Arise Racing Lap Challenge high-speed fun in the world’s quickest open top…F1 avoids meltdown with bigger and wider vision…Seat on the gravy train for Euro telecom alliance’s automated driving roadmap?

 A host of personalities including Nat Fyfe, Mitchell Johnson, Adam Gilchrist and Steve Hooker are among those who have put the pedal to the metal in the Arise Racing Lap Challenge. And what a challenge it is! Unlike the famous British television Top Gear challenge that uses a reasonably priced vehicle, this is all about the Radical SR3RS. The world’s fastest production racecar, this incredibly quick open-top reaches 100km/h in 3.1 seconds as it roars around Arise Racing’s state-of-the-art facility at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth (WA).

Why? Well, because it can and also it’s a pretty slick and fun way of promoting the company’s driver training packages and motorsport events. According to Arise Racing Team’s Adam Lisle, there’s nothing quite like a little healthy competition while experiencing the exhilaration of pushing oneself and a car to the limits.

“Almost everyone gets into the car with some nerves but that all changes once they’re out on the track with a coach beside them who’s teaching the skills of racing such as throttle application, braking techniques, finding the apex of the corner and the racing line, etc.”

And judging from the comments below, Adam’s observation that every single person gets back to the workshop an absolute high with a massive smile, raring to go again is not far off the mark!

Steve Hooker, Olympic gold medalist: “Sitting behind the wheel and having the controls in your hands, you really start to want to go for it really quickly. It was amazing fun. It’s a really fun circuit and the car is amazing. Anyone from sixteen years old through to sixty years old should get out there and learn how to drive a car properly.”

Ben O’Shea, editor Inside Cover, The West Australian: “The experience is just incredible. From [feeling very nervous] in the first couple of laps to then remembering what you’re taught in the briefing and starting to apply that stuff on the track and feeling the car respond the way that you know it should is just the most incredible feeling. It was just fantastic to start to go faster and faster and faster. Having that sense of achievement when you going through these corners and you’re on the racing line and you’re pushing it to what you think is the limit is the best. It’s absolutely the best.”

Alister McRae, former WRC rally driver: “I think the facility here’s pretty impressive. They’ve got proper cars. It’s not often you go to kind of a corporate place and they have proper race cars that you actually get to drive at that speed. That was really enjoyable. Great fun, and the instructor is tremendous as what he’s doing.”

Over the coming weeks, clips of Lap Challenge contenders, their times and where they sit on the leader board, will be released on the company’s website and Facebook page, with the winner announced on April 17. “Some of the results have been surprising, and we still have a few more who’ve put their hand up to participate, so we’ll have to wait and see who finishes on top,” said Adam.

And the prize? How about bragging rights for starters. More info @ www.ariseracing.com.au

 

F1 avoids meltdown with bigger and wider vision

And whilst we’re talking racing what about Formula 1? It’s the pinnacle of international motorsport, but that doesn’t mean it’s anywhere near perfect. Modern cars are quiet and, to be honest, on the mundane side of boring to watch compared to the barely-controllable beasts of yesteryear. But now that’s all set to change with new regulations prescribing bigger wings, wider tyres and more power from hybrid-turbocharged V6 engines.

So, what’s new for 2017? Apparently, heaps! Faced with criticisms about a lack of drama, the Formula 1 Strategy Group sat down in late 2015 and penned a set of rules to make cars (and racing) more exciting. The process started last year with more noise from the oft-criticised V6-hybrid powertrains, but the big changes come into force this year.

Although the new rules are fairly wide reaching, they can be summed up in one word: wider. Tyres are now 25% wider and the cars now measure two metres across, up from 1.8m last year. Bigger wings and an enlarged rear diffuser should produce more downforce, which means quicker lap times and a much harder time for drivers.

Unlike last year, where the cars all looked much the same, greater freedom to play with the wings and aero elements has led to a grid full of unique and fascinating shapes. So, if you’re into all this hot rubber, hope over to that great website NewAtlas and get all the ‘dirt’ on what in store

 

Seat on the gravy train for Euro telecom alliance?

The European Automotive Telecom Alliance (EATA) has presented the next steps to make connected and automated driving a reality and in the spirit of all good ‘trade organisations’ has applied for a seat on the gravy train of government finance. The EATA’s roadmap for testing connected and automated driving functionalities will include Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Spain. Other countries along the trans-European transport network, or TEN-T, corridors are expected to join the project at a later stage.

During this first phase, companies will test applications such as highway chauffeur, truck platooning and telecommunication network functionalities, including network slicing, hybrid communications and LTE broadcasting. Next year valet parking and the deployment of automated driving will take the centre stage, including testing cross-border motorways networks throughout the European Union.

According to EATA, a supportive regulatory environment is an essential foundation for the development and take-up of connected and automated driving. “It is crucial that the EU ensure that investment requirements are supported by the necessary regulatory certainty. Trust, security and consumer protection are at the core of the industry’s efforts to ensure take-up of new products. Innovative services and data analytics will be driving forces of car connectivity and automation. Hence, the EU should avoid overregulation of privacy and ensure the effective flow of data,” said a spokesperson.

The group is now looking forward to Digital Day to be held on March 23 in Rome that celebrates the 60th anniversary of the European Union at which participants from the EC, EU transport and communication ministers and high-level industry representatives are expected to increase commitment to cross-border connected and automated driving.

Members of EATA have submitted a project on connected and automated driving worth around €48m million to support trans-European networks and infrastructures in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors. Known as Concorda, the project aims at enhancing and upgrading the environment for existing pilot projects such as automated highway chauffeur, truck platooning and automated collision avoidance functionalities.

Meanwhile, Ficosa, a top-tier global provider of high-technology vision, safety, connectivity and efficiency systems for the automotive industry has presented its latest technological development for the connected car and autonomous vehicle at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017.

Highlight of the exhibit was the third generation of the Smart Connectivity Module (SCM) said to turn the car into a self-connective device providing all passengers with simultaneous and independent connectivity. The system offers a secure connection for communications inside and outside the vehicle and for communication between vehicles (V2V) and with infrastructure (V2I).

The SCM provides up to nine simultaneous internet connections enabling passengers to watch movies, listen to music, play online games, tune in high-definition radio and download and store contents. Safety features include an automatic emergency call, geolocation of the vehicle, speed control, assistance service and help avoid accidents by managing dangerous areas and those with limited visibility.

A firmware upgrade over-the-air (FOTA) updates the vehicle software without having to connect it to any physical device, incorporates a high grade of cyber security and is much more compact than its previous versions. A smart connectivity module introduces, in one single device, a variety of wireless telephony technologies, such as LTE, WIFI, Bluetooth, AM and FM, DAB and GNSS positioning for each specific market and a mandatory emergency call.