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Thread: A Backmarker's View of the 2015 ISRA World's - Prague

  1. #1
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    A Backmarker's View of the 2015 ISRA World's - Prague

    Unusual situation, so I might as well start this years Backmarker’s blog with it instead of the usual intro. It’s Sunday, 7 am and I’m here marshaling the K main of the Team Production race. We qualified until 1:30 am today, back here to start at 7 am, right on time. Rob Voska, my partner, and I qualified in the H, so we’re supposed to marshal. Everybody else is sleeping. I will be again soon, too, as we won’t be running for at least 2 hours.

    The K main is interesting: A mixture of 2 European teams with mechanical breakdowns during qualifying and 5 other teams with various other qualifying screw-ups (very difficult to marshal cars and the like). Three teams of interest to you are in this main: Jonathan Forsyth / Alex Muniz, Jason Hooper / Justin Colvin, and Ken Signal / Eric Signal (Sweden). Jonathan started fast in the first heat, but they’ve had recurrent gear problems. They will finish well out of it. Jason and Justin, on the other hand, are running in first, over 20 laps up. That’s a good thing for them, as the team running in second (Signal / Signal) had spun a pinion in qualifying and missed half of the first heat soldering on a new one. And that’s how it ended, too. And I’m off to bed.

    Much more to follow.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-04-2015 at 01:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    Yikes!!!

    Qualifying until 1:30 and marshalling at 7? That's cuz there is on limit no entries in the production team race.
    The other classes are limited to entries of around 100, I think. Who ever heard of a USA eurosport race that had to limit
    entries to 100? Lots of folks, including a lot of USA racers, wanted to race eurosports in Prague this year. Same with Chicago next year!

    Thanks for the post, Greg.

    Say hi to Rob for me and have a good rest.

    Bill

  3. #3
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    The limit is 120 drivers in the other classes.
    Owl Chump


  4. #4
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    I was busy this afternoon working (?), so still no real introduction, but the scene here in the B and A mains of team production was amazing, so I guess a little physical introduction is necessary. We’re in an old chateau. I’d guess late 18th century. The chateau itself is very large. I don’t know enough about its history yet, but apparently there’s some blood in the walls. The Nazis used it in WWII, and the communist government had it then through 1989. At any rate, now it’s a hotel, fixed up beautifully. The grounds are just gorgeous, too. Part has been turned into a golf course. I don’t know if 9 or 18 holes. But we’re in the stables, literally. The stables are a huge u shaped building. An apparent administration building at the base of the U, with one side (over 100 yards long, I think) as old stables, all fixed up into rustic meeting rooms with hotel bedrooms upstairs. On the other side of the U are beautiful old meeting rooms and the like, all with pretty columns and lots of arches.

    So you’d think that the mood would be one of luxury, but it’s not. There were 83 teams in the team race. That’s 176 drivers. If you finish 41st or better (my team didn’t ☺), you’re in the upper half. And although the place is huge, it’s nowhere big enough to hold 16 drivers, 8 marshals, a race director and 150+ fans. Add to that the fact that 4 feet outside of the large room with the track, there’s a snack bar where they sell beer (the real Budweiser, not the fake American stuff) cheaper per ounce than the sparkling water. It’s about $1.25 a pint. So the actual atmosphere is sort of a cross between an old time boxing match (without the cigarette smoke) and maybe a crowded state championship basketball game in the late 60’s right after you ate one of those red and white mushrooms.

    So that’s the scene, and it builds throughout the day, starting at 7 am and ending at 9 pm. Mains K through A. And it was a great race, with 2 ISRA bad boys, Michael Landrud (Sweden) and Janis Nabokins (Latvia), winning out of the C over Antonin Vojic (Czech) and James Cleave (GB) by twenty track sections or so.

    But the story was much better than that. First of all in the C, Landrup / Nabokins were absolutely flying, racing very hard against competitors they both know well, but couldn’t see. Then in the B, we had Ricardo Taxeira of Gugu / Taxeira (Brazil) chasing down Schneiders / Podosinoviks (Latvia) in the middle of the last heat, and then Jan Korec of Gawronski (US) /Korec (Czech) doing the same thing right at the end to come in 2nd in the B.

    Then in the A: Fhyr/ Dolzhanskiy (Finland) were out early with mechanical issues. Horky / Recek were chugging along in the lead, until James Cleave slowly and steadily chased down Horky for the lead at the end of 7, and then put two laps on Recek early in the eighth. (I never tried this, but I think it must be hard.) But the computer also displays the overall lead, and he was still in 2nd. He absolutely took off chasing Landrup / Nabokins, but he couldn’t see them. With about 30 seconds ago, he succeeded in passing them, but then he was in a very brief crash, and his position turned to 2 again. And the bad boys from the C Main celebrated. All this in the atmosphere of way too much beer and a slight whiff of magic mushrooms.

    Enough for now. I’ll write tomorrow about some of the other good stories from the team race. We start practice for 1/32 ES in while. We’ll go till about 12:30 am, I’m thinking. And we’ll be down to only 120 drivers. ☺

    Greg

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    But ... are you 'having fun yet'?

  6. #6
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    1/32 ES practice is over, the cars are teched, and soon we will qualify. There were a couple of notable happenings in the middle of the field yesterday that may interest you: First, Chris Davis and Sandy Parker, both from the UK, made it into the A main. Sandy is working on taking away Anna’s title as ISRA’s fastest female. And Chris Radisisch and Casey Scott finished 16th out of the H main. A really good result, I think.

    The race was really fun to drive in. My teammate, Rob Voska, and I qualified into the H main. We had a good car and a reasonable motor. Rob drove the gutters, I was in the middle. He did well on purple and white, and flew on red and black. I never fly, but I was OK speed-wise (for me) on all four of my lanes, but I fell off way too many times on green. The car was great, the track surface fine. Guess I was nervous. The rest of the lanes went well for me. We finished 61st, and I’m happy with that. The racing was really fun.

    A couple of simple words about the track: It’s the best built track I ever saw. Flat as can be. If you look at the rubber tracks at the joints, there are no breaks at all. The design is great, very fast. Power, electronics, lap counter, etc. all function perfectly. There’s a place right after the 180 at the end of the straight where the cars can launch. They fly straight forward and lose themselves under the track right where the bridge is. It turns out that it is very difficult to crawl in there, and the cars that do this often stay lost for a number of minutes. Quite a problem if this happens to you during qualifying. ☺ The other issue is that most slot car racers are males, and that many males are at least partially blue-green colorblind. You’ll note that there are no color stripes on the track. The inside of the slots are painted and the lighting is only OK. It’s quite the challenge to see the lane colors when you’re marshaling, especially blue and green, almost impossible to see a color when you’re at the driver’s panel.

    More tomorrow. Wish me luck!

    Greg

  7. #7
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    Greg,
    You seem to contradict yourself when you say flat as can be but the cars can launch.

    I also think that color in the slot thing is a bad idea.

    Maybe if they added an additional fine stripe on the outside of the braid.

    I don't get how they are so hung up on running over a stripe.

    They run over the braid and regardless, it's the same for everyone.
    "Get Yourself Retrofied"
    Chicagoland Raceway
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    Check out Chicagoland Raceway on facebook.

  8. #8
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    1/32 ES qualifying was interesting and unusual. You’ll note that the very top drivers ended up all over the top third. Remember that to make the final, you generally need to be in the A or B semi. The result will be a number of drivers in the C, D, and E quarters will be driving very hard. This should make for a very interesting race tomorrow. I’ll be racing later tonite, so I’ll have plenty of time to report tomorrow.

    Mike, I agree concerning the stripes. The track is as smooth as can be. The 1/32 ESs launch all by themselves when they deslot, they don't need a bump. Not sure how the physics of that works, but for sure it's not the track surface that's the main factor.

    Greg

  9. #9
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    I was watching a lot of the 24 production race and saw a lot of cars launch coming out of that turn looks like if you try to get on it to soon it takes off .Great looking track the color in the slot sucks for us .
    Motors By Mic B
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  10. #10
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    I haven't had time to watch footage, but maybe they are just wheelieing(sic) out.

    12 and Eurosport cars do it pretty regularly after the 2 jogs after the main straight, on my track.

    It appears to be just from over aggressive driving.

    Sometimes it seems the nose comes up over 45 degrees.
    "Get Yourself Retrofied"
    Chicagoland Raceway
    17B West Ogden Ave.
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    mikeswiss86@hotmail.com

    Check out Chicagoland Raceway on facebook.

  11. #11
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    Mike, are you suggesting that anyone here might drive too aggressively? ☺

    Normally I don’t cover quarterfinal races with anything more than a couple of comments, but this one is interesting:

    We’re in the 6th heat of the D quarters in 1/32 ES. We’ve got Piero Castricone tied with Paolo Trigillio with Paul Gawronski in 3rd 3 back, Josef Korec in 5th 11 back, and Mike Iles in 8th, way back, but probably having a great time.

  12. #12
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    At the end of 7, it's Piero and Paolo still tied, and Paul still 3 down. They are lapping in the 4.8s, but right at the end Paul’s car slowed, then started to smoke badly.

  13. #13
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    Paul is out, presumably with a blown arm. Smells awful. I talked to him. He hasn't looked at the motor yet and doesn't know what happened.

    Paolo won, two laps up on Piero, 282 and 280 laps respectively. Will it be enough to make the B semi? Move-ups from the C semi are rare, but common from the B.

  14. #14
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    The B Quarter is also of interest:
    We’ve got Nikolai Dolzhansky, Gus Gunderson, Olli Kantamaa, Jiri Karlik, Richard Mack, Casey Scott, Eric Signal, and M Razaukas.

    If you’ve read this blog in past years, you’ll recall Olli as one of the delightful and fast Finnish kids. They are all still here and all still fast, but all are now adults. We do still have one Finnish kid here, little Artu Korolainen. He’s now tall, but very much still a kid. He was always very fast, but couldn’t stay on. This is changing fast.

    The really good news for all of us, is just like in previous years, there are maybe three dozen fast young people here. One Italian, new this year - three Americans, large numbers of Scandinavians, Eastern Europeans of various stripes, and some Russians.

  15. #15
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    At the end of 5 heats, it’s Nikolai is 1st, 1 up on Olli and Eric, 3 up on Gus, and 5 up on Jiri. The rest are a good bit further back. Casey broke and is out, I don’t know why.

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