We interrupt this regular broadcast to issue a formal apology to Lauren Stone, for the way too heavy car content on this blog. We now return to normal programming and apologies for any inconvenience this interruption may have caused......
Ferrari 288 GTO 25th anniversary reunion at Concorso Italiano
I always wonder what the answer to "what's your favorite car of all time" would be. It's not an easy question to answer, there's a load of cars out there that were/are favorites, and there's always the "depends what it's for" response. Obviously there's the 911 in various different forms, most Ferraris, a few TVR's, the M3, Lancia Integrale, Caterham 7........ like I said, loads (and I didn't even scratch the surface with that list).
But one car that was pasted on my wall constantly during my formative years growing up (13 to 23 ;-) was the Ferrari 288 GTO. It turns out it's now 25 years old, and the bodywork still causes me to feel like a giddy schoolboy. I'm guessing that given these things were so rare in the first place, they're at the ridiculously expensive end of the price range now, so photos are probably all I'll ever get, but a boy can dream.....
So I tried autocrossing last weekend for the very first time, and I really liked it. Before you ask, it's basically just like a mini timed racetrack that's set up with cones in a car park (and no, it has nothing to do with motorbikes, dirt or crashing).
The course is obviously a lot tighter than a track, so you never actually get out of second gear for the whole time, but it feels very very fast as you're blasting around. One of the main problems you have to contend with (apart from not hitting the cones) is actually remembering which way you need to drive. You get a walk or two around the course at the start of the day, but the first time the starter gives you the green light to go, you're basically looking at a sea of orange cones all jumbled up in the parking lot, trying to work out if it's left or right. Luckily there are a few pointers (cones laying down as arrows, some white lines painted around the outside of the track etc), and after a couple of trips around, you start to feel a little bit more comfortable.
Feeling comfortable and going fast however, are two very different things. As it was my first time, I didn't have very high expectations - get around without killing myself or the car, and try not to come last. Luckily I managed both. I was actually relatively competitive in the morning - somewhere in the middle of my group, but then I after lunch I screwed up the first run by hitting a cone, and then the next two weren't as fast. Still, I had a blast, and came away wanting to do it again. So of course, I signed up for another one in a few weeks 8-)) Sign up here if you're interested in joining - there's a rumor that Mr Tonkin is going to join me and Wallace out there next time (and it's only 45 bucks!!)...
So, it's been a long time coming, and when it finally did arrive, it was a little more expensive than anyone imagined. The new Noble M600 is 200k (and that's pounds, not dollars), but does have 650 bhp and gets you to 60 in 3 seconds flat. Looks wise I'm not too sure - I think they made it just a little bit too long. And that price, for a Noble? It's gonna make it more expensive than the new Ferrari......
I'm lucky enough to work with some smart people on a number of different things, but I guess the one thing that's in the news that we happen to be working on at Enspiria is the Smart Grid.
There's lots of different theories and versions of what Smart Grid actually means, so Pete is taking a back to basics approach over a couple of presentations to give people an idea of our opinion of what it is, and then take a look at what impacts it'll have on IT systems in the future, with a bit of a focus on the spatial technology side of things.
So for the second Thursday in a row, Heidi and I became an Aunt and Uncle again! Of course, it was a girl (taking our niece total into double figures now), as Claire had Abby Patterson, weighing in at 9lb 3oz with both mother and daughter doing so well that they're already home!! (guess the NHS isn't messing around these days).
So, congratulations across the water, and we expect you to jump on a plane sometime pretty soon so we can have a hold! As you can see below, Ella is getting into her older sister duties straight away.
Now we just have to sit back and see what happens next Thursday......
Nikon have just announced their new range of cameras coming out in the fall, and probably the most interesting one is this - it's integrated a projector into the camera itself, so you can display the photos on a wall or something for people to look at. Not sure how long the battery lasts if you use this, but would save the crowding round the lcd screen post picture taking (providing you were somewhere dark enough to see the projection)
The last week has been a little on the crazy side, as Logan Presley Myhra decided she couldn't wait the extra 5 or 6 weeks to go full term, and had to pop out early.
After a couple of scary moments at the end of last week, both Mother and Daughter are doing well, and we've all been fighting over visiting and holding time. Luckily I got in there early to grab her from the wife. Congrats guys - you did good!!
So the car I thought I was going to be in wasn't the car I was actually going to be in, but it all ended up good in the end.
I had originally thought (hoped) that I was going to get a couple of laps in a McLaren F1, but it turns out it was actually a McLaren racecar, with an extra seat somehow fitted into the cockpit (it was pretty tight in there). Unfortunately, there were some issues with the engine (suspected vapor lock, fuel pressure and a pretty serious misfire) by the time it was my turn.
While the guys tried to get everything sorted out for me, I was treated a ride in an R8 (thanks Mike!) and a Porsche 911 Turbo. Both were fun, although the R8 ride was by far the better of the two. Mike can _really_ drive, and he doesn't hold back in his cars, so he took me on what turned out to be the fastest laps I got that day.
Getting back to the paddock, I was told the McLaren was fixed, so I made myself as thin as possible to get back into that tiny seat and slid down. After a couple of false starts, we did make it out onto the track, but the engine was misfiring so badly it was tough to get any speed (although we did still pass a Gallardo Spider on the way around). We tired for a couple of laps to see if it would magically fix itself, but no such luck.
Anyway, it was a good day out at High Plains, and now that I've been around the track, I can't wait to get out there in my own car.
When I was a little younger, I used to always hate to leave a party early, just in case I missed anything. I'm old enough to need my sleep now, so it doesn't bother me so much anymore, but I still wonder what I might have missed out on.
If you're the same, and you were at Heidi's birthday party last weekend, I was lucky enough to film the second last event (the sucking all the helium out of the balloons moment didn't come out so good in the pitch darkness of a rainy night), so you no longer have to feel like you missed out.
Apologies in advance for the drunken slurring of words - to be honest I had no recollection of this incident until I reviewed the camera the next day. And watch with amazement as the talent of Ms Klassen shines through......