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Meet the Members of SCI...El Secundo

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  • Meet the Members of SCI...El Secundo

    Hi folks,

    Once again it is time to put some one on the hot seat and today we have El Secundo to grill, er, I mean interview. ES has been a long time member of SCI and has met a fair number of our members in person. I personally hope to meet him at IHobby this year.

    So, let's meet El Secundo!

    1) Hi El Secundo. I don't think it is much of a secret on SCI, however, your given name is Kurt correct?

    2) Listening to the SSR Lake Lanier members talk, is it true that you have a huge slot car collection? ZTell us about your collection and which cars you race most often if you wouldn't mind.

    3) DO you have any 1:1 racing experience to share with your fellow members?

    4) What has been the best slot car race you haveevr been involved in? Which was the worst? Which was the funniest?

    5) How serious do you take your slot racing? Are you laid back and just enjoy the thrill of racing or do you feel the fire that says "destroy all who dare race against me"?

    6) What release of a slot car are you most looking forward to this year?

    7) Who is your favorite slot car manufacturer? Why do you choose this companyover the others?

    8) Wood or Plastic or wood? the Colts or the Indy 500? Indy 500 or Brickyard 400?

    9) Porsche or Ferrari? Now that is a loaded question.

    10) What do you consider to be the 4 most inluencial slot car releases of all time and why?

    11) What one thing do the manufacturers need to do overall to improve their products.

    12) Tell us and show us pictures of your own track please sir.

    13) Lastly, what will be your next slot car related purchase?

    Thanks Kurt and good luck,
    KIITS,
    Lawrence

  • #2
    Oh man...this'll be a good one!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey I like this question and answer format- good job L.

      Comment


      • #4
        *waits with bated breath*

        Comment


        • #5
          Cyde...

          Originally posted by cydewaze View Post
          *waits with bated breath*
          Lay off the sardines

          Greenman62

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by greenman62 View Post
            Lay off the sardines

            Greenman62
            Good catch & call... I'm impressed []

            Greg

            Comment


            • #7
              Ready or not, here it is...

              My phone company has had a bear of a time with the phone lines the last few days, but I finally got enough up-time to answer a few questions. I'll add some pictures of the track shortly.

              So, here it is!

              1) Hi El Secundo. I don't think it is much of a secret on SCI, however, your given name is Kurt correct?
              It was not given to me, I STOLE IT from a band of wandering gypsies who....err, uhh, yeah, it was given to me...

              2) Listening to the SSR Lake Lanier members talk, is it true that you have a huge slot car collection? Tell us about your collection and which cars you race most often if you wouldn't mind.
              It's pretty big, I guess, but there are definitely bigger collections out there. I like to think that the collection is high quality, though, with a number of hard-to-find cars. I have about 300 NIB cars, and maybe 320 runners. I have the complete collection of Slot.It cars, and with a few more, I'll have the complete collection new in the box. There are nearly a hundred Slot.Its in the collection (lots of duplicates), I'd say. And I do like the Fly cars. It's pretty much Porsche-Mania around my house. The NIB collection is in the spare bedroom, a place the club has come to know as "The Extra Room of Slot Cars", or just "The Shrine". One guy just referred to it as “Shangri La” the other day – that’s a new one. J Other than that, the SSR Lake Lanier guys are just making up stories. *grin* I recently bought a Fly Lola from a guy who, as it turns out, was the team manager of Brumos Racing for about 20 years. I love a car with a story.

              So what cars do I race the most? We race on about 8 or 9 different tracks. Each track favors different cars, but you’ll rarely find me without at least one NINCO Super GT car, one Slot.It Group C car, and one Fly Classic in my racing box.

              3) Do you have any 1:1 racing experience to share with your fellow members?
              Sure, I've been to lots of 1:1 races. It's been my pleasure to watch Gilles Villeneuve at Hockenheim, Watkins Glen and Canada. I've been to the two closest Indy 500's in history, and a much younger and semi-innebriated Kurt leaned into a picture with Nelson Piquet at Phoenix, unbeknownst to the world champion. So no, nothing to speak of. My greatest memory as a race fan was watching Villeneuve spin right in front of us, and with traffic bearing down on him in a blind corner, he revved the motor until it screamed, dumped the clutch, and pivoted his Ferrari 270 degrees on its left front tire before taking off in a cloud of tire smoke. F1 road rage at its finest.

              I have a 1:1 Austin Mini that I’d like to auto-cross one day, but I get tired of buying parts for it. Sure, the parts are cheap, but everything I buy I put in terms of how many slot cars it’s going to cost me. If a set of Yokohama A008’s is going to cost me 10 Slot.It’s, well, then I guess I don’t need tires this month.

              4) What has been the best slot car race you have ever been involved in? Which was the worst? Which was the funniest?
              Best -- 2006 NINCO World Cup Qualifier. Winning the biggest American 1/32 race on the biggest 1/32 track was like living a dream. It still feels like a dream after all this time, and the World Cup itself was surreal.

              Worst – We ran a race at the original Derby City Shootout four or five years ago, and completely hated it. We’d been having a blast at the Shootout up until that point, and suddenly everybody got a little serious. There wasn’t any conflict or anything, but it just changed the whole tone of the event while the race was going on. No more races for us – not in our homes, at least.

              Funniest – Chunks of our cars get knocked off from time to time, and we keep a box for these parts at every track. We ran a race at Fastlane in Cincinnati, and with the speeds they go, their parts box has enough chunks in it to build a whole new car – as long as it’s built completely from mirrors, bumpers, and broken wings. I don’t remember how it happened, but one car wiggled its way off the 29-foot straight at top speed. There’s nothing else to hit on the 32-foot x 12-foot platform, but the car made a bee-line for the parts box when it came off. The box practically exploded when the car hit it, scattering chunks everywhere, and covering the braking zone at the end of the 29-foot straight with debris. Nearly every car on the 6-lane track ran straight into the debris at high speed, and you can guess how that worked out... We needed a laughter time-out. And we permanently moved the parts box.

              5) How serious do you take your slot racing? Are you laid back and just enjoy the thrill of racing or do you feel the fire that says "destroy all who dare race against me"?
              I put a lot of emphasis on driving my best, but it’s not always about beating the other guy. It’s just as important to me that I know when to switch the competitiveness on and off, as it is to compete and win I figure that if competition and competitiveness sucks the fun out of what I’m doing, I’ve already lost.

              That said, it’s possible to have a lot of fun and be extremely competitive. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting some top-notch drivers (like Mark Azarraga and Dcikie ‘NHDungeonracer’ Pearson) on my home track, and battling them head-to-head for hours. It’s fun and intense driving, but you know both guys are measuring the skills of the other one, and nobody’s giving an inch…

              6) What release of a slot car are you most looking forward to this year?
              There are so many, and I never met a slot car I didn’t like, but there are a few that really made me do a double-take. Slot.It Alfa Romeos, NSR Porsche 917’s, Scalextric Aston Martin DBR9 ‘Gulf’, NINCO Acura LMP car, SCX Porsche GT3 ‘Pro’, Carrera 1:24 Grand Sport Corvettes. There are more for sure, but I prefer to forget about what’s coming out – that way, it’s a nice surprise for me when a nice car shows up in stores.

              7) Who is your favorite slot car manufacturer? Why do you choose this company over the others?
              I’d have a hard time picking my favorite, but if I look at the collection and go by sheer numbers, it’s Fly followed by Slot.It. I love a smooth car as much as the next dude, but I like a car to have a little howl to the gears. Fly Classics really give me the feeling of driving a vintage race car, where a perfectly smooth Slot.It makes me acutely aware that I’m a grown man playing with an electric toy -- albeit a well-engineered electric toy. Slot.It makes such a beautiful car, and does it so well, that you know you have something special when you drive one.

              8)Plastic or wood? The Colts or the Indy 500? Indy 500 or Brickyard 400?
              Wood and plastic – no such thing as ‘or’.
              Indy 500 – hands down.
              Indy 500 – hands down. The Brickyard? NASCAR is a “soap opera for dudes” in my opinion. When auto racing is on TV, I drop everything to watch – unless it’s NASCAR.

              9) Porsche or Ferrari? Now that is a loaded question.
              Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, Porsche, Ferrari, Porsche, Ferrari, Ferrari, Porsche. They’ve both made cars that leave me speechless, but I love Porsche’s history of innovation.

              10) What do you consider to be the 4 most influential slot car releases of all time and why?
              Since I’m a ‘modern-era’ slot car guy, I don’t know if I can really speak to this, but I’ll give it a shot. As far as the modern era goes:
              1) Fly Viper – I think this car defined the modern 1:32 era, and pushed every manufacturer to build detailed models.
              2) Slot.It Audi R8C – This is the first slot car (that I was aware of, anyway) that used the original AutoCad files from the 1:1 manufacturer to produce the body. This really sets the benchmark for everybody.
              3) Scalextric ‘Year of Legends’ set – If any manufacturers were reluctant to change the form factor of their motors, this set is proof that ANY car can be modeled very accurately with the right choice of motor. Sure, they did it earlier with the Cooper and the Ferrari 156 ‘Sharknose’, but the Year of Legends set really drives the point home.
              4) Scalextric Moto GP. Don’t laugh – it was very influential. It influenced a lot of manufacturers to scratch their heads and say, “Umm, let’s not do that ever again…”

              11) What one thing do the manufacturers need to do overall to improve their products?
              Well, I’d suggest one thing, but it encompasses a lot of things. My philosophy is that nobody should be upgrading their cars because they have to, but only because they want to. If a car comes with out-of-round wheels, that’s the one thing that the manufacturer should fix. If a car comes out of the box with stupid gearing, that’s what the manufacturer needs to fix. I want to know that if I give somebody a car for their birthday, I didn’t just give them a big gift-wrapped headache.

              12) Tell us and show us pictures of your own track please sir.
              Sure! When I decided to build it, I didn’t own and had never really used any power tools. I also did a little experimentation, and as far as I know, was the first to add iron to the paint to give light magnetic downforce. You can stand the track on end and stick refrigerator magnets to it, but that doesn’t add much downforce – could have used more.

              I’ve also just added a NINCO N-digital track, but that’s in the early stages right now…

              13) Lastly, what will be your next slot car related purchase?
              Well, I think I have 3 or 4 cars waiting for me at the LHS, but I don’t have a clue what they are.

              I love buying cars off of eBay. I put it out of my head that I bought anything, and when the car arrives on my doorstep, I’m surprised every time. It’s like Christmas at the Moser household.


              If that didn't bore you enough, hit me with some questions and I'll take another crack at it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Slider2 View Post
                Good catch & call... I'm impressed []
                Except it's supposed to be "bated", whereas sardines would be "bait".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great interview El!!!! Now I'm gonna have to see the "Shangrai La". SO here is another question:

                  What would you be willing to do to promote and grow this hobby?

                  KIITS,
                  Lawrence

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    oh oh, me, me Mister Kotter!!!

                    Originally posted by rolltidevet View Post
                    What would you be willing to do to promote and grow this hobby? KIITS, Lawrence
                    "Cheesecake calendar" featuring Kurt and the fastest slot racers in America.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rolltidevet View Post
                      Great interview El!!!! Now I'm gonna have to see the "Shangrai La".
                      The shrine is open to all visitors.

                      Originally posted by rolltidevet View Post
                      SO here is another question:

                      What would you be willing to do to promote and grow this hobby?
                      Well, my fingers are in a lot of things right now. My focus for now is to bridge the gap between 1:24 and 1:32 scales. We have a great thing going in Louisville where we are successfully bringing 1:24 and 1:32 guys together at a local 1:24 commercial track, and getting the commercial track guys to come out for a little home racing, too. We have a blast together, and we're trying to build on this together with the latest incarnation of the Derby City Shootout (food, drinks, slot car racing all weekend), which will be held at Bullitt Speedway the weekend of July 4th.

                      I'm also racing with Mark Azarraga in Chicago at Mid-America in October. We'll be running 1:24 Plafit-chassis cars in the Pan-American Championship. We've spent some time racing with the local 1:24 guys in Chicago, and hopefully earning a little respect for 1:32 drivers in the process.

                      I'm going to be pretty busy with racing through October/early November, but after that I'll be focusing on a second club in the Louisville area. The main club has pretty much reached capacity, and I'd like to spin off a second club with the guys in the area who haven't joined up yet.

                      I still have product reviews to do, and have been pitching in (in a small way) to product development for two of the manufacturers.

                      I've also committed to the LHS that I would promote NINCO N-Digital, and would purchase at least one of each N-Digital accessory. I've just put up a permanent N-Digital layout in the basement, so between digital and the wood track, I have the capacity to put 12 racers on a lane at any one time. I'd like to expose the group to digital racing, and hopefully push them beyond where they are today.

                      There's more going on, but that's all that I can think of (or discuss) right now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the info, Kurt, but there is one more question....who is "Tick Boy"?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PeteN95 View Post
                          Thanks for the info, Kurt, but there is one more question....who is "Tick Boy"?
                          Wow. That name actually goes back almost 20 years, but when I first got into slot cars 5 years ago, that was the name I used on Slot Car Garage when I was spending all my time on the RadTrax web site.

                          Do you actually remember that, or did somebody tip you off?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Question if I May

                            Kurt, what words of advice would you give people just starting out in this hobby?

                            Thanks,
                            Blair

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rolltidevet View Post
                              Great interview El!!!! Now I'm gonna have to see the "Shangrai La". SO here is another question:

                              What would you be willing to do to promote and grow this hobby?

                              KIITS,
                              Lawrence
                              That's almost an odd question. I'm not sure that there's much more that Seenyour Secundo could do. I know that he has inspired the (un-named bodily function) out of me.

                              Greg

                              Comment

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