Sorry for the delay, being on the opposite side of the earth, my times are a little messed up. I sadly was also not able to take any pictures this weekend. Anyone who was at rolls with a camera should send me all pictures they took so that I can add them to this report.
This was the first day of Mini-Raceday where I believe there is a second on its way (someone please check me on this). Times have not yet been calculated, but there was still plenty of excitement to go around.
Special thanks goes out to Jakes Reid and Rachel Johnson who were able to get me some fantastic notes for this week’s rolls report since I wasn’t able to take some in person.
|CIA||Orca, Ascension, Freyja, Firebird, Quasar|
|Fringe||Bissa, Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan|
|SDC||Bane, Avarice, Malice|
|SigEp||Mamba, Peregrine, Barracuda, Pandora|
|Spirit||Zuke, Seraph, Haraka, Fuko|
|No-Shows||DU, KapSig, ROTC, SAE, SigNu|
Observations (Saturday Gallery)
- For Saturday… forecast called for a 10% chance of rain when teams went to sleep, but they woke up to wet roads and a forecast of 60% chance of rain for the rest of the morning… From that, Rachel had her first experience of personally making the call that rolls were off.
- Apex – With their first buggy finished, Apex rolled for the first time this semester with veteran driver Mallory Hayase. The new buggy bears the name Phoenix which I can only assume is a reflection of how Apex grew out of the ashes that was PiOneers. The shell was that familiar unfinished, carbon fiber black, but they had added a personal touch: It looked like all the members of the team had signed the buggy with a green paint marker, showing that every person on their team had a part in this success. First time around the course, they had four bags, but gave a full shove and still seemed to pick up speed. With such a strong start, it will be fun to see what they can do as the semester goes on!
- AEPi – Out in their typical Sunday fashion with kamikaze, AEPi made their normal trips around the course. As far as I know, nothing more interesting happened for the small band of brothers in buggy.
- CIA – With a TON of manpower out, including a horde of at least 15 catchers, CIA was out cheering themselves on to try and squeeze every last second out for mini-raceday. They had 5 buggies out again, and were giving some good solid shoves on some of their buggies. Freyja was also see with 3 different color wheels on for at least one roll, which begs the question of whether CIA is actually using different compounds, or just messing with different colors.
- Fringe – Borealis crashed for the second time this year right into the outer haybales. Word on the street is that the driver was unharmed physically, but fairly emotionally shaken, whereas the buggy sustained some potentially heavy damage. We’ll only know for sure if she makes it out again next weekend.
- PiKA – Only Raptor was rolling for Pike sunday morning and she was out on those itty bitty wheels. On their final go-round, they lost some compound on the back wheels en-route to the outer bales. I for one am wondering how many monkeys were out there collecting the spoils.
CORRECTION: PiKA was rolling on new ZE’s for their first roll when the tires exploded.
- SDC – Only the standard 3 buggies were out in typical fashion for the past champs. For the first couple times, they started avarice up the hill rather than in a lane, so those times won’t count for mini-raceday, but apparently they were just getting the driver warmed up, and after a couple rolls like that, they lined her up in a lane and gave a legit hill two shove.
- SigEp – As a stark comparison to CIA, SigEp seems to be pretty consistently short on manpower, even having to skip chairman’s, due to only having one person available to take drivers on coursewalks. They may have done at least a half of a hill one a couple times though, and as usual, their pushers were reliably bringing plenty of strength and speed. They had 4 buggies out and were rotating usually 3 at a time. They seem to have settled on an a team driver in barracuda, and are rumored to be training a driver who may be able to drive last year’s build. Maybe we will see her out in it in the spring?
- Spirit – Zuke spun in the chute on one of its go rounds, but nothing bad. It was out again on the next roll. Spirit was also rolling deep, but for some of their buggies, seemed to be jogging hill two and giving light push-offs. Some are speculating that if you push their buggies TOO fast, they have more of a tendency to spin, because they pick up so much speed in the freeroll… so maybe they are trying to avoid that.
Of the No-Shows, here’s what I know,
- SAE got caped this last week in the newly repaired Rubicon, but did not make it out to rolls. They’ve got one weekend left to get any rolls in for the fall. Not coming out will only make it harder for them to qualify in the spring.
- SigNu was not out this weekend, Hopefully they are just saving their strength for spring. But with only one roll each for two different drivers in Krait, like SAE it will be an uphill battle as they try and qualify for Raceday.
- For the first time in a very very long time, every single barricader came out! Hooray for safe, closed roads! No cars on the course, only one biker, no crazy hordes of joggers… all in all pretty uneventful, besides a slight snafu with almost having to leave a mini cooper on hill 5. The policemen said they couldn’t tow it since it had a boot on it. Teams were all set to put haybales and a flag up and tell drivers to steer around it, but turns out the tow truck could take the car after all and all was good.
- It was noticed that a lot of hill 5 pushers not even try to catch the handlebar at the finish line… let’s hope their teams explain to them the error of their ways so we don’t have any DQs on raceday. Or just move them to another hill.
- With all the crashes and spins some people ask “why do we even still allow zero error wheels on the course, with this many problems? It’s dangerous.” As it happens, out of the crashes on Sunday, only 1 out of the 3 teams were possibly rolling on ZE’s. PiKA switches between ZE’s and their own wheels and Spirit is doing their own thing and not using the stock ZE wheels. Fringe was using them last raceday which caused an issue with their Women’s A heat where the tread fell off in the chute. That being said, one can only speculate that this happened due to the massive treatments to get every ounce of speed from the wheel, and doesn’t seem to happen with the stock tread. Not allowing a certain type of wheel will only hurt the diversity and competition of Buggy. Teams that use ZE’s and treat them do so with the knowledge that they could fall apart, and that is their risk to take. If you have a different opinion, feel free to comment below.
- Overall, most teams seem to be solidifying who is driving what. As drivers are becoming more and more comfortable in their lines, it seems like the incidents we see are less driver related and more related to the mechanical problems that tend to arise as we push the limits of buggy top speed. It was a beautiful day, with a slight fog as the sun rose over the hills and created beautiful shadows in the trees-hard to believe it’s November. One more weekend of rolls, then we have the “spring” semester, which will likely be more like an arctic winter, so I was enjoying the nice weather while it’s here.
- Again, a great deal of thanks goes out to Jake Reid and particularly Rachel Johnson for their help with the rolls report. Assuming my job doesn’t keep me on the other side of the pacific, I will hopefully make it back for the final weekend of rolls and be able to supply you with a live stream from my new phone and pictures.Keep an eye out for mini raceday results as times get calculated