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Thread: A Backmarkerís View of the ISRA 2014 Worlds

  1. #1
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    A Backmarkerís View of the ISRA 2014 Worlds

    BTW, I'd wanted to use the title "A Middlemarker's View" this time, but it's not happening yet.

    It’s time the start the daily reports. I’ve been here for four days now, but it’s hard to write during the official practice sessions, as it is highly regulated: run 4 minutes on lane x, marshal 4 minutes, then 20-30 minutes to work on cars, repeat the sequence, all day from 8 am till 7:30 pm.

    As in the past, I’ll try to write more about the substance and feeling of the event than the actual racing. You can follow the actual racing on the excellent feed listed in Paul’s thread, and see the results on the other one.

    First some truly bad news: We’re all racing under a cloud of sadness. Three days ago, Stanislav Polic, long-time and very popular Czech racer, and a gregarious, funny, friendly man, suffered a hemorrhagic stroke (means a stroke caused by bleeding, not a clot) during practice. He was immediately transported to the local hospital. He is stable, but in a drug-induced sleep (to lessen the chance of rebleeding). If he remains stable, they will wake him up in a few days, and his caregivers will find out how much damage he suffered acutely. As is obvious from the above, he is in critical condition. If you believe in prayer, please consider including him in yours.

    Now to the happier stuff. Latvia is a country of 2 million people. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but the proper word for the area around here is, I believe, bucolic. The surrounding countryside is flat fields and dense forest. The few buildings are mostly old, the colors are currently subdued browns and yellows, and often there is fog. Looks like a landscape painting by some old Dutch master.

    Limbazi, our host city, is home to about 5000 people, and many/most of the buildings are from the 17th or 18th century. I think the town used to be much bigger, as it says on a sign that it used to be Hanseatic League member. Those were big Northern European cities, united in a trading league during the late Middle Ages. towns like Hamburg, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. The whole town is quaint and pretty. The locals are so far to a person, pleasant and welcoming. Nice restaurants with delicious, often old-fashioned food.

    As I write these words, Miroslav Recek, our friendly chassis and builder, walks by me 6 minutes away from his Group A team race calmly drinking a beer.

    The venue is the best I’ve ever seen. We’re in the main room of the town community center right in the middle of the little town. The room is basketball court sized with a large stage at one end (where the officials sit), and theater seating for about 250. During practice over the 2 and 3 days ago, we had 5 or 6 elementary school classes come to visit us, with many wide-eyed kids hopefully turning into future slot car racers on the spot. I think that it’s likely been a while since a school class has visited a big race in the US. Tons of pit space in 2 adjoining large rooms. Good food and drinks, (cheap, too) in the foyer, brought in from a neighboring restaurant.

    Currently (end of the Group B main in team production), there are perhaps 100 people in the stands of whom 20 or so are local spectators.

    Great attitude, too. Three days ago, the internet here in the community hall was totally fubar’d. So they brought in a guy to laydown a whole new set-up. Took him 4 hours or so, and now we’ve got sub-second response for hundreds of devices and a beautiful video feed.

    On to the Team Production race: Qualifying was unusually tight and the usual suspects were littered throughout the entire field. Gugu and Ricardo Taxeira, for example, found themselves racing against me. (Just to lessen the suspense, they beat me.) Lars Harryson is the main official, Andy Wasserman is the race director, a really good team I think. Prettiest hand-out bodies I ever saw. Mine was sky blue with clouds, with a racing stripe down the middle made of red bricks (a chimney). It ends before the wing and there’s smoke coming out of it with a little smog around that. Would win concourse at any usual race. The track is pretty much ISRA standard except that like in Malmo, there’s a bridge going over a downhill (right after a fast sweeper where the cars unload and get squirrely, right before a sharp left that you can barely see because of the bridge). Comically, since we had that same piece of torture in Malmo, we’re all not so bad at it this time.

    So, near the end of heat 1 in A, we’ve got Casticone/Trugillio in the lead, Horky/Recek 1 lap down, the Kantamaas 2 laps down, and Matti Fhyr’s team 3 laps down. Gawronski/Vojtik are in 7th, 4 laps down, but they were on black.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-06-2014 at 05:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    At the end of 2: Still Castricone/Trigillio in the lead, Fhyr and co now one down, Horky/Recek, and the 2 Kantamaa kids tied for 3rd, 2 laps down. Paul G and Antonin V are up to 4th.

  3. #3
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    Matti just turned a 4.7 lap in black. Anna K and Horky are matching laps exactly, Horky on red, Anna on green.

  4. #4
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    Awesome reporting! - Thank you for doing such a great job of sharing your experience at the ISRA Worlds - an experience many of us readers dream of being able to do some day!

    I look forward to following your reports, whenever you have the time!

    I'll have to get busy and repost some pics here!

    Thanks again!

    Paul K @ OWH
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Paul Kassens
    OWH Slot Car Talk "Mom"
    The Old Weird Herald
    email: paulk@oldweirdherald.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  5. #5
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    At the end of 3, we've got Matti and co, and Castricone/Trigillio tied, Anna in 3rd 3 laps down, Horky and Recek in 4th 4 down, Gawronsky/Vojtik in 5th 6 down, with Vojcik now starting his 4th stint a row. The rest will be Paul's race.

  6. #6
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    At the end of 4: Piero C on black chased down the co in Matti's team (long name I can't spell) so that they are now 3 laps down. Horky on green chased down Anna on blue and is now in 3rd, 4 laps down. Anna and co are tied with Paul G and Antonin are tied for 4th. Lots of offs, no big crashes yet, the pace is fast.

  7. #7
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    At the end of 5: We had Matti's co on orange driving against Paolo Trigillio on yellow. They are now tied for first. Recek is now driving. The beer is not hurting him. He's in 3rd 4 laps down. Paul is going fast, in 4th 9 laps down. The Kantamaa's have slowed down a little, now 5th, 14 laps down.

  8. #8
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    At the end of 6: Matti's co, I'll try to spell it "Pohjasniemi" is 1 lap up on Paulo T, Recek/Horky 3 down in 3rd, Paul slowly moving up, 7 laps down in 4th. Anna drove her last stint now in 6th 17 laps down. Taurins/Nabokins with Taurins driving passed Anna and they are now in 5th.

    Going into 7: Matti on Red against Paolo T on white, our gothic architect, Janis Nabokins, wearing 3" platform shoes on green, Paul G on blue, Ollie Kantamaa (Anna's ?younger? brother) on yellow, and Recek on black. Castricone/Trigillio just changed tires. Paolo will be flying, but he's 7 laps down. BTW, "gothic" "architect" are separately accurate and not exaggerated.

  9. #9
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    At the end of 7: It's Matti in first, 5 laps up, Paul G is flying, now in 2nd 2 down. Paulo in 23rd 5 down and not yet driving faster. Recek in in 4th 8 down. Who will have enough tires to finish fast?

    Going into heat 8: Matti's on green, Paul G on purple, Paolo T is on red. If Matti's tires hold up, he'll be hard to pass.

  10. #10
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    Trigillio/Castricone now even with Paul G/Antonin V for 2nd. Matti's gone, I'm thinking.

  11. #11
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    Minute to go, Paul's a half lap down to Trigillio.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-05-2014 at 08:42 AM.

  12. #12
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    It's over: Matti and co one, 4 laps up. Castricone/Trigillio 2nd. Paul G and Antonin V in 3rd 4 laps behind Matti. Car from other heat, not sure who, in 4th.

    Hope you enjoyed it. Now track cleaning and 1/32 ES practice till midnight.

    More to follow tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. Traditionally, 1/32 ES is the hardest class for me, but this year I've got 2 excellent cars.

  13. #13
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    This just in: They're going to turn off the power in the pit rooms for 10 minutes to upgrade the power. Like I wrote before, best venue I've ever seen. I neglected to mention, Latvian team leader, Janis Rage-Ragis and his large team (including the mayor of Limbazi) are behind all of this and doing just fantastic! Janis RR has been telling me for the last 2 years that this is going to be a really fun race. So far he's absolutely correct.

    Lastly, Chris Radisisch comes by to tell me that he fell asleep in a public area, and predictably got Gugu'd. I have no picture, but his fingernails are red.

  14. #14
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    Thanks, Paul! No pictures from me this year, I think.

    Greg

  15. #15
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    Thank you Greg, very nice report.
    ParmaPSE
    3rd Eye Technology

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