If you’re a member you should have found our legendary Members-only Raceday Preview in your inbox by now. Enjoy it. If you didn’t get a copy, you should know that it’s not too late. Join up, forward us the gift receipt to join@cmubuggy, and we’ll hook you up pronto. If you thought you were a member, maybe we don’t have your email or have it wrong or something, let us know. Lots of people plan on joining while they’re on campus, but we’ve got some serious ground to cover to match last year’s membership total, so don’t be shy.
Lead Truck Auction
Can you believe this is our 4th time putting on the lead truck auction? It seems like just the other day that we announced the first iteration of our biggest fundraiser of the year. It continues to be a fan favorite, so we’re back at it again. If you haven’t ridden in the lead truck before, you should definitely get in the mix and snap up a heat you like the looks of. If you’re a veteran, you know that it’s a great way to mix up your raceday experience. Bidding starts tomorrow morning at 9am and will run for 36 hours until 9pm Wednesday. Full description of the rules can be found on the auction page. We’ve got a new version of our home-grown auction software this year. We hope you like it! (and that it doesn’t break!).
Truck weekend was a fun one. Two days in the books, with a valiant effort on Sunday to reject the notion that buggies are scared of a little rain. All 11 orgs were in attendance, so we’ll skip that part and hit some highlights from the weekend.
- Fringe’s new buggy Bissa was looking closer to finished with a coat of primer on, but must have missed something more basic in the prep because something caused the buggy to stop steering just after the chute flag. She ended up rejecting the chute turn entirely and passed between the end of the bales and the barricades that block off the bridge. There was no impact at all, but spy shots posted on cmubuggy revealed a wheel sans tire on the left side. Bissa was back out on Sunday rolling well, so damage was either minor or quickly repaired.
- When I first saw the roads at 7am on Sunday, I didn’t think there was any way rolls would happen. The rain passed early in the evening, but the air was humid and things weren’t drying too quickly. Sweepstakes kept the faith and the teams enthusiastically backed the committee up entertaining themselves at hill 1 and sending crews to the chute with saw dust, brooms, leaf blowers, and moxy. Around 8, the pavement was definitely still not dry, but it was deemed dry enough. Spirit and SDC were the first two rolls and as standard tryke teams always getting attention for their close-to-spinning style, I thought for sure we were moments from some real fireworks. Drivers got a real feel for their steering as they slid through the turn, often making 2 or three corrections, but for the most part they kicked ass. SN got credit for the only spin of the day and it was a well controlled affair coming to a clean 180 right in the middle of the road. Afterwards, Mike the driver got out and helped put his own buggy in the trunk.
- I tried to keep an eye on which buggies teams were giving to their A teams while we tested the timing system on Saturday. Fringe seems to be sticking with Bonsai, and PiKA was running Raptor as A-team with its new tiny wheels. SDC might be making a switch, rolling Bane (2011) with their biggest looking dudes after Malice (2009) was A team last year.
- I think that there are way fewer cases of borderline qualification this year compared to recent years. As far as I know, AEPi’s second buggy, Zephyrus, is the only buggy attempting to qualify that came up short, and only by a couple of rolls. Everyone got their pass tests in and the weather held when it needed to.
- PiKA wasn’t being shy about checking the temperature of their new small wheels on Raptor with an infrared thermometer before and after their rolls. Nothing wrong with a little heat on the wheels, that’s for sure, and I’m always a fan of good data collection.
- SAE’s reverse-tryke-ification of Rubicon is definitely a conversational favorite around the course, but it seems to be a fun buggy to operate too. The driver and mechanics treat it like a invincible big brother, loading in in the 1-2 transition moments before the roll, riding on top of the buggy back down the hill, anything goes! So far it’s been slower than I expected for a reasonable looking design with solid implementation on xootrs, but they’ll figure that out in due time.
Heats were selected on Sunday night and Raceday 2012 starts with a 16 heat schedule featuring 11 orgs and 48 teams (27 mens, 21 womens) which is a remarkably stable number considering how much turmoil there has been in the ranks. Last year we had 49 (29 mens, 20 womens), and 10 years ago we had 47. With six D teams this year (including a first ever two for the women) we are seeing a bit of a trend towards more teams from fewer orgs, but nothing too dramatic.
Other pre-raceday thrills
Compubookie came out this morning in the Tartan as tradition requires. Check it out here if you’re into buggy commentary by someone who can only be bothered to fill you in once a year :).
cmuTV published a raceday promo video that went pretty viral on facebook over the weekend, racking up over 1,100 views in less than 2 days. If you haven’t caught it yet, now’s your chance to get psyched and watch buggy with a dramatic soundtrack.