ZAPPED – A CYBER-THRILLER BY ALAN WILSON
Alan Wilson, one of the world's top racetrack designers, has turned to the pen – cyber-pen, actually. Following on the heels of the excellent biography of his wife Desire Wilson – Driven by Desire – Wilson has tapped out a mystery revolving around the potential vulnerability of Formula 1 cars to cyberattack. This is how Wilson describes Zapped, an electronic page turner:
"Grand Prix pits the world's best drivers and the world's most professional race teams against each other in the race to win the World Championships. It attracts hundreds of thousands of fans to tracks around the world, and millions more to their TV sets, twenty weekends each season.
"Grand Prix racing is driven by intense competition, emotion, will-to-win and total commitment, both on and off the track.
"Grand Prix racing is dominated by money, power, intrigue and politics which attract powerful, ruthless men, some who have little concern for the long term stability of the sport.
"Grand Prix racing technology is among the most advanced in all the worlds of computers, aerodynamics, engineering, data collection and techno-manufacturing. It cannot exist without this technology.
Alan Wilson's second book is a high-tech gripper. [Wilson Motorsport Publishing image]
"This technology is the magnet that attracts the skills of brilliant engineers and computer wizards, like Zak Radford, a young American computer genius who joins the Bartholomew Team in the hopes of adding his skills to the world's top level of sporting technology.
"Zak finds himself enmeshed in a vicious web of cyber cheating and intrigue that is far from the glamor and heroic image presented on TV, the Internet and in the specialist racing media around the world. Instead he discovers a threat that is all too capable of killing the sport.
"Zak and his friend, the beautiful Russian Juliana Komorov find themselves drawn into a high dollar conspiracy that uses top secret cyber-technology to influence the results of Grand Prix races, and the World Championship itself, but he cannot move to save the sport until the battle for absolute financial and political power of Grand Prix racing has been resolved."
DRIVING WITH DOWNFORCE - LATEST SAFEisFAST VIDEO TUTORIAL
In the latest SAFEisFAST online tutorial, race engineer Jeff Braun and international race drivers Anthony Davidson, Klaus Graf, Sebastien Buemi and Marino Franchitti discuss the revelations of driving a high-downforce racecar.
Coping with high downforce may seem straightforward – the faster you go, the higher the grip level. A driver new to this concept and the aerodynamically enhanced racecars designed for today's international sportscar championships and Formula 1 will have to take engineering principals on faith because the seat of his pants is telling that the limit has been reached.
In one way or the other, each of the tutors tells the same story – the faster you go, the more downforce is generated and the faster you go. The driver must recalibrate the seat of his pants, which was developed over years of experiencing mostly mechanical grip with little appreciation for aerodynamic downforce.
The limits of cornering speed are thus the ability of the human body to withstand massive G forces and the ultimate aero-assisted grip limit of the tires. It is imperative that the top level driver totally understand the difference between areo and mechnical grip and be able to differentiate between the two.
It's is not an easy concept to grasp as the two overlap with low speed mechanical grip gradually being enhanced by aerodynamic grip as speeds go up. The last little bit of cornering speed is achieved when downforce gives the tires that bit of extra stick.
Once the driver can communicate to his engineer what adjustments– mechanical or aero – are needed to balance out the car then a huge gap has been spanned in making a quick car even quicker. And your race engineer is very pleased with you.
MEMBER NEWS: AMELIA ISLAND HONORED; ON DARIO'S RETIREMENT; SiF GOING TO CHINA
'Tis the season for honoring great performances, and since the RRDC has more than its share of honor-worthy members, it stands to reason that a few stand to be recognized this time of year. Toping this week's list is the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance and its founder Bill Warner. Also in the aftermath of Dario Franchitti's retirement, we offer a little perspective. And would you believe, SAFEisFAST will soon be in China!
BILL WARNER'S BABY NAMED MOTORING EVENT OF THE YEAR
The annual International Historic Motoring Awards, in association with EFG International and Octane magazine, recently named the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance as recipient of the 2013 Motoring Event of the Year award.
Bill Warner accepts the 2013 Motoring Event of the Year Award for the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance [Historic Motoring Awards image]
This award recognizes automotive celebrations from Australia, Germany, Italy, the United States and the United Kingdom. Finalists in the 2013 events category included the Kensington Palace Centennial Celebration of Aston Martin, the St. James Concours d'Elegance, Schloss Dyck, Pendine Sands VRHA Hot Rod, the Kop Hill Climb, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
"To win amongst such significant events is the culmination of a lifelong dream," said our man Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. "I can't think of anything more pleasing than to win this award for the Concours Foundation and to be able to showcase Jacksonville and Florida's First Coast."
The Award. [Historic Motoring Awards image]
Founded in 2011 The International Historic Motoring Awards are some of the most coveted honors in the classic car industry. The awards recognize excellence, reward innovation and are the benchmark by which the world of historic cars judges itself. The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, England was the site of the annual International Historic Motoring Awards banquet.
ON DARIO'S RETIREMENT
As you are most likely aware by now, our fellow RRDC member Dario Franchitti announced his retirement from auto racing earlier this month. Wisely, Dario was following the advice of his doctors following his Oct. 6 crash at Houston best categorized as horrendous.
Here's what he said on his official web site: "One month removed from the crash and based upon the expert advice of the doctors who have treated and assessed my head and spinal injuries post accident, it is their best medical opinion that I must stop racing. They have made it very clear that the risks involved in further racing are too great and could be detrimental to my long-term well-being. Based on this medical advice, I have no choice but to stop."
Much has been written since the announcement, but none better than Marshall Pruitt's column on RACER.com.
SAFEisFAST FLYING ON CYBERWINGS TO CHINA
JOHN MORTON WRITES A BOOK, GETS AN AWARD
John Morton's rollicking remembrance of his time working for Carroll Shelby – "Inside Shelby American, Wrenching and Racing with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s" – is available from Motorbooks. On Dec. 7, Morton will receive the 2013 Lindley Bothwell Lifetime Achievement Award at the Fabulous Fifties Annual Banquet at the Proud Bird in El Segundo, Calif.
Obviously the two events are connected only by the fact that Morton will be signing copies of his book at the banquet. You can order a signed copy right now directly from John at
Morton's first position in the racing industry was at the pushing end of a broom in Carroll Shelby's shop in Venice. He worked his way up to a team driver slot and was paired with Ken Miles at Sebring in 1964. The car failed to finish, but Morton won the GT class and was second overall in the Road American 500 with Skip Scott later that season.
His remarkable success with Peter Brock's BRE Datsun operation is well documented by his longtime companion Sylvia Wilkinson in "The Stainless Steel Carrot" – one of the seminal racing books of the 20th century, recently "revisited". You can also order Carrot from Morton, autographed for $46. Sylvia says, "I'll cover the postage and handling, and the full $46 goes to animal rescue in the project I've done with Dean Case." As to John penning a book himself, Wilkinson, a noted author, said, "He has promised me that he won't write another one!" Seems she had to type up his "pencil written, legal pad book" for him.
An A-list professional driver from his time with Shelby, Morton's c.v. reads like "raced there, won". Now 71, he's still sought by vintage racecar owners to take their "babies" for brisk outings. Among his frequent callers is the Collier Museum.
Lindley Bothwell was a major Southern California orange grower and respected citrus consultant from his ranch in the San Fernando Valley. He was also a major antique car collector and owned one of the largest stables of significant automobiles in the country in the 1950s. Bothwell raced many of the cars in his collection and was heavily involved in the Sports Car Club of America. An avid sportsman, he was also a serious rower and pioneer surfer.
Phil Hill and Art Evans founded the Fabulous Fifties Sports Car Club for mostly social purposes. Past recipients of the Bothwell Award include Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Phil Remington, Les Richter, Rodger Ward, Bob Bondurant and Jim Hall, to mention but a few.
To secure the necessary reservation for the Fabulous Fifties Annual Banquet, send checks ($65 per person) made payable to Alice Hanks to 17766 Tramanto Dr., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Let Alice know your preference of Beef or Chicken and give her a list of your guests. Alice's phone: (310) 454-1047.
MEMBER NEWS: SAM POSEY AND HURLEY HAYWOOD RECEIVE HONORS PLUS WIN AN F1 HELMET
Sam Posey and Hurley Haywood are being honored this month. Posey has received a pair of awards – The Carl Benz Award and The Lee Iacocca Award. Haywood will receive The Spirit of Competition Award from the Simeone Museum.
POSEY SNARES A PAIR
The Carl Benz Award is presented annually by the Society of Automotive Historians for the best historical article written for a periodical in the previous calendar year. Posey's submission, "Trans Am Memories", was published in Hagerty Classic Cars. According to Sam, "My subject was the 1970 Trans Am as I saw it – an assignment it would have been hard to screw up."
Past winners include Dean Batchelor, Griff Borgeson, Greg Fielden, Carl Goodwin, Michael Lamm and Karl Ludvigsen.
In addition, Posey has received the Lee Iacocca Award honoring a person who, over time, has demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to the classic car hobby through vehicle preservation, club participation, and one who has unselfishly assisted and encouraged others in perpetuating an "American Automotive Tradition." This unique award is linked with the Iacoca Family Foundation whose mission is to find a cure for diabetes.
Recipients are named by the committees of some 25 car shows around the country and numerous individuals are honored each year at the event that chose them.
RRDC members that have previously received the Lee Iacocca Award are the late Carroll Shelby in '07; Bill Warner, '08; Bruce Meyer, '09; and Jack Roush in '12.
HAYWOOD MOVING IN FAST COMPANY, AS USUAL
Hurley Haywood is just the sixth recipient of The Spirit of Competition Award presented by the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum at its annual Fund Raiser Awards Dinner set for Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Museum located at 6825 Norwitch Drive in Philadelphia. Haywood will be introduced by Bill Warner, Founder and Chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
Each winner reflects on what competition means personally. Hurley said, "If you have one ounce of energy left, then you haven’t done your job properly."
Five of the six recipients to date are RRDC alums, the lone exception being Craig Breedlove. Here's what they said in previous years:
"If you think you have everything under control, you're driving too slow." – Mario Andretti, '08
"Racing is a matter of spirit, not strength." – Janet Guthrie, '09
"I have risked everything of value including life itself, being stimulated by what can be stated simply as the pursuit of achievement." – John Fitch, '10
"I can go a thousand miles an hour on land." – Craig Breedlove, '11
"The happiest and proudest person I can be exists in a few fleeting moments of achievement behind the wheel." – Sam Posey, '12
Tickets for the Awards Dinner must be purchased by Nov. 18. Click here and check the bottom of the page to purchase your dinner ticket.
WIN THIS F1 HELMET
Test your safety IQ at SAFEisFAST and get a chance to win a $5,000 Stilo F1 racing helmet. The ST4 Zero is the lightest F1-approved helmet on the market. The shell is made of high-tensile T1000 carbon that minimizes the components needed for construction without affecting the structural resilience. The Stilo satisfies the industry's top safety regulations. Win it! Own it!