GearBrain Roundup: Week Ending October 16th

  • In the ‘Racing will never be entirely safe category’, we have two sad entries this week.
    • Maria De Villota, a F1 test driver, passed away at age 33 this week.  She had a terrible accident last year, losing her right eye after a test crash; however, she had been on the mend.  The family reports that lasting neurological injuries from that crash were responsible for her death.  Racer Magazine has an appreciation.
    • Sean Edwards, who had been leading the Porsche Supercup Championship, was killed when a car in which he was a passenger/coach crashed.  Another tragic loss of a great young talent.
  • @nascarnomics has an interesting graph about the number of green-flag passes as a function of which version of the car is being used, including aerodynamic modifications to the gen-6. This is a really interesting way to look at whether NASCAR’s changes are successful in ‘improving racing’.
  • Lord Paul Drayson has set four (more) electric-motor land speed records.
  • You must take the ‘Talladega Dave’ theory seriously.  Josh Browne, a regular name in this space, lends his expertise to @PitRho this week in making your fantasy selections. (The article is actually being reworked, so it may not be up right at the moment.  The idea is that the lower-level drivers (Gilligan, Ragan, Blaney, etc.) have more of a chance of winning at plate tracks.  A disproportionate number of these drivers are named “Dave” in some form or other.  Bet on them!)
  • Sam has a nice look at the transition from V8 to V6 engines in F1 over at Racecar Engineering.
  • A Tesla Model S caught on fire this week – from a really freaky accident.  Here’s why it’s no big deal.
  • The American Chemical Society will have a webinar on October 24th about the chemistry of tires and lubricants.  I’m going to miss it because I have a speaking engagement at Iowa State, but their webinars are usually posted online after the fact.

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