Saturday, April 13, 2013

"That's my AERIEL! What's yours?"

On the April 12, 2013 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Kitchen gags

- This new recruit from a notorious crime syndicate is a bit different than the usual goons...

- See a doctor who uses his psychic powers to his patients...

- Feel the wrath of Mayor Frankenstein! A politician to end all politicians!

- Bubble Gang does Ariel Color & Style by spoofing this commercial as AERIEL COLOR & STYLE! That's my AERIEL! What's yours?

- An epic story of a man who can't be accepted to the hospital until to the moment that heaven and hell can't accept him!

- Welcome to the Sleep Over Show, the talk show where guests are interviewed at the bed even when it's time to sleep!

- Meet the new lady boss..

- A couple blessened themselves with an...unano?

- The tambays are planning a protest

Threats from North Korea - A Week in Review (April 13, 2013)

Updates from the rising tensions from the Korean Peninsula? Here's a week in review to catch you up from North Korea's endless bellicose threats against the world...

- On April 7, 2013, The Pentagon has delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test due to take place in California next week amid soaring nuclear tensions with North Korea, an official said Saturday.

North Korea may be preparing for a fourth nuclear test, with stepped up activity detected at its main test site, a senior South Korean government official said according to a report Monday.

- North Korea warns against Japan's sanctions extensions by targeting against major Japanese cities, including Tokyo and Osaka. To address against North Korea's missle launch, Japan readies anti-missile weapons on major cities to shoot down incoming missiles or debris. However, North Korea threatened Japan that it will ignite a war anytime if they shoot down an incoming missile or debris.

- North Korea pulled out all workers from the Kaesong complex.

- Previously, North Korea may launch several mid-range missiles by Wednesday but it is likely to launch those on April 15, the birthday of the nation's founder, Kim Il-Sung.

- Did you know that North Korea's weaponry is worth a three-year corn supply? Some say that Pyongyang has spent a total of 3.24 billion dollars, including 1.5 billion to build nuclear-related facilities and develop weapons, and 1.74 billion on missiles. Also, the ministry estimated the costs of developing short- and medium-range missiles including the Musudan at 840 million dollars. It said the North spent 600 million dollars to build launch sites. That was a report from the NHK...

- After a meeting between US President Barrack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the White House, Obama warns that the US will take all necessary actions to protect its people and allies against North Korea's bellicose threats.

- US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet up with Chinese president Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders to discuss about North Korea and the hope to tell China's ally to cool down. Meanwhile, North Korea will set up a nuclear ministry as part of Kim Jong Un's policy of stepping up the nation's nuclear program.

- Meanwhile, Pyongyang is preparing for the birthday of the country's late founder, Kim Il-Sung. Some festive decorations have been raised and flowers are planted. Events on this celebration are underway despite tensions as NoKor preparing their missles for test launch.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Forza Motorsport 4 - Shelby Daytona Coupe

Sebring Legend

While loosely based on the Cobra chassis and drivetrain, the Daytona Coupe from Shelby was made for motorsports purposes, mainly for GT-class racing where it targets the Ferrari and its other rivals of its class. Thanks to the Daytona Coupe, Shelby is the first American constructor to win a title at the FIA World Sportscar Championship in 1965.

Since Carroll Shelby's win in 1959 Le Mans, he wanted to return to this motorsport to defeat Enzo Ferarri again in his own game. Although, the Cobra is a successful GT racer, the open top looks is a problem when it reaches the Mulsanne Straight of Le Mans at the top speed of 157mph, almost 30 less than the Ferrari 250 GTO. Even with a special hard-tops, it wasn't quite enough to provide more aerodynamics than the Ferrari racers on the straights, so he enlisted former General Motors stylist, Pete Brock, to pen a low drag coupe body.

The Daytona Coupe is made out of aluminum body and tubular steel frame for its chassis so it weights about 1,043 kilos. Powering this is Ford's 289 90-degree V8 engine with OHV, which churns out 390BHP of power and 462Nm of torque while mated with a Borg-Warner T-10 M 4 speed Manual. It can do 0-60 in 4.4 seconds and top speed of 191mph.

During its tenure, the Shelby Daytona Coupe garnered several class wins at Sebring and Le Mans. It even garnered GT-class wins at Monza, Nurburgring, and Reims. In 1965, it garnered 23 land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Gran Turismo 5: Two different Atenzas...

The first Atenza

Looking back on Gran Turismo 5, I have been given a chance to check out two different generations of Mazda Atenza in two different perspectives. It's just like Richard Hammond, driving the icons on the Top Gear Test Track for some nostalgic reasons or for some TG Magazine issues but anyway, both the first and the second generation Atenzas were really trying to itch their way through Mazda's Zoom-Zoom spectacle.

About the first generation Atenza, this car was first revealed at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show and went on sale in the summer of 2002, replacing some of Mazda's mid-size sedan models such as the Capella, the Cronos, or the 5-door liftback called the Efini MS-6. It was available in three various body styles such as the Sedan, the Sport Wagon, and the Sport 5-door liftback (which Gran Turismo 5 has one).

The variant that GT5 featured was the Sport model with the 2.3L engine mated with a 5-speed manual gearbox. When I drove this kind of Atenza, there are some merits and demerits regarding about this car. What I like about this Atenza is its looks because it was the first Mazda to adopt its signature pentagonal grille that adorn most Mazdas from 2002 up to 2008 where the second-generation Atenza has some Nagare design on it. Bits of it, yes... But sadly though, I think I like this first generation better than the second-generation because it looks more of a civilized businessman who doesn't want to go on a meeting with a choppy formal wear that embarasses himself. Because this is the Sport model, I think its 5-door liftback looks really nods from its predecessor, the Efini MS-6.

One thing I didn't know that the Atenza was built on the same platform used on the Ford Mondeo. Of course, Mazda was partially owned by Ford at that time, so this Mondeo-derived platform used on the Atenza comes with sport-tuned double wishbone suspension on the front and a multilink at the rear, which some say, it was the best handling car in its class. Sadly though, it doesn't seem to be best-handling to me but it handles fine on generous corners where no violent turning is necessary but in some corners, like for instance, the Follow-Through on the Top Gear Track, the Atenza's starting to struggle. Mild but menacing if you know what I mean but because this is an everyday car, the Atenza's not a menacing saloon car. It's a well-mannered saloon built for the whole family.

Sure, I like the first-generation Atenza but there was just one Atenza I like the most...and it was the Mazdaspeed model...

The Mazdaspeed Atenza

You might remember that Jeremy Clarkson once reviewed the Mazdaspeed Atenza (or Mazdaspeed6 or Mazda 6 MPS) on Top Gear alongside the Ford Mondeo ST220 and the Vauxhall Vectra VXR and when The Stig drove it, the Mazdaspeed Atenza set a lap time of 01:32.2 at the Top Gear Track, which is faster than the lap times set from Renaultsport Megane 225 or the first-generation Audi TT V6. Quite an achievement here though but let's talk about this machine...

This high-performance version of the Atenza was revealed to the world at the 2004 Paris Motor Show and it uses the 4-door saloon version as its basis. It comes with a 2.3L DISI TURBO engine that sends its power in all four wheels. So, it's a 4WD hot Atenza eh? That sounds uncanny to me but when you take your foot on the pedal, it's as silent as a normal 4-door saloon so I was expecting to be as civilized as a normal Atenza. It's true, it is.

Also, the handling is more like it for me because what Mazda did to this hot Atenza is they put something they've called Active Torque Control Coupling system on its 4WD system, which manages the torque between all four wheels and it monitors the car's steering angle, yaw rate, lateral G-force and engine conditions in real time. It sure is sharper than the normal Atenza Sport though, although there's a hint of understeer, which is catastrophic to me.

If possible, I'm considering this Mazdaspeed Atenza to be a "future classic" because there are only a few models out there worldwide. If you spot one, you'd be lucky to drive a hotter midsize sedan that no other carmaker has anymore these days.

The second Atenza

Now, if you're talking about the second-generation Mazda that was built from 2008 to 2012, well, I have nothing else to say about it but I'll let myself slip through this story. Ever since the second-generation model broke cover in 2008, I was really amused by its looks because the design flow of the second-generation Atenza marks a huge departure from its old design flow and into the Nagare flow. Not sure if this is the first but the second-generation Atenza is becoming more athletic than its predecessor.

If I mean athletic, of course! The handling's more sharper than the first-generation Atenza but not as aggressive as the Mazdaspeed Atenza. That reminds me...

Did I said that I like the first model better than the second model? Oh dear...Perhaps, I should just rewrite my words and then I'd admit that the second-generation Atenza's my type than the first-generation Atenza, well the Mazdaspeed Atenza is my pick for me but never mind about that...

Never mind indeed, and while the Gran Turismo franchise has no plans to introduce the third-generation Atenza with the revolutionary SKYACTIV Technology, guess I had to make do with the previous two generations of the Mazda Atenza...and that makes me sad...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Obituary: Zero no Tsukaima author Noboru Yamaguchi

Last year, the fourth and final season of the Zero no Tsukaima series, Zero no Tsukaima F, concluded and thus marks the end of our favorite adventures of Louise and Saito. As for the manga, however, that was far from conclusion because back in 2011, Zero creator, Noboru Yamaguchi, was succumbed to advanced-stage cancer, and even though he's hospitalized, he will still continue finishing the Zero no Tsukaima novels until volume 22 but sadly...

Only 20 out of the 22 volumes were finished...

...before he died in April 4, 2013, at the age of 41.


We, know, this is a very sad moment for the author of the series, which its anime series ended in four seasons, who passed away with dignity. Death with dignity, it's best to describe to this Zero no Tsukaima author...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Let's Do The News! (April 10, 2013)

River's Diary

Right, what's the news today you spoiler-laden TARDIS journal?

Christopher Eccleston will not take part of the DW 50th Anniversary Special

The 50th Anniversary Special of BBC's cult sci-fi series, Doctor Who, is upon us and as of now, there's a shooting somewhere at Trafalgar Square where the TARDIS was lifted by a crane, the soldiers at UNIT are preparing themselves, and Matt Smith's hanging at the lifted TARDIS with Jenna Louise Coleman inside. It's going to be a spectacular birthday present for the show but...there's a bit of a bad news, folks. While the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special reunites some of the famous faces in the world of Who, there are some who would not take part of it. One latest example is 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston. The decision is done by Chris himself, not current DW showrunner Sir Steven Moffat, who's also in charge for this special.

"After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best."


Ghibli returns as the "baby Quattroporte"

2014 Maserati Ghibli
To be premiered at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show, Maserati revived the Ghibli nameplate and it served as the "baby Quattroporte" that leads it to a class on its own. First things first about this new Ghibli sedan is will be the first time it will come with a 3.0L V6 diesel engine apart from two turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engines, with the most powerful version to likely have the same output it does on the Quattroporte (404hp / 410PS).


New Infinite Stratos anime listed by publisher!

Back in 2011, the anime TV version of Infinite Stratos was aired on TBS. Ever since Overlap took the rights of IS and planning to resume the science-fiction romantic comedy light novel series with the eighth volume on April 25 as part of the Infinite Stratos "reboot" project, you're not going to believe this because based on the PR campaign for the launch of its Ovelap Bunko imprint, a new Infinite Stratos TV anime series gets the green-light. I believe that it's going to be a reboot just like the novel where it was based...


Twin'Z concept previews next Twingo with Renault 5 looks

Renault Twin'Z Concept
The next Renault Twingo is upon us and Renault gives us a sneak preview of the next Twingo via this Twin'Z Concept car which features styling from the legendary Renault 5 compact car. Revealed at the  Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, the annual furniture design showcase in Italy, the concept model visualizes "the world of furniture and the automobile."


PSY returns with a new song!

HEADS UP! The Korean rapper sensation behind last year's Gangnam Style, which garnered billion YouTube views in 2012, is going to release his brand new song in April 12, 2013, worldwide! So, what's it going to be?

BBC Earth Frozen Planet Soundtrack

Frozen Planet Soundtrack
Part of the long list of BBC Earth's documentaries, Froze Planet is a breathtaking documentary where viewers immense themselves in the frozen regions of the world and witness every breathtaking moments from the animals trying to adapt from the frozen wildlife. Alastair Fothergill, the producer of this series siad that the main challenges they faced while filming Frozen Planet is to try and transport our audiences to the wonderful wildernesses we experience first hand

The soundtrack for BBC Earth's Frozen Planet is handcrafted by award-winning musical scorer, George Fenton, whose career scored him multiple awards, multiple Ivor Novellos, BAFTAs, Emmys, a Classical Brit and five Oscar nominations from over a hundred film and TV scores to his credit. Performance is done by the legendary BBC Concert Orchestra so those classical-style soundtracks from Frozen Planet really is a winning formula to relive the wondrous encounters of the frozen wildlife where it stretches beyond the imagination. This soundtrack will make you fascinated every time you listened to the background music from BBC Earth's Frozen Planet.


1. Frozen Planet Opening Titles
2. The North Pole
3. Rapid Change
4. Surfing Penguins
5. Antarctic Mystery
6. Flying South
7. Stones
8. McKenzie River
9. Cubs First Hunt
10. Narwhals
11. Elephant Seal Duel
12. Returning Seabirds/Albatross Love
13. Ice Sculptures
14. Leaping Penguins
15. Owlets/Protection
16. Seal Ballet/Arrival Of The Humpbacks
17. Lazy Bear
18. Exercise
19. Belugas
20. Competing For The Girl
21. The Long March
22. Winter
23. Activity
24. Weasel
25. Winter Sets In
26. Battle Of Wills
27. Emperors Return
28. Greenland Patrol
29. Minus Forty
30. Following The Herd
31. Walrus Kiss
32. Scott's Legacy

Available at:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

BBC Earth Africa Original Soundtrack

BBC Earth Africa Original Soundtrack

Africa, the latest BBC landmark natural history series launched in the UK in January and it garnered over 6.5 million viewers on the first episode with corporation planning sales in over 200 territories worldwide. The original soundtrack of BBC Earth's Africa showcases one of the most majestic background musics as heard from the TV series. The score is provided by Emmy-nominated,composer, singer, songwriter Sarah Class, who provided some of the TV and film productions that include The Meerkats, State Of The Planet With Mark Knopfler (Emmy nominated), Animal Forensics (RTS nominated) and Trial & Retribution, while the performance is done by the BBC Concert Orchestra. With a powerful soundtrack, you can immense yourself in the wondrous backdrop of the African nature at the comfort at your own home.


1. Journey Of The King Fish
2. Rivers And Falls
3. Lakes And Flamingoes
4. Butterfly Ball
5. Force Of The Whale
6. Mystery Path
7. Giraffe Vs Giraffe
8. Beauty Of Aguillus Sands
9. Leopard Mirage
10. Bats And Eagles
11. By The Beach
12. Bangweulu Swamp
13. The Desert Victor
14. Up In The Clouds
15. Lions And Lizards Rock Cafe
16. Baptism Of Fire
17. Fairy Circles
18. Bull Elephant Fight
19. Shimmer Of The Flower Fields
20. Drought
21. Under The Stars
22. Rwenzori Mountains
23. Shores Of Respite
24. Draconsberg
25. Plight Of The Turtles
26. River Of Life

Available at:

Let's Do The News! (April 9, 2013)

JM: Okay, let's do the news and we begin with super sad news because the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport...

JC: What happened? What's wrong with it?

JM: Well, let's just say, it stripped off its world record.


Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

JM: Indeed. It's bad news indeed moments since the Hennessey Venom GT from the USA blitzed its top speed world record of 265.7kph and admitted that the one that I drove on Ehra-Lessien years ago, was more of a non-street-legal version, which stirred the 267mph sensation and Bugatti admits that they've limit the car to 258mph, which is rude why did Bugatti never told to the public years ago...

JC: So, does this mean that the Hennessey Venom GT, because it doesn't have a limiter on it, gets it?

(audience laughing)

JM: Not yet. According to the rules, it must attain its average speed over two timed runs. Also, it needs to  build some fifty identical examples of the Venom GT in order for it to qualify as a "production" car. In the meantime...

JC: The Shelby Ultimate Aero gets the crown?

(audience laughing)

JM: Exactly! But, we're not out of the woods just yet because SSC are still in a works for developing their latest supercar with an unpronounceable name. I think it's... (gibberish)

(audience laughing)

RH: What?!

JM: I don't know...something that goes T-U-A-T-A-R-A...

JC: (gibberish)

(audience laughing)

JM: (gibberish)

(audience laughing)

RH: Guys? Would you just enough of this crazy moment for a while?!

JC: Sorry...Sorry...It's just that the car with a unpronounceable name is too much crazy for our own rights. I mean hey, the Pagani...(gibberish) just drove three months ago and blown the Ariel V8 Atom's lap time, does it sound a bit crazy to you?

(audience laughing)

RH: Uhhhh....

JC: Anyway, moving on because I just found something at the news that what's the commotion's all about in Japan. This is what I saw what's going on...

Japan readying missles

(audience laughing)

JC: I was just wondering...Why Japan's readying their missiles for?

RH: I don't know...Perhaps alien invasion?

(audience laughing)

JM: Or maybe, enemies trying to destroy Japan?

(audience laughing)

JC: No...morons. They're prepping their missiles for something something...North...

(audience laughing)

RH: What?!

JC: (mumbling)

(audience laughing)

RH: What is it?

JC: (mumbling)...North...(mumbling)

RH: North Korea! I knew it! NoKor's trying to firing a missile and then Japan uses those to stop incoming missiles the North Korean's firing at...

JC: Yeah...That's what I'm telling about. But what bothers me is that not only Japan gets the big guns against the North Koreans, they also load bigger guns as well as this...

Photo: Just another day in Japan.
Gundam on display
(audience laughing)

JC: Beware, North Koreans. Japan has some cool robots gunning for you. (laughing)

RH: So, those Japanese mecha robots would be a perfect weapon against the North everytime they make a threat against them, eh? You bald idiot...

(audience laughing)

JC: Thank you, Hammond. And oh, you know the Kiyomi song? Anyone know this...thing? Hands up...

(some audience raising hands)

JC: What's the point of it?

(audience laughing)

JC: I REALLY don't know about this...Kiyomi song...

RH: That's Gwiyomi...

JM: Gwiyomi...

JC: Right, Gwiyomi...I mean what's it all about this...Gwiyomi Song? What do you do? This is just a music with some squeaky-voiced vocal and some weird background music that feels like some sort of video game. I see girls on the internet doing this kind of terrible rubbish...

(audience laughing)

RH: You grown man...Never know what a Gwiyomi song is? Here...I'll show you...

JM: Here's the step-by-step guide...

(audience laughing)

JC: This is terrible rubbish! What should I do? 1+1 = Gwiyomi! 2+2 = Gwiyomi! 3+3 = Gwiyomi! Gwiyomi! 4+4 = Gwiyomi! 5+5 = Gwiyomi! 6+6 = (pop!) (pop!) Gwiyomi!

RH: Now, you're getting it!

(audience laughing, then cheers and applause)

RH: Now, you're getting the Gwiyomi gig!

JC: I did? Well that would be more creepy when Vice Ganda does it last week...

(audience laughing)

JC: Anyway, former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, which she was earned her nickname the "Iron Lady" because of her strong leadership in Great Britain. We had reports that sadly, she passed away at the age of 87. We will never forget you Iron Lady. Thanks for your inspirational services. Let's give her an applause, okay?

(cheers and applause)

JC: Anyway, we'll have more on the new DLC on Metal Gear Rising Revengeance on the PS3, which you can play as MGR main villain, Sam, as well as some additional VR missions featuring Jetstream Sam. It's already out now on the PlayStation Store for around 1,000 Japanese Yen. Here's the clip:

JC: This would be more enjoyable to play those Jetstream Sam missions on MGR unless there's some suspicious looking finger print has found on someone else's PS3 controller...

(audience laughing)

JM: Aside from this new Jetsream DLC on MGR, Konami announced that the upcoming Blade Wolf chapter will be out by early May.

JC: Yeah, and that's the end of the news!

Daihatsu Mebius

Now, two years ago, Toyota launched a new addition to the Prius lineup, called the Prius α, and it's a brand new hybrid MPV which we refer to it as a Prius with a bigger boot which is ideal for those who want to go out camping. Now, it seems that Daihatsu decided to borrow one of theirs for their new model which will replace the slow selling Boon Luminas, which was disappeared from the lineup a couple of months ago.

2014 Daihatsu Mebius

2014 Daihatsu Mebius
It's called the Mebius and this is what happens when Daihatsu asks Toyota to have one of their Prius α models and replace the Toyota badges with some Daihatsu badges on it, the same case happened to the Toyota Camry when Daihatsu borrows one of theirs for the Altis model.

Just like the Toyota Prius α, the Mebius is a hybrid MPV which is an ideal eco-car for those who are out on a holiday, especially the oncoming Golden Week in Japan as well. Unlike the Toyota Prius α, which comes in 5-seater and 7-seater variants, the Daihatsu Mebius is available ONLY in 5-seater configurations because they don't think it would be profitable to have a 7-seater model because it's too small on the third row. So, long story short, the Mebius is available only in 5-seater.

2014 Daihatsu Mebius interior

Like the Toyota Prius α, the Mebius does come with  the same 2ZR-FXE hybrid engine from the third-generation Prius, providing a standardized 99PS/5,200 rpm of power output and 142Nm/4,000rpm of torque output. When both the electric motor and the engine on mobile, power output churns out a total of 136PS of power. Because ECO is the focus for this car, the fuel economy of the Mebius accumulates 26.2km/L on JC08 mode standards.

Available colors are Super White II, White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic, Black, Red Mica Metallic, Clear Stream Metallic, and Dark Blue Mica.

Prices start at 2,350,000 up to 2,800,000 Japanese Yen and it's covered under Japan's ECO CAR GENZEI system, which makes it great value.

Photo: Daihatsu

Forza Horizon: Are you disrespecting the house of Cooper?

The House of Cooper

Most of the car enthusiasts admit that a German carmaker like BMW did ruined the Mini heritage because a modern Mini is too German for its own kind. Some Mini enthusiasts defended that opinion saying that the Gerrys are staying loyal to the Mini's roots. I'm neither on one of their side because driving a Mini Cooper like these on Horizon rather seems fine for me because of its compact sizing that makes it for a nimble getaway. It is a swift car on the corners but for some of you who like the modern Mini, why not take a look back on memory lane in one of these?

Mr Bean at the House of Cooper!

This is a 1965 Mini Cooper S. It's not one of the cars that tickles my fancy on Horizon. It's not the nicest looking car in my mind, and also it's one of the most hideous-looking cars I have ever seen in my life. But, ever since I drove one of these in one of Horizon's Showcase Events, I am willing to take back what I said about the classic Mini Cooper because such sizing and agility REALLY tickles my fancy. On the right circumstances, it's a brilliant little car if you're in a mood for some fun and games. It's really really that fun to drive and such a superb lightweight body makes it a winning formula for those who want a good handling car.

What's in our Car Town garage today? (April 9, 2013)

What's in our Car Town garage today?

2008 Hummer H2

If the H1 is much more than the road-going version of the Humvee, the H2 from Hummer is more of a status symbol for the rich and famous. Think about this ride; there are many celebrities, especially hip-hop musicians and rappers alike, even famous athletes, especially from the NBA or NFL, had one of those Hummers. Perhaps this is one of the cars that revolutionized the "bling bling" trend since the Chrysler 300C. Anyway, never mind about that, what it means that the H2 is a status symbol for the big-shots, especially when it was used by Rod Hall Racing when it made class victories at the Baja 1000.

2008 Hummer H2

1993 Lamborghini LM002

Lamborghini made some of the fanciest V12 supercars, but in case you're wondering, how did Lamborghini made this kind of vehicle? Well, this strange Lamborghini, called the LM002, might not exactly the Lambo you want to have, despite the fact that this is an offroader, the kind of thing Lamborghini made one in the past. This offroad Lambo garnered a nickname "Rambo-Lambo" because its tough looks and the V12 engine that powers it really worked. Perhaps, there was such thing as a V12 SUV in the past though.

1992 Lamborghini LM002

1977 Lotus Esprit

This car was famed for being the James Bond submarine Lotus from the Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. It's specifically, the first Esprit ever made since its premiere at the 1975 Paris Motor Show and production commenced at 1976, replacing the Europa in the lineup. It sticks true to the Lotus mantra of making lightweight cars, therefore it weighs less than 1000kg while being powered by a 2.0L engine which develops 162PS of power.

1977 Lotus Esprit

Monday, April 8, 2013

Super GT 2013 Round 1 Okayama

Super GT 2013 Round 1 Okayama

The 2013 season of the Super GT race has begun at Okayama and on its first day of the match, it was a big drama out there! At the start of the season, the No.100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 driven by (Takuya Izawa/Takashi Kogure) won the GT500 class while the No.11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS driven by Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bjorn Wirdheim won the GT300 class!


Round 1 Okayama : Race Review
On the afternoon of April 7, the OKAYAMA GT 300km RACE, Round 1 of the 2013 AUTOBACS SUPER GT, took place at the Okayama International Circuit in Okayama Pref. The winner in the GT500 class was the No.100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 driven by (Takuya Izawa/Takashi Kogure). The winner of the GT300 class was the No.11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS driven by Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bjorn Wirdheim.
Weather: Fine | Course: Dry
Upsets mark the early going in different conditions from the qualifying
Under a thin cloud cover, but with a chance of rain looming, the track was dry with the air temperature at 11 degrees C. and the track surface temperature at 21 degrees as the starting time for the race approached at 2:00 PM at Okayama Circuit for Sunday’s race. Finally, the formation lap of the season’s opening race rolled into action. But, immediately there was an unexpected mishap as No. 32 Epson HSV-010 (Ryo Michigami), starting from 2nd position on the grid ran off the track at the first turn. Michigami was able to recover his position quickly, but the pace car made another lap as a result, reducing the race distance to 81 laps when it finally started at 2:07 PM.

Just after the start, the No. 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 (Toshihiro Kaneishi) and the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 (Takuya Izawa) caught and passed the No. 24 D'station ADVAN GT-R (Michael Krumm) to move up into 3rd and 4th positions respectively behind the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R (Ronnie Quintarelli) and the No. 32 Epson HSV-010. Just as No. 24 had dropped to 5th position, the No. 19 WedsSport ADVAN SC430 (Andre Couto), which had also had difficulty in warming up the tires, dropped all the way back to 10th position by the end of the first lap.

Behind the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R leading the race, the No. 32 Epson HSV-010 was also having trouble keeping a fast pace in the early going, and on the fifth lap it was passed by the No. 17 KEIHIN HSV-010, the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 and then the No. 18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 (Naoki Yamamoto) to be left in their wake.

At this point in the race the leading order was No. 23 followed by No. 17, No. 100, No. 18 and No. 12, and on the seventh lap three Lexus machines, the No. 37 KeePer TOM'S SC430 (Andrea Caldarelli), the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 (James Rossiter) and the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 (Kohei Hirate) passed the No. 32 Epson HSV-010 to move into 6th, 7th and 8th places. But, in the charge of these Lexus machine the No. 36 PETRONAS TOM'S SC430 received damage to one of its wheels in a brush up with No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 on the sixth lap and had to return to the pit on lap eight and forced to lose its hard-earned position.
From the ninth lap the leaders began to come up on GT300 class back markers, but the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R continued to run strong in the lead. Two or three seconds behind, the No. 17, No. 100 and No. 18 HSV-010 were staging a tight nose-to-tail battle for 2nd place. Also, behind the No. 12 CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda) in 5th position cars No. 37, No. 38 and the No. 39 DENSO KOBELCO SC430 (Hiroaki Ishiura) were in a fierce battle of their own. In this way the early stages of the race continued to be marked by battles between cars of the same maker.

Amid these contests, the No. 18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 passed the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 on the 15th lap to move into 3rd position, and on the 16th lap the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC430 caught and passed the No. 37 KeePer TOM'S SC430 to take 6th position, and for a while these positions would hold.

An intense battle unfolds over the last ten laps
Around the 23rg and 24th laps a light rain began to fall and the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R began to lose some of its margin of lead, but it was still firmly in the lead when the teams began to make their routine pit stops from around lap 35. The leader finally made its pit stop on lap 43, changing drivers from Quintarelli to Masataka Yanagida, and when all the teams had finished their pit stops by lap 48, No. 23 was back in the lead with Yanagida at the wheel, followed another car on Michelin tires in 2nd place, the No. 18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 (Frederic Makowiecki).

After the 60th lap, however, the No. 18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 was unable to hold the pace and the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 (Takashi Kogure) and No. 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 (Koudai Tsukakoshi) were closing in on it. Once again it was a battle for 2nd position between three HSV-010 machines, the contender were down to two when the No.18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 suddenly spun out by itself on Atwood Curve of lap the 68. This put the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 and No. 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 in 2nd and 3rd places respectively, while the No. 18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 dropped to 4th position.
Now in 2nd and 3rd positions, the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 and No. 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 began to close in on the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R as its pace slowed after the 70th lap, perhaps because of the dropping track temperature. A nip-and-tuck battle continued between the three machines until the 77th lap, when the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 started to draw alongside the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R on the infield, and despite Yanagida’s desperate efforts to hold them off, the two HSV-010 machines both managed to pass the GT-R over the course of the double hairpin and the Mike Knight Corner! With this, the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 had finally taken the lead.

Having now dropped to 3rd position, the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R lacked the speed to win back the lead, leaving the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 to race on to the win. The No. 17 KEIHIN HSV-010 finished 2nd, and after leading for most of the race, the No. 23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R ended up 3rd. In 4th place came the No. 38 ZENT CERUMO SC4304, having managed to pass the No. 18 Weider Modolo HSV-010 on the last lap.

For the No. 100 RAYBRIG HSV-010 that had lost the victory in the final moments of last year’s season opener, there was sweet revenge in this day’s victory by the new driver team of Takuya Izawa and Takashi Kogure.

SUBARU BRZ gets a good start from pole position, but …
The start of the GT300 class race came off without mishap. Starting form pole position, the No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT (Tetsuya Yamano) led the race in the early running, but soon the No. 3 S Road NDDP GT-R (Kazuki Hoshino), the No.11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS (Bjorn Wirdheim) and the No. 87 LA SEINE LAMBORGHINI GT3 (Hideki Yamauchi) were closing in from behind. Unable to hold them off, the No. 31 BRZ quickly fell to 4th position. Despite having been strong in the rain of the qualifying on Saturday, the JAF GT spec BRZ was unable to match the speed of the powerful FIA GT3 spec machines on a dry track. The battle for the now came down to the No. 3 GT-R and the No. 11 R8. But, soon the No. 3 began losing speed, and on lap 10 Wirdheim in car No.11 passed Hoshino to take the lead. From there, the No.11 SLS pulled away at a fast pace and succeeded in opening up a lead of about 20 seconds over the No. 87 LAMBORGHINI by the time the teams began to make their routine pit stops from around lap 35.

The GAINER DIXCEL SLS dominates for 90% of the race
The No. 11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS was the last among the leaders to make its pit stop on lap 47. With its considerable margin of lead, Katsuyuki Hiranaka was able to assume the front position in the race with no problem after the driver change. Hiranaka was five seconds ahead of the No. 4 GSR HATSUNEMIKU BMW (Tatsuya Kataoka > Nobuteru Taniguchi), which had moved into 2nd position after making an early pit stop. It looked at this point as if Taniguchi in car No. 4 would be able to close the gap on Hiranaka in car No. 11. But, running at a fast pace of 1’30 to 1’31 per lap, Hiranaka began to widen his lead again to first 10 and then 15 seconds. At one point he built up a lead of nearly 22 seconds that gave him a comfortable margin of lead to cruise on to victory unchallenged. For the winning No.11 GAINER DIXCEL SLS team GAINER, this was the second consecutive win here at Okayama, having won last year using the Audi R8 LMS. Also, this was the first win for the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3, which began competing in GT300 from last season. Finishing 2nd was the No. 4 GSR HATSUNEMIKU BMW. The race for 3rd place was a nip-and-tuck battle between the No. 87 LA SEINE LAMBORGHINI GT3 (Hiroki Yoshimoto) and the No. 33 HANKOOK PORSCHE (Tomonobu Fujii) that continued until the second lap from the finish. But, in the heat of the brawl, there was a collision that caused the No. 33 PORSCHE to fall back and concede the win to the No. 87 LAMBORGHINI, which went on to claim the third spot on the winners’ podium. Running at a constant pace throughout the race, the veteran driver pair of the No. 52 OKINAWA-IMP SLS (Hironori Takeuchi > Takeshi Tsuchiya) finished 4th, while the pole-starting No. 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT (Yamano > Kota Sasaki) finished 5th. The No. 55 ARTA CR-Z GT (Shinichi Takagi > Takashi Kobayashi) that had crashed in the free practice on qualifying day was able to start the race from the beck of the grid after frantic repair work. In the race, despite some trouble, the team managed to finish 12th.

So, the Okayama race was a memorable for the 2013 season but the battle goes on because this April 28-29, Round 2 will start at Fuji Speedway.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Let's Do The News! (April 7, 2013)

River's Diary

Right, what's the news today you spoiler-laden TARDIS journal?

Threats from North Korea - week in review

A week-in-review notes from the escalating tensions from the Korean Peninsula:

Top Gear presenters to guest star in a forthcoming Phineas and Ferb episode!

Richard Hammond meets Phineas and Ferb

After taking a break from Season 19 of BBC Top Gear, the three hosts of the popular British motoring TV show; Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, will be making a special appearance in a forthcoming episode of the hit kids TV cartoon, Disney's Phineas and Ferb, on Disney Channel and Disney XD. Titled Live and Let Drive, the presenters will lend the roles as racing commentators. Also, Richard Hammond will be guesting himself in the talk show spin-off of the hit TV series, Take Two with Phineas and Ferb, on Disney XD this May.


Sony lets you turn into a figure for 500 dollars!

Now for some strange news from Japan. At last week's 2013 Anime Contents Expo, the Sony booth showcased its human figure-making project, a concept study where you can get your very own figure of yourself thanks to some 3D full-body scan technology. Three special steps on this human figure-making concept;

Step One: Scanning
Step Two: Modeling
Step Three: Printing

The finished product will be sent to customers two months after they get their photos taken. A 6-inch figure costs about 500 US Dollars while a 8-inch figure costs you 660 US Dollars and a 12-inch figure costs 1,160 US Dollars. If this became reality, your friends would know that you had your very own figure of yourself. Lovely isn't it? Makes it a birthday party gift though...


Summer Tuli...again!

If it's summer in the Philippines, what comes in mind for Mang Juan? Nope, rather than just vacation, it's the time for T-U-L-I. Tuli, or circumcision in Tagalog, is a common trend in Philippine summer for the little boys because it's for hygenic purposes and to lower the chance of sexual diseases. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision DOES NOT make a little boy grow taller. Only little boys aged 12 and below took part of this summer tuli and no matter what the outcome, guess you should have seen the look of their faces when they have their tuli. Some are laughing (which is ironic), some a crying, and some don't feel any emotion after all.

Has your little boy took the circumcision from the clinic? Just asking...

The Kiyomi Song (Cutie Song)...what's it all about?!

Now, here's one thing I really DON'T UNDERSTAND and it's this thing is called the 귀요미송 or Gwiyomi song or Kiyomi song, or Cutie song, whatever you called it. Anyway, what's it all about?! This is new...

The word Gwiyomi is a South Korean slang for "cute" or "cute person". The Gwiyomi song was composed and performed by musicians Dandi and Hari and it was uploaded three months ago and released as a digital single a month later. It became the most search term in the Korean search engine NAVER and now, it's spreading like wildfire, something that last year's Gangnam Style and the biblically terrible Harlem Shake can't catch up...


Doctor Who S07E07

The Rings of Akhaten
Episode 7 of BBC Doctor Who Season 7's titled The Rings of Akhaten and while this episode turned out one of the most "tense" episodes I've ever saw, it's also has the most beautiful storyline in this episode. While I'm not going to explain what just happened, here's a quick sum-up...

- First off all, that red leaf we saw last week, isn't more than just a leaf (or the first page as Clara said it last week), it has significance to Clara's past.

- That cool-looking moped we just saw in the episode...this looks cool if we want to take a spin on it...

- Favorite dialogue in the episode? OH MY STARS! It's the dialogue came from Clara's deceased mother, Ellie Ravenwood-Oswald.

- One thing that made me noticed that Clara's childhood book, 101 Places to See, was handed over from her mother in the past. Am I saying that loud, am I?

- The Long Song...if you're reading this Sir Murray Gold, please add this on the Series 7 Soundtrack!!!

...anyway that does it. And here's some outtakes... week, The Doctor and Clara are in the nuclear submarine in a Cold War era and on the verge to save the fleet before it's too late...

Driving Music (What is the name of the song on car commercial?) Vol. 50

Okay, seems that some music pirates trying to attack my blog for unknown reasons. This time, I'm picking up some damages from my blog such as this...

buick encore commercial song

..well I think that's it but a small threat to my blog cost me more! I'm warning you. I'm just like NoKor. I can throw as much bellicose threats as possible until you stop doing it. I'm warning you, the DMCA is threatening you unless you stop doing such bellicose threats to the music industry because of car commercial songs...

As part of my bellicose threats to you, pirates, ANOTHER SET OF FIVE DRIVING MUSICS (CAR COMMERCIAL SONGS) TO SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!!!

5) Midnight City by M83 - from the Renault Captur commercial

4) Sirius by The Alan Parsons Project - from a classic Kia Sephia Korean commercial

3) 駆け抜けろ! by Arashi - from a Nissan Serena S-HYBRID Japanese commercial

2) Ahead Of The Light by MIYAVI - from a Nissan X-TRAIL 冬にじっとしてる気か Japanese commercial

1) The Guitar by They Might Be Giants - from the Buick Encore commercial, there we go. Hope these reaches to those "car-music-nappers" everywhere. If such threats happen again on this blog, the DRIVING MUSIC segment will take action from those trying to steal music from car commercials...
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