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Thread: A Backmarkerís View of the ISRA 2014 Worlds

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Brilliant reporting. Almost like being there
    Zippity

    "Rules are written by FEAR; and that Racers are motivated by the Fear that somebody may have something that gives others an Edge." - Rocky Russo



  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    so cal
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    Excellent account Dr. Norris! We look forward to more of your views over the course of the event.
    Glad you are enjoying yourself, as always!

  3. #18
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    May 2003
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    Great Valley,NY
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    1,227
    Have fun.

    Hope to meet up with you again at a race one of these days.

  4. #19
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    Jun 2002
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    Paonia, Colorado
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    It’s 2:30 in the afternoon. We practiced from 8 am till about 30 minutes ago, tech will close in 10 minutes, and we’ll start qualifying. 112 racers in 1/32 ES, down from 122 in the team race yesterday. The track is running real nice today, and we’ll almost certainly have good racing. There will be 7 quarter groups tonite, the rest tomorrow, then I think 3 semi groups tomorrow, followed by the main. The mood is quiet and pretty relaxed, even though the class we’re about to race is always very exciting and nerve-wracking, often with big crashes, despite the fact that the cars usually don’t nerf each other.

    Every year there are lots of politics at the Worlds. Usually, they are just slot car politics, but yesterday one of the racers was wearing a tee shirt that said “Russian Power” on the right side and it had one of those Russian machine guns running vertically up the left side. I was going to write that I was thinking that there is more than one country in the world that could use some gun control, but one of my friends from Great Lakes ISRA would be mad at me, so I take it back.

    If anything newsworthy comes up, I’ll write more tonight, otherwise you’ll hear from me during the semis.

    I forgot: Every day for at least the last four days, there are people with film cameras and reporters here doing interviews. Seems like it's for Latvian television, though I don't know this for sure.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-06-2014 at 05:20 AM.

  5. #20
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    Jun 2002
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    I had a real good time today. I think it makes sense to write a little about why it makes sense to come to these races when you are a 65 year old backmarker.

    First of all the overall experience is probably worth the trip all by itself. But there are downers – like Magnus Helgesson, my Swedish teammate, and I doing so poorly in the team race when we had a really fast car. But the upper there is spending 2 days together with Magnus, my friend, now racing together in our 2nd year. Happily, we both screwed up equally.

    But today I did real well for a backmarker: It was the best 1/32 ES race I ever drove, these cars a hard for me to drive fast. I spun a gear in the first lap of qualifying, borrowed a wrench from Torgne, another Swedish friend, who was sitting in the stands, removed the wheel, tightened the gear, replaced the wheel and got back to my station with 20 seconds to go. Ran a 4.9, a 4,8, and a 4.6 (which is really pretty good), and got loud of cheer from the 120 - 150 people in the stands. Qualified 87 of 112. That may not sound good to you, but it’s just great for me.

    In my Group, I ran slow and steady, finished I think 6th of 8, but now it's looking like I'll end up at the top of the bottom third, a great result in this class for me. I only fell off 7 times total. My concentration was great, and my car, a Malmo Horky was just great. My motor, which used to be my practice motor, was very smooth. My thanks to Jim Hahn, who just rebuilt the whole thing, after Paul Gawronski totally blew it up fast lapping at the Tacoma USRA Nats.

    Also, if you race ISRA, try to find a Czech Pro-2 controller. They rock! Unhappily, there are far fewer of these in existence, then even the small number of US ISRA racers. (i'm the world's only backmarker who has a controller which has won at least 2 world championships (actually most likely 3 or 4 total), but I'm not giving it up!)

    I’ll write about the frontmarkers starting sometime in the morning in the US tomorrow.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-06-2014 at 01:21 PM.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
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    181
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg N View Post
    Also, if you race ISRA, try to find a Czech Pro-2 controller. They rock! Unhappily, there are far fewer of these in existence, then even the small number of US ISRA racers. (i'm the world's only backmarker who has a controller which has won at least 2 world championships (actually most likely 3 or 4 total), but I'm not giving it up!)
    Excellent reporting, Greg. Thanks for taking the time to fill us all in. Your commentary makes us feel like part of the action.

    Why the Czech Pro-2 controller? How does it differ from the Pro-3 controller built by Micek?
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    England
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    The Pro2's were built by Petr Krcil. While the CZ's wont confirm or deny anything about the build quality of the originals, it is generally understood that the parts used in the originals were calibrated and selected componets. They are certainly exceptional when it comes to reliability, and apart from the cable breaking down inside, nothing has every gone wrong with them apart from a brake pot blowing up when I hooked it up incorrectly!! My Bad. Great commentary Greg, keep racing hard.

  8. #23
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    May 2002
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    City of Chicago
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    What a great read! Thanks so much!

  9. #24
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    Jun 2002
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    Paonia, Colorado
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    Just came to the track at the end of the B semi. Very fast drivers in that semi. Paul came in 4th. There’ll need to be a bunch of carnage in the A for him to make the move-up. Usually only 1-2 drivers from the B semi and none from the C semi make the main. By the way, did you notice that just like in the team race, there were world class drivers littered all over the various groups. The reason is, I think, that many of the locals (local here meaning from all 3 Baltic countries) are capable of turning some very fast laps, so they qualify in the upper groups.

    The A semi is running now. At the halfway point, the winner of the B is currently in first place, with 3 drivers not currently making the move-up. Two of them are Matti Fhyr and Janis Nabokins, so I’m thinking that they will likely speed up a little in the second half.

    I was asked about the difference between a Czech Pro-2 and Pro-3. Brian knows more about this than I do, see above. I would add that Pro-3s are great, and very popular. A word of caution: there are very many counterfeit Czech contollers out there, so be careful that you buy from someone reputable.

    I’ll survey who’s using which controllers later and report on this. For the Americaphiles among you, Matti Fhyr uses a new model Difalco that runs into a rather large box of his own design and build. Much like the man, the box is simple and unadorned, though God only knows what's inside. In fairness to Matti I should remind you that the Czechs currently all run Pro-4s, which also run into large boxes with unknown contents, but the Czech boxes are cool and often decorated. Paolo Trigillio uses a standard looking Third-Eye, I’m not sure which model.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-07-2014 at 06:59 AM.

  10. #25
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    Jun 2002
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    The A semi just finished. Amazingly, Paolo Trigillio and Petr Krcil didn't make the move-up. Matti and Nabokins made it in, at least unofficially. I'll do a heat by heat commentary on the main, starts in about an hour, I think.

    Greg

  11. #26
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    Jun 2002
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    Paonia, Colorado
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    So, the 1/32 Eurosport main just started. As an aside, Paul Gawronski finished 9th, only 1/2 lap behind Janis Nabokins in 8th. Also, there are 2 Latvians in the final (Nabokins and Raivis Jansons), so the crowd went wild when they were introduced. Neither are surprises.

    There are maybe 150 people here in the stands, perhaps 20 are local fans.

    After 1 heat, we've got Antonin Vojtik and Piero Castricone tied for first. Nabokins and Recek 1 lap down, Raivis, Matti Fhyr and Vladimir Horky 3 down, and Jiri Karlik 7 down. There were 2 loud crashes, nothing broken yet.

  12. #27
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    Jun 2002
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    The track seems slower today than yesterday, just looking at the lap times, but I haven't compared them to the actual race sheets from yesterday.

    After 2, it's Nabokins in the lead, Castricone 1 down, Vojtik and Recek are 3 down, Raivis is 4 down, Fhyr and Horky 5, and Karlik 8. Only one minor crash. Running 4.2s and 4.3s.

  13. #28
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    Nabokins and Piero are running a little faster, tho as I write this, Horky just ran a 4.1 in black. Only 1 car off once briefly in the whole heat. Not clear to me why Jiri Karlik is slowly falling back.

    After 3, Nabokins in the lead, Castricone 2 down, Recek 4, then Raivis, Antonin, and Horky all 7 down. Matti had a bad white, not clear why, now 10 down, and Jiri Karlik is now 12 behind.

  14. #29
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    Nabokins on Purple and Piero on black are exactly matching laps. Matti on red, Jiri on white are falling further behind. Very clean heat so far.

    No major changes except that Piero and Janis are now tied, and Jiri and Matti are now 14 down.

  15. #30
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    Castricone is now a lap up on Nabokins, who's on red. Recek, Horky and Raivus are tied for third, Antonin is 7 down, Matti 14 down, Jiri 17 down with 1 minute to go in heat 5. Clean race so far.

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