Friday December 2nd, 2011 15:34 The 5 Best Tracks to Drive in the UK

1. Brands Hatch Circuit, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent

Brands Hatch is one of the most charismatic circuits in the UK. In fact, Nigel Mansell scored his first Grand Prix victory there, also winning the final F1 race at Brands in 1986.

It’s a natural amphitheatre and boasts a 1.2 mile Indy configuration, offering fantastic views of all the action. Its Grand Prix circuit is still one of the biggest challenges in UK motor racing! Brands Hatch’s unique combination of dips, cambers, fearsome corners and hills means it is still one of the world’s favourite racing circuits.

Race notes:
A short lap which never gives you time to rest. A great circuit to drive!

  • Best overtaking opportunity: Clearway


2. Donington Park Circuit, Castle Donington, Derby

Those passionate about Formula One motorsport will best recall the European Grand Prix 1993, where Ayrton Senna’s first lap became one of the most famous in Grand Prix history, when he passed five cars to win the race. The torrential conditions set the scene for what many believe to be the finest display of skill in Formula One – ever!
Donnington is a circuit of two halves – a very technical series of sweeping bends, followed by a series of short straights, separated by slow corners.

Race notes:
Lovely smooth and flowing circuit. Craner Curves and the Old Hairpin are the best corners.

  • Best overtaking opportunity: Redgate


3. Rockingham Motor Speedway, Mitchell Road, Corby, Northamptonshire

Rockingham Motor Speedway is the UK’s first purpose-built banked oval circuit since Brooklands, officially opening in summer 2000. It’s also Europe’s fastest banked oval racing circuit, with the unbeaten lap record for the 1.5 mile oval set at 24.719 seconds by Tony Kanaan in his Ford/Lola Champ Car on 22nd September, 2001 – with an average speed of 215.397mph!

Rockingham offers multiple in-field circuit configurations, featuring hairpins, straights and chicanes with ample passing and run-off areas.

Race notes:
A unique track with some great overtaking places. The first lap is always exciting.

  • Best overtaking opportunity: Turn 1


4. Silverstone Circuit, Towcester, Northamptonshire

Silverstone is the most famous race circuit in the UK at present, holding prestigious races like the Formula 1 Grand Prix and The World Super Bike Championship.

Built on an old military airport in 1948, Silverstone was a high-speed track with long straights and quick curves. Over the years the track layout has undergone several changes but has retained most of its character. There are 4 layouts of the circuit at Silverstone, including a new ArenaGP Circuit, National, International and Stowe Circuit. Offering a combination of fast corners, long straights and some slow sections, Silverstone is a good challenge for any driver.

Race notes:
4 track layout. One of the fastest MotoGP circuits on the calendar!

  • Best overtaking opportunity: Stowe


5. Thruxton Motorsport Centre, Thruxton, Andover, Hampshire

The circuit, like most race circuits in the UK, was originally an old airfield used during the war.
Its race circuit is one of the fastest in the country with legendary high speed corners and reputation where circuit drivers can really test their skills. It lays claim to being one of the longest in the UK at 2.4 miles per lap. It’s also believed to be the fastest race track in the UK.

Race notes:
Massively fast place, like no other!

  • Best overtaking opportunity: Club Chicane


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Sunday February 20th, 2011 16:32 2012 Lamborghini Aventador Suspension: Race Car precision

Lamborghini Aventador Suspension 2012

When Signore Lamborghini created the Lamborghini Motorcar Company 48 years ago, his focus was on creating gran turismo sports cars that did not have their origins in the world of racing. The Lamborghinis of recent decades have made U-turns away from that philosophy, embodying numerous elements from the race track in their design and engineering. At the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2011, the tentatively named Aventador will be unveiled. The Aventador supplants the Murcielago as the preeminent force of nature in the Lamborghini stable of cars. The Aventador is a 700 hp race car that can be driven on the streets, and it has incorporated the most advanced race car suspension design into its engineering.

The suspension for the Aventador has been basically extracted from one-seat race cars and retuned to make it more suitable for street wear. The foundation of the suspension will employ a horizontally mounted pushrod spring and damper setting as opposed to the conventional vertical mounting. The Lamborghini suspension has aluminium, double wishbone configuration. This space age technology can be very gratifying when cruising at the Aventador’s top speed of 370 kph, or 217 mph.

The Lamborghini suspension does not locate the springs and dampers on the wheel mounts. They are transversely positioned. Rockers mediate the force from the wheel mounts to the springs. Handling is therefore considerably more responsive, and rigid connection to the chassis facilitates more precise spring and damper reaction. Additionally, springs are not quite as stiff as they have been on previous Lamborghinis, which creates a more comfortable, flexible ride as well as a more precise ride. The upper and lower control arms relay levers and wheel mounts are all made from aluminium alloy, which is less stiff than steel and further increases flexibility. Hydraulic lifters have also been incorporated into the shocks, and these lifters can raise the car 40 millimetres at the push of a button to ride over minor obstacles.

The new Lamborghini suspension is a remarkably bold and innovative advance in sports car handling technology.

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Friday November 12th, 2010 09:30 Strange Events Close out 2010 Formula 1 Season

That was the story line prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix. According to a local prosecutor, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa could have been charged with fraud and imprisoned for up to six years if he had helped co-driver Fernando Alonso win the Formula One title.

At the time, Alonso could have won the title if he had won Sunday’s race. As it turns out, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished first and second.

The strange yet dangerous story line continues. Saturday night, McLaren driver Jenson Button escaped a possible armed robbery as he, his father John and manager Richard Goddard were leaving the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo. No one was hurt.

Apparently the armored vehicles provided to Button and co-driver Lewis Hamilton helped as Button’s driver was able to escape the armed bandits by forcing their vehicle through traffic. The drivers were police officers trained in avoidance techniques.

According to Button, the attack came as they traveled through a shanty town. Six individuals approached the vehicle, brandishing machine guns. Button said his driver “bounced off about five cars” before making their escape.

These two yet strange events seem somehow appropriate as we approach the culmination of the Formula 1 season this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Massa is not in contention to win the drivers championship yet his Ferrari co-driver is, leading in points out of a group of four other drivers. Button, last season’s champion, is not in contention but his co-driver has a chance, albeit a slim one.

So this weekend’s race will decide the drivers championship. The manufacturers championship has already been awarded, with Red Bull taking the honors.

So to quickly summarize who the contenders are (in case I lost you back there), the drivers with enough points to win the championship are: Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Red Bull’s Mark Webber, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McClaren’s Lewis Hamilton. All are worthy of the title, with both Alonso and Hamilton being past champs.

Hamilton has the least chance of winning. He would not only have to win this weekends race but the other three would have to finish out of the points. Highly unlikely.

Alonso has an excellent chance although his Ferrari’s performance has not been to the level of the Red Bull Renaults. If Alonso wins, he’s the champion. If Webber wins, Alonso must finish second. If Vettel wins, Alonso must take fifth or better.

Webber must finish fifth or better to stand any chance of winning his first championship. If he wins, Alonso can’t place better than third or it will nix his chances.

Vettel can’t finish any worse than second. If he wins Sunday’s race, Alonso must finish fifth, or worse, for Vettel to win his first title.

The end of the 2010 Formula 1 season is proving to be a good one. When was the last time the best four drivers in the series were in contention for the championship? Maybe never but this weekends race will add a drivers name to the list of greats that include Fangio, Stewart, Andretti and Villeneuve. It should prove exciting.

Guest post by Andy Mrozinski,

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