Old 03-27-2018, 12:22 AM
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PutAwayWet
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Default 2018 Emerald City Classic

While some may fret that Seattle's star is fading, I am seeing a reordering of powers, and I think we're all better for it. With stronger programs in the region than five or six years ago, ours is no longer the hegemon of the winter onroad scene. Racing is healthier in the Northwest than it has been in a decade, and while we no longer absorb all of the interest and post the outrageous numbers, it's true that we're hanging in very well. Give it a year. I forecast this: an emergence of exuberant rivalries between the region's clubs. I see potential for joyful hostilities between racing friends. The Emerald City Classic has been our showcase event since the 2009/2010 season, and this edition yielded some of the finest contests we've ever put on track. At 78 entries, we were enough to fill out competitive fields without overwhelming the schedule.

Thank you to Franko for taking over tech and being a hard nose about the rules. It kept everyone on their toes and the competition was better because of it.

Thank you to Hobby Authority for the ARC R11 raffle kit. Thank you to Options RC for the Yokomo BD8 raffle kit. And thank you to Team Associated for the 12R6 raffle kit. Lucky winners, I expect to see those cars at a track near us in the coming year!

Thank you to Katherine Mason for the lunch on Sunday. Full bellies make happy racers, and it shows on track.

Finally, thank you, the racers from both far and near, for making this a vintage year for this event. I give the long distance prize to Bob Carlos, all the way up from Grant's Pass. Quite a drive!

Scale Spec: The mainstay class of our program has been the subject of much discussion this year as its formerly robust numbers have slipped. It has our maximum attention. While there may be thoughtful things to do with the rules (maybe, we think), nothing sells a class like on-track competition. And just in the nick of time, a cadre of north-enders arrived to give the class a much needed boost. And by north-enders, I include the Great White North, from whence Brent Wende, president of the Kamloops club, mushed his dog sled to join us for the weekend. Our season champion, Gary Lewis was looking sharp, and the always rapid Dick Reece showed form. Bu none were quicker than John Glasgow, who broke the 29 lap barrier and topped Gary Lewis, who was himself on track record pace, both in the third round.

The opening laps of the main threw it all into disarray, as John, Gary, and Dick took turns in the lead. Having tossed it away, it seemed like John might have to settle for a mere podium instead of a win, but he gathered himself, exploited the others' mistakes, and got himself back to the front in the second minute. From there, he was steady to the end while Gary and Dick gave each other hell while trying to pressure John. With first locked up, it was down to those two to settle the runner-up. A bump and run at the end gave Dick the prize, while we all waited to see whether it would be a fist bump or a fist fight to settle it. Gary bumped fists, and we all breathed relief. However, it's possible we just witnessed a new rivalry taking shape before our eyes. TQ and win to John.

Novice: Novice is a class we cherish, and this weekend offered a wonderful study of why. I've noted many times that there's nothing like a son or daughter's enthusiasm to punch dad's ticket to race. I'm living breathing proof. We saw five youngsters on track, six counting Saturday, all with dads racing other classes. I won't sugar coat it—there was major mayhem, with the boards requiring a complete rebuild after every run. But the dismay gave way to the good-humored hilarity manifesting itself on the track. They were having so much fun! Meanwhile, Ken Christiansen, who has been quietly building his skills at the gym and hangar, put together patient, careful laps, threading needles, taking evasive action, and generally keeping his eyeballs set wide apart, like a prey animal on the Serengeti who must watch for crocodiles in the water and lions in the bushes, when all he needs is a darn drink. As I handed him his trophies for TQ and the win, I formally graduated him to Scale Spec, to which he gave a hearty amen.

Stock 1/12th: The day will come when I shake off my Raymond Poulidor act and claim the top spot on the podium of this class at this race. After a first round TQ, and then topping out again in Q3, I was thinking this could be my year. But I also knew, too well, who I was up against. I do think that with a competitive motor on board that I am able to serve as a genuine rival to Brian, and not merely his foil. I took the TQ and track record at the last club race, so I know we are on a similar pace. But it's never just outright speed that Brian brings, though he's always prepared and fast. He also has decades of experience and barrels of race craft in the cellar of that lizard brain that carry him through the little scrums that erupt on track. Right now, that's where he gets me. That fifth out of five times, he slips through unscathed while I get tangled. I can't blame anyone but myself, as everyone is trying hard, and it's not like my car is invisible. I have to cross that barrier and drive the stake through his ancient blackened heart and take what I do believe is rightfully mine. Alas, not this year. TQ and win to Bodine in 2018.

Modified Touring: I think, I hope, that deep down each is aware of the others role in their respective masterpieces of racing careers. They've been trading glares for years, since the famous showdown at Reedy in the 13.5 class where they settled second and third by a tiebreaker. As the years have gone by, each has taken a turn as the alpha in our local scene. There have been spoilers in the drama, no question, with Peeler flashing through with his disruptive mercurial brilliance, or Ehrlich when he crawls from beneath his rock and delivers a scorpion sting, but the long narrative has two rivals to give it life, our Holmes and Moriarty with modified touring cars: Kody and Korey, or Korey and Kody, depending on which end of the pit line you gravitate toward and to whom you assign protagonist's role. They were brilliant. I've not seen a finer qualifying duel than their Q4 for the TQ. Both were on top form, the track was prime, and the pressure was on. Lap after lap, they held to within tenths, even hundredths, neither able to settle it and drive the other down. Not until the 32nd lap, then Korey rumbled the dots, just barely, it cost him a mere six tenths, but it was enough to tip the result toward Kody.

In the main, they traded mistakes, once Kody giving the lead to Korey, and then Korey giving it back a few laps later. Down the sheet, Andrew and Jake dueled for third, while Blake and Stuart fought for fifth. TQ and win to Kody.

Formula One: Ed and Short Alex are a Canadian father/son team Stuart and I have gotten to know this past couple years. Ed is a solid veteran of the lower mainland onroad and offroad scenes raising his son in the sport. Ed showed up ready to do something in Formula One, which coincided nicely with the full scale version kicking off its season in Melbourne this weekend. It was not a lock, as Jesse Anderson arrived, for the first time that I know of, with a sorted chassis of his own and a hunger for a good result. Jeff Jenkins Sr. also had a quick car and a determined look. But, Ed held steady, locking in a good spot with a fast first run. Jesse would top out in Q3, but Ed settled it in the final Q4 with a fresh TQ and the pointy position on the grid. In the main it was Ed and Jesse trading places, with Jesse threatening to pull away for good before Ed rallied, chasing back and taking back the lead as Jesse tangled in traffic—open wheel! From there, Ed held the lead, taking the TQ and win.

Stock Touring: It is no disrespect to any of the others to say that Kody took the TQ and win decisively. And anyway, the numbers speak for themselves, as he TQ'd every round and went tone to tone in the main. The battle was between Jeff and Mike for the two-spot. Mike is our sure bet, season in and out, in Stock TC. He always brings a fast car, and he relishes qualifying, though not mains, quite famously. Jeff is reliably strapped. One has a feeling he was the neighborhood menace on a big wheel, a just-barely-not-crossing-the-line delinquent with a permanent smirk. The two are contrasting in style, but they're both quick on track. True to form, perhaps, Mike prevailed in qualifying by less than a tenth over Jeff. In the main, Jeff flipped positions on the 12th lap and got past Mike after applying maximum pressure. From there he held station, though Mike kept it close, and Sam closed in on them both.

Modified 1/12th: Korey has been the fastest in our land missile class all season, both at home and abroad. And through the first three quals it looked like he had it on lock. But, but! The Northwest is home to a unique racer--Travis Schreven, whose nom de guerre is Peeler. A lifelong racer, past national champ and class winner at 'Birds and Vegas, on his best days Peeler can beat anyone at anything with wheels controlled by a transmitter. And once again, Korey found himself in a head to head with a blazing talent on a great day on a prime track. In Q3 Korey put up what looked to be the swish from the three-point line. I think we were all prepared to say his work was done. So, when he had to to pull off in Q4 with a flippy car, I thought, well, “Too bad, but he's got the TQ.” Nope. Trav has raced 1/12th scale in his life, no lie, it is not a new thing for him. But I've never yet seen him throw down a Mod 1/12th with that kind of speed and consistency. It simultaneously seemed to float and track on rails. Which is not to say it was a dunk over Korey. Even coming off the last corner, it was still up in the air. But Peeler took the TQ by a mere 3/10ths over Korey after 8 minutes. It was the second heart breaker for Korey in less than a half hour, but also the second masterpiece to which his own excellence contributed so much.

In the main, both cars were locked in and fast, clearly the bench game for both was solid. It wasn't until Trav made a single small bobble at just past the halfway mark that Korey was able to get past. And that was it. Both were so fast, and so even, that it would have to be a bobble or bad luck in traffic that would decide it. Korey did not return the favor and took the win by three seconds, capping his weekend with a redemptive and satisfying win over a top shelf rival.

That's it for the 2018 ECC. The basic format is sound, I think, but I am trying to get a go on a tweak to the schedule that will end our Saturday night a couple hours earlier, giving us a bit more sleep and social time between sessions.

Results attached.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
Q1 ECC 2018.pdf (484.8 KB, 21 views)
File Type: pdf
Q2 ECC 2018.pdf (491.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: pdf
Q3 ECC 2018.pdf (482.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: pdf
Q4 ECC 2018.pdf (485.2 KB, 26 views)
File Type: pdf
Mains ECC 2018.pdf (430.0 KB, 74 views)
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