walk on over to their Racing Gold site, and enjoy the catalog.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Schumacher's First Championship Benneton For Sale

Check this out.  From super ultra luxury item blog, James Spotting (The official blog of JamesList where you can buy and sell all kinds of crazy luxury items.), comes news that reminds us of the hardest hit in this economy, the ultra rich.   Imagine if you will the sorrow, angst, suffering and anguish of the poor gentlemen who must now sell his prized possession just to make the payments on his 18,000 sq ft house.   Oh money gods, how cruel, thou art.

For the bargain price of one and a half million Euros, this baby can be yours.  Clearly an important piece of racing history as it is the car Mr. Schumacher won his first F1 championship in.  More importantly, you can still see Steve Matchett's initials carved into the legality plank.*

Probably not a bad investment as you have to figure someone will pay 3 million for it eventually.  So what are you waiting for?  Pick this thing up and park it next to Pussy Galore's heli**.

*No, you can't.  But for an extra 500 large, why not pay Steve to come out, sign it himself and tell you some cool stories about that time?
** Also for sale at James List.

On a special super geeky side note, my GPS informs me I'm travelling about 430 mph at just under 36,000 ft.  Oh technology, how I do love thee so.