WHY CARBONFIBRE AND GAFFER TAPE ARE A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
ANY INVITATION TO lose yourself in the bound volumes of the Autocar archive is welcome, but this one was irresistible. “Look up some old tests,” they said, “and tell us what you can about the variety of testing equipment the Autocar road tester has used over what now amounts to 90 years of the job.”
The search yielded results disappointingly readily (see page 44). But it amused me most to find out that, while our timing gear’s plainly a bit more sophisticated and a lot more reliable today than it was even as recently as the 1990s, two things remain utterly irreplaceable as parts of it. With a tape measure and a roll of gaffer tape, all will be well.
We even broke out the gaffer for our history-making figures on the mind-blowing Mclaren Senna, you may be pleased to hear (magnetic satellite aerials don’t stick too well to carbonfibre). Did the extra mass, or the associated drag, slow the Mclaren down? Not as much as a Datron Correvit optical timing rig might have, I dare say.
You can review the figures we recorded on page 32. I reckon we could still be reflecting on the significance of some of them decades from now.