Posts Tagged ‘Jim Robinson’

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #7 – German Grand Prix

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Saturday, November 17, saw Garry Kaluzny out-drive 10 other drivers to win the German Grand Prix, using the Championship Formula Racing game rules. The event was held at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan. Bill Worrel started on the pole, but finished 2nd for the 3rd time in a row. It was also the fourth 2nd-place finish for Worrel in the 2018 season. Jim Landis made it to the podium in 3rd place, earning his first points of the season. Kaluzny’s win tightened up the points standings, with the top four drivers separated by only 3 points. Mike Cook leads with 29 points, Bill Worrel has 28 pts, Garry Kaluzny has 27 pts, and Richard White has 26 pts. Jack Beckman is 5th in the points standings with 19 points, and still has a mathematical chance to tie for the points championship at the final race of the season in December.

The race was held on the Hockenheimring track, based on the CFR design. This was the first time any of the CFR-Detroit drivers had raced on this track.

The CFR-designed Hockenheimring track

The CFR-designed Hockenheimring track.

After the drivers set up their car’s specs, the drivers secretly bid for starting positions. Each wear chit counted as 1.0, and each skill chit counted as 0.5. Higher bids started in front of lower bids. Ties were resolved by rolling percentage dice, high rolls favored over low rolls.

Bill Worrel (0 wear + 17 skill) got the pole position with a high bid of 8.5. Worrel bid all of his skill chits except for a single -1 skill marker that he retained for the race! He also tied the all-time high bid of 8.5 (by Chad Marlett at the 2017 Abu Dhabi race). Mike Cook (5 wear + 6 skill) had his string of pole positions beaten, as Cook only bid 8.0. Cook started alongside Worrel on the front row, but with Cook in 2nd place. Greg Lim (2 wear + 9 skill) qualified in 3rd place with a bid of 6.5, and Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 6 skill) started 4th with a bid of 6.0. Richard White (4 wear + 3 skill) nailed down the 5th starting spot with a bid of 5.5, and Mike St. Peter (4 wear + 1 skill) grabbed 5th position with a bid of 4.5. Starting in 7th was Jim Robinson (1 wear + 6 skill) with a bid of 4.0. Then came Jack Beckman (0 wear + 3 skill) in 8th with a bid of 1.5, and Aric Parr (0 wear + 2 skill) in 9th with a bid of 1.0. Two drivers did not bid anything. They were Gary Sturgeon and Jim Landis. Sturgeon started in 10th, and Landis in 11th, on the strength of Sturgeon rolling an ’88’ to Landis rolling a ’57’ on the percentage dice roll.

The starting grid for the 2018 German Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)            100   20    20   160  5x   4x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           60   60    60   160  4x   2x   soft
13 Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                60   60    40   160  4x   3x   hard
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   60    60   160  3x   3x   soft
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    60   140  4x   3x   hard
14 Aric Parr (Motul BRM)             60   40    60   160  5x   2x   hard
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           20   60    60   180  4x   2x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             20   60    60   160  5x   2x   hard

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); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Pole-sitter Bill Worrel had the only car with a 100 mph start speed; two other cars, those of Gary Sturgeon and Jim Landis, had only 20 mph start speeds. All other cars had the “standard” start speed of 60 mph. Most cars had top speeds of 160 mph, although Gary Sturgeon geared his car for 180 mph, and Jack Beckman had only a top speed of 140 mph. But the most unusual configuration was Worrel’s Tyrrell that only had 20 mph for both its acceleration and deceleration specs.

The starting grid for the German Grand Prix

The starting grid for the German Grand Prix. Bill Worrel’s blue car is on the pole position, and Mike Cook’s yellow car is next to Worrel’s car on the front row.

At the race’s start, Worrel used a wear (as he was on soft tires) to increase his start speed to 120 mph. Cook also used a wear, but could only increase his start speed to 80 mph. In the 2nd row, Kaluzny used a wear to get up to 80 mph, but Lim, on hard tires, elected to only move at his standard 60 mph start speed. Third-row starters White and St. Peter each used a wear to go up to 80 mph, and so they drew up next to Lim. Lim had elected to move to the outside of the track behind Kaluzny’s McLaren in hope of being able to slip behind Kaluzny’s car next turn, and that allowed both White and St. Peter to take the inside from Lim. From the 4th row, J. Robinson used a wear to go 80 mph, while Beckman (on hard tires) only went 60 mph. From the 5th row, Aric Parr, on hard tires, rolled the dice to increase his start speed to 80 mph; however, Gary Sturgeon, on soft tires, only plotted to move at 40 mph, perhaps thinking that the track ahead would be blocked by other cars. Jim Landis, the 11th starter, simply moved at his start speed of 20 mph.

The pack is away

The pack is away, and Worrel leads from Cook, Kaluzny, White, St. Peter, Lim, J. Robinson, Beckman, Parr, Sturgeon, and Landis.

The pack pretty much stayed in the same order as they went through the Nordkurve and then through the sharp right-hand corner that led onto the 20-space long straightaway. St. Peter made a top speed dice roll to go to 180 coming out of that curve to pull up next to Cook, and Kaluzny also pulled alongside the duo of Cook and St. Peter as Kaluzny had been pulled along by the draft from Cook’s yellow Lotus.

Worrel leads; Cook, St. Peter, and Kaluzny are side-by-side

Worrel leads; Cook, St. Peter, and Kaluzny are side-by-side in 2nd through 4th place. White, in 5th place, tucks in behind Cook.

The leading four cars all made in safely through the Hairpin curve at the end of the long straight, in much the same order, although Kaluzny took 3rd from St. Peter in the hairpin. White’s Brabham got stuck in the hairpin, so he fell a little behind the top four cars. Kaluzny then passed Cook for 2nd coming out of the Hairpin and then St. Peter took the inside of the track to pass Cook for 3rd as they were headed into the Mercedes curve. It seemed appropriate, as St. Peter was driving a Mercedes.

Worrel, Kaluzny, St. Peter and Cook are 1st through 4th

Worrel, Kaluzny, St. Peter and Cook are 1st through 4th as they go through the Mercedes corner. The rest of the pack is running in the order White, J. Robinson, Lim, Beckman, Parr, Sturgeon, and Landis.

Finally, the leaders reached the Sudkurve. Worrel and Kaluzny were the first two cars through that curve, and they both ducked into the pits for fresh tires. White and J. Robinson had caught up with St. Peter and Cook just before the Sudkurve. And just behind them, Parr managed to flip and crash his Motul BRM in the Sachs curve. Parr was then a DNF, and was classified in 11th place.

Worrel and Kaluzny pit; Parr crashes in Sachs curve

Worrel and Kaluzny pit; Parr (upside down car) crashes in Sachs curve. Landis lags behind at top right of the picture.

As other cars came through the Sudkurve, they mostly pulled into the pits. Joining Worrel and Kaluzny in the pits were St. Peter, Cook, White, and J. Robinson. And then as Lim and Sturgeon entered the pits, Worrel and Kaluzny were exiting the pits. Eschewing a pit stop were the cars of Beckman and Landis, both of which were on hard tires and so elected to go another lap before having to pit.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap was: Worrel (0); Beckman (+6); Landis (+8); Kaluzny (0); St. Peter (+1); White (-1); Cook (-5); J. Robinson (-1); Sturgeon (+1); and Lim (-7). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position. After the pits stops were concluded, the running order on the track was Worrel, Beckman, Kaluzny, Landis, St. Peter, White, Cook, J. Robinson, Lim, and Sturgeon.

All cars are back on the track after their pit stops

All cars are back on the track after their pit stops.

Coming out of the corner leading onto the long straight, Landis over-revved his engine to 180 mph, thereby passing both Kaluzny and Beckman, putting Landis into 2nd place. Kaluzny then regretted having plotted only 160 mph instead of pushing his engine over its limit. Beckman only moved at his car’s top speed of 140, and that allowed Landis to pass Beckman. Landis then drove 160 mph in his next turn, and Beckman pushed his top speed to 160 mph, and with a slip he got from Landis, he pulled right up next to Landis. Kaluzny went 160 mph again, and pulled in right behind Landis.

Worrel, the race leader, then made it through the Hairpin. Landis was able to make it to the last space of the corner where he would be able to accelerate next turn, but Beckman and Kaluzny were both stuck in the corner. Kaluzny was heard to lament that he now had no chance of winning the race.

Midway through the race, and Worrel still leads

Midway through the race, and Worrel still leads. Landis, Beckman, and Kaluzny are in the Hairpin curve, and are followed by Cook, J. Robinson, White, St. Peter, and then by Lim and Sturgeon.

The cars kept pretty much in order as they followed through the multiple curves on the south side of the track. Finally, Worrel ducked into the pits for the 2nd time, while he had a 7-space lead over Landis.

Worrel pits for the 2nd time

Worrel pits for the 2nd time while in 1st place. Other cars are running in the order Landis, Beckman, Kaluzny, Cook, White, J. Robinson, St. Peter, Lim, and Sturgeon.

As other cars came around the Sudkurve onto the start/finish straight, they also pitted. Landis, Beckman, Cook, and then St. Peter, J. Robinson, and Lim pitted. In a surprise move, Kaluzny and White passed by the pit entrance and remained on the track, Kaluzny had 3 wear remaining at that time, and White only had 2 wear left. Each of those two drivers regained 2 wear as they crossed the start/finish line, giving them 5 and 4 wear remaining, respectively, to finish the race. Worrel came out of the pits with a full complement of 15 wear, and was re-placed on the track only 3 spaces behind Kaluzny and White. Both Kaluzny and White reckoned they were racing for 2nd place at that moment, as they figured there was no way they could stay in front of Worrel as Worrel had at least 10 more wear than die the other two cars. Gary Sturgeon also did not pit.

Kaluzny and White lead to start the final lap

White and Kaluzny lead to start the final lap. Worrel is only 3 spaces behind.

The official order after two laps was: White (+4); Kaluzny (+2); St. Peter (+3), (by virtue of pitting right at the start/finish line); Worrel (-3); Sturgeon (+5); Beckman (+2); Landis (+4); Cook (-6); J. Robinson (-2); and Lim (-7). When all the cars were back on the track, the order was White, Kaluzny, Worrel, Sturgeon, Beckman, Landis, Cook, St. Peter, J. Robinson, and Lim.

White continued to lead through the Nordkurve and around the next curve that led onto the long straightaway. Kaluzny then took the lead from White on the long straight as Kaluzny made a top speed roll. White tucked in behind while going only 160 mph. Worrel had gone only 120 mph through the corner leading onto the straight, and was now 6 spaces behind Kaluzny.

Kaluzny leads White and Worrel down the long straight

Kaluzny leads White and Worrel down the long straight on the last lap. Beckman, Sturgeon, and Landis are battling for 4th.

The drivers of CFR-Detroit

The drivers of CFR-Detroit at Guild of Blades (clockwise, from bottom): Gary Sturgeon (back of his head); Greg Lim (side of his head); Richard White (pointing at track); Bill Worrel (standing); Jim Robinson (green sweatshirt); Jack Beckman (red Ferrari gear); Mike St. Peter (gray sweater).

More of the CFR-Detroit drivers at Guild of Blades

More of the CFR-Detroit drivers at Guild of Blades (clockwise, from upper left): Mike Cook (yellow shirt, standing); Jim Landis (gray shirt); Gary Sturgeon (brown pullover, standing); Greg Lim (blue jockey jersey); Richard White (back of his head).

Kaluzny then over-revved his engine again, and again made a top speed dice roll to move at 180 mph for a 2nd turn in a row. For whatever reason, White did not use the slipstream bonus of 2 spaces, but instead stayed in Kaluzny’s slipstream after moving at 160 mph. Worrel moved at 160 mph, and so he lost another space and was now 7 spaces behind Kaluzny. Kaluzny then made a deceleration roll to slow to 120 mph, also using up two wears at the Hairpin. Richard did not make it through the corner. And Worrel tried to move at 180 mph, but failed the unmodified top speed roll and so only moved at 160 mph. His top speed was then also reduced to 140 mph, which really wouldn’t matter too much on the back part of the course, except for the fact that Worrel’s car only had a 20 mph acceleration rating, and if Worrel had to push his acceleration and failed the roll, then his engine would expire and he would not finish the race. Kaluzny began to feel he had a chance to win at this point.

Kaluzny still leads through the Hairpin

Kaluzny still leads through the Hairpin, White is stuck in the corner, and Worrel has just damaged his engine. The four cars of Beckman, Sturgeon, Landis, and Cook battle for 4th place.

At the Mercedes curve, Kaluzny used his last -1 skill marker to take a deceleration roll, but failed the roll. He then had to use one of his two remaining wear to avoid spinning, but did make it through the Mercedes corner safely. Kaluzny’s deceleration was now only 20 mph, but he shouldn’t have to decelerate more than 20 mph in any move until the end of the race. Worrel had got right up behind White at the Mercedes corner.

Kaluzny corners through Mercedes, but with damaged brakes

Kaluzny corners through Mercedes, but with damaged brakes. White and Worrel are uncomfortably close behind.

Kaluzny continued to lead by 2 spaces over White through the Mobil 1 and Sachs curves. Landis and Beckman were getting right behind Worrel, but there were only two corners left for them to try to improve their positions on the track.

Kaluzny leads through Sachs curve

Kaluzny leads through Sachs curve, followed by White, Worrel, Landis, Beckman, Cook, Sturgeon, St. Peter, J. Robinson, and Lim.

Finally, only 1 corner remaining, and Kaluzny was able to use his last wear to go 120 mph around the outside of the Sudkurve, and thus exit the curve. Worrel drove at 120 mph, taking the inside lane at Sudkurve, but could not make it to the last space of the Sudkurve without having to take two unmodified chance rolls. So, Worrel used two wear at the Sachs curve as he was 40 mph over the speed limit, and then used his last two wear in the Sudkurve as he was also 40 mph over that corner’s speed limit. Worrel figured that a sure 2nd place was better than the possibility of crashing by rolling “normal” chance rolls and thus getting no points at all.

Kaluzny leads through Sudkurve

Kaluzny leads through Sudkurve. Worrel is 2nd, and Landis is catching White for 3rd.

Kaluzny was then able to cross the finish line for the victory, his 2nd of the 2018 season, 3 spaces ahead of Worrel. Worrel managed to get to the line ahead of Landis and so kept hold of 2nd place. And Jim Landis, who had been far behind at one point in the race, came in 3rd in a great last-lap drive. Landis had come out of the pits in 6th place after his pit stop at the end of the 2nd lap.

Kaluzny takes the checkered flag

Kaluzny takes the checkered flag to win. Worrel and Landis are close behind in 2nd and 3rd places.

Then Richard White and Jack Beckman dragged each other down the start/finish line, but White was able to cross the line ahead of Beckman, and so White was 4th and Beckman 5th. Mike Cook beat the other cars to the line to snatch 6th place and the last championship point. Sturgeon was 7th, Lim got 8th, and Jim Robinson was 9th. Mike St. Peter came home in 10th. St. Peter tried to force a pass of Cook back at the Sudkurve, but failed the dice roll and had to scrub off 40 mph. It was a good try to make, because unless he passed Cook, St. Peter would be out of the points.

The official finishing order of the 2018 German Grand Prix was: 1st-Garry Kaluzny (+3); 2nd-Bill Worrel (-1); 3rd-Jim Landis (+8); 4th-Richard White (+1); 5th-Jack Beckman (+3); 6th-Mike Cook (-4); 7th-Gary Sturgeon (+3); 8th-Greg Lim (-5); 9th-Jim Robinson (-2); 10th-Mike St. Peter (-4). Classified 11th with a DNF due to a crash was Aric Parr (-2).

Points awarded at the 2018 German Grand Prix: Kaluzny 10; Worrel 6; Landis 4; White 3; Beckman 2; Cook 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           29
  2   Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             28
  3   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  27
  4   Richard White (Brabham)           26
  5   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            19
  6   Jim Robinson (Williams)           18
  7   Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           10
  8   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          9
  9T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  9T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              4
  9T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              4
 12T  Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          2
 12T  Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                 2
 13T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
 14T  Mark Moellering (McLaren)          0
 14T  Gary Kempen (Williams)             0
 14T  Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)           0
 14T  Jim Lauder (Shadow)                0

The final race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing season will be the South African Grand Prix, on the Kyalami circuit from an old Avalon Hill design from the Speed Circuit days. The race will be at Pandemonium Games & Hobbies, at 6033 Middlebelt Road, in Garden City, Michigan, on Friday, December 14. Bidding for qualifying will begin promptly at 6:45 pm. Drivers are urged to arrive 30 to 45 minutes before qualifying begins in order to set up their car’s specifications for the race.

This should be a very entertaining race, as four drivers (Mike Cook, Bill Worrel, Garry Kaluzny, and Richard White) have a great shot at winning the championship. If any of those four drivers wins the race, they will win the championship outright; else, points earned during the final race will determine the outcome. A fifth driver, Jack Beckman, has a mathematical chance to tie for the championship.

Immediately following the race, a small trophy will be awarded to the points champion. There will also be a vote for the Tom Kane Memorial Award to be awarded to the season’s most sportsmanlike driver. That “sportsman of the year” will also receive a small trophy. All drivers who have raced in at least one race during the 2018 season are eligible to vote for the Tom Kane award. If drivers will not be present at the final race, they can contact Garry Kaluzny before the race to have their vote tabulated.

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #6 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

The sixth race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing season took place on Saturday, October 13, at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan. Jack Beckman skillfully drove his Ferrari to victory over 11 other competitors to join the ranks of winning drivers in 2018. Bill Worrel brought his 6-wheeled Tyrrell home in 2nd place for the 2nd consecutive race; it was also the 3rd time he finished 2nd in 2018’s campaign. Rounding out the podium, in 3rd place, was Mike St. Peter in the #44 Mercedes. It was St. Peter’s 2nd straight race finishing in 3rd place.

The race was on the Yas Marina track, a Doug Schulz design. (Doug Schulz is the designer of Championship Formula Racing.) It is the same track that was raced on in 2017 where Garry Kaluzny came home victorious over Richard White to close out the 2017 season.

Yas Marina CFR track

Yas Marina CFR track

After the drivers set up their car’s specs, the drivers secretly bid for starting positions. Each wear chit counted as 1.0, and each skill chit counted as 0.5. Higher bids started in front of lower bids. Ties were resolved by rolling percentage dice, high rolls favored over low rolls.

Mike Cook (5 wear + 6 skill) got pole position for the 3rd straight time in 2018. Cook bid 8.0, but had to win a “dice-off” with 2nd place qualifier Bill Worrel (3 wear + 10 skill) who also bid 8.0. Cook rolled ’29’ on percentage dice, while Worrel rolled ’00.’ Jim Robinson (3 wear + 8 skill) grabbed the 3rd qualifying spot on the grid with a bid of 7.0. Gary Sturgeon (2 wear + 9 skill) started 4th with a bid of 6.5, and Richard White (3 wear + 5 skill) was 5th with a bid of 5.5. Mike St. Peter (4 wear + 0 skill), Jack Beckman (1 wear + 6 skill), and Garry Kaluzny (2 wear + 4 skill) all bid 4.0. St. Peter rolled ’58’ to start 6th, Beckman rolled ’47’ to start 7th, and Kaluzny rolled ’46’ to start 8th. Aric Parr (0 wear + 6 skill) bid 3.0 to start 9th on the grid. Tenth and 11th places on the grid were contested by Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) and Greg Lim (0 wear + 5 skill) who had identical bids of 2.5. Brian Robinson got 10th place with a roll of ’68’ while Lim started 11th after rolling ’60.’ Jim Landis (0 wear + 3 skill), with a bid of only 1.5, started in 12th place.

The starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           60   40    60   160  5x   2x   soft
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)            100   40    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           60   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft 
14 Aric Parr (Motul BRM)             20   60    60   140  4x   4x   hard
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    20   60    60   160  4x   3x   soft
13 Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                60   60    40   140  5x   3x   hard
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard

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); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

The starting grid for the Abu Dhabi GP

The starting grid for the Abu Dhabi GP. Mike Cook’s yellow car is on the pole; next to him is Bill Worrel’s blue Tyrrell. Then are Jim Robinson (white/blue/yellow), Gary Sturgeon (black/gold/red), Richard White (blue/white), Mike St. Peter (silver/teal), Jack Beckman (red), Garry Kaluzny (orange/white), Aric Parr (gray), Brian Robinson (white/blue), Greg Lim (green), and Jim Landis (green/red/blue). Thanks to the Grid Girls who once again help the cars line up in proper order.

At the start of the race, Worrel took advantage of the fact that he had the only car with a 100 mph start speed, although he also rolled dice (since his car was on hard tires) to increase his start speed to 120 mph, burning 2 wear to get through the 1st corner before Cook. Cook used a wear to increase his start speed to 80 mph, thereby ending his move in the inside lane of the 1st corner. Both J. Robinson and Sturgeon used wear (both of their cars were on soft tires) to increase their start speed to 80 mph, as did White. Mike St. Peter had to roll dice to increase his start speed as his car was wearing hard tires. Then, immediately following the other cars, Beckman and Kaluzny each used a wear to boost their start speed to 80 mph. Then came a 2-space gap, as both Brian Robinson’s and Aric Parr’s cars only had 20 mph start speeds. Parr rolled dice to increase to 40 mph (as he was on hard tires), while B. Robinson (on soft tires) used a wear to achieve 40 mph. Lim, starting in the row behind them with a 60 mph start speed, only went 60 mph and pulled up alongside Parr and B. Robinson. Landis, starting last, drove at a rate of only 40 mph, fearing that the track ahead would be clogged with slow cars.

Bill Worrel takes the lead at the start

Bill Worrel takes the lead at the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The cars pretty much stayed in order from their starting positions as they came ’round the hairpin that led onto the long straightaway. Worrel continued to lead, but White had taken over 2nd place from Cook. Jim Robinson had fallen to 4th, and St. Peter had moved up to 5th. Sturgeon was now 6th, and Beckman and Kaluzny were still 7th and 8th. And then a little way behind came the group of Parr, B. Robinson, Lim, and Landis.

Worrel leads onto the long straight

Worrel leads onto the long straight.

Down the long straight, Worrel, White, and Cook remained 1-2-3. Kaluzny and Beckman made their way up to 4th and 5th. Jim Robinson had fallen to 6th, after starting 3rd, and Sturgeon had fallen to 8th, after starting 4th.

Worrel still leads through the chicane

Worrel still leads through the chicane, then come White, Cook, Kaluzny, Beckman, J. Robinson, St. Peter, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, Lim, Parr, and Landis.

At the sharp left-hand corner at the end of the 2nd half of the long straight, Cook took the lead from Worrel, and White dove to the inside of the racing line to take over 2nd place. Beckman had got back in front of Kaluzny, and B. Robinson and Lim had caught up with Sturgeon.

Cook takes the lead; White takes 2nd

Cook takes the lead; White takes 2nd place, Worrel is 3rd.

Traveling through the curvy part of the Yas Marina track, Worrel regained the lead from Cook and White. Beckman and Kaluzny were now breathing the exhaust fumes from the leading trio’s tailpipes, and St. Peter, J. Robinson, and Sturgeon were not far behind.

Worrel retakes the lead

Worrel retakes the lead, then are Cook, White, Beckman, Kaluzny, St. Peter, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, then a gap to B. Robinson and Lim, then another gap to Landis and Parr.

As the lead group of cars came around the last right-hand bend that led onto the start/finish straight, the cars of Worrel, Cook, Beckman, Kaluzny, and White pulled into the pits to replace their worn-out tires. White had spun on the 60 mph corner leading onto that straight, so he would be relegated to starting at 40 mph when he left the pits.

The lead cars make their pit stops

The lead cars make their pit stops. Note that White’s Brabham is facing the wrong way (next to the orange and red cars in the pits), as he has just spun coming into the pits.

Joining the leaders in the pits after the next move on the track were the cars of St. Peter, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Lim, and B. Robinson. The only cars that did not pit on the 1st lap were the cars of Landis and Parr. They stayed on the track as they were on hard tires. Mike St. Peter managed to lead the 1st lap, by virtue of his pitting in the last space that abutted the start/finish line, thus allowing his car’s nose to touch the start/finish line before all others on that lap.

It's getting crowed in the pits!

It’s getting crowed in the pits! Ten of the 12 cars in the race are now in the pits.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap: St. Peter (+5), Worrel (0), Landis (+9), Cook (-3), Kaluzny (+3), Beckman (+1), J. Robinson (-4), Parr (+1), Sturgeon (-5), White (-5), Lim (0), and B. Robinson (-2). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position. But as the cars came up to speed after emerging from the pits, their running order on the track was: Worrel; Cook; Landis; Kaluzny; Beckman; St. Peter; J. Robinson; Parr; Sturgeon; White; Lim; and B. Robinson.

Worrel enjoys a healthy lead after the pit stops

Worrel enjoys a healthy lead after the pit stops.

Worrel continued to increase his lead, while Beckman was making his way through the pack, passing Kaluzny, Landis, and Cook to take over 2nd place. Beckman then went 60 mph over the speed limit in the hairpin curve leading onto the long straightaway. Since he was on hard tires, he couldn’t use 3 wear, but instead had to use 2 wear and take a chance dice roll. Beckman figured it would be a good idea to use his only -3 skill chit. It was a good choice, as Beckman successfully made the chance roll and so kept pace with Worrel. Mike St. Peter moved up into 4th place after returning to the track in 6th place after his pit stop.

Worrel and Beckman lead by a hefty margin

Worrel and Beckman lead by a hefty margin. Richard White (middle of the outside lane in the corner) has just forced pass Parr (gray car) in the hairpin.

Worrel and Beckman continued running 1-2 down the two long straights and the chicane that joined those straights, but by the end of the 2nd long straight, St. Peter was right up with them in 3rd. Through the curvy part of the track, the leading trio was about 4 spaces ahead of the 4-5-6 cars of Cook, J. Robinson, and Kaluzny. Then a few more spaces back came Sturgeon, White, and Lim, and then finally Landis, Parr, and B. Robinson.

Finally, Beckman was able to reach the last corner leading onto the start/finish straightaway before his two closest competitors, and Beckman pulled off the track for his 2nd pit stop.

Beckman takes the lead and pulls into the pits

Beckman takes the lead and pulls into the pits.

A turn after Beckman made his 2nd pit stop, Worrel and St. Peter did likewise. Then, on following turns, the cars of Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, White, and Lim pitted, followed by Landis and Parr. Landis and Parr were making their 1st, mandatory, pit stops, while the others were making their 2nd stops. All cars leaving the pits came out on soft tires, except for Jim Robinson. Mr. Robinson had his pit crew put on a new set of soft tires to replace his original soft tires during his 1st pit stop, so at his 2nd pit stop he had to make the mandatory switch to hard tires as all cars must use both tire compounds in a race. Mike Cook, who had been in 4th place, decided to “ride the rapids” and stay on the track on his hard tires instead of pitting. Brian Robinson also stayed on the track on his car’s hard tires.

Cook did officially lead the 2nd lap, but Beckman, who had just come out of the pits with new tires, was right behind Cook in 2nd place.

Cook leads the 2nd lap; Beckman is 2nd

Cook leads the 2nd lap; Beckman is 2nd after just leaving the pits. Worrel and St. Peter have just returned to the track, while other cars are still in the pits.

The official order after two laps: Cook (0); Beckman (+5); Worrel (-1); St. Peter (+2); Kaluzny (+3); J. Robinson (-3); B. Robinson (+3); Sturgeon (-4); White (-4); Lim (+1); Landis (+1); and Parr (-3). After the cars had all cycled through their pit stops, the running order on the track was: Beckman; Cook; Worrel; St. Peter; Kaluzny; J. Robinson; B. Robinson; Sturgeon; White; Lim; Landis; and Parr.

Beckman has retaken the lead

Beckman has retaken the lead over Cook, and Beckman has a clear path down the long straightaway.

Coming out of the hairpin onto the long straight, Worrel pulled alongside Cook. Although Cook’s car was geared for a superior top speed in the race, 160 mph to Worrel’s 140 mph, Worrel successfully made an unmodified top speed roll to move at 160 mph and stay alongside Cook. But Kaluzny and St. Peter had more momentum while exiting the hairpin, and so caught right up with Cook and Worrel down the long straight. At the chicane, Kaluzny got by Cook to take 3rd place. St. Peter also got by Cook to take over 4th place. Beckman still led by 6 spaces over the others.

Beckman leads with about 1/3 lap to go

Beckman continues leading with about 1/3 lap to go. Worrel and Kaluzny are 2nd & 3rd; St. Peter and Cook are 4th & 5th.

Through the curvy section of the Yas Marina track, the order pretty much held, then Beckman came around the final corner and cruised to his first victory of the season.

Beckman wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Jack Beckman (the invisible driver) wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix! The flagman presents the checkered flag in the old fashioned way, by running onto the track.

After Beckman’s easy victory, there was a 3-way Donnybrook for 2nd place between Worrel, Kaluzny, and St. Peter.

Worrel, Kaluzny, and St. Peter battle for 2nd place

Worrel, Kaluzny, and St. Peter battle for 2nd place!

On the 2nd to last move of the race, Worrel made an unmodified chance roll to get through the last corner and to take the inside position on the track. On the last turn of the race, both Worrel and Kaluzny plotted to move at 140 mph. Worrel moved first, as he was on the inside of the track, and he took the outside lane of the corner, moving through the two 140 mph spaces. Kaluzny had to make an unmodified acceleration roll to get up to 140 mph (he had only moved at 80 mph the previous turn, and his car’s acceleration rating was only 40 mph), and then he made an unmodified deceleration roll to slow to 120 mph and took the space right behind Worrel. St. Peter plotted only 120 mph, so he moved 3rd of the trio, and he took the middle lane of the corner. St. Peter then had to successfully make an unmodified chance roll to avoid spinning or crashing, and he did make the roll to nip Kaluzny for 3rd place. Note: When cars enter a corner after the finish line in CFR races, the cars must pay for the corner, using either wear or taking a chance by rolling the dice. If a car spins in that corner past the finish line, it will finish behind all other cars that crossed the finish line during that same move. If a car crashes in that corner, even though the corner is past the finish line, that car is considered to have never crossed the line, and is a DNF instead. This is to keep cars from becoming kamikazes in that corner!

Worrel is 2nd, St. Peter 3rd, and Kaluzny 4th

Worrel (blue car) is 2nd, St. Peter (silver car) 3rd, and Kaluzny (orange/white car) 4th. Jim Robinson is 5th, Cook is 6th, and Lim is 7th.

There was still action in the back of the pack. White had spun in the 3rd to last corner of the race, and as White got up to speed, he was forced-passed by Lim. It was White’s 2nd spin of the race.

The official finishing order of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: 1st-Jack Beckman (+6); 2nd-Bill Worrel (0); 3rd-Mike St. Peter (+3); 4th-Garry Kaluzny (+4); 5th-Jim Robinson (-2); 6th-Mike Cook (-5); 7th-Greg Lim (+4); 8th-Gary Sturgeon (-4); 9th-Richard White (-4); 10th-Aric Parr (-1); 11th-Brian Robinson (-1); 12th-Jim Landis (0).

Mike Cook’s failure to make his 2nd pit stop cost him a number of positions. The Yas Marina track has now demonstrated in two official races, and in one demo race, the necessity of making two pit stops on this track. Cars need to burn through their full allotment of wear in order to turn fast laps. Cars that have to ration their wear over two laps will get passed on the track.

Points awarded at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Beckman 10; Worrel 6; St. Peter 4; Kaluzny 3; J. Robinson 2; Cook 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           28
  2   Richard White (Brabham)           23
  3   Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             22
  4   Jim Robinson (Williams)           18
  5T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            17
  5T  Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  17
  7   Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           10
  8   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          9
  9T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  9T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              4
 11T  Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          2
 11T  Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                 2
 13T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
 13T  Mark Moellering (McLaren)          0
 13T  Gary Kempen (Williams)             0
 13T  Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)           0
 13T  Jim Lauder (Shadow)                0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign is the German Grand Prix, racing on the Hockenheimring track (of CFR design). It will be held on Saturday, November 17, at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan.

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #5 – Detroit Grand Prix

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Thirteen drivers gathered at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan, on Saturday, September 15, to race in the Detroit Grand Prix, using the rules from the Championship Formula Racing board game. The 2018 race was on the Belle Isle track. When the exhaust fumes had settled, it was found that Mike Cook had won his second consecutive race, winning both races from the pole position. Bill Worrel, who started 2nd, finished in 2nd place. And Mike St. Peter made an appearance on the podium, finishing in 3rd place after starting 8th.

Belle Isle CFR track

The Belle Isle track we used to race on (designed by Garry Kaluzny)

The Belle Isle track we used was of our own local design. For information about how to make a large scale track of Belle Isle, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. (Of course, those same techniques can be used to make any track of your choosing.)

After the drivers set up their car’s specs, the drivers secretly bid for starting positions. Each wear chit counted as 1.0, and each skill chit counted as 0.5. Higher bids started in front of lower bids. Ties were resolved by rolling percentage dice, high rolls favored over low rolls.

Mike Cook (5 wear + 6 skill) and Bill Worrel (2 wear + 12 skill) both wanted pole position real bad, as they both bid 8.0. (Note: the all-time high bid for pole position in the two seasons of the CFR-Detroit racing season was 8.5, bid by Chad Marlett at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.) Cook won the subsequent percentage dice roll by ’97’ to ’09’ and so Cook was on the pole and Worrel started 2nd. Garry Kaluzny (2 wear + 8 skill), Jim Robinson (3 wear + 6 skill), and Richard White (4 wear + 4 skill) each bid 6.0, with Kaluzny starting 3rd with a roll of ’79,’ J. Robinson starting 4th with a roll of ’33,’ and White starting 5th after rolling ’23.’ Kaluzny thought for sure he would get the pole position with what he thought was an overly high bid of 6.0, but was amazed with the number of other high bids. Mark Moellering (3 wear + 3 skill), in only his 2nd race of the CFR-Detroit racing series, qualified in 6th position with a bid of 4.5. Gary Sturgeon (1 wear + 6 skill) and Mike St. Peter (3 wear + 2 skill) each bid 4.0, with Sturgeon starting 7th after a dice roll of ’26’ and St. Peter starting 8th with a dice roll of ’21.’ Jim Landis (1 wear + 4 skill) bid 3.0 to start 9th. Jack Beckman (1 wear + 3 skill), Greg Lim (1 wear + 3 skill), and Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) each bid 2.5. They started 10th, 11th, and 12th, after dice rolls of ’76,’ ’47,’ and ’30,’ respectively. Aric Parr (0 wear + 0 skill) bid nothing, so he started in 13th position.

The starting grid for the Detroit Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          120   40    40   140  5x   2x   soft
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)            100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
10 Mark Moellering (McLaren)        100   40    40   160  4x   3x   soft
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           60   60    40   160  5x   2x   hard 
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    60   160  4x   2x   soft
13 Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                60   60    40   160  4x   3x   hard
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    20   60    60   140  5x   3x   soft
14 Aric Parr (Motul BRM)             20   60    60   160  4x   3x   hard

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); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Starting grid at Belle Isle

Starting grid at Belle Isle: Cook (yellow car); Worrel (blue); Kaluzny (orange/white); J. Robinson (white/blue/yellow); White (blue/white); Moellering (orange); Sturgeon (gold/red/black); St. Peter (silver/teal); Landis (green/red/blue); Beckman (red/white); Lim (green); B. Robinson (white/blue); Parr (gray). Note that the Grid Girls have cheerfully helped the drivers to line up in the proper order.

The drivers all made clean getaways from the start as the green flag waved. Mike Cook, with his 120 mph start speed, used a wear to increase his start speed to 140 mph, making him the only car to make it through the first two corners on the track during the first move of the race. He had to pay 2 wear to traverse the first corner over its 100 mph limit (on the racing line), and another wear to go through the second corner at 20 mph over its limit. So with Cook having spent 5 wear to get the pole, another wear to increase his start speed, and 3 more wear for the first two corners, he only had 6 wear remaining to drive the rest of the first lap.

Bill Worrel did not increase his start speed, and merely moved at 100 mph, taking the arrow for the 2nd corner. Jim Robinson, who started on the outside of the 2nd row, boosted his start speed to 120 mph (using a wear) and pulled alongside Worrel, thereby taking the inside lane and also taking over 2nd place on the track. Garry Kaluzny, the 3rd place starter, used a wear to increase his start speed to 80 mph, leaving him in the middle of the first corner. Mark Moellering, starting from the outside of row 3, used a wear to increase his start speed to 120 mph and moved up next to Kaluzny in turn 1. Richard White increased his start speed to 80 mph, as did Mike St. Peter. Gary Sturgeon, on hard tires, merely started at his car’s 60 mph start speed, and that allowed Jack Beckman’s Ferrari to increase to 80 mph and pull alongside Sturgeon. Jim Landis and Greg Lim both started at their normal 60 mph start speeds, as both were on hard tires and neither wanted to risk throwing dice to increase their start speed. Brian Robinson increased his speed from 20 to 40 mph, as he was on soft tires. And finally, Aric Parr also boosted his starting speed to 40 mph.

Cook races away from the line

Cook races away from the line at the start of the Detroit Grand Prix.

As the pack raced down Central Way, then turned right onto Insulruhe Street, made another right onto Loiter Way, then the left onto Picnic Way, Cook was barely in front of Worrel, and Moellering was right behind them. As they made the sweeping right turn onto The Strand, Worrel pulled alongside Cook, to challenge for the lead.

Worrel challenges Cook for the lead

Worrel challenges Cook for the lead. The rest of the pack is running in the order Moellering, White, J. Robinson, St. Peter, Kaluzny, Beckman, Lim, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, Landis, and Parr.

But Cook won the game of chicken with Worrel into the right-hand corner at the end of The Strand, and so Cook maintained his grip on the lead.

Cook leads through the horseshoe on Belle Isle

Cook leads through the “horseshoe” on Belle Isle, followed by Worrel, Moellering, White, J. Robinson, St. Peter, Kaluzny, Lim, Beckman, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, Parr, and Landis.

As the pack came around the Scott Fountain and onto the start/finish straight, Cook, Worrel, and White quickly ducked into the pits. They were shortly joined in the pits by Moellering, St. Peter, Kaluzny, Beckman, J. Robinson, and B. Robinson. Only the four cars of Sturgeon, Parr, Lim, and Landis stayed on the track instead of pitting as those four cars were all on hard tires and so that quartet all regained some wear as they crossed the start/finish line.

The first pit stops have begun

The first pit stops have begun — Cook, Worrel, and White are in the pits.

The official order at the end of the first lap was: Cook (0); Worrel (0); Moellering (+3); St. Peter (+4); Kaluzny (-2); Beckman (+4); J. Robinson (-3); Sturgeon (-1); Parr (+4); Lim (+1); Landis (-2); White (-7); and B. Robinson (-1). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position. However, due to some cars pitting and some cars staying on the track, Gary Sturgeon became the new leader on the track as he passed the cars that were in the pits.

Gary Sturgeon passes the pits and takes the lead

Gary Sturgeon passes the pits and takes the lead after the 1st lap at the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle.

After all of the cars that pitted rejoined the track, the running order was Sturgeon (leading by 5 spaces) from Parr, Lim, Landis, Cook, White, Worrel, Moellering, St. Peter, Kaluzny, Beckman, J. Robinson, and B. Robinson. But, as was the case during the 1st lap when Cook had a big lead down Central Way, after Sturgeon turned right onto Insulruhe Street he found that the pack was right up with him. As Sturgeon turned onto The Strand, he had Parr right behind him, and Cook was now in 3rd place, having passed Lim and Landis.

As the pack roared down The Strand, Parr pulled alongside Sturgeon, and then took the lead as they turned into the “horseshoe.”

Aric Parr takes the lead at Casino Way

Aric Parr takes the lead from Sturgeon at Casino Way.

Parr continued to lead over Sturgeon under Parr made his pit stop near the end of the 2nd lap. Richard White, who had been running in 7th, spun at the sharp right hand turn from Fountain Drive onto Casino Way as he was leaving the “horseshoe.” The spin dropped White back to 12th place out of 13 cars.

Aric Parr continues to lead while Richard White spins

Aric Parr continues to lead while Richard White spins back by the yellow flagman.

At the end of the 2nd lap, some cars pitted for a 2nd time, other cars stopped for their 1st, mandatory, pit stop. Aric Parr had been leading when he pulled in for his mandatory pit stop. He was then followed into the pits by Sturgeon (1st stop), Landis (1st stop), Kaluzny (2nd stop), J. Robinson (2nd stop), Lim (1st stop), and White (2nd stop). All of the pitted cars returned to the track on soft tires for the last lap. Cars that did not pit were Cook, Worrel, St. Peter, Beckman, Moellering, and B. Robinson. The non-pitting cars were all on hard tires and so picked up 2 or 3 wears apiece.

Mike Cook retakes the lead as cars make pit stops

Mike Cook (yellow car) retakes the lead as other cars make pit stops. Jim Robinson (gray shirt, center) appears dismayed, and Jim Landis (blue shirt, right) appears lost in thought as his car is serviced in the pits.

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap was: Cook (0); Sturgeon (+5); Landis (+6); Kaluzny (-1); Worrel (-3); St. Peter (+2); Beckman (+3); Moellering (-2); J. Robinson (-5); Parr (+3); B. Robinson (+1); White (-7); and Lim (-2). However, after the pit stops were completed, the actual running order on the track was: Cook; Worrel; Beckman; St. Peter; Moellering; Parr; Sturgeon; B. Robinson; Landis; Kaluzny; J. Robinson; Lim; and White.

As the 3rd lap progressed, Cook continued to lead from Worrel by 4 spaces, while Worrel was still in front of Beckman and others. Going into the right-hand corner at the end of The Strand, St. Peter took 3rd place from Beckman. Then the jockeying for positions back in the pack grew intense. Kaluzny was able to force a pass over three other cars, those of Landis, Parr, & Sturgeon, at the first left-hand bend in the horseshoe. Kaluzny did make contact and had to lose a wear, leaving him only 1 wear for the balance of the race. But then Kaluzny lost that position he had just gained when he spun at the sharp right-hander exiting the horseshoe.

Kaluzny spins exiting the horseshoe

Kaluzny spins exiting the horseshoe. He had just moved up from 9th to 5th. The spin dropped him back to 7th.

Then Aric Parr forced a pass past Kaluzny and Moellering as Kaluzny was recovering from his spin. Then Sturgeon tried a forced-pass on Moellering, but was blocked. Sturgeon had to scrub off 40 mph of speed. He spent a wear and rolled an unmodified deceleration dice roll, which he failed. He then had to spend another wear to avoid spinning out, and his deceleration was now only 20 mph, which didn’t matter, because he wouldn’t need to decelerate any more until the end of the race. In Moellering’s blocking of Sturgeon, there was contact between the cars and Moellering also had to lose a wear.

Next, Jim Landis spun at the 2nd of the twin 80 mph corners on Casino Way going around Scott Fountain. At the same time, Gary Sturgeon was spinning at the 1st of those corners. And Richard White managed to bend his Brabham in a failed attempt at cornering at the 40 mph corner exiting the horseshoe. While this carnage was taking place on the track, Mike Cook (0) was taking the checkered flag while crossing the finish line without fanfare, making it two wins in a row for Cook. Both wins came after Cook started in the pole position.

Cook takes the checkered flag to win

Cook takes the checkered flag to win; meantime, Landis has spun (at right of picture), Sturgeon has spun (directly behind the yellow flagman), and White has crashed (upside-down car in front of Lim’s green car at upper-center of picture).

Then Worrel (0), St. Peter (+5), and Beckman (+6) crossed the finish line to take 2nd, 3rd, and 4th positions. Parr (+8) then crossed the line to take 5th place. But wait! There’s more! (Sounds like a commercial for the Amazing Ginsu, does it not!?) Back in the 2nd of the 80 mph corners around Scott Fountain, where Landis had just spun, Jim Robinson crashed out of the race. Brian Robinson used some late-braking to try to avoid being collected in the crash, and Brian did narrowly succeed in avoiding the car parts that were strewn across the track.

Jim Robinson crashes in the 2nd to last corner of the race

Jim Robinson crashes in the 2nd to last corner of the race (directly in front of the yellow flagman at right). In the meantime, Worrel, St. Peter, and Beckman have crossed the finish line (at left).

Finally, Kaluzny (-3) managed to hold off Moellering for 6th place, thus getting the last available point; Moellering (-1) was 7th. Brian Robinson and Sturgeon were both able to pass Landis before the finish line, with B. Robinson (+4) finishing 8th, Sturgeon (-2) 9th, and Landis (-1) 10th. Finally, Greg Lim, although running a ways behind the other cars, managed to achieve the final spinout of the race, in the final 140 mph corner just before the finish line. Lim (0) was 11th. Jim Robinson and Richard White were both DNFs due to crashes; J. Robinson (-8) was classified 12th and White (-8) was 13th.

Points awarded at the Detroit Grand Prix: Cook 10; Worrel 6; St. Peter 4; Beckman 3; Parr 2; Kaluzny 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           27
  2   Richard White (Brabham)           23
  3T  Jim Robinson (Williams)           16
  3T  Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             16
  5   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  14
  6   Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           10
  7   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             7
  8   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          5
  9T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  9T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              4
 11T  Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          2
 11T  Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                 2
 13T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
 13T  Mark Moellering (McLaren)          0
 13T  Gary Kempen (Williams)             0
 13T  Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)           0
 13T  Jim Lauder (Shadow)                0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, using the Yas Marina track. It will be raced on October 13 at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan.

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #4 – Monaco Grand Prix

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

The fourth race of the CFR-Detroit 2018 racing season was held at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan, on Saturday, August 11, and Mike Cook, the pole-sitter, won handily over 11 other competitors. Second and third places went to Gary Sturgeon and Jim Robinson, respectively. Although the CFR-Detroit races have been held on Friday evenings, it was decided to move most of the races to Saturday afternoons because with the 15 racers who competed in last month’s race, the race would not have been able to be completed before most gaming stores would have closed for the evening. We were fortunate that the previous race was at Pandemonium Games and Hobbies in Garden City, and that store stayed open until midnight (most other game stores close at 11:00 pm) and so we were able to complete the race at “Pando” before being evicted for the evening!

The Monte Carlo track we used to race on.

The Monte Carlo track we used to race on.

We used the old Monte Carlo track from one of the Avalon Hill Accessory Pack tracks, except we updated it with the “Nouvelle Chicane.” This is the same track we raced at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

After the drivers set up their car’s specs, the drivers secretly bid for starting positions. Each wear chit counted as 1.0, and each skill chit counted as 0.5. Higher bids started in front of lower bids. Ties were resolved by rolling percentage dice, high rolls favored over low rolls.

Mike Cook (1 wear + 12 skill) bid 7.0, and so started in the pole position. Jim Robinson (2 wear + 8 skill) bid 6.0 and started 2nd on the grid. Gary Sturgeon (1 wear + 9 skill) and Richard White (5 wear + 1 skill) tied with bids of 5.5. Sturgeon won the percentage dice-off by ’63’ to ’22,’ so Sturgeon started 3rd and White 4th. Jack Beckman (1 wear + 8 skill) started 5th with a bid of 5.0. Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 3 skill) started 6th with a bid of 4.5. Bill Worrel (3 wear + 2 skill) started 7th with a bid of 4.0. Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) started 8th with a bid of 2.5. Mike St. Peter (1 wear + 2 skill) and Greg Lim (0 wear + 4 skill) each bid 2.0, with St. Peter winning the resulting dice-off by ’77’ to ’50’ and so St. Peter was 9th and Lim 10th on the grid. Jim Landis (0 wear + 1 skill) started 11th with a bid of 0.5, and Aric Parr (0 wear + 0 skill) bid nothing and so started in 12th position.

The starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    60   140  5x   3x   soft
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard 
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    20   60    60   140  5x   3x   soft
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
13 Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                60   60    40   140  5x   3x   hard
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             20   60    60   160  5x   2x   hard
14 Aric Parr (Motul BRM)             20   60    60   140  5x   3x   hard

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); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Starting grid for the Monaco G.P.

Starting grid for the Monaco G.P. Mike Cook (yellow car) is on the pole (the inside of the track), while Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue) is next to Cook on the front row. (Greg Lim photo)

As the green flag dropped, Mike Cook roared off with his 100 mph start speed, ending his move in the Ste. Devote corner. Cook started on hard tires, and did not want to risk increasing his start speed by rolling dice — and besides, ending up in the middle of Ste. Devote was a great place to end his first turn. Gary Sturgeon, the only other car with a 100 mph start speed, used a wear (since he was on soft tires) to increase his start speed to 120 mph. That allowed Sturgeon to pass Jim Robinson (who had used a wear to increase his start speed to 80 mph), leaving Sturgeon in 2nd place on the outside of Ste. Devote. Richard White used a wear to boost his starting speed to 80 mph. He eschewed the cornering arrow, instead taking the inside lane of the track. Jack Beckman, although on soft tires, elected to roll dice and try to boost his start speed “the hard way.” Although Beckman used two -1 skill chits, he rolled a ’12’ and so moved off at only 40 mph, instead of the 80 mph he had hoped for. Both Garry Kaluzny and Bill Worrel passed Beckman at the start. Kaluzny only plotted 60 mph, figuring there wouldn’t be any spaces to move into at 80 mph, while Worrel plotted 80 mph and so moved up next to Kaluzny. The rest of the field started somewhat cautiously.

Cook and Sturgeon roar into the lead

Cook and Sturgeon roar into the lead over J. Robinson and White (note White is driving a different model of Brabham for this race). Then came Kaluzny, Worrel, Beckman, B. Robinson, St. Peter, Lim, Landis, and Parr. (Greg Lim photo)

Mike St. Peter completed a forced-pass through Brian Robinson & Beckman at Ste. Devote, vaulting St. Peter into 7th (after St. Peter started 9th).

Cook continued to lead during the 1st lap, and Sturgeon mostly stayed in 2nd. Jim Robinson briefly challenged Sturgeon for 2nd at Mirabeau Haute, but then Sturgeon ducked to the inside at the Hairpin and re-took the position, only to have Robinson re-take 2nd at Mirabeau Bas after the Hairpin. Then Sturgeon got back into 2nd going through the Nouvelle Chicane. Richard White made a -3 chance roll at Portier, having also spent a wear at Portier and 2 wear on the previous corner (Mirabeau Bas).

Cook leads into Tabac on the 1st lap

Cook leads by 5 spaces at Tabac on the 1st lap. The other cars in order: Sturgeon; J. Robinson; Kaluzny; White; Worrel; St. Peter; Lim; Landis; Beckman; Parr; and B. Robinson.

After passing through La Rascasse, Cook was the first car to pull into the pits. Although his car had started on hard tires, Cook had burned through all of his wear and so stopped for fresh tires. A move later, Sturgeon joined Cook in the pits. Lim attempted a forced pass of Worrel at La Rascasse, but failed and spun short of the corner. Lim was able to recover nicely, though, as with his 60 mph start speed and acceleration, he continued on at 60 mph through Rascasse, and pulled even with Richard White on the far side of that corner.

Cook and Sturgeon in the pits; Lim spins at La Rascasse

Cook and Sturgeon in the pits; Lim spins at La Rascasse.

Just as Cook was leaving the pits and re-entering the track, Jim Robinson and Kaluzny pulled into the pits. By the time Sturgeon got back on the track, Cook had a 7-space lead.

Frantic action in the pits as Cook leads Sturgeon by 7 spaces

Frantic action in the pits as Cook leads Sturgeon by 7 spaces. In the pits are B. Robinson, Worrel, Lim, White, Beckman, and St. Peter. Jim Robinson and Kaluzny have just been placed back on the track, just to the outside of Parr, who did not pit. Just in front of those three cars is the Benetton of Landis, who also did not pit.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap: Cook (0); Sturgeon (+1); Landis (+8); Kaluzny (+2); Parr (+7); J. Robinson (-4); Worrel (0); Lim (+2); Beckman (-4); St. Peter (-1); White (-7); and B. Robinson (-4). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

Mike Cook indicates "thumbs up"

Mike Cook indicates “thumbs up” to show he has his next move plotted. It could also mean that everything is going great as he still leads by 6 spaces through Mirabeau Haute.

During the 2nd lap, Cook cruised with a huge lead. As Cook went into the Nouvelle Chicane for the 2nd time, his lead over Sturgeon was 9 spaces. Sturgeon then led by 6 spaces over Jim Robinson. The rest of the pack were all fighting tooth and nail (or would that be wing and wheel-rim?) through every corner.

Cook leads by a huge margin into the Nouvelle Chicane

Cook leads by a huge margin into the Nouvelle Chicane.

Among the pursuing cars, J. Robinson and Kaluzny were having a fierce battle for 3rd place. Parr and Landis were right behind, battling for 5th place. Beckman, Worrel, and White were duking it out over 8th place.

Then, when the leader Cook pulled into the pits for the 2nd time, Parr crashed his gray Motul BRM at the first of the “swimming pool” corners, now known as the “Louis Chiron” corner.

Aric Parr crashed at Louis Chiron

Aric Parr crashed at Louis Chiron, by the swimming pool. The race leader, Mike Cook, is already in the pits, and 2nd-place Sturgeon is approaching La Rascasse. The rest of the order on the track is J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Landis, Lim, Worrel, Beckman, White, B. Robinson, and St. Peter.

Cars making pit stops at the end of the 2nd lap were Cook, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Lim, Landis, Worrel, and Beckman. All of those drivers were making their 2nd pit stop of the race except for Landis, who was making his 1st stop. All of the pitting drivers came returned to the track shod with soft tires. Not stopping were White, B. Robinson, and St. Peter. The non-pitting trio were all on hard tires, and so each regained two wear chits.

The official order after two laps: Cook (0); Sturgeon (+1); White (+1); J. Robinson (-2); B. Robinson (+3); Kaluzny (0); Lim (+3); Landis (+3); St. Peter (0); Worrel (-3); and Beckman (-6). Parr (0) did not complete the lap, and was classified 12th with a DNF.

At last, the final lap! Cook was just about coasting to an easy win, and Sturgeon was a fairly safe 2nd place. Through Ste. Devote and up the hill to the Massenet corner, White and J. Robinson were dueling for 3rd place. Brian Robinson, Kaluzny, Lim, and Landis were in a tight knot of cars fighting for 5th place. St. Peter and Worrel were battling for 9th place, and Beckman had fallen to last, 5 spaces behind the nearest cars. But, by the Mirabeau Haute corner, Worrel, St. Peter, and Beckman had all closed the gap to the four cars in front of them.

Going up the hill to Massenet, and cars are all strung out

Going up the hill to Massenet, and cars are all strung out. Cook’s yellow car leads at the far right of the picture, and Beckman’s car is at the back of the pack at the far left.

The pack has closed up

The pack has closed up. Sturgeon, in 2nd, is at the right, followed by J. Robinson and White. Then 5th through 11th places (Kaluzny, Lim, B. Robinson, Worrel, Landis, Beckman, and St. Peter) are all bunched up in front of the Hairpin.

Then as the pack slithered through the Hairpin, Mirabeau Bas, and Portier, Kaluzny got just a little in front of his competitors. This was turning into the most exciting part of the Monaco Grand Prix, as a number of cars were battling for a few points-paying positions. Beckman, in an attempt to slow for the Hairpin, rolled a ’10’ on an unmodified deceleration roll, and that reduced his deceleration spec to 20 mph until the end of the race. Then, coming out of Portier shortly afterwards, Beckman failed an unmodified overacceleration roll, and that reduced his car’s acceleration to only 20 mph.

The race is heating up near the Nouvelle Chicane

The race is heating up near the Nouvelle Chicane!

As expected, Mike Cook (o) won as easily as a race can be won while playing Championship Formula Racing, winning by 10 spaces over Gary Sturgeon (+1) in 2nd place. Those two finished one-two in 2017, in similar fashion. The battle, now, was for 3rd. J. Robinson had managed to get ahead of White at the Nouvelle Chicane, and Robinson was now trying to stay ahead of a hard-charging Kaluzny, as Kaluzny had finally been able to pass White in the swimming pool corners.

Cook wins easily; the battle for 3rd continues

Cook wins easily (yellow car at upper right of picture). Sturgeon (car at upper left) is approaching the checkered flag). The battle for 3rd continues as J. Robinson holds 3rd at Rascasse from Kaluzny, White, Lim, Worrel, B. Robinson, Landis, St. Peter, and Beckman.

Jim Robinson now saw his way clear for 3rd place coming out of La Rascasse, as he held a 2-space lead over Kaluzny, and only the Anthony Noghes corner remained before the finish line. Kaluzny was feeling assured of finishing no lower than 4th, as Richard White had just crashed in La Rascasse, and Greg Lim was stuck in that corner with the rest of the pack behind.

Richard White crashes at La Rascasse

Richard White crashes at La Rascasse while Jim Robinson and Garry Kaluzny head towards 3rd and 4th place.

As it was, Garry Kaluzny managed to pull alongside Jim Robinson as they crossed the finish line, but Robinson (-1) managed to hang on to 3rd place over Kaluzny (+2). It was a sort of reverse of the finish at Monza, where Kaluzny had just stayed ahead of Robinson, except that at Monza the duo were battling for 1st place. Greg Lim (+5) then took an uncontested 5th place. And then finally Bill Worrel (+1) was able to hold off Brian Robinson for 6th place and the final point. Brian Robinson (+1) finished 7th. Eighth through 10th places went to: 8th-Jim Landis (+3); 9th-Mike St. Peter (0); 10th-Jack Beckman (-5). Beckman nursed his car home about 10 spaces behind the 9th place car of St. Peter, but Beckman was determined to bring his car home at Monaco in 2018 after crashing his car on the final corner of the same track in 2017. Classified 11th was Richard White (-7) with a DNF due to a crash, and Aric Parr was classified 12th, for the same reason.

Points awarded at the Monaco Grand Prix: Cook 10; Sturgeon 6; Jim Robinson 4; Kaluzny 3; Lim 2; and Worrel 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Richard White (Brabham)           23
  2   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           17
  3   Jim Robinson (Williams)           16
  4   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  13
  5T  Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           10
  5T  Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             10
  7T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             4
  7T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  9T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              2
  9T  Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          2
  9T  Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                 2
 12   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          1
 13T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
 13T  Mark Moellering (McLaren)          0
 13T  Gary Kempen (Williams)             0
 13T  Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)           0
 13T  Jim Lauder (Shadow)                0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign is the Detroit Grand Prix, raced on the Belle Isle track this year. It will be at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan, on September 15.

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #3 – Belgian Grand Prix

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Richard White won the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, his second consecutive victory of the 2018 campaign. It was the third race of the 2018 season, and was contested at Pandemonium Games in Garden City, Michigan, on Friday, July 13. Jim Robinson and Brian Robinson also placed in the podium, in 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively. A record high (for the CFR-Detroit racing series) of 15 drivers competed for the win.

While last year’s Belgian Grand Prix was contested a Spa-Francorchamps track of independent design (from the 1980s), the 2018 race was held on the Spa-Francorchamps track of CFR design.

The Spa-Francorchamps CFR track

The Spa-Francorchamps CFR track, raced in 2018.

After the drivers had set up their car’s specifications, all drivers secretly bid for starting positions. Each wear bid counted as 1.0, and each skill marker bid counted as 0.5. Higher bids started in front of lower bids. And ties were resolved by rolling percentage dice, high rolls favored over low rolls.

Jim Robinson (2 wear + 7 skill) and Richard White (5 wear + 1 skill) each bid 5.5. J. Robinson took the pole position with a percentage dice roll of ’86,’ while White only rolled ’31’ and so started 2nd. Jack Beckman (3 wear + 4 skill) and Garry Kaluzny (4 wear + 2 skill) each bid 5.0, with Beckman starting 3rd with a roll of ’92’ while Kaluzny started 4th with a roll of ’52.’ Bill Worrel (4 wear + 0 skill), Mike St. Peter (3 wear + 2 skill), and Gary Sturgeon (1 wear + 6 skill) each bid 4.0. Worrel rolled ’84’ to start 5th, St. Peter rolled ’41’ to start 6th, and Sturgeon rolled ’24’ to start 7th. Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) and Joel Lauder (1 wear + 3 skill) each bid 2.5, with B. Robinson winning the dice-off by ’92’ to ’29’ and so B. Robinson was 8th on the grid and Joel Lauder was 9th. Joel’s brother Jim Lauder started 10th with a bid of 1.5 (1 wear + 1 skill).

Newcomer Mark Moellering started 11th with a bid of 1.0 (0 wear + 2 skill). Jim Landis and Chuck Modzinski each bid 0.5 (0 wear + 1 skill). Landis rolled ’87’ to start 12th, and Modzinski rolled ’57’ to start in 13th place. Modzinski had raced some in the old Advanced Speed Circuit series in the late 1980s/early 1990s, but this was his first foray into racing with the Championship Formula Racing rules. Greg Lim started in 14th place after bidding nothing. And, after the field was set, but before the green flag dropped, Gary Kempen was added to the field in 15th place as a provisional starter.

The starting grid with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    60   160  4x   2x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   60    40   160  5x   2x   soft
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)            100   40    40   160  5x   2x   soft
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   160  4x   4x   hard
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           20   60    60   160  5x   2x   soft 
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    20   60    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 7 Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)         60   60    60   160  4x   2x   soft
17 Jim Lauder (Shadow)               60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard
10 Mark Moellering (McLaren)         20   80    60   200  2x   2x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard
 9 Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)          60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
13 Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                20   60    40   160  4x   4x   hard 
 0 Gary Kempen (Williams)            20   60    40   160  5x   3x   hard

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); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Ten of the 15 cars, including the top 5 starters, began the race on soft tires; five drivers chose the hard tire compound to begin the race. The top 4 starters had 60 mph start speeds; 5th place starter Bill Worrel had a 100 mph start speed. Five drivers had 20 mph start speeds; they all started in 7th place or lower.

The field is all lined up for the start of the Belgian Grand Prix

The field is all lined up for the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue car) is on the pole position (inside of the track with the red & white striped line). (Greg Lim photo)

When the green flag dropped, both J. Robinson and White spent a wear to boost their start speed from 60 mph to 80 mph. Robinson moved first and placed his car in the middle of the track to give himself the option of either lane to take in his next move through the La Source hairpin corner. White naturally took the inside lane. Bill Worrel, starting in the 3rd row, also used a wear (since he was also on soft tires and could also use a wear to increase his start speed instead of having to roll dice) to increase his start speed from 100 mph to 120 mph, thus passing both Beckman and Kaluzny and moving into 3rd place alongside White and J. Robinson.

Worrel then got through La Source first, and led into Eau Rouge. White and J. Robinson were one space behind Worrel, and Beckman and Kaluzny were two spaces behind the leader. Then a couple of more spaces behind came Jim and Joel Lauder, and then behind them was St. Peter.

When the pack got to Les Combes, Beckman passed Worrel for the lead, with J. Robinson 3rd and White 4th. Then coming out of Les Combes, J. Robinson made a forced-pass through Beckman and White to take the lead. Jim Lauder spun at Bruxelles, dropping him from 5th down to 10th place by the time he got going again. Then on the long straight between Stavelot and through Blanchimont, Worrel regained the lead just before the Bus Stop Chicane. J. Robinson, Beckman, and White were all in a line right behind Worrel, and they were followed closely by Joel Lauder and B. Robinson.

Although Worrel led through the Bus Stop, he pulled into the pits. He was then followed by all of the leading cars of J. Robinson, Beckman, White, B. Robinson, Joel Lauder, and Kaluzny. A moment later and Sturgeon, St. Peter, and Moellering also pulled into the pits. That allowed Jim Lauder to take the lead, as he did not pit. Jim Lauder had Chuck Modzinski right next to him in 2nd place as they both headed into the La Source hairpin. Also staying out on the track were the cars of Gary Kempen, Jim Landis, and Greg Lim. Most of the cars that did not pit were on hard tires and regained 2 or 3 wear as they crossed the start/finish line, but Modzinski’s car was on soft tires and so did not gain any wear.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap was: Jim Lauder (+9); Modzinski (+11); Beckman (0); J. Robinson (-3); Worrel (0); Kempen (+9); White (-5); B. Robinson (0); Joel Lauder (0); Kaluzny (-6); Landis (+1); Lim (+2); Sturgeon (-6); St. Peter (-8); and Moellering (-4). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

Modzinski took the lead from Jim Lauder through La Source, and the cars that had just exited the pits were right on the tailpipes of the leaders. Modzinski continued to lead through Bruxelles, and Jim Robinson took 2nd place from Jim Lauder. Worrel then took 3rd place from Jim Lauder when Lauder spun at Pouhon. Then the leader, Modzinski, spun in Campus corner, as his car was about out of wear and he was trying desperately to stay in front of Jim Robinson and Worrel. Just about the time Modzinski spun, Jim Lauder parked his car off the side of the track, retiring from the race in 15th place, due to handling issues. Kaluzny then also spun in Campus while he was trying to force a pass by White’s car. Kaluzny fell from 6th to 8th place.

As the leaders went through Blanchimont for the 2nd time, the running order was: Worrel; Jim Robinson; Joel Lauder; Modzinski; Kempen; Landis; Kaluzny; Brian Robinson; Beckman; Sturgeon; St. Peter; Lim; and Moellering.

Now, at the end of the 2nd lap, some cars had to make their pit stops, while some cars stayed out on the track. Worrel, J. Robinson, and White all stayed out on the track in 1st through 3rd positions, while Joel Lauder made his 2nd pit stop. Other cars that stayed out on the track were: Beckman; Kaluzny; B. Robinson; Sturgeon; Moellering; and St. Peter. All of the cars that stayed on the track were on hard tires and so added a couple of wear markers, except for St. Peter who was trying to coax another lap out of his soft tires. Other cars that pulled into the pits were: Landis; Kempen; Modzinski; and Lim. The cars that changed tires in the pits all switched from hard to soft tires, excepting Modzinski who changed from soft to hard tires.

The official order after two laps: Worrel (+4); J. Robinson (-1); White (-1); Beckman (-1); Kaluzny (-1); B. Robinson (+2); Sturgeon (0); Joel Lauder (+1); Moellering (+2); St. Peter (-4); Landis (+1); Kempen (+3); Modzinski (0); and Lim (0).

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the 3rd lap of the race. Richard White (+1) passed the competition to take the checkered flag. Jim Robinson (-1) came in 2nd, and Brian Robinson (+5) passed Bill Worrel (+1) for 3rd place, Worrel finishing 4th. Gary Sturgeon (+1) tried to overaccelerate on his final move, but failed the dice roll, and that allowed Joel Lauder (+4) to pass and to grab 5th place from Sturgeon (who finished 6th). Positions 7 through 14: 7th-Jack Beckman (-4); 8th-Mark Moellering (+3); 9th-Garry Kaluzny (-5); 10th-Gary Kempen (+5); 11th-Jim Landis (+1); 12th-Mike St. Peter (-6); 13th-Greg Lim (+1); and 14th-Chuck Modzinski (-1). Modzinski spun for the 2nd time at Campus corner during the last lap, and that dropped him from 12th to last place. Classified 15th with a DNF was Jim Lauder (-5).

Richard White with the checkered flag

Richard White with the checkered flag. (Greg Lim photo)

Points awarded at the Belgian Grand Prix: White 10; J. Robinson 6; B. Robinson 4; Worrel 3; Joel Lauder 2; Sturgeon 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Richard White (Brabham)           23
  2   Jim Robinson (Williams)           12
  3   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  10
  4   Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)              9
  5   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            7
  6T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             4
  6T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  6T  Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)            4
  9T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              2
  9T  Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          2
  11  Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          1
  12T Greg Lim (Marlboro McLaren)        0
  12T Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
  12T Mark Moellering (McLaren)          0
  12T Gary Kempen (Williams)             0
  12T Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)           0
  12T Jim Lauder (Shadow)                0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign is the Monaco Grand Prix, to be held at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan, on Saturday, August 11.

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #2 – British Grand Prix

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

The second race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing series, the British Grand Prix, was held on the evening of Friday, June 8, at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan. Thirteen drivers competed, and when the dust settled it was Richard White (Brabham) who earned the victory over his rivals. Joining White on the podium, in 2nd and 3rd places, were Bill Worrel (Tyrrell) and Jack Beckman (Ferrari). With the victory, White vaulted into 1st place in the points standings with 13 points.

The race was held on the Silverstone, England, track, using a recent track configuration of a CFR design. This is the same track that was raced in the 2017 CFR-Detroit racing series.

Silverstone (2011) track diagram

Silverstone (2011) track diagram, as designed for use with the Championship Formula Racing board game.

Once again, the field of drivers used the standard “bid for qualifying position” rules of the Championship Formula Racing game. Each Wear marker bid counts as 1.0, and each Skill marker bid counts as 0.5. Bill Worrel won the pole with a bid of 6.0 (6 wear + 0 skill). Richard White started 2nd with a bid of 5.5 (5 wear + 1 skill). Gary Sturgeon (1 wear + 6 skill), Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 2 skill), and Jim Robinson (1 wear + 6 skill) all bid 4.0, so they rolled percentage dice for starting positions. Sturgeon rolled a 75 so he started 3rd, Kaluzny rolled 70 so he was 4th, and J. Robinson started 5th after rolling 51. Mike Cook started 6th with a bid of 3.5 (1 wear + 5 skill). Jack Beckman (1 wear + 3 skill) and Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) each bid 2.5, with Beckman rolling an 80 to start 7th, and B. Robinson rolling an 03 to start 8th. Greg Lim bid 2.0 (0 wear + 4 skill) so he started 9th. Jim Landis started 10th with a bid of 0.5 (0 wear + 1 skill). Aric Parr, newcomer Joel Lauder, and Mike St. Peter each bid nothing. Parr won the dice-off with a roll of 60, so he was 11th on the starting grid. Lauder started 12th with a roll of 47, and St. Peter started in 13th with a roll of 29.

The starting grid with their car specs:

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

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); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

British GP 2018 starting grid

The cars are lined up for the start of the 2018 British Grand Prix. The Grid Girls are in position, and (paying homage to the crashed “safety” car at the recent “real life” Detroit Grand Prix) the safety car has crashed in front of the grid, holding up the start of the race! Note the temporary starting grid to ease starting on a corner.

Ten of the 13 cars started with soft tires; only the cars of  Cook, Parr, and St. Peter were shod with hard tires. It was noted that the front row starters (Worrel, White) both had 60 mph start speeds, while the 2nd row starters (Sturgeon, Kaluzny) only had 20 mph start speeds. The rest of the pack was fairly split between cars with 60 mph start speeds (J. Robinson, Cook, Beckman, and Landis), and cars with 20 mph start speeds (B. Robinson, Lim, Parr, Lauder, and St. Peter).

When the green flag dropped to start the race, pole-sitter Bill Worrel used a wear to increase his start speed to 80 mph; he then took the green arrow leading into the first corner. Richard White, also in the front row, also used a wear to go 80 mph, and he took the inside of the track to take the lead. Jim Robinson also boosted his start speed to 80 mph, thus passing both Gary Sturgeon and Garry Kaluzny who had both started a row in front of J. Robinson. Mike Cook was content to just start at 60 mph and so he pulled alongside Sturgeon and Kaluzny.

The pack is away

The pack is away! The running order is: White; Worrel; J. Robinson; Sturgeon; Kaluzny; Cook; Beckman; B. Robinson; Landis; Lim; Lauder; Parr; and St. Peter.

Through the first few corners, White steadily increased his lead over Worrel, and then J. Robinson also passed Worrel on Wellington Straight. Just before Brooklands corner, Lauder had moved up to 5th, after starting 12th.

White leads through Brooklands

White leads through Brooklands, followed by J. Robinson, Worrel, Cook, Lauder, Sturgeon, Beckman, Kaluzny, Lim, Landis, Parr, B. Robinson, and St. Peter.

As the pack wound its way around the track, Worrel moved up to challenge White for the lead, actually taking the lead from White through the Stowe corner at the end of Hangar Straight. Lauder had moved up to 3rd at that point.

Worrel takes the lead

Worrel takes the lead in the 6-wheel Tyrrell (at the far right of the picture, near the “22” sign). Pictured (left-to-right) are Aric Parr (playing a card to the table), Joel Lauder (Navy cap), Jim Landis (yellow striped shirt), and Brian Robinson (from the chin down, at least).

Shortly after, cars started making pit stops. Worrel and White were the first two cars to pull into the pits, followed by J. Robinson, Lauder, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Beckman, Lim, and B. Robinson. Aric Parr managed to spin at Vale, but he stayed on the track after the spin. Also staying on the track was Cook, and he became the leader on the track when he crossed the line at the end of the 1st lap. Landis and St. Peter also eschewed making pit stops.

First pit stops

Most of the cars have stopped in the pits at the end of the 1st lap, although Cook (yellow car) is staying on the track and will become the race leader. We have added orange lines next to the track to denote the pit area where cars can pull off the track to make a pit stop.

At the end of the 1st lap, the official order was: Cook (+5); B. Robinson (+6); Worrel (-2); White (-2); Parr (+6); Landis (+4); Kaluzny (-3); J. Robinson (-3); Sturgeon (-6); Lauder (+2); Beckman (-4); Lim (-3); and St. Peter (0). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position. After the pit stops were all resolved, the running order on the track was: Cook; White; Worrel; Landis; Parr; Kaluzny; J. Robinson; Sturgeon; Lauder; Beckman; Lim; St. Peter; and B. Robinson.

Cook leads after the pit stops

Cook (yellow car) leads after the pit stops. Most of the pack (9 cars) are bunched together in Abbey corner.

Down Wellington Straight, Cook’s lead was 8 spaces over White, although Cook had not yet made his pit stop. Kaluzny tried to make a daring move at Village corner. He went 140 mph into the 80 mph spaces, using 2 wears and two -1 skill markers. Alas for Kaluzny, he rolled an 11 (which was modified to a 9), and he spun out. What with his car only having a 20 mph start speed, it took forever for his car to get back up to speed, and he dropped to last place.

Kaluzny spins at Village

Kaluzny (orange and white McLaren) spins in the middle of Village corner.

Cook had a 6-space lead over White and Worrel through Brooklands and Luffield, then Cook stretched his lead to 8 spaces as he passed through Copse corner. Just as Cook was passing though Copse, Jim Robinson spun at Luffield. J. Robinson drove at 120 mph through the inside of the corner, using 2 wears and rolling a chance through the 60 mph space. Although J. Robinson used his -3 skill marker to modify the chance dice roll, he rolled a ’12’ which even when reduced to a ‘9’ resulted in the spin.

Cook leads through Copse

Mike Cook (yellow car at upper right) leads through Copse while Jim Robinson spins at Luffield (lower left).

After Jim Robinson recovered from his spin, he had fallen from 5th place down to 11th.

As Cook came around Club corner at the end of the 2nd lap, he had to pit to change tires as he did not pit after the 1st lap. Cook’s lead was down to 5 spaces over White at the moment of pitting.

As Cook was having his tires changed from hard to soft in the pits, White and Worrel sailed by, White in the lead. Most of the rest of the field was also able to pass Cook before he re-entered the track, although Landis, St. Peter, and Parr also had to make their pit stops. Cook, however, was the official leader of the 2nd lap.

Cook pits; White takes the lead with Worrel in 2nd place

Cook pits; White takes the lead with Worrel in 2nd place.

The official running order after the 2nd lap was: Cook (+5); White (0); Worrel (-2); Lauder (+8); Beckman (+2); Parr (+5); Lim (+2); Sturgeon (-5); J. Robinson (-4); Kaluzny (-6); B. Robinson (-3); St. Peter (+1); and Landis (-3). After the pit stops were sorted out, though, the running order on the track was: White; Worrel; Lauder; Beckman; Sturgeon; Lim; Cook; J. Robinson; Kaluzny; B. Robinson; St. Peter; Landis; and Parr.

During the final lap, Worrel pulled alongside White coming out of Luffield. Worrel had to use 2 wears and roll (and make) a -3 chance roll to accomplish that feat. At that moment, Worrel had 6 wear remaining for the rest of the race, while White had only 5 wear left. The duo of White and Worrel dragged each other through the old Woodcote corner and down the straight to the Copse corner.

Worrel pulls even with White through Luffield

Worrel (solid blue car) pulls even with White (white and blue car) through Luffield corner. Lauder (backwards facing green car) has spun in Luffield. Bill Worrel (solid blue shirt) and Mike Cook (green shirt) watch the action on the track.

White pulled ahead of Worrel at Copse. White went 160 mph on the green arrow through the inside lane, using 1 wear. Although he had the inside of the track leading into Copse, Worrel could not get to the green arrow, so he reduced his speed to 140 mph and cornered through the inside lane of Copse, but had to use 2 wears because of not having the arrow. This left both White and Worrel with 4 wears remaining until the finish.

White retakes the lead through Copse

White retakes the lead over Worrel through Copse. The other positions: Beckman; Sturgeon; Cook; Lim; J. Robinson; Lauder; B. Robinson; Kaluzny; Parr; Landis; and St. Peter.

White next played a CFR-veteran’s move. White moved at 140 mph into the Maggots/Becketts/Chapel corners, using 1 wear in the process (and leaving him with 3 wear). Worrel also moved at 140 mph, but got stuck in the corner despite not using any wear. Meanwhile, Beckman, in 3rd place, was only 2 spaces behind Worrel.

White still leads at Chapel

White still leads at Chapel. Worrel and Beckman are close behind.

White then pushed his car to 180 mph coming out of Chapel corner, while Worrel only went 120 mph to complete moving through Chapel corner, thereby not using any wear. Worrel was now 4 spaces behind White, although Worrel had a 4-wear to 3-wear  advantage over White.

White stretches his lead down Hangar Straight

White stretches his lead down Hangar Straight.

But then what had been a fine battle for the lead on the track between White and Worrel became anti-climactic. Worrel tried to push his top speed to 180 mph down Hangar Straight in an attempt to close up on White, but failed the dice roll. Worrel used a -1 skill modifier for that top speed dice roll, but rolled a ’12’ and so the modifier didn’t make any difference. That meant that Worrel only moved 160 mph, and his top speed until the end of the race was now only 140 mph. Shortly after, Cook also blew a -1 top speed roll on Hangar Straight in his attempt to move 180 mph. Cook also only moved at 160 mph and had his top speed reduced to 140 mph. And then Joel Lauder in the HSBC Jaguar rolled the dice in an unmodified attempt to slow down whilst approaching the Stowe corner at the end of Hangar Straight. He failed the roll, leaving his deceleration at only 20 mph until the end of the race. Fortunately for these cars, the race was almost over.

Kaluzny, last season’s race-winner at Silverstone who was trying to desperately get back into the points for this race,  also rolled dice down Hangar Straight. He made a normal top speed roll to move at 200 mph, then had to make an unmodified deceleration roll to get down to 180 mph when the road was blocked by the cars of Lim and Parr. Kaluzny’s next move saw him try to force-pass Lauder at Stowe, but Kaluzny spun. Brian Robinson was then successful in forcing a pass by Jim Robinson on the outside of Stowe.

In the meantime, Richard White (+1) cruised to the victory by 2 spaces over Bill Worrel (-1). Jack Beckman (+4) rounded out the podium with a 3rd place finish. Other finishers: 4th-Mike Cook (+2); 5th-Aric Parr (+6); 6th-Gary Sturgeon (-3); 7th-Greg Lim (+2); 8th-Jim Landis (+2); 9th-Mike St. Peter (+4); 10th-Joel Lauder (+2); 11th-Brian Robinson (-3); 12th-Jim Robinson (-7); 13th-Garry Kaluzny (-9). St. Peter moved up from 12th to 9th due to a daring forced-pass of Jim Robinson at the Vale corner, and that move gave St. Peter enough momentum to also pass B. Robinson and Lauder before the end of the race.

White wins the 2018 British Grand Prix

White wins the 2018 British Grand Prix.

Points awarded at the British Grand Prix: White 10; Worrel 6; Beckman 4; Cook 3; Parr 2; Sturgeon 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Richard White (Brabham)           13
  2   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  10
  3   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            7
  4T  Jim Robinson (Williams)            6
  4T  Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)              6
  6   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             4  
  7   Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)            3
  8   Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              2
  9   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          1
  10T Greg Lim (Marlboro McLaren)        0
  10T Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     0
  10T Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
  10T Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign is the Belgian Grand Prix, to be contested at Pandemonium Games in Garden City, Michigan, on Friday, July 13.

 

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 #7: Japanese Grand Prix at Imperium Games

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Ten drivers raced in the Japanese Grand Prix on March 9, 2018. The race was on the Suzuka track, and the game was held at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan. In an extremely exciting race, Richard White bested the competition to win his first race of the CFR season. Gary Sturgeon and Gary Kempen took the other podium spots in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. This means that Sturgeon now has clinched at least a tie for the 2017 CFR-Detroit championship. With one race remaining, Sturgeon has 41 points to Mike Cook’s 31 points. Cook could achieve a tie for the championship if he were to win the final race while at the same time Sturgeon earns zero points in that final race.

 

Suzuka 2017 track diagram

Suzuka 2017 track diagram.

The bidding for pole position returned to saner levels as compared to recent races. Garry Kaluzny got his first pole position of the season by bidding 6.0 (3 wear + 6 skill). Richard White (3 wear + 1 skill) and Jim Robinson (2 wear + 3 skill) each bid 3.5, but White got the other front row spot with a better dice roll (74 to 06), so J. Robinson started 3rd. Points-leader Gary Sturgeon started 4th with a bid of 3.0 (0 wear + 6 skill). Brian Robinson bid 2.5 (0 wear + 5 skill) to start 5th. New driver Mike St. Peter (0 wear + 4 skill) and Jack Beckman (1 wear + 2 skill) each bid 2.0, with St. Peter starting 6th and Beckman 7th due to St. Peter’s better percentage dice roll (78 to 40). Mike Cook (0 wear + 2 skill) and Greg Lim (0 wear + 2 skill) each bid 1.0, with Cook starting 8th and Lim 9th due to a dice roll (98 to 85). Gary Kempen bid 0.0, so started in 10th place on the grid.

The starting grid and their car specs:

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

Starting grid at Suzuka

The starting grid at Suzuka: Kaluzny (orange McLaren); White (blue & white Brabham); J. Robinson (blue, yellow & white Williams); Gary Sturgeon (black Lotus); B. Robinson (blue, yellow & white Williams); St. Peter (silver Mercedes); Beckman (red Ferrari); Cook (yellow Lotus); Lim (black & blue Motorola); Kempen (red Ferrari).

At the start, White boosted his start speed to 80 mph, using a wear since he was on soft tires, thus taking the lead. Pole-sitter Kaluzny merely started at 60 mph since he was on hard tires and did not want to roll dice at the start of the race. Cook also boosted his start speed to 80 mph to jump from 8th to 6th, while B. Robinson dropped from 5th to 7th, even though he boosted his 20 mph start speed to 40 mph.

The pack roars away

The pack roars away! White takes the lead, then came Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, St. Peter, Cook, B. Robinson, Beckman, Kempen, and Lim.

At the end of the starting straightaway and into the first two corners, White had pulled out a two-space lead, while J. Robinson ducked inside Kaluzny to take 2nd place.

Into the first corners

Into the first corners, and White’s leading Brabham is almost hidden behind the “4” sign. Lim’s Motorola car is already lagging behind Kempen’s Ferrari.

Through the “snake” curves on the Suzuka track, Kaluzny reclaimed 2nd place from J. Robinson, and Cook pulled alongside J. Robinson. Cook then passed J. Robinson and pulled alongside Kaluzny at the Degner 1 curve. Then coming up to the hairpin curve for the first time, the pack was back together.

Through the hairpin the first time

Through the hairpin the first time, and the pack has bunched up.

Richard White then zoomed away from the pack when he exited the hairpin curve. Jim Robinson made a daring forced pass of Mike Cook at the hairpin, also getting by Gary Sturgeon, thereby putting J. Robinson into 3rd place, behind Kaluzny’s 2nd place. Brian Robinson, meanwhile, had to burn a wear to slow from 80 mph to 60 mph, and got stuck behind Cook and Sturgeon in the hairpin.

White zooms into the lead

White (white and blue car just below the blue dice cup) takes a 4-space lead over Kaluzny; Kaluzny leads by 4 spaces over J. Robinson.

White, Kaluzny, and J. Robinson maintained their running order over the bridge, while Sturgeon and Cook battled each other for 4th and 5th place.

White leads over the bridge

White leads over the bridge for the 1st time while Gary Sturgeon (left) and Jim Robinson (right) look on. Garry Kaluzny had made a nice overlay for where the track crosses over itself, but he forgot that overlay at home; hence, the crude ad-hoc bridge overlay that appears in this picture was used instead.

As White approached the chicane for the first time, he attempted to negotiate it at 120 mph, using 2 wears and rolling a chance dice roll. Although he used a -3 skill chit, he rolled a 10 and thus spun in the first space of the corner! This would allow the pack to close up on him.

White spins at the chicane

The yellow flag waves as White spins at the chicane. Gary Sturgeon and Jim Robinson look on.

As White recovered from his spin, he was able to restart at 60 mph and then pulled into the pits. Kaluzny, running in 2nd, managed to make it through the chicane at 100 mph and then also pulled into the pits.

White and Kaluzny have pulled into the pits

White and Kaluzny have pulled into the pits; still on the track are Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Cook, B. Robinson, Beckman, St. Peter, Lim, and Kempen.

Gary Sturgeon got through the chicane safely to take the lead on the track, but then Jim Robinson spun in the chicane, and that caused Cook, B. Robinson, and Beckman to have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid the spinning Williams.

Jim Robinson spins in the chicane

Jim Robinson spins in the chicane, causing chaos on the track! Sturgeon (black Lotus) takes the lead on the track as White and Kaluzny are in the pits.

As Cook exited the chicane, he pulled alongside Sturgeon as they crossed over the start/finish line to complete the 1st lap. Brian Robinson and Mike St. Peter pulled into the pits, and White and Kaluzny came back onto the track alongside Jim Robinson as Robinson exited the chicane after starting at 40 mph after his spin. White switched from soft to hard tires while Kaluzny changed from hard to soft tires. As Lim entered the chicane, he became the 3rd car to spin in that same spot. Kempen then successfully made a forced pass to get by Lim’s spinning car and thus got to the last numbered space in the chicane and so Kempen could accelerate on his next move.

Sturgeon and Cook complete the 1st lap

Sturgeon and Cook complete the 1st lap; B. Robinson and St. Peter have entered the pits; White and Kaluzny have exited the pits. Lim has just spun in the chicane.

As Brian Robinson exited the pits, he had changed from soft to hard tires, while St. Peter and Lim had switched from hard to soft tires. The official running order after the completion of the 1st lap was: Sturgeon (+3); Cook (+6); Beckman (+4); Kaluzny (-3); White (-3); Kempen (+4); J. Robinson (-4); B. Robinson (-3); St. Peter (-3); and Lim (-1). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many positions a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

Cook takes the lead through the "snake" corners

Cook (yellow Lotus) takes the lead from Sturgeon through the “snake” corners. Following behind are Beckman, Kaluzny, Kempen, White, J. Robinson, B. Robinson, St. Peter, and Lim.

Through the “snake” curves the 2nd time around, Kempen passed Kaluzny.

Brian Robinson, Jack Beckman, and Mike Cook watch the race

Brian Robinson (blue shirt), Jack Beckman (red Ferrari shirt), and Mike Cook (green shirt) watch the race. Cook’s yellow Lotus leads Sturgeon’s black Lotus (near the “3” sign).

Cook held the lead through the hairpin turn, but then Sturgeon out-dragged Cook to take the lead at the 200R curve.

Sturgeon retakes the lead through the 200R curve

Sturgeon retakes the lead from Cook through the 200R curve. Beckman is 3rd, Kaluzny has retaken 4th, White is 5th, Kempen 6th, J. Robinson 7th, St. Peter and B. Robinson are 8th and 9th, and Lim is in 10th, 11 spaces behind.

Kempen then put on another burst of speed to pass both White and then Kaluzny, pulling up alongside Beckman through the Spoon Curve.

Kempen retakes 4th at the Spoon Curve

Kempen (#4 Ferrari) retakes 4th at the Spoon Curve. Sturgeon and Cook are side by side in 1st and 2nd (near the “2” sign).

Kempen then rolled dice to increase his top speed to 180 mph coming out of the Spoon Curve, and proceeded to pass his Ferrari teammate Beckman along the Backstretch.

Kempen takes 3rd place from Beckman

Kempen takes 3rd place from Beckman; St. Peter has spun in the Spoon Curve while Jim Robinson goes around St. Peter.

But Kempen pushed his luck too far. While again attempting to push his top speed to 180 mph while going over the bridge, he rolled a “10” on an unmodified top speed roll, and that damaged his car’s top speed. He only got to move 160 mph on this turn, and his future top speed was only 140 mph (and with another entire lap yet to race).

As the leaders Sturgeon and Cook pulled into the pits to change from hard to soft tires for their last lap, Kempen, Kaluzny, Beckman, and White were all bunched up at the chicane. The two Williams cars of J. Robinson and B. Robinson were a ways behind, then farther back was St. Peter, and finally came Lim who was about 1/4 lap behind.

Sturgeon and Cook make their pit stops

Sturgeon and Cook make their pit stops as the rest of pack closes up on them.

As the other cars came through the chicane, the Ferraris of both Kempen and Beckman made their pit stops, both switching from hard to soft tires for their final lap. Kaluzny and White stayed on the track. After crossing the start/finish line, White gained 3 wear as he was on hard tires; Kaluzny was on soft tires and so gained no extra wear. Jim Robinson had to make an unmodified deceleration roll to get down to 60 mph to get through the chicane as he was out of wear; he then pulled into the pits.

Kaluzny and White take over the lead

Kaluzny and White take over the lead as most of the other cars have either just pulled into the pits, or have just been placed back on the track after exiting the pits. Beckman, Kempen, and J. Robinson are the cars off the track in the pits, while the Loti of Sturgeon and Cook are on the track. B. Robinson’s Williams is in the chicane, St. Peter is approaching the chicane, while Lim’s car is in the upper right corner of the picture.

The cars of Mike St. Peter and Greg Lim made pit stops, while Brian Robinson stayed on the track. After all cars had cycled through the pits at the end of the 2nd lap, the official running order was Kaluzny (0), White (0), Sturgeon (+1), Cook (+4), B. Robinson (0), Kempen (+4), Beckman (0), J. Robinson (-5), St. Peter (-3), and Lim (-1).

Kaluzny held off White until the Degner 1 and Degner 2 corners, and then White passed Kaluzny to take the lead. Going into the hairpin, Sturgeon and Cook had caught up to the two front-runners.

White leads into the hairpin for the last time

White leads into the hairpin for the last time.

Going through the hairpin for the last time, White, Kaluzny, and Sturgeon were running nose-to-tail while Cook was balked in the hairpin and got stuck in the hairpin for an extra turn. Kempen then passed Cook for 4th place upon exiting the hairpin.

White holds the lead

White holds the lead heading into the Spoon Curve. Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Kempen, Cook, Beckman, B. Robinson, J. Robinson, and St. Peter trail behind.

Coming out of the Spoon Curve for the last time, Kaluzny tried to over-rev his engine to 180 mph. He successfully made an unmodified over-acceleration roll (to accelerate by 60 mph), but then failed the top speed roll. He moved 160 mph, and had his top speed reduced to 140 mph thereafter. Kaluzny then made an unmodified top speed roll to go 160 mph through the 130R corner just past the bridge, all in an attempt to stay ahead of Sturgeon and thus keep a mathematical chance of winning the championship alive. Kaluzny knew if he finished behind Sturgeon that he would be eliminated from any chance of the points championship.

While White went 100 mph into the chicane, thus ending on the final space of the chicane and so would be able to accelerate on his next move, both Kaluzny and Sturgeon plotted 120 mph. They were both immediately behind White, and Kaluzny got to move first by virtue of being closer to the inside of the track relative to the next corner. (The red-and-white striped lines around the track indicate which side of the track is the inside at that part of the track.) Kaluzny had to roll an unmodified deceleration roll, though, and failed the roll. He then had to use 1 of his last 2 wears to slow down to 100 mph. Kaluzny then used his last wear and rolled an unmodified chance. He rolled a “9” and spun in the chicane. Sturgeon went around the outside of the chicane at 120 mph, using 3 wears as he was on soft tires.

Kaluzny spins in the chicane

Kaluzny spins in the chicane, while White and Sturgeon make it through safely. Mike Cook (left) and Gary Sturgeon (right) look on.

Richard White (+1) then motored across the finish line to take the checkered flag by 4 spaces over Sturgeon’s (+2) 2nd place. It was White’s first victory of the CFR-Detroit 2017 season. (White had previously won 16 races in the old Advanced Speed Circuit series in the late 1980s through the early 1990s.) Meanwhile, Kaluzny recovered from his spin by going 40 mph, just exiting the chicane. Kempen was barreling through the chicane at 80 mph and was running up Kaluzny’s tailpipe. Cook was also going 80 mph, but got stuck in the chicane.

Richard White takes the checkered flag!

Richard White takes the checkered flag!

But the excitement wasn’t yet over. Although Kaluzny made an unmodified acceleration roll to go to 100 mph and reach the finish line on his move, Kempen (+7) used his 60 mph acceleration to get to 140 mph, thus sling-shotting around Kaluzny to take 3rd place, relegating Kaluzny (-3) to 4th. Cook (+3) continued on to finish in 5th place. Beckman then made an unmodified roll to slow for the chicane, but spun when he rolled an unmodified chance. Brian Robinson had to go around the outside of the chicane to avoid Beckman’s spinning Ferrari. B. Robinson rolled a chance, using a -3 skill marker. But he too spun.

Sturgeon takes 2nd

Sturgeon takes 2nd, Kempen nips Kaluzny for 3rd, Cook is 4th, and Beckman and B. Robinson have spun in the chicane. The road marshal with the yellow flag has passed out with fatigue, what with having to wave that yellow flag for multiple spinning cars at that chicane during the race!

This is where Brian Robinson’s low 20 mph start speed bit him, as he could only start at 20 mph while trying to recover from spinning in the chicane, and that left him in the chicane for another turn. (Cars that re-start after a spin can only move the slower of their start speed or acceleration.) Beckman (+1) recovered from his spin to take 6th place and get the last point available. Positions 7 through 10 were: J. Robinson (-4); St. Peter (-2); B. Robinson (-4); and Lim (-1). The last four drivers did not receive any points for their efforts in this race.

Podium finishers: White; Sturgeon; and Kempen

Podium finishers: White; Sturgeon; and Kempen.

The points awarded at the Japanese Grand Prix: White 10; Sturgeon 6; Kempen 4; Kaluzny 3; Cook 2; and Beckman 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                     Points
  1   Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  41
  2   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            31
  3   Richard White (Brabham)            28
  4   Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            27
  5   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             25
  6   Gary Kempen (Ferrari)               8
  7T  Jim Landis (Benetton)               6
  7T  Greg Lim (Motorola)                 6
  9   Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)      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
 12T  Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)           0

The 8th and final race of the 2017 CFR-Detroit racing series will be on Friday, April 13 (“Yikes! Friday the 13th done come on a Friday this month!” — so says Churchy LaFemme). The race will be at Pandemonium Games & Hobbies at 6033 Middlebelt Rd. in Garden City, Michigan. It is on the west side of Middlebelt Rd., just a few blocks north of Ford Rd. The race will begin at 7:00 pm, so once again we ask all drivers to try to arrive around 6:30 pm in order to have enough time to get your car set up for the race. We will begin bidding for starting positions at 6:55 pm.

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 #4: Belgian Grand Prix at Pandemonium Games

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

On Friday, December 8, 2017, the Belgian Grand Prix was contested at Pandemonium Games in Garden City, Michigan. Twelve drivers competed on the Spa-Francorchamps track using the Championship Formula Racing (CFR) Rules. Mike Cook won the race from the pole position; it was his second consecutive victory and enabled him to take over the points lead. Joining Cook on the podium were Richard White (2nd place) and Garry Kaluzny (3rd place).

Map of the real Spa-Francorchamps race track.

Map of the real Spa-Francorchamps race track. (from Wikipedia)

The Spa-Francorchamps track diagram, from the 1980s.

The Spa-Francorchamps track used with CFR, from the 1980s.

The Spa track is a bit unusual, in that it has the slow La Source hairpin turn right after the start-finish line. Any car that can get through that turn first at the start of the race has a big advantage over following cars. That being said, Mike Cook (1 wear and 9 skill) and Garry Kaluzny (5 wear and 1 skill) both bid 5.5 for the pole position, with Cook earning the pole by a better dice roll than Kaluzny. (Note: Qualifying order in CFR is determined by how much a driver secretly bids, using his wear and/or skill markers. Each wear counts as a bid of 1, and each skill is 0.5. Any ties are resolved by dice rolls) Greg Lim and Gary Sturgeon each bid 4, each bidding 1 wear and 6 skill. Lim won the resulting dice roll, so he started 3rd and Sturgeon was 4th. Jim Robinson started 5th, with a bid of 3 (2 wear & 2 skill). Four drivers bid 2.5, and started in this order after the resulting dice rolls: 6th place was Brian Robinson (0 wear & 5 skill); 7th place was Richard White (2 wear & 1 skill); 8th place was rookie Chad Marlett (1 wear & 3 skill); 9th place was another rookie, Gary Kempen (2 wear + 1 skill). Jack Beckman started 10th with a bid of 1.5 (1 wear & 1 skill), Jim Landis started 11th with a bid of 1 (0 wear and 2 skill), and Russ Herschler started in 12th after he bid zero.

The starting grid and their car stats:

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

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).)

Starting grid for the Belgian G.P.

Starting grid for the Belgian G.P.: 1st row: Mike Cook (inside, yellow car); Garry Kaluzny (outside, orange car). 2nd row: Greg Lim (inside); Gary Sturgeon (outside). 3rd row: Jim Robinson (inside); Brian Robinson (outside). 4th row: Richard White (inside); Chad Marlett (outside). 5th row: Gary Kempen (inside); Jack Beckman (outside). 6th row: Jim Landis (inside); Russ Herschler (outside). Notice the  temporary starting grid that was used to ensure all cars started on non-numbered spaces. (Greg Lim photo)

At the start, Garry Kaluzny automatically boosted his starting speed to 80 mph without having to roll dice as his car had started on soft tires. Mike Cook, who started on hard tires, had to roll to increase his starting speed to 80 mph, and he successfully made the roll. Therefore, the pole sitter Cook moved first and took the inside lane through La Source. Kaluzny, not wanting to use forced deceleration, went around the outside to keep his speed at 80 mph. The rest of the field followed through La Source. By the time he passed through Eau Rouge on that first lap, Cook (0) had pulled out a 3 space lead. Jim Robinson (+3) and Greg Lim (0) had passed Kaluzny (-2) for 2nd and 3rd place. (The parenthesized numbers indicate how many spaces each driver gained (+) or lost (-) from the start.) Then came these drivers: 5th, Gary Sturgeon (-1); 6th, Brian Robinson (0); 7th, Chad Marlett (+1); 8th, Richard White (-1); 9th, Gary Kempen (0); 10th, Jim Landis (+1); 11th, Jack Beckman (-1); and 12th, Russ Herschler (0).

The field goes through La Source and Eau Rouge on the 1st lap.

The field goes through La Source and Eau Rouge on the 1st lap. Chad Marlett (behind the #71 marker) looks on. (Mike Cook photo)

As the field went through the Les Combes and Malmedy corners, Kaluzny passed both Lim and J. Robinson to regain 2nd place, and was now only 2 spaces behind the leader Cook at they approached the Rivage corner.

Approaching Rivage, the running order is Cook, Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Lim, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, then a small gap, then Marlett, White, Kempen, Landis, Beckman, and Herschler.

Approaching Rivage, the running order is Cook, Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Lim, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, then a small gap, then Marlett, White, Kempen, Landis, Beckman, and Herschler. (Mike Cook photo)

After a few more corners, Cook stretched out his lead to 5 spaces over Kaluzny, but then led by only 4 spaces through the Fagnes corner. Most of the running order stayed the same: Cook, Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Lim, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, White, Marlett, Kempen, Landis, Beckman, and Herschler.

Cook increases his lead through the Fagnes corner.

Cook increases his lead through the Fagnes corner. (Greg Lim photo)

As the field came around to complete the 1st lap, Cook touched the finish line to complete that 1st lap in 1st place, but several other cars had bunched up right behind him. Those other cars then all pulled into the pits, as they had all used up their starting wear points. Pitting were Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Lim,  and B. Robinson. All of those cars switched from soft to hard tires. Meanwhile, in the back of the field, Kempen tried to force a pass on Marlett, but got balked. Kempen lost a wear on the failed forced pass dice roll, then had to spend his last wear and rolled forced deceleration roll (using 1 skill marker) so he could slow from 160 to 120 mph.

Cook's yellow Lotus leads the 1st lap while Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Lim, and B. Robinson's cars are all in the pits.

Cook’s yellow Lotus leads the 1st lap while Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Lim, and B. Robinson’s cars are all in the pits. (Jack Beckman photo)

The cars of White and Marlett didn’t pit, but stayed out on the track on their hard tires. White’s car gained 3 wear when it crossed the start/finish line, while Marlett’s car gained 4 wear. That’s the advantage of hard tires in CFR, if you don’t pit, you gain a few wear at the end of a lap. The cars of Kempen and Landis originally were not going to pull into the pits, but when they saw all of the cars that were ahead of them pull out of the pits and take up all of the track spots, then Kempen and Landis did decide to pull into the pits for new tires. In particular, Kempen really needed to pit as he had no wear remaining. Herschler also decided to pit at the end of the 1st lap. Kempen and Herschler switched from hard to soft tires, while Landis got hard tires to replace his soft tires. Beckman also stayed out on the track, and gained 3 wear when he crossed the line.

Cook leads White by 6 spaces while a gaggle of cars are either entering or leaving the pits!

Cook leads White by 6 spaces while a gaggle of cars are either entering or leaving the pits! (Mike Cook photo)

The official running order for the 1st lap: Cook (0); White (+5); Marlett (+5); Kaluzny (-2); Lim (-2); Beckman (+4); Kempen (+2); Landis (+3); J. Robinson (-4); Sturgeon (-6); B. Robinson (-5); Herschler (0).

The 2nd lap saw Cook hold his several space lead over White, and then White was 9 spaces ahead of Marlett. Kaluzny was battling side-by-side with Beckman’s Ferrari for 4th and 5th place, then a couple of spaces behind them came J. Robinson and Lim who were fighting for 6th and 7th place. Sturgeon was two spaces further back in 8th, then B. Robinson was another 5 spaces back in 9th place. Herschler, Landis, and Kempen brought up the rear.

Cook (yellow car near the #3 sign at the top of the picture) leads from White (whose car is near the #20 sign). The rest of the field is strung out, with the back-markers being almost a half-lap behind the leader.

Cook (yellow car near the #3 sign at the top of the picture) leads from White (whose car is near the #20 sign). The rest of the field is strung out, with the back-markers being almost a half-lap behind the leader. (Mike Cook photo)

Cook and White maintained their lead during the 2nd lap, until finally they came around to the pits. Since they had not pitted after the 1st lap, they needed to pit, not only to change tire compounds (they both changed from hard to soft) but because both cars were out of wear.

Cook's yellow Lotus has just pulled into the pits at the end of its 2nd lap. White's car is just about to enter the "Bus Stop" chicane, and it too will pit shortly. The rest of the field is still strung out far behind.

Cook’s yellow Lotus has just pulled into the pits at the end of its 2nd lap. White’s car is just about to enter the “Bus Stop” chicane, and it too will pit shortly. The rest of the field is still strung out far behind. Greg Lim points towards the leader’s car. (Mike Cook photo)

Kaluzny had been battling with the Red Bull car of Marlett for 3rd place for most of the 2nd lap, but then Marlett had to pit because he had not pitted after the 1st lap. (As a side note, with the 3-lap races we run for our CFR season, cars must use both hard and soft tires at some point during the race, which means everyone must make at least one pit stop.) Kaluzny decided his only chance for victory was to stay out on the track, and try to pass Cook while Cook’s car was in the pits. Kaluzny did manage to get into the lead, but Kaluzny only had 4 wear left for the last lap,  while Cook had his full complement of 12 wear after his pit stop. Also, at the end of his 2nd lap, Kempen failed a deceleration dice roll while trying to slow for the La Source hairpin, thus lowering his car’s deceleration to 40 mph (it had been 60 mph) for the rest of the race.

Kaluzny's orange McLaren takes the lead from Cook's yellow Lotus at the La Source hairpin as they begin the 3rd and final lap of the race.

Kaluzny’s orange McLaren takes the lead from Cook’s yellow Lotus at the La Source hairpin as they begin the 3rd and final lap of the race. (Mike Cook photo)

After the 2nd lap, besides Cook, other cars that made pit stops were White, Beckman, and Marlett. All three of those cars switched from hard to soft tires. The official running order after 2 laps was Cook (0), White(+5), Kaluzny (-1), J. Robinson(+1), Beckman (+5), Lim (-3), Sturgeon (-3), B. Robinson (-2), Marlett (-1), Herschler (+2), Landis (0), and Kempen (-3). But after the pit stops were all sorted out, the running order on the track was Kaluzny, Cook, White, J. Robinson, Lim, Sturgeon, B. Robinson, Marlett, Beckman, Kempen, Landis, and Herschler.

Kaluzny managed to hang on to the lead until the Rivage corner, when Cook passed Kaluzny for the lead, and White’s Brabham pulled alongside Kaluzny while coming out of Rivage.

Cook's yellow Lotus pulls alongside Kaluzny's orange McLaren while heading into Rivage. White is right behind them.

Cook’s yellow Lotus pulls alongside Kaluzny’s orange McLaren while heading into Rivage. White is right behind them. (Mike Cook photo)

By the time Cook had reached the Stavelot corner, he had pulled out to a 5 space lead over Kaluzny and White. Then close behind, J. Robinson was battling with Sturgeon for 4th place. Lim was 6th, in the final points-paying position. Then came Beckman, Marlett and B. Robinson, then Landis and Herschler. Kempen’s race had ended when his brakes totally failed at Les Combes. Kempen thus became the only DNF, finishing 12th.

Cook leads Kaluzny and White by 5 spaces at Stavelot with only about 1/3 of a lap left to race.

Cook leads Kaluzny and White by 5 spaces at Stavelot with only about 1/3 of a lap left to race. (Mike Cook photo)

During the last third of the last lap of the race around the Spa-Francorchamps track, Cook (0) cruised to an easy victory. Kaluzny and White were battling side-by-side to the end.

Cook has already won the race, while Kaluzny and White battle for 2nd place.

Cook has already won the race, while Kaluzny and White battle for 2nd place. (Mike Cook photo)

On the final turn of the race, although he had the inside position and would have moved first in case of a tie for plotted speeds, Kaluzny only plotted 60 mph, which left him just short of entering the La Source hairpin. White plotted 80mph, which meant he did enter the La Source hairpin at 40 mph over the speed limit. White (+5) used his last wear, and rolled a chance  for the corner, and he made the chance roll without spinning or crashing, which gave him 2nd place, relegating Kaluzny (-1) to 3rd place. It should be noted that cars have to pay costs for entering corners after the finish line, and if a car crashes, it is considered to have not finished the race at all, and will be classified behind all other cars that do finish the race. if a car spins in a corner past the finish line, it is considered to have finished the race, but will finish behind all other cars that crossed the finish line on that same turn.

Finished just behind White and Kaluzny were Sturgeon (0), Jim Robinson (0), and Lim (-3), for 4th, 5th, and 6th places. Finishing out of the points in 7th through 11th places were: Brian Robinson (-1); Beckman (+2), Marlett (-1); Landis (+1); and Herschler (+1). As was noted earlier, Kempen (-3) DNFed and was classified 12th.

The finishing order: Cook; White; Kaluzny; Sturgeon; J. Robinson; Lim; B. Robinson; Beckman; Marlett; Landis, Herschler.

The finishing order: Cook; White; Kaluzny; Sturgeon; J. Robinson; Lim; B. Robinson; Beckman; Marlett; Landis, Herschler. (Greg Lim photo)

Points awarded at the Belgian Grand Prix: Cook 10; White 6; Kaluzny 4; Sturgeon 3; J. Robinson 2; Lim 1.

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

Place Driver (Car)                     Points
  1   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            26
  2   Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            21
  3   Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  15
  4   Richard White (Brabham)            14
  5   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             12
  6   Jim Landis (Benetton)               5
  7T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)      4
  7T  Greg Lim (Motorola)                 4
  9   Jim Robinson (Williams)             3
 10T  Russ Herschler (Minardi)            0
 10T  Gary Kempen (Ferrari)               0
 10T  Chad Marlett (Red Bull)             0

The 5th race of the season, the Detroit Grand Prix (racing on the downtown track), will be held on Friday, January 12, 2018, at RIW Hobbies & Games, 29571 Five Mile Rd (SW corner of Middlebelt Rd) in Livonia, MI. Race time is 7:00 pm, although we ask drivers to try to arrive around 6:30 pm so you have time to set up your car’s specs for the race.