Rolls Report: March 29 – Sub-Zero Mornings

The weekend started on a sour note as Saturday got cancelled on account of snow early in the morning. Fortuantely, someone still got use of the roads as the crash test SURG project was able to test their setup by running a weighted mock buggy into the haybales at speed. There was no data gathered, but the results were still spectacular. Sunday was frigid, but lacked snow allowing teams to roll.  Many drivers seemed to be having trouble with sun glare going up the backhills. Teams have only one regular weekend left before Truck to get the rolls they need. We can only assume that there will be several more exemptions than normal this year, the only hope being that it doesn’t also cause an increase in incidents.

In Attendance (Qualified with at least one driver)

Org Saturday
AEPi Kamikaze
Apex Ember, Phoenix
CIA Equinox, Icarus, Orca, Impulse, Ascension
Fringe NBXV, Bissa
PhiDelt Perun
PiKA Banshee, Raptor
SDC Vice, Bane, Avarice, Malice
SigEp Kraken, Barracuda, Pandora
SigNu Bungarus Krait
Spirit Inviscid, Seraph

Observations (Sunday)

  • AEPi  While their veteran driver only needs a couple rolls to qualify, AEPi chose to roll new driver this weekend to get her more experience on the course. They allowed Ember to roll ahead one roll, but did not even attempt a pass test. Both drivers in Kamikaze are still missing pass tests. AEPi needs and average of 3 rolls for each of their 2 drivers to be completely qualified.
  • Apex – With one qualified driver in Phoenix, Apex will at least be able to roll her again this year. After Ember was DQ’d last year due to a delamination issue, their challenge this year is to get the newly repaired Ember into the fray again allowing them to double their number of competing teams. It sounds like she might need a little more work though as Ember lost her hatch as she rolled through the chute. She was pushed up sidewalk the rest of the way to allow rolls to continue with little interruption. Apex needs an average of 6 rolls for each of their unqualified drivers in the best scenario.
  • CIA – Leading the pass-test pack with 3 completed pass tests, CIA is well on their way to complete qualification without need of exemptions. Their drivers seem to be getting more consistent, though they are choosing to roll over the new patch of rough green paint where other groups choose to avoid it. Icarus has also been making a dreadful racket as she rolls around the course sounding like more than just a wheel rub. CIA needs an average of 3.75 rolls for each of their 4 non-qualified drivers.
  • Fringe – In a surprise move, Fringe debuted their second new buggy of the season this year with the far less ridiculous NBXV this weekend. X1 (codenamed Milibuggy by some) was nowhere to be seen. Right off the hill 2 push, NBXV lost one of its temporary fairings leaving it behind, also forgotten by the follow car. Despite having a large varied fleet of buggies and drivers this year, Fringe has yet to complete or even attempt a pass test to our knowledge. Regardless, they continue to roll as smoothly as always, though lacking a bit of their normal speed it seems. Currently, their Bissa driver has all the rolls she needs to qualify and is now just looking for her pass test. Based on what Fringe has been rolling so far this year, they need an average of 10 rolls for each of their 3 remaining drivers to qualify without exemptions.
  • PhiDelt – NEW ORG ALERT! As mentioned last week, PhiDelt has joined the competition as the new Frat on the block. With their team no longer tied up with Greek Sing, they were able to roll a full compliment of pushers, driver, and mechanics with the originally KDR Perun. We’re not sure what the agreement is between the two Frats, but given KDR’s removal from campus several years ago, they have yet to return to campus and hopefully are happy to see their buggy roll once again. The new kids set up camp on the grass between SDC and Apex along Hill 5 and are learning what it’s like to roll in sub-freezing temps. They’re also realizing why some orgs bring out piles of blankets, and find places to warm up inside between rolls. PhiDelt needs 12 rolls and a pass test for their Driver to qualify.
  • PiKA – Rolling the best so far this weekend, PiKA might be making a move to be the dominant team again this year. At this point, Banshee has completed her pass test, but with Raptor having just shown her face for the first time this weekend, she’s a little further behind in the requirements. PiKA needs an average of 4 rolls for each of their 2 drivers to qualify.
  • SDC – Unfortunately returning to their nasty habits from the fall, SDC had another morning of buggies in bad places. On their first roll, Vice managed to hit the inside curb just before the bales. She was not moving very quickly and rolls were on again after only a brief pause. With Vice benched the rest of the morning, Avarice hit the inside bales on her last roll right where Vice had hit the weekend prior. All of SDC looked to be rolling much slower than normal, hopefully in an attempt to figure out what is going awry. Despite these impacts, Malice is qualified with the orgs only completed pass-test. Based on the buggy/driver combos from this last weekend, SDC needs an average of 8.66 rolls for each of their 3, yet unqualified drivers. If they moved some drivers around they would need far fewer rolls, but it would likely require cutting drivers.
  • SigEp – Working hard to get pass tests, SigEp had a miss-timed fluke early on, but managed to find their groove with a Kraken driver by the end of the day. Oddly enough, they can’t seem to decide on who they want to drive Kraken since they had 2 drivers both rolling in her this weekend. Now that they’ve gotten their pass-test groove back, they should have no problem qualifying their Barracuda driver who has plenty of rolls but lacks just the pass-test. If SigEp were to qualify all buggy/driver combos that have been driven this year, they would need an average of 7 rolls for each of their 3 drivers split between Kraken and Pandora (Barracuda excluded).
  • SigNu – As the only other org to pause rolls today, SigNu spun in chute without contacting the bales. Krait’s driver has been dealing with some difficulty keeping a straight line on the freeroll and being somewhat erratic through the course. It looks as though she either can’t see the road well enough, or was not given a proper course walk and doesn’t really yet know where she should be. Skua hasn’t yet made it out the course, and with only a couple chances left to get rolls, we may not see her at all. To qualify both buggies, SigNu needs an average of 7 rolls and a pass-test for each of their 2 drivers.
  • Spirit – Yet to complete a single pass test, Spirit has been chugging along getting rolls and pusher experience. As the last rolls of the day just after SDC, they did their best to encourage a quick extraction of Avarice’s driver once she was confirmed to be okay and managed to squeak in a fourth roll for the morning. Given their 3 drivers and 5 potential buggies, it seems as though they are still finding the best buggy/driver fits with Seraph out this weekend and no sight of Kingpin II. Based on what rolled this weekend, Spirit needs an average of 4.33 rolls for each of their 3 drivers, however, they if they chose to change it up, they could need only an average of 3 rolls each.

Missing In Action

SAE was nowhere to be seen this weekend. Either due to cold, or more optimistically working to fix their incredible camber issue that was seen last weekend. If they make it out the next two weekends, they should easily be able to get their 6 rolls and a pass-test for their one driver in Lucy.

Robobuggy also didn’t make it out this weekend. Since they don’t have any qualification requirements, they probably opted to stay warm and work on their algorithms or new shell instead. Hopefully we will have time to showcase their hard work during this year’s raceday. They’ve come a long way from where they began this year and would be really fun to see.

Course Condition

The backhills are notorious for being in bad shape for many years and still are one of the worst features of the course in it’s current state. Unfortunately, a large chunk of road right at the start of the freeroll has broken off making the lane 2 and 3 lines much more difficult. A few buggies hit the crack on their way over with at least one of which audibly bottoming out. In a related move, sweepstakes has laid out the lanes going into the freeroll in preparation for painting.

Buggy Crash SURG Setup Test

Despite the snow, several people stuck around to help out with the crash test SURG Saturday morning testing the rigging system in preparation for crashing a retired buggy. They managed to successfully crash a buggy stand-in headfirst into the curb by the chute at about 34mph. The test is great proof for their system, and the actual crash test will likely be happening next weekend prior to rolls. This will include a crash test dummy inside the buggy, as well as accelerometers to measure the deceleration during impact. If you are interested in a more detailed update, please email Rachael at or leave a comment with your email address.

I built a ‘death sled’! And crashed it at 34mph with the help of many amazing people. Next week is crashing a real buggy with a dummy inside.

Posted by Rachael Schmitt on Saturday, 28 March 2015

In addition to the data that the team will be gathering for their own uses, we hope that the BAA can also learn more about the impact profile buggies go through in a crash where we can hopefully use it to find a suitable haybale replacement. If we are able to find (or make) something, it could lift a huge annual financial burden from sweepstakes.

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