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  • Meet the Members of SCI...ZOOM BEEDO!!!!

    Hello race fans. Well, once again the wheel has spun and has landed on a near and dear neighbor to the East of Alabama in Georgia. I want to introduce ya'll to Zoom Beedo (no, I don't know where he came up with his monicker). ZB is a very active member of the SSR Lake Lanier Gang. The LL gang races on Wednesday nights, as well as hosting special events such as the Alabama vs. Georgia challenge back in March at SouthernSloter's house.

    Zoom Beedo, along with Mark, has turned me back into a Ninco fan, especially with their Porsche 997 racing models. ZB also designs some great race tracks. His tracks look fairly simple........until you race on one. That is when you learn he has a bit of a sadistic challenge streak he keeps well hidden.

    Without furthe ado, please welcom Mr. Zoom Beedo to the hotseat:

    1) ZB, we have sat and raced slot cars and we have sat and watched the "Mitty" together at Road Atlanta. Your knowledge of race cars and their physics is phenomenol. Please tell us about yourself and what you have worked at for a living. You are not originally from Georgia correct?

    2) Your knowledge of the types of cars is also terrific. Tell us about any 1:1 racing you may have done. Also, what has been your favorite race of all time, whether you raced or watched.

    3) What driver do you admire the most in 1:1 racing?

    4) Of the cars you have seen that have yet to be made as an RTR slot car, what car are you just willing to "die for" to see it made?

    5) What company would you like to see make your dream slot car?

    6)What is the one single thing slot car manufacturers could do to make their cars better?

    7) What 3 new 2008 releases are you LEAST looking forward to?

    8) What makes you the maddest when racing with the gang or anyone in particular.

    9) What gives you the GREATEST joy racing with the Lake Lanier gang?

    10) Let's switch away from cars and focus on track design. I have had the pleasure of racing on 2 tracks you have designed. To be honest, both tracks LOOKED SIMPLE, then I raced on them..........I got butchered!!!! Given an 8 x24 foot table, what would you design (totally your choice of designs)?

    11) Chicanes and "kinks" seem to be a trademark of a Zoom Beedo track. Do you intentionally put them there?

    12) You also love 90 degree turns immediately before and after crossovers/bridges. Why?

    13) What 1 release of a slot car are you most looking forward to this year (2008)?

    14) OK ZB, I'm through for now. Any comments you want to make?

    Folks, I am really proud to call ZB "friend". He is a special person and very, very passionate about his racing, no matter what scale. I could sit above turn 5 at Road Atlanta and watch races with ZB and his crazy friend Jimmy 24 hours a day.

    Good luck ZB and have fun my friend.

    KIITS,
    Lawrence

  • #2
    Wow! I think I'm going to have to take these a few at a time. I'm not sure at my age that I can concentrate long enough to answer all of your questions in one sitting.

    14) OK ZB, I'm through for now. Any comments you want to make?

    I'm going to answer the last one first, since I'm already thinking about it. I guess the first thing I'd like to say is that probably the best part about this hobby is meeting all the wonderful people involved in it. From PSSRA, who I raced with when I first got back into slots, to Scale Slot Racers Lake Lanier, who I race with now, and all I've met in between, there's something about this "still plays with toy cars" group that makes them the funnest people I've ever met. I feel like I could go anywhere in the world and find people that I consider friends. The biggest problem is finding time to get around to see them all, but I'm working on it.

    The other thing that I really love about this hobby is its age independence. I have a really competitive nature, and this hobby still lets me compete (I'm over 60 now) on an equal basis with guys who are a fraction of my age (the newest up-and-coming racer in our group is 13). What other activity would foster competition and friendship between such a disparate age group? Fantastic!

    BTW, the Jimmy that Lawrence referred to is one of my best friends, a guy like me that's retired and goes to all the races at Road Atlanta, and also was responsible for hooking us up with one of the greatest adventures of all time, described here:
    Zoom's Excellent Adventure!

    Now, let's take some of the other questions in order.

    1) ZB, we have sat and raced slot cars and we have sat and watched the "Mitty" together at Road Atlanta. Your knowledge of race cars and their physics is phenomenol. Please tell us about yourself and what you have worked at for a living. You are not originally from Georgia correct?

    You are correct, originally I'm from the Detroit, MI area. I lived in Dearborn, and walked past the Ford World Headquarters building on my way to grade school. Ford was a very prominent presence in Dearborn, and maybe that had something to do with my interest in cars. The nearest foreign country, Canada, was south of my house (there's a good trivia question). In fact, I spent so much of my youth in or near Canada, that I've been known to end a question with "eh?" Maybe that's why I've always considered myself something of an honorary Canadian. It was a shock when I moved to Seattle and found that they played the Canadian national anthem at all the sporting events. It was even more of a shock when I automatically stood and started getting all teary-eyed for Oh Canada!

    My father was in the Federal Aviation Administration, so we moved around a lot. We moved to Kansas City when I was 11, and after living in Chicago and Washington DC, we ended up back in KC. I went to the University of Kansas (Rock chalk Jayhawk, go KU!) where I studied Industrial Design, and was planning on being a car designer, but things never quite worked out that way. I did come in second in a sports car design competition sponsored by Autoweek magazine in the '80s, but that's as close as I came to doing it professionally. Instead, I was an Architecural Illustrator for several years, then eventually went to work for King Radio in Olathe, KS, designing autopilot and avionics installations in private and business aircraft and writing the installation manuals detailing how the equipment was to be installed.

    For safety's sake, the FAA has very strict rules about any changes done to an aircraft, so the installation had to be approved by them, and resulted in our obtaining a Supplemental Type Certificate authorizing the installation. Because of that, we were known as Certification Engineers. That turned out to be a very satisfying career, with the company changing from King Radio to Allied Signal, then Honeywell, and eventually led to my being promoted and transfered to Seattle in 1998 as a Configuration Engineer (mostly dealing with paperwork--not nearly as satisfying) working primarily with airlines. After 9-11 the airline industry slowed to a crawl and so did our support industry, so I took an early retirement and started looking for a locale that had a lower cost of living, warmer weather, a big lake, and a major road racing track. That's how I ended up in Georgia, ten minutes away from Road Atlanta.

    As far as my knowledge of engineering, some of it was learned in college, and a lot of it on the job, but much of it was gleaned from the pages of Road & Track, Car and Driver, and Sports Car Graphic (sadly, many of our younger members won't know about that wonderful publication, which later was absorbed into Motor Trend). The first time I was asked to design a bracket for mounting an autopilot servo motor, I went home and looked up an article I had seen on how to design bracketry for race cars. Worked great, everyone thought I was a wiz!

    That should be enough for now, hopefully it hasn't been too boring. I'll answer the rest of your questions over the next couple days.
    Last edited by Zoom Beedo; 05-24-2008, 09:44 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      2) Your knowledge of the types of cars is also terrific. Tell us about any 1:1 racing you may have done. Also, what has been your favorite race of all time, whether you raced or watched.

      Thanks, but I think my knowlege of the cars from the '50s and '60s is probably much better than from later periods. Those were the cars I lusted after, drew during study hall, and remember most vividly.

      As for 1:1 racing, not that much; although, I did get to work as a crew chief for a friend that races Formula E in SCCA this past fall. Man, that's a lot of work! My main claim to fame in 1:1 racing was as an autocrosser. I had one of the first Fiat X-1/9s in the country and enjoyed great success running it at events in the Kansas City area. I made it to a couple of SCCA National Solo 2 Championships in the late '70s and early '80s. Best result was a third fastest time in class (E Stock), but I got hit with a "phantom" cone penalty (none of my friends saw me hit it, and it was still in the box after my run, but in those days any worker could call it) that kept me from finishing on the podium. Later, I ran a Kansas State Championship event and took top stock time, beating a couple national champions in higher classified cars. That was probably the highlight of my 1:1 racing career.

      Favorite race of all time? You really know how to ask the tough questions. Probably the first F1 race I saw on television, the 1961 Grand Prix of Monaco. That may have been the first time an F1 race was televised, on ABC Wide World of Sports, between heats of the wrist wrestling championship from Petaluma and the cliff diving from Acapulco. I couldn't believe they were racing those little go-kart like cars on city streets. I'd heard of F1 before, but had never seen it. There were even a few Americans racing then, Phil Hill and Richie Ginther were driving the Shark-nose F156 Ferraris, chasing Stirling Moss in a Rob Walker Lotus 18 with the lower body panels removed for cooling. Phil ended up winning the World Driver's Championship that year, and was amazing the way he would fling that Ferrari around the hairpins trying to catch Stirling. There wasn't a pass for the lead the entire race, but it was still one of the most exciting things I've ever seen.

      I was also fortunate enough to see on TV the famous Dan Gurney drive-over-the-line-on-the-starter win at the first Daytona Continental, and the first race I attended was at Lake Garnett in Kansas when the first Shelby Cobra vs. Corvette Grand Sport race took place. Ken Miles had added an oil cooler to his Cobra for the production car race, but the SCCA disallowed it, saying that would move him to a modified class, so he removed it to run the production car race. Then he put it back on and went out and beat all the modified cars, including the Grand Sport. Both those races rank high on my favorites list, too.

      3) What driver do you admire the most in 1:1 racing?

      And the toughies just keep coming. Phil Hill was one of my first heros, and the first American World Driver's Champion, and I had the good fortune to meet him and talk to him for awhile at one of the historic races in Seattle. He was extremely warm and gracious and treated me like an old friend that he hadn't seen in quite some time. What a class act! I also got to meet Dan Gurney at one of the Seattle races, and he too was extremely gracious, and of course, one of my big heros. How about if I just narrow it down to those two? I was also a big fan of Stirling Moss, Jimmy Clark, and when I learned about him, Juan Fangio. Then later on, I was a big fan of Jochen Rindt, Mark Donohue, Giles Villenueve and Keke Rosberg. I guess I always appreciated someone that could wring a little more speed out of a car than anyone else.
      Last edited by Zoom Beedo; 05-26-2008, 09:47 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        4) Of the cars you have seen that have yet to be made as an RTR slot car, what car are you just willing to "die for" to see it made?

        A few months ago I would have said either the Lotus 49 of Jimmy Clark or the Gurney Eagle F1 cars, but Scalextric has taken care of that need quite nicely. So how about another car from that era to make a bigger field? Although it wasn't a big winner, probably one of the greatest looking cars from that era and one of my all time favorites was the Ferrari 312/66 F1 car depicted in the movie Grand Prix. I would love to see the earliest version of that car as raced in 1966 by John Surtees, Lorenzo Bandini, Ludivico Scarfiotti, Chris Amon, and Mike Parkes. The '66 version had longitudinal slots on the nose for air exit from the radiator and is my favorite version, in '67 they changed that to a large opening that seems a little less elegant, but was probably more effective.



        5) What company would you like to see make your dream slot car?

        I think Scaley should produce it, along with the rest of the cars from that era. They've done a fantastic job with the Lotus and Eagle and it would help keep the field competitive if they all used the same drivetrain and tires.

        6)What is the one single thing slot car manufacturers could do to make their cars better?

        Eliminate as much of the "slop" as possible in the assembly/manufacturing process, particularly in wheels and axles. Oh, and how about supplying OEM tires that are as good as Ortmann's, to work on any surface.

        7) What 3 new 2008 releases are you LEAST looking forward to?

        Probably the SCX Hummer H3 and Renault 8 and the latest version of the NSR Mosler. Don't hate 'em, just no interest in buying any of them.

        8) What makes you the maddest when racing with the gang or anyone in particular.

        When I do something stupid. When others do something that ruins my race I get mad for a while, but I get over it pretty quickly. But, when I do it to myself it takes a lot longer to get over it. Of course, sometimes, I consciously work up a little controlled anger to help me focus and drive faster.

        9) What gives you the GREATEST joy racing with the Lake Lanier gang?

        There are times when several of us have equal cars and all race side-by-side for lots of laps, with no one able to gain an appreciable advantage. When it's over, we all laugh like loons, but of course, it's best when I finish just a little bit in front! Seriously, we have a great group, and the friendship of those guys is the best part of the racing.

        Next, I'll tackle the design questions.

        Comment


        • #5
          10) Let's switch away from cars and focus on track design. I have had the pleasure of racing on 2 tracks you have designed. To be honest, both tracks LOOKED SIMPLE, then I raced on them..........I got butchered!!!! Given an 8 x24 foot table, what would you design (totally your choice of designs)?

          Thanks, Lawrence, glad you liked racing on them. The track that I designed for SouthernSloter is 8 X 24 and is one of my favorites, but I'd make a few changes now that we've had a chance to race on it for awhile, maybe something like this:

          Comment


          • #6
            11) Chicanes and "kinks" seem to be a trademark of a Zoom Beedo track. Do you intentionally put them there?

            Actually, when I start designing a track, I try to get as much input from the "owner" about what he's looking for in a track and what brand of track he has. Then I try to collect any additional info about the room where the track is located so that I can make some additional recommendations. Sometimes, the best solution isn't a single monolithic table in the center of the room, but that's what most people think of first. In some cases, it's better to split the table and put part of it against a wall with the marshalling area in the center. That's what I did for SlingShot, and it resulted in a much more intereesting design and a much longer track within the restricted space limitation. Mostly, I try to keep lane lengths even (although that's not absolutely necessary for a good racing track), have some decent straight between curves to allow for accelerating and braking, group enough turns in one direction together to make passing possible, provide some variety in length of straights and degree of curvature of the turns, and then throw in at least one combination curve, like a chicane or switch back. The "kinks", or very short duration turns, generally are necessary to fit in the space requirements, but I've found that they also add a unique challenge, requiring minimal "lift" to get through quickly.

            12) You also love 90 degree turns immediately before and after crossovers/bridges. Why?

            Again, that's usually driven by the space requirements, but I've also noticed that 1:1 scale roads rarely rise and fall significantly in a straight line, so it seems more "realistic" to bend the road as it rises or falls.

            13) What 1 release of a slot car are you most looking forward to this year (2008)?

            I'd probably have to go with the MRRC Ford GT MkIV. It might not be as quick as the NSR version, but the proportions look more "correct" to me. I figure I can make it fast enough, if needed, to race with my Scaley Ford GT40s, MkIIs and Ferrari P3s, which will make a really nice field of period correct cars.

            OK, that's it for my answers. Hope you enjoy reading them and feel free to ask some more.

            Zoom
            Last edited by Zoom Beedo; 05-26-2008, 10:18 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Lawrence,

              You had some great questions for Jim...aka ZoomBeedo.
              I wouild like to add that Jim has a great eye for track design. I've had the pleasure to race regularly on four of his designs and they are all different and fun. The one in his own basement is one of his best designs. He has a great eye for putting the best layout in the space given.
              Another thing that I can say about Jim is that he's one heck of a slot racer. When and if you finish in front of him, you've raced a good race.
              I'll always thank Jim for getting me back into slot racing and I'm proud to call him friend.

              I have a couple of questions for Jim.
              What are your three favorite 1:1 race tracks that you've seen on TV or in person?
              What is your favorite 1:1 racing series and why?

              SS

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, George (SouthernSloter), but you know as well as I do that you had a lot of input on the design of your track, and that's one of the reasons it turned out working so well. And I have to say that you race me as hard as anyone I've ever gone up against, and I'm equally proud to call you friend.

                What are your three favorite 1:1 race tracks that you've seen on TV or in person?

                Wow! These what-are-your-favorites questions are really tough. I love the switchback turns, 3A and 3B, at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. The view from the cliff above, with Mount Rainier in the distance, is probably the prettiest site on any track, anywhere. Sadly, there isn't room to provide the runoff area required for today's safety regulations, so I doubt we'll ever see top-tier racing there again, but in it's day it hosted both the old Trans Am series and the original Can Am series.

                The Corkscrew at Laguna Seca is also wonderful, and you can see all the rest of the track, except that section, from the hill above turn 1. And of course, the proximity of Monterey, Carmel, and Pebble Beach makes that whole area just magical.

                And as much as I love Elkhart Lake, Watkins Glen, Brands Hatch, Suzuka, the Nordschliefe, and several other courses, my last vote has to go to Road Atlanta, if only for the view of the esses from our perch above turn 5. I haven't found a better place to watch a proper motor race.

                What is your favorite 1:1 racing series and why?

                For all it's faults, and I know it isn't what it was when I first became enamored with it, I still love Formula 1, although sometimes I wonder why. As far as the best racing, I think the Speed GT and Touring cars are my favorites right now. The racing's always close, and there are several manufacturers involved with a chance of winning. Besides, there are a couple of my neighbors racing in them (Seth Thomas and Randy Pobst, both great guys), so I feel a certain personal involvement.

                Zoom

                BTW, since you mentioned it, here's what my track, der Zoomplatz, looks like:
                Last edited by Zoom Beedo; 05-27-2008, 08:55 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Zoom,

                  On the subject of track design AND 1:1 tracks, what 3 key features of your favorite 1:1 tracks would you just love to incorporate into a track design. Please feel free to show us a quick design of such a track.

                  KIITS,
                  Lawrence

                  PS: Hey George, you and Mark are my next two targets .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lawrence,

                    You can see a couple of my favorite features incorporated into SouthernSloter's track and my own. The switchback turns of Pacific Raceway are very similar to the series of turns in the lower left corner of both our tracks, although mine's probably a little closer to the 1:1 version because it has a bit more straight between the left and right turns.

                    The Corkscrew at Laguna is really just a chicane that drops steeply half way through the first turn of the pair and continues downward through the second turn. Originally, the chicane on my track was intended to do that, but I haven't gotten around to revising the elevation of that section of the track yet. It's also kind of tricky to get plastic track to warp just the right way to do that little trick. Both these combination type turns require unique throttle technique and timing to get the most speed through them.

                    The other feature I'd really like to incorporate in a future design is a couple of giant radius sweeping bends on a fast straight that could be taken flat out. Those are a common feature of many of my favorite 1:1 tracks, like the Nordschliefe and Suzuka, and are aesthetically very pleasing to the eye. Unfortunately, no one yet makes a plastic track with that large a radius, so I can't show you in Tracker how it would look. Think of the R180 left turn at Suzuka, but followed by a similar radius turn to the right, like Suzuka was before they added the chicane before the pit entrance. Guess I'll have to go wood to do that one.

                    Zoom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A big day in the life ...

                      Hi Zoom, just wanted to wish you all the best, and many happy returns!

                      Keep up the good humour, you bring an awful lot to this place.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks, Wet. I think dittos are in order.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "... this hobby still lets me compete (I'm over 60 now) on an equal basis with guys who are a fraction of my age (the newest up-and-coming racer in our group is 13). What other activity would foster competition and friendship between such a disparate age group? Fantastic! ..."
                          Hi there ZoomB,

                          Interesting stuff here. I find it curious that you gave up all your "entourage" to go live in Georgia in your retirement. I mean, personally I'm prone to retire and keep living here in Foz do Iguassu, as all my friends are here and all. So I would guess that slot played a most important part in making new friends, eh?

                          I loved the two track layouts you showed on this Thread: the first one (I think it's SouthernSloter's track) could well be transformed into a great two lane rally track, with the whole right side going to an elevation, followed by a plateau that comes down towards the underpass (running it clockwise) - and don't forget some squeezes! Sliding it against a decorated corner wall, with very fine scenery and all.... man, wouldn't it be just a fantastic job for the future?!? And as I'll be building myself a new house next year... who knows?!

                          As Wet said, it's good to have you around!!!

                          Cheers!
                          BigDog
                          Last edited by BigDog; 10-14-2008, 01:46 PM. Reason: Forgot something...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, BD. Sounds like SouthernSloter might be ready to change over to a routed track, so maybe I'll get a chance to help him with the design of that.

                            As for giving up my posse to move to Georgia, the cost of living on the US west coast had a lot to do with that decision. I was able to buy a house in Georgia that was twice as large as the one I left in Seattle (with a basement for a slot track), but cost half as much. Of course, having a major race track, like Road Atlanta, nearby helped ease the pain of the move. I still miss my good friends in Seattle, though, and visit with them as often as I can. And the guys I've met here through slot racing and 1:1 racing have been great. I would have to say that slot racing has led me to know some of the best friends of my life, and I'm pretty sure I haven't even met all of them yet!

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