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Thread: A Backmarker’s View of the 2016 ISRA Worlds – Chicago

  1. #1
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    A Backmarker’s View of the 2016 ISRA Worlds – Chicago

    Welcome back to the ISRA Worlds! I hope that you’ve had a great year!

    I can only post here after the races are over, as they turn off the internet to get faster camera feeds for you. It’ll change the format a little from the past, but we should be OK. Separately, I apologize in advance for all of the misspelled names!

    Much more about the track, the facility, and all of the people later, right now, we are racing.

    Heat A, Team Production. We started with 59 teams, 118 racers, 8 heats, and a lot has gone on, but the big news in this class was last night, when Justin Colvin (USA) and Luca Sbrana (Italy), both very much young kids TQ’d. Qualifying in Team Production is by combined distance, 30 seconds for each teammate. They beat Horky and Recek by a couple of feet. A huge celebration by almost everyone, including Horky and Recek.

    The racing was overall very clean in the first 7 heats. There were two notable motor failures: (Antonin Vojtic (CZ)/Paul Gawronski (USA) and Chubby (Joe Salzman) / Matt Bruce (USA), both while doing well.

    Mike Mazur interrupts to tell me that Piero Castricone is currently turning 6.0s in purple, which is roughly as fast as I can go with my 1/24 Eurosport.

    So, we’ve got Janis Nabokins (Latvia) / Michael Landrup (Sweden) (last year’s winners), Piero Castricone / Paolo Trigillio (both Italy), Vladimir Horky / Jaroslav Recek (both Czech Republic), the above-mentioned Sbrana/Colvin kids, Reinkovs / Anna Kantamaa (Finland), Paces, Sr. / Paces, Jr. (Czech Republic), Ricardo Texeiro / Gugu Bernadino (both Brazil), and Matti Fhyr / Ollie Kantamaa (both Finland). No one’s counting, but half of the field are kids or young adults. Great news for all of us!

    At the end of four it’s Castricone/Trigillio in first, 3 laps up, Nabokins/Landrup in 2nd, Horky/Recek in 3rd (both tied) and everybody else a good way back.

    End of five, Castricone/Trigillio in first, still 3 laps up, Horky/Recek now in firm 2nd 4 laps up on Nabokins/Landrup in 3rd. Clean racing. Perhaps 60-70 people grouped around the track. A constant rather loud murmur, but everything relaxed and easy-going (except for the racers of course, but they are currently quiet, concentrating, and flying around this amazingly difficult track with these over-powered, low downforce flexis).

    End of 6, Jaroslav Recek has worked himself up to within a lap and a half of the lead (Trigillio driving), with Michael Landrup now 10 back. Michael had been slower than the other two, but I wonder if his motor is slowly going south.

    During 7, we’ve got Piero Castricone turning 6.2-3s, Vladimir Horky in the steady 6.1s. Seems like he’s making a move. End of 7, Horky is only ľ lap down.
    Just starting 8, Piero C fell off and we’ve got a tie. Forgive me while I put this computer down and stand up to watch.

    What happened was that Recek was just much faster on orange than Piero on red. He ended up winning by 4 with Michael Landrup 10 total back in third. A great start to the Worlds!

    I’ll be back tomorrow.
    Last edited by Greg N; 10-10-2016 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Fixed some spelling

  2. #2
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    Awesome to read thank you!!

  3. #3
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    The 3 Kiwis can all hold their heads up high
    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



  4. #4
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    Today we practiced, teched, and qualified in 1/32 Eurosport. Also 5 or 6 of the quarters are tonight, so it’s been a busy day for us backmarkers.

    But now’s a good time to talk about the scene. Totally different from the last couple of years. Two year’s ago we raced in a city hall auditorium, last year in an 18th century palace. This year we’re in about the biggest commercial slotcar raceway anywhere. It’s huge. You walk in and there’s a beginner’s figure eight on the right, and normally a medium sized oval on the left. It is replaced right now by tables for the approximately 120 total racers here. Then comes the 2010 ISRA Worlds flat track, the so-called Monster, just to the left, then side by side nearing the back, there’s a Gerding king on the right, and the current ISRA Worlds track on the left. Behind that is a big slotcar parts store.

    Our track is the hardest track I’ve ever driven on (and if you followed this blog in past years, that takes some doing). You drive down a long straight, through some squiggles, then a hard left under the bridge onto a long banana under the bridge that heads into a markedly decreasing radius sharp 180 degree right turn that ends essentially in kink, then a 4 foot straight into a sharp perhaps 100 degree left turn into another short straight followed by a refreshingly normal maybe 160 degree right turn and a moderately long straight over the bridge with a 30 degree right kink, 3 feet straight, then a 50 degree right kink (which on purple and black functions mostly as a car launcher). Then we drive onto another long banana which ends in another markedly decreasing radius turn with a kink at the end, this time to the left at the start of the esses, which in this case is really more of a rounded “W”. The middle of the W is usual, but the last one to left leading back to the main straight is a sharp kink to the left followed by an increasing radius turn. I think that the intention of that turn is to entice drivers on the inside lanes to give power early so that their cars go skittering down the main straight on their roofs. Pretty amazing really, but even more amazing is how fast the best drivers get around this thing. Optically, the track has black walls with red legs, befitting it’s builder, Janis Nabokins.

    I had worried about the atmosphere in a place as big as this. There was no need to worry. It’s all laid back, with at any one time maybe 20 small discussions and 2 or 3 large family reunions going on. Lots of smiles and laughter really all of the time.

    1/32 ES qualifying was remarkable in that tons of people qualified in the 5.6 – 5.8 range, with only a few getting below below that. Jan Zemlicka (CZ) and Antonin (Tonda) Vojtik (CZ) tied for TQ in the high 5.2s, a good bit faster than everybody else. The only other big surprise was that Vladimir Horky crashed a couple of times right at the start of his qualification and couldn’t get his car back up to speed after that, so that he ended up much further down the list than usual. He’ll be trying to make a ton of laps in his quarter to make it to the A or B semi. (You’ll recall from the past that it’s very difficult to make the main from the C.)

    I’ll sign off now. More tomorrow.

  5. #5
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    Hey Greg! I'm home. The track and it's mojo is aptly described.

    See ya!

    Thanks!

    Tony
    OWH Slotographer

  6. #6
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    Thanks, Tony!

    Tony is another backmarker. We had a great time at the Team Production race. I beat him this year, but only because I had a faster partner.

    I'm at a nearby Starbucks. I'll go back to the track in a half hour or so, and give you a blow by blow of the 1/32 Eurosport A Semi and the main, maybe part of the B Semi as well. That'll be fun!

    The heat races so far have been interesting. Just like in qualifying, there are a ton of drivers stacking up very close to each other. I think that there will be some surprises in who makes the move up, and I suspect that we'll be seeing it again in the semis. Seems like a combination of a large number of very similar cars and the very difficult track is doing this, though I'd have thought that the very hard track would serve to spread out the results, not compress them.

    There is a problem, though. I'd like to say that the wi-fi connectivity at the raceway is on the level of the Mongolian Steppes, far away from the nearest town, or maybe north of Great Slave Lake in the Yukon, but I'm thinking it is actually worse. I think I'll do the usual blow by blow and come over here to post it as soon as I can after the racing. No almost real time blogging this year. I'm sorry!

    Greg

  7. #7
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    Zip,

    The Kiwis are indeed all doing well. Chris Dillon is fast and driving well and Chris Radisich (?sp) is obviously world class. He is currently balled up in that mess in the upper middle that I discussed a few minutes ago.

    Greg

  8. #8
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    Great report, Thanks

    I look forward for more.

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    The 1/32 Eurosport quarters went off as expected. 10 laps between driver 8 and 28. But the C Semi was a bit of a surprise: A bunch of really fast guys (Andrey Zhbanov (RUS), Kari Sinisaari and Olli Kantamaa (FIN), Jiri Karlik (CZ), Matt Bruce and Casey Scott (USA), Chris Radisich (NZ), and Raivis Jansons (LAT). Olli took off and ran, finishing 10 laps in front of the next 3 (Jansons, Scott, and Radisich), who all finished within a lap and a half of each other. As I wrote earlier, it’s very difficult to make the main from the C, but Olli might do it. The problem is that the B leaders will be shooting very hard at Olli’s lap total, so that they are the first in line.

    Now for the B Semi: Alex Leite (BR), Vladimir Horky, Jaroslav Recek, Pavel Flaisig, and Jan Zemlicka (CZ), Michael Landrud (SW), Breno Vidal (BR), and Justin Colvin (USA).

    Mid-7, Recek is 1 lap up on Zemlicka, who is 2 laps ahead of Horky and Colvin who are tied. Vidal is 3 laps down on them. Ends with Zemlicka 3 laps back, but he was on red, and Horky now a lap back of Jan and one up on Justin.

    Mid-8, Horky now in 2nd three laps behind Recek. Jan is one behind Horky, Colvin 1 lap further back. Ends with Recek with 324.55, Olli from the C with 324.12, Horky with 321, Jan with 319.85, and Justin with 319.40

    The A Semi: Gugu and Ricardo Texeira (BR), Janis Nabokins and Budrys (LAT), Jonathan Forsyth and Paul Gawronski (USA), Matti Fyhr (FIN), and Antonin (Tonda) Vojtik (CZ).

    End of 1, Nabokins and Fyhr tied, Gugu, Ricardo, and Tonda one down, and Paul and Jonathan trace further back.

    End of 2: Clean race so far. Nabokins and Fyhr still tied, the other 4 one lap back, Jonathan 1 more back.

    End of 3: Gugu came up hard and is now tied with Matti. Janis is 3/4s lap back, now tied with Ricardo and Jonathan. Clean racing.

    End of 4: Gugu and Jonathan tied, Nabokins, Fyhr, Ricardo, Antonin, and Paul now all 1-2 laps back. They are a lap or two off of the Recek/Kantamaa pace.

    End of 5: Jonathan is 1-2 laps up on the other 6. As is, all of them except for Janis and Matti (and Budrys who is far back) will make the main.

    Near the end of 6 Matti got a 2 lap penalty for an improper track call, but more importantly, Paul’s relay failed when they turned the track back on, so the race jury is meeting. In the end, Paul gets a lap, and off we go again. Ricardo is now in 1st with Gugu, Jonathan, Tonda, and Paul basically all tied and in as far as the main goes.

    End of 7: Gugu leads (Ricardo is on red), the others 1-2 down, though Nabokins is moving up, looking to try to snatch the 8th spot.

    Mid-8: Paul is on red. He’s going to need to fly to hold his spot, even with the lap. Janis made it up to the 8th main slot. Gugu is leading running at the Recek/Kantamaa pace. In the end, Gugu wins, Ricardo 2nd, Tonda 3rd, Janis 4th, Jonathan 5th, and Paul 6th. Paul won’t make the move up even with his lap. And Jonathan lost out to Janis Nabokins by 10 sections.

    So for the main, it’ll be Gugu (BR), Recek (CZ), Ollie Kantamaa (FIN), Ricardo Texiera (BR), Antonin Vojtik (CZ), Vladimir Horky (CZ), Janis Nabokins (LAT), and Jan Zemlicka (CZ). Unusual in that there are 3 drivers from the B and one from the C.

    I’ll be back in a few.

  10. #10
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    Great to get a first person report, keep up the good work. Thanks Bill
    Remember the lack of any credible evidence is proof the conspiracy is working!

  11. #11
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    The 1/32 Eurosport final just started.

    Mid-1 everybody’s tied and the racing is clean. Some early fall-offs. No loud thumps. Nabokins and Tonda tried to make a break, but it didn’t work. End of stint, it’s Antonin, Ollie, and Nabokins tied with everybody else a lap back except for Horky on white and Jan on red, both 3-4 laps back.

    Mid-2 it’s clean racing, lap times in the 5.6-7s, so not so very fast. Horky on red now 9 laps down on Antonin, Recek and Zemlicka the same. Everybody else is about 4 back. Antonin is on orange. He’ll be trying hard to extend his lead. I don’t know anything about tire strategies. Nabokins and Antonin currently running in the 5.5s. End of stint: Vojtik, Gugu, Ollie, Nabokins, and Ricardo. Antonin 3-4 laps in front. Very clean racing, no further offs.

    Mid-3: Still clean as can be. Antonin is on white, still 3 up on Gugu and Janis. Horky is 13 down, I don’t know why he’s slower today. Faster laps, Janis with a 5.4, some other 5.5s. Gugu, I think, just hit a wall hard. End of 3, Antonin 3 up on Nabokins, but he’s going to red.

    Mid-4: Janis and Horky on the floor. All running fine now. Then a track call, but no big crash. Janis and Gugu only 1-2 in back of Antonin. Horky, Recek, Ricardo, and Zemlicka will have to do a lot to get back into the race. Antonin is still a lap up on Janis and Gugu, 2 on Ollie. At the end we’ve got Janis ˝ lap ahead of Antonin, but he’s coming off red, with Gugu 1.5 back, but he’s going to red.

    Mid-5: The top 4 are almost tied. The racing is fast (5.3 - 5.5s) and very clean. Red seems to be costing the racers 3-4 laps. On most tracks it’s 1-2. Janis is now 2 up on Antonin, 3 on Ollie. The tire changes should start next stint. At the end, Janis leads Tonda by 2, Gugu by 6. Gugu is going to be glad that red is over.

    Mid-6: Janis will try to pad his lead as he’s going to finish on red. Currently only 2 laps up on Antonin. Nabokins is doing a tire change. Cost him 3 laps. Antonin now 1 in the lead, but now he’s changing. He’s a little slower, he’s now 3 laps down on Janis, 1 down on Gugu. Ollie is 4 back. At the end, it’s Janis 3 1/2 up on Antonin, 4 on Gugu and Ollie.

    Mid-7: I’m reminded that the Gawronski/Vojtik mechanical failure in the production race was not due to a motor. Rather their rear bushings hogged out. (An unusual reason to fail, I’m thinking.) (How’s that for stream of consciousness writing?) And back to actual racing: Janis is 3 up on Antonin, Ollie is now 6 down. (He’s on red.) The unusually clean racing continues. Gugu is 5 down on Janis, Ollie 5, and he’s running 5.7s on red. Antonin is 2 laps down in 2nd, but he’s going to black, Janis to red. Should be exciting. If all goes according to usual, Antonin should be able to run Janis down.

    Mid-8: 2 track calls right in the beginning. No loud crashes. Tonda about 1.5 laps down with 3 minutes to go. With 2 minutes to go Janis has come off twice and now is on the same lap as Tonda. With 1 minute to go Tonda catches up, and they ran a lot of laps side by side with Tonda about 2 feet ahead of Janis, Janis pushing very hard. With 5 seconds to go, Janis falls off and Tonda wins. And Ollie finished in third 3 back, but only 6 feet in front of Gugu. Tonda ran just great, and Janis almost pulled off defending on red.

    A really great slot car race!!

  12. #12
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    Last night we practiced F1s until late and came back early to practice some more. Then tech, then qualification. Horky qualified last, ran about 4 laps, the last of which was 0.10 seconds faster than anyone had gone, and pulled. I’m thinking that he was trying to make a statement. :-)

    All of the quarters are tonight. I already drove. I had a real good time, but I’ve always loved 1/32 F1. Tomorrow morning is semis, with the main in the early afternoon. I’ll be back with the A and maybe the B Semi, and the main as usual.

    Overall, the atmosphere continues to be really nice, same overall feeling as I described earlier. The race officiating is excellent. We had a minor issue with having to practice on a way overly green track last night, and the race jury gave us two extra practice sessions this morning to get us all up to speed. I thought that they did very well and used excellent judgement.

    I’ll be back tomorrow in the late morning.

  13. #13
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    The Semis have not been going as usual.

    Piero Castricone (IT) has won 3 of the last 5-6 F1 Worlds. He had a terrible time in his quarter, limped into the C Semi and ended up 7th. Jonathan Forsyth, on the other hand, flew in the C, won by 3 laps and will likely move up. Anna Kantamaa (FIN) came in the 2nd in the C, and will likely move up as well.

    In the B, Jaroslav Recek (CZ) won, a half lap up on Paul Gawronski, and a lap up on Gugu (BR) and Antonin Vojtik (CZ) who were essentially tied.

    Brings us to the A Semi: We’ve got Vladimir Horky (CZ), Matti Fyhr (FIN), Janis Nabokins (LAT), Raivis Jansons (LAT), Ricardo Texeiro (BR), Alex Leite (BR), Olli Kantamaa (FIN), and Chris Radisich (NZ).

    Mid-7, Ricardo leads by 4 over Olli, and Nabokins. Horky is 5 off the lead, followed by Matti, Chris, Alex, and Raivis. As it stands only the first 4 will make the move-up. And Jonathan, Jaroslav, Paul, and Anna (in that order) will all move up. Pretty amazing really.

    Mid-8: Ricardo is 4 up but on red, Nabokins on yellow, and Horky (who is currently charging) on black will look to pass him. Olli is 5 back, still solidly in the move-up. Matti is on Orange, trying hard to push Anna out of the last move-up. But it ends prior to that.

    So the Main will be Ricardo Texiera (BR), Janis Nabokins (LAT), Vladimir Horky (CZ), Olli Kantamaa (FIN), Jonathan Forsyth (USA), Jaroslav Recek (CZ), Paul Gawronski (USA), and Anna Kantamaa (FIN).

    A brother and sister pair in an ISRA Worlds main! I’m really happy about this. Three of the eight (the two Finns and Jonathan) are, compared to most of you reading this, just kids. Great news for all of us. BTW, Olli and Anna are both college students. Olli is majoring in electrical engineering and Anna in biomedical engineering. Everybody in this main are friends of mine, but I’m rooting for Jonathan, Ollie, and Anna!

    I’ll be back in a few.

  14. #14
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    Parade laps, maybe 100 spectators, lots of clapping and they are off! The 1/32 F1 Worlds Main. This is a great class and we’ve had many very memorable races in it in the past!

    Pat Skene walks up and tells me that Anna is the first woman to make an ISRA Worlds Main ever.

    Laid back atmosphere. The drivers aren’t doing any styling today. Ricardo is wearing a faded white tee shirt. Can’t see what it says. Paul is wearing a Beuf tee-shirt, Horky a simple gray tee shirt. Recek has on a Flat Tracks Worlds shirt from Puyallup, Jonathan a sports sweatshirt from Arizona, and Olli a non-descript black tee. Only Janis and Anna with anything special – he has on a black Gothic skeleton sweatshirt, gray and white checked pants, and low platform shoes (and of course the usual blond dreadlocks). She’s wearing a lavender 2010 Worlds Mid-America tee, gray sweatpants, and slippers that she borrowed from her great-grandmother.

    Enough of that, back to the racing: Mid-3, very clean racing, rare offs, no crashes, no thunks. Lap times 6.6s – 7.2s (on red). Recek in first, tied with Horky, Janis, Jonathan, Ricardo, and Ollie. Paul, who was on red last heat, is 5 down. Anna, who was on red in stint 1 is 9 down. And that’s how it ends. Nabokins lost 4 laps on red, not bad.

    Mid-4: Horky is on red this time. Recek now 2 laps up on the pack. Janis is with them, only Paul and Anna are behind. Extremely close, extremely clean racing. The pack is chasing down Jaroslav, only 1.5 laps in the lead. Horky has only lost a lap so far on red. Great race! At the end, Recek, going to red, is ˝ lap up on Olli and Jonathan. Ricardo and Janis are a full lap back, Horky 2. Paul is 4.5 down, Anna still 8.5.

    Mid-5: Olli, Ricardo, Jonathan, and Janis should be passing Recek soon. Horky 2.5 back in 6th. 30 secs later, there is a 5 way tie for the lead. And Paul is up to 3.5 down. Lap times 6.7s to 6.9s. At the end, it’s Olli in first, with the top 4 within a lap. Recek is 2 down, Horky 3.5, Paul 4. Recek only lost 3 on red. He’s still ahead of Horky.

    Mid-6: Jonathan is on red this stint. Still extremely clean, only rare offs, no crashes, no thumps at all. Fierce concentration on all of the driver’s faces, except for Paul who looks like a statue and Anna who appears relaxed. Ricardo now in the lead, Olli, Recek and Nabokins all tied 1.5 to 2 back. Jonathan only lost 3. He’s tied with Vladimir 4 back. Paul is 5 back, Anna 10.

    Mid-7: Ricardo is still 2 up, but he’s going to finish on red. Recek and Janis are tied 2 back, Olli in third 3 back. Olli is on red. Recek and Nabokins are chasing Ricardo very hard. Now only ˝ to 1 lap back. A great race. Looks like Recek and Nabokins to me. Jonathan in 4th 4 back, Olli and Paul 5, Horky 6, Anna 10. No tire changes yet.

    Mid-8: Recek and Nabokins now tied in the lead. Janis in the 6.5s, Recek in the 6.7s. Both just fell off. Recek Ľ lap up. Loud track call. Another crash. They are pushing hard. Recek after all this 3/4s lap up with 90 secs to go. Recek will win if nothing more happens.

    In the end, Jaroslav Recek first by a lap over Janis Nabokins. Ricardo Texiera in third, I think 3 back. Paul Gawronski in 4th, I think a further lap back. Another fabulous slot car race!! Lot’s of cheering, lots of happy people!

  15. #15
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    Excellent report! It was just like I was there, only without the noise! Thanks much. Congrats to all of the winners.
    Eddie Shorer
    Team Boola (circa the '60s)

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