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My Tacoma 24H Wrap Up

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  • My Tacoma 24H Wrap Up

    A sincere and enormous thank you to Alan and all the crew that put together the new Scaleracing Center and pulled off the 24h this weekend. The facility is world class and the people are fantastic.

    For me, and the rest of the NASTE OGRE team, it was our first team race together, our first 24h race, and (like many) our first time racing at the new shop. As a team, we struggled coming to grips with our car and equipment and ended up spending just about all of the race in last place- except for the last heat! Regardless if it was for first/second or just "not last", the feeling of strategy and competition was awesome, with no less than THREE battles being decided literally in the closing minutes of the FINAL heat! It couldn't have been scripted better (unless it was the OGREs taking over first instead of the EMSA gang)!

    In the end, somewhere around midnight, our car came back to us. I snuck in a nap and when Stan woke me just before I rotated back in, he informed me that our car's hooking up a bit better. After about 3 laps I had to ask him whose car we stole and swapped our body onto- it was clearly a different car. We were monumentally behind though and firmly in last place, watching the Austin guys leave us in the cellar. Other teams started having issues and as we worked through our final heats, we realized we could potentially claw our way out of 10th place if we drove clean- and no pressure but I was on the trigger for the last round. After 23 hours and 47 minutes or so, we firmly stuck our claim on 9th and I kept them in the mirrors all the way home.

    Despite where we actually finished, as you would expect, the real treat for the weekend (aside from the slightly used McLaren I took home) was the camaraderie of the event. We had teams or members from WA, OR, BC, CA, TX, SC, HI, and Italy. We had new guys and very experienced racers (including a crew of wing racers who seemed like they were having quite a good time). We had young and "less young", with several father-son teams as well.

    For me though, the treat was catching up with the Tacoma, Seattle, and BC crews again, and getting to meet a bunch of new people. The Austin Slot Car Club (Ary, Marty & Shawn) were a fantastic gang who battled massive adversity to climb up the standings. They were kind enough to adopt Steve into their family so he had a team to run with. The BRM team was entertaining to have around and extremely quick, and Davide was quite pleasant to chat with. One of the things I was most impressed with was that even in the dark, when a driver went off (just about everyone), they could typically call out the marshall's name despite not seeing them.

    Our hobby will grow due to events like we had this weekend. If you thought about it and couldn't make it, you missed a great time. If you didn't really think about it, you really should for next year- or at least organize or find a big event in your neighborhood, publicize on the web and in the neighborhood, and help grow the addiction.

    Massive kudos to the EMSA gang for flying the local colors high on their titanic battle with the BRM guys. Also to the Energeezers for their overhauling the Left Coast Racers in the closing 10 minutes as well. Great racing! What a weekend.

    The Winners:

    L to R: Tim "the Achorman" Elvins, Alan, Davide (BRM principal), Pat (cartnick), Blair & Roger

    The winning car:

    (both pics stolen from Pat's EMSA thread)

    What I believe are the official results:
    EMSA
    BRM
    Group 24
    Energeezers
    LCR
    ASCC
    Weekend Warriors
    BART+1
    NASTE OGRES
    How-y-ya

    Thanks to Alan and the BRM crew for making a great event and cars happen and thanks to Stan, Monte and John for a very memorable weekend of racing.

    Chris
    Last edited by ckouba; 11-17-2014, 12:06 AM.

  • #2
    Well said Chris.

    My part of the devils bargain began Friday evening when we took in the Postmodern Jukebox performance in Portland. Here's a clip for those that aren't familiar with them:

    [YOUTUBE]bTfz36WArSU[/YOUTUBE]

    Their performance of this song in fact resonated with me for the entire weekend. My goodness can Ariana sing. And that's just one of their singers. Add in the tap dancer, MC and top flight musicians and it becomes quite the show.

    And as the old Chuck Berry song goes it was "up in the morning and off to school" for a three hour drive to Tacoma arriving just prior to the start. Being a rally man, practice has never worked well for me. Give me the keys and let's go. As Captain Ron always says "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen out there".

    Boy did it ever. In my first heat, our second I worked on learning the short course. The one fraught with danger. If I would come off or get slapped off ("busso, busso, busso") I would end up in someone else's lane and it would be "rider, rider, rider" all the way to "hello walls". I think that track had more riders than public transport. It was brutal. A few of these wall visits could have certainly contributed to the cars handling characteristics. And it was those, among others that we fought through for the first 10 heats. To Chris credit he was always asking how the car felt and pulling it off to try to improve it. He made massive changes. Gears, braids, the guide bushing, suspension changes, the entire rear assembly and finally a motor slowed to a pedestrian pace. We were losing countless laps trying to get the car to work well and this was just about it...

    Chris kept at it and finally at about the eleventh hour it started to come together. No more grip and tip. Much smoother sailing.

    Then it got dark. An interesting thing happens in the dark. Cars start slowing a little. Far fewer calls of "Rider". And when there was, which car to grab? Usually the issue was quickly decided by the offending car leaving the slot. We sent Chris off to get some sleep and tried to keep the car going through the night. Marshaling a turn it was like magic watching the cars weaving through the darkness. It was my second favorite part of the whole race. After hours in the dark the car was still running just fine. Though we had not yet realized our improvement. Once the lights came back on it was clear. In fact at full tilt we were now passing cars. Oh momma, get out of my way, it's time to race!

    About that second favorite moment... The Busso boys (Team BRM) had been passing me with regularity. A pace that had now dropped to a considerably slower rate. Yet the heats are 51 minutes so there are a few occasions. Twice in a row I got "busso'd" into the wall. That was about enough. I'm a driver too bud. Next time around I got to deal out a little "Busso" of my own. Chris was sitting right there and saw it. I said I found it rather satisfying and we both had a laugh. And... I never got busso'd again. Not sure if it was respect or fear. Either will do.

    With the way the event was organized, 28 heats, we had structured so that we each ran the same lanes the second time through the rotation as the first. That's 7 heats each. The lane rotation put Chris and I up for the last three heats. With the pace our car now had we felt with a break or two, no pun intended, we might escape last. Earlier we'd been basement battling with the Austin guys but a motor swap seemed to give them the 10/10's motor and they were away from us in a heartbeat. But as fortune sometimes has it others were having their own troubles and were coming back toward us. The end game of attrition vs. effective time had begun. By the last heat we had gained enough back on the next to last team we could see the basement door. In that final heat Chris drove superbly, kicked that door open and we escaped. For us it was a wonderful moment among a race full of frustrations.

    Frustrations to be sure but even among those there were other wonderful moments. I really enjoyed racing next to Blair. He'll cheerfully converse while kicking your tail. I like that a lot. And it was great to see old friends and meet new ones.

    Big thanks to my teammates John "who needs brakes?", Stan and Chris.

    John arrived at the race with his DS brake pod unknowingly blown. With no experience with the cars someone had mentioned lack of brakes and he thought it was normal. Near the end of the race when we found out and gave him a controller with brakes he did considerably better! In fact the DS may not be a good choice for this event. In my second to last heat, it was hook up, 3,2,1, go and hello wall. No brakes. Pod dead. We all used Chris' controller the rest of the way.

    A sincere thanks to Alan for a race not only well run but pretty near on time. The tracks were fun and interesting. The building is superb and just the sort with plenty of space needed for this type of event. I'll be working on my circadian rythyms for next time.

    Somebody wake me up tomorrow...
    Last edited by kidvoltage; 11-17-2014, 09:57 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good stuff Chris and Monte. Congrats on not getting last. Did you managed to drum up any interest in the upcoming BRM Gr C race at Rapid Raceway?
      Last edited by reek455; 11-17-2014, 09:15 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice write ups' gentlemen.
        Last edited by MT Tam I am; 11-17-2014, 09:20 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I just lost the summary it took me an hour and a half to write. I'm still obviously brain dead from sleep deprivation working on a faulty laptop at the airport USO.


          Anyway, Alan's facility is truly world-class, the racing was superbly exciting and it was great to meet old friends and make so many new ones many of whom I've only previously known virtually on SCI.


          I'm going back to sleep and will rewrite my summary later today.


          Cheers,


          Steve

          Comment


          • #6
            Fantastic Racing with Great Friends!

            First off, I'd like to thank Alan for hosting this event. Scale Racing Center is a first-rate facility with two world-class slot tracks, a full-kitchen, clean restrooms and more.


            I'd also like to thank the staff and volunteers at SRC for their hard work in getting the facility prepped for the event, including Keith and Ary for hooking up the live feed which made it possible for viewers on SCI to have some sense of what was happening.


            Thirdly, I'd like to thank Ary (Autorama), Shawn and Marty of the Austin Slot Car Club for making it possible for me to attend the event. I was unable to put together a team SCANC from North Carolina and for a while it was looking like I might join the Atlanta Gang. When A-Gang didn't come up with enough drivers I'd resigned participating in the event. Soon afterwards, I received a PM from Ary with an offer I could not refuse. Now, I had not known Ary prior to this event and he explained to me that ASCC had already paid for the entry fees, lodging and a rental car and that I would not need to be concerned with paying for any of those costs. To top it off, Ary offered me a $100 voucher good on my flight!! How could I turn that down? Thanks Ary and ASCC for making it possible for me to participate. (For the record, I paid for the groceries and the gasoline.)


            I met Ary at Dallas and we flew on the same flight to Tacoma where we picked up Shawn later that afternoon and Marty the next day.


            The racing was some of the best racing I've ever participated in. We ran an IROC Megane class, Group C, Porsche 917s and of course, the 24 hour McLaren event. All cars were BRM 1/24 scale.


            Ary is a skilled tuner. Check out his video tutorials on the Austin Slot Car Club website. And the ASCC team are fast racers - as quick as most racers I've competed against anywhere. But we had mechanical problems from the first heat of the 24 hour race - front body posts that were different lengths (one of which was stripped), a loose and vibrating interior and a broken rear body post that was the result of a hard shunt with a rider. We also ran our first 6 heats on the long track so we were firmly in last place for the first quarter of the race. But ASCC and I clawed our way back from last place taking 6th in the next to last heat. When we finished the car was held together with scotch tape, shipping tape, super glue, shoe goo and 5 minute epoxy. For us, driving in our first 24 hour event, it was a spectacular victory.


            There were no less than three fierce battles for position up until the final minutes of the main event. Group 24 was battling it out with the Left Coast Racers and the Energeezers. The Ogres were battling Bart+1 and the How-Y-Ya team. And the Austin SCC fought hard to take 6th from the Weekend Warriors. But the most exciting battle was for first place. In the final heat Team EMSA was on the short 8-lane track and the Italian BRM team was leading on the long 6-laner. Team EMSA was steadily chipping away at the gap as lap times on the 8-laner are approximately 2.5 seconds quicker than times on the longer track. With only 15 minutes left in the final heat Team EMSA was trailing the Italian BRM team by 29 laps. Then, suddenly, the Italians pit with a damaged crown. Team EMSA closed the gap quickly 28 laps, 27, 26… then stealing the lead. The Italians returned with a new crown and then, drastically, with only minutes left in the race Team EMSA pit with worn braids. Now the Italians were quickly gaining ground. EMSA got back on track with a 3 lap deficit and Tim (Elvinator) raced furiously to finish the race just 9 laps ahead of the Italians!! It was an unbelievably exciting finish!


            Congratulations to Team EMSA (Tim, Pat, Blair and Roger) and to Team BRM for such a close finish.


            It was great to meet with old friends and make many new ones so many of whom I've known only vicariously through SCI. All of you slot heads are great guys.


            The Atlanta Gang and SCANC are already making plans for participating in next years 24 hour event, possibly joining forces to represent the south. Team Southern Slotters!! Anyone got a rebel flag?


            Steve
            Last edited by sacesta; 11-21-2014, 04:48 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Outsider Looking In

              It was a treat to watch, periodically, what was going on in the 24 hours. Thanks for setting up the feed. Not having followed any of the thread beforehand, it took a bit to catch on that there were two tracks. That last hour...about as good as any close hour at LeMans.

              Congratulations to you all, participants, organizers, and supporters. It was something to see. Am looking forward to seeing next year's 24 hours.

              Mc

              Comment


              • #8
                I will write something up ASAP, for now I have a few pictures to share:
                https://plus.google.com/photos/11257...78553402193921


                BTW: If you have an account with Google+, add the Austin Slot Car Club to your circles - I will tag the pictures accordingly.

                Ary.

                I just saw that anyone can tag the pictures on Google+ ... go for it.
                Last edited by Autorama; 11-17-2014, 03:48 PM. Reason: Tags

                Comment


                • #9
                  Congrats to all!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Congrads to all! 24hr races are a lot of fun,no matter where you finish we just finished 1 at Area 51 in Conn. Now getting ready for the Mi race. Now that your all ADDICTED! How soon are you ready to do it again? The Host,food & friendship is what make these races so fun!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This was a very exciting race to watch. I spent hours with the live feed. It was more fun to watch than the NASCAR race which occured later in the day. I actually cared who would win.

                      The mechanical break downs added an element to slot cars, that does not happen in 4 minute per lane races. I watched Group 24's car slow down get picked up by a team member who disappeared for a couple minutes then return the car to the track. It was still not fixed so they worked on it some more. After ten minutes it was back on track. The tension must be high at that point.

                      Sometimes when those cars hit the walls it was with such force I was surprised they were still OK. Maybe they weren't. When they hit the floor, it was as bad as it looked.

                      Thank you all for making it such an enthralling race.

                      Question: How many braid changes were needed?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What an experience!

                        For me, the highlights were (1) listening to the Italian team urging each other on in rapid-fire comments about lap times and driving instructions: Vai! (go!) and Busa! (sp?) which seemed to be either (go faster!) or (boom! ["he hit the wall!"]); (2) meeting people whose names I knew from these pages, but whose faces were unknown; (3) the sheer camaraderie of it all, with guys who we'd just met offering to share tune-up secrets, tools or spare cars; (4) Chris Kouba generously sharing his camper with me, so I could save on expenses; (5) watching 10-year-old Colin racing with the "big boys" and holding his own just fine.

                        But most of all the highlight was Alan Smith's unending energy and organization, herding the 50+, rowdy drivers and spectators into some semblance of order, and doing this all knowing he had a birthday party in the venue immediately following 24 hours of arduous racing.

                        Those in attendance know how much work Alan put in, both physical and emotional. The latter was clearly evident in his summation of the event's proceedings on Sunday. In my view, there is no one in the U.S. who has done more to support the hobby of Slot Racing than Alan Smith. Not only is he committed to sharing the fun of the hobby, he's put decades of his life into being an ambassador for slot racing, from the RadTrax "conventions" in Las Vegas years ago to helping to host SCI in the beginning, to creating probably the finest slot racing center on the West Coast, if not in the country. His dedication to the hobby was demonstrated most forcefully in his nearly tearful closing remarks on Sunday. All of us who love this crazy world of "toy cars" owe a tremendous debt to the dedication and persistence of Alan Smith.

                        I fully expect a much larger turnout for next year's 24 hour race!

                        Thanks to all who participated and who helped make this year's event the huge success that it was.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Congratulations to all participants, it looks like it was a great job from start to finish from Alan and friends. Bravo!!

                          I never raced a 1/24-scale car but this event looks like another great 24-hour endurance race and it piqued my interest in those bigger cars. Too bad it's all the way across the continent for us... this facility looks like a great place.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Looked like a great time! Alan deserves a standing ovation for his efforts in promoting the hobby.
                            Scott thanks for quick delivery of My new McLaren which arrived today, what a beauty!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sacesta View Post
                              First off, I'd like to thank Alan for hosting this event. Scale Racing Center is a first-rate facility with two world-class slot tracks, a full-kitchen, clean restrooms and more.


                              I'd also like to thank the staff and volunteers at SRC for their hard work in getting the facility prepped for the event, including Keith and Ary for hooking up the live feed which made it possible for viewers on SCI to have some sense of what was happening.


                              Thirdly, I'd like to thank Ary (Autorama), Shawn and Marty of the Austin Slot Car Club for making it possible for me to attend the event. I was unable to put together a team SCANC from North Carolina and for a while it was looking like I might join the Atlanta Gang. When A-Gang didn't come up with enough drivers I'd resigned participating in the event. Soon afterwards, I received a PM from Ary with an offer I could not refuse. Now, I had not known Ary prior to this event and he explained to me that ASCC had already paid for the entry fees, lodging and a rental car and that I would not need to be concerned with paying for any of those costs. To top it off, Ary offered me a $100 voucher good on my flight!! How could I turn that down? Thanks Ary and ASCC for making it possible for me to participate. (For the record, I paid for the groceries and the gasoline.)


                              I met Ary at Dallas and we flew on the same flight to Tacoma where we picked up Shawn later that afternoon and Marty the next day.


                              The racing was some of the best racing I've ever participated in. We ran an IROC Megane class, Group C, Porsche 917s and of course, the 24 hour McLaren event. All cars were BRM 1/24 scale.


                              Ary is a skilled tuner. Check out his video tutorials on the Austin Slot Car Club website. And the ASCC team are fast racers - as quick as most racers I've competed against anywhere. But we had mechanical problems from the first heat - front body posts that were different lengths, a loose and vibrating interior and a broken rear body post that was the result of a hard shunt with a rider. We also ran our first 6 heats on the long track so we were firmly in last place for the first quarter of the race. But ASCC and I clawed our way back from last place taking 6th in the next to last heat. For us, driving in our first 24 hour event, it was a spectacular victory.


                              The 24 hour race was a blast with an incredibly exciting finish. There were no less than three fierce battles for position up until the final minutes of the race.


                              Group 24 was battling it out with the Left Coast Racers and the Energeezers. The Ogres were battling Bart+1 and the How-Y-Ya team. And the Austin SCC clawed their way from last place to 6th.


                              But the most exciting battle was for first place. In the final heat Team EMSA was on the short 8-lane track and the Italian BRM team was on the long 6-laner. Team EMSA was steadily chipping away at the gap as lap times on the 8-laner are approximately 2.5 seconds quicker than times on the longer track. With only 15 minutes left in the final heat Team EMSA was trailing the lead Italian BRM team by 29 laps. Then, suddenly, the Italians pit with a damaged crown. Team EMSA closed the gap quickly 28 laps, 27, 26... The Italians returned with a new crown and then, drastically, with only minutes left in the race Team EMSA pit with worn braids. EMSA got back on track with a 3 lap deficit and Tim (Elvinator) raced furiously to finish the race just 9 laps ahead of the Italians!! It was an unbelievable finish!


                              Congratulations to Team EMSA (Tim, Pat, Blair and Roger) and to Team BRM for such a close finish.


                              It was great to meet with old friends and make many new ones so many of whom I've known only vicariously through SCI. All of you slot heads are great guys.


                              The Atlanta Gang and SCANC are already making plans for participating in next years 24 hour event, possibly joining forces to represent the south. Team Southern Slotters!! Anyone got a rebel flag?


                              Steve

                              Hey I'm game for next years event if you need another driver from below the M-D line

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