October 4, 2015

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K E R B L O V E

August 13, 2015

FS UK 2011 Silverstone

July 23, 2011


Last weekend was the UK Formula Student event held at Silverstone. Like last year we were blessed with the most temperamental weather England had to offer, it ranged from chucking-it-down to sunny summer at least 3 times a day. A staggering 92 entries competed in the event from over 30 different countries. The quality and technology in some of the single seater racers blows me away every year.
Not having completed the Endurance stage last year, for 4 years infact, our main goal was to finish it and obviously do the same in every over event. On the soaking Saturday morning we completed the Acceleration and Skid-pan events with times in the top half of the ranking. In the afternoon the weather began clearing up and I would be driving the Sprint event on the course setup along the old main straight of Silverstone. Usual racing drama ensued with teams watching the skies very closely to ensure they would complete a run in the dry, we got out early and after a few delays I set a 10th place time.

On my first runs I encountered a yellow flag as one of the preceding cars had a problem. To keep things fair you’re granted a re-run. The first lap of the video was my quickest, luckily no cones were hit as they would incur a 2 second penalty. On the last run the nightmare happened, I broke a second wheel center after braking in the hairpin complex. We broke our first wheel center the day before during the brake test for scrutineering, all the spokes snapped in one big swoop.
At this point we weren’t quite sure what was happening, these wheels had endured a few years of use with no hint of trouble and then we broke two in a weekend. 7075 Ali is aircraft grade so technically shouldn’t be subject to much degradation, but all the fractures were brittle.
With the main goal being finishing the Endurance race, driving at a competitive pace would have likely caused another center to give way, so we decided to nurse the car home finishing 19th. The one benefit was low fuel consumption giving an 8th place finish in fuel economy.

July 13, 2011

Endurance Testing at Llandow Kart track.


The street circuit of the Bergamo Historic Gran Prix has no real safety precautions and during the heats the track will be full of spectators. The participants are therefore not allowed to drive at full pace, they have to be guided by pace cars. My dad was at the front in a Ferrari 458 Italia, while I was closing the pack in the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale. To say I was excited about driving a lightened super car on a closed street circuit would be an understatement.

The MC Stradale is a lightened version of the GT, inspired by the Maserati Trofeo GranTurismo MC.



When you first step into the car you are bathed in black suede and carbon fiber. You sink into the adjustable racing seat, the high transmission tunnel and low roof line make it a really cosy place to sit. The 4 point racing harness retains some ease of use by clipping together with a simple buckle.


Photos: Alexp84 Flickr

The steering is on the light side but still has good feel. Compared to anything I’ve driven the handling is superb, excellent grip and composure. What impressed me the most though is the ride, it’s stiff and controlled but it still managed to easily soak up all the bumps of some old city road sections. Following classic cars didn’t require hard braking so I didn’t get a feel for the carbon ceramic brakes.

The icing on the cake has to be the sound. The 450hp 4.2 litre V8 is outstanding, in Race setting all the exhausts open up and what comes out the other side is heavenly.
I managed to clip a camera on me for a portion of a lap but unfortunately it’s fairly rubbish and even the sound is problematic, but hopefully you can get an idea.

Thanks to Alexp84 Flickr for the extra photos.