Monthly Archives: October 2010

Murder of German Porsche specialist Uwe Gemballa has taken a sensational twist – his killer was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison in a mere 24 hours this week.

KILLED: German supercar mogul Uwe Gemballa

KILLED: German supercar mogul Uwe Gemballa

quote It does seem that the police have struck some kind of deal to perhaps take statements and use it later to get to the big fish quote Jacob Zuma

The Sunday Times can today reveal exclusively that 28-year-old Thabiso Mpshe of Pretoria was arrested quietly on Friday and appeared in the high court in Johannesburg that afternoon.

As revealed previously in the Sunday Times, the businessman’s body was found buried in Atteridgeville just over a month ago, on September 28.

He vanished a day after arriving in South Africa for a business deal in February – and shortly afterwards he had called his wife, Christiane, to tell her he had been involved in accident and needed her to transfer à1-million to a bank account.

Police spokesman Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said yesterday: “It is still unclear how Gemballa was murdered, but indications are that he was suffocated. He had no visible injuries.”

Naidoo said he was “not at liberty to say” if Mpshe pleaded guilty or whether the prosecution struck a deal with him.

When asked why the arrest in such a high-profile murder case was kept so low key, Naidoo said: “We need to protect any investigation, and it would not be to our benefit to talk about some successes for fear of jeopardising investigations.

“We are happy and satisfied that an arrest was made.”

Top criminal attorney William Booth said the hastiness of the conviction and sentence sounded most “unusual”.

Booth, chairman of the Criminal Law Committees of the Cape Law Society and the Law Society of South Africa, while not able to comment on this case, said: “It does seem that the police have struck some kind of deal to perhaps take statements and use it later to get to the big fish.”

Gemballa, who was in serious financial trouble with the German authorities, evidently came to South Africa on a business trip to set up a local franchise of his company, Gemballa Automobiletechni, which specialises in tuning Porsches and Ferraris for the rich and famous.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said it was not unusual for a criminal case to be disposed of within a day.

“If the person has an attorney (and) witnesses, prosecutors and all the other roleplayers are available, including a judge, the matter can be dealt with within a day.

“This was demonstrated with the World Cup special courts that were set up.”

Mhaga said it was commendable that cases could be dealt with so speedily. “If someone is caught red-handed for shoplifting, and if he pleads guilty, and if he has an attorney available, then the case can be finalised in an hour.”

But this is also entirely dependent on whether the court roll can accommodate an additional case on the day or not.

Martin Schaefer, spokesman for the German consulate, said: “The corpse is being flown to his (Gemballa’s) home. We have offered our consular services in terms of issuing official documents for customs and the like.”

This should make the Guinness Book of Records! – fastest murder trial on Earth!

What were the details?
What reason was given for the murder?
Why such a high profile victim?
What happened to the proceeds from the murder (i.e. that R1million)?

There is is a distinct smell attached to this story.

Comments please…..


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Posted by on October 31, 2010 in Uncategorized






Media Release | Posted September 17, 2010 Atlanta, GA

Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long will tackle the 1,000 kilometer race in Zhuhai,China on November 7 with the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid.

This marks the first event in China for the innovative sports car from Weissach, which features two electric motors at the front axle each developing 60 kilowatts to supplement the 480 horsepower combustion rear-engine. The race on the Zhuhai International Circuit, in which the 911 GT3 R Hybrid is not eligible for points, is the third and final round of the newly-inaugurated Intercontinental Le Mans Cup after Silverstone and Road Atlanta.

“It’s a fantastic conclusion to the season to drive this car in China after the race debut on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife,” says Joerg Bergmeister. The Porsche factory pilot was part of the driver crew at the wheel of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid when it demonstrated the potential of its leading edge technology at the 24 hour race on the Eifel circuit and was on course to victory until shortly before the flag. In the American Le Mans Series, Bergmeister and Long are on the brink of successfully defending their GT class title with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

With a 22-point lead in the drivers championship, but only a single point lead for Porsche in the manufacturers points, the pair will drive the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at the Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta on October 2.

Long has tested the Hybrid in Germany, but the China event will be his first racing experience in the unique race car. The race in Zhuhai is a great chance for Porsche to showcase its “rolling race lab” 911 GT3 R Hybrid – which perfectly embodies the philosophy of ‘Porsche Intelligent Performance’ – to its important market of China. At the same time, Porsche is lending its support the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, organized by the Automobil Club de l’Ouest (ACO)

Porsche Hybrid – How does it work?

Photo : Nicolas COUSSEAU – ACO/Nikon

We could not find a better teacher than Dr.-Ing. Daniel Armbruster, project manager of the Porsche hybrid (without a helmet and standing In the photo), to explain this technology which had it’s second race Petit Le Mans.

1000Km of Zhuhaï

The 1000 kilometers of Zhuhai will be run at the 4.3-kilometer track near the south Chinese beach resort of Macau, on November 7 at noon local time.

Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6. There is an eight-hour time difference with Europe.

History: Located near Macau, Zhuhai City has a place in the history of motorsport. In 1994, it was in its streets that the first international race was held in China. The popular success of the 3 hours Zhuhai encouraged local developers to build the first permanent circuit in the country. It was inaugurated on the 31st of October 1996. A technical circuit with 14 turns, the track offers good overtaking opportunities, particularly in its 900 metre straight.

Country: People’s Republic of China

1000Km Zhuhai 2010: November 5-6-7

Circuit length: 4.317 km

Distance: 1000 km




The Automobile Club de l’Ouest launches Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in China


Here is the TV distribution (pdf)

A race that promises 1,000 km of thrilling competition…

Thirty television channels have already expressed their intention to broadcast all or part of this first major endurance race to be held in China, an event destined to become a benchmark in this motorsport discipline. Among them are five Chinese networks, including Zhuhai TV (live TV) and the national broadcaster CCTV, the two major European specialist cable networks, Motors TV and Eurosport, Speed Channel in the Americas, as well as national network TV2 in Denmark (the birthplace of Tom Kristensen – eightfold winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans).

Such coverage, not to mention the significant representation from printed media and radio represents a potential audience of hundreds of millions, who will be privileged witnesses to this tremendous development of international endurance racing that has the 24 Hours of Le Mans as its flagship.

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Posted by on October 16, 2010 in Uncategorized



Warpaint: The Graphic Design of Racing Cars

You’d never guess it, but these big toys for big boys were at the height of their design. Mechanics and team members – adorned racecars with all of those flashy stripes, logos, numbers and colors prevalent race today. A whip-fast lesson in competitive “WAR PAINT”, visual anarchy and car designs.

They were to LOOK dangerous and be the WINNER.

This video provides a very interesting look at the design of racing cars in 70s. The graphics on these cars are incredible — very minimal and nothing at all like the logo-plastered cars of NASCAR.

Go Faster by Sven Voelker gives deep insight into racing-car graphic design

Go Faster is a book by a German university professor, Sven Voelker giving the clear insight into the glory of racing-car graphic design. This book makes car fans familiar with the fact that most of the racing cars like Porsche and Ferrari were given looks not by marketing strategists or designers, but by chance.

Go Faster –The Graphic Design of Racing Cars

by Sven Voelker


Go Faster is a collection of over one hundred examples of racecar design that documents the carefree anarchy in which they were created. In the book, each colorful racing car is featured next to a blank, white model.

Thanks to this juxtaposition, Go Faster shows its readers exactly how graphics modulate the look of the vehicle. The neutral models also give readers ample opportunity to imagine their own possibilities for graphic design in motor sports. This makes the book an ideal gift for anyone interested in racing and high speeds.

go faster

Stripes, numbers, colors, and logos – the graphic visual look of a racecar has to stand out from all the others as they go zooming by. Most people don’t know that racing cars from the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, and Lotus were given their looks not by marketing strategists or designers, but by pure chance.  

Go Faster is a collection of over one hundred examples of racecar design that documents the carefree anarchy in which they were created.

In the book, colorful racing cars are featured next to blank, white models. Thanks to this juxtaposition, Go Faster not only takes its readers on a breakneck ride through images of racing history, but also shows them exactly how the graphics modulate the look of the vehicle. 

The neutral models in the book also give readers ample opportunity to imagine their own possibilities for graphic design in motor sports.

The time and effort invested in the look of racecars is strangely out of balance compared to that used to shape the bodywork or engineer the technology present in the car. But perhaps it is precisely this amateur quality, this anarchy and randomness that results in the irresistible attraction that racing cars and their graphics have on us. 

There are, of course, countless books on racing cars, but Go Faster is the first to focus on the graphic design of these machines. This makes the book an ideal gift for anyone interested in racing and high speeds.

Sven Voelker
is a car enthusiast and graphic designer in Berlin. He is responsible for the global corporate design of the Suzuki Motor Corporation and other clients.

This book with 144 pages and 21 × 26cm format was release on January 2010 and is priced at $ 40, 00. The book is the collection of more than hundred examples on race car design, documenting the carefree anarchy which these vehicles were created in.

At the same time, the book not only gives the readers a chance to know how graphics modulate the look of the vehicle but also the opportunities to imagine their own possibilities for graphic design in motor sports.

Go Faster gives meticulous attention to minutest details and discusses how the numbers, stripes, logos and colours in vehicle are not a willy nilly affair but purposefully placed by the designer team. Well, this book comes out to be a perfect gift for the racing nerds and car freaks.

While the go-faster stripe is a classic design element of the racing car, the look of these vehicles is rarely created by a designer. Sven Voelker looks at the unexplored area of fast and furious graphic art in the new book,…….


Go Faster…

The Graphic Design of Racing Cars
Release Date: 
January 2010
Sven Voelker
144 Pages, full color, hardcover
21 × 26 cm
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Posted by on October 12, 2010 in Uncategorized



Ayrton Senna Movie to Open in Japan – Oct 8th, 2010

Ayrton Senna: The Movie (Trailer)

A documentary on the life and career of Ayrton Senna, the great Brazilian Formula One driver, will open in theaters in Japan on Friday.

This is one of the few movies that will result in theatres full of grown men in tears.

The documentary on the life and career of Ayrton Senna, the great Brazilian Formula One racecar driver, will have a special screening in Suzuka, Japan, on Thursday, as teams prepare for the Grand Prix of Japan, according to The Globe and Mail. The film opens in theaters across Japan on Friday.

The film, “Senna,” was directed by Asif Kapadia and produced by Working Title Films and Midfield Films. The filmmakers received tremendous access after the Senna family gave its approval. “The most emotional time in my life was going to São Paulo to pitch the story to his sister, Viviane,” said Manish Pandey, who wrote the film and also served as an executive producer. Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial rights holder to Formula One, also opened up his archives to the filmmakers.

Senna died during the San Marino Grand Prix in Imola, Italy, in 1994, at the age of 33. He was a three-time champion and held the prospects for more. Although there are drivers with more championships (Michael Schumacher has seven, Juan-Manuel Fangio has five, Alain Prost has four) Senna is considered by many current top Formula One drivers as the best ever.

“I really didn’t want to do a film about the death of Ayrton Senna because I thought it would really miss the point of him, even if the plan was to do three days at Imola with flashbacks,” said Pandey. “I really wanted to make it cinematic by giving him the classic three-act structure of the story: The ascendancy of the guy, his massive meteoric rise and then the third act about his death.”

“Senna” will have its official world premiere in São Paolo next month. A release date for the United States has yet to be announced.

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Posted by on October 7, 2010 in Uncategorized



Porsche to return to Formula One after nineteen year absence

Recent rumours are circulating pointing towards Porsche rejoining Formula One sometime in the near future. Although there has been no official confirmation, Porsche boss has mentioned words which heighten the likelihood.

Apparently there’s been discussions going around at the current Paris Motor Show between Porsche CEO, Matthias Mueller, and Audi motorsport chief, Wolfgang Ulrich, surrounding the two company’s future in motorsport.

The two companies are looking to venture into Le Mans and Formula One, but with Audi already in Le Mans it’s unlikely the two will battle it out against each other, leaving the door open for Porsche to join F1. Porsche boss, Matthias Mueller, recently said to Autocar at the Paris show,

“We have to discuss whether it makes better sense for one of the brands to go into LMP1, and the other brand into Formula One. So we will have a round-table to discuss the pros and cons.”

Meanwhile, Audi motorsport chief, Wolfgang Ulrich, abruptly rejected the suggestion, saying, “Audi and F1 do not fit together.”

Now these are just rumours at this stage but with Porsche boss saying those words it’s hard to ignore the possibility of such movement.

The last time Porsche was involved in Formula One was between 1984 and 1987 with the McLaren TAG-Porsche powered red and white Marlboro car. The car, in various iterations, took 25 wins during that period. Porsche then returned unsuccessfully in 1991 supplying engines to Footwork cars and has since not returned to the international championship.

It would certainly provide spectators will excellent rivalry between Ferrari and Porsche if the company did return to F1, and possibly attract more overall supporters and interest to the sport.

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Posted by on October 5, 2010 in Uncategorized



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