Thursday, 29 November 2012

Birmingham engineering firm involved in the UK’s bid to break the World Land Speed record

I was proud to learn this week that a Birmingham engineering firm is playing a crucial role to help the UK’s bid to break the World Land Speed record.

Aluminium specialist metalweb is helping to develop the wheels for the Bloodhound SSC (Super Sonic Car). Metalweb is working closely with Castle Precision Engineering and Bloodhound SSC to develop the bespoke aluminium wheels. The aluminium road wheels, which comprise of a solid aluminium disc and a separate dust cover, have now been completed and they will soon undergo testing early next year. It is essential that the wheels must remain in contact with the ground during the attempt and they have to be capable of absorbing immense levels of heat without distorting.

Mark Benfield, Sales Director at metalweb, said: “We are extremely honoured to have been approached by Bloodhound SSC and Castle Precision Engineering to be a part of such an exciting project. We hope that our involvement with a 1,000mph vehicle will showcase how extraordinary engineering can be, and the great things it can achieve".

Richard Noble engineering entrepreneur and former record holder has assembled a team and is currently developing the vehicle which it hopes will top 1,000 mph/ Mach 1.4 in the remote desert in South Africa in 2013. Their aim is to top the current land speed recored of 760mph was set in 1997. The team comprises of the best of British engineering talent to ensure success.

Mark also explains that the project is also about, "re-establishing a belief in the value of engineering; not only in introducing new talent to the industry, but also the potential impact it could have on the nation’s economy.”

I will be following their efforts and I hope success very closely.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Luffield Speed Championship Success

After three years of hard work and trying I finally succeeded in winning the 2012 Luffield Cars Trophy.

In order to win I had to beat 70 cars in 8 events either in hill climbs or sprints. Every year, the event is arranged against the clock on tarmac courses, some are narrow and twisty like they are at Shelsley Walsh and some of them are fast and open such as at Silverstone.

The Championship is open to MG based cars and attracts vehicles from supercharged 1930 cars up to the present day Chinese produced MG6. Me and my 1957 MGA Coupe achieved 8 class records this year, so the long cold nights during the winter I spend in my garage, getting speed out of my car have been more than worthwhile. This culminated in the performance I experienced which at times was scary and required a delicate touch through the corners, especially when pushing it to the limit on narrow tyres.

Each event lasts between 1 and 2 minutes, so that there is absolutely no room for errors, those championships can be won and lost in hundredths of a second and apart from a well-prepared car, luck and driving skill it is also about being absolutely focused on every corner and being mentally prepared for the next gear change.

Even the smallest mistakes can mean more than just the lost race, such as serious damage or worse. Nevertheless I am looking forward spending the next winter in my garage aiming to get more drive out of the corners and even now just a few days after the Championship I am planning suspension and camshaft modifications for my 1957 MGA Coupe. I will keep you updated as the winter progresses.