NZ Winter Adventure – Part One: Christchurch

In mid-September I went to New Zealand for ten days for a short holiday. The trip began with a flight from Sydney to Christchurch. This was the first time I’ve visited Christchurch since 2009. After landing, collecting my bags and picking up a rental car I drove into the central city. As I drove through the suburbs I didn’t see any damage from the various earthquakes that have rocked the city over the last five years. However, once I got into the CBD I was surprised by the extent of the still visible damage and empty streets. The rebuilding has produced a number of impressive new buildings but there is still much more to be rebuilt – and even buildings left to be torn down. Below are a few photos taken around the city.

Thoughts on the 2016 Malaysian Formula One GP

Yesterday’s 2016 Malaysian Formula One GP was one of the best (if not the best) races of this year’s F1 season.

As a big fan of Daniel Ricciardo I’m extremely happy that he won the race, but that isn’t the sole reason why I think this race was excellent.

In no particular order these are the things that made it great:

  • Nico Rosberg fighting back from 21st place to 3rd place. He was extremely lucky not to be out of the race on the first corner, lucky again not to have any damage, and furthermore he was lucky to not damage his car when he hit Kimi Räikkönen.
  • Red Bull splitting strategies to put Lewis Hamilton under pressure. At first I was annoyed that Max Verstappen was given the pit stop and not Ricciardo but it was a risk that the stop was too early and the tires wouldn’t last later in the race.
  • Red Bull allowing Ricciardo and Verstappen to race each other, and they raced very hard and very fair. As it turned out by Ricciardo not allowing Verstappen past it determined the outcome of the race.
  • Additionally, by double stacking both Red Bulls under the Virtual Safety Car and giving them fresh rubber gave them an almost equal fight to the flag.
  • Both McLaren Honda cars in the top 10, in the last few races they have massively improved their performance.
  • Jolyon Palmer scoring his first points in F1.

The video below captures the battle between Ricciardo and Verstappen and then the moment that Hamilton’s engine gave up.

Daniel Ricciardo’s post race interview dedicating the win to Jules Bianchi was poignant as well.

And finally everyone on the podium doing the Shoey was hugely entertaining:

All of this action makes me as excited as this little man:

Photos: Supercars at Sydney Motorsport Park 2016

In late August I went to the Friday practice sessions of the 2016 round of the Supercars at Sydney Motorsport Park. The support classes for this event were top notch. In particular the Carrera Cup Asia and the Toyota 86 categories were great to watch.

The photos below are from a variety of the categories that day.