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RUMOR: D1 Professional Series Coming To Singapore

Overshadowed by news on Singapore’s F1 bid, its much smaller, but flashier Japanese cousin the D1 professional series seems to be heading down to sunny Singapore sometime towards the 4th quarter of Singapore. The founding organizers including Singapore drift kings, D1 Japan and private investors are cooking up something, and it seems that D1 arriving in Singapore is looking more and more like a firm possiblity.


April 2, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

UPDATE: MM Singapore Succeeds In Restricting JDM 6MT Imports

As recently reported, seems like Mazda Japan has folded under the immense pressure from MM Singapore – there will be a moratoriam on shipments from May/June onwards for JDM-spec 6MTs. Sold primarily through parallel importers in Singapore, the JDM 6MTs are some 20% cheaper than Euro-spec 6MTs sold by MM Singapore, and are up to 16bhp more powerful as the Euro vehicles are detuned for emissions.

April 2, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

Mark Webber Completes Singapore Trial F1 Street Circuit at avg 30kmh

Red Bull racing’s Formula One driver Mark Webber drove through Singapore’s proposed street circuit this morning and declared that he and his fellow drivers would be looking forward to driving a “challenging & exciting” race here.

A media frenzy ensued in front of the Swissotel when Webber appeared, much to the bemusement of some of the Swissotel’s guests, some craning their necks to see what the fuss was about.

The 1.84 metre tall Australian then proceeded to test out the circuit in a black Renault Coupe-Cabiolet – with the top down – and completed three laps at a leisurely pace.

However, with ongoing road works and construction at Beach Road and Temasek Avenue, the asphalt that Webber had to traverse was far from race-worthy.

The morning traffic also provided some hairy moments as Webber was at one point, sandwiched between a car packed with photographers and journalists, and a slow-moving taxi along St Andrews Road. Midway through attempting a deft overtaking maneouvre, he coolly slowed down when it appeared that he might have realised that the Sepang race was still a week away.

Another more enthusiastic driver decided to shadow Webber in a ‘less-than-subtle’ yellow Korean-made coupe that swerved dangerously out of the Ritz-Carlton driveway ahead of this reporter to latch on to the Australian as he passed the proposed start/finish straight.

Following his jaunt along the designated route, Webber described the circuit as “a mixture of a tight and twisting section with a faster section across the start and finish line. The start of the lap looks quicker, but the middle to last sector looks a little bit tighter and slower.”

When asked to compare the route with other existing street circuits like Monaco, Webber said that Singapore’s version was more akin to the Adelaide street circuit, but would be faster.

In dutifully obeying local traffic laws while navigating city traffic, each 4.8km lap took more than ten minutes, which at race pace, could easily see more than six laps completed. Webber estimates lap times of no more than 1 minute 30 seconds given the current circuit layout.

Webber picked out section following the tight right turn at the Fullerton Hotel as his personal favourite, citing Anderson Bridge and the trees overhanging the track as elements which would give drivers the “sensation of speed and the rush of driving a car.”

In terms of overtaking opportunities, the Raffles Avenue straight which turns left onto Esplanade Drive appears to be a prime spot, as it will see the cars trying to outbrake each other at speeds of close to 300km/hr.

The Australian seemed less enthusiastic about the sections around Suntec City which he thought were “tight and twisty”, but then readily acknowledged that “to make a street circuit, you’ve got to have compromises. You cannot enjoy every single corner.

“There are going to be corners that have some potential safety issues.”

Other concerns that were raised involved the possibility of a downpour during night racing , and how the glare from surrounding floodlights being reflected in rainwater puddles could cause havoc for the drivers, in addition to the spray bring thrown up by the cars.

“Street circuits are mentally quite draining because of the immense concentration required,” he added.

“There’s a few straights here but you’ve got blind crests and manhole covers to keep yourself occupied.”

Another potential cause for concern: the heat and humidity.

Red Bull racing’s head of communications, Thomas Hofmann, confirmed that temperatures in Sepang had reached 47 degrees Celsius in the past week. With drivers losing up to 3 kg in sweat, Webber noted that a night race would certainly bring some welcome relief.

With 17 races already on the current F1 calendar, the easy-going Australian driver estimates that the racing season could eventually accommodate as many as 20 races, though admittedly, it would be quite a “busy season”.

So, will we see F1 in Singapore next year? Stay tuned.

April 2, 2007 Posted by | News & Events | Leave a comment

AVOID: Sun Hotwires / Nology Hot Wires on the 8

Apparently, Nology Hotwires spark plug wires are causing CEL lights due to either:
– misfirings
– melted plugs
– shorted ignition coils

Sun Hotwires looks visually the same as the Nology, and is the OEM for Nology outside of the US – Sun (the maker of Hot Inazma) is widely popular in Asia as a ‘ricer’ brand.

Our advice – stay clear of Nology/Sun – better safe than sorry. Other brands such as RE Amemiya, FEED and Autoexe do not seem to have any probs and has been street proven – at least in Singapore it has.

“CAPACITOR” EFFECT WIRES with grounded metal braiding over jacket

The most notable of exaggerated claims for ignition wires are made by Nology, a recent manufacturer of ignition wires promoted as “the only spark plug wires with built-in capacitor.” Nology’s “HotWires” (called “Plasma Leads” in the UK) consist of unsuppressed solid metal or spiral conductor ignition wires over which braided metal sleeves are partially fitted. The braided metal sleeves are grounded via straps formed from part of the braiding. Insulating covers are fitted over the braided metal sleeves. These wires are well constructed. For whatever reason, Nology specifies that non-resistor spark plugs need to be used with their “HotWires.” In a demonstration, the use of resistor plugs nullifies the visual effect of the brighter spark.

Ignition wires with grounded braided metal sleeves over the cable have come and gone all over the world for (at least) the last 30 years, and similar wires were used over 20 years ago by a few car makers to solve cross-firing problems on early fuel injected engines and RFI problems on fiberglass bodied cars — only to find other problems were created. The recent Circle Track Magazine (USA, May, 1996 issue) test showed Nology “HotWires” produced no additional horsepower (the test actually showed a 10 horsepower decrease when compared to stock carbon conductor wires).

The perceived effect a brighter spark, conducted by an ignition wire, encased or partially encased in a braided metal sleeve (shield) grounded to the engine, jumping across a huge free-air gap (which bears no relationship to the spark needed to fire the variable air/fuel mixture under pressure in a combustion chamber) is continually being re-discovered and cleverly demonstrated by marketers who convince themselves there’s monetary value in such a bright spark, and all sorts of wild, completely un-provable claims are made for this phenomena.

Like many in the past, Nology cleverly demonstrates a brighter free-air spark containing useless flash-over created by the crude “capacitor” (effect) of this style of wire. In reality, the bright spark has no more useful energy to fire a variable compressed air/fuel mixture than the clean spark you would see in a similar demonstration using any good carbon conductor wire. What is happening in such a demonstration is the coil output is being unnecessarily boosted to additionally supply spark energy that is induced (and wasted) into the grounded braided metal sleeve around the ignition wire’s jacket. To test the validity of this statement, ask the demonstrator to disconnect the ground strap and observe just how much energy is sparking to ground.

Claims by Nology of their “HotWires” creating sparks that are “300 times more powerful,” reaching temperatures of “100,000 to 150,000 degrees F” (more than enough to melt spark plug electrodes), spark durations of “4 billionths of a second” (spark duration is controlled by the ignition system itself) and currents of “1,000 amperes” magically evolving in “capacitors” allegedly “built-in” to the ignition wires are as ridiculous as the data and the depiction of sparks in photographs used in advertising material and the price asked for these wires! Most stock ignition primaries are regulated to 6 amperes and the most powerful race ignition to no more than 40 amperes at 12,000 RPM.

It is common knowledge amongst automotive electrical engineers that it is unwise to use ignition wires fitted with grounded braided metal sleeves fitted over ignition cable jackets on an automobile engine. This type of ignition wires forces its cable jackets to become an unsuitable dielectric for a crude capacitor (effect) between the conductor and the braided metal sleeves. While the wires function normally when first fitted, the cable jackets soon break down as a dielectric, and progressively more spark energy is induced from the conductors (though the cable jackets) into the grounded metal sleeves, causing the ignition coil to unnecessarily output more energy to fire both the spark plug gaps and the additional energy lost via the braided metal sleeves. Often this situation leads to ignition coil and control unit overload failures. It should be noted that it is dangerous to use these wires if not grounded to the engine, as the grounding straps will be alive with thousands of volts wanting to ground-out to anything (or body) nearby.

Unless you are prepared to accept poorly suppressed ignition wires that fail sooner than any other type of ignition wires and stretch your ignition system to the limit, and have an engine with no electronic management system and/or exhaust emission controls, it’s best not to be influenced by the exaggerated claims, and some vested-interest journalists’, resellers’ and installers’ perception an engine has more power after Nology wires are fitted. Often, after replacing deteriorated wires, any new ignition wires make an engine run better

April 2, 2007 Posted by | Engine | 59 Comments