on the edge

computers & technology, books & writing, civilisation & society, cars & stuff

Greg Black

gjb at gbch dot net
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If you’re not living life on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.

FQE30 at speed


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Worthy organisations

Amnesty International Australia — global defenders of human rights

global defenders of human rights

Médecins Sans Frontières — help us save lives around the world

Médecins Sans Frontières - help us save lives around the world

Electronic Frontiers Australia — protecting and promoting on-line civil liberties in Australia

Electronic Frontiers Australia


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)


(Coming soon…)

Software resources

GNU Emacs


The FreeBSD Project

Tue, 09 Nov 2004

More money than sense

A car club member with more money than sense buys a new E46 BMW M3 and brings it to the race track at Morgan Park. He has plenty to say about the racing he did when he was young, but he was either hopeless as a racer or has a really bad memory of how to drive. He sees me catching him in my old 4-cylinder 4-door sedan and starts trying harder and harder. When I catch him in the middle of the esses, he backs his car off the track in a huge cloud of dirt and vegetation. He spends the rest of the day trying to stay in front of me and falling off the black stuff repeatedly. Had the car been driven correctly, and a bit conservatively, it could have stayed in front of me easily.

Subsequently, he decides that the problem was the car, so he goes out and buys a Porsche GT3. He takes it to Willowbank and backs it off in turn 1 (the fastest corner on the track). That’s silly enough, but somehow he gets it so badly wrong that he contrives to hit the concrete wall so hard that he breaks an ankle, not to mention doing squillions of dollars of damage to the Porsche. Since it was him driving, I’m confident that he could not have got up past about 250 km/h on the run to turn 1, so he should have just stopped in the gravel trap—the V8 Supercars go into the trap at about 275–280 km/h and they stop before they hit the wall, despite the fact that their design renders the trap less effective than for a road car.

When our hero was asked how he managed it, he replied: “I left my brains in the pits.” At least he got that right.