100 Years of Buggy History – 2013

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A quick reminder that along with these History of Buggy posts, we’re also doing a Raceday Rewatch! The 2013 Raceday Rewatch will begin at 5pm ET on Friday, April 10, and you can join us live on YouTube at this link (or rewatch it on your own later): 2013 Rewatch

This week, the 100 Years of Buggy History series focuses on 2013. Rain caused plenty of confusion this year, once again leading to a single official day of Men’s racing and an interesting answer to a trivia question. In addition, the number of Women’s teams had grown large enough to expand the Women’s Finals.

2013

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 19 at 9:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 20 at 9:15am

Sweepstakes Committee: Josh Hixson (Chair); Rachel Johnson (Ass. Chair); Jake Reid (Safety); Emily Ostrin (Design)

Men’s Results: (1) SDC A – Bane (2:04.99); (2) SigEp A – Barracuda (2:09.64); (3) PiKA A (2:10.30); (4) CIA A – Ascension (2:18.03); (5) Spirit B – Haraka (2:21.13); (6) Fringe B – Beacon (2:21.31)

Women’s Results: (1) SDC A – Bane (2:32.60); (2) Fringe B (2:39.00);(3) PiKA A (2:43.21); (4) SDC B – Malice (2:43.78); (5) CIA A – Ascension (2:44.58); (6) SDC C – Vice (2:50.84)

Design Comp: (1) CIA – Ascension; (2) Fringe – Beacon; (3) SigEp – Barracuda

Other Awards: (People’s Choice) Spirit – Kingpin; (Chairman’s Choice) SigEp; (Spirit of Buggy) CIA; (T-Shirt) AEPi

Weather: Cloudy with occasional rain, 65-70 Degrees on Friday; Cloudy, 38-44 on Saturday

Buggy Book: 2013 Buggy Book Link

Raceday Video Playlist: 2013 Race Playlist

Prediction Score: 34/55 Men’s, 19/45 Women’s (Compubookie); 26/55 Men’s, 25/52 Women’s (Ben Matzke)

Rain caused plenty of confusion in 2013, once again leading to a single official day of Men’s racing, while the number of Women’s teams had grown large enough to expand the Women’s Finals.

  • Women’s Finals Expand.  Since 1979, the number of Women’s teams in Buggy had been growing, and in 2013 there were 19 Women’s teams, versus 28 Men’s teams.  So with the increased number of teams, it didn’t make as much sense that the Women were still only limited to 6 Finals spots while the Men had 10.  So in 2013, Sweepstakes changed it.  They added two additional Women’s teams to the Finals, making it the first year that 8 Women’s teams would advance.  Because of the additional 2 teams, Sweepstakes also added an additional trophy, making it so that the Top 4 Women’s teams (rather than just the Top 3) would receive a trophy.
  • Predictions.  Once again, Compubookie predicted some carnage on Raceday, due to the lack of Spring rolls and the quick ramp up in speeds from the teams.  On the Women’s side, it was SDC’s quick buggies that would guide them to victory.  His Top 6 were (1) SDC A, (2) Fringe A, (3) SigEp A, (4) SDC B, (5) PiKA A, and (6) Spirit A.  On the Men’s side, the lack of Bonsai on the course hurt Fringe’s chances,while SigEp had made strides with their buggy and push teams, but not enough to challenge SDC.  Compubookie’s Top 10 Men’s teams were: (1) SDC A, (2) SigEp A, (3) PiKA A, (4) Fringe A, (5) SDC B, (6) Spirit A, (7) SDC C, (8) Spirit B, (9) Fringe B, and (10) CIA A. The BAA also launched their own predictions, with Ben Matzke providing his predictions in the Raceday Preview. He didn’t give letter designations unless it was a 2nd or 3rd team, but we’ve added “A” below (however, for purposes of points above, we’re crediting a no-letter-designation organization as the highest performing team – so if a B team placed top 10 after an A team DQ, we are awarding Ben credit for the team). On the Women’s side, his Top 8 were (1) SDC A, (2) Fringe A, (3) SDC B, (4) SigEp A, (5) PiKA A, (6) Spirit A, (7) CIA A, and (8) Fringe B. On the Men’s side, his Top 10 were (1) SDC A, (2) PiKA A, (3) SigEp A, (4) Fringe A, (5) SDC B, (6) Spirit A, (7) CIA A, (8) SigNu A, (9) SAE A, and (10) Fringe B.
  • The Tartan’s Sports Spotlight.  The Tartan ran a weekly column spotlighting some of the student-athletes at CMU.  So it’s fitting that on April 22, 2013, they decided to spotlight an athlete from the best CMU sport, Buggy.  The focus was on 5th year architecture student Becky Peterkin, a driver and part-time mechanic for Fringe who holds the team record in Bonsai from 2011.  Becky disclosed an issue unique to Buggy mechanics – she had been a mechanic for 2 years, but she had to dial back her participation due to “developing allergies to a few raw materials”.    
  • Rain Redux.  Once again, 2013 saw rain moving into Pittsburgh messing with the Raceday schedule.  But it was a bit of a reversal from 2012, as instead of the rain coming on Saturday, it came in on Friday.  For the second year in a row, the Men’s races got knocked down to 1 day.  A total of 4 Men’s Heats were able to be run on Friday, but 3 minutes after Men’s Heat 4 ended, rain started to fall and rolls were put on hold.  The rain came in and made the course too wet, resulting in the cancellation of the remainder of the Men’s Heats.  Since not all of the Men’s Heats were able to be completed on Friday, by rule Sweepstakes wiped out the 4 heats that had been completed and every team rolled instead on Saturday.
  • Rain Confusion.  Meanwhile, the Women’s heats were completed without issue on Friday.  The Top 8 teams were all set to roll on Saturday, with the Women’s Finals switching places with the Men’s heats, being run after the Men’s Prelims instead of the usual placement rolling first.  But Saturday’s races took a while to get started, as overnight rain required a lot of waiting for the course to dry.  After a delay of over an hour, racing finally began with Women’s Rerolls, followed by the Men’s Prelims.  As soon as the Men’s Prelims ended, there was a bit of a delay as Sweepstakes determined if any Men’s rerolls were necessary.  The delay, however, pushed the day closer to the time at which the roads needed to be reopened.  So during the delay, Sweepstakes made the decision to cancel the Women’s Finals.  However, after much outrage (including the protests of Andy Bordick in the Broadcast Booth), 2 minutes after the announcement that there would be no Women’s Finals, Sweepstakes Chair Josh Hixson entered the broadcast booth to announce that the decision had been changed, and that the Women’s Finals would take place, going 8 minutes gun-to-gun.  This caused tons of confusion, exemplified by CIA having sent its Women’s team home after hearing the initial announcement and needed to scramble to get the team back.  This resulted in CIA missing their scheduled heat, Women’s Finals Heat 3, but due to the confusion they were allowed to reroll alone in the last heat of the day.
  • More Funding Issues.  It had been a while since there was a fight over funding with the Student Government.  But another battle ensued in the Fall of 2012.  The fight wasn’t with Sweepstakes, who had a budget of $45,841.  Instead, the battle was with Apex.  As a new team in 2012, they were not able to receive Student Senate funding through the Joint Funding Committee (JFC).  But for the 2012-2013 school year, they were finally able to apply.  Unfortunately for them, the JFC bylaws limited first time applicants to a total of $500.  So even though Apex had requested $3,970 in order to properly support a buggy team and build a new buggy, they only received $500.  As Apex Chair Connor Hayes told the Tartan, “$500 will literally get us nothing.”  The article, in the November 5, 2012 Tartan, pointed out numerous flaws in the JFC procedures and interviewed people calling for a complete overhaul of the system.
  • Apex’s Open Build.  Of course, Apex didn’t let the funding issues stop them. As noted in 2012, Apex was founded on the idea of openness, and they played a large role in creating the current environment of a (slightly) more open Buggy community.  The culmination of this came when the organization decided to build their first buggy.  Apex took plenty of photos and videos of the process, which they released to the general public.  The fact that Apex rose from the ashes of Pioneers wasn’t lost on the team, and they named their new build Phoenix.
  • New Buggies.  But Apex wasn’t the only team to build. PiKA managed to put together a very fast buggy, producing Banshee. SigEp also put together a strong buggy that rivaled Barracuda, as they released the Kraken, but thanks to a crash on Saturday of Truck Weekend, Kraken would need to wait a year before debuting on Raceday. Fringe and SDC each continued their yearly builds, producing Beacon and Vice, respectively. CIA also kept going with yearly builds, producing Impulse. SAE pulled off a shocker by coming out with their first new real buggy since Rubicon in 1999, producing the wheel alignment-challenged Lucy. Lastly, Spirit didn’t completely build a new buggy, but they did rebuild their buggy from 2002, Kingpin, calling it Kingpin II.
  • CIA Gets Woody. As I noted in 2011 above, wood used to be a popular buggy-building material, but fell out of favor around the time that Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine for polio. But in 2013, wood made a comeback! Rachael Schmitt (current BAA Secretary), then a member of CIA, decided to take on a challenge over Winter Break. She set out to make a buggy entirely out of wood! The heavy, massive hardwood vehicle was finished in time to make it to the first weekend of rolls in the Spring. The buggy seemed to be an attempt at a cure for CIA’s chronic issues with making their pushbars erect. The new buggy was appropriately christened B1R.
In 2013, CIA debuted their big, hulking wooden equipment, B1R. Much to the enjoyment of the team, it took things nice and slow. It’s seen here bagged for protection (photo from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Ben Matzke).
  • Naval ROTC Takes Flight.  For the first time since 1990, a ROTC organization decided that they wanted to try out Buggy.  This time, it was Carnegie Mellon’s Naval ROTC.  To do this, NROTC obtained the buggy Shrek from SigEp.  Eventually, they repainted the buggy in red, white, and blue and named the buggy Patriot.  They managed to get it qualified and even made it out to Raceday!  But their plan to participate didn’t include racing on Saturday, as they didn’t expect to put up a 2nd day time.  And they were right – racing in Men’s Prelims Heat 3, NROTC clocked in at 2:48.5 in their heat on Friday.  But when the rain came, it wiped out that time, requiring the race to be run on Saturday.  However, since NROTC wasn’t planning on rolling on Saturday (and I believe their driver had other obligations), they were forced to scratch.  2013 was the only year they participated, leaving NROTC as a unique trivia answer.  They became the only team to record a competitive time on Raceday, not be DQ’d, and yet never officially race.
This photo, taken by Ben Matzke, is the only evidence we have that NROTC actually raced on a Raceday.

  • Buggy Harassment.  The January 28, 2013 Tartan includes a crime & incident report involving Buggy.  On January 19, a CMU student (supposedly a member of SDC) contacted CMU police stating that he was being followed by three students from “an opposing buggy team” (supposed Spirit).  The three students, in a sedan, were following the caller through Oakland streets, so the caller decided to lead them right to the CMU Police Station, where he filed a harassment report.  The vehicle fled, but was caught by police officers a few blocks away.  Police stopped the vehicle, identified all three individuals, and advised them not to harass the student or his buggy team.
  • Who Needs Roads Anyway? As noted, the road conditions had significantly deteriorated for 2014. So a couple of teams had other ideas. In early Fall, Pandora decided to turn left at Westinghouse Pond, resulting in the buggy tipping over, but there were no injuries or damage. On March 31, Spirit’s Zulu Machafuko was attempting a pass test when the driver missed her line at the transition flag. Instead of continuing down the road, Fuko ended up on the pedestrian ramp. the roll ended with Fuko running into a light post, where it looked like she “pole-vaulted and fell to her side”. Fortunately, the driver was uninjured and was even able to pull herself out of the buggy.
  • Barricades Do Their Job. Barricades are on the roads in order to stop things from getting through. But they had limited success in the 2013-2014 school year. At the last rolls of the fall, the driver of Pandora seemed to forget where she was on the course and forgot to turn at the Chute flag. The buggy drove under one of the barricades, blowing it apart before coming to a stop on the bridge, but there was no damage or injury. During one of the Spring rolls, a car came flying up Schenley Drive from Pitt and didn’t see the outer barricades. The car hit the barricade, which was a 2x6x12 City barricade, with such force that the barricade was broken in half. Thankfully this caused the driver to stop well before reaching the inner barricades.
  • A Different Kind of “Buggy”. Spectators and Buggy teams at Rolls on March 31 were treated to a different kind of “Buggy” on the course. A man in a motorized wheelchair made his way past the barricades at the bottom of Hill 1, and proceeded up Hill 1 and on to Schenley Drive. The rolls report noted that the man “didn’t seem to have a care in the world.”
  • Women’s Safety.   It was a disappointing Raceday for safety on the Women’s side.  In the Prelims, Fringe A had the second fastest time in Bissa, but they were DQ’d for failing a spot safety.  Luckily their B team also made it to the Finals, so the A team pushers, as alternates for the B team, was able to push on Saturday.  Meanwhile, in the Finals, AEPi (yes, that’s right, AEPi in the Finals) finished with the slowest time of the day.  But what you don’t realize when you never make it to the Finals is that occasionally, the Safety Chair will want to conduct a spot safety.  Sure enough, he (a former AEPi) did, and AEPi failed, resulting in a DQ in their only Finals appearance.
  • Men’s Friday vs. Saturday.  Friday gave us a preview of what to expect on Saturday from the first 4 Men’s Heats, so I thought it might be interesting to see how they compared.
    • Men’s Heat 1 – PiKA B’s Chimera (Lane 1), Spirit C’s Mapambazuko (Lane 2), CIA C’s Impulse (Lane 3).  On Friday, it wasn’t very close on the front end, with PiKA B finishing in 2:26.1.  The real battle was for 2nd, as Spirit led into the freeroll with CIA right on their tail.  Spirit had a big fishtail in the Chute that allowed CIA to pass, though Spirit passed back on Hill 3.  Spirit finished around 2:33, and CIA was around a 2:39.  On Saturday, the battle was instead on the front end, as Spirit kept up with PiKA and actually caught PiKA in the roll up to Hill 3, before the PiKA pushers pulled away on the back hills.  PiKA got 1 second slower, while Spirit got 4 seconds faster.  CIA, meanwhile, clearly had some issues on Saturday, as they got 13 seconds slower, finishing with a 2:52.65.
    • Men’s Heat 2.  SigEp B’s Mamba (Lane 1), Apex A’s Phoenix (Lane 2), SAE B’s Rubicon (Lane 3).  The most exciting Men’s Heat of Friday came as SigEp and Apex went into the freeroll simultaneously.  SigEp, with the Lane 1 advantage, got the narrow lead at the top of the freeroll and kept it until the Chute, at which point Apex carried more speed and passed SigEp on the roll up to Hill 3.  SigEp fought back though, and pulled even on Hill 5, resulting in a photo finish that SigEp won with a 2:27.7, to Apex’s 2:28, with SAE finishing around 3:02.  You’d think that the tightness might have caused the teams to rethink the heat on Saturday, but they didn’t, and we got an even closer battle up the front hills.  Again, the two buggies went into the freeroll neck and neck with SigEp having the narrow lead to start the freeroll, but SigEp’s Mamba clearly suffered a brakes problem, as Apex passed as they approached the Stop Sign and Mamba ended up coming to a standstill in the Chute.  None of the buggies improved on their Friday times, with Apex down by 7 seconds, SigEp by 20 seconds, and SAE more or less staying the same.  Unfortunately, Apex Hill 2 pusher Connor Hayes didn’t think about the SAE buggy behind him when he gave Phoenix his final shove on Saturday, and Rubicon made direct contact with Connor, taking his legs out from under him and resulting in an Apex DQ for pusher interference.
    • Men’s Heat 3 – Fringe B’s Beacon (Lane 1), SDC D’s Avarice (Lane 2), NROTC A’s Patriot (Lane 3).  This was a disaster heat on Friday.  Fringe struggled to get their buggy to the line in time on Friday, resulting in what would have been a DNS.  Then, Avarice spun in the Chute, leaving just NROTC to finish.  On Saturday though, it was a completely different heat.  As noted above, NROTC scratched their roll on Saturday.  But Fringe and SDC were much more evenly matched, and the two went into the freeroll together.  Fringe had to swerve to avoid contact, and as the buggies crossed the street opposite Westinghouse Pond, it’s possible that there was contact.  Fringe was able to get in front and stayed there throughout the race, as both teams were able to finish.
    • Men’s Heat 4 – Spirit A’s Kingpin, CIA B’s Orca.  The race was pretty uneventful on Friday, with Spirit clocking in at 2:19.7 and CIA around 2:25.  Saturday didn’t turn out quite as well for Spirit.  They had trouble getting Kingpin to the starting line and nearly dropped the buggy.  As a result, one of the mechanics had to stay with the buggy for an extra second, which took them beyond the countdown to 5, resulting in a 5 second DQ (though their time was 1 second faster).  CIA’s time slowed slightly, as they lost 3 seconds on their original time.
  • Men’s Notable Heats.  Other than those mentioned above, there were a couple of other notable Men’s heats.
    • Heat 6 – The most exciting part of the heat came at the start of the freeroll between SigEp A’s Barracuda in Lane 1 and Spirit B’s Haraka in Lane 2.  The two went up the front hills together, but SigEp had the Lane 1 advantage.  SigEp made a deep shove but had the narrow edge, and as Barracuda moved closer to the curb, it squeezed Haraka, forcing Haraka to swerve to avoid contact.  On another note, the third team in the heat, CIA D, had their Hill 2 pusher push Conquest with duct tape over his mouth.
    • Heat 8 – SDC decided to put Malice on their B team, which would have been fine, but the team was DQ’d thanks to the Hill 4 pusher.  As the buggy approached the end of the Hill 4-5 transition zone, the Hill 4 pusher gave one final shove, but his foot was on the line, resulting in the DQ.
    • Heat 9 – The heat had two teams, Fringe A’s Bissa and SigNu A’s Bungarus Krait, but neither team ended up with a time that counted.  Fringe led throughout, but the Hill 5 pusher, who tried to keep the buggy close with light bumps, gave slightly too hard of a bump as he approached the finish line and couldn’t catch up to the buggy, resulting in a Pushbar DQ.  Meanwhile, behind them, SigNu couldn’t make it through the Chute, spinning out and having the back of the buggy roll into the outer haybales.
    • Heat 10 – The championship heat, as SDC A’s Bane earned the win behind a King of the Hill effort on Hill 1 and a wild Hill 4 that prompted commentator Andy Bordick to note that “the hill just crested and he pushed that buggy 20 feet away from himself.”
  • Notable Women’s Heats
    • Timing Heat – This doesn’t usually warrant a comment, but the timing heat for the day led to a bit of drama.  The heat was being run by Spirit’s Mapambazuko, but no one seemed to realize it was happening.  The broadcast didn’t show the buggy rolling until it was already approaching the Stop Sign.  A few flaggers heading to the flagging area nearly got run over by the lead truck.  And it’s possible those flaggers were Spirit flaggers, because the Spirit flaggers were nowhere to be seen on the course.  The CIA Chute flagger alertly put out their flag so that the Spirit driver knew when to turn.  Of course, it probably resulted in a non-traditional line for the driver, and the buggy nearly spun out.  The driver saved the turn, but lost the back hatch in the process.
    • Prelims Heat 2 – The CIA D team, full of drivers and mechanics, put on dresses to push Freyja, and Spirit A’s Kingpin had no trouble in the heat.  But the real excitement was the second buggy in the heat, SDC D’s Avarice.  The buggy took a tight line in the Chute and appeared to oversteer, spinning out but managing to avoid the haybales.  CIA D got the stop flag and was granted a reroll on Saturday.
    • Prelims Heat 3 – SAE A never made it to the starting line, leaving SDC C’s Vice to roll alone.  But the issue was apparently not SAE’s, as a megaphone malfunction caused them to not hear the countdown, and they were granted a reroll on Saturday.
    • Finals Heat 1 – It’s only notable because AEPI MADE A FINALS! (Sorry, I had to write this again).
    • Finals Heat 3 – As noted above, Spirit A ended up rolling alone because of the confusion over the Finals cancellation, but CIA was granted a reroll at the end of the day (which we don’t have video of).
    • Finals Heat 4 – The winning heat, with SDC A’s Bane taking the trophy.
  • The Exhibition Roundup – 2013.  The delay to start the races on Saturday, plus the number of heats that Sweepstakes needed to get through, meant that there were no Exhibitions in 2013.
  • 2013 Photos. Here are some non-gallery photos from 2013, as well as a select few from the gallery:
2013 – CIA D, pushing Quasar, wore in their proper pushing attire (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
2013 – SigNu Women’s A’s Bungarus Krait spins out and crashes in the Chute on Friday (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan). Note that the photo caption says that this is SDC’s Malice, but (a) Malice didn’t crash, and (b) it’s clearly a SigNu buggy.
2013 – SDC Men’s C transitions Vice from Hill 3 to Hill 4 in Men’s Heat 5 (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
2013 – SigEp A’s Alp Erbug picks up Barracuda after the rollout on Hill 3 (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
SDC’s Avarice loses both wheels in the Chute during rolls on October 14 (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Ben Matzke)
2013 – A SigEp Women’s A pusher pushes Barracuda up the back hills (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
2013 – A Fringe Women’s C pusher pushes Banyan, driven by Becky Peterkin, up Hill 3 in Women’s Prelims Heat 5 (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
2013 – Spirit Men’s D’s Zulu Machafuko enters the Chute in Men’s Heat 8 (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
2013 – CIA at Design Competition (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)
2013 – SDC at Design Competition (from the 04-22-2013 Tartan)

3 thoughts on “100 Years of Buggy History – 2013”

  • Regarding ROTC: I believe a bigger issue for them was that their steering actually Broke on Hill 4 or 5 leading to the left front wheel being stuck against the shell. You can see the failure at 2:27 in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnGOfdiqqNI&list=PLCSO71HhvyTzeyP-knjH5b_nY-Wyuw8zM&index=10&t=0s . The friction of the wheel against the shell wore a hole through the paint and into the carbon. I believe they were able to fix it and come out for a few rolls in the fall of 2013 but did not stick around until raceday.

  • The CIA Women’s A buggy is Ascension, not Orca.

    The confusion around finals hid how competitive that team would go on to be in coming years.
    It isn’t over till it’s over, especially with Fringe A sitting on a DQ. They likely wouldn’t have held on to 2nd against Fringe B, but wouldn’t have dropped out of the trophies either.

  • Also notable is that on the men’s side, SigEp straight up beat PiKA for 2nd for the first time, while CIA benefited from a few DQs ahead of them to sneak into 4th.

    It’s mind-boggling that ROTC’s steering broke like that and yet stayed attached enough that they could finish!

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