Topic: My Springwater Blues!
I love Springwater, but Springwater don't love me,
I love the racin', but can't stop the wreckin',
She punishes me relentlessly,
Breaking my bodies for my carelessness,
She crushes me for my lack of preparedness,
Killing my motors no less,
She is brutal and heartless,
But I love her so!
So, I actually finished this last OSCAR Sports Car race at Springwater Raceway. That is actually my goal anymore, finish the race! I don't have much luck at Springwater, and I know I am the biggest issue affecting my luck. Zack has made it clear to me both in conversation and by his example that my biggest issue is a lack of preparedness! That and the fact that I just don't put forth the energy to PRACTICE before the race! So I guess it comes down to my lack of effort in both of those areas......
But with all of that said, I really enjoy racing at Springwater Raceway, and Saturday was a lot of fun! I was excited about the race because I was going to race one of the last cars Bob McFarland had been working on. The chassis he built for this car was small, Clubman Class sized. It is a typical McFarland, meticulously constructed, mechanical beauty! All I had to do was finish painting the body. It was an old Cox 1/24 scale Ferrari Dino Spyder body. Bob had repaired some breaks and cracks in the body and primered it. I painted the body yellow, installed the windscreen, added decals, a driver figure, and gave it a few coats of clear using Future floor wax.
The chassis was complete and ready to run. I mounted the body Saturday morning and headed off for the OSCAR Sports Car Race at Springwater Raceway. I arrived just in time for a quick tech inspection, and my car was put in the impound area. My first laps on the track were for my qualifying run. Although I didn't qualify well (this is where that "practice" thing first shows), the car seemed pretty good. It handled well for such a small narrow car.
I was tenth out of eleven entries for the starting grid. We were racing four minute heats with four rounds of racing. It was to be a long race, in more ways than one! Things went pretty well in my first heat race. In my second race it became obvious my car's motor was having issues. Sometimes the motor would rocket up to speed, sometimes not so much, and sometimes not at all. Halfway through the heat I decided to pull my car off the track and take a look. I took it over to my pit area and cleaned off the guide flag braid, and made adjustments. I also decided to clean the wiper bands on my controller. Let me describe for you what happened then. I returned to the track and placed my car on my lane (remember, the heat race is still in progress, track power is ON - this is key as to what transpired). I started cleaning the wiper band on my controller (of course my controller is hooked up to the track - I'm still racing!). As I cleaned my controller wiper pad, I noticed it was dirty at the low end as well as the full throttle end. To clean this end of the pad I had to PULL THE TRIGGER......which I did......As soon as I pulled the trigger there was a loud bang to my right as my car hit the solid wall (a Springwater Raceway penalty tool). Unfortunately the wall did not stop my cars forward motion. It cleared the wall, flew through the air, and with another bang hit the floor. As I was handed a couple handfuls of parts, my first thought was, "motor spun up OK that time!"
Back to the pits....I taped the broken body up and as I was re-installing it on the chassis I realized I had also broken the chassis. I thought at this point I was out of the race. this was the first race I attended at Springwater without bringing my soldering iron. But it was Zack to my rescue. He soldered the stop back on one of my chassis' pans so I could continue to race. Thank you Zack, I was back on the track in my next rotation. Once I had done some chassis straightening and alignment the car was again handling pretty well. Then the motor thing. At times the motor would drop off about 5000 rpm. It just didn't go about half the time. I was now in I just have to finish this race mode, and the race was not even 1/4 of the way over......
Then there were more crashes resulting in the rear end being broken into pieces, and one into the wall that broke the entire front end off....The car didn't look too bad at one time, now it was pretty much garbage. One thing I realized is it is not a good idea to use an old vintage body. This body was so old the plastic was really brittle and broke easily! Initially I was going to repair the body, but by race end I had given up on that idea!
In the end I finished dead last, but I finished! My car was still completing laps in the very last heat of the race! A big thanks to Zack for that! I at least met my goal for the day! Next time? I will try to be more prepared! The "practice" thing....well we'll see how it works out......Maybe I can actually beat somebody?
This is how she looked at the end of the race....Tape was the only thing keeping it together!
It looked a little worse when I removed the tape this morning....
This was not my first experience with adversity at Springwater. Here is a previous victim...