Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Speed Circuit’

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #1 – Italian Grand Prix

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

The CFR-Detroit 2018 racing season began on Friday, May 11, 2018, at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan. Eleven drivers participated, and when the race was over, Garry Kaluzny emerged victorious after overtaking Jim Robinson in the final corner of the race. Jim Robinson did finish 2nd, and the final podium position, 3rd place, went to Mike Cook. Last season’s champ, Gary Sturgeon, finished in 5th place after starting from pole position.

There had been some talk before the race of using the optional “knock-out” qualifying bidding (as detailed on page 16 of the Championship Formula Racing rulebook), but in the end it was decided to go with the normal Pole Bid rules (as detailed on page 11 of the CFR rulebook).

The drivers who participated all arrived at Guild of Blades in plenty of time to set up their car’s specifications before bidding for qualifying began promptly at 6:45 pm. 2017’s CFR-Detroit champion, Gary Sturgeon, took the pole position with a bid of 4.0 (1 wear + 6  skill). (Reminder: Each wear is worth 1.0 point in bidding, while each skill is worth 0.5 point in bidding.) Starting in 2nd was Jim Robinson, also with a bid of 4.0 (2 wear + 4 skill). Sturgeon rolled better on a percentage dice roll, 52 to 43, and thus managed to start on the pole. Third and 4th places also came down to a percentage dice roll as both Mike Cook (2 wear + 3 skill) and Richard White (3 wear + 1 skill) each bid 3.5. Cook rolled 51, and White rolled 16, thus Cook started 3rd and White began in 4th. Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 0 skill) and Mike St. Peter (3 wear + 0 skill) each bid 3.0, with Kaluzny winning the dice roll for 5th with a roll of only 16. St. Peter rolled an even lower 12 and so started in 6th. Brian Robinson started 7th with a bid of 2.5 (0 wear + 5 skill), and Greg Lim started 8th with a bid of 1.5 (0 wear + 3 skill). Jack Beckman, winner of the 2017 Italian Grand Prix, started in 9th with a bid of only 1.0 (0 wear + 2 skill). Tenth and 11th places were contested by CFR newcomers Bill Worrel and Aric Parr, as each of those two drivers bid nothing. Worrel then won the dice-off by 77 to 03, thus Worrel was 10th and Parr 11th on the starting grid. Although both Worrel and Parr are new to CFR, they both had raced in the old Advanced Speed Circuit series in the Detroit, Michigan, area in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

The starting grid with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           60   60    40   160  5x   2x   hard
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   180  4x   3x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           60   60    40   160  5x   2x   hard
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   60    40   160  5x   2x   soft
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   160  4x   4x   soft
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    20   60    60   180  3x   3x   soft
 7 Greg Lim (Marlboro McLaren)       60   60    40   180  3x   3x   hard
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            20   80    60   160  4x   2x   hard
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             60   60    40   180  4x   2x   hard
14 Aric Parr (Motul BRM)             60   60    60   160  4x   2x   soft

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers; Skill = # of Skill markers; Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Jim Robinson, Mike Cook, Richard White, Mike St. Peter, and Brian Robinson were all racing in the same cars they used in the 2017 CFR-Detroit season. Gary Sturgeon moved from the John Player Lotus to a newer McLaren in black, gold and red livery. Garry Kaluzny’s McLaren now sported Marlboro sponsorship and its dayglo orange and white colors. Greg Lim was also in an orange and white Marlboro McLaren. Jack Beckman stayed with Ferrari, but was now in a model 312 T instead of the former model 312 B2. Bill Worrel raced in a 6-wheeled Tyrrell P34 from 1976, and Aric Parr was in a Motul sponsored BRM P201 from 1974.

2018 Monza starting grid

2018 Monza starting grid: 1st row: Gary Sturgeon (black/gold); Jim Robinson (white/blue/yellow). 2nd row: Mike Cook (yellow); Richard White (white/blue). 3rd row: Garry Kaluzny (orange/white); Mike St. Peter (silver/teal). 4th row: Brian Robinson (white/blue); Greg Lim (orange/white). 5th row: Jack Beckman (red/white); Bill Worrel (blue). 6th row: Aric Parr (gray). Note that the Monza track has separate start and finish lines.

As the field was lined up on the grid, waiting for the green flag to drop, it was noted that most cars had a 60 mph start speed. Two cars, those of Brian Robinson and Jack Beckman, had 20 mph start speeds, but they were starting on the inside of the 4th and 5th rows, and so would not interfere with any faster cars at the start.

At the start, Jim Robinson roared into the lead, boosting his start speed to 80 mph by virtue of using a wear as his car was shod with soft tires. Pole-sitter Gary Sturgeon played it safe, moving at his regular start speed of 60 mph. As Sturgeon’s car was on hard tires, he would have had to have rolled dice to try to increase his start speed, and, as most drivers in CFR races can attest, sometimes bad things happen to your car when you roll dice; therefore, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Both 2nd-row starters, Mike Cook and Richard White, boosted their start speed to 80 mph and so pulled even with Sturgeon. White, on soft tires, spent a wear, but Cook, on hard tires, had to roll dice (and successfully made the dice roll). From the 3rd row on the grid, Garry Kaluzny, on soft tires, spent a wear to start at 80 mph, moving right behind Sturgeon; Mike St. Peter, although also on soft tires, started at only 60 mph and pulled in behind Kaluzny. In the 4th row, Greg Lim started at 60 mph, and Brian Robinson used a wear to start at 40 mph, moving behind Lim. From the 5th row, Bill Worrell rolled dice on the start speed table to increase to 80 mph, and that allowed him to pass B. Robinson and pull alongside Lim. Beckman started at his 20 mph start speed, figuring he would be able to catch up to the pack with his car’s 80 mph acceleration. 11th place starter Aric Parr spent a wear to move 80 mph, thus passing Beckman and pulling up next to B. Robinson.

The pack is away!

The pack is away! Jim Robinson takes the lead from the green flag at the start of the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.

The pack roared down the straightaway, with J. Robinson being the first to enter the first corner, the Variante del Rettifilo. J. Robinson entered the corner at 120 mph, using 3 wears (since he was on soft tires) to pay for being 60 mph over the corner’s speed limit on the racing line. Eight cars were bunched up right behind J. Robinson, with only the cars of B. Robinson and Beckman running behind the pack. White took the inside for 2nd place from Sturgeon, and Kaluzny moved to inside of Cook to take 4th place.

Into the 1st corner

Into the 1st corner, J. Robinson leads the pack. Then came White, Sturgeon, Kaluzny, Cook, St. Peter, Worrel, Lim, Parr, B. Robinson, and Beckman.

Jim Robinson continued on at 120 mph on the next turn, not needing to pay any more for the corner as he had already paid for exceeding the speed limit on his previous turn. Richard White slowed his car from 120 mph to 100 mph to negotiate the Rettifilo corner, paying 3 wears to move through the 40 mph space. White did not get the benefit of using the racing line (the red arrow), so he was 60 mph over the corner’s speed limit and had to pay 3 “units” for the corner. A “unit” is either a wear or a dice roll, with the limitation in that no driver can use more than one dice (chance) roll in a corner. Gary Sturgeon slowed from 120 mph to only 80 mph, using the racing line through the corner, and only had to pay 1 wear.

Kaluzny, Cook, and St. Peter were all adjacent to one another going into the Rettifilo corner. Kaluzny plotted a speed of 120 mph, while Cook and St. Peter only plotted 100 mph. Kaluzny thus moved first and used 3 wears (soft tires) to move through the 60 mph spaces all along the outside of the Rettifilo turn. He then took the inside of the track instead of hogging the arrow on the far side of the corner. Kaluzny could not use the cornering arrow, and moved the way he did to keep his speed up to 120 mph, to make it easier to accelerate on the following move. Although Kaluzny moved first, Cook moved at 100 mph and was able to re-pass Kaluzny as Cook was able to use the racing line and only had to spend 2 wears. St. Peter also could not use the racing line, and since he wanted to keep his speed at 100 mph he had to move around the outside of the corner on the 60 mph spaces. Although he could have moved through the 40 mph spaces without benefit of the arrow, he would have to slow to 80 mph as he would have had the cars of Sturgeon and Cook blocking his path.

Then it was the turn of the next trio of Worrel, Lim, and Parr to move. Worrel moved first at 100 mph, taking the cornering arrow and spending 2 wears, thus pulling alongside Kaluzny into 6th place (after starting 10th). Both Lim and Parr plotted 80 mph, so Lim moved first (since he was to the inside of Parr), taking the arrow and putting himself in position to accelerate off the corner in his next move. Parr then moved 80 mph, and had to move around the 60 mph spaces on the outside of the corner, thereby being stuck at 80 mph for his next move. B. Robinson was content to move at only 80 mph and ended his move just short of the corner. Beckman moved at 140 mph and took the inside and 10th place from B. Robinson.

Through the Variante del Rettifilo

Through the Variante del Rettifilo for the 1st time. J. Robinson leads from White, Sturgeon, Cook, Kaluzny, Worrel, Lim, St. Peter, Parr, Beckman, and B. Robinson.

The pack continued running in much the same order through the Curva Grande, with the exception of B. Robinson passing Parr on the far side of the Rettifilo corner. Then, moving into the Variante della Roggia, Kaluzny was side-by-side with Cook and Sturgeon, but Kaluzny was on the outside. Kaluzny plotted 140 mph to the other drivers only plotting 100 mph. Kaluzny thus moved first, then used late-braking (and 1 wear) to slow to 120 mph for the corner, and then spent 2 wears for the corner. Cook and Sturgeon ended their move just short of the corner, with Cook on the racing line and Sturgeon to the inside. St. Peter then moved up alongside Cook and Sturgeon.

Through the Variante della Roggia

Through the Variante della Roggia, J. Robinson still leads from White, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Cook, St. Peter, Lim, Worrel, B. Robinson, Parr, and Beckman.

J. Robinson continued to lead through the two Lesmo corners. As White exited the 2nd Lesmo corner, he attempted to push his top speed to 180 mph, but failed the dice roll with a “12,” in spite of using two -1 skill markers. White’s top speed was thus reduced to 140 mph for the balance of the race. Shortly after, Worrel tried to force-pass the cars of Sturgeon and Cook, but failed with a roll of “9.” Worrel did use two -1 skill markers, but even with the skill modifiers, the “9” became a “7” which was still an unsuccessful pass. Worrel then had to slow from 140 mph to 100 mph. He used a wear and also tried an unmodified deceleration dice roll, but failed that dice roll by rolling a  “10.” So Worrel’s deceleration was only 20 mph for the rest of the race. Mike Cook had contested the forced pass, and he had to use a wear due to Worrel’s original forced-pass dice roll.

White and Worrel have damaged their cars

White (top speed) and Worrel (deceleration) have damaged their cars. White’s car is 2nd from the bottom of the picture (the blue and white Brabham), and Worrel’s car is the solid-blue 6-wheeled car behind the yellow Lotus of Cook.

As the top three cars (J. Robinson, White, and Kaluzny) came through the final corner of the 1st lap, they pulled into the pits.

First pit stops

First pit stops at the end of the 1st lap. J. Robinson, White, and Kaluzny have pitted. The running order for the other cars is St. Peter, Worrel, Cook, Sturgeon, Lim, B. Robinson, Parr, and Beckman.

As St. Peter came through Parabolica, he pulled into the pits, Worrel stayed out on the track and became the race leader, with Sturgeon, Cook, and Lim right behind him. Brian Robinson availed himself of the services of his pit crew. Parr spun on the inside lane of the Parabolica, and forced Beckman to take the outside lane to avoid the spun car.

Worrel takes the lead

Worrel takes the lead while Parr (gray car) has spun in the Parabolica curve. J. Robinson, St. Peter, White, Kaluzny, and B. Robinson are in the pits.

When Parr restarted after his spin, he drove his car into the pits. During the pit stops, J. Robinson, Kaluzny, White, St. Peter, B. Robinson, and Parr all switched from soft to hard tires, thus fulfulling their obligation to use both different tire compounds during the race. The drivers who did not pit, Worrel, Sturgeon, Lim, Cook, and Beckman, were all on hard tires and so regained some wear as they crossed the finish line at the end of the 1st lap. The official order after the 1st lap was complete was: Worrel (+9); Sturgeon (-1); Lim (+5); Cook (-1); Beckman (+4); J. Robinson (-4); Kaluzny (-2); White (-4); St. Peter (-3); B. Robinson (-3); and Parr (0). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

Running order on the track after the 1st lap

Running order on the track after the 1st lap: Sturgeon leads the race (his car is way up near the S-curve at the top of the picture) with Cook (yellow car) beside Sturgeon. Worrel and Lim and right behind the leaders. Four spaces back are Beckman and J. Robinson, then another four spaces back is Kaluzny, followed by White. Near the bottom of the picture, St. Peter and B. Robinson have just exited the pits and their cars have been placed back on the track. Parr’s car is still in the pits.

During the 2nd lap, Sturgeon continued to lead, with Cook and Lim staying right with Sturgeon. Worrel fell back somewhat, as he had to slow sooner than normal for the corners due to his damaged deceleration.

Sturgeon and White observe the race

Sturgeon (gray pullover with the 2017 trophy in front of him) and White (green shirt with an alarmed look) observe the race as Sturgeon leads into the 1st Lesmo curve. Mike Cook (green and yellow hat) is also looking on. Standing is Brian Robinson.

As the trio of leaders, Sturgeon, Cook, and Lim went through the Variante Ascari chicane, they had a 5 space lead over the four cars of Beckman, Worrel, Kaluzny, and J. Robinson. White was then another 4 spaces back, and 6 spaces behind White were St. Peter and B. Robinson. Parr was running 11 spaces behind St. Peter and B. Robinson.

Sturgeon, Cook, and Lim lead

Sturgeon, Cook, and Lim lead through the Variante Ascari.

As the leading cars of Sturgeon, Cook, and Lim came through the Parabolica, they had to pull into the pits to swap their hard tires for soft.

The leaders have pitted

The leaders (Sturgeon, Cook, and Lim) have pitted. The running order on the track is: J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Beckman, Worrel, White, St. Peter, B. Robinson, and Parr.

Also pitting at the end of the 2nd lap were the cars of Beckman and Worrel, and St. Peter made a 2nd stop to switch back to soft tires for the final lap. All of the other pittees switched from hard to soft tires. The cars that eschewed pitting, those of J. Robinson, Kaluzny, White, B. Robinson, and Parr, were all on hard tires, and so each car picked up some wear as they crossed the finish line to begin the race’s final lap.

Jim Robinson and Kaluzny have the lead

Jim Robinson and Kaluzny have the lead by 7 spaces over the rest of the field, with one lap left to race.

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap was: Sturgeon (0); Cook (+1); J. Robinson (-1); Kaluzny (+1); Beckman (+4); White (-2); St. Peter (-1); Lim (0); B. Robinson (-2); Worrel (0); and Parr (0). But due to pit stops, the running order on the track after the pits stops were resolved was: J. Robinson; Kaluzny; White; Sturgeon; Cook; B. Robinson; Lim; Beckman; Worrel; Parr; and St. Peter.

The final lap turned into a two-car race between Jim Robinson and Kaluzny. J. Robinson had a 2-space lead most of the way around the track. White, although his car had only a 140 mph top speed, was trying to stay ahead of Sturgeon and Cook. Then when Sturgeon was about to go into the 1st Lesmo corner, he failed an unmodified top speed roll, moving only 160 mph instead of 180 mph, and lowering his car’s top speed to 140 mph for the rest of the race. But Cook was able to pass White between the two Lesmo corners, thus taking over 3rd place.

Kaluzny is directly behind Jim Robinson

Kaluzny is directly behind Jim Robinson. Cook, White, and Sturgeon are 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Having a dogfight for 6th place are B. Robinson, Lim, Beckman, Worrel, St. Peter, and Parr.

As the leaders approached the Variante Ascari chicane for the final time, Kaluzny pulled alongside Jim Robinson, although Robinson still had the inside lane to that corner. Robinson went 140 mph through the 120 mph spaces of that corner, using his last wear. Kaluzny went only 120 mph through the 120 mph space, saving his last wear for the final corner of the race. Jim Robinson then went 160 mph down the back straightaway, while Kaluzny went 160 mph but used the slipstream to pull alongside Robinson just before the Parabolica corner.

Kaluzny has pulled alongside Jim Robinson

Kaluzny has pulled alongside Jim Robinson just before the final corner, the Parabolica.

A the Parabolica, Kaluzny was able to move faster than Jim Robinson, 140 mph to 120 mph because Kaluzny had a single wear remaining to J. Robinson being out of wear, so Kaluzny moved first and also moved one extra space, so he was then one space in front of J. Robinson. At this stage in the race, neither racer felt the need to roll dice and take a chance, as a sure 2nd place is better than possibly crashing and then getting no points at all! Kaluzny then moved only 160 mph, while J. Robinson pushed his accleration to 60 mph to get to his top speed of 180 mph. That allowed J. Robinson to pull alongside Kaluzny, but Kaluzny was able to take the checkered flag in 1st place as he was to the inside of the track due to his having moved before J. Robinson. Robinson had hoped that Kaluzny would have also pushed his top speed to 180 mph, which would have allowed Mr. Robinson to “slingshot” past Kaluzny with a 2-space slipstream bonus (and that 2-space slingshot would have given Robinson the victory).

As Cook came out of Parabolica, he attempted to also drive at 180 mph, but failed his top speed dice roll. But he still easily finished 3rd over White, who easily finished 4th over Sturgeon (who was 5th).

Kaluzny nips Jim Robinson

Kaluzny nips Jim Robinson to take the checkered flag and the victory.

Then came the dogfight roaring around the Parabolica. Six cars were fighting to see which one of them would take the single point for 6th place. Mike St. Peter out-dragged the competition down the back straight, going into the outside lane of the Parabolica at 180 mph. He had to make two unmodified dice rolls (for acceleration and top speed) to get to 180 mph. But once into that corner at that speed, he could continue at 180 mph the next turn, and that allowed his car to touch the finish line before any of his competitors.

Brian Robinson only went 160 mph, but used a -3 skill marker to make his chance roll around the outside of the corner. Jack Beckman made an unmodified top speed roll to go 180 mph, then used a wear and a -1 chance roll to make it through the corner. Bill Worrel pushed his car to 200 mph around the outside of Parabolica, making an unmodified top speed roll and using his last 3 wears get through that corner.

Mike St. Peter takes 6th

Mike St. Peter (silver car nearest the checkered flag man) takes 6th place in a wild battle for the final points-paying position.

The pack of cars still contended fiercely for 7th place. Worrel pushed his car to 200 mph again, while Parr went 180 mph and got two slipstream spaces from Worrel, so Worrel was 7th, Parr 8th, Lim 9th, Beckman 10th, and J. Robinson 11th.

The final finishing order was: Kaluzny (+4); J. Robinson (0); Cook (0); White (0); Sturgeon (-4); St. Peter (0); Worrel (+3); Parr (+3); Lim (-1); Beckman (-1); and B. Robinson (-4).

Points awarded at the 2018 Italian Grand Prix: Kaluzny 10; J. Robinson 6; Cook 4; White 3; Sturgeon 2; St. Peter 1.

The points standings of the 2018 CFR-Detroit season after the first of eight races:

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  10
  2   Jim Robinson (Williams)            6
  3   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            4
  4   Richard White (Brabham)            3  
  5   Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)            2
  6   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          1
  7T  Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)              0
  7T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              0
  7T  Greg Lim (Marlboro McLaren)        0
  7T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             0
  7T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign will be on Friday, June 8, at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan. The British Grand Prix will be contested on the modern Silverstone track. Bidding for qualifying begins at 6:45 pm sharp, so drivers are asked to try to arrive by 6:15 pm to set up their car’s specifications for the race.

CFR Race #5: Detroit Grand Prix at RIW Hobbies & Games

Monday, February 5th, 2018

January 12, 2018, saw 13 racers compete at the Detroit Grand Prix, racing on the old downtown Detroit track. The race was held at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan. When the engines stopped revving, Gary Sturgeon had earned his first victory of the season, propelling him into 2nd place in the points standings. Other podium finishers were Jack Beckman (2nd) and Gary Kempen (3rd), aka Team Ferrari.

Downtown Detroit track used from 1983 through 1988.

Downtown Detroit track used from 1983 through 1988.

When Avalon Hill was creating extra tracks for Speed Circuit in the 1980s, they created a downtown Detroit Grand Prix track based on the 1982 version of the track that had the hairpin at E. Jefferson Ave, but that track was not all that accurate. So, I (Garry Kaluzny) created a new track for Speed Circuit of the downtown Detroit circuit. Here is that track diagram:

Downtown Detroit track suitable for use with Championship Formula Racing.

Downtown Detroit track suitable for use with Championship Formula Racing.

While the bidding for Pole Position at most previous races was rather conservative, most racers upped their qualifying bid quite a bit for this track, as everyone wanted to start up front! I was rather shocked, myself, as although I bid 2 Wear and 3 skill for a bid of 3.5, I started way back in the pack in 9th place (out of 13 starters). As a reminder to folks who are not familiar with the CFR board game bidding process, bidding 1 Wear counts as 1.0, bidding 1 Skill counts as 0.5. The entire bidding results:

Pole Position went to Jim Robinson, his first Pole of the season. Jim bid 2 Wear and 12 Skill (all of his -1 Skill markers!) for a bid of 8.0. Four drivers, Gary Sturgeon (0 Wear, 12 Skill), Jack Beckman (1 Wear, 10 Skill), Greg Lim (0 Wear, 12 Skill), and Mike Cook (2 Wear, 8 Skill), all bid 6.0. They then all rolled percentage dice, rolling 91, 73, 64, and 07, respectively, so Sturgeon was 2nd on the grid, Beckman was 3rd, Lim 4th, and Cook was 5th. Two drivers, Gary Kempen (2 Wear, 5 Skill) and Chad Marlett (3 Wear, 3 Skill) bid 4.5, with Kempen winning the percentage dice roll-off by 44 to 39, thus giving Kempen the 6th starting spot on the grid and relegating Marlett to 7th. Jim Landis slotted into the 8th starting spot with a bid of 4.0 (1 Wear and 6 Skill), and Garry Kaluzny grabbed 9th after bidding 3.5 (2 Wear and 3 Skill). 10th place went to Richard White with his bid of 3.0 (3 Wear and 0 Skill). 11th place was contested by identical bids of 2.5 by Mike Manderachia (2 Wear, 1 Skill) and Brian Robinson (0 Wear, 5 Skill), with Manderachia winning the roll-off by 93 to 90, thus placing Brian Robinson in 12th place. Newcomer Tim Gould started 13th with a bid of only 1.5 (1 Wear and 1 Skill).

The starting grid and their car stats:

# Driver (Car)                     Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)            60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 3 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            100   40    20   140  5x   4x   hard
 7 Greg Lim (Motorola)                60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           100   40    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 4 Gary Kempen (Ferrari)              20   60    40   140  5x   4x   soft
71 Chad Marlett (Red Bull)            60   60    60   140  4x   3x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)              60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 9 Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 1 Richard White (Brabham)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
25 Mike Manderachia (Ligier)          60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     20   80    40   140  5x   3x   soft
10 Tim Gould (McLaren)                60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers per lap raced; Skill = # of Skill markers per lap raced; Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race. (Since the race was 3 laps, a car with 5x of Wear would receive 15 Wear markers to start the race (as an example).)

It was nice to have Mike Manderachia race with us. Although this was his first race using the Championship Formula Racing rules, Mike used to race with us using the Advanced Speed Circuit rules back in the late 1980s. We also had newcomer Tim Gould in his first race, and Gary Kempen and Chad Marlett were in only their 2nd races.

It was interesting that two cars (Beckman and Cook) opted for a 100 mph Start Speed, while two others (Kempen and B. Robinson) chose 20 mph as their Start Speed. All drivers went with a 140 mph Top Speed (taking a point out of that characteristic so they could use it elsewhere) since Detroit only has one place where a car could conceivably go 160 mph (and probably wouldn’t get the chance if it was in traffic), and all drivers but one (Marlett) went with the maximum Wear of 5x, meaning they would start with 5 x 3 Wear = 15 Wear to start the race (minus any Wear they used in bidding for starting position).

The starting grid for the Detroit Grand Prix.

The starting grid for the Detroit Grand Prix: Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue Williams) is to the inside of the track, Gary Sturgeon (black John Player Lotus) is to the outside.

When the green flag dropped to start the race, the front row cars of J. Robinson and Sturgeon both boosted their Start Speed to 80 mph, both using wear since they were both on soft tires. As Jim Robinson was to the inside of the track on the starting grid, he moved first, opting to take the cornering arrow for the first turn, thus allowing Sturgeon to take the inside position (and the lead). Beckman’s 100 mph start availed him nought, as he had to brake down to 80 mph to stay behind the two leaders. (Note: If Beckman had pushed his start speed to 120 mph, he could have attempted a forced pass and could possibly have taken the lead.) Greg Lim also boosted his Start Speed of 60 mph t0 80 mph by using a wear. Mike Cook also had to slow to 80 mph from his Start Speed of 100. The top five cars had now opened a two-space gap over the rest of the field. In the back pack, both Landis and White were balked and had to forced decelerate from 60 to 40 mph.

Roaring off at the start of the Detroit G.P.

Roaring off at the start of the Detroit G.P. Sturgeon (black car) has taken the lead from J. Robinson. Then Beckman, Lim, and Cook are close behind the leaders. The 2nd pack is Kempen, Marlett, Landis, Kaluzny, White, Manderachia, B. Robinson, and Gould.

On the 2nd move, Sturgeon plotted 120 mph and went around the outside of the 1st turn. J. Robinson plotted 100 mph and stayed to the inside (thus retaking the lead). Both cars were ready to exit that corner. Lim was right behind J. Robinson’s tailpipe, while Beckman was right behind Sturgeon. Cook had moved just 80 mph (4 spaces on the track) and had just entered the corner. Then came the rest of the field, with B. Robinson lagging back a bit, just to see how things would sort out at this first corner.

Through the 1st corner.

Through the 1st corner, the running order is: J. Robinson; Sturgeon; Beckman; Lim; Cook; Kempen; Marlett; Manderachia (up 3 positions); Kaluzny; Landis (down 2 positions); White; Gould, and B. Robinson.

The pack roared down Atwater Street, then turned right onto Saint Antoine, turned right again onto E. Jefferson Ave., then followed the lazy left-hand curve onto Chrysler Drive, which is the service drive for the I-375 expressway. Then a sharp left-hand turn onto E. Congress Street came next. At the sharp left hand turn onto Beaubien, Sturgeon (+1) narrowly led Jim Robinson (-1). Then came Beckman (0), Cook (+1), Marlett (+2), Lim (-2), Kempen (-1), Manderachia (+3), Landis (-1), Kaluzny (-1), Gould (+2), White (-2), and Brian Robinson (-1). The +/- indicates how many positions a driver has gained (+) or lost (-) from their qualifying position.

Turning left at Beaubien for the 1st time.

Rolling down Congress St. and turning left at Beaubien St. for the 1st time. (Greg Lim photo)

After the left turn onto Beaubien came a right turn onto Larned St. Coming out of that corner, Jim Robinson regained the lead from Sturgeon. Then after a short straight, there was a left onto Woodward Avenue followed by a right onto W. Jefferson Ave. Just at the turn onto W. Jefferson, Beckman and Cook had got right up with J. Robinson and Sturgeon. Manderachia was up to 5th place, having gained 6 positions since the start of the race.

Turning onto W. Jefferson.

Turning onto W. Jefferson. The pack has bunched up.

The pack raced down the short straight on West Jefferson, passing the Pontchartrain Hotel on their right just before making a sharp left turn onto Washington Boulevard right in front of Cobo Hall (before it was renamed Cobo Center). They raced down the steep incline around Cobo Arena, then turned right at the more than 90-degree Kodak Camera Corner, followed quickly by a hard left turn onto Atwater. Into the Goodyear Tunnel under Hart Plaza for the first time, it was Sturgeon with a two-space lead over Jim Robinson. Then came Cook in 3rd, Beckman in 4th, then Manderachia, Marlett, Kempen, Landis, Kaluzny, Lim, Gould, White, and Brian Robinson.

Through the Goodyear Tunnel, Sturgeon leads the pack.

Through the Goodyear Tunnel, Sturgeon leads the pack.

Coming out of the Goodyear Tunnel, Sturgeon led the pack through the right-left Ford Corner, then Sturgeon was the first to pull into the pits. He was quickly followed by J. Robinson, Kempen, Manderachia, Landis, Marlett, and Gould. All of those cars switched from soft to hard tires.

The 1st pit stops are under way.

The 1st pit stops are under way. Although Sturgeon pulled into the pits first, technically Jim Robinson leads the first lap as his car’s nose is on the start/finish line.

A couple of turns after the leaders, the cars of Lim, White, and B. Robinson also pitted to switch from soft to hard tires. Cars not pitting were those of Beckman, Cook, and Kaluzny. The official order after one lap was: Jim Robinson (0); Beckman (+1); Cook (+2); Kaluzny (+5); Sturgeon (-3); Brian Robinson (+6); Lim (-3); Kempen (-2); Manderachia (+2); Landis (-2); Marlett (-4); Gould (+1); and White (-3). However, the running order after the pit stops at the end of the 1st lap were all completed was: Beckman, Cook, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Kempen, Manderachia, Landis, Marlett, Gould, B. Robinson, White, and Lim.

Running order after 1st pit stops.

Running order after 1st pit stops: Beckman in the red Ferrari leads from Cook in the yellow Lotus.

During the 2nd lap, the pack got stretched out after the pit stops. Beckman continued to lead for about a half lap, and then Cook took the lead on Larned St.

Cook passes Beckman on Larned St.

Cook passes Beckman on Larned St. Faces pictured: Tim Gould (at left); Jim Robinson (green shirt); Jim Landis (burgundy shirt); and Gary Sturgeon (gray shirt).

Cook takes the lead from Beckman

Cook (in the Green Bay cap and shirt) enjoys his lead over Beckman and the rest of the pack. Brian Robinson (Dodge sweatshirt) stands next to Cook.

But Beckman fought back going through the Kodak Camera Corner and through the left-hand corner leading into the Goodyear Tunnel, and retook the lead.

Gamers take their racing seriously!

Gamers take their racing seriously! Pictured, from left: Mike Manderachia; Tim Gould; Chad Marlett (standing); Mike Cook; Brian Robinson.

Beckman led through the Ford Corner and then into the pits where he was joined by Cook and Jim Robinson. J. Robinson was pitting for the 2nd time in the race. Garry Kaluzny was feeling frustrated that he couldn’t make it into the pits on the same turn, and his ending up two spaces short of being able to pit on the same turn with the leaders cost him, as when he did finally come out of the pits, the rest of the pack swallowed him up. Those four drivers all switched from hard to soft tires for the final lap.

The 2nd round of pit stops begin.

The 2nd round of pit stops begin. Beckman, Cook, and Jim Robinson have pulled off the track and into the pits. Kaluzny’s orange McLaren is two spaces short of being able to pit. The first space where cars can pull into the pits is the 60 mph space just this side of the orange barrel; the final space is at the lower edge of the picture, two spaces past the finish line.

Kaluzny did get some satisfaction after his next move, though, as when he did pull into the pits he was officially the leader of the 2nd lap, although that lead was very short-lived.

Kaluzny takes the lead after pulling into the pits.

Kaluzny takes the lead after pulling into the pits, as his car has reached the finish line. Too bad for him there is another lap to go!

When the cars in the pits finally got back on the track, Gary Sturgeon had built a 5-space lead over his closest pursuers, Marlett and Kempen.

Gary Sturgeon takes the lead!

Gary Sturgeon takes the lead at the start of the final lap!

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap was: Kaluzny (+8); Sturgeon (0); Marlett (+4); Kempen (+2); Beckman (-2); Manderachia (+5); Cook (-2); Landis (0); J. Robinson (-8); White (0); Gould (+2); B. Robinson (0); and Lim (-9). However, after the pit stops were well and truly sorted out, the running order on the track was: Sturgeon; Marlett; Kempen; Beckman; Manderachia; Cook; Landis; J. Robinson; White; Kaluzny; Gould; B. Robinson; and Lim.

Sturgeon's lead has shrunk to one space over Beckman.

Sturgeon’s lead has shrunk to one space over Beckman at the end of Congress St.

Beckman then made a supreme effort to pass Sturgeon, and succeeded by out-braking Sturgeon at the end of Larned Street. Beckman then did everything he could to hold his lead, while points leader Cook leap-frogged a couple of competitors and got into 5th place.

Beckman holds his lead over Sturgeon.

Beckman holds his lead over Sturgeon heading into the Goodyear Tunnel for the last time. Note that Marlett’s Red Bull has spun between the two orange McLarens of Kaluzny and Gould. (Greg Lim photo)

Kaluzny successfully made a forced pass of Marlett on the ramp leading down to the Kodak Camera Corner from Washington Blvd. Marlett attempted to block, but Kaluzny rolled low enough on the Forced Pass table to not only get by Marlett but Kaluzny also passed Jim Robinson with that same move. However, one of the dice showed a “3” which meant that the defending car (Marlett) had to lose a wear. But Marlett’s car was out of wear, and that meant his car spun out. (See the above picture to see Marlett’s Red Bull car facing the wrong way on the track.) Marlett had also spun on the previous corner, and the two spins dropped him from 5th to 8th, and then he fell further to 9th place by the time he got back up to speed.

The drama continued of what would be a nail-biting finish to the race! Through the Goodyear Tunnel, the 2nd Ferrari of Gary Kempen got by Gary Sturgeon’s Lotus, taking over 2nd place from Sturgeon. The two Ferraris held their side-by-side lead over the Lotus through the Ford Corner.

The Ferraris lead over Sturgeon's Lotus.

The Ferraris lead over Sturgeon’s Lotus with only one more chicane between them and the end of the race.

But the Ferraris were wear-deprived, and they both only went 80 mph through the chicane, leaving them both one space short of the finish line. Sturgeon pushed his car to its limit, going 120 mph through the chicane, and then he pulled off a successful forced pass of the Ferraris to win the race! It was Sturgeon’s first victory of his racing career, and it was a memorable one after starting 2nd on the grid. Beckman (+1) came home in 2nd, and Kempen (+3) was 3rd.

Sturgeon wins in the black Lotus.

Sturgeon wins in the black Lotus after forced passing the Ferraris.

The rest of the pack finished in a rather less dramatic fashion. Cook (+1) took 4th, then came Manderachia (+6) in 5th, and Jim Landis (+2) was 6th, the last car to finish in the points. Finishing out of the points were: Jim Robinson (-6) 7th; Garry Kaluzny (+1) 8th; Tim Gould (+4) 9th; Brian Robinson (+2) 10th; Chad Marlett (-4) 11th; and Richard White (-2) 12th. After Richard White spun in the final chicane, it caused Greg Lim (-9) to crash. Lim was thusly classified 13th, although he was officially a DNF.

The points awarded at the Detroit Grand Prix: Sturgeon 10; Beckman 6; Kempen 4; Cook 3; Manderachia 2; and Landis 1.

The updated points standings after five (of eight) races:

Place Driver (Car)                     Points
  1   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            29
  2   Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  25
  3   Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            21
  4   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             18
  5   Richard White (Brabham)            14
  6   Jim Landis (Benetton)               6
  7T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)      4
  7T  Greg Lim (Motorola)                 4
  7T  Gary Kempen (Ferrari)               4
 10   Jim Robinson (Williams)             3
 11   Mike Manderachia (Ligier)           2
 12T  Russ Herschler (Minardi)            0
 12T  Chad Marlett (Red Bull)             0
 12T  Tim Gould (McLaren)                 0

The 6th race of the CFR-Detroit racing season will take place on Friday, February 9, 2018, at Guild of Blades at 774 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson, Michigan. The race will start at 7:00 pm sharp! So drivers should be there by 6:30 pm to settle in and to set up their car’s specifications for the race. We didn’t start the Detroit G.P. until 7:42 pm, and we had a difficult time getting the race’s three laps completed before the 11:00 pm closing time of RIW Hobbies & Games. It should be noted that Guild of Blades also has an 11:00 pm closing time, which is why we must start exactly on time, especially since we had 13 drivers at the race.

CFR Race #2: British Grand Prix at Silverstone

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

The second race of the 2017-2018 season of Championship Formula Racing (CFR) in Detroit, the British Grand Prix, was held on Friday, October 13, at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan. Nine drivers participated. When all was said and done, Garry Kaluzny won the race after starting 6th. Other podium finishers were Gary Sturgeon and Mike Cook. Garry Kaluzny now leads the points standings, 13 to 12 over Jack Beckman. The race was on the current version of the Silverstone track, where the start/finish line had been moved from near the Woodcote corner to just past the Club corner, and with more corners added to try to slow the track some from its previous high speed configuration.

The real Silverstone track diagram.

The real Silverstone track diagram. This is the version of the track used since 2011.

 

The modern Silverstone track.

The modern Silverstone track as rendered in 1:64 scale for use with Championship Formula Racing.

Pole position was determined by drivers secretly bidding a number of their Wear and/or Skill markers. Jack Beckman won the pole position with a high bid of 7. Gary Sturgeon started on the outside of row 1 with his bid of 3. Sturgeon bid 6 Skill markers (each of which counts as 1/2 of a Wear for pole bid purposes), which used all of his Skill markers he had available for the race. The second row had Mike Cook and Jim Robinson. Although each of those drivers bid 2.5, Cook won the dice roll and so started on the inside. Brian Robinson, Garry Kaluzny, and Jim Landis all bid 2, with B. Robinson winning the dice roll to start 5th, then came Kaluzny in 6th and Landis in 7th. Greg Lim bid 0.5 (a single Skill marker) to start 8th, and Richard White started 9th as he did not bid anything.

The starting grid and car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                     Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 3 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            100    40    40  160  5x    2x   hard
12 Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  20    60    60  180  4x    2x   hard
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            60    60    40  180  3x    3x   hard
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)            60    40    40  160  5x    3x   soft
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     20    60    60  180  3x    3x   soft
 9 Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            20    60    40  180  5x    2x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)              60    40    40  180  5x    2x   soft
 7 Greg Lim (Motorola)                20    60    60  180  3x    3x   hard
 1 Richard White (Brabham)            60    40    40  180  4x    3x   soft

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers per lap raced; Skill = # of Skill markers per lap raced; Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race. (Since the race was 3 laps, a car with 4x of Wear would receive 12 Wear markers to start the race (as an example).)

Once again, we were using the optional CFR rules for pit stops and tire compounds. Four drivers started on hard tires, and five started on soft tires. Soft tires give some driving advantages, such as being able to use a Wear to increase your start speed or your acceleration without having to roll dice, plus with soft tires you could use 3 Wear to go 60 mph over the speed limit in a corner without having to roll dice, instead of having to use only 2 Wear and roll on the Chance table if you were 60 mph in a corner while using hard tires. If a car was on hard tires, it could regain a few wear when passing the finish line each lap it did not pit for new tires. All drivers had to make at least one pit stop as they needed to use both hard and soft tires at some time during the race.

At the start, pole sitter Jack Beckman jumped into the lead with his 100 mph start speed. Jim Robinson moved up to 2nd from 4th. Mike Cook kept his 3rd position, while Gary Sturgeon dropped from 2nd to 4th. Then Brian Robinson, Garry Kaluzny, and Jim Landis were all side-by-side as they crossed the start line, followed by Richard White and Greg Lim.

The start at Silverstone.

The start at Silverstone. Jack Beckman leads from Jim Robinson, then came Mike Cook, Gary Sturgeon, Brian Robinson, Garry Kaluzny, Jim Landis, Richard White, and Greg Lim. Note the temporary extension used to extend the starting grid, as the start/finish line is just past the Club corner in the 1:64 scale track.

As the pack roared through the Brooklands and Luffield corners, Beckman was still in the lead, followed by Cook and Kaluzny (who had made a daring pass of J. Robinson and Sturgeon at Brooklands to pull alongside Cook). Richard White spun his Brabham in Luffield, and Jim Robinson and Sturgeon went around on the outside of that corner. Then Landis, B. Robinson, and Lim brought up the rear of the pack.

Through the Luffield corner for the first time.

Through the Luffield corner for the first time.

Continuing around through the Maggots/Becketts/Chapel curves, Beckman continued leading Cook and Kaluzny by a slim margin, then a few spaces back in a bunch were J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Landis, and B. Robinson, and then Lim was a few spaces behind them.

Through Maggots/Becketts/Chapel curves for the first time.

Through Maggots/Becketts/Chapel curves for the first time.

Heading through the Stowe corner, Cook’s Camel Lotus was breathing down Beckman’s Ferrari’s tailpipe. Sturgeon’s John Player Lotus passed Kaluzny at Stowe, then the others followed behind.

Through Stowe for the first time.

Through Stowe for the first time–Beckman, Cook, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Landis, and B. Robinson’s cars are pictured.

As the cars were coming around to complete the first lap, Beckman, Kaluzny, Landis, B. Robinson, White, and Lim all pitted. Beckman and Lim switched from hard to soft tires, while Kaluzny, Landis, B. Robinson, and White switched from soft to hard tires. Sturgeon, J. Robinson, and Cook all stayed out on the track and did not pit.

End of 1st lap, first pit stops.

End of 1st lap, first pit stops. Beckman’s Ferrari (red car), Kaluzny’s McLaren (orange car) and Landis (green/red/blue car) are already in the pits.

In CFR, pit stops are accomplished by simply moving your car off to the side of the track when you end a turn within the pit stop zone. In the above picture, you can see pieces of tape with “Pit” and an arrow on them to indicate the “pit stop zone” (also a pair of orange barrels mark the beginning of the pit stop zone). Then cars are marked with an “Exit -2” marker the turn they enter the pits. The following turn (while the car continues to sit in the pits), the Exit -2 marker is flipped to its “Exit -1” side, and then the next turn after that, the car can re-enter the track and resume its former speed.

The official order at the end of Lap 1, and before the pit stops were resolved, was Beckman, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Cook, B. Robinson, Landis, Kaluzny, White, and Lim. However, after the stops were resolved, the actual running order on the track was Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Cook (none of whom had pitted), Beckman, Landis, Kaluzny, B. Robinson, White, and Lim.

During the 2nd lap, the cars that did not pit enjoyed a bit of a lead over the rest of the pack, and the field became spread out somewhat. Through the Luffield corner the second time around, Sturgeon, Cook and J. Robinson led by 5 spaces over Beckman, then Kaluzny and B. Robinson were another 3 spaces behind Beckman. Landis was 2 spaces behind Kaluzny and B. Robinson, then Lim was 6 spaces behind Landis, and White had fallen farther behind, after spinning at Village corner (his 2nd spinout of the race).

Through Luffield corner on the 2nd lap

Through Luffield corner on the 2nd lap. Actual drivers pictured (left-to-right) are Mike Cook, Jim Landis, and Jim Robinson.

Going through the Maggots/Becketts/Chapel corners on the 2nd lap, the field was even more spread out. Sturgeon led from Cook, then came J. Robinson, Beckman, Kaluzny, B. Robinson, Landis, Lim, and White.

Through Maggots/Becketts/Chapel on the 2nd lap.

Through Maggots/Becketts/Chapel on the 2nd lap.

Sturgeon managed to hold his 3-space lead over Cook through the Stowe corner, and the rest of the field remained strung out in the same order behind him.

Through Stowe corner for the 2nd time.

Through Stowe corner for the 2nd time. Gary Sturgeon’s John Player Lotus (the black car near the large “12” marker) leads the pack. Drivers pictured (l-to-r): Mike Cook, Jim Landis, Jim Robinson, Richard White, and Brian Robinson.

As the leaders came up to the start/finish line to complete the 2nd lap, the three leaders, Sturgeon, Cook, and J. Robinson, all had to pit to change tires. Sturgeon and Cook changed from hard to soft tires, while J. Robinson changed from soft to hard tires. All of the other drivers stayed out on the track this time around except for Lim, who pitted to put a new set of soft tires on his car to replace the worn out soft tires.

Completing the 2nd lap.

Completing the 2nd lap. Gary Sturgeon (black car) and Mike Cook (yellow car) have already pulled into the pits.

It should be noted in the above picture of cars in the pits, that there is a “pit road” (with the 40 mph speed limit) in the infield of the track. While we are not using that pit road with the CFR simplified pit stop rules, it was painted onto the track just in case we ever revert to our old “Advanced Speed Circuit” pit stop rules.

The official order after the 2nd lap was completed by all cars was: Gary Sturgeon; Jim Robinson; Garry Kaluzny; Jack Beckman; Brian Robinson; Mike Cook; Jim Landis; Richard White; and Greg Lim. By the time the lead cars were in the Luffield corner, the order was Kaluzny, Beckman, Sturgeon, Cook, B. Robinson, Landis, J. Robinson, White, and Lim. Lim was quite a ways behind White after making a 2nd pit stop.

Kaluzny takes the lead at Luffield on the last lap.

Kaluzny takes the lead at Luffield on the last lap. Pictured (l-to-r): Richard White (foreground); Gary Sturgeon (background); Garry Kaluzny (orange shirt); Jack Beckman (black shirt).

Kaluzny had taken the lead from Beckman going through the Brooklands/Luffield corners, as Beckman’s Ferrari was about out of Wear. Kaluzny stayed on the track after lap 2, and had 8 Wear remaining, then added another 2 Wear due to his being on hard tires, so he had 10 Wear left to use on the final lap. When Sturgeon and Cook came out of the pits after lap 2, they had 12 and 9 Wears, respectively, after replenishing their Wear. Going through Copse corner the last time, Kaluzny’s McLaren led from Beckman’s Ferrari by 3 spaces, and then Sturgeon, Cook, Brian Robinson, and Jim Landis were all nose-to-tail right behind Beckman.

Kaluzny leads through Copse corner on the last lap.

Kaluzny leads through Copse corner on the last lap.

Kaluzny held his lead through the Maggots/Becketts/Chapel set of curves, but when he got to the Stowe corner, the rest of the pack had suddenly caught up to him. As they all approached the Vale and Club corners the last time, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, and Cook were running 1-2-3, all in follow-the-leader order.

Approaching the Vale corner for the last time.

Approaching the Vale corner for the last time.

As they went through Vale and Club corners, Kaluzny moved at 120 mph, burning 2 Wear, but Sturgeon, in 2nd place, went 140 mph while using 3 Wear due to being on soft tires, and that allowed Sturgeon to pull alongside Kaluzny as each driver was only one space from the finish line. But Kaluzny had 1 Wear and 2 Skill chips left, while Sturgeon had no Wear or Skill chips remaining, so on their next turn, Kaluzny plotted to move at 200 mph, and Sturgeon only plotted 160 mph. So Kaluzny’s car moved first, and he had to make both of acceleration and top speed dice rolls, using a -1 Skill marker for each roll. Then, after moving a space, Kaluzny made an unmodified deceleration dice roll to reduce his speed to 180 mph, and he was then able to go through the corner past the finish line at only 20 mph over the speed limit, for which he used his final Wear (that had been hoarded for such a use).

It should be noted that the CFR rules say that if a car crashes in the corner past the finish line, that it is considered to have NOT finished the race at all! Also, if a car spins in that corner after the finish line, the spun car is considered to have crossed the finish line behind all other cars that also crossed the finish line that turn.

So, after Kaluzny (+5) took the checkered flag, followed very closely by Sturgeon (0), the rest of the field finished in this order: Cook (0); B. Robinson (+1), Beckman (-4), Landis (+1), J. Robinson (-3), White (+1), and Lim (-1). The + or – numbers indicate how many positions that driver gained (+) or lost (-) from where their car qualified for the race.

Finishing order, right-to-left.

Finishing order, right-to-left.

The points awarded at this race: Kaluzny 10; Sturgeon 6; Cook 4; B. Robinson 3; Beckman 2; and Landis 1.

The updated points standings through two (of eight) races:

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)           13
  2   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            12
  3T  Richard White (Brabham)            6
  3T  Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            6
  3T  Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  6
  6   Jim Landis (Benetton)              5
  7   Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  8T  Russ Herschler (Minardi)           0
  8T  Greg Lim (Motorola)                0
  8T  Jim Robinson (Williams)            0
   

This was the 2nd race in a row where all of the starters also finished the race. Quelle surprise! This has set a new record for the most consecutive races in the Detroit area Speed Circuit/CFR races for all starters finishing the race.

The next race will be the Monaco Grand Prix. We will race that on Friday, November 10, 2017, at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan. Race time is 7:00 pm, although we would like drivers to try to get there (through bad rush hour traffic on I-96!) by 6:30 pm so they can get their car set up. Most drivers were early at the British Grand Prix race, and that allowed us to start just about on time.

Starting the Racing Season using the Championship Formula Racing Game

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

After several months of running demo races in various locations to try to attract as many potential drivers as possible, the Championship Formula Racing-Detroit group started off their 2017-2018 series of races with the Italian Grand Prix on Friday, September 9, 2017. Ten drivers competed in the race, and when all was said and done, Jack Beckman won the race, followed by other podium finishers Richard White and Jim Landis. The race was at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan.

Drivers set up their cars preparatory to racing on the Monza, Italy track with 1:64 scale race cars.

Drivers set up their cars preparatory to racing on the Monza, Italy track with 1:64 scale race cars. Pictured are (left-to-right): Richard White; Brian Robinson; Mike Cook; Jim Robinson; Jim Landis; Russ Herschler; and Garry Kaluzny.

In our former racing game campaign using Advanced Speed Circuit rules, we used to actually run our cars on qualifying laps; however, in the new CFR rules, starting positions are determined by “bidding” some of your car’s Wear and/or Skill markers. Mike Cook took the pole position with a bid of 8 Skill, which is equal to 4 Wear (for a bid total of 4). Jim Landis started in the other front row position with a bid of 3. The 2nd row starters were Garry Kaluzny and Brian Robinson with bids of 2.5 and 2, respectively. Gary Sturgeon bid 1 to start 5th, and Jack Beckman bid 0.5 to start 6th. The final four starters each bid nothing, so they rolled dice for their starting positions, with the highest dice rolls starting in front of the lower dice rolls. Greg Lim started 7th; Russ Herschler started 8th; Richard White started 9th; and Jim Robinson started 10th.

The starting grid with their car specs:

 # Driver                        Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill
11 Mike Cook (Lotus)               20    60   60  180  3x   3x
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)          100    40   40  160  5x   2x
 9 Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)         20    60   60  180  3x   3x
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)  20    60   60  180  3x   3x
12 Gary Sturgeon (John Player)     60    60   60  160  4x   2x
 3 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)          20    80   60  160  4x   2x
 7 Greg Lim (Motorola)             20    80   60  160  4x   2x
23 Russ Herschler (Minardi)        60    60   40  160  4x   3x
 1 Richard White (Brabham)         60    40   40  160  4x   4x
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)         60    40   40  180  4x   3x

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers; Skill = # of Skill markers.

We raced using the CFR rules for pit stops and different tire compounds. That meant that cars started with less Wear than if we were not using the pit stop rules. Since we raced three laps around the Monza track, cars with 3x Wear started with 3 x 3 = 9 Wear; cars with 4x Wear started with 4 x 3 = 12 Wear, and cars with 5x Wear started with 5 x 3 = 15 Wear. Cars would also have to make at least one pit stop during the race, as each car had to use both the hard and the soft tires. The CFR rules handle the different tires pretty eloquently; if your car is on hard tires, if you pass the finish line without stopping in the pits, you regain some Wear. This simulates that the hard tires don’t wear out as fast as the soft tires. A car on hard tires with 3x Wear would regain 4 Wear when crossing the finish line (except at the start or the finish of the race); a car with 4x Wear would regain 3 Wear when crossing the line, and a car with 5x Wear would regain 2 Wear when crossing the line.

Soft tires don’t allow cars to regain Wear, but they do allow drivers to spend Wear in extra ways. For example, drivers could spend 3 Wear if they were going 60 mph over the Speed Limit in a corner. Cars on hard tires (or using the basic rules without pit stops) would have to use 2 Wear and roll dice to take a chance of spinning out or crashing when 60 mph over the speed limit in a corner. Soft tires also allow a drivers to increase their starting speed without chancing a stall, and they also allow using a Wear to increase Acceleration by 20 mph in a turn.

Diagram of the real Monza track.

Diagram of the real Monza track.

Drivers starting on soft tires were Jim Landis, Garry Kaluzny, and Brian Robinson. Everyone else started on hard tires. All of the soft tire cars increased their start speed by 20 mph, so that allowed Jim Landis to start at 120 mph, and he quickly jumped in front of the field at the start.

At the first turn of the first lap, Jim Landis leads the pack in the Benetton.

At the first turn of the first lap, Jim Landis leads the pack in the Benetton.

At the first turn (the Variante del Rettifilo), Jim Landis led, followed by Garry Kaluzny, Richard White (rocketing from 9th on the grid to 3rd on the start), Russ Herschler, Brian Robinson, Mike Cook (the pole-sitter), Gary Sturgeon, Jack Beckman, Jim Robinson, and Greg Lim. Going through the del Rettifilo turn, Brian Robinson managed to get by Russ Herschler. At the Variante Ascari (the series of corners leading onto the back straightaway), Jim Landis was leading Garry Kaluzny by 4 spaces on the track, followed by Jack Beckman and Brian Robinson (each 5 spaces behind Landis), then came White and Herschler (each 7 spaces behind Landis), then Cook (8 spaces back), Sturgeon (12 spaces back), Jim Robinson (16 spaces back), and Lim (22 spaces back). But then going through Ascari, both Herschler and Jim Robinson spun, so they dropped back in the field.

As the cars came around the final turn of the first lap, the Curva Parabolica, the three cars on soft tires, Landis, Kaluzny, and B. Robinson, all pitted as they had all burned through all of their starting wear. A bit of a surprise was when Sturgeon also pitted to switch from hard to soft tires. Herschler also pitted to switch from hard to soft tires.

The official order after the 1st lap was complete was: Beckman (+5); White (+7); Cook (-2); Sturgeon (+1, pitted); Landis (-3, pitted); Herschler (+2, pitted); Lim (0); Kaluzny (-5, pitted); B. Robinson (-5, pitted); and J. Robinson (0). The + or – symbols tell how many spaces the driver improved (+) their lap 1 position from their starting position, or how many spaces they lost (-) from their starting position.

On the 2nd lap, just past the del Rettifilo corner, Gary Sturgeon in the John Player car forced a pass on Garry Kaluzny’s McLaren in the Curva Grande, although Sturgeon had to burn a Wear when the cars bumped together. Jim Robinson spun a second time, this time at del Rettifilo, the sharp right-hand corner at the end of the main straightaway. He also had failed his deceleration dice roll just before spinning, so his brakes were just not up to snuff on this day. Russ Herschler, who had just come out of the pits, was able to pass J. Robinson before Robinson’s car got up to speed again.

As the cars passed through the Ascari corners on the 2nd lap, it was Beckman, White and Cook with quite a lead over the other drivers. Landis was in 4th place, 12 spaces behind the top three cars. Although, Landis had pitted on the 1st lap, and the three leaders had not yet ventured into the pits.

As the leaders passed through the final turn, the Curva Parabolica, on lap 2, the cars which had not stopped in the pits on after 1st lap did now pull into the pits. Cars that pitted on this lap were Beckman, White, Cook, Lim, and Jim Robinson, and they all switched from hard to soft tires. The other cars stayed out on the track.

The official order after lap 2 was: Landis (+4), Beckman (-1, pitted), White (-1, pitted), Lim (+3, pitted), Cook (-2, pitted), Kaluzny (+2), Sturgeon (-3), B. Robinson (+1), Herschler (-3), J. Robinson (0, pitted). The + or – symbols indicate how many positions the driver gained or lost from their position at the end of lap 1.

Early in the 3rd lap, three drivers, Beckman, Landis, and White, were side-by-side going into the Variante del Rettifilo. Landis and White blinked first, and Beckman’s Ferrari surged into the lead and got through that corner first. Beckman continued to lead through the first of the two Lesmo corners, building a 4-space lead.

Last lap through the Lesmo curves.

Beckman’s Ferrari leads the last lap through the Lesmo curves, followed by Landis, White, Cook, Kaluzny, and Sturgeon.

Richard White made a valiant effort to catch Beckman, but the engine in White’s Brabham started going sour as he approached the Ascari corners for the last time, and so could not catch up. Soon after that, Herschler’s Minardi spun in the 2nd Lesmo corner, although that didn’t affect his 9th place at the time.

Beckman's Ferrari about to cross the finish line. White and Landis trail, and Cook (yellow car) and Kaluzny (orange car) are side-by-side going into the Parabolica.

Beckman’s Ferrari about to cross the finish line. White and Landis trail, and Cook (yellow car) and Kaluzny (orange car) are side-by-side going into the Parabolica.

Going through the Curva Parabolica for the last time, Jack Beckman had no trouble motoring across the finish line first, thusly winning the inaugural race of the CFR-Detroit race series. Richard White was able to hold off Jim Landis for 2nd. The duel for 4th place was decided with Garry Kaluzny barely holding off Mike Cook. Exiting the Parabolica, Cook was right behind Kaluzny, ready to use two bonus spaces for drafting Kaluzny, which would have allowed Cook to pass Kaluzny for 4th. However, Kaluzny’s engine didn’t like being pushed to 200 mph, and spurted some oil onto the track. Cook had to swerve to avoid the oil, thus missing the slingshot move, and so finished 5th. Brian Robinson grabbed the last points-paying position in 6th place, and then 7th through 10th places went to Gary Sturgeon, Greg Lim, Russ Herschler, and Jim Robinson.

The finishing order at Monza.

The finishing order at Monza.

 Place Driver                                Points
    1  Jack Beckman (Ferrari) (+5)         - 10 points
    2  Richard White (Brabham) (+7)        -  6 points
    3  Jim Landis (Benetton) (-1)          -  4 points
    4  Garry Kaluzny (McLaren) (-1)        -  3 points
    5  Mike Cook (Lotus) (-4)              -  2 points
    6  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing) (-2) -  1 point
    7  Gary Sturgeon (John Player) (-2)
    8  Greg Lim (Motorola) (-1)
    9  Russ Herschler (Minardi) (-1)
   10  Jim Robinson (Williams) (0)

The + and – indicates how many places the driver gained or lost from their qualifying position. Jack Beckman gained 5 places from his starting position, although Richard White gained 7 places. Both drivers drove very fine races. They were the only two drivers who improved upon their starting position.

Very surprisingly, all 10 drivers who started the race also finished the race. This may be the only time this has occurred in the history of the Detroit area Speed Circuit/CFR races! Richard White stated that he thought that this was the only time when every starter also finished the race.

The next race will be on the 2010/2011 version of the Silverstone, England track. Race day is Friday, October 13, starting at 7:00 pm. The race venue has yet to be determined.