View Full Version : IMCA Diary

John Emmons
08-20-2004, 09:12 AM
Hopefully this thread is where I'll be posting some race reports and photos from the IMCA Worlds in Belgium and Holland next week.

If Paul K. can put a sticky on it that would be great. Paul, I also need to get the info. on posting photo's to an album from you.

So, it's off to Europe. Myself, Chris Radisch, Kieran Dale, and Paul, "split" Heath are all leaving from Los Angeles on Sunday morning. Split and Kieran are both from New Zealand, they flew up a few days ago and are going to race in our SoCal USRA race this weekend before we leave. We'll be thrashing all day and night at Buena Park raceway and then catching some early morning flights on Sunday.

Forrest Watchers, the only other So Cal racer going, is apparently still in Hawaii, he should be returning this weekend and then it's off to Uden, Holland for the Grp. 7 race.

I haven't been in touch with any of the other American racers yet, except for Paul Ciccarello, last I heard he's working on Flexi 4 chassis' at a feverish pitch...;^)

We leave Sunday morning, arrive on Monday. Grp 7 practice starts at about 2 pm local time in Uden. The rest of the races are in Uden and then we move to Aalst, Belgium, finishing with the 1/24 model car races.

I'll do my best to get race results posted along with photos, I don't know what the internet access will be like in Uden, it's a new location for the IMCA races and it's still unclear, there will also be some time restraints as I'm racing in 7 separate events over 5 days myself.

Wish us well, we'll be racing against some of the world's best model car racers and the Grp. 7 racers will be going up against some of the best wing racers in the world.

John Emmons
OWH Correspondent

08-20-2004, 12:00 PM
Especially the Kiwis :):):)

Please convey my regards and best wishes to JPVR - afterall, he did offer me a free trip to Belgium, which unfortunately, I had to decline :(


08-21-2004, 12:05 AM
Best of Luck in your worldly adventure! It'd be great to hear of USA top spots but having fun and being a light of inspiration will work :)

Look forward to your reports and THANKS :D

Mr Tim
08-21-2004, 02:21 AM
Good idea John, I look forward to meeting you there, along with many other famous US racers. I'm currently in London, en route to Holland. Been here a few days, and I'm getting plenty of practice at drinking European beer in readiness for the big race (I'll need something to do after been knowcked out in the quarter-finals!)

John Emmons
08-21-2004, 09:54 AM
Or close to it anyway. First we've got a race at Buena Park raceway today.

Kieran Dale, Paul "Split" Heath, Chris Radisich, and I take off for Belgium and Holland in the morning. As I write this they're down at the raceway while I finish my last minute organising.

For those who haven't flown anywhere with racing gear in your luggage, let me tell you, it ain't a lot of fun. Limited to 2 checked pieces of baggage it's an exercise in paring down your piles of stuff into one semi-managable pile that will fit into a suitcase or other case that will survive the trip unscathed. And of course there's the always pleasant security checks. One tip for those who are planning to ever travel by air, be prepared to have your slot car box or bag opened several times, I take a copy of Slot Car Bulletin with me in my carry-on bag, when I get asked the inevitable questions about what all this crap in my case is, I show them the magazine.

This will be by 3rd airline trip with slot cars, first international one. I've traveled quite a bit with camera gear and it's a similiar kind of deal, you've got to trade off what you'd like to take with what will fit. Both Split and Chris have already purchased new, larger roll-on bags, I've changed my choice of case twice already.
At any rate, a bit more packing here at home and then it's down to Buena Park to meet up with the boys. Our flights all leave early tomorrow, should be fun to fly all day after spending the night before racing.

More to come...

John Emmons
OWH IMCA Correspondent
Rolling Suitcase Tester

Crash & Burn
08-21-2004, 12:53 PM
Internet access is no problem. It´s a dialup connection we have to use unfortunatly but it works. The phoneline is right behind the race-director and race computer. I used it myself a couple of months back with 24 hours plafit LMS modelcar race we had.
2 persons can easily sit there. You are even allowed to smoke when you are up there:D :D

R. Herrera
08-23-2004, 08:42 AM
John ,have a good race,and thanks for keeping us up to date. Please send the other racers our best


John Emmons
08-23-2004, 12:29 PM
After what seemed like a lifetime of travel, starting with racing all day at Buena Park then getting on planes in Los Angeles and Chicago, in Washington DC and Frankfurt, Germany and flying all day and into the night, we are here in Belgium. Actually we're in Holland now, we flew into Brussels this morning, got our rental van and made our way to the lowlands.

I'm sitting in the race director's stand of the MRTU Racing club at the moment,listening to some of the finest spring steel and aluminum being turned into trash by some of the finest racers in the world.

Names like Ciccarello, Schone, Korec, Okali,Horky, Landrud, Watson...world record holders, national champions, world champions, are all gathered here in Uden, to try and solve the puzzle that is this track. This unbelievable track that is turning cars into pretzels and driving the drivers slightly mad.

Will it be harder tires or a steel chassis? The Vipor or the Peugeot? It's still a guess and tech opens in less than 2 hours. And once it opens, you don't get your car back until tomorrow morning. And the racing starts at 7 am, so if it ain't right tonight, it probably ain't gonna be right tomorrow. So the testing goes on. And on...the doors close at midnight...

J.P. Van Rossem, who put this whole scene together has informed the racers that in just 40 minutes the track will close to all but the 8 fastest drivers to finish their practice...and so it goes on...

More to come as sleep is still not an option. Photo's on the gallery as soon as I figure out how to post them.

John Emmons
52 hours with little sleep, and counting

Bent rim
08-23-2004, 01:43 PM
How does Bill Skinner look. Tell him I said good luck and Team USA good luck. Bring it home for USA. GO TEAM GO!!!!!!!!

Yours Truly;
Dick Gazinya:cool:

08-23-2004, 02:51 PM
It sounds like giving a computer whiz a 186(?) computer and a dial-up service
and tell him to go rip up the Internet.
Once your used to a certain level of technology, it's hard to step back.
One problem is G7 motors are way too reliable. You can go way too
fast with them without blowin' up and some tracks aren't up to virtually
unlimited horsepower.

PS-it looks like I should of sent out my 1990 Purple Mile
459/Quadrail/Porsche. If that track has a turn more difficult than
the Purple Mile, D Donut on Red, heaven help those guys.
I may have to fly out in the Koford Learjet to help marshall.


08-23-2004, 05:20 PM
J.P. Van Rossem, who put this whole scene together has informed the racers that in just 40 minutes the track will close to all but the 8 fastest drivers to finish their practice...

Really? And WHO selects the "8 fastest drivers" ? :p

08-23-2004, 09:16 PM
5 of the 8 should be Aussies I'd reckon. Well, 4 Aussies and a Kiwi import. Go kick their asses guys, one of you should win !

08-23-2004, 09:53 PM
Your guys don't have a chance, the Aussies helped the Yanks in Irak, so JPVR won't give them any break.

08-24-2004, 03:29 PM
Just couldn't resist...Group 7 qualifying + consi/qtrs...

1 Paul 'Beuf' Pedersen USA 1,763 1,739
2 Vladimir Horky CZ 1,789 1,756
3 Mario 'MSP' Schöne D 1,976 1,756
4 Paul Ciccarello USA 1,761 1,761
5 Juha Yli-Sipola SF 1,87 1,87 301,33 320,87
6 Leo Hongisto SF 1,896 1,896 290,72 313,22
7 Josef Korec CZ 40,477 1,925 252 311,76
8 P-A Watson USA 1,833 1,833 245,28 306,15
9 Forrest Watchers USA 2,07 1,916 267,59 299,95
10 Lasse Äberg S 1,793 1,793 240 293,12
11 Benny Justice USA 2,227 1,993 264,02 287,54
12 Vlado Okali SK 99,999 2,358 310,19 282,56
13 Joao Carlos Geraldo BR 1,829 1,829 230,09 281,08
14 Marko Pirinen SF 12,386 12,08 281,6 268
15 Bill W.H. Skinner USA 1,942 1,942 83,52 260,84
16 Einari Fyhr SF 2,025 2,025 253,13 244,54

..copied from JP's site

Half Fast
08-24-2004, 04:52 PM
1 Mario 'MSP' Schöne D 1,976 1,756 510,06 894,56
2 Paul Ciccarello USA 1,761 1,761 519,74 890,93
3 Paul 'Beuf' Pedersen USA 1,763 1,739 535,81 886,74
4 Juha Yli-Sipola SF 1,87 1,87 301,33 320,87 481,17 824,22
5 Vladimir Horky CZ 1,789 1,756 503,33 816,55
6 Vlado Okali SK 99,999 2,358 310,19 282,56 523,22 809,02
7 Josef Korec CZ 40,477 1,925 252 311,76 476,05 769,71
8 P-A Watson USA 1,833 1,833 245,28 306,15 481,66 688,00

As reported on the IMCA site


08-24-2004, 05:59 PM
Boy, I thought travelling from the boston area to schenectady was a haul! All I can say is it must be nice... by the way, did they race production 32nd's with falcon motors? Hey, I bet they would just love running womps of whisper jets.... Yeah, right!

08-24-2004, 09:51 PM
ANYBODY but that bully coulda won the G7....man o man...must've been a brutal race and thanks to Chicky n Beuf for making the show!

08-26-2004, 06:35 AM
Anybody got any tech sheet info?

John Emmons
08-26-2004, 01:10 PM
It's been too long I know, blame it on very little spare time to do much of anything but work on cars, try to get some practice time in and maybe eat something. Sleep of course, is optional

It's Thursday night, the racing that most of you readers are most interested in is over. Rather than repeat the results that can be found at: www.imca-slotracing.com I thought I'd share some of the behind the scenes stuff that's been going on here in Uden.

Hectic starts to describe the scene at the MTRU center here in Uden. MTRU by the way is the acronym for Mini Track Racing Uden. It's a club type atmosphere, very comfortable in a lot of ways. There's way more smoking and drinking than would ever be allowed at any American track. There are monitors scattered around the place and folks can sit in the bar and watch the lap counters roll on. Eugene, the club manager, tells me that a camera system to see the tracks better is on the way.

The races themselves have been interesting to say the least. M. Van Rossem has a fascination with turning the power on as fast as humanly possible and he obviously doesn't care much for track calls. The race format is also subject to change very little if any advance notice at all. Some folks think that his antics are his way of trying to "adjust" the outcome of the races, I think it's more about trying to get the racers to pay attention to what's going on.

Some things that I may or may not have overheard the past few days at the raceway...


" Can I have my track call now, everybody else has called one...."

"what's up donut..."

"not bad for a myopic old wanker..."

" I tuned it to a standstill..."

" you don't use your tongue while kissing the trophy girl..."

"turn marshalling is not sitting.."

"didja notice all the foreigners here...?

" would it be legal if I anodised it...?"

" do you also race real slot cars, or just those plastic pieces of junk...?"

"I'd like to apologise now for what's about to happen..."

" are those the real rules or the internet rules..?"

" one racer asked me if it was legal to change their braid, I said no, so he did it when he thought I wasn't looking..."

"if you touch that car again, you will be disqualifed..."

"do you have waffles here or am I thinking of Belgium...?"

and so it goes.

More drivel to come from Aalst, as we race there starting tomorrow. Til then, I'm finally going to get a slightly longer night's sleep. I'm on my own tomorrow as all the other American racers have left the building.

John Emmons
OWH Waffle Correspondent

R. Herrera
08-26-2004, 01:46 PM
I hope all our guys had fun, thats whats important. :cool:

08-27-2004, 01:24 AM
The quotes are great - even better then the "Racing Excuses" thread we have going in the main forum! :D I'm glad you were able to remember them or keep good notes - they are priceless (which is good, because it matches what you're getting paid, btw) ;)

Sure brings back memories of my trips there a couple years ago - you have to keep on your toes, as the antics, rules, and schedule adjustments never seem to end.

Even though JP's health has not been so good, he is a firm believer that sleep is for wimps, and is considered optional. Takes a bit to adjust to all the smoking and drinking at the track too - as well as all those other "little differences", as noted by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.... like the mayonaise on the fries. :p LOL

Keep thrashing and have fun!!!

08-27-2004, 01:41 AM
:D :D

R. Herrera
08-27-2004, 07:38 AM
Where be the pictures??

John Emmons
08-27-2004, 01:59 PM
I promise they'll be up sometime. Problem is as always, access and time.

I've been storing all of the ones I've taken on my computer. If I can get better internet access than the computer that I'm logged in on right now, I'll try to get them posted from here, otherwise, it'll have to wait til I get back.

Today we're in Aalst, a small town between Brussels and Gent, Belgium. We raced on a small, 6 lane plastic track using TSRF chassis on 1/32 hardshell LMP bodies. Needless to say coming from a wooden routed track racing background, the plastic 6 laner was a big change. The 7 or 8 minutes I had to practice didn't help much either.

The semi's and main are going on as I write this. After racing in our Consi's, "Split" Heath, Kieran Dale and I headed to the hotel for food and sleep. We did our only sightseeing for a couple of hours this afternoon in Brussels.

Rumor has it that a very well know American racer will be putting in an appearance over the weekend. I'll let you know if and what happens.

More stuff overheard.

" this is a complete pile of ****..."

" ah, more cheese rolls...yum...."

" if you have any questions, I speak 5 languages...there shouldn't be any problems..."

"we're not from around here..."

"on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, I'd give it a good 4..."

"stop, I am driving someone else's car..."

"I've eaten lasagna, and that's not lasagna..."

that's about all for now. More to come later.
Tomorrow we race some pretty cool scale model cars, I'm sure the guy who built mine was having second thoughts if he saw me drive today.

John Emmons
OWH Roving Correspondent
John Emmons

08-27-2004, 05:10 PM
Hey John

Did Chris Radisich get lost along the way? I assumed he was still with you guys? Sounds like the same type thrashing we go through racing here in the states. Have fun, looking forward to the photos and more stories when you get back.


purple haze
08-29-2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by John Emmons
"I've eaten lasagna, and that's not lasagna..."

Too funny! Bet it didn't even taste like chicken!

John Emmons
08-29-2004, 10:16 AM
Yep, it's all over except for the blowout dinner at "the black cat" that's starting in just a few minutes.

Team America finished 16th overall in the model car races which we ran today. Some really nice looking cars built by local model makers. I had tons of help driving them with Kieran Dale from New Zealand as none of the other American racers stuck around to race on the plastic track.

Photo's will have to wait til I get home as downloading them is problematic. I'm using a computer at our hotel but I can't download anything on it. Trust me when I tell you that you're gonna wanna see at least some of the pics.

I'd like to thank J.P.Van Rossem for the opportunity to come over here and try something new. As I said to the other racers, this was my first effort racing on plastic tracks since racing on my HO homeset about a hundred years ago.

I'll post more later.

Thanks for reading, if you think I didn't post enough, consider what you paid for the coverage...;^)

John Emmon
Retired plastic track racer

08-29-2004, 12:49 PM
John wrote:

". . . if you think I didn't post enough, consider what you paid for the coverage. . ."

Were you speaking to me, John? 8-)

08-30-2004, 02:27 AM
:) :) :) :)

John Emmons
08-31-2004, 08:17 AM
After some delays in England and a long flight over the Atlantic, I'm home safe and sound. I hope to have the pics I took posted sometime later today.

Thanks to those of you who helped me make this trip a reality, you know who you are.

Thanks to those readers who have read about some of our exploits along the way. I'll be posting a final wrap-up either later today or tomorrow.

John Emmons
Jet Lagged slot car racer