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Speedway Low Down – Your Beginners Guide To Speedway

 

You might have noticed over the last few weeks that we and our friends over at Influx.co.uk have gone a little speedway mad.

What started with our sponsorship of the Adrian Flux Arena in King’s Lynn, home of the famous King’s Lynn Stars speedway team, and title sponsorship of the Cardiff British Speedway GP, has grown into a full-on obsession recently – and this month we’re continuing down that track.

The latest edition of Influx Magazine, our online motoring mag, is testament to our love of the sport. This month it features a video and chat with British and World Champion Tai Woffinden, a look at the past and future of speedway, and an exploration of the bikes themselves – how they stand out from regular motorbikes and what makes them the fearsome racers that we know them to be.

We’ve immersed ourselves in the culture, learnt the history, chatted to the stars, taken photos and shot film – but we thought; how much does the average person really know about speedway?

Even a quick straw poll in the office revealed that many of us didn’t have the first clue about the rules and regulations of speedway, and knowledge of the sport was even lower when we turned to the public.

So, to boost awareness, impart some knowledge and win some fans for our new favourite motorsport, we present “Speedway – The Low Down” – your 60-second guide to the basics of speedway:

 

 

Hopefully we’ve helped you get to grips with the basics, and you’ll be ready to join us in the crowds at speedway meets in the future.

Don’t forget to share this video with your friends to spread the good word, and head over to www.influx.co.uk to read the new speedway-centric edition.

 

Students mark Battle of Britain anniversary with Adrian Flux

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and the RAF in King’s Lynn, our local town, have been going all out to commemorate this landmark event in our history.

Throughout the summer, our small Norfolk town will play host to several air force-themed events, including a march and drill by the local 42F Squadron, military-themed stalls and even a flypast of the iconic Spitfire fighter plane.

Following in the footsteps of the enlisted men and women of West Norfolk, the 42F King’s Lynn Air Cadets are also contributing to the events – arranging for a trail of model Spitfires to be placed around the town for tourists and locals to follow.

Each of the 25 small replica planes on the trail has been decorated by local schools, charities and businesses to reflect local and wartime scenes – and with help from students at the Include School in King’s Lynn, we’ve chipped in with a design of our own.

 

Spitfires

The Adrian Flux plane (right) with the Bikesure plane (left) designed by Anya McCarthy

 

Andrew Roofe, a project worker at Include, a school for students outside mainstream education, came up with the idea of commemorating staff working at local air bases during the Second World War.

“I saw some old photographs on the internet and we thought it would be a fitting tribute to create a plane carrying images from all of our local air bases,” he said.

“It took us about three days to complete and we’re really pleased with the result – we had fun putting it together and we also had a session on the planes in class, so it was educational too.”

 

The Bikesure Spitfire Picture: Matthew Usher for Archant

The Bikesure Spitfire
Picture: Matthew Usher for Archant

 

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Flux and Bikesure, was delighted at how the once-plain Spitfires had turned out.

“I think they’ve done us proud – they look really good and I can’t wait to see them around the town with all the other designs,” he added.

The Spitfire Trail launched on July 18th and will run until September 16th this year.

 

2015 British FIM Speedway Grand Prix

On Saturday we were extremely excited to attend the 2015 Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The stadium had truly been taken over by the Flux blue and orange invasion – it looked fantastic! To say that the atmosphere was buzzing is an understatement.

We had pinned our hopes on Britain’s Tai Woffinden, but unfortunately he was pipped to the post by King’s Lynn Stars ace Niels-Kristian Iversen. Woffinden however managed to gain 15 points, putting him 12 points clear of his rival Nicki Pederson.

There was also an impressive performance from Australian Chris Holder, who stunned us all by wheely-ing over the line, as captured in this awesome image (photo credit: ToInspirePl):

Chris Holder at the 2015 British Speedway Grand Prix

All in all a brilliant day, roll on the next round of the championships!

Here are the final results:

1 Niels-Kristian Iversen 14

2 Chris Holder 18

3 Peter Kildemand 12

4 Tai Woffinden 15

5 Greg Hancock 12

6 Matej Zagar 10

7 Nicki Pedersen 9

8 Michael Jepsen Jensen 8

9 Craig Cook 7

10 Jason Doyle 7

11 Tomas H Jonasson 7

12 Chris Harris 5

13 Troy Batchelor 4

14 Krzysztof Kasprzak 4

15 Maciej Janowski 3

16 Andreas Jonsson 2

17 Robert Lambert (res) 1

18 Jason Garrity (res) 0

Standings:

1 Tai Woffinden 55

2 Nicki Pedersen 43

3 Greg Hancock 39

4 Niels-Kristian Iversen 35

5 Matej Zagar 34

6 Chris Holder 31

7 Jarek Hampel 31

8 Jason Doyle 29

9 Michael Jepsen Jensen 27

10 Andreas Jonsson 26

11 Maciej Janowski 26

12 Chris Harris 23

13 Krzysztof Kasprzak 21

14 Troy Batchelor 17

15 Tomas H Jonasson 16

16 Peter Kildemand 12

Driving Etiquette Around the World

Millions of British drivers journey abroad every year, but getting behind the wheel in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. Even if you speak the language, it can be easy to fall foul of a variety of issues through being unfamiliar with the local driving culture.

We’ve put together a list of tips and some facts you might need to be aware of before driving in Europe or further afield. For example, did you know that driving shirtless in Thailand is illegal? Or that you can be fined for sounding your horn near hospitals in Austria?

Using some of the most popular destinations for British tourists, here’s what you might need to know.

driving etiquette around the world

 

Sources

What are the benefits of living in a converted chapel?

You might not think it, but living in a converted chapel or church is now becoming increasingly popular, and their popularity is growing every year.

1288991_fc12d71eAround 18,000 churches have been sold off in the UK in recent years, and experts are predicting another 10% of the more than 45,000 remaining churches and chapels will be put into private hands before 2020 – only adding fuel to the fire of this latest housing craze.

Even as far back as 2008, just a distant memory now, a survey by the website PropertyFinder revealed that churches and chapels are now the most popular ‘unusual’ building for prospective homeowners, even outpacing barn conversions in the race to be the most sought-after renovation space.

We set to finding out just what made these conversions so popular, and came up with these top five pros and cons of chapel life:

Pros

  • Distinctive – Mindy from accounts might be bragging about her new extension, and Matt from marketing about his glittering new kitchen, but to hell with them – you’ve got original stained-glass windows and a church bell! Living in a church means never having to be envious of anyone else every again.
  • Natural Light – As well as looking nice and showing off some lovely biblical scenes, the large windows present in most chapels and churches provide huge quantities of natural light – perfect for a light and airy family home.
  • Open Spaces – Most chapels are just one large room – maybe with a couple of smaller rooms tacked on the side – making them perfect for conversion into enormous living rooms, studio apartments and open-plan kitchens, using the building’s size and shape to its fullest.
  • Mountain-top serenity

    Mountain-top serenity

    Choice of Location – Thanks to the Victorians, the most prolific of church builders, cities, towns and villages across the UK are all home to many churches and chapels. Whether you want a slice of tranquility in the middle of a city or a rural retreat, there’s a chapel out there for you.

  • Tranquility – Whether it’s been converted into a home, or is still a functioning place of worship, there is something undeniably calming and serene about churches and chapels – a feeling that survives long after the congregation has moved out.

Cons

  • Poor Condition – Many of the buildings put up for sale by the Church have been empty for many years, if not decades. Churches are closed once their congregation dwindles to the point where it is merged with another, and the money often isn’t available to maintain empty churches. Combined with their age, older building materials and techniques, and the listed status of many older buildings, potential buyers might have a lot of work on their hands come renovation day.
  • Competition – With their distinctive looks, history and good locations, buildings put up for sale by the Church are always fiercely fought over by prospective buyers and developers. Expect stiff competition when you make an offer to buy a chapel to move into.
  • Heating – The stained-glass windows, open spaces and high ceilings might look nice, but they’ll have a serious impact on your heating bills. Churches are well known for being cold even in the middle of summer, so you’ll need to wrap up warm if you’re going to make it through the winter.
  • How far will your budget stretch?

    How far will your budget stretch?

    Graves – Some churches and chapels have rules in place that allow visitors to graves even after the grounds have left Church hands. This can both mean that you will need to allow the public into your land to visit graves, and that you won’t be able to do too much with your garden – and getting permission to move human remains is both a legal and moral minefield.

  • Price – With competition high, limited buildings available, various unique selling points and the general rise in housing prices in the UK, buyers face paying a premium for churches and chapels to renovate.

Adrian Flux offers a wide range of specialist home insurance policies, including insurance for chapel and church conversions. To get more information, visit https://www.adrianflux.co.uk/chapel-conversion-insurance/ or call 0800 369 8590 today.

Digitisation of Motorists – Wave Goodbye to Paper

In an increasingly digital world, technology has found its way into every corner of our lives.

From omnipresent smartphones and tablets, to instant online shopping and the on-going social media revolution, modern tech is changing the way we live (for the better, we hope) – and the world of motoring isn’t being left out.

Following hot on the heels of the end of tax discs last October and the demise of paper driving licenses earlier this month, today marks some big changes in the way paper insurance certificates are handled.

DocumentsAs part of the modernisation of motoring regulations, and the current trend of cutting down on hassle and paperwork for all parties, insurance customers will no longer be required to return their certificate of insurance to their insurer when a policy is cancelled mid-term. Instead, it will now be the responsibility of insurers to update the government Motor Insurance Database (MID) when any changes take place.

Laws are also changing to guarantee that motorists will be insured as soon as a policy is activated, without having to wait for their certificate to arrive in the post, and ensuring that it will no longer be a criminal offence to not return an insurance certificate.

Speaking ahead of the changes, Gerry Bucke, general manager at Adrian Flux, said: “The truth is that no one enjoys paperwork, and the changes coming into force today are another long-awaited step towards making motoring and insurance as hassle and paperwork-free as possible.

“With paper licences and tax discs also a thing of the past, it’s never been easier or more simple for drivers to get out on the road without fear of falling foul of paperwork and admin – something we can all welcome.”

If you have any questions about your Adrian Flux insurance policy, or want to find out what these changes mean for you, call our customer services team on 0844 381 6502.

You can read the full content of the Deregulation Act 2015 here – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/contents/enacted – be warned though, it’s a tricky read.

 

Pink Porsche dodges spectacular start crash

It’s been a long nine months since the Adrian Flux-sponsored pink Porsche took to the track in anger. Here, racer Sarah Bennett-Baggs reports on the Pink Panther’s return to action in the dramatic MG Live event at Silverstone.
Last weekend was my first outing in the Pink Porsche since Spa Historic event last September. It would be fair to say I have been chomping at the bit, desperate to get out for some full throttle action all winter. So, when the opportunity to race on the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit came up at the MG Live event – we didn’t hesitate to go for it.

The Porsche holds off an MG

The Porsche holds off an MG

I shared the 50-minute two driver race with my partner Mike – it was the first time we have raced together in the Porsche. Naturally, I had to adjust the seating position to suit his somewhat larger self. We qualified 19th out of the 43-strong grid, and we were the only Porsche out there in a pretty mixed grid with a variety of classic and modern MGs, a few TVRs, Triumphs and the odd Caterham.
I took the race start, surrounded by front wheeled MG-ZR’s so I knew we would get away well with the rear wheel drive. What I didn’t account for was a Tiger kit car two rows ahead stalling on the grid, acting as a ramp for an unsighted MG-ZR driven by James Cole who swerved to avoid the stricken motor only to catch a rear mud guard launching his MG airborne. Just as he took to the air, I arrived flat out on the scene and drove right almost underneath him! It was quite a shock to say the least, but I am pleased to say James was fine, just shaken and a bit bruised. His car however, isn’t very well and needs a reshell.

Marshals did a great job clearing the track, and the race was restarted. I got up to 14th overall before handing over to Mike, who took it to the finish where we were placed 11th overall. The Porsche ran faultlessly and we both had some good battles. What’s more important is he liked it! So – expect to see more of the same!

Next outing is the Silverstone Classic in the Healey 100.

Flux Making A £5 Donation To RSPCA With Every Pet Insurance Quote

 

With 50 percent of UK households owning a pet, and a staggering 17million cats and dogs sharing our homes with us, it’s no wonder that we Brits have won a reputation as a nation of animal lovers.

Our cats and dogs might be lavished with love and attention all year round, fed the finest foods and given a warm spot in our beds, but sadly there are many animals in the UK that aren’t quite as lucky.

3 sealFor many down-on-their-luck animals, both wildlife and former pets, animal charities provide an incredibly vital service, offering food, shelter and medical attention, as well as the opportunity to find a safe new home.

With the launch of our new pet insurance policy here at Adrian Flux, we want to give something back to the people who look after the nation’s animals by raising some much-needed funds for our local RSPCA Wildlife Centre in East Winch, Norfolk.

Between June and November this year, Adrian Flux will be giving £5 directly to the RSPCA for every pet insurance quote we give out – helping to support a centre that has become renowned for its care of seals and other local Norfolk wildlife.

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Adrian Flux, said: “Our pet insurance might only apply to cats and dogs, but we want to do something to help all animals, big and small, and have decided this donation is the best way to do it.

“By coming to us for a quote on pet insurance, you can be sure that you’re not only benefitting your four-legged friends at home, but some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable wildlife too.”

The Wildlife Centre in Norfolk was opened in Docking in 1988 in the wake of a viral outbreak amongst the North Sea seal population, later moving to its current East Winch home in 1992.

Decades on, the centre continues to treat hundreds of orphaned, sick and injured seals each year, as well as thousands of local and migratory birds and other local wildlife.

RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre Staff members holding adult hedgehogs East Winch, Norfolk, UK 1106142 Please read our licence terms agreed by you when registering on our website at www.rspcaphotolibrary.com. All digital images must be deleted after authorised use unless otherwise agreed in writing. Photograph by Joe Murphy/RSPCA www.rspcaphotolibrary.com  Tel: 0300 123 0402     Fax: 0870 753 0048    email: pictures@rspcaphotolibrary.com

 

Alison Charles, Manager at RSPCA East Winch, said: “We are thrilled that local company Adrian Flux thought of us and want to give us this generous donation.

“The money will be an incredible support to our work rehabilitating seals, birds and other wildlife and means we will hopefully be able to save the lives of many more animals, and care for them until they are ready to be returned back to the wild.”

With donations already coming in, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date in the coming months on just how much we’re raising for the East Winch RSPCA, and what a difference it’s making to their work.

 

To get a pet insurance quote for your cat or dog, and to make your £5 donation, call us today on 01553 400700, or visit https://www.adrianflux.co.uk/pet-insurance/ for more information.

Find out more about our local RSPCA at http://www.rspca.org.uk/local/east-winch-wildlife-centre/ or visit their Facebook page for regular updates on events and fundraising activities.

 

Forget the dinosaurs, Wrangler and Scrambler steal the Jurassic show

The flesh-eating dinosaurs may be the stars of the new Jurassic World movie, but there’s also plenty to satisfy the petrolheads among us.

While Mercedes got the gig of supplying all the new cars for the blockbuster, the real automotive star turns come from the Jeep Wrangler Sahara from the original Jurassic Park – discovered gathering dust in an abandoned garage – and leading man Chris Pratt’s Triumph Scrambler motorcycle.

Jeep 29, one of several deliberate nods to the film’s 1993 genesis, is the very same vehicle used to transport Jurassic Park’s owner John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough) from the Isla Nublar Heliport to the Park.

The Jeep seeing action in Jurassic Park

The Jeep seeing action in Jurassic Park

Jeep 29 spotted ahead of filming for Jurassic World

Jeep 29 spotted ahead of filming for Jurassic World

Here it’s chanced upon 22 years later by hapless kids Zach and Gray in the ruins of the original visitor centre in the restricted zone, and used as a getaway car as the brothers flee from the film’s chief dino-villain Indominus rex.

It’s testament indeed to the Jeep’s resilience that all it took was a change of battery to see the car roaring off across the plains and out of (immediate) danger.

In Jurassic Park, the hardy Wranglers were used as staff vehicles to get about the park, painted in distinctive grey with diagonal red stripes, apparently to prevent the Triceratops from charging the cars.

The Wrangler was introduced by Jeep in 1987 as a replacement for the antiquated but much-loved Jeep CJ, which had served as America’s go-to small off-roader since the war.

With its off-road capabilities, and a 174bhp, 4-litre engine that can push it from 0-62mph in under 10 seconds, it’s clearly the perfect vehicle to escape the jaws of laboratory created hybrid dinosaurs – although maybe a roof would be useful…

Jurassic Park fans took to modifying their Jeeps, and the more colourful Ford Explorers used as park your vehicles, to create some stunning replicas.

And then there were those who decided to modify just about any type of car, with some less stunning results at times.

If you fancy having a stab at creating your very own Jurassic Jeep, you can pick up a good car of the right age for about £4,000.

Although the Explorer sadly doesn’t appear in Jurassic World, it does appear in this early publicity poster, and remains an iconic vehicle to film fans.

Early Jurassic World film poster

Early Jurassic World film poster

Not only can you pick up a used example from about £800 upwards, there’s also an online, step by step guide to creating your own Jurassic replica.

The Triumph Scrambler is another vehicle within reach of Jurassic World fans who want to play at being Chris Pratt riding alongside raptors chasing a man-eating monster.

Riding with raptors

Riding with raptors

Pratt’s adventures on the Scrambler, basically a modified Bonneville with added off-road abilities, will never quite be up there with Steve McQueen’s legendary Triumph TT Special from The Great Escape, but it’s still one the coolest scenes in the movie.

It’s also done wonders for Triumph judging by the response on social media – sample Tweet: “Now I desperately want a Triumph Scrambler in matte green. Thanks, Jurassic World.”

The Scrambler is first seen with a suitably oily and sweaty Pratt – raptor trainer Owen – tinkering with something or other when leading lady Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire) comes along to have an argument…

Chris Pratt fiddles with the Triumph in its first scene

Chris Pratt fiddles with the Triumph in its first scene

Like Chekhov’s gun, the appearance of the Scrambler was a clear sign that it would be used in anger later in the film – and any prospective owner now knows it can keep pace on rough terrain with a pack of hunting velociraptors.

Powered by the 865cc parallel twin engine from the Bonneville, the Scrambler costs £7,899 new, with used examples typically around £6,000.

As for the Mercs, the film features a pretty cool G Wagen, a Unimog truck, a £60,000 GLE Coupe recently launched to rival BMW’s X6, and a humble Sprinter van – the only one most of us could probably afford to buy but wouldn’t want to.

When it comes to retro cool, the Wrangler and Scrambler are way out in front.

 

Get insurance for Jeep Wranglers and Triumph Scramblers from Adrian Flux and Bikesure.

She's alive! Jonny's Flux Capacitor hits the strip for the first time

She’s alive! The wait is over as JONNY SMITH, TV presenter and motoring journalist, reveals some exciting news about the Adrian Flux-sponsored hot-rod electric vehicle. We won’t spoil his moment, so over to you Jonny.

This is possibly the most exciting blog I’ve written. Because everything until now has been the lead up to actually racing the Flux Capacitor for the first time.

Almost three years after buying an electrically dead flood damaged Enfield 8000, the moment to first shake-down and then race the little nine-foot-long ‘leccy relic was here. Weather conditions at Santa Pod were kind to us, Olly Young at Current Racing was on hand to run the necessary checks and help charge the Hyperdrive Kokam lithium-ion battery pack for the first time, and dial in the desired power tune to the old EV’s modern controller and battery management system.

I know it sounds stupid, but the Enfield felt surprisingly together and ready for action. The first job of the shakedown is to check nothing feels dangerous, then it’s time to bed in both the elec motor’s brushes and also the custom BG Developments braking system.

After the shakedowns in Santa Pod’s deserted pit area earlier in the week (which you will see in the vid) I had half an idea of how the Flux Capacitor felt. And it was quick, even cruising at 1000 of the 2000 available amps. We upped the amps to 1300 for a quick squirt and then felt ready to punish the full quarter mile a few days later.

Race suit on, battery pack charged and happy, the debut quarter mile run was a mild 16-second affair. But the main thing was that the car felt like it was stable and happy at high speeds. That was always my worry, what with the 1.75-metre wheelbase and all. Time to turn up the power.

Over the course of the Santa Pod Big Bang event, the Enfield covered nine quarter mile passes. Our second run was 13.7 second @ 92mph. 3 seconds had been shaved off the ET by simply dropping rear tyre pressure by 10 psi (for grip) and increasing amps to 1400.

In an EV race car, the amps act as your instant torque (acceleration) and the voltage level will govern your terminal speed. The car is direct drive with no gearbox, so it’s all down to the voltage we race with, versus the gearing in the Ford 9” back axle (3:00 to 1 ratio). We raced with just over 200 volts.

Clinching 3 consistent 13 second runs felt amazing. Each time the little Enfield never shimmied at speed or felt like it needed a parachute to stop. We dialled in 1400 amps and took the voltage to 220v.

I’d got used to using the line-lock to hold the front wheels and let the rears smoke up for the burnout. Perhaps it was coincidence but my biggest burnout to date tallied with getting the Flux Capacitor into the 12s. It gripped hard on its street legal drag radials and never lost traction at all. The wheelie bars just kissed the ground on initial launch.

SILENT BUT VIOLENT

I could hardly believe the rate of progression with the car over the weekend. Never did I think would we hit 12 second quarter mile times so soon, but did three in a row.

First a 12.62 @ 101.6mph, then a 12.83 @ 102.3mph. Not only was the yellow peril in the mid 12s, but also it had cracked 100mph before crossing Santa Pod’s finish gantry.

The fastest we have gone so far is 12.56 @ 101.4mph. In other words, 0-101mph in 12.5 seconds. That is the 1/8th mile in 7.9 at 87 mph, which approximately equates to 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds. It felt ridiculous. It was as if the humble British electric midget was born to go this fast with such ease. I barely fought the wheel all weekend.

As it was out first race meeting and the car fresh, we made sure there was still plenty of power and adjustment left untapped. There’s still an extra 150 volts and 600 amps to play with and try to put down onto tarmac, and of course you have to consider track temp, ambient temp (which heavily effects the power of batteries – we were running a second slower in the morning than the afternoon for no reason!) and tyre pressure.

But the best bit? People’s reaction. The chuckles. The cheers. The kids asking their Dads if it was a real car.

I write this as we pack the car to head to our second Santa Pod race session, hoping to see an early 12 second. Who knows, we may break into the 11s quicker than I thought. Who said British engineering was rubbish?

A massive thank you to Adrian Flux, npower, Hyperdrive and Red Maple to their patience and continued belief in this daft little project. Also big props to Nick at Gas It for lending me his motorhome and toaster. Thanks to Olly Young at Current Racing, without whom I would have never got this car finished, safe or fast. Cheers guys.