Posts Tagged ‘motor sport’

Cool Tech: ZF Make Carbon Fibre Suspension Struts for BMW

24 Apr

While carbon fibre has been around for decades now and has been lauded as the super composite, thanks to its strength and light weight – we’re yet to really see its use spread wider than for things like body panels, random interior panels or the accasional racing wheel. This probably has more to do with the cost of manufacturing than anything else.

BMW have long been known – along with Mercedes – for pushing automotive technology into new, exciting territories; and they’ve now teamed up with ZF (the mob famous for their 6-speed gearboxes behind the iconic VN Group A SS) who will be designing and manufacturing carbon fibre front Macpherson struts for small cars. Better, the German company say that there’s no reason why the technology won’t spread into large cars, as well.

This is great news, should the rest of the industry take notice and follow suit.; primarily because as emissions standards continue to become more restrictive, it’s going to be harder for manufacturers to keep up. We reckon one of the easiest ways that OEMs will be able to improve emissions is through the use of light weight matierals, such as aluminium and composites. Certainly, there’s been a lot of talk about it within the industry for years. There just hasn’t been a lot of action.

A side benefit to the use of lighter suspension components is a reduction in unsprung weight, which would provide great improvements in on-road handling – especially for the circuit racers.

Blind man races car on road course

07 Mar

We liked this story a lot. It came from the guys at

The story goes that South African Hein Wagner is a man with no sight that has accomplished a huge list of things in his life despite the disability – including holding the world land speed record for the blind! As Bangshift says, the co-pilot should get a bravery medal for that one. At least that one was done in a straight line.

Not satisfied going in a straight line, Hein heard about a big road course competition taking place in Cape Town at the Kilarney Circuit this February just gone. Sadly race organisers weren’t open to the idea and shot him down. Undeterred he found an event on the next weekend and the organisers of that race allowed Hein and his co-driver to drive the circuit.

According to the reports, Hein learned the shape of the track by using a piece of rope nailed to a board the same shape as the track, making a mental image of the course.

Neither we nor Bangshift have found any news on how he went (the race took place a few weeks ago), but we’ll continue to do some digging and let you know.

It’s just nice to see people refusing to let setbacks or problems keep them down. Search ‘Hein Wagner’ on Google and you’ll see that the man is a motivational speaker, actor, playwright, cyclist and no doubt much more. You’ll also find video of his world land speed record.