Whickham and District Motor Club meet every Wednesday evening from around 8:00pm at the Kibblesworth Workmens Club, a local village venue offering a friendly welcome and extremely reasonable prices...........................................................................................
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Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

2019 Shaw Trophy Rally Results

2019 Shaw Trophy Results

Click here to download 2019 Shaw Trophy Results

The tiny Welsh car that runs on hydrogen and emits only water

Riversimple, a small independent car manufacturer in rural Wales, is taking a bet that hydrogen vehicles will play a key part in the future of transport.

Former auto engineer Hugo Spowers swore off working with petrol engines 15 years ago when he began toying with the idea of building hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Spowers was determined to devise a fundamentally new solution to address the problems associated with carbon emissions.
"We've got to move beyond trying to make combustion engines a little bit less bad," he tells CNN. "Because after all, being a little bit less unsustainable is still not sustainable."
The result is a hand-built, aerodynamic car called Rasa that weighs just 580 kilograms -- 40 kilograms more than just the battery of a Tesla Model S.
Its name comes from the Latin "tabula rasa," which means "clean slate," a nod to the clean hydrogen technology and how Spowers and his team designed a radically different type of car from scratch.

Rasa 1

The odd-looking two-seater with butterfly doors takes three minutes to refuel, has a 500 kilometer range, a top speed of 96km/hour, and the only tail pipe emission is water.
By comparison, a battery electric vehicle takes much longer to recharge and can run flat after 250 kilometers for cars like the Nissan Leaf or 550 kilometers for the latest Tesla Model S.
The Rasa has a motor in each of its four wheels, powered by hydrogen running through a fuel cell. When the hydrogen combines with oxygen it produces electricity to power the motors, as well as water as a byproduct.
The car also has its own "super capacitors" to capture kinetic energy from braking as electricity, and convert it into power to assist with acceleration.

Rasa 2

Creating a market

Early next year Riversimple will trial 20 Rasa vehicles in Monmouthshire, a county in south east Wales. The idea is to have a single hydrogen filling station in Abergavenny, a central town in the area.
"We're trying to create a movement to bring this to market at a local level," says Spowers. "You can create a market for a car with just a single filling station."
The Rasa is designed to be used as a runabout within a 40-kilometer radius, and Spowers estimates the average driver would typically re-fuel once a week.
However, Riversimple doesn't intend to sell its cars. Instead, it is promoting a "sale of service" model where, much like a cell phone contract, the customer pays a monthly fee for the car, maintenance, insurance and fuel, at roughly the same cost of ownership as a Volkswagen Golf.
But don't expect to see hydrogen cars popping up all over the place just yet.
The biggest barriers for hydrogen cars include a lack of infrastructure and an enthusiasm for battery electric vehicles, according to automotive journalist and clean-tech enthusiast Richard Sutton.
"Until the refueling infrastructure exists for hydrogen, then it will always be a bit part player compared to battery electric," says Sutton. "But that's set to change."

The current climate for hydrogen vehicles

There are currently fewer than 300 refueling stations around the world, according to the Hydrogen Council, a global advocacy group of energy, transport and industrial companies.
Globally there are only about 7,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on the road, compared to an estimated 2 million electric vehicles, as per the Global EV Outlook 2017 report.
"We will soon reach 10,000 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles deployed worldwide, which is still relatively small numbers, but we need to realize that two years ago we were still talking about 300 vehicles," says Air Liquide and Hydrogen Council representative Erwin Penfornis.
Japan is the biggest market for hydrogen cars, and is home to just under 100 hydrogen filling stations.
But production is limited, even for big commercial players like Toyota. The company produces approximately 3,000 hydrogen-powered Mirai cars each year, according to Toyota Group manager Jean-Yves Jault.

"If a company like Toyota brings something like this to market it's kind of a signal to the energy companies and governments who have to make the investments into the infrastructure to start doing so," Jault tells CNN.
"It's a chicken and egg issue, and the Mirai was our contribution to try and break that catch 22."
While Toyota is currently selling and leasing its Mirai in a way that reflects what the market can absorb, it intends to ramp up production to 30,000 units by 2020.

How clean is hydrogen?

Rasa 3

Despite hydrogen cars having zero tailpipe emissions, hydrogen production is energy intensive.
Currently, most hydrogen is extracted from methane, which, when exposed to high-temperature steam, separates into hydrogen and carbon monoxide while producing a small amount of carbon dioxide.
But even taking into account hydrogen production, Riversimple says running its vehicle has a much smaller carbon footprint than the lowest emitting cars on the market today.

What's more, both Spowers and Jault agree that hydrogen cars will prove to be the most attractive "clean" alternative for the average driver.
"It [hydrogen] is the only technology that can deliver the convenience, range, refueling time that we're used to with a conventional car today," says Spowers.
That doesn't mean hydrogen is the only solution. Jault foresees an array of zero emission vehicles on the road by 2030.
"We still believe that hydrogen will be a very strong solution for decarbonizing transport in the future," says Jault. "Not the only solution, but a very promising one."

Motorsport wins vital Vnuk EU insurance vote

A vital EU vote on an insurance law change that could have been catastrophic for motorsport has gone in the sport's favour.

The 2014 Vnuk court case set a precedent that all vehicles in the EU should have insurance, even if they are being used on private land, and that the Motor Insurance Directive (MID) was being interpreted incorrectly. That would mean all cars competing in motorsport events in Europe would need to be insured individually, and instances such as cars colliding on a racetrack could become road traffic accidents and involve the police.

Dan Dalton, an MEP for the West Midlands, is the son of a former marshal and timekeeper and had put forward the motion of excluding motorsport from the amended wording of the MID to the EU Parliamentary committee he sits on. The internal market committee voted on the amendment on Tuesday and sided with excluding motorsport from the implementation of the new insurance law.

Dalton had previously said that the result was "too close to call".

The amendment still needs to be passed by the main parliament, but it rarely goes against the decisions of its committees and the vote in the committee was seen as the most important. "I am relieved that my fellow MEPs from this committee listened to my concerns about the risk this draft law poses to British motorsport," Dalton said. "As the son of a former marshal, I know that this is a way of life for many people in the UK. This is a victory for common sense regulation. What happens next is that all MEPs will vote on this compromise at one of the next meetings in Strasbourg. This could be as early as February. As a general rule, they will follow what has been agreed by our committee."

In terms of next steps, MEPs could vote - and will likely back the committee's decision - on the wording as early as February in what is known as a plenary session. Once that vote has been held, and assuming it has been successful, the MEP responsible for the law will then negotiate the exact wording of the text with the EU governments and the European Commission, known as trilogues.

It is hoped this process will be completed by May, as failing to complete the law before the EU elections could derail it with new MEPs departing and entering the parliament after the elections.

In the UK, if this process is completed before Brexit - or during the transition - it will apply in a soft Brexit. A hard Brexit would mean the UK would have to create its own insurance law.

Motorsport UK Logo 2019

Motorsport UK latest Rule Changes

Motorsport UK are pleased to bring you the regulation changes decided at the Motor Sports Council that affect the Motorsport UK Yearbook. To read these decisions, please click the link below.



Mike Rowe

For those who may not have already been informed, we are sad to report the very sad news that Whickham and District Motor Club President Mike Rowe sadly passed away on Tuesday the 12 March 2019.

Mike Rowe was one of the founder members of Whickham and District Motor Club Limited, and has over the years been a stalwart of the club, from his early days when the Club had just been formed to recent years when he has been in attendance at our prominent Club events such as our Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremonies.

Mike could often be quite a forceful character, and was certainly known as a man that would speak his mind. He leaves a considerable amount of good friends who have known him for a number of years, together with many memories that will bring either a smile or tear to the eye upon recollection. I have great memories of working with Mike on the 488 Rally a number of years ago.

Many people will have memories of Mike both as a competitor with the likes of Mac Bater, John Saint and Ken Ridley at all levels of Rallying and also as an organizer.
Mike was the one who instigated the Cheviot Stages Rally and was the mainstay of the event for many years, as well as the Shaw Trophy Rally when it was one of the premier Road Rallies in the North East. We must not forget the Lambton Rally Sprint or the Easter Stages that he also organised. If there was an event being run by Whickham Mike was alway there.

Since Mike retired from competing he has still been actively involved as MSA RLO also being heavily involved with TSMG. He was also a Steward for many events

I am sure that you will all join me in wishing his wife Joan and his family our sincere condolences at this difficult time.

Mike Rowe Flowers

Ghost brokers target 17-24-year-olds in motor insurance fraud

Young Driver

New figures from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) shows young drivers are most likely to fall victim to “ghost brokers” in a motor insurance fraud.

Ghost broking is the name given to the scam of selling fraudulent car insurance using three basic methods. They either forge insurance documents, falsify details to bring the price down or take out a genuine policy, before cancelling and claiming the refund plus the victim’s money.

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