It was a dreary, humid morning, with a threat of rain, but we went ahead with plans to test and race. I got there early, and set up the track, and pit. It was pretty awesome if I do say to myself, despite the field being a little muddy in spots(which is fun for the most part). After a couple of hours, I was ready for the race testers to do their thing.
This is where things sort of fell apart. Several of the people that were planning to be there cancelled. While I was waiting on people to arrive, I see a guy driving up in a car, looking over at me, and yelling loudly at me. He drove and parked in the lot, but then walked over the the adjacent field where another guy was waiting. Soon, one came over, and told me that I needed to be off the field by 1 pm, as they were having softball practice. I gave slight protest, and asked him why they couldn’t just use the field right next to this one, which looked to be a much better field, as this field was pretty well grown over in some areas, and had muddy spots. It was no use, so I packed everything up I had just finished setting up, and moved to the adjacent, nicer field. Lesson learned – be sure to make sure that the local athletic association doesn’t have the fields reserved.
I quickly got set up, and my wife arrived with food which was great because at this point I was starving from all of this loading, unloading, reloading. The guys who asked us to move seemed appreciative, so that was good, and everyone was happy. We even wound up with a small crowd of onlookers.
After chowing down a bit, we got to racing. Despite about a dozen or so flyers being picked up at the LHS this week, only one racer showed up. While I would have liked to have some show up, and also to gauge local interest, we had enough trucks between the two of us to do some good testing and have some fun…so we did!
We raced, broke stuff, raced some more, broke some more stuff. The track held up well, other than one latch on the speed trap due to me needing to add a little more support under the ramp where it connects there. I made some notes(like, damn, I really need a broom!!) and we even tried doing multi-lap style racing to spice it up some. We tried 3 laps, which was probably too long and not true to monster truck racing, but I’ve been to events with 2 laps, and that might work – and also keep it fast enough for the timing system to not time out. Maybe even do 2 laps in later rounds, or in the elimination rounds, etc. Not sure yet on that. The layout though, was very much spot on!
The day ended, there were some broken trucks(as there should be!), and we were pretty tired and hot(the humidity was still off the charts). All in all, some good data gathered, and some lessons learned here.
- I re-checked the GVAA website. Their website is poorly written, and it appears as if nothing is reserved, but if you go into another view of the calendar (week, instead of month), it did in fact show that the fields (1-4) were reserved that day.
- These fields are pretty ideal, and have adequate parking and are maintained at least enough to allow for racing. There are several other fields that work fine that appear to never, or rarely be reserved as well further back in the park.
- Staging the trucks was difficult, at least for my 1/8 scale beasts. I will build another piece to the staging ramp that will extend the platform back another foot. It’s also a good idea for racers to move into staging by hand, using engines and motors isn’t very easy. By hand, things go much more smoothly.
- While I was trying to keep this fairly low key, and not an actual “event” where I would have required insurance for the day, I was a little disappointed that more people didn’t show up. I know the day was dreary, and there was no prizes or nothing counting in point standings, but I would have liked to have seen more interest from other racers in the area. People did pick up the flyers, but for some reason (maybe the weather?) didn’t come. That’s ok – when it’s “for real” I will promote much heavier, and have food, prizes, raffles, etc.
The plan is that this series will be four events. My thought is one in April, June, August, October. The October event would also include an award ceremony for the series champions.