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Phuket Sports: May the tread be with you – F1

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: May the tread be with you – F1 | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Last week, the world’s press was attacking Pirelli for its tyres. This column supported Pirelli, and received grumpy responses from those who supported the Red Bull tirade (click here for article).

When Pirelli agreed to change their tyres from the Canadian GP, Ferrari and Lotus felt Red Bull had pressured Pirelli into conforming to their demands. The ‘Tyre Wars’ heated up and Ferrari accused Red Bull of having a selective memory and Pirelli of bowing to pressure.

Ferrari said “maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners …. It’s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.”

Force India and McLaren also seem to be with Pirelli.

Following the Ferrari blast, in a further volte-face, Pirelli then announced they will now make only minimal changes to the tyres for Canada and beyond.

Even Mercedes, which has suffered badly from tyre wear, said there was no case for Pirelli to change. It seems Mercedes is essentially focusing on the 2014 car and, as if to prove that, Lewis Hamilton is taking every opportunity to get non-racing press space. Tales of arguments with his dad, his sense of freedom after leaving McLaren, and his confidence in potentially teaming with Alonso or Vettel, compete with photo opportunities with his British Bulldog.

It was finally announced that Paddy Lowe is to join Mercedes on June 3rd with the title of ‘Executive Director (Technical)’. Lowe stood down as Technical Director at McLaren at the beginning of the year. It is unclear how he will fit in at Mercedes, which says he will ‘work closely with Ross Brawn [who] will retain overall responsibility for technical and sporting matters’.

McLaren will have Mercedes engines for the critical 2014 season, but have selected a return to Honda for 2015, so the team may be playing an even longer game than Mercedes. BMW has hotly denied that it is returning, and may be telling the truth.

Bernie Ecclestone, never shy of controversy, lined up with Red Bull in the ‘Tyre Wars’. But Bernie’s future was the discussion after news that German public prosecutors were preparing to start a court action against him on bribery charges. Bernie said “The [F1] board agrees I should stay unless I’m convicted”; bad news for those who think Bernie is past his ‘sell by’ date. Speculation over a successor spiked, with Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Justin King a leading candidate. Bernie was contemptuous. “I’ve never met him and there’s no way I’m going to. I’ll work till I drop and then they can bury me in my bus.”

I mentioned in a previous article that Catalunya allows a fully charged KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) to be deployed twice per lap, and that a double KERS release stresses the KERS cooling system.

Responding to questions, KERS recovers a moving vehicle’s kinetic energy under braking. The recovered energy is stored in a reservoir – typically a flywheel connected to a battery for later use under acceleration. Keeping the flywheel spinning uses a very high amperage power system, like that in an MRI. High power flows through a wire which creates heat, and wastes energy. Worse, the hotter a wire gets, the higher its resistance becomes, so temperatures escalate.

The answer could be superconductors. These provide zero resistance to electrical current. The good news is that 70% of metals can be superconductors.The bad news is that this is only true at very low temperatures. In fact temperatures of near absolute zero are required (-273oC), usually involving liquid helium. But there are now ceramic superconductors that can operate at a balmy -183 oC. I know that F1 teams are actively looking at this. And KERS will not be an add-on next year, but an integral part of engine design. A Heat Energy Recovery System will be the add-on.

Back in 2013, it’s on to Monaco this Sunday – a highlight of the year.

Expect two pit stop strategies with very low tyre degradation. Cars that are good on soft tyres should do well. Qualifying is everything – and nothing so far this season has prepared us for that.

The set-up will be the same as at Catalunya, but using the fastest tyre choices in qualifying will be critical to winning. Red Bull might fancy their chances at pole, and Webber might be the one to do it. But every driver in F1 will fancy himself. Mercedes, Ferarri and Lotus drivers must all be feeling papabile. What chance for Force India, McLaren, Sauber or Williams?

Expect anything.

Join me by the big screen for a fascinating qualifying session at Phuket’s The Green Man, Chalong (click here for map) on Saturday at 7pm and on Sunday at 7pm for the race.

Keep checking our online Phuket Sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— The Digby

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.



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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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