Coming into this weekend, it was looking very dreary, but somehow we managed to fit in between the weather, or just made it go away all-together. Buggy is now back to normal after the first one day weekend followed by another off and boy did it show. Even long-standing veteran teams looked like they were caught by surprise when Sunday rolled around.
Saturday went fairly well with only a little excitement from the chute. The weather was warm, the sun was out, the course was dry, and rolls started right about on time. Teams got 3 complete cycles with a few getting 4. The weather gave us a scare Saturday night, but things were clear by the morning and after a few little clean ups around the course teams were off and rolling. There were only 2 complete cycles on Sunday, with Fringe lucking out with a 3rd roll. Rolls themselves were delayed slightly because there were not enough bales wrapping around the corner. On top of that, the course was very damp from the rains overnight.
This is coming out a bit later than we wanted too, but we haven’t written a full one of these in a while, so I guess we have just as many cobwebs to shake off as these teams do.
|CIA||Impulse, Orca, Freyja, Quasar||Impulse, Orca, Freyja|
|Fringe||Bissa, Banyan||Bissa, Bedlam, Banyan|
|PiKA||Banshee, Chimera||Banshee, Chimera|
|SDC||Vice, Avarice, Malice, Psychosis||Vice, Avarice, Malice, Psychosis, Rage|
|SigEp||Pandora, Barracuda||Mamba, Pandora, Barracuda|
|Spirit||Kingpin II, Zuke, Haraka, Fuko||Kingpin II, Zuke, Seraph, Haraka|
- AEPi – After last years test with Sunday only rolls, it seems that AEPi is sticking to it again this year with their two drivers in Kamikaze. Sunday brought out
a newtheir second driver for the team who on her second roll had no bags. That either means that Kamikaze can be slow enough to make her comfortable without bags already, or the brothers are pushing hard to get her up to speed as fast as possible. Or they’re just lazy and didn’t want to attach a bag, does anybody know? or more importantly, does anyone care?Splitting a buggy between two drivers is a hard thing to pull off, but they seem to make it work for them.
- Apex – Also working with 2 drivers in one buggy, Apex was out this weekend and rolling just as well as the veterans. Actually given the incidents on Sunday, I’d go so far to say these guys were rolling way better than most of the vets. They’ve already racked up several rolls for each driver and both of them are looking good. Rumors are they are building a second buggy, so if they get it out in time for Raceday, I would not be surprised if the new kids on the block had 4 teams competing, more than a few of the older teams still racing are now.
- CIA – Deviating from from previous years trends, CIA has been rolling far less than they have in the past, but it’s still early in the year, so anything could happen. This weekend we didn’t see Ascension at all which has barely happened since she was built in 2011. Quasar rolled Saturday, but she tried to shed her shell as it popped up during the freeroll. In the last few years, CIA has been the most rollingest org by far, so this type start to a year is just a little surprising. That said. I wouldn’t expect this to last long, and I doubt it will have any impact on their overall preparation for Raceday. What might cause them issues is a follow car that can’t keep track of their buggies around the course. On their first roll of the day, 3 buggies left the top of the hill, but only 2 reached the chute with the follow car in tow. Realizing something had gone wrong, CIA’s follow car turned around on hill 5 and came racing back down the backhills looking for the lost Quasar. At this point, Sweepstakes had already been given the OK by radio club and SigEp had started rolling. Stop flags were thrown and everyone came out OK. This even confused the people in the chute as no one would believe that a car could miss their buggy. Quasar was found at the panther hollow bridge and carried back up. SigEp was allowed to finish their roll. Thankfully, no one was injured, but this would be a good time to remind your follow car drivers to pay attention and to NOT race around to try and catch up. Going fast will only get more people hurt, and getting there sooner will not fix things faster.
- Fringe – Saturday had Fringe’s only incident where Bissa slid late and glanced off the tail end of the bales. The follow car made the chute turn after the hit and the pusher was waiting for the normal massive rollout and also missed it as well. As both converged, Bissa had slowed down considerably, but neither knew what to do so the pusher just picked her up and kept on going up the hill. Aside from that minor incident, Fringe is already showing off their speed and pushing their limits against SDC. They are clearly hungry this year to make up for last year’s fumbles.
- PiKA – Rolling smoothly, PiKA had a very uneventful weekend and also rather slow. It’s rare to see the matte black buggies going Camo speeds when the other top contenders are already rolling several windows. Now that they’re not the top dogs anymore, Pike could be working on ways to come back and driver training is a big part of that. Unfortunately, it seems that their chimera driver is having a little trouble getting a grasp of the course as she strayed a little far from the curb after the monument and came down through all the parking spaces for Phipps. Fortunately she was traveling slow enough that she was able to correct and make it through the chute without any problem.
- SDC – This weekend we saw SDC rolling probably the fastest of anyone but also had the most and worst crashes. All of their buggies have been rolling several windows up hill 3 and smoking most of their pushers who are very unprepared for the quick roll outs. Unfortunately, both days brought SDC an end of rolls crash with Malice on Saturday (I believe), and Avarice on Sunday. Saturdays crash started with a spin that clipped a crack in the road popping off the wheel cover and sending her sideways into the outer bales. The driver was not hurt and they were able to move her off the course to allow rolls to continue. Avarice and her driver had a much harder time recovering. Coming down after the chute flag, she turned early and continued to cross over until she saw the bales. She attempted to correct but that almost caused a spin. At this point, she prevented the spin, but was too late to avoid the bales and came headlong into the end of the bales that had been moved up before rolls that morning. Because of her angle of attack, she hit the dead center between the two rolls of bales and plowed through two columns. The force of the hit ejected the hatch and you could almost see the possibly fractured carbon from the other side of the chute. The driver was eventually extracted when she was determined to be safe. The Driver was visibly shaken and took as much time as she needed while the bales were repaired and put back into place. Which these crashes both looked catastrophic, I don’t think either were season enders and we should expect them back next weekend after a re-cape and re-safety and be just as fast, or maybe a little toned down to get the drivers some time to figure out the course again.
- SigEp – While other teams rolled smoothly or roughly, and some were fast with others a bit slower, SigEp seemed to be the average of everyone as they rolled fairly quick, but just had a couple minor incidents. Early Saturday Pandora lost her hatch and had a small spin right around the stop sign. On Sunday, Barracuda had the almost near run-in with CIA’s lost follow car and spun while trying to stop just after the transition threw all of their stop flags out. Neither of the drivers were hurt as far as I know, and barracuda was able to make another roll after her spin.
- Spirit – In similar fashion to SigEp this weekend, Spirit was really rolling well and had only one spin in the chute on Sunday. Despite the spin, she didn’t touch the bales and was turned around and pushed right back up as if she hadn’t spun. In fact, Spirit ran so cleanly otherwise that I have nothing else to say about them right now.
- SAE and SigNu are both still absent from rolls so far, but I believe both have been attending chairmen’s and hopefully intend to roll later this year.
We were out there both days (a little late on saturday) and I’ve put together a playlist of all of it. I might try to edit it down in future weeks, but in the interest of getting the report out this week, here’s all the raw footage. Unfortunately one of the videos lost the video, but the sound is still OK. Check out our Ustream if you want the video that is missing.
As a teaser to something that we started doing this weekend, here are some freeroll times from Saturday: