Like buggy in many ways but different. There is practice / testing early in the week and 2 races later in the week. The other classes of derby cars will be running as well at various times. Saturday is the biggest day, with every class racing and assorted hoopla.
Big change this year, no "bring your own wheel" race (formally known as the ultimate speed challenge). So, for the first time in a while, future buggy wheels will not be on display. This means that there is no change for us (CSSN Racing) to tie the PKA streak with a 6th ultimate speed challenge win. We will have to be happy with 5 in a row. That also makes it very hard for anyone to take away our track record. So I guess there is balance in there somewhere.
The main focus has shifted to a wheel and lane swap format. Each car races against 2 other cars in every round. Each round has 3 heats. The cars take a run in one of the 3 lanes per heat. The lowest cumulative time of the 3 heats advances to the next round. The stock xootr wheels stay with the lane in an attempt to make the race as fair as possible. So, the cars swap wheels between heats. This race is Thursday. Pat Murphy's team. a team related to Zero Error, won in 2013 and 2014. CSSN did not race in the 2013 event (focusing on the now defunct challenge instead) and came in 2nd in our first attempt in 2014 by a slim margin. We hope to improve this year so it should be exciting.
Despite the xootr wheels, the ultimate cars are still the quickest things on the track so it is fun to watch. Tiny fractions of a second determine the final order (we were a total of 0.041 seconds behind after 3 runs last year in the finals) so flawless execution is needed. A bad turn of the wrench or a bobble on the track will have great cost. The pressure is on.
I encourage local (to Akron Ohio) buggy chickens to make the trip and see the show. Big-time buggy geeks may want to check out practice as there are a lot more runs taken and often some interesting stuff is tried. The pits are fairly open and as long as you do not get in the way you can check it all out. I may even put you to work if you play your cards right.
This year's schedule. All events at the derby downs track in Akron OH.
Sunday July 19th (8 am- noon) practice/ testing (like free rolls)
Monday, July 20th ( 9 am to noonish) practice/ testing probably with the timing system up and running ( like free rolls )
Thursday July 23 (8 am) race: Stock xootr wheels. Wheel and lane swap. this is the one that really sorts out what car/prep/driver are the best.
Saturday July 25 (9 am) race: Stock xootr wheels but no wheel swapping this time. So, get a lucky set and you win if your car and driver are good enough.
check out AASBD.org for more details.