Corvette racing

Don’t try this at home folks!

Tuner Joe Hunnycutt pilots the monster vette down the airfield at a soft 190mph, but loses traction at the finish line sending him on a wild ride through the grass! Luckily no one was hurt and Joe drove the car back to the pits under its own power with some cosmetic damage due to catching some serious air!

So Formula 1 has announced it will go ahead with plans to have double points awarded for the last race of the year. This was proposed by Bernie  “the poisoned dwarf” Ecclestone whose efforts to manipulate and add artificial “competition” have no bounds it seems .

In the last few years we’ve seen rules brought in to ban people from actually racing each other, KERS to make passing easy, DRS brought in to make passing easy (when KERS didn’t do the job), tires made from blancmange and now what has to be the final insult of double-points for the last race.

Why don’t they just let Bernie pick the winners he wants?

I, for one, have officially given up on Farce One.


I’m replacing the stock ZR-1 front brakes with an updated design from a C5 ‘vette. The C5 calipers are stiffer and better at heat management, they also have a bigger pad area and so provide an increase in braking of around %30. Pretty good for a cheap upgrade. The calipers came from my good friend, Ron, for free. I just need some rebuild kits – seals and so on to make them as good as new.

I’ve looked at various options for updating the brakes. There are a number of systems available but the prices are high – anything from $2k and up! If this were a track car I’d certainly be looking at these alternatives but it’s basically a cruiser, so the C5 is a good cost-effective upgrade.

I’m going to finish them with caliper paint from G2. This is a high ceramic, high temperature paint especially designed for this application. Many people get their calipers powder coated but I don’t have anyone who can do this for me locally so the paint looks like a good option. The G2 system has great reviews from lot’s of people so I’m confident it will work.( Just as a note, this isn’t the caliper paint you can buy in places like Canadian Tire – their’s is a much less durable, lower ceramic content paint that get’s pretty awful reviews.) I had to order the G2 specially, using good old E-Bay.

The C5 calipers had already been painted but not with G2, so the first job is to get this off. I tried various wire brushes and so on but they weren’t very effective. So my next approach is going to be chemical; acrylic thinners to break down the paint and strip it from the metal.

This is the new C5 front caliper:

Dirty C5 Z06 Front Caliper

Pretty dirty right now, Hopefully stripping will take care of that.

This is the C4 rear, also looking pretty rough:

Dirty C4 rear brake caliper

My plan right now is to swap the rear caliper, these are some used ones I picked up. The aluminium is fairly deteriorated though so I may just use the existing ones on the car instead. I’ll decide once I’ve cleaned them up some more.

Here’s the C5 Abutment bracket also in the rough, these are going to be painted in black:

Unpainted C5 Abutment Bracket


And finally, the conversion brackets that make it all possible. I’m going to hit these with the black also:

C5 Conversion Brackets


This weekend we had the first race of the 2011 Formula One season in Australia.

There are a lot of new rules as there always are each year as the organisers seek to manipulate the outcomes of the races and artificially generate ‘excitement’ in a sport that is more circus than competition.

The race itself was about as uninteresting as we’ve come to expect in recent years, with little on track action and most of the talk being about ‘tire strategy’ based on the (again manipulated) wear characteristics of the new Pirelli rubber.

Personally, I don’t really watch racing to listen to endless repetitions of how the tires are designed to fall apart after 15 or 20 laps. I watch racing to hmmmm… oh yes, watch racing. Do you remember that? You know, cars, on a track trying to overtake and gosh, sometimes managing it…

So this year we have movable rear-wings to reduce drag and promote overtaking. It didn’t seem to make a lot of difference. Which isn’t really surprising given the ‘rules of engagement’ for the wing are tortuous and inexplicable to the point of recreating one of the lower levels of Dante’s Hell. Here’s a summary:

  1. Following car has to be within 1 second of lead car at a given point.
  2. Wing can’t be deployed until the main straight.
  3. Wing automatically disengages when brakes are hit.
  4. The wind must be from the East.
  5. The spin of the Earth must have stopped.
  6. The drivers name must contain a B, H or W.

I think I got that right 😉

The second new gizmo, also designed to help overtaking, isn’t really new. It’s the return of KERS, the system originally promoted to show how ‘green’ Formula One is (like flying a few thousand people around the world and shipping entire cars and spares etc. could ever be promoted as an environmentally friendly pastime!).

KERS stores energy from braking that can then be used to give a boost at a later time, using technology similar to that used in ‘hybrid’ cars. Again, this didn’t really seem to help anyone and in fact the race winners didn’t even use it because they found it so unreliable.

Much like the ‘flapping wing’, KERS is governed by a number of artificial rules that have nothing to do with how the system works in reality. Each car suddenly getting a full recharge as it crosses the start/finish line regardless of the amount of energy that was previously stored.

The pundits keep pumping all the newness and trying to convince us that this year will be even better than last year, which was amazing… apparently. The latest in pathetic tomfoolery? Bernie Ecclestone wants to ‘improve’ things by introducing artificial rain!

Come on, guys. It’s time to stop shouting about the Emperor’s new clothes and start bringing back some real improvements and give us back real racing – this is starting to look more like ‘Jeux Sans Frontieres’ than the world’s premiere motorsport event.


So again we see another F1 season close and again I find myself asking “where’s the racing?

Sure it was a tight finish in the end. Sure they had four drivers all in contention. Sure we had David Coulthard’s all too tight jeans and Eddie Jordan’s florid shirts. Sure we had Ferrari cheating (again) and the soap opera drama of Red Bull “we don’t favour any driver – but we give the CrashKid anything he wants.”.

But where was the racing?

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Last year I was finally able to get The Dragon on the track, something I have wanted to do ever since getting him. It was an awesome day at the Dunnville Autodrome enjoyed by everyone. The ZR-1 acquited himself perfectly, besting cars almost 20 years younger and entertaining everyone with his distinctive roar.

Sadly the Dunnville facility has been closed down and I thought that as a result of this I would be denied the opportunity to get on the track again, at least for this year. Luckily an opportunity has come up to drive the famous Mosport International Raceway track and get instruction from qualified drivers. This is a charity event and will benefit from the attendance of several ‘vette  celebrities, not least Ron Fellows from the Corvette Racing team. Continue reading