Saturday, 24 January 2009

Formula 27 do Paulo no 6º Encontro de ACP Clássicos

Hoje pela manhã tive a oportunidade de conhecer o Paulo Eduardo e de tirar umas fotos ao seu Fórmula 27 no Parque do 6ºEncontro de Clássicos Desportivos Ingleses.

Ficam aqui algumas fotos:

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Post dos Trackdays

Este post (com link permanente na brarra de links à esquerda) serve para anunciar todos os trackdays em Portugal. Se souberem de um trackday que não esteja nesta lista, enviem um email para Os TDs em que o Club 7 tem representação 'oficial' estão marcados com um *.

Datas DRS :: Datas CAM :: Datas DL :: Datas AIA

Março 2010

TD Gentleman Drivers
: Autodromo de Braga (13.03.2010)

Fotos dos carros dos membros do Club 7 PT no Flickr

Acrescentei algumas das fotos que me enviaram (escondendo as matículas) à página do Club no Flickr. Se por alguma razão quiserem que retire alguma foto de lá, é só dizer.

Documentário sobre o 7

Survival of the Fastest, um excelente documentário com assinatura da BBC sobre o Caterham 21 que fala bastante da história da marca e tem videos da fábrica. Encontrei-o no site do propritário do carro na foto :-)

Friday, 16 January 2009

Não sou mais do que um pistão...

Vale sempre a pena reler uma das mais eloquentes 'críticas' de um Seven, a minha parte preferida é:

I’ve always assumed that a car like this would feel like an extension of your hands and feet, but it’s the other way round.

I felt like a part of it, an organic component but a component nevertheless.

You use a normal car to take you somewhere and it tries to make that journey as pleasant as possible. But you would never use a Caterham as a means of transport because this is driving for the buzz of it, and as a result you’re not a passenger. You are there to do a job, which means you are no more and no less important than one of the pistons or the windscreen wipers.

O texto completo:

The week before last, during that mini heatwave, I left work at about eight o’clock and cruised, top down, up to the traffic lights under the A40 flyover in west London.

A right turn would take me back to my flat, a superheated box with neither garden nor air. Then I’d be forced to lie awake all night long, stuck fast to the sheets, listening to policemen tearing up and down Westbourne Grove while testing their sirens.

A left turn, however, would take me to the tranquillity of the Cotswolds and my family. Here I would be able to sleep with nothing to wake me save the shush-hush of the barley and the pitter-patter of tiny foxes nibbling at the chicken run. And that’s why I went left.

It was a good decision, too. Because after some 40 minutes I turned off the motorway and, with the sun a six-inch coin of brilliant scarlet light in an utterly clear, deep-blue sky, I mashed my foot into the SL’s thick, velvety carpet,

and went absolutely barking mad. I braked hard into each corner, nudging the gearlever once, twice and sometimes three times to keep the revs right up, until I hit the apex of the corner, and buried the throttle once more.

The tarmac was hot and sticky, and it crackled slightly as the new Michelins cut through it like water skis on a windless lake. And rising above it all, as wave after wave of power and torque surged down the prop shaft, came the hard-edged, machinegun, staccato roar of that supercharged Mercedes V8 engine.

It was enough to make a man quite chubby with excitement. And with the sun beginning to kiss the western horizon I remember thinking, “Well, if I hit a tree now, I’ll at least be going out on a high.”

It was a wonderful drive home. Me and the machine, not just singing in perfect harmony but fused in a bout of gaily abandoned man-love. This was the raw, undiluted pleasure of driving almost for driving’s sake.

Except, of course, that’s rubbish, because it wasn’t raw or undiluted at all. The Mercedes puts up a firewall comprising about a million gigabytes of silicon between the driver and the business end of things. It’s got a braking assistance system and computer-controlled air suspension, along with traction control, power steering and a fly-by-wire throttle. I was driving a facsimile of a car, rather than the real thing: it moaned and groaned and twitched and flinched just like the true item, but in my heart of hearts I knew that I was making love to little more than a hologram.

All modern cars isolate you from the road, they cocoon you in a safe, quiet, world of velour and Radio 2 and air-conditioning. The wind that ruffles your hair in a modern convertible isn’t wind at all, rather a gentle breeze that has been massaged by an aerodynamics engineer somewhere in Frankfurt. And the nice rorty little rasp from your exhaust at 5000rpm was in fact put there by someone in an anechoic chamber in Stuttgart. So when you’re in a car, you’re really in the Matrix.

In the past I’ve never been able to get out, to smell real air and hear real engine noises. I was never able to do the Keanu Reeves thing because at 6ft 5in I’ve always been much too tall to fit into a Caterham Seven.

Now, though, there’s a longer, wider version available for the chap with the fuller, longer figure. And last weekend I gave it a whirl.

Bloody Hell Fire and Holy Mother of Christ: apart from being bigger, it was a whole lot more powerful to boot. In fact, it offers up 442bhp per ton, and nothing else on the road even gets close to doing that. A Ferrari 575, for instance, produces a figure of only 298bhp per ton, while the Lamborghini Murciélago manages 319bhp per ton.

At first you’ll wonder where the power has gone. But that’s because you’ll be changing up when the noise and the vibrations become intolerable. But don’t. In fact you change up when blood is spurting out of your ears and your right foot has been shaken clean off your ankle. Then you discover where the power is — hiding its massive bulk in the uppermost reaches of the rev band.

Go there and no matter what you happen to be driving right now, you’ll be surprised at the punch it delivers. I know I was.

What’s more, you can actually see the suspension working, and the brakes too, and when you turn the wheel the road wheels move, right in front of your eyes. You can place this car bang-on target every time. Not just near the white line, as you would in a painfully slow Lambo or a pedestrian Ferrari, but bang-on that line.

I’ve always assumed that a car like this would feel like an extension of your hands and feet, but it’s the other way round.

I felt like a part of it, an organic component but a component nevertheless.

You use a normal car to take you somewhere and it tries to make that journey as pleasant as possible. But you would never use a Caterham as a means of transport because this is driving for the buzz of it, and as a result you’re not a passenger. You are there to do a job, which means you are no more and no less important than one of the pistons or the windscreen wipers.

This is the real deal. Everything that happens happens because it happens. Not because some German in a white coat thinks it should happen. The marketing department has not created the noises, the jolts and the acceleration. They’re there because this is a light, powerful sports car and these are the characteristics you must expect of such a thing.

I didn’t like it. Partly because I still don’t fit properly — the steering wheel sits on my thighs, which means I simply could not apply any opposite-lock in an emergency. Also, while Caterham will build a car for you, it’s designed to be a kit that you build yourself. That’s why it bypasses regulations on noise, safety and emissions. Great, but I’d never fully trust anything I’d built myself: I’d always assume that a wheel was about to fall off.

Most of all, though, I didn’t like the Caterham because it was like camping. The roof looks so terrible that you can’t possibly drive around with it up. But then again, it’s so fiddly that you can’t possibly drive with it down either. Plainly it was designed by a man who likes to sleep out at night, possibly with some boy scouts, far from anywhere, with just a thin layer of canvas between him, the boys and the rain.

And then there’s the business of what you should wear when driving the Caterham.

This is the only car that demands a trip down to Millets before embarking on even the shortest journey.

You need a woolly bobble hat, an anorak and some Rohan trousers. There’s an almost wilful lack of style to this kind of motoring, you see. AA Gill described his run from the station in my wife’s Caterham last year as “the worst five minutes of my life”.

The problem here is that we are in the very furthest corner of motoring enthusiasm. And as is the way with all hobbies, things go off the rails when people start to take them too seriously.

Everyone likes to dangle a worm in the water from time to time. But the Caterham is the equivalent of getting up at three in the morning and sitting in the rain, on a canal bank, until it goes dark again.

Everyone looks up when Concorde flies over, but the Caterham is the equivalent of flying to Greece to see some Olympic 737s. Would you risk getting locked up for your love of this car? Man at Millets would.

I’m interested in motor racing but I don’t want to be a marshal. I find stamps pretty but I don’t want an album. I like music but I’m not going to build my own instruments. And I like driving but I’m far too old, rich, soft and poncey, and still slightly too big for what, without any doubt, is the ultimate driving machine.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Caterham 7 e Dax Rush entre Lotus

Fica o vídeo do Seven a mostrar como é que se faz... O laranjinha é o meu ex:

Fotos de Sevens Portugueses em pista

O Miguel Couceiro enviou um link para o seu site Corridas Online que têm uma galeria de fotos recheada de 7s em pista.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Fotos do 50º aniversário

O Registar dos 7 dos EUA publicou umas fotos fantásticas do 50º aniversário do 7 aqui.

O que pode acontecer numa 'pax ride'

Um vídeo hilariante de um passageiro que não aguentou as emoções fortes dos 7:

História 7 : 'Demasiado rápido para competir'

Quando o Seven ainda era Lotus, foi proíbido de competir pela SCCA dos EUA por ser demasiado rápido. A foto é a primeira página da carta que a Lotus mandou à SCCA para lutar pela admissão do 7 à competição automóvel nos EUA. A página 2 está aqui e a 3 aqui.

Video: Publicidade 7

Este vídeo é do importador canadiano da Caterham. Está na minha lista de favoritos.

Mini 7s

O Lotus Drivers Guide têm uma lista muito exaustiva de 7s feitos à escala. Talvez compre um para me ajudar a aguentar até à Primavera :-)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Seven visita (e convence) os 'irmãos'...

Este fim de semana os nossos amigos do Club Lotus Portugal organizaram um mini track-day no Norte. Os Sevens estiveram representados pelo Roadsport Laranja do Shaun Mansbridge (um inglês que vive no Porto) que foi mais rápido que o meu ex-Exige S.

Obrigado ao Club Lotus pela organização e pelas fotos.

Aqui fica uma foto do 7 a fazer o que faz melhor e uma lista de tempos:


CARRO Melhor Media (Km/h) Pior Média 5 Voltas
Caterham 7 54.715 75.7 59.892 55.948
Elise 111R 54.925 71.7 72.289 58.527
Exige S 57.008 70.6 71.085 60.819
Elise R 57.607 70.5 64.722 59.933
Elise S2 58.640 70.0 65.576 60.846 60.846
Elan SE Turbo 59.531 69.6 61.753 60.341
Dax Cosworth 60.384 67.6 69.105 62.760
Elan Sprint DHC 64.804 67.5 73.906 67.187

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Sevens Portugueses online

1. O Caterham 77 da Enértica
Site que relata as aventuras do 7 da Enértica no Campeonato Nacional de Resistência de 2008

2. O Caterham 3 de Luís Sepúlveda
Blog das aventuras de um dos participantes na Academy de 2007

3. O Blog do Team Nata
Blog de um grupo de pilotos que inclui um Seven na sua frota

Conselhos de um Graduate

À medida que a Academy de 2009 se aproxima, vale a pena ouvir os conselhos de quem sabe:

'Blueprints' do Seven

Há vários blueprints do Seven na Internet: Alguns dos mais detalhados do S3 estão aqui. Há também uns do S1 aqui.

História 7 : O Prisioneiro

"Não sou um número, sou um Homem livre!"

Esta era o lema de um dos mais famosos 'Seveners' dos anos 60: O Prisioneiro.

O Prisioneiro é uma série inglesa de culto dos anos 60 que combinava espionagem, ficção científica e drama psicológico. Conta a história de um ex-agente secreto britânico que é mantido prisioneiro numa pequena aldeia perto do mar por um Poder sem nome que quer determinar a razão da sua demissão.

O genérico mostra o actor principal (Patrick McGoohan) a conduzir um Seven pelas ruas de Londres:

Em 1989, a Caterham lançou uma edição especial do Seven a comemorar a participação do carro na série: