Monday, October 9, 2017

Congress of Gamers Fall 2017 Post Race Report

Turn 1 sees 5 cars lining up for Eau Rouge.
Michael and Tim in front.
Eight cars pulled up to the start grid in Rockville Saturday at Congress of Gamers Fall.  I typically build a track revision for this race and this year we ran an old version (1983 vintage) of Francorchamps.  See my previous post for details on that track.

On the right you can see the results of turn 1 in the race.  Michael Schulz is in the lead after starting outside row 1 and out-gunning Don Tatum from there.  Tim Mossman moved up from row 2 after pushing his start speed to pull even with Michael.  Don, Will Kennard, and Kevin Keller filled out that large 1st group.  I'm in the white car in the middle distance while Dave Nace and Joe Powell bring up the rear.  The 3 of us started in the last 3 rows.

The 5 cars in front pushed through Eau Rouge and down into Les Combes as a pack.  But I had gained contact with the pack by then and Dave and Joe were not far behind. 

Below you can see the result of the field thinning out as we enter the mid-field section.  Michael spent some wear to take the lead again.  Don pulled up even with Tim while the rest of us held position.

Michael, Tim, Don Will, Kevin, me... into the mid-field.

Almost the end of lap 1 and Kevin joins Don
and Michael at the pointy end after Tim's spin.
Nothing too exciting happens the rest of lap 1 until the leaders make their way through the old Bus Stop Chicane.  Tim took the corner for 2 wear and a chance roll for what he is convinced would have given him the eventual win.  He spun despite spending 2 skill.

Kevin and Don ended up catching up to Michael as they exit the Bus Stop -- 3-wide heading into La Source.  Pretty much everyone ends up passing Tim as a result of his spin.  You can see Tim in 7th here.

As we began the 2nd and last lap of the race a couple turns later, I jumped out of my car and rookie Anna Pisto jumped in to finish the race -- waving off many of my suggestions as she went.

Through Eau Rouge again and down to Les Combes for the last time, Anna has pulled the white Tyrell into the lead pack just behind Kevin.  Don and Michael are still right behind Kevin as well but Kevin has more wear than anyone right behind him and already seems to have the race in hand.

I forgot to take pictures after this... Michael made a chance roll here.

By the time the cars have rounded Pouhon.  Kevin and Don are back out in front of the field.  Michael has damaged his car and makes a chance in Pouhon but pulls off instead of crashing in Fagnes.  Anna has some wear left but will come up short of 2nd after a couple missed die rolls.

Will pulls back into 4th and Tim falls back to 8th.  Kevin wins and Don gets 2nd.

Final Track Thoughts
Because this was a new track effectively, I wanted to talk about it.  I love it.  I've always liked Francorchamps -- maybe more than some -- but I like this version the best.

Starting at the beginning of the long back straight was a lot of fun.  Getting 5 cars through Eau Rouge is super interesting with all of the lines and slips and choices.  And we had a bunch going into that corner on lap 2 as well because the old La Source profile is wider and has a higher line that makes it a lot less of a bottle-neck than the modern version of that corner.

6 cars getting through La Source at the end of lap 1!
I will say that I like the modern Bus Stop better than the old one.  I love the modern bus stop.  But the old bus stop is not bad, it just is not as interesting.

All in all, the track became a lot less of a race from the front leaner.  It became very hard to pull away and I definitely think I will see people run this successfully from the back.  I can't wait to get this out into the wild more.

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