Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

July 8th 2009
V8s can't match this

The Caterpillar C32 While V8 engines have some punters salivating for the start of the Dunlop Townsville 400 race, a far more powerful engine, which is put to a far more efficient and purposeful use, can be seen on display at Sunferries Breakwater Terminal till 17 July.

Weighing in at over two and a half tonnes this, 27 litre, V12, which is 2 metres long and 1.2 metres wide, is what powers all the Sunferries' vessels as they carry hundreds of thousands of passengers to and from Magnetic and Palm Islands each year.

The Caterpillar C32 engine has been turning heads at the busy terminal and is used to push the Sunferries' fleet along at 25 knots with a capacity to reach speeds of 33 knots.

Meanwhile accommodation houses on Magnetic are expecting a flow on of crowds from the Dunlop 400, to visit Magnetic Island and, to benefit all those attending the event, Sunferries will be running additional services. The event timetable can be viewed at

Sunbus tickets will be on sale from the terminal with event buses meeting ferries at the Breakwater Terminal to transfer passengers to Reid Park.

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or read those of others, see below

V8s can't match this
July 7th 2009
While we're delving in diesels it might be of interest to some to know that the 2009 Le Mans 24 hour endurance race in France, held a couple of weeks ago, was won by a Peugeot 908 - a fully enclosed racing car powered by a mid-mounted 5.5 litre, twin turbo diesel engine producing about 700 HP. One of the three drivers was Australian David Brabham.
July 10th 2009
Has the world gone macho engine mad?
July 17th 2009
Whilst it is true that the V8 races encourage (indeed, indulge!) macho engine madness, I believe the rise of the powerful lightweight diesel engine is indicative of something else entirely. These small high-revving diesels (not exactly the one in the LeMans car), now seen in numerous models less than 2.5 litres capacity, are a very recent and clever coincidence of mechanical and computer technology. The 'common rail' diesel, perfected only in the mid-90s, allows electronic (ie. computer) control of diesel fuel injection which was not possible with previous conventional diesel systems. This new technology extracts much more of the energy from diesel fuel - outperforming petrol. When the complementary particulate and other emission controls are fully developed diesel could replace petrol in cars.
If we have to have racing cars in Reid Park for years to come (and all the indicators are that we are stuck with it) I would much prefer they were leading-edge diesels in small cars than 1.8 tonne V8 Detroit dinosaurs. Petrol heads are so twentieth century.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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