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61 MERDE

According to www.motorsport-total.com (at the end of July 2017) the French word „merde“ was the outcry from the outstanding Swiss racing driver Sébastien Buemi (see blogpost 40), after crossing the finishing line, on the occasion of the Formula E Grand Prix in Canada. It was the last weekend of the current FIA Formula E Championship; the final decision on who will supply this World Championship was forthcoming. 

But let us tackle things one at a time. Today’s blogpost is on Friday the thirteenth; no, The Castiron is not superstitious, definitely not. But he knows from his own experience, that sometimes almost everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. 

Please have a look at the video. The practice session in Montreal, Canada – nobody is infallible, nobody is perfect. The team had to build up the crashed car in the short time between this accident and the race, and that could be managed. 

The first race then was an inglorious story – on the track, in the pit lane and finally on the scale. Some opponents had not been very fair and this lead to the point, when Sébastien Buemi cried „merde“ (in English it is a four letter-word). He was so in rage, that a battle of words followed after the race between him and some competitors – partly rightly, partly not. And: the repaired car was underweight, that meant disqualification. Finally, he could not defend his world championship title – the circumstances in Canada seemed to be against him. 

The final words go from The Castiron to his compatriot Sébastien Buemi, from racer to racer, in his mother tongue: „Tu es très sympa, Sébastien, tout de bon pour l’avenir!“ In English: you are very pleasant Sébastien, all the best for the future! And we all know: it happens, that apparently all bad things come together at the same time. 

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS. Have look back at blogpost 3 EMOTION BEFORE PERFECTION, too.

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60 NORDSCHLEIFE 1710

First of all, please have a look at the video. Obviously, it is Nordschleife - the double left hand bend from „Eschbach“ to „Brünnchen“, downhill. Ideally, you drive this part with the objective to terminate on the left side to be ready for the next righthand turn; tricky, because usually you have to be on the right side at the end of left bends. Additionally: downhill means, the rear of the vehicle becomes rather light. 

Some time ago, The Castiron was more or less in the same situation, at the same place, driving an early nineties rear-wheel driven European Ford, not Eleanor V. Dry surface, but partly humid, especially in shady places. 

It was almost exactly the same, as the Mini driver in the video experienced – but with some major differences. The Castiron drove into the first bend, used the space on the right side for a wider radius for the second left and: he was not aware of the humid strip and his car abruptly skidded more than rectangular to the driving direction. Both drivers braked immediately to diminish as much speed as possible, to save what can be saved. 

And now, the major differences: the Mini slides just a little bit more than rectangular, The Castiron’s Ford did it decisively more. Also the starting point of the problems was not exactly the same. Thus, the Mini driver had the happier end – he did not touch the crash barriers; at the end of this double left turn, The Castiron did, and the left backside of the Ford touched the crash barriers on the right side – hard enough for a quite visible damage at the car, light enough for remaining roadworthy (more or less). 

Conclusion: often, small details determine, if you almost crash or you really do – or between a minor or a serious accident! Thank God, this was the only crash The Castiron faced on the Nordschleife, since he has been a guest on this track – for the first time 25 years ago. Hopefully, it stays that way! 

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

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59 DARKNESS AND LIGHT

In many parts of the world you have seasons with short days and long nights, long periods of darkness. Autumn and winter in Europe is just one of many examples. 

Darkness and light are natural aspects for every motorist, too. There are some major points, which are very relevant – for you and others, for your safety and the safety of others. On one hand basics, which are given and on the other hand those, which you can influence. 

Your car is equipped with a certain type of headlights. Halogen light or xenon light or LED lights - to name the most common. There are big differences, although every one has the fundamental function, to help you finding your way through the darkness. The only possibility to make an impact is on the day, when you buy the car (see blogpost 57), be it a used or a new one. 

But there are a few things, which you can influence personally – with a big effect! A correct setting of the headlights, done by your favourite garage. Frequent checks of the function of all four lights (see picture gallery) - and important, important, important: clean them often! Dirty headlights are worth less than half, even when your car is equipped with the latest and best version of light technology! Simple and easy – but it must be made regularly, for example by yourself. 

Generally, the right light at the right place at the right time is also very helpful for everyday life. You find this in the Holy Bible, too - amongst many other subjects. These guidelines accompany The Castiron, ideally day by day. Just with light you do not walk in the dark – the same with driving! 

For those, who want to read more: The Castiron invites you to read in the Holy Bible, Psalm 119, verse 105 (see recommendation). 

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       https://www.bibleserver.com/search/NIV/a%20lamp%20for%20my%20feet/1 

PS. Source reference: Auto Bild, Nr. 40, 7.10.2016, www.autobild.de

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58 THE DAYS BEFORE ELEANOR V 1709

The picture shows a mileage counter of one of The Castiron’s former cars. The 340'009 kilometers are equivalent to 211'317 miles – in other words, more than 8 times around the world. 

The Castiron prefers cars from leading manufacturers from the USA and Germany; guess to which brand and model pertains that certain part of the dashboard shown! Just a little help: a sporty German four-door limousine with 6-cylinder-in-line engine. 

The Castiron bought this car as a used car (see last week’s blogpost 57, too), about 10 years old, mileage of 111'870. It is one example for quite a long binding; around another 10 years later the car found again a new owner, finally with a mileage of more than 212'000 miles. This is just one example out of many.

Also noteworthy: Eleanor V, the Ford Mustang, a Plymouth Barracuda S (first generation) for street use and a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (second generation) for race use are highlights; cars from the „Big Three“ from the Detroit area, very well known for many decades. Not a surprise: all of those with a V8 engine, a manual gearbox and a limited slip differential. Today, among these three only Eleanor V is a companion of The Castiron. 

Either a car from the three major American automotive companies or renowned German brands, or any other manufacturer: each of them has specific characteristics and finally, it is all a matter of taste. 

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

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57 USED CAR’S RHYTHM IS ALSO YOUR RHYTHM

Used car’s rhythm is also your rhythm – or vice versa. What does that mean? 

You have decided to buy a used car and chosen all the relevant features, such as brand, model, type of engine and gearbox and so forth – and you have set a price limit. Previous owners, the mileage and age of the vehicle are the main parameters which are meant by the term „rhythm“. 

Previous owners, seller. First of all: trustworthy? If not, leave it – in this case, often it is the way „the better it looks, the worse it ends“. Hopefully: trustworthy! Do you think the last owner used and maintained the car the same way you would have done? If yes, it is a good basis. 

The mileage and age of the vehicle. This has to be plausible. Have a look at documents belonging to the car and talk with the seller, ask specific questions. 

Finally, it is your decision: does all that fit for your designated purpose? Do you prefer a car with a lower mileage and a higher age or one with a higher mileage and a younger age? Thus: comes this specific used car’s rhythm close to yours? 

Worth mentioning: in The Castiron’s home country, used cars are called „occasion“; hopefully, buying a used car is always a good opportunity, a real chance! Nonetheless: as so often do not forget, trust is good, control is better. 

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

PS. Just for listening: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDw5mFVrPBM

 

 

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56 LESS WORDS MORE SPEED

Once upon a time somewhere in the United States of America, The Castiron served in a team of instructors for a prestigious German automobile manufacturer. 

After getting into the car and driving off, one passenger said: „less words, more speed“! Alternatives: no words, more (or less) speed or more words, more speed. 

Less words, more speed. As an instructor this is daily business. Explanations for your co-drivers, also at high speeds or giving instructions via radio, when you are on the track followed by course participants. 

No words, more (or less) speed. Especially on the track, there is quite a wide range of challenging situations, where talking stops intentionally - or in extreme speechlessness appears! Breaking, cornering, overtaking or being overtaken, understeering, oversteering – first of all you face these circumstances, without the need for big words. 

More words, more speed. Sometimes it is easier to speak at a high speed via radio (for instance, around 230 miles per hour in Indianapolis, around 205 miles per hour in Le Mans), because the driver is on a straight! 

Finally in a few words: more or less words, more or less speed – always combined with concentration and sovereignty, for road and track! 

See you next Friday.  -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       www.cbmcint.com/signup-now

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55 STEERING WHEEL AND STEERING PEDAL

You all know the steering wheel. Do you also know the steering pedal? It is definitely not round. 

The steering pedal is well known as accelerator pedal – not just accelerating but also decelerating. Slowing down is s often more important than speeding up. 

The steering wheel. A circular steering wheel ring. For decades, it was really circular; in the recent past, in some cars you find steering wheels, that are no longer circular (why?). The Castiron’s opinion: a wheel is circular – no other form (for today, exceptions in racing cars ignored). Turn it circularly to the left or to the right, your car should change its direction accordingly. 

The steering pedal. Also this item influences the car’s curve radius – sometimes tremendously. The pedal closer to the metal (have a look at blogpost 52, too) entails a wider radius and releasing the pedal entails a smaller radius. 

So far so good. But what is the conclusion? The handling of steering wheel and steering pedal should be in accordance. When you are in trouble, on the road or on the track, often decelerating by releasing the accelerator is very, very helpful (if necessary, sensitive treating of the brake pedal is a great support). To be prepared: to drive on a wide place at really low speed, with a permanent steering angle, by smoothly accelerating and decelerating is a simple proof – and it gives great insights! 

The curve radius of a vehicle can be determined by your right foot, too. In other words, as The Castiron’s father said: „when you are no longer coming along to turn the steering wheel correctly, you are too fast; press the accelerator just as much as you are able to be in accordance with your steering movements“. No further comment. 

See you next Friday.   -   God bless you, all the best!   The Castiron 

Recommendation:       www.highspeedfotos.de