Teams took advantage of two full days of brisk but dry weather to close out the “regular season” of freerolls.  Most teams got all of their drivers qualified and are ready for truck weekend which is coming up fast.  Thanks this week to Ben Matzke and Shafeeq for the notes on rolls as I was out of town again.  If you’ve got pictures or additional observations (especially from Saturday), don’t be shy, share!

In attendance

Org Saturday Sunday Qualification Status
AEPi Kamikaze KamikazeZephyrus (6 rolls + PT)
Apex Insite Insite Insite (1 roll + PT)
CIA Orca, Ascension, Freyja, Firebird, Quasar Orca, Ascension, Freyja, Firebird, Quasar Orca, Ascension, Freyja, Firebird (2 drivers), Quasar
DeltaForce Perun Perun
Fringe Bissa, Bonsai, Borealis, Bedlam Bissa, Bonsai, Borealis, Bedlam Bissa, Bonsai, Borealis, Bedlam
PiKA Raptor, Chimera, Zeus Raptor, Chimera, Zeus
SAE Rubicon Rubicon (3 rolls + PT)
SDC Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage
SigEp Mamba, Peregrine, Pandora Mamba, Peregrine, Barracuda Barracuda, MambaPeregrine (1 roll), Pandora (2 rolls)
SigNu Krait Krait Krait
Spirit Zuke, Seraph, Haraka Zuke Zuke, Seraph, Haraka 

Observations (Saturday Gallery | Sunday Gallery)

  • Saturday was a pretty average day with 10 teams and ~4 rounds through the roll order, but with only 8 teams rolling on Easter Sunday, and everyone was pushing to get faster and faster, there were at least 4 or so cycles before 8am. Some cycles were as short as 10 minutes or so. Teams got so many rolls that many of them scratched early leaving the remaining teams with more opportunities for rolls than they knew what to do with. As some idea, the end of the morning had Fringe rolling and on deck at the same time. Teams got so many rolls in today that roads were opened 10 minutes early because the pushers didn’t have the energy to do more roll-arounds.
  • With only 10 days left between now and the beginning of Carnival, I think we can safely assume that the two new buggies we’ve met thus far will be the only members of the buggy class of 2012.  According to our (imperfect) history of buggy builds, this is an unusually small class, happening only in 1995 and 2005 in recent history.
  • Fringe has named their new buggy Bissa and gotten it right up to speed although it’s not yet in its fully finished form.  Bissa apparently refers to the Italian snake that eats children, not the west-African ethnicity or Ikea shoe cabinet which are both more prominent in search results.  They’ve gotten it up to speed, and at least visually it’s already one of the fastest buggies on the course.  It will be interesting to see whether it or Bonsai is featured on their Men’s A lineups during Truck.
  • CIA is a big operation, and they’re running it damn smoothly.  They had 5 buggies in constant use this weekend and now have 6 drivers qualified for raceday.  They tallied 52 rolls as an org just this weekend (the next highest being SDC and Fringe barely breaking 30).  One would think that with all that depth we’d see CIA moving up the leaderboard a bit and perhaps challenging Spirit or SigEp.  So far though, Orca hasn’t gone even as fast as Ascension, so closing an 8+ second gap to catch Spirit is a lot to ask.
  • Apex had the only incident of the weekend (unless we missed any that happened Saturday) when their loaner buggy Insite ended up in the outside bales.  They had been going faster, but one observer described their chute line as something like “get 90% of the turn done, straigten out to make sure to use up all the road, then start turning again to stay out of the haybales.”  The incident came while Apex was rolling with with CIA’s Freyja for a pass test. The Apex driver completed a flawless pass but seemed to get disoriented after passing and ended up in the bales at a shallow angle. We’ve seen fully-enclosed buggies merely bounce off and still manage a rollout, but Insite burrowed under the first haybale only to find the narrow end of the next haybale in line, which stood its ground and dislocated the hatch, bringing the now un-streamlined buggy to an abrupt near-stop, pushing the useless hatch in front of it. The driver appeared to be fine.  Meanwhile, a stop flag was thrown for Freyja who was just hitting the chute flag. The sudden stop caused her to do a 180 before coming to a halt.
  • After last week’s highly speculative conversation about the steering geometry on SAE’s Rubicon re-build, Safety Chair Mike Mackin was nice enough to post (with SAE’s permission) a much better picture to inform the debate.  Turns out that SAE has things under control (haha, pun!), but we got a great picture of the new design out of it, so I’m glad we bothered to debate it.
  • AEPi had familiar looking neon-green wheels on Kamikaze, but that still didn’t help them catch a bagged SN during a pass test. They eventually got the pass in as SN’s driver was stuck waiting on hill 3 for someone to push him, but I don’t think that counts.  A sticker on the back confirmed that Kamikaze was sporting a new investment from Zero Error.  Hopefully they get the kinks worked out and get their money’s worth out of them.
  • SDC joined Spirit at the bottom of hill 1 where they were all doing full or near full Hill ones. SigNu got most of the way down a few times getting some experience on the hill.  With SDC down at hill one, Apex jumped on the opportunity to stage a bit closer and moved into the small courtyard space normally covered with a few tarps.
  • Spirit is getting ready to repaint all their buggies making differentiation difficult for even the experienced spectator.  Can’t wait to see the new scheme.
  • We’ve got our first times of the semester to help put some precision to our pre-raceday analysis.  What we’ve got here are summarized and rounded since the effort in collecting them was put in by a single org.  Times were taken from the crosswalk to window 0, and what we have here are ranked by the single fastest roll of the weekend by each org.  Fringe is still in the pole position they claimed last spring when Bonsai debuted.  SDC’s ~1 second deficit is about what they were working with last year as well which make sense since they’re working with the same hardware.  PiKA and SN were neck and neck a bit back which has got to be very encouraging for SN.  They haven’t been a regular presence this year, so it’s great that they’ve still got the speed to be in the second chunk of the top tier.  They looked solid in the chute too which is reassuring after last year’s crash took them out of it.    It’s worth noting how consistent these top teams are; together, they put down more than 40 rolls this weekend that were faster than anything the other 7 orgs could muster.  Apex’s presence in the middle of the peleton with SigEp and CIA and ahead of AEPi illustrates how helpful it is to get a loaner buggy.  With some half-decent recruiting, they could be far from the bottom in their first year out.
    Rank Org Seconds behind fastest
    1 Fringe
    2 SDC +1
    3 PiKA +5
    4 SN +5
    5 Spirit +9
    6 SigEp +12
    7 CIA +12
    8 Apex +13
    9 AEPi +16
    10 DeltaForce +17
    11 SAE +31

I don’t know about you, but raceday has snuck up on me like crazy this year.  This is our last full rolls report of the year, as the next 10 days will be full of special activity and raceday prep.  Keep you eyes peeled for the annual unveiling of last year’s raceday videos added to our video archive, our annual lead truck auction, and tons more.   A week from today is also when we send out our in-depth Raceday Preview to our supporting members.  You can check out past year’s Raceday Previews to confirm that it’s something you don’t want to miss out on.  Become a supporting member today by making a gift of any amount (really!  any amount, all we need to know is that you care).

29 thoughts on “Rolls report: April 7 & 8 (last weekend of regular rolls)”

  • nice write up, love the time data
    great to see that there were a ton of rolls for all with an appetite and very few issues in the turn
    this old buggy troll was thinking that we were getting close to raceday shy on track time


    • I also liked the detailed report, thanks a million Sam. Good stuff so close to raceday. HOW IS IT TEN DAYS ALREADY?!

  • Sweet! a wordy rolls report (that may sound sarcastic, but it’s not–reading material that serves as a break from classwork is fantastic on a Monday)

    just an FYI: Fringe was rolling all 4 buggies (Bissa, Bonsai, Borealis, Bedlam) both Saturday AND Sunday.

    • glad you liked it. it’s writing that isn’t a dissertation, so we both win!

      Borealis didn’t get credit for any rolls in the sweepstakes spreadsheet, but I’ll trust ya. I guess it’s not really important to correct since she’s qualified without them.

      • Ah that explains the issue with noting down which Fringe buggies have been out which days. Well, like you said: we’re qualified already, so the rest are gravy rolls (or another metaphor that makes some sort of sense).

  • The final roll Saturday raptor lost one of its back wheel’s pu, and slid to about the hill 3 line before coming to a halt

    • Allegedly, Raptor lost quite a bit of CF in her stop, so perhaps Pike’s absence was related to repairs. It was also reported that when Raptor stopped at Hill 3 she was immediately extracted and the buggy was driven off in the followcar, without Sweepstakes being notified. According to the bylaws, doing anything to a stopped buggy without Sweepstakes consent counts as an automatic spot safety failure.

      • Yeah, from my vantage point it looked like she lost a wheel, skidded to a stop, and Pike jumped out of the truck and pulled her out really quickly and tried to drive off. The two EMS guys that were in the chute started walking up towards them and by the time they got there they had the driver and buggy in the truck (and they weren’t walking that slowly). By the time sweepstakes drove up Pike was about to drive off.

      • That sounds like a pretty serious issue. Pike should know better than to just try and zoom off before EMS AND the safety chair got there. As I understand it, taking the hatch off is something that shouldn’t be done until EMS ok’s the situation. I know things are most often fine, but really guys?

        Does anyone know if there was any sort of reprimand for something so serious? Or is the story a bit more exaggerated…

    • It doesn’t sound like she hit anything, so what exactly would waiting for EMS have accomplished? Sure, the safety chair has reason to be concerned about their mechanical malfunction, but keeping the driver in the buggy isn’t going to help with that. Then again, I have no idea if they were trying to conceal something, or if they just had the common sense to clean up their mess and get out of everyone else’s way.

      • Sometimes things do get excessive, but my understanding of the ruling is that Before a driver can be extracted on the course EMS needs to OK the scene. This may have changed or I could be remembering wrong, but if you want a similar experience, when Ascension lost her wheel (admittedly closer to EMS), she never actually hit the bales, but we still needed an OK from EMS and the safety chair.

        I feel like these situations are pretty comparable, but I wasn’t there so I have no authority, just speculation.

  • I’m curious to see how much faster the Zero Error wheels are than whatever AEPi ran on in past years. 600 is a huge investment for any team, so I really hope it works out for you guys

  • I’d just like to add that last year’s raceday time for CIA’s A is very slow since there was no hill 2 push off and a swerve when passed by sig ep, so I’d like to think we’re missing a few seconds there.

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