16 June, 2009

Race 20, Skippy's Revenge

Thank you to our support crew. Every race they start us off, take good footage and most importantly, keep us safe. It's early, cold, sometimes wet and doesn't carry the same glory the pilots get. But without them, we'd be going nowhere. We appreciate their effort, especially when semis are involved.
We were going to race somewhere else this month, but the weather and some roadworks made that track a bit dumb, so it was off to old reliable Skippy's Revenge. It's not super-fast or super-steep (that's why we run it when the weather's bad), but it can prove deceptive if you haven't run it before and the 90° left hand turn to finish at the base of the hill in the wet is always fun.
And so there are some surprises. This is the official view the other competitors had of The Force, winner of the first place trophy. Some others may have been faster, but to finish first, you must first finish. There was a touch of Steven Bradbury to this result. This track has always finished around the corner and you need good brakes and steering to pull it off.

Official Results:
  1. The Force
  2. Death Machine
  3. Paddles
  4. Chariot of the Dogs
  5. Flash (Crashed – pushed over line)
  6. Bootylicious (Missed corner – pushed over line)
  7. Enterprise (Missed corner – pushed over line)
  8. Trouble Maker (Two flat tyres, but got there eventually)
  9. Whispering Assassin (Missed corner)
  10. Midnight Special (Crash – DNF)
Paddles was a bit miffed to get beat by a "novelty cart", but that's racing. As you can see, there is the start of some new bodywork, which may help in the aerodynamic department.
Don't be fooled by the body moulded contour seat, Chariot of the Dogs is built for speed. Perfectly balanced, lightweight and nimble, it picked up a respectable fourth place.
Although it did get a bit amorous and try to mount Death Machine. Bad dog! DM powered on to a worthy second place with it's ability to turn corners like it's on rails and a good build up of speed on these longer runs.
Enterprise hasn't raced this hill before so missed the corner in the first race to take a disappointing seventh, but was doing warp factor five when it crossed the line in the second race. So great was the heat generated that the front right wheel bearing melted into oblivion causing catastrophic vehicle steerage failure resulting in a massive crater. That means lots of work in the shed, because it's sister car...
...Flash made it's AIGRF debut. Nice red paint, good brakes, but the 90° left hand turn to finish at the base of the hill in the wet proved too much for the traditional rope billycart steering.
And Flash went crash!

Yet it still managed to beat this. After being parked for a few months, Trouble Maker is back with a new paint job. The last time this cart was white with red scallops, it didn't end well. It didn't start well this time with the front tyres going flat overnight meaning a very s-l-o-w run. Went better later when they were pumped up. Even though the pinstripes are outstanding, I liked it better when it was grey with teeth.
Bootylicious had a temporary pilot who missed the corner and just missed a top 5 finish. It got down the hill plenty quick though.
Midnight Special hadn't raced this track before either and so probably wasn't expecting the last corner to come up so fast. It should have – everything comes up fast in this thing. In spectacular fashion it spun out and mounted the gutter sideways, smashing both left wheels. Luckily there were no injuries and we look forward to seeing it back, hopefully to have more than one run with us.
The Whispering Assassin showed it had the pace, but after witnessing Midnight Special's pirouette á la gutter it decided discretion is the better part of valour and declined to take the 90° left hand turn to finish at the base of the hill in the wet and lived to race another day.

Watch the movie here.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let y'all know about races happening at Newcastle uni on autonomy day.
I don't know how to get in touch with you guys so can whoever reads this pass it on to a mailing list?

sydneyshan said...

The Force... Best. Cart. Ever. Looks like you've had some awesome new recruits to the AIGRF!