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Summer 2013 #2 – Ultimate Speed Challenge

Challenging Ultimate Speed

ALL-AMERICAN SOAP BOX DERBY LOGO Not exactly buggy, but pretty close to it, The Ultimate Speed Challenge is hosted at the All-American Soap Box Derby during the Championship event which is July 27th this year. Because of it’s similarity to Buggy (and lack of “student status” requirement) there are several Buggy Alums that like to go and watch or even enter and race one or two cars.

For those that aren’t familiar, the Ultimate Speed Challenge happens in Akron, OH and is a single downhill roll. The heats are done like buggy with 3 lanes and 3 cars at a time. The starts are synchronized by a mechanical paddle that the cars all lean against at the start which then falls forward to release them. At the end of the race, all cars must brake and stop, but there’s no required distance (as far as I know).

The USC is the no-holds-barred version of the soapbox derby where many of the normal rules are relaxed and teams are allowed to go all out for the fastest cars possible. There are fewer strict rules than in buggy, what with the no turning and all, but the most noticeable differences are that the driver must be feet first when in the car and the wheels have to be a specific distance apart to line up with the standard soapbox start line.

I went for the first time last year and took a bunch of pictures (seen here) and I’ll be going again this year again. I know there are some other buggy people heading up there as well, so if you are: What brings you out to the races this year? and if you aren’t: What is keeping you away from the races?

I’m not participating in the races, but I will be spectating. Last year I particularly enjoyed chatting with other buggy alums and seeing what the competitors came up with in shell shape and design as well as wheel housings and wheels. Hope to see some of you there!

This entry was posted in General Interest Buggy Stuff.

7 Responses to Summer 2013 #2 – Ultimate Speed Challenge

  1. The cook and I will be there, defending the record and our win streak (going for 4 in a row). Our amazing teammates from the past 3 wins, Mark Overmyer and family, have retired. We will miss them and hope to build on the lessons they taught us.

    So, we built a new car and have a former CMU buggy driver (ex CIA) as our pilot. Still working the kinks out but we shoukd be ready to rock by raceday. You can follow our progress on CSSN racing within the interweb’s book of faces.

    We also have joined forces with another derby team that is bringing a very nice car a wealth of experience and a skilled driver.

  2. Btw, when I say I’m not participating, I just mean that I am not entering, I will be there with some other CIA folk.

  3. Report:
    Due to rain, they ran the cars one at a time from lane 2 in random order.  Murphy (3rd last year), racing with zero error, went first.  Despite their success earlier in the week in the xootr wheel swap race, their tires /fairings were not well suited for the wet.  They ended up well back in 7th.  Carney running improved wheels vs prior years drove well to take 3rd.    Carney’s run narrowly beat Albertoni’s new car with new Barr rubber. ZE’s other car, (2009 winner 2 quik 4 u) ran an i teresting setup with small wheels on the front and big wheels on the back and finished 5th. CSSN racing (the cook and I) ran 3rd to last and 2nd to last.    Anne Taylor drove the 915 car like a lazer and clocked the run of the day.  In the next heat, Jillian Brinberg, ex CIA driver, ran well on the top half but fogged up and explored the track more than one would want.  Ended up 0.050 back for a 1-2 sweep.    That delta is partially attributable to the extra distance and

  4. …….That 0.049 second delta works out to about 30 inches on the track and is partially attributable to the extra distance ( about 0.01 sec) and energy lost due to turning ( at least 0.030).

    While we would have preferred 3 dry runs and a shot at the track record, and less riding of the chance of weather, we are happy with the results. I believe we have found goodly replacements for our retired teammates in Jerry and Anne and Jillian. I believe we will be back next year. Duane ( the cook) is approaching “the streak” territory in terms of wins (he has 5 in a row now, his first win as the wheel man for ZE). As CSSN, we have 4 in a row.

    I am happy about the new car given that we were not quite done with it. We ended up 4 lbs light (out of 300 allowed) but balanced, never checked or adjusted toe or camber, and had a few more items that needed more time to sort. The steering and brakes worked like a dream. The shell, hatch and windscreen also worked well. We will have a better setup for vision to help Jillian out, improved weight adjustment and a few other tweaks next year. With that, full car prep and a smooth drive, it should be interesting.

    • The rain made for a sad, one-and-done race, but I was able to snap a few pictures which are now up in the gallery. Attempting to go for quality over quantity now. Hopefully I can practice a bit more before rolls start.


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