Sunday 28 October 2012

Spookworks 2012 RAF Rally Champions!!!

Spookworks have finished 3rd in class and 18th overall in a dramatic season finale on the Fat Albert Rally at Keevil Airfield in Trowbridge this weekend.  After a tumultuous first 2 stages including not one but 2 significant incidents (see pic below), Spookworks settled in and clawed their way back towards the top of the leader board to equal last years best ever result at Keevil.  The result sees the Spookworks crew crowned RAF Rally Champions for the 3rd year in a row; an historic achievement in RAF rallying.

Full report and pics to follow......

The RAF Rally Team of the moment - Spookworks are 2012 RAF Rally Champions!

Although there were a few heading straight for a large tree - this could have been disaster for Spookworks.  Amazingly they emerged unscathed with absolutely no damage!

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Spookworks seeded at 18th for season finale!!!

Spookworks will start 18th out of 81 entries for this weekends finale to the RAF Rally Championship - the Fat Albert Stages at Keevil Airfield in Wiltshire.

No proof of age required here - just proof of entry!
Spookworks will be one of 4 RAF crews undertaking the event and Spookworks only needs to cross the start line to lift the trophy to set RAF history as the first crew to get 3 championships in a row. The Spookworks crew have tackled this event 4 times previously and last year brought a treasure chest of silverware and this year might hopefully yield similar results - only 70 miles and 7 stages to go for 2012.

Remember you can catch all the action live on twitter on @spookworks

The Spookworks RAF Rally Team Impreza being put through its paces at a secret location prior to this weekends event. 

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Spookworks prepares for battle at Fat Albert Rally

Final preparations are now in full swing as Spookworks gets ready battle it out for 2012 RAF Championship honors at the Fat Albert Stages, Keevil Airfield, Wilts on the 27th October.

Whilst it is too early for seeding, the team know that no matter what the rally throws at them then this year should be an easier year (in theory) than last years effort to retain the title for the 3rd year running.  With the Spookworks nemesis Phil Bruce absent for this event but still leading the Championship on 347 points to Spookworks 316; simply starting the event will net the crew 50 points for just crossing the start line and seal the 2012 RAF Rally Championship.

Maximum attack - there is only one way RAF Spookworks Rally Team knows how to compete.
As this previous pic shows from the Fat Albert Rally

You think the mood in the Spookworks camp would be ecstatic with the prospect of such an easy task.  Spookworks Chief Executive Officer explains its not that simple:

"Mathematically, its just a case of turn up, cross the start line and enjoy the rest of the day but I afraid we can't think like that.  Phil Bruce is as tough a competitor as it comes and you don't win 4 RAF Championships unless you can really pedal a rally car.  Yes, obviously he won't be there to compete which makes it easier; but in rallying anything can happen - even the best factory WRC cars can fail to start the morning of a rally.  So we are approaching this like any other event, full preparation, full commitment and we are looking for a strong finish.  We will not be making up the numbers or looking to drive safe to the finish; we are looking for a good result.  We can think about what that means when the rally is over. "

Looks can be deceiving - inside Spookworks boffins are preparing the Impreza for battle.
More info can be found at

Tuesday 9 October 2012

In the Heat of the Moment - a Brakedown

Spookworks Boffins take a brake to talk about heat and er....the Sun

Those big shiny things behind the wheel are called brakes.  They make the car stop. 

We have let one of the Spookworks Boffins out of the labratory and asked him to come and talk to you about brakes and heat and how the Spookworks Impreza brakes cope with heat.  Fascinating stuff, so I suggest you either grab a  pillow and some strong coffee and sit back and enjoy....

Thank you, well the first thing we need to do is become familiar with the partial differential equation.  Using the Cartesian co-ordinates against a time variable you can see the laplace variator and its corresponding thermal diffusivity.   

You put the coffee in first, then add the milk and sugar; then stir...

It is the prototypical parabolic partial differential equation and is connected through probability theory to the Brownian motion and the Fokker Planack equation. Now taking into account "donk"...

Mark 1 hammer - useful for so many things.

Sadly the Spookworks technical boffin has had to take a brake so I will carry on on his behalf...

Spookworks is fortunate to have Alcon on board as part of the team, and as we all know they simply make the best brakes in the business.  Here at Spookworks we have been having a bit of an issue keeping the brakes cool and every 3 or 4 events we end up cooking the brakes and warping the discs. 

Only to be expected in a 1300kg rally car hammering the brakes for 50 -60 miles each event. So in conjunction with Alcon we set about trying to measure how hot brakes actually get and having conducted measurements during a live event we though we would share the data with you. 

First thing is you need a new set of discs with some of this really cool heat temperature paint on them. You can see it on the top of the disc in green, orange and red. These colours change with heat and therefore you can tell how hot the disc is getting by the different colours.  Easy! You will notice 3 stickers on the top of the caliper, the side of the caliper and the disc bell.  

Nice new Alcon disc with temp paint at top of disc and temp stickers on caliper (top and side) and on the disc bell.

After each stage the crew would immediately jack the car up and record the colours of the paint and the temps indicated on the stickers.  The green turns white at 460 degrees, the orange turns yellow at 550 degrees and red turns white at 630 degrees. If it gets any hotter than that, the indicators are the car is on fire or a liquid metal puddle underneath where the brakes used to be.

So after 4 stages here are the results:

So what can we make of this information.  The brakes get pretty hot at 550 degrees Celsius.  For example the front brakes on the Spookworks Impreza are:

89 degrees hotter than the hottest planet in the solar system (Venus 462 degrees C)

1/10th the temperature of the Suns surface and 1/27,000th the temp of the Suns core. 

16 times hotter than the hottest place on earth (Dallol, Ethiopia)

15 times hotter than a human being

Just under half the melting point of steel (1370 degrees)

1/1,000,000,000 of the hotness of Sky News Presenter Sarah-Jane Mee

 Here are some pics of the brakes and you can see the colour changes of the paint and the temp strip on the caliper.  These will now be monitored for the next few events to determine why we seem to be warping brake discs.

The sun - only 10 times hotter than Spookworks brake discs after 11 miles.  That's actually pretty cool...

Friday 5 October 2012

Spookworks have confirmed entry on the Fat Albert Stages

Spookworks HQ issued a press release this evening announcing they had officially entered the 2012 Fat Albert Stages.

The announcement made in front of the waiting world media confirmed that the Spookworks Impreza was battle ready after the dramas at Woodbridge and that the event could see Spookworks claim the 3rd successive RAF Rally Championship Crown.

The press release stated:  "Whilst motorsport and rallying in particular is unpredictable we are quietly confident that we will achieve our stated aims at the upcoming Fat Albert Rally. We are 32 points behind n the Championship and with our main contender sitting on the sidelines this should be the rally equivalent of putting from 2 feet away - but we are conscious it doesnt always go in! However, the Spookworks Impreza is back to full fighting fitness after the exhausting time at Woodbridge.  We would like to thank the team for repairing the car so quickly and for all the extra effort they have put in."
The media eagerly await the latest Spookworks Press Release
As city bankers will know, past performance is no indicator of future results but Spookworks has a good track record at the Keevil airfield event with the last 3 years bringing a 4th, 3rd and 6th in class respectively. Whilst the entry list looks like a who's who of British rallying; the team will be looking to continue their success and better their strong result from 2011.  The car is in good shape, the boffins are exhausted and there is not a Fanta can in sight.

On route to Championship number 2 and 4th in Class and 10th overall at the 2011 Fat Albert Stages

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Coolest Pic of an Subaru Impreza Ever!

One of the Spookwork boffins was playing around with his amateur camera (instead of working) and by sheer fluke came up with this amazing pic of the Spookworks Impreza.  We told him it was rubbish, smashed his camera and docked his pay but we thought it was so good we thought we would share it with you all.  Remember this is an actual photograph and not some fantasy nonsense cooked up by the Spookworks artists.  Makes a great screensaver - not sure about print on a black t shirt though. Enjoy!

Best ever super awesome Subaru picture. Just look up close it is a photo.
 Go on - print on for your wall.  We won't tell anyone.