Thunderslot Proxy Race #1

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The first round of the clubs Thunderslot Proxy race was held this past Saturday.  You may ask, “Why run a Proxy race for cars that are all local?”.  Austin has seen an increase in Covid cases and many members did not feel safe coming together as a group for fear of contracting the virus.  Taking these valid concerns into consideration the club decided to run a series as a proxy with members submitting their race prepared Thunderslot Lola or McLaren.  A group of five club members would come together race the race entered cars with three racing and two working as marshals.  These members would take all possible precautions to keep themselves and all others as safe as possible. 

This proxy race would also be the first time the club would use a Zoom meeting along with a live YouTube feed to provide real time racing video and commentary between those watching and those racing and marshalling.  This was the first time we attempted this mix of technologies and it was not without some minor technical difficulties.  We learned a lot from this first effort and will have all the issues resolved by our next race on the 25th of July. 

The race itself was fantastic with every racer having a great time running cars with different set ups.  The knowledge gained from running a well-prepared car can show a racer what level of performance is possible while at the same time, running a poorly set up car can show a racer what to avoid.  Every racer came away with a better understanding of the Proxy format and what its like to drive so many different set ups. 

The race was won by the best set up car in the group – John’s McLaren.  The car was stable and was easy for everyone to not only drive but to push to the limit with ease.  It completed a total of 229 laps.  The car set the fastest lap with a time of 3.659.  It also completed the most laps in one heat running 80 laps.  The second place car was Marty’s Lola spyder with a total of 219 laps, fast lap of 3.819 and highest one heat lap count of 75.  Third place went to Marc’s beautiful silver and blue stripped Lola spyder.  This car did a total of 217.5 laps, a fast lap of 3.812 and a highest one heat lap count of 76. 

It was great to have seven club members submit cars to the proxy.  There is still time to get your car entered for the next round on the 25th of July.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.  We are looking forward to the next round where live audio and video will make you feel like you are right there with us.   

  2 comments for “Thunderslot Proxy Race #1

  1. The cars in general were great, altho mine had issues with an aging motor and fresh but small-diameter tires. Competition on some of the laps was intense, and as noted the cars handled so well there were relatively fewer deslots than would be expected in a proxy with unfamilar cars. Brake and sensitivity tuning was a dynamic task, performed in-flight. For the most part, variations needed for the cars were very slight. Some were very “torquey” and needed low brakes, esp. in the back straight. If anything, a few cars seemed to respond better if the sensitivity was just a small hair ‘hotter’ (i.e. CCW) than the default ‘creep’ setting.

    Ary’s 80-lap heat was incredible, not only a testament to his driving skill but John’s excellent setup of his McLaren. Marty’s car “felt” mild, almost slow, yet perceptions can lie as can be seen by it’s consistently high placing (less drama, more speed!) The cars of Radial-TA Engineering (randy), Tyler Minatures (marc) and Team-65 (russ) were all very well handling. Randy’s ‘long’ laps seemed to occur when deslots occured in the esses or when trading some of that gorgeous Navy paint with a notable rival. Marc’s #1 silver spyder was also very smooth and consistent. His driver was Covid-19 Compliant -plus period correct- with his bandana (but his press manager would not tell us if it was Gurney, Hill or Tyler in the seat). Russ’ #65 coupe was another concours queen, with a bold white arrow on candy-red; it too was fast and consistent in the first heats but like many of us experienced tire issues that robbed it of a higher final leaderboard. Ary’s car was smooth handling, but uncharacteristically not at the top of its game, apparently suffering from thin tires (like mine) and hence pan and spur contact with the track. In #21s case, my OEM 14.3mm rims and fresh truing resulting in a barely perceptable -but evident- drag from rear pan contact during elevation changes.

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