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Posts Tagged ‘lowtech’

Ford technical director explains low-tech approach in WRC cars

October 22nd, 2011 No comments

TECHNICAL AIDS were making racing too easy for drivers, rally cars will never be fully electric, and roadcars are filled with too much gimmick technology. These are the views of straight-talking Christian Loriaux, technical director for the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Championship (WRC) Team.

THE INQUIRER caught up with the Ford chief ahead of the Spanish Rally this weekend, and he gave us his candid thoughts about the current state of WRC.

Teams participating in the WRC this year have had to make do with a number of regulation changes, many of which significantly limit high technology used in cars.

Loriaux told The INQUIRER that this ‘back to basics’ approach has been a good thing for the sport as it has put more onus on driver skill, helped to ensure that rallies are more exciting and helped to cut costs to attract more manufacturers.

“Strictly speaking there is not much tech in our 2011 Ford Fiesta compared to the 2004 car. In that season the car had ABS, clutch control, paddle shift, traction control, active differentials, ride height control with GPS, electronic dampers and active suspension. Having all that tech was fabulous but the cost was high and it was making it too easy for drivers,” he said.

“There was a big debate between manufacturers about the regulation changes. Citroen wanted to keep things like the central diff and VW wanted the paddle shift. But you either ban all hydraulics or keep them all, and they came round to this way of thinking.”

 Ford technical director explains low tech approach in WRC cars

Loriaux gave an example of just how much drivers had become reliant on technology, noting that before manual gearboxes were reintroduced, drivers were just required to press a button to launch the car from the start line.

“If the driver was slow off the start it was because his engineer was an imbecile. Anyone could have sat in our old Focus and from the start to the first corner have been as fast as Sebastien Loeb [seven-time world champion].

“It is good to put the responsibility of launching the car back on the drivers. They are paid [£3m to £4m] a year and they should have the skills and responsibility.”

Additional changes include reducing the minimum weight of the car to 1,200kg, which has posed difficulties as use of light-weight materials such as titanium, carbon fibre, magnesium and ceramics have also been banned.

“With so many things banned we’ve been working to make engines, gearboxes and electronics as efficient as possible,” he explained.

“We’ve also been using better quality material. Some aluminium we’re using now is better than steel that was made 30 years ago. The advancements in laser welding and laser cutting have also helped us manufacture parts that we could never have dreamed of 10 years ago.”

Ford technical director explains low-tech change in WRC cars

October 21st, 2011 No comments

TECHNICAL AIDS were making racing too easy for drivers, rally cars will never be fully electric, and roadcars are filled with too much gimmick technology. These are the views of straight-talking Christian Loriaux, technical director for the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Championship (WRC) Team.

THE INQUIRER caught up with the Ford chief ahead of the Spanish Rally this weekend, and he gave us his candid thoughts about the current state of WRC.

Teams participating in the WRC this year have had to make do with a number of regulation changes, many of which significantly limit high technology used in cars.

Loriaux told The INQUIRER that this ‘back to basics’ approach has been a good thing for the sport as it has put more onus on driver skill, helped to ensure that rallies are more exciting and helped to cut costs to attract more manufacturers.

“Strictly speaking there is not much tech in our 2011 Ford Fiesta compared to the 2004 car. In that season the car had ABS, clutch control, paddle shift, traction control, active differentials, ride height control with GPS, electronic dampers and active suspension. Having all that tech was fabulous but the cost was high and it was making it too easy for drivers,” he said.

“There was a big debate between manufacturers about the regulation changes. Citroen wanted to keep things like the central diff and VW wanted the paddle shift. But you either ban all hydraulics or keep them all, and they came round to this way of thinking.”

 Ford technical director explains low tech change in WRC cars

Loriaux gave an example of just how much drivers had become reliant on technology, noting that before manual gearboxes were reintroduced, drivers were just required to press a button to launch the car from the start line.

“If the driver was slow off the start it was because his engineer was an imbecile. Anyone could have sat in our old Focus and from the start to the first corner have been as fast as Sebastien Loeb [seven-time world champion].

“It is good to put the responsibility of launching the car back on the drivers. They are paid [£3m to £4m] a year and they should have the skills and responsibility.”

Additional changes include reducing the minimum weight of the car to 1,200kg, which has posed difficulties as use of light-weight materials such as titanium, carbon fibre, magnesium and ceramics have also been banned.

“With so many things banned we’ve been working to make engines, gearboxes and electronics as efficient as possible,” he explained.

“We’ve also been using better quality material. Some aluminium we’re using now is better than steel that was made 30 years ago. The advancements in laser welding and laser cutting have also helped us manufacture parts that we could never have dreamed of 10 years ago.”

Black Hat: Gang uses high-tech in low-tech crime

July 30th, 2010 No comments

WRITING BAD CHEQUES is back with a criminal gang, thought to be operating out of Russia, using technology to revive this old form of fraud.

The criminals broke into three cheque archiving image sites, which are used to store pictures of all cheques that pass through retailers. The gang downloaded 200,000 examples and used the account numbers, sort codes and signatures to write cheques drawn on over 1,200 legitimate accounts.

A team at Atlanta-based security firm SecureWorks uncovered the fraud, which is thought to have netted the gang at least million (£5.75 million). The company is working with the FBI, but none of the gang have been arrested so far.

Counterfeit cheque writing is a very old form of fraud, but the gang had put a high-tech twist on it, explained Michael Cote, CEO of SecureWorks.

The image sites involved have been notified, but others are no doubt being targeted, he warned.

The gang sent the bogus cheques to money mules around the world using overnight shipping paid for with stolen credit cards. SecureWorks said that six mules had been contacted, all of whom denied sending money to the gang.

The fraud involved 3,285 cheques against 1,280 accounts since June 2009. Most were for less than ,000 (£1,920) in an attempt to evade anti-fraud measures. µ

 

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