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It's all in the timing

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I have to admit that despite my fascination with modern technologies, the art of being a racing driver was always encompassed in the skill of changing gear - the crispness of the up change and the shear poetry of it while simultaneously braking and changing down. Judging it to perfection was satisfaction indeed, and many more hours were spent practising either on the road to and from my place of work or in the 'cockpit' of an armchair at home. But despite these many hours of practice...

Turbocharging the ECU

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With a number of new race formulae moving over to pressure-charged engines, the second decade of the 21st century looks set to become the Second Coming of the turbocharger. The First Coming, of course - if my memory serves me correctly, back in the late 1970s/early '80s - was all about boost levels and ultimate power. This time around, with virtually all vehicle OEMs looking at downsizing and turbocharging their street offerings, it's about efficiency. And, as such it, will be more...

The wiring harness

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If the ECU can somehow be considered as the brain of the engine then I guess the wiring harness is roughly equivalent to the rest of the nervous system. In humans and other animals, receptors in the skin send impulses to the brain via dendrites and the nerves. These impulses are then reconfigured and sent back to the muscles to produce some form of movement. And while great care is taken to ensure that the body's nervous system is not overstressed or abused, likewise shouldn't we...

How much is too much?

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I don't know about you but I am continually amazed at the power of modern electronic components. Invariably integrated with some form of digital microprocessor, the speeds and in many cases capacity to store information is something truly to marvel. Moore's Law, formulated nearly 50 years ago by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, said at the time that the number of transistors that could be replaced by an integrated circuit would double every two years. Later, stating that this would go...

The gear change

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Like millions of other followers of Formula One, I look forward each year to sitting in front of the TV and watching both practice and race of every single Grand Prix throughout the season. Also like many others, I have done this for probably the best part of 30 years, for as long as the sport has been covered by prime-time TV. I always enjoy some of the on-board coverage looking over the driver's shoulder. In particular, I marvel at the way that 750-plus bhp can be tamed by our heroes...