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F1 legend Rory Byrne chats to us!

2011-08-04 10:01

F1 LEGEND: Rory Byrne now divides his time between consulting for Ferrari F1, the FIA and Discovery, but heads to Thailand when he needs to get away from it all.

The man from Pretoria who for years was at the frontline of technological advancement in the field of Formula 1 as chief designer for Ferrari, Rory Byrne, took time out to chat to Wheels24 while in SA to attend to business.

Byrne was the special guest at the official launch of the innovative Discovery Insure recently. As the special engineering advisor to Discovery, Byrne was instrumental in developing an optional product called DQ Track that, as a telematics devices, captures information and collates it into a measure of driving quality.

Using the information from DQ Track, Discovery’s Vitality Drive, an extension of the company’s incentives-based health-care product, rewards drivers based on how they use the information provided by the system to become better drivers.

And it’s within reach of all of us, Byrne said during an interview session hosted by 5FM and Supersport’s Sasha Martinengo.


Based largely on his experiences in a demanding Formula 1 environment, Byrne suggests there is a science to driving that also applies to Joe and Jill Average in their family sedans.

“It’s important to understand the performance limits of your car,” Byrne said. “On the road, you need to drive well within those limits to have some reserve in case of an emergency. Though also important, as cars become more powerful, is drivers being aware of their personal limits.”

Byrne concedes that some drivers are better than others, but wouldn’t be drawn on which sex is the fairer driver…

“Some are naturally better drivers but you don’t have to rely on instinct. Driver knowledge and driver ability can be honed with driving courses.


And while the DQ Track system is expected to go a long way to helping South Africans become better drivers, CEO of Discovery Insure Anton Ossip said data gathered would not negatively affect claims, something of big concern to readers when we first wrote about Discovery’s new insurance vehicle.

Ossip said: “Harsh braking and speeding will not be factors for repudiating claims. DQ Track provides good reasons to drive well.”

We think having a driving tool designed by <i>the</i> legendary Rory Byrne at one’s disposal is reason enough to become a better driver.

Rory Byrne took time out to chat to Wheels24 - and told us why a local Formula 1 race would be a very good thing...


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