Australian Formula One

Kimi Raikkonen got his role as Michael Schumacher’s replacement at Ferrari off to a perfect start with a dominant victory in the Australian Grand Prix.

But the Finn’s drive was overshadowed by Lewis Hamilton, who made one of the most impressive Formula One debuts for years as he took third place. The Englishman lost out to McLaren team-mate and world champion Fernando Alonso only at the final pit stops.The McLarens raced flat out but were no match for the pace of the Ferrari. Raikkonen led from start to finish at Melbourne‘s Albert Park with a drive reminiscent of the crushing superiority often shown by his predecessor, who retired at the end of last season. The former McLaren driver, whose team-mate Felipe Massa started last after problems in qualifying, was in a race of his own as he built a 15-second lead in the first stint, and was never troubled thereafter. The Finn’s performance in a car that was clearly the class of the field underlined his position as the favourite for the world title this season.

“We didn’t need to really push as hard as we could have,” Raikkonen said. “My biggest problem was the radio, it stopped working just before the start. “It is special moment with a new team, everything is new, to win in the first race. “I am really happy with the team and the way things are going. It couldn’t be any better than it is now.” Behind him, Hamilton marked himself out as a potential future superstar with a committed, aggressive race. The 22-year-old passed Alonso at the start and kept under control the man regarded as the finest all-round driver in F1 until the final stops. Hamilton had a couple of scary moments when he dropped wheels off the track, but was only beaten when he was out-foxed on strategy. Hamilton took advantage of Alonso’s failed attempt to hold off the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld as the field approached the first corner and the debutant was able to sweep around the outside and into third place ahead of his team-mate.

Hamilton narrowly led Alonso until the first pit stops, and was able to maintain his advantage by stopping one lap later. But the Spaniard took on more fuel than his team-mate at the first stops, which allowed him to run for two more laps at the end of his second stint. That gave him the advantage of two fast laps on low fuel. They may have been enough on their own to beat his team-mate, but the issue was put beyond doubt when Hamilton was held up by the Super Aguri of Takuma Sato on his way into the pits. He was the first driver to finish on the podium on his debut since Jacques Villeneuve was second to Williams team-mate Damon Hill in Melbourne in 1996.

“To lead in my first Grand Prix was a fantastic feeling,” Hamilton said. “It’s pretty tough when you have a two-times world champion behind you.”

Alonso said: “Second place is a good place to start the season, but we have to work a bit more.

“We showed good potential and we’re looking forward to the next one. “Obviously it’s always better to win but today it was not possible. “I think we can be pleased as well. The Ferrari was a little bit too quick for us this weekend.” The McLarens were even further ahead of their closest challengers, the BMW Saubers than Raikkonen was of them. Heidfeld was equally comfortable in fourth place, although he was briefly challenged by team-mate Robert Kubica in the middle of the race until the Pole’s retirement with gearbox failure on lap 38. The German made a relatively early stop on lap 39, but was still able to hold off the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella which did not make its final stop for another five laps.

In the first race under new rules in which teams must use each of the two types of tyre during the race, most leading teams chose to start the race on the harder tyre and use the softer ones in the final stint. Heidfeld’s BMW Sauber team chose the exact opposite of that strategy, starting on the softer tyres before switching on to the harder ones at his first stop. Massa, who had been faster than Raikkonen throughout pre-season testing only to have his gearbox fail during qualifying, climbed impressively up to sixth place. The Williams of Nico Rosberg took seventh, with Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota in the final points position. Schumacher’s team-mate Jarno Trulli followed him home, just managing to hold off the Renault of another debutant, Heikki Kovalainen, on the final lap. The Honda team could not even manage a top-10 place in a terribly disappointing start to the season. The cars were way off the pace and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello could manage only 11th place just 4.4 seconds ahead of Takuma Sato in the Super Aguri, which is effectively last year’s Honda car. The cars were way off the pace and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello could manage only 11th place just 4.4 seconds ahead of Takuma Sato in the Super Aguri, which is effectively last year’s Honda car.

Barrichello’s team-mate Jenson Button was a woeful 15th, complaining of a front wing which “basically doesn’t work”. The team claim they have developments in the pipe line to address the cars lack of rear stability, but they have a mountain to climb if they want to compete for victories this season. Englishman Anthony Davidson drove a steady race after colliding with the Spyker of Adrian Sutil at the start. And Scot David Coulthard crashed out when attempting to pass Alexander Wurz’s Williams at turn three late in the race. The Red Bull driver admitted he had been over-optimistic and absolved Wurz of blame for the accident.

 


Australian Grand Prix result:

1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari one hour 25 minutes 28.770seconds
2 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren-Mercedes 7.2 seconds behind
3 Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 18.5secs
4 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 38.7secs
5 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault one minute 6.4secs
6 Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:06.8
7 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota one lap behind
8 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota one lap
9 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota one lap
10 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault one lap
11 Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda one lap
12 Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda one lap
13 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault one lap
14 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Ferrari one lap
15 Jenson Button (GB) Honda one lap
16 Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda two laps
17 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari at 2 laps
R Alexander Wurz (Aut) Williams-Toyota 48 laps completed
R David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault 48 laps
R Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 36 laps
R Scott Speed (USA) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 28 laps
R Christijan Albers (Ned) Spyker-Ferrari 10 laps

Key: R = retired

Fastest lap: Kimi Raikkonen one minute 25.235 seconds, lap 41

Source: BBC sport

Chevrolet’s New SUV

Overview:

With Aveo sedan, Aveo U-VA, Optra, SRV and Tavera General Motors is one of the few players in India that offer cars in all segment. With Spark, Epica sedan and Captiva SUV in its pipe line it will become a complete player in India. Let’s have a preview on one such product the Captiva SUV. The premium compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) segment is already dominated by cars like Honda CR-V, Ford Endeavour, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Pajero. Manufacturers are showing keen interest to grab this niche market Honda has replaced the second generation CR-V with the new one last year and soon Ford will launch the Endeavour CRDi.

GM introduced a crossover (fusion of two segment of cars) named Chevrolet Forrester, the first Chevrolet model introduced in India when we unheard of the concept and discontinued it in 2006. Forrester failure is because of its High pricing. GM has now understood the Indian market and well the world’s first SUV maker has gained new image in past four years. GM will come up with ‘true value for money’ car Captiva SUV in September. The ex-Daewoo organisation, now known as GM-DAT (Daewoo Automobile Technologies) is where Captiva is developed. There are two variants of Captiva LS and LT. LS variant is petrol powered, front-wheel drive with five seats, LT is diesel powered front- wheel drive or 4WD with five or seven-seats.

Engine and Powertrain:

Captiva is available both in diesel and petrol versions internationally. For India diesel is expected to be launched first which will be followed by petrol. Captiva diesel will take on pajero, X-trail, tucson and endeavour, while the captiva petrol will take on the only petrol premium compact SUV Honda CR-V. The diesel is a brand new, state-of-the-art common rail diesel engine jointly developed by GM Powertrain and VM Motori. Chevrolets first ever diesel compact SUV is powered by 2.0L, 16-valve unit which offers 150bhp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 310Nm at 2000rpm. This same dieselengine is expected to power the soon to be launched Chevrolet Optra. Chances are that Chevrolet will throw in an automatic transmission as an option as well with five speed manual for Captiva. The petrol engine is a 2.4 litre in-line 16-valve four-cylinder, delivering 142bhp at 5,200rpm and a torque maximum of 220Nm at 4,000rpm. As the Captiva destined to developing markets, both the variable geometry turbo (VGT) diesel and refined petrol engine is expected to deliver decent fuel efficiency figure.

Design and Engineering:

Ford endeavour looks like truck whereas you cannot tell Honda CR-V actually a SUV.

In Europe actually Chevrolet targets MPV- Multi Purpose vehicles rather than SUVs. But with a huge price tag in India it cannot do so. Popular MPVs such as Mahindra Scorpio, Chevrolet Tavera, Tata Safari and Toyota Innova are sold at a price of 10lakhs. The Captiva’s look is strong yet sophisticated, an eye-catching interplay between toughness and style. The lean side profile is dominated by the 17”large wheels and bold wheel-arches, while the lower grille is underlined by a rugged skid plate. A grey sill-finish runs around the vehicle, reducing its apparent height and is interrupted by contrasting `under-tray’ features on front and rear bumpers. Design sophistication also features in the cylindrical prism type headlamps, LED type turn signal lamps, turn signal repeaters in the door mirrors and the snazzy flush fitting, pullout-type door handles. Twin exhaust pipe on both LS and LT models adds a sporty touch to the Captiva.

side-view.jpgrear-view.jpgtailgate.jpg

Click here to view Chevrolet Captiva 360′

Inside the Captiva…

The Captiva offers a commanding driving position very important for this kind of cars.

The ergonomically designed, matte black and brushed aluminum look dashboard makes driving the Captiva a joy. The driver trip computer which provides valuable feedback like average fuel and speed, range, compass and external temperature and electrically adjustable rear view mirror will make the Captiva easy to drive. The Captiva looks about the size of a Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara but offers an excellent storage space is, including a deep, wide glovebox, a two-tier front centre armrest, big door pockets, underfloor side compartments in the boot and a horizontal locker above the right rear wheel housing. There’s a sunglasses holder, too, plus cupholders and 12-volt power points. All models have alloy wheels, four electric windows but no auto-up facility because the required anti-trap mechanism is too expensive – the facility is to protect your fingers (nice facility but not found in Indian cars). A CD player and air con, plus the inevitable reminders for seatbelts and key in ignition. Storage for five-passenger car is 465 litres, rising to 930 litres when you lower the second row. However, if you use all seven seats, room for luggage is restricted to 85 litres. Whatever layout you choose, there is the benefit of opening rear glass, so you needn’t raise the entire tailgate to gain access to the boot.

dashboard.jpgtop.jpgboot.jpg

Handling and Safety:

Like the CR-V, the Captiva is based on a car-like monocoque platform and comes with self leveling independent suspension, both at the front and rear wheels. With power steering aided by adjustable steering column (also telescopic on the diesel version), disc brakes on all wheels Chevrolet tag for this SUV is ‘Just like a car’. The main problem common among SUV’s is the traction control i.e. they fail at corners, however the suspension set-up of Captiva is said to give the vehicle a decent body control. Chevrolet claim the all-wheel drive model offers a safer and more secure drive in poor road conditions and it’s hard to argue with that contention, especially on our wet roads. The Captivas 4×4 set-up is an on-demand system, meaning that as driving conditions require, the rear axle is instantly selected via an electromagnetic coupling to give maximum traction through all four wheels. The set-up also seamlessly interacts with the ESP and ABS systems, enhancing driver control of the vehicle and safety margins. The ESP itself has additional functions like HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), HDC (Hill Descent Control) and ARP (Active Rollover Protection). With these features I hope you can safely drive in muddy roads of your favourite touring place with Captiva.

Summing it up…

Captiva is expected to be priced between 16 – 19 lakhs and will be launched by the end of 2007. If you think, Captiva is not affordable just rent a car for your outing.

Earlier General Motors slammed brakes on plans to roll-out two of its boutique brands–the hulking Hummer and the Cadillac–in India for the sake of this Chevrolet Captiva. With these specifications and the backing of the Chevy badge, the decision seems to be right. Captiva is bit stronger than the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson, but whether the Indian customer will forgo his magical loyalty to that Japanese brand or his faith in Hyundai is to be watched.

What’s New in 2007 Formula One?

Here is the Video Review on Formula One or F1 2006. Bye Bye.. 2006 Let’s see what’s new in 2007 Formula One.

Drivers:

You will not find Schumi in 2007 Ferrari as he retired, will not find Kimi Raikkonen in silver and black dress as he moved to Ferrari but you will find the world champion in silver and black dress as Alonso moved from Renault to Mclaren. Another interesting moved from Williams to Red Bull. Four New drivers Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg are making their F1 debut.

Teams and Engines:

FIA to cut the cost made by the teams has stipulated engines must reamin unchanged till 2010. In a bid to improve efficiency and to stop the endless quest for more revs as a way of finding extra power, the 2.4-litre V8s will no longer be permitted to develop more than 19,000rpm.
And while the drivers have to use the same engine for two race weekends, that does not apply to Friday practice – so any failure then would not result in a 10-place grid penalty as it did last year.
Red Bull has switched from Ferrari to Renault engines whereas Spyker who used Toyota last year have switched to Ferrari. Toro Rosso and Williams who used Cosworth last year has now moved to Ferrari V8 engines and Toyota engines respectively.

Tyres:

The biggest technical change has stemmed from the withdrawal of tyre supplier Michelin, winner of the last two world titles. That means Bridgestone is the only supplier. For your reference after the controversial last year US grand prix Michelin has decide to exit the sport.

Race weekend and Safety:

There is the prospect of much more on-track action for spectators at the tracks following a couple of tweaks to the rules. Following an agreement to limit testing between races, the two Friday practice sessions have been extended from 60 minutes to 90, and teams will be allowed to do unlimited mileage. They will be encouraged to take a full part in these sessions by the already discussed rule that means drivers will not be punished for engine failures in Friday practice.

The safety-car rules have also been changed. When it is deployed, drivers will no longer be allowed to dive into the pit lane for a quick fuel-and-tyre stop until they are all lined up behind the safety car and the message “pit lane is open” is deployed on the timing monitors. Any driver doing so will be hit with a 10-second time penalty – although there are likely to be cases when teams judge the advantage to be won from an early pit stop will outweigh the penalty. A second change will allow lapped cars that are positioned between the leaders to overtake the safety car and rejoin the queue after gaining back their lost lap.

Things to know about Formula one!

India and the Formula one:

India has long been on the Formula one’s radar, with Hyderabad considered as a potential race venue but as the Chandrababu Naidu chief backer of the project was voted out in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections India’s Formula one dream remains the dream till 2007.

India’s history with formula one has been great, India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan made his debut in 2005 with Jordan (now midland), he is now the test driver for william. In 2004, TCS provide IT and engineering services for the development of the Ferrari‘s Formula 1 racing car. But as India clocks more than 9% GDP I believe things will change in future. India could host a grand prix in Delhi as early as 2009, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on January this year. India’s Kingfisher Airlines owned by Vijay Mallya, inked a multi-year partnership deal with Toyota Motorsport to be an official partner of the Toyota F1 Racing team in January 2007 “The government of Delhi I think really wants Formula One in India and I am optimistic that maybe we will be able to host our first race in 2009” Mallya said.

Overview:

Formula One, abbreviated to F1, and also known as Grand Prix racing, is the first class of auto racing. The F1 world championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grand Prix. A Formula One race takes place over an entire weekend, with two free practice sessions on friday, a practice session and a qualifying session on Saturday, and the race on Sunday. The qualifying session takes place to determine the running order at the beginning of the race. A driver or car that sets the fastest time qualifies at the front of the grid and is said to be on pole position. For the year 2007 only 11 teams have entered for the formula One world championship, each entering two cars for a total of 22 cars, while the regulations place a minimum limit of 20 cars and maximum limit of 24 entries for the championship. Unlike the motoGP, F1 gives room for strategy throughout the race, drivers will make one or more pit stops in order to refuel and change tyres and driver’s one false decision may cost him the race.

Circuit and Scoring:

The circuit parameters are the pole position, length, longest straight, left turns, right turns and its width. Races are usually 305 kilometres long (apart from the Monaco Grand Prix, which is 78 laps / 260.5 km), though occasionally some races are truncated due to special circumstances. The top eight drivers and their respective teams of a grand prix get points in this pattern 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis (the race winner receives ten points, the first runner-up eight, and so on) The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for drivers and one for constructors.

Cars:

FIA is the governing body which regulates the formula one race. Though manufacturers can make cars of any power FIA emphasizes the safety and has made many precautions to avert accident for these high speed cars. A wide variety of technologies – including active suspension, ground effect aerodynamics and turbochargers – are banned under the current regulations. F1 cars are said to be the most technically advanced one prevailing in the world. Manufacturers have been pumping millions of dollars for this race. Although teams rarely disclose information about their budgets, it is estimated that they range from US$66 million to US$400 million each.

Prominent Drivers and their Cars:

schumi.jpgMichael Schumacher – Ferrari: Popularly known as ‘Schumi’ is the all time favourite of F1 race. He is the most successful ever in history of formula one. Michael Schumacher and Ferrari have won five consecutive drivers championships and six consecutive constructors’ championships between 1999 and 2004. Schumacher set many new records, including those for Grand Prix wins (91), wins in a season (13 of 18), and most drivers’ championships (7). Once it was happened due to the dominanceof Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, Formula One Viewing figures dropped creating an embarrassment for the sport; such was the dominance of the schumi.

alonso.jpgFeranando Alonso – Mclaren Mercedes: The one who gave tough fight to the king of F1 – schumi. 2005 and 2006 world champion Alonso moved from Renault to Mclaren for the 2007 season. Mclaren unveiled its new car MP4-22 on January 15. Alonso said that the MP4-22 is the nicest car he has ever had. Alonso will defend the title with this new car and he partners a newbie Lewis Hamilton.

trio.jpgMassa – Raikkonen – Ferrari: Massa joined Ferrari last year and partnered schumi. With three pole positions and two race wins in first year and finishing third in overall drivers’ championship Massa has become the nominee for the 2007 championship. Massa’s new partner Kimi Raikkonen moved to Ferrari from Mclaren. But unlike Massa last season was not good for Kimi, he finished fifth and failed to secure a single win in the season. But with the new Ferrari he might bounce back in2007.

Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher, Renault’s Fisichella, Red Bull’s Mark webber, Honda’s Jenson Button and Barrichello might look for championship in the post Schumacher era.

Alonso’s partner Lewis Hamilton, Fisichella’s partner Kovalainen,William’s Nico Rosberg and BMW’s Robert Kubica are the four newcomers who have the potential to become superstars.

Formula one’s Indian Driver!

narain.jpgNarain Karthikeyan is the India’s first Formula One driver. He made his debut in 2005 with the Jordan team. He is currently a WilliamsF1 test driver. He achieved his first points in the 2005 United States Grand Prix under uncertain circumstances as all but three teams pulled out due to an argument over tyre safety. Karthikeyan finished 4th besides the controversial USGP, Karthikeyan’s highest finish was 11th place. In an unlucky end to his 2005 season, Karthikeyan crashed his Jordan into a wall at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Because the Jordan team was taken over and renamed Midland for the 2006 season, the management change prompted some doubt over Karthikeyan’s future at the team. Near the end of 2005, Karthikeyan announced he would not be driving for Midland the following year due to their demand of USD11.7 million to secure his seat on the team. For the 2005 season he secured 5points lagging behind his 2005 team partner by 2 points. He was ranked 18th for the overall 2005 season out of 24 drivers. Williams confirmed Narain as their fourth driver in 2006. He has been retained as a test driver for Williams in 2007 also. Karthikeyan’s main sponsors are the Tata Group, India’s second largest business conglomerate, and state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp.

2006 clashes…

At Indianapolis US grand Prix only three out of ten teams raced when their Michelin tyres were deemed unsafe for use and the sport created controversy throughout the year. 2006 season was highlighted by the rivalry between Alonso and Schumacher, who each won seven races. The championship was decided in the last race. At last Alonso won title again edging out schumi by 13 points. Alonso and Renault retained the title. Seven times World Champion Schumacher retired at the end of 2006, after 16 years in Formula One. Alonso’s honeymoon with Renault ended in 2006 as he moved to Mclaren – Mercedes for the 2007 season.

Formula1 official Home Page

2007 F1 race calendar

DATE GRAND PRIX

18-Mar AUSTRALIA
8-Apr MALAYSIA
15-Apr BAHRAIN
13-May SPAIN
27-May MONACO
10-Jun CANADA
17-Jun UNITED STATES
1-Jul FRANCE
8-Jul GREAT BRITAIN
22-Jul GERMANY
5-Aug HUNGARY
26-Aug TURKEY
9-Sep ITALY
16-Sep BELGIUM
30-Sep JAPAN
7-Oct CHINA
21-Oct BRAZIL

What should you know about car and bike insurance?

Enjoy the drive safely!

Part-1

Need of the Insurance:

When you buy a car or bike as per the Indian motor rules you must get the insurance certificate. Car and Bike owners have liabilities to third parties (victim) – injured or dead- in case of an accident. Often owners are not able to pay the huge claims made by the dependants of the victim. Hence government of India has made third party insurance mandatory for car and bike drivers. Also, understand that vehicle insurance is the only legal document by which you can claim the vehicle.

Insurer – insurance company
Insured – refers to you or your vehicle
Third party – person other than you

Kinds of Motor Insurance:

Third party Insurance and Comprehensive policy/ Package policy are the two kinds of Insurance. Of these two insurance, third party insurance is mandatory and Package policy is optional one. Third party insurance covers the insured for death or injuries of the person you hit and for their property.

Limits of Liability – Third party insurance:

*Claim – as per Motor Vehicle Act 1988. After receiving the victim’s claim which should be justified with sales tax and Income tax returns your insurer will estimate the victim’s earning and depending on the partial or complete disability, the victim will get the amount.

*Your insurer will take care of all the legal expenses incurred for defending the third party claim

*Damage to third party property in respect of any one claim or series of claims arising out of one event up to amount of Rs 7.5 lakhs for private car and Rs 1lakh for two wheelers.

Package/ comprehensive policy in addition to the above covers

*Personal accidents cover for owner-driver which is compulsory in case of individual owners and importantly total liability of the insurer shall not exceed the sum of Rs 2lakhs during any one period of insurance.

*Personal accident cover for occupants incase of cars

*Legal liability to paid driver as per workmen compensation act up to 1lakh

*Damage or loss to vehicle or its accessories due to fire explosion, burglary, theft , riots & strike, accidental external means, natural perils, terrorist activity, flood , malicious act, in transit( road rail inland waterway lift elevator or air) and landslide.

*The insurer will pay the towing charges if the vehicle is unmovable to the owner for moving the vehicle to nearest garage where repairs can be made. Towing charge for cars – Rs 1500 and for two wheelers – Rs 300.

To insure the vehicle…

*For insuring the new vehicle you have to produce the original RC book of the vehicle.

*For a vehicle which insurance is lapsed you have to physically show the vehicle to get the new insurance. Know that you have no need to pay for the lapsed period or any fine.

*For an old car bought from someone third party insurance has to be changed to your name. Regarding the comprehensive policy most prefers to continue

*In the event of death of sole insured the legal heirs of the sole insured may apply to have the existing policy transferred to their names within a period of three months or until the expiry of policy( whichever is earlier)

Steps for Calculating Premium:

IDV – Insured Declared Value of the vehicle will be deemed to be the ‘sum assured’ for the purpose of this policy which is fixed at the commencement of each policy period for the insured vehicle.

A) Own Damage:

1)Find out the IDV
a)vehicle own damage
b)accessories
c)CNG/LPG kit

2)Apply premium rate to the IDV
a)age of the vehicle
b)zone – depends on areas
c)cubic capacity

3)Calculate Own Damage Premium(IDV*rate)

Deduct discounts
a)Voluntary deductible
b)Anti theft devices
c)No claim bonus(NCB)

B) Liability

a) TPPD – Third Party Property Damage
b) Owner – driver Personal Accident (PA) cover
1) Passenger PA
2) Paid driver
3) Employee liability
4) Any other additional cover

Final premium = own damage (A) + Liability (B) + service tax + stamp duty.

Insurers:

The insurers include General Insurance Company of India and its subsidiaries New India Insurance company, Oriental Insuarance Company, National Insurance company and United India Insurance Company. Private players include Tata AIG, Bajaj Allianz and ICICI LOmbard. Because of the new de-tariffy system differnt company offers different packages. Check it and pick the one which suits you

In the following posts we will see how to calculate IDV, what is deprecation, what these company offers when there is no claim – bonus, what you have to pay for claims – malus and most importantly how to make a claim in case of vehicle damage…

Bajaj’s DTSi, exhausTEC and SNS suspension system

You must have come across these terms at least once in a while. Bajaj has popularized these terms very well. At least one or all these features are seen in CT100, Platina, Discover, Pulsar and Kristal too. I will explain you the features i.e. DTSi engine, SNS suspension and exhausTEC in simple terms.

SNS- spring in spring suspension:

It is nothing but two springs of different dimension are used in suspension system (usually one). The suspension system has two co-axial (outer one and inner one with same axis) springs. The springs are intelligent enough to differentiate between large and small shocks. While the inner spring absorbs the impact of small bumps the outer spring absorbs the larger ones. The springs serve a dual purpose — a better ride and reduced back problems (by reducing the jams on your vertebrae) thus SNS economises on your visits to the doctor.

DTSi- digital twin spark ignition:

The most successful engine ever produced by an Indian manufacturer. It is nothing but having two spark plugs (to produce spark to burn the fuel) instead of one in a cylinder (usually one).The ignition timings are controlled electronically and these spark are made at different strokes to minimize the fuel waste. Thus more the fuel is burnt more the power and efficiency of the engine.

The big change is the adoption of an extra spark plug within the combustion chamber. Both plugs have the same heat range and fire at the same moment. A throttle actuated ignition-control system works hand-in-glove with a chip-controlled digital capacitor discharge ignition (CDI) system for accurate ignition timing under all conditions. This dual spark design accelerates and evens out flame propagation, which results in more efficient combustion The torque curve has shifted lower into the rpm band, aiding urban ridingDaily use of the bike revealed the DTS-i to have a delightful throttle response and hitch-less power delivery. The engine feels sportier in nature, and is yet more user-friendly

ExhausTEC- torque expansion chamber:

This a resonance chamber fitted on the tuned exhaust to enhance power delivery in the lower reaches of the power band. This technology is to use the exhaust energy thereby ensuring that sufficient levels of torque is available at low engine rpm levels and is optimized to provide torque distribution in the mid and higher range rpm levels. It also enables to achieve a better fuel efficiency.

It is familiar among automotive engine experts while designing intake and exhaust systems, it is a common practice to consider subsequent effects on torque delivery. Such exercises are known to the Indian and foreign automotive industries for several years before Bajaj marketed them as ExhausTEC. Bajaj does not hold an international patent for DTSi and exhausTEC. Anyway, Hats off to marketing department!

Qatar MotoGP

Stoner holds off Rossi in Qatar

Casey Stoner

Stoner celebrates his first ever MotoGP victory

Casey Stoner won a cat-and-mouse battle with Valentino Rossi to take victory in the season-opening Qatar MotoGP. The pair, who started at the front of the grid, traded the lead throughout the race with Australian Stoner finally prevailing for his first MotoGP win.

Rossi’s Yamaha was superior on the turns but Stoner’s Ducati gave him the edge with awesome straight-line speed.

Reigning champion Nicky Hayden looked ill at ease on the new Honda and finished down in eighth place. Hayden’s team-mate Dani Pedrosa won a hard-fought battle with American John Hopkins to take third place.

 

A win is better but second is not so bad

Valentino Rossi

Northern Ireland rider Jeremy McWilliams was not fit enough to take part after hurting his leg in a crash during Friday’s qualifying. Rossi started on pole and held the lead until the end of the first lap when Stoner’s power down the straight propelled him past the Italian.

From then on, the pair shared the lead and began to pull away from Spaniard Pedrosa.

   

Stoner held the lead for the majority of the second half of the race and when Rossi tried to make a move with four laps to go, the Australian immediately went back in front. The 21-year-old then put in his fastest lap on the last circuit of the track to claim victory.

“We struggled in a few parts of the track during the race where Valentino was a bit quicker but I just used what we had to our advantage,” said the Australian.

Five-time champion Rossi was more than satisfied with his start to the season. “The Yamaha was well balanced and took the corners well,” the 28-year-old Rossi said. “I am happy because we made the right tyre choice.”

“A win is better but second is not so bad.”


Qatar MotoGP result
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati 43min 02.788 seconds
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha +2.838 secs
3. Dani Pedrosa (ESP) Honda +8.530
4. John Hopkins (USA) Suzuki +9.071
5. Marco Melandri (ITA) Honda +17.433
6. Colin Edwards (USA) Yamaha +18.647
7. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Suzuki +22.916
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Honda +23.057
9. Alex Barros (BRA) Ducati +25.961
10. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Honda +28.456
Source BBC sport

Things to know about MotoGP!

Grand Prix:

2007 first MotoGP has kick started in Qatar. On March 18th Formula one(F1) championship race will start in Australia. India may host its first F1 race in 2009. Delhi or Tamilnadu or Andhra Pradhesh may host the race. Narain Karthikeyan of India is the test driver of williams. India is one of the important player in A1 GP. We will decrypt and analyse various Grand Prix in this section.

Circuit:

circuit.jpgGrand Prix motorcycle racing refers to the premier category of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125 cc, 250 cc and MotoGP. The current racing calendar consists of 18 rounds in 16 different countries (Spain which hosts 3 rounds, Qatar, Turkey, China, France, Italy, Great Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, San Marino, Portugal, Japan, Australia and Malaysia). Exclusive to the MotoGP class, there is also a USA round California. The grid is composed of 3 columns (4 for the 125 cc class) and contains approximately 20 riders. Grid positions are decided in descending order of qualifying speed, the fastest on the ‘pole’ or first position. Races last approximately 45 minutes, each race a sprint from start to finish without pitting for fuel or tyres.

Bikes:

In 2002, rule changes permitted manufacturers to choose between running two-stroke engines (500 cc or less) or four-strokes (990 cc or less). Manufacturers were also permitted to employ their choice of engine configuration. The new four-stroke machinery proved to have too many advantages over their two-stroke rivals, and, as a result, by 2003 no two-stroke machines remained in the MotoGP field. The 125 cc and 250 cc classes still consist exclusively of two-stroke machines. In 2007, the MotoGP class had its maximum engine displacement capacity reduced to 800 cc.

Like the FIA for Formula one FIM is the governing organization for motor racing. The current MotoGP speed record is 347.4 km/h (215.864 mph) against the current Formula One speed record of 369.9 km/h (229.8 mph). To ensure safety, FIM laid safety rules and other regulations to reduce motorcycle speeds. These include changes in weight, fuel and engine capacity.

Scoring:

Points Scoring – MotoGP Class
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 25 20 16 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Prominent riders and their Bikes:

vr_face.jpgValentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha team: The charismatic Italian entered the Grand Prix with Aprilia in winning 125cc races in his first session. Earlier he was with Honda and in 2004 he took the Yamaha. Rossi was earlier rumored to be the successor of Ferrari Michael Schumacher but he extended the contract with Yamaha for another two seasons. Fiat sponsors the 2007 Yamaha team.

nicky-hayden.jpgNicky Hayden – Repsol Honda: Entering the 2003 season 25yr old Hayden jumped straight into the Moto GP and has once partnered Rossi. But later become a mighty competitor for Rossi and won the 2006 Moto GP championship.

meladri.jpgMarco Melandri – Honda Gresini: Another Italian in the GP, he entered the GP at the age of 15. He moved from Yamaha to Honda in 2005. Though frequent injuries interrupted his career he has been the strong contender for the championship.

_42665077_stoner_203.jpgCasey Stoner – Ducati Marlboro: One of the top players in 250cc class moved to Moto GP in 2006 as part of the LCR Honda team. He achieved his first premium class podium in Turkey. After suffering few crashes on the Honda he moved to the Ducati Marlboro team for the 2007 season. Stoner lined up with Loris capirossi for the team.

308130.jpgDani Petrosa – Repsol Honda: The champion of 2004 and 2005 250cc class champion won the motoGP held in china and Britain. He is the partner of defending champion Nicky Hayden.

2006 clashes…

The premier class in past seasons has been dominated by Italian Valentino Rossi (moto GP’s Sachin), winner of the 2001 to 2005 titles. In an effort to beat Valentino’s amazing consecutive victories, other companies have signed younger riders on newly designed machines. The 2006 championship was the first in 14 years to be decided at the final race, with Valentino Rossi starting the race with an 8 point lead. Nicky Hayden finished 3rd with Valentino Rossi finishing 13th after crashing on lap 5 to give Nicky Hayden his maiden Championship title.

The circuit parameters are the pole position, length, longest straight, left turns, right turns and its width. Qatar Grand Prix is the first in this season. For the 22 lap(the number of times the rider has to round the circuit) Qatar circuit length 5.380km, longest straight 1.068km, width 12m, 6 left turns and 10 right turns. MotoGP usually held on week-ends.

MotoGP official home page

2007 MotoGP calendar

March 10Qatar Doha/Losail
March 25 Spain Jerez de la Frontera
April 22 Turkey Istanbul
May 6 China Shanghai
May 20 France Le Mans
June 3 Italy Mugello
June 10 Catalunya Catalunya
June 24 Great Britain Donington Park
June 30 Netherlands Assen
July 15 Germany Sachsenring
July 22 United States Laguna Seca
August 19 Czech Republic Brno
September 2 San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Misano
September16 Portugal Estoril
September23 Japan Motegi
October 14 Australia Phillip Island
October 21 Malaysia Sepang
November 4 Valencia Ricardo Tormo – Valencia

Ford Ikon’s new journey

Ikon’s Journey:

Ford has launched new Ikon 2007 on March 9th.

Ford Ikon popularly known as the josh machine helped Ford India to taste the success in India.Ford Ikon was introduced in India after the lacklustre response received by Ford for escort to take on Maruti Esteem. “In March 2005, the 100,000th unit of Ford Ikon rolled out the Ford India plant.But after Ford launched its Fiesta it sidelines the Ikon, after Indians tasted Ford Fiesta and other high quality cars, Ikon was criticized for its poor quality and lack of refinement. Last year the company sold nearly 36,000 Fiestas out of total vehicle sales of 42,060. Other models like Ikon, Fusion and Endeavour account for the remaining. Ford has now determined to revive the fame for its Ikon. It has made series of up lifts to ensure it.

Ford India priced the Ikon Flair CNG, a dual-fuel variant that can run both on petrol and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) at Rs.5.25 lakh (ex showroom New Delhi). In February it adds new trim features to Ikon and in March Ford has given another up lift to revive this product. Ford India on March 9th announced the introduction of the Ikon 2007 sedan that comes packed with plush interiors and stylish exterior enhancements.

New additions and Pricing:

Ford India has given a slightly different trim set for the Ikon Flair in February. The February up lift has given the Ikon a new-look gear-knob and steering wheel and fog lamps, which were not available in some of its earlier versions. Now the Ford has given another up lift, the new Ford Ikon exudes style. Ford believes its dynamic interiors and contemporary styling will make the new Ford Ikon a showstopper on any road. So you can expect a higher ‘Charisma Quotient’ for you new Ikon than the old.

The new Ford Ikon is priced at Rs 4,75,000 (ex-showroom) in New Delhi and Hyderabad and also comes in a new colour option, `Jeans Blue.’

The car loads beige and dark parchment interiors, matching seat fabric, stylish dashboard and new instrument cluster graphics. In addition, if a customer desires enhancements, these are offered for a Rs 35,000 package that includes rear spoilers, sporty alloy wheels, sporty seat covers, anti-theft alarm, chrome deck-lid handle and chrome exhaust trim.
alloy.jpgspoiler.jpgblobserver.jpg

The new Ford Ikon also rewards you with the option to purchase Extended Warranty for an additional period over the default warranty period. And for those who choose to have the entire maintenance of the car to be covered, there is the Total Maintenance Plan

We shall hope these cosmetic changes will give the Ikon the necessary revival.

Mahindra’s New Bolero

Overview:

Bolero has emerged as the best selling vehicle in the Mahindra & Mahindra stable for the past two years, overtaking Scorpio. Bolero has been growing at a CAGR of 35 per cent. In the last two years, volumes have gone up 50 per cent and the company has sold about 1.2 lakh Boleros since its launch. But that doesn’t make Mahindra to take rest; it has seen the sales of Tata sumo which once hits the roof and now the ground. Mahindra has launched the New Bolero and it has invested about 30 crores to keep the lead.

Engine and Powertrain:

The new bolero features two kinds of engines snd transmission for its variants. The new bolero SLX 4WD engine delivers maximum power of 68hp@4000 rpm the other engine which features in SLX 2WD , SLE, DI, Diz and Plus delivers maximum power of 63hp @3200 rpm .With NG520 5speed manual gearbox with overdrive on the 5th gear and hydraulic clutch Mahindra claims New Bolero will deliver a combined mileage of 15kpl. The new bolero complies with BS III emission norms. Mahindra gives 3yr warranty for engine and drive line and 18month warranty for the complete vehicle.

Design and Engineering:

New Bolero has shed the pleasing look with the new bold headlamps, muscular bumper and neatly curved wheel arches, the New Bolero looks intmidating. With the new trim on the front grille and dual tone exteriors which is derived from the brother scorpio the New Bolero’s driver gets a commanding position. 215/ 75 radial tyres and the new fender extensions gives the vehicle a much needed masculine look. Blend-in side indicator lamps stimulates the pedestrian and fellow car drivers to look at it. New Bolero may intimidate from the front, but from the rear with the curved clear lens tail light and stylish spare wheel cover, i’m sure that other cars love to follow this SUV. New Bolero is offered in seven colours.

Seating postion and low integrated footstep makes the New Bolero easy to ingrees and egrees.While the SLX 4WD is equipped with complete features the PLUS variant is larger in terms of dimension. The base variants requires 11.2m to make a circle while DI and PLUS requires 11.8m. SLX and DI features rigid leaf spring at the front and the rear whereas the other variants feature coil spring at the front and parabolic leaf spring at the rear.

Inside the New Bolero…

The SLX 4WD variant of New Bolero is loaded with complete features while the other variants takes and leaves something from the master variant. The two tone fabric enhances the interior along with moulded roof lining. Two tone gear knobs, sporty white instrument cluster, wood grain finish dash board and a decent centre console ensures you pleasant driving. Plush bucket seats, voluminuous glove box, thoughtfully located bottle holders and armrest increases the ergnomices of the Bolero. Side ventilators, multi directional AC louvers with flow control helps you to breathe easy.

For keeping the low cost Mahindra has provided power steering and power windows only in SLX variant. But the basic requirements like air conditioning, heater, 12V charging point and CD mp3 player are absent in SLE, Diz and DI variants and optional in PLUS variant makes wide variation of price between the showroom price and on the road price.

Safety and security:

Don’t expect ABS or SRS airbags from this entry level SUV. Mahindra has tries its best to ensure safety of the Bolero’s occupants. Special sensors sounds when the door is open or if you forget to buckle your seat belts. Disc brake at the front and rear at the back with a GP valve prevents rear wheel locking and stops the vehicle as you wish. Bolero’s low centre of gravity, wider radials and the anti-roll bar give it solid anti-topple stability in uncertain condition. Solid structure with corrosion resistant sheet metal body makes you more safe. Depending on the variants you pick the ground clearance varies from 180mm to 195mm and thus new Bolero protects itself in off-road driving conditions. Sadly, the keyless entry and central locking systems are equipped only in SLX 4WD variant it is not even provided as optional in other variants

The game has just started…

Bolero’s Rival Chevrolet Tavera have brought in fresh features, built quality and after-sales service-warranty packages unheard of till now in the utility vehicle segment. Mahindra’s natural rival Tata Motors is to introduce a new-look Tata Sumo in April 2007 which will feature a 2.2 litre CRDi (common rail direct injection) diesel engine. With the new models that are technically and feature-wise on par with the competitors, Mahindra has understood the deciding factor would be the pricing of the vehicle and hence the new Bolero is competitively priced, ranging from Bolero DI at Rs.4.58 lakhs to Bolero SLX at Rs.5.6lakhs (ex showroom, Bangalore).Will the other players follow the leader….

Useful links:
For Mahindra Bolero technical specification