2006 Australian Grand Prix - Race 3/18

Soldato
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Regardless of whether anyone rates him or not, Mike Gascoyne is superb at what he does.

What I can't believe is how stupid Toyota are. The car that MG designed suddenly starts to show some potential so they boot him out.

The Japs don't make mistakes easily, but this is definitely a big one!
 
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Type_R said:
Regardless of whether anyone rates him or not, Mike Gascoyne is superb at what he does.

What I can't believe is how stupid Toyota are. The car that MG designed suddenly starts to show some potential so they boot him out.
After turning around Jordan & Renault and with Toyota's good year last year plus improving already this year.. I have no idea why they couldn't sort something out to keep such a good technical engineer.
 
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Bennah said:
I hope he does join the lads in woking. Would definatly a good adition to the team, but depends if McLaren have the moneyas they got to Fork out for Alonso next year.

Nice big cheques from the folks at Vodafone start next year and they no longer have Adrian Newey to cover. The big question is if the wage bill will be Kimi and Ferdy huge or merely large for Ferdy & Lewis/Gary/Pedro (delete where applicable)
 
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Duke said:
After turning around Jordan & Renault and with Toyota's good year last year plus improving already this year.. I have no idea why they couldn't sort something out to keep such a good technical engineer.

It sounds very much like Toyota and Gascoyne failed to see eye to eye on how things should be done. The quote from one of the earlier stories is "Due to a fundamental difference of opinion with regard to the technical operations of its Formula One team"

Now Gascoyne was hired because of his track record and knowledge of the job so it's unsurprising that he's annoyed at being told what to do by people who have no experience in running an F1 team.
 
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De la Rosa tops times at Paul Ricard

Pedro de la Rosa topped the times on the second day of testing at Paul Ricard in France on Thursday - but the leading drivers were separated by just hundredths of a second.

The Spaniard was continuing development work on the latest specification Mercedes-Benz engine that had so impressed him in work ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

After its encouraging performance in Melbourne, de la Rosa was using more revs to evaluate its reliability as he set a best time of 1:04.231 .

That time was just three hundredths of a second faster than Robert Doornbos in the Red Bull Racing-Ferrari, who joined his fellow Michelin runners in working on Imola-specification tyres for the San Marino Grand Prix later this month.

"Yesterday I suffered a lot from gearbox problems and today in the morning too, but the afternoon went well and I took a bit of a risk for the last run," Doornbos told autosport.com.

"It is nice to get that quick time in at the end of the day."

Heikki Kovalainen was third fastest in the Renault despite completing just 11 laps during the day. The Finn broke the suspension of his car after going over a kerb.

Gary Paffett was fourth quickest and Giancarlo Fisichella fifth as he worked on an engine programme.

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta put his team's controversy surrounding Mike Gascoyne behind him to work on tyre construction and compounds for Imola, having left Olivier Panis to work on the long runs with the tyres selected on Wednesday.

Vitantonio Liuzzi made his scheduled appearance in the Red Bull Racing but, after causing two red flags for suspected mechanical problems, he ended the day seven tenths slower than Doornbos.

The other red flag was caused by BMW's Robert Kubica, who stopped at 1030am with a mechanical problem.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:04.231 147
2. Doornbos Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:04.262 118
3. Kovalainen Renault (M) 1:04.274 11
4. Paffett McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:04.279 127
5. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:04.380 104
6. Zonta Toyota (B) 1:04.655 133
7. Liuzzi Red Bull-Ferrari (M) 1:04.914 169
8. Villeneuve BMW-Sauber (M) 1:04.961 50
9. Kubica BMW-Sauber (M) 1:05.398 123
10. Panis Toyota (B) 1:05.867 47

All Timing Unofficial

So nowt wrong with the Ferrari V8 by the looks of it, Renault looking strong still and not a bad showing from Toyota given their troubles so far.
 
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Davidson edges Schumacher at Vallellunga
Briton Anthony Davidson topped the timesheets on the third day of testing at the Vallelunga circuit.

The Honda driver just edged Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and teammate Jenson Button.

It was another busy day for Davidson, who covered a total of 163 laps around the Italian circuit, beating Schumacher by less than a tenth of a second.

Ferrari driver Schumacher covered 102 laps as he tested new components fitted to his 248 F1 car. The German's day, however, was cut short when he stopped on track with a mechanical problem.

Schumacher's teammate Luca Badoer continued at the wheel of the F2004 fitted with a V10 engine, the Italian working on tyre testing for Bridgestone.

Williams' third driver Alex Wurz was slowest for the second day running, the Austrian finishing over 1.2 seconds off the pace following an accident in the morning session.

"This morning was overcast and grey with low track temperatures and Alex suffered a low speed accident," explained test team manager Mike Condliffe.

"Fortunately he was fine, but the car required some repairs which reduced our running time. In the afternoon session, with improved track conditions, we continued testing tyre compounds in preparation for Imola, while we also carried out brake cooling modifications."

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Davidson Honda (M) 1:14.499 163
2. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:14.591 102
3. Button Honda (M) 1:14.657 114
4. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:15.105 81
5. Wurz Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:16.270 90

All Timing Unofficial

Not much that can be read from that really. Wurz seems to have been unfortunate in not being able to run when the conditions were good so his time isn't really representative of his pace.
 
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Well seeing as Flibster's AWOL, here's the news.

Williams hail Wurz's Friday work
Williams technical director Sam Michael has hailed third driver Alex Wurz's contribution to the team as key to their strong start to the campaign.

Despite poor reliability wrecking their race results, Williams have surprised many with their speed this season as they have emerged as potentially Bridgestone's quickest package.

And Michael believes that the pace shown by Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg has only been possible because of the contribution that Wurz makes on a Friday in picking the right tyres for the weekend.

"Alex is fantastic," said Michael. "He would be the world champion of Friday third car driving if there was a championship for that.

"He has driven F1 cars for a long time - so has got a lot of experience across cars, teams and tyres. He is also very good with electronics, and that all helps him to be an awfully good driver at a test.

"But the most important thing on the Friday is that he drives within himself by a couple of tenths to make sure he gets the answer. A lot of the other third car Friday drivers are there to put themselves on the map and take a lot more risks than Alex does.

"It is probably because Alex has got a lot of confidence and inherent talent, but he doesn't do anything stupid on Fridays because he knows his answer on the prime-versus-option tyre choice is the most important thing for him to do all weekend.

"If he goes one or two tenths quicker, then we are not going to go, 'wow, look at that'. But if he does do that and goes into the wall then we will give him a hard time for not getting the prime versus option numbers."

Wurz's contribution to the team is so critical because of the limited mileage that race drivers Webber and Rosberg can put on their Cosworth engine during practice.

The team have agreed to a maximum of around 1,100km per unit over two race weekends – a limit that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

"I think that (the limited mileage in practice) is what we will have all season because it is mainly geared around the engine design," explained Michael. "It is designed to do a certain amount of mileage and, if you increase that mileage, then you will probably lose power.

"Cosworth could say we could go to 1,200km but to do it we would have to turn the engine down at certain points. So far I don't think it has been a huge penalty. I think Nico and Mark are very good to getting the car on the limit quickly."
Williams technical director Sam Michael has hailed third driver Alex Wurz's contribution to the team as key to their strong start to the campaign.

Despite poor reliability wrecking their race results, Williams have surprised many with their speed this season as they have emerged as potentially Bridgestone's quickest package.

And Michael believes that the pace shown by Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg has only been possible because of the contribution that Wurz makes on a Friday in picking the right tyres for the weekend.

"Alex is fantastic," said Michael. "He would be the world champion of Friday third car driving if there was a championship for that.

"He has driven F1 cars for a long time - so has got a lot of experience across cars, teams and tyres. He is also very good with electronics, and that all helps him to be an awfully good driver at a test.

"But the most important thing on the Friday is that he drives within himself by a couple of tenths to make sure he gets the answer. A lot of the other third car Friday drivers are there to put themselves on the map and take a lot more risks than Alex does.

"It is probably because Alex has got a lot of confidence and inherent talent, but he doesn't do anything stupid on Fridays because he knows his answer on the prime-versus-option tyre choice is the most important thing for him to do all weekend.

"If he goes one or two tenths quicker, then we are not going to go, 'wow, look at that'. But if he does do that and goes into the wall then we will give him a hard time for not getting the prime versus option numbers."

Wurz's contribution to the team is so critical because of the limited mileage that race drivers Webber and Rosberg can put on their Cosworth engine during practice.

The team have agreed to a maximum of around 1,100km per unit over two race weekends – a limit that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

"I think that (the limited mileage in practice) is what we will have all season because it is mainly geared around the engine design," explained Michael. "It is designed to do a certain amount of mileage and, if you increase that mileage, then you will probably lose power.

"Cosworth could say we could go to 1,200km but to do it we would have to turn the engine down at certain points. So far I don't think it has been a huge penalty. I think Nico and Mark are very good to getting the car on the limit quickly."
 
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Aguri hopeful if Ide improvement
Super Aguri are hoping that a test at Barcelona in Spain this week will allow Yuji Ide to start showing some of his potential, as the team hint they may have to take action if the Japanese rookie does not start improving his form soon.

Although Ide looked pretty solid on his debut in Bahrain, he encountered a more difficult Malaysian Grand Prix before struggling at Melbourne last weekend, where he spun a number of times in qualifying.

Ide's performance has already led to speculation that the team may be looking for a replacement, but Aguri's managing director Daniel Audetto has made it clear that he hopes the Japanese driver will make progress at Barcelona to resolve the team's concerns.

"Ide was really struggling in Melbourne because it was dirty, bumpy and windy," said Audetto. "To be honest with you, we are lucky he did not crash the car yet.

"We will give him a full test in Barcelona before Imola and then we can assess him with more time and also fairness, to give him a good chance to prove that he is good.

"Bahrain was not that bad, Malaysia was another difficult circuit, hot and humid, and Australia was particularly difficult. San Marino will be tough too, but giving him a full day in Barcelona I think we should see the potential in full at Imola.

"Otherwise, we will have to take consequences because we cannot have a driver who is two seconds a lap slower (than his teammate)."

Ide himself admitted in Australia that he was not driving at the standards of his rivals following his difficult weekend.

"I am far from being competitive compared to the other drivers, so I want to improve my driving skills and learn the next circuit as quickly as possible," Ide explained.

Aguri appear committed to running an all-Japanese driver line-up and rumours have suggested that former Formula Nippon champion Satoshi Motoyama could replace Ide if the team choose to take action.

Motoyama is no stranger to Formula One machinery, having driven on the Friday at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix for Jordan.
 
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Ecclestone pleased with Valencia facilities
Valencia's campaign to host a Formula One race moved up a gear at the weekend when Bernie Ecclestone made a visit to the track to inspect the facilities.

The circuit is planning a major revamp of its layout and infrastructure to make it suitable for an F1 race - which will include construction of a new straight, wider turns and two hairpins to improve overtaking.

That work has not started yet but, following talks between Ecclestone and Valencian government officials in London earlier this year, F1's commercial boss was shown around the track at last weekend's GP2 season-opener by Francisco Camps, president of the Valencia region.

Although the visit prompted speculation that a deal is definitely on the cards for 2009, Ecclestone drew short of making any promises - although suggested a Valencia race was a possibility.

"I never say no to anything," said Ecclestone, who had never visited the Spanish track before. "Let's wait and see. What we have here is very good."

Earlier this year, Valencia's general manager Eduardo Nogues admitted that the circuit was pushing hard for an F1 race.

"We have decided to work ahead of a possible decision to include the circuit on the Formula One calendar," said the track's general manager Eduardo Nogues.

"Formula One is the benchmark for every racing facility and a dream for all the Valencian racing fans, so now it's the time to show to Ecclestone and everyone involved in F1 that Valencia wants to host a race."

Camps also accompanied Ecclestone and Renault boss Flavio Briatore on a visit to the America's Cup village in Valencia during their visit to the city.
 
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Fosters to end global sponsorship in F1
Lager brand Foster's has confirmed that it will pull out of global sponsorship of Formula One later this season after 20 years involvement in the sport.

The company's brand name in Europe has just been sold to British brewing and distribution partner Scottish and Newcastle for 315 million pounds, meaning the company can no longer make worldwide sponsorship decisions.

Foster's currently has title sponsorship of the Australian, San Marino and British Grands Prix, as well as signage exposure at 10 races. It also has a deal that makes it F1's official beer partner.

A spokesman for Foster's told the Australian Associated Press that all their current deals, including title sponsorship of the Melbourne race, were likely to be dropped because they were agreed on a global basis.

However, he did not rule out an involvement in the future if individual brand owners felt it was in their best interests.

"Our agreements have been with the global grand prix and not the Melbourne grand prix body," the spokesman said.

"By pulling out of the deal it doesn't mean Foster's will never be associated with grands prix again - it just means that global sponsorship will cease but regions will make their own decisions."

Although S&N are being left to make a final decision on whether it will continue with F1 sponsorship in Europe, the company's chairman and managing director John Dunsmore said earlier this year that the sport no longer fitted with the lager brand's core strategy.

20 years!! I knew they'd been about for a while but I didn't think it was that long.
 
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Red Bull boss demands more from Klien
David Coulthard's hopes of remaining at Red Bull Racing next year have received a major boost from team owner Dietrich Mateschitz - who has claimed that Christian Klien is the one under pressure to keep his seat.

Although Klien has outqualified Coulthard twice so far this season, having achieved that feat eight times last year, Mateschitz has said that he still expects more from the young Austrian driver.

Speaking about speculation suggesting that Red Bull still want Klien to become stronger in comparison with Coulthard, Mateschitz said: "That is correct. We need two strong drivers. The benchmark is the race.

"If you look at 2005, David got 24 points and Christian nine. Even if you consider that Klien did not compete in four races, that remains the position.

"We expect from a young driver that he shall be as quick as David. It has to be the goal for Felipe Massa to be as quick as Michael Schumacher, and Nico Rosberg must equal Mark Webber, at the latest in his second year.

"If we invest say 50 million dollars *into a wind tunnel, into Ferrari engines and to get Adrian Newey, and the benefit of all this makes the car one second quicker, it simply cannot be that a driver loses that second in comparison with the other.

"So the logical consequence will be that we need the quickest driver we can lay hands on for 2007, when we shall run with the first car under the guidance of Adrian Newey. I expect that the Ferrari engine will be reliable then. The driver cannot be the weakest link."

Mateschitz admits that Red Bull are looking around at the drivers' market at the moment and, although he acknowledges that Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso are the best three in the sport, he suggests that beyond them there is probably no better answer for his team than sticking with Coulthard.

"After those three there is a slight gap and then you have drivers such as (Juan Pablo) Montoya and so forth," he said. "But bluntly, they are second choice.

"Our long-term plan is to have one or more drivers among our talent search programs being able one day to be among the best four drivers in the world. The effort to find such a driver is quite big. Can it be Klien? (Scott) Speed? (Vitantonio) Liuzzi?

"Perhaps it is too early to tell. Then we have (Michael) Ammermueller, (John) Edwards and (Neel) Jani. Sebastian Vettel is on loan to BMW for two years.

"But we all know how quick David Coulthard can be, when he is fully motivated. He still has it and he is extremely keen on driving a Newey car again."

When asked whether he would rank Coulthard in the same bracket at Montoya, who has been strongly linked with a move to Red Bull Racing, Mateschitz said: "Yes, I do."
 
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BMW set to adopt seamless shift
BMW-Sauber are set to follow the example of McLaren, Honda and Williams and adopt a seamless shift gearbox for the start of next season, autosport.com has learned.

The seamless shift system allows drivers to change gear without any break in the delivery of power. This can be worth up to a few tenths of a second per lap - which adds up to several seconds over the course of an entire Grand Prix distance.

McLaren and Honda were believed to be the first teams to adopt the system, despite some suggestions that the technology could be clamped down on because it was viewed by some as a form of illegal Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

However, with the FIA happy with the systems, Williams followed suit at the start of this season and have put their seamless shift technology into action.

Now, BMW-Sauber are likely to be next to adopt the system. BMW technicians in Munich are already working hard at developing a seamless shift gearbox as part of their work to create the full powertrain on the 2007 car.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has confirmed that the work on the seamless gearbox is underway but has made it clear that even if the company get the system working well this year it will not be run before the start of the 2007 season.

"It would have been too much investment to introduce it for 2006 already," he said.

Theissen has also confirmed that BMW will stick with a titanium gearbox casing for the foreseeable future, despite the obvious benefits of a carbon fibre unit.

"The difference in weight with carbon fibre is minimal," he explained. "We are talking about one kilogramme here, but it is much more complex and costly to build a carbon fibre gearbox."

It's just like the early 90s all over again as teams slowly work out how to improve the gearboxes, then it was paddle shifts now it's seamless shifts.

Not sure what the obvious benefit of a CF box is over titanium if it's only a 1kg weight difference.
 
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Singapore considering F1 GP bid
Singapore has become the latest country to join a queue of nations aiming to host a Formula One Grand Prix in the near future.

The Singapore government has admitted they are considering the idea, with Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang telling Singaporean media that they are "actively looking at this proposal".

"This is a very important proposition and we have to study the full impact and make a proper evaluation," Lim told Today newspaper.

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has already received expressions of interest from Mexico, Russia, India and South Africa among other countries who are aiming to join the calendar.

"My advice now is that if somebody in Singapore is interested and wants to be the promoter to do this, they should contact me and we can start talking about this and see what we can do," Ecclestone said.

The Singapore government is still to give the green light to the project, which would include the construction of a Formula One circuit. There are already four bidders interested in the project.

"In all likelihood we may not need to call them up because we've gone through the process of meeting them. Our officials are meeting them now. We're going through the internal evaluation, then we make a decision," added Lim.

"All I can say is that the four bids are very, very good bids, and it shows that they take us seriously and that they want to develop a very good product in Singapore."

I think I'd need to see a geographic breakdown of TV audiences before I comment too much on this one. The first thought is that it's another early start for European viewers but if the majority of viewers these days is in the far east then I suppose we'll have to accept a shift in the start times towards ones that suit them.
 
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Toro Rosso plan to keep V10 in 2007
The controversy over V10 engines in Formula One looks likely to continue into next year after Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz suggested that his Scuderia Toro Rosso team were unlikely to change to V8 power-units before 2008.

Toro Rosso have been on the receiving end of growing criticism from rival teams about the performance of their V10 engines, which some believe have an advantage over V8s.

Autosport.com revealed at the Australian Grand Prix that Super Aguri and Midland F1 had written to the FIA asking for Toro Rosso to be excluded from scoring points in the constructors' championship because of the engine situation.

A further letter of support from a number of other teams is expected to follow in the next week - with growing anger that Toro Rosso may be gaining from a rule-exemption that was only voted through to keep Minardi afloat.

Mateschitz has said, however, that he is unimpressed with the complaints from rival teams - and especially suggestions that his company should easily be able to fund Toro Rosso's switch to V8s.

"That is absurd," he said, when asked about claims that Red Bull should fork out for a supply of V8 engines. "We simply were the successors of Minardi and there was no other way than to take over the current contracts, including the V10 with Cosworth.

"I would rather today than tomorrow switch to a V8, but it is simply not possible.
For me, it has been proven that the air restriction and the rev limit of the V10 work. But some teams have to get used to the idea that Toro Rosso is not Minardi. You cannot expect this team to be backmarkers forever."

When asked whether his comments meant the plan was for Toro Rosso to continue with V10 engines, he said: "Yes, we have a contract in place until the end of 2007.

"If we alter that into a V8 contract, we have to make sure with Cosworth boss Kevin Kalkhoven that we would get equal treatment to Williams."

The letter from teams that is due to be sent to the FIA before the San Marino Grand Prix is understood to request that the FIA further restrict the performance of V10s in a bid to encourage Toro Rosso to switch to V8s.

The FIA has always said that it will change the rev-limit or air restrictor size of the V10 if it felt the performance of the older engines needed pegging back.

There's going to be some unhappy folk about.

But on the other hand why shouldn't they run a V10? The rules say it's legal, STR have a contract with Cosworth to use the V10 - which is probably quite lucrative for Cosworth given that there's little in the way of development to pay for.

The crux of things is that the V10 has to be equivalent to a V8. I think there are teams out there who think it should be slower than a V8 which is daft. I'd be very interested to see what the power figures are, that would silence Midland & Super Aguri if ti was shown that they're slower despite having a power advantage over STR. It's been proven time and time again that F1 is not all about engine power - Benetton in 1994 being the prime example.
 
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Sky Sports lands braodcasting deal
Grand Prix Masters have signed a deal with UK satellite broadcaster Sky Sports to show all of this season's events live, autosport.com can reveal.

Sky Sports will show coverage of all the qualifying and the races for the series for over 45-year-old ex-Formula One drivers this season.

Formula One commentating legend Murray Walker will voice the coverage, as he did for the inaugural event at Kyalami, last November.

The deal has yet to formally be announced, but it will begin with the series' first event of the season in Qatar at the end of this month.

GP Masters increases Sky Sport's motorsport portfolio adding to the heavily promoted IRL IndyCar series and A1 Grand Prix championship.

The deal means, however, that the series will not have any terrestrial television coverage in Britain. The Kyalami event was given delayed coverage on BBC2.

A GP Masters spokesperson told autosport.com: "By the BBC's standards we needed to get our schedule ready in a year and a half in advance to get any kind of coverage, which obviously isn't possible.

"The deal with Sky is a really good one, and they are promoting their motorsport coverage really well."

Murray's back!!! :D
 
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And I thought the Murray news was good....

Italian GP saved by exemption
The Italian Formula One Grand Prix will go ahead at Monza on September 10 after a vote by the regional government ended fears that the race might be cancelled because of complaints about the noise.

Local residents had complained about noise levels on race days exceeding the legal limit and obtained a court order in November banning cars without silencers.

On Wednesday the regional council for Lombardy passed legislation allowing a 30-day exemption from the rules on sound emissions.

The 30 days will allow the Grand Prix and an Italian Formula 3000 race to take place at the venue which is based in a park in the Northern town.

Monza is Formula One's fastest circuit as well as one of the most historic - the track opened in 1922 and has hosted every Italian Grand Prix since 1950 with the exception of 1980 when the race moved to Imola.

Last November Judge Marco Manunta upheld a complaint by residents of Biassono who said their lives had been transformed into a living hell by the roar of engines at the circuit.

Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper quoted him at the time as saying motor racing was a "superfluous, dangerous and socially useless activity that had a major impact on the environment".

The circuit is co-owned by the municipalities of Monza and the nearby city of Milan.
 
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Memphis said:
The V10s aren't too fast. Those complaining are just too slow.

I was wondering if they may be more reliable than the V8s if they're running on limited revs the whole time, could give the some advantage I would have thought.
 
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Some good bits of news there. Plus I agree about what you said above re:Toyota and Gascoyne. There hasn't been anymore news about this though since?
 
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