North­ern Nats a rip­per

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

WELL done to the or­gan­is­ers, com­peti­tors and spec­ta­tors at Spring­mount Race­way’s in­au­gu­ral North­ern Nats last week­end.

Pro­moter Evan Yelavich wanted 10,000 peo­ple and he got them.

About 10,000 peo­ple flooded through the gates from May 13 to 15, in­clud­ing 7000 last Satur­day alone, to take in the drag rac­ing, power skids, burnouts and much more, to. He said it was a huge suc­cess. “We had good com­pe­ti­tion that came from all over the coun­try. The best in the game were here,” he said.

“It lived up to ev­ery­one’s ex­pec­ta­tions.”

It was pay­day for Ross Heasley in MRBADQ who pock­eted a cool $20,000 in the burnout com­pe­ti­tion.

Close be­hind Ross was Nik Fraser in MELTEM and Fred Wat­son in FEAR.

Mr Yelavich said more peo­ple at­tended the North­ern Nats than the race­way’s grand open­ing on March 19.

“We had well be­haved crowds and a lot of fam­i­lies. A good spread of spec­ta­tors came out,” he said.

“We’ve had very pos­i­tive feed­back. A lot of peo­ple said it was great and they will be com­ing back.

“Our en­trants loved it as well think it was re­ally well done.”

Ian Wil­liams from Cairns brought his 1968 Chevro­let Camaro to the event.

He has been be­fore but it was the first time he brought his eye-catch­ing car.

Mr Wil­liams has owned the Camaro for about 15 years but his love af­fair with the make started in his younger years.

“I had a Camaro when I was 20 and I’ve al­ways just loved Ca­maros,” he said.

“I just like the body shape. They drive and han­dle re­ally nice and aes­thet­i­cally I re­ally like the look of them. When some­one com­ments on it, it makes you feel all the hard work was worth the ef­fort.”

Mr Wil­liams thanked the spon­sors and or­gan­is­ers for all their ef­fort be­hind putting on the North­ern Nats.

“It’s been re­ally good,” he said. “I think it brings a lot of south­ern­ers up here and with them the dol­lars they bring into North Queens­land.

“It’s also good for the sport it­self. I’m look­ing for­ward to the drags and the pow­er­skids and just the at­mos­phere has been great.” IT’S not quite like sell­ing ice to eski­mos, but it’s close. A lit­tle known com­pany in Aus­tralia has taken on the global car in­dus­try with the most ad­vanced wheels in the world.

A Gee­long start-up com­pany has won a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar con­tract to ex­port light­weight wheels for the fastest and most ex­pen­sive Ford su­per­car ever made.

Detroit ex­ec­u­tives have con­firmed the $500,000 Fer­rari-fight­ing Ford GT will be fit­ted with wheels made in Gee­long with world-first tech­nol­ogy.

Car­bon Rev­o­lu­tion is one of 63 com­pa­nies that will con­tinue to sup­ply parts to Ford af­ter the Broad­mead­ows and Gee­long fac­to­ries close in Oc­to­ber 2016.

Last year the com­pany – which started in an old shear­ing shed but now has a pro­duc­tion and re­search fa­cil­ity on the Deakin Univer­sity cam­pus – won a con­tract to sup­ply wheels for a lim­ited edi­tion Ford Mustang.

The only bad news for lo­cal rev-heads is they will only get to see the wheels in pho­tos or ship­ping con­tain­ers.

Fol­low­ing that suc­cess, it has now been given re­spon­si­bil­ity to sup­ply wheels for Ford’s most ex­pen­sive car of all time.

The wheel tech­nol­ogy was pre­vi­ously used in For­mula One mo­tor rac­ing and this is its first ap­pli­ca­tion on road cars.

“No one has been able to do what we’ve been able to do,” the CEO of Car­bon Rev­o­lu­tion, Jake Din­gle, told News Corp Aus­tralia in Oc­to­ber 2015. “Even the aero­space in­dus­try couldn’t fig­ure out a way to do it.”

Ford heard about the startup com­pany by chance three years ago, and then be­gan tor­ture test­ing the wheels, in­clud­ing hit­ting pot holes at 100km/h to see if they would shat­ter.

“A lot of peo­ple think they’re go­ing to turn to dust when they hit a pot­hole, but these wheels are stronger than al­loy wheels,” said Ja­mal Hameedi, the global head of Ford Per­for­mance, at the open­ing of the Gee­long fa­cil­ity last year.

“This shows Ford is pre­pared to go to the ends of the earth to get an ad­van­tage over our com­peti­tors,” he said.

Car­bon Rev­o­lu­tion has dou­bled the num­ber of em­ploy­ees from 50 to 100 since sign­ing the Ford deal. THE hum­ble cupholder has come a long way and it’s not done yet.

Ford, for one, is con­duct­ing ex­ten­sive re­search into the use and abuse of cuphold­ers as it shapes the cab­ins of its fu­ture cars.

Its back­ground comes from a Neilsen sur­vey in Amer­ica but, apart from the size of the gi­ant Slurpee cups that are so pop­u­lar across the Pa­cific, the re­sults are likely to par­al­lel the sit­u­a­tion in Aus­tralia.

Neilsen says cuphold­ers are now as pop­u­lar for car­ry­ing mo­bile tele­phones, keys and coins as they are for bev­er­ages.

But they need to be more than just a plas­tic hole in the cen­tre con­sole.

About half of peo­ple use a cupholder to store their mo­bile, fol­lowed by 28 per cent who use one for change, 19 per cent for food, 14 per cent for chew­ing gum or mints and 12 per cent for wal­lets. Men are more likely to store their wal­let and change, while women use cuphold­ers for ... cups.

“When you like your cuphold­ers, they can make your ve­hi­cle feel like home,” says Jolanta Cof­fey, man­ager for in­stru­ment pan­els and con­soles at Ford.

Cuphold­ers must be deep enough to hold taller con­tain­ers, but shal­low enough that you can eas­ily pluck out a small cup.

Ford found most cups fall be­tween three ba­sic sce­nar­ios: your av­er­age half-litre re­cy­clable wa­ter bot­tle, the 20ounce plas­tic bot­tle typ­i­cally used for juices and sports drinks and the 30-ounce soft-drink cup found at many fast-food restau­rants. If a cupholder can help hold all three, it can likely hold most any cup.

De­sign work for cuphold­ers now in­volves clear­ing more space – new-age rotary gearshift con­trols help – in the con­sole, ac­com­mo­dat­ing bot­tles as well, giv­ing ex­tra sup­port for con­tain­ers dur­ing brak­ing and cor­ner­ing, and even pro­vid­ing light­ing and cool­ing in the cuphold­ers.

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