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Subject: Metro Detroit Area - let's get a series together! rss

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Jack Beckman
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OK, my copy is *finally* here. Let's organize some races in the metro Detroit area! I will be happy to be the steward, and will also be happy to teach anyone how to play. Hopefully, there's enough interest in the area that we can get a series going. I will also try and make some of the local gaming group rounds and see if I can drum up some interest.
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Tim Mossman
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Jack (above) is one of the regulars at the WBC Speed Circuit tournament (that uses the Championship Formula Racing rules). He has a great command of the rules, is a terrific guy to have at your table, and rolls dice as badly as anyone in the game. If you are looking to learn / play CFR, I would highly recommend Jack as an instructor / race steward.
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Jack Beckman
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Thanks Tim! Just to add, this means you'll probably end up ahead of me on the track...so let me teach you local drivers how to drive!
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Hawk Strike
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I'm in the area and would like to try if you run an event at one of the local game stores. Eternal Games in Warren is my normal haunt but I do visit other places.
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Jack Beckman
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Great! So that's two of us so far. I'm in Sterling Heights, so not that far away. I haven't been to Eternal Games but I see it's fairly close.
 
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Jack Beckman
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I do know of another possible player; he's more on the west side of town. I've reached out to him as well, so hopefully we're getting close. If we can find a place to play mutually agreeable (I'm willing to travel just about anywhere in the area if we can get something regular going) and find at least one more player, I think we'll be in business. Once we find a place (or even a couple - I'm not adverse to bouncing around town if that helps pick up players) then we might be able to start attracting others while we play.

I've recently picked up a fair number of 1:64 F1 cars with the intent of making some larger-scale tracks. I think that really helps to attract attention. Until then, we'd start on the normal-size tracks, as I have the 4 from the kit and 8 or so more from the old AH Speed Circuit extra tracks.
 
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Jack Beckman
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Just so you don't think nothing is going on - I'm working with three gentlemen who've played Speed Circuit in the past, trying to coordinate some demo races at up to three different game shops:

Guild of Blades, 775 E. 14 Mile Rd. in Clawson
http://www.gobretail.com/

RIW Hobbies & Games, 29571 Five Mile Rd, Livonia
http://riwhobbies.net/

Flat Land Games, 28990 S. Wixom Rd in Wixom
http://flatlandgamestore.com/

If I have a group of 4 (so 3+ me) I can run a decent demo. One of these guys has some of the tracks they made in the past, blown up to use 1:64 scale cars - and I have recently purchased quite a few 1:64 F1 miniatures, so we will have a very nice (and BIG) game to demo and hopefully attract some other gamers. I'm also hoping to start building some large tracks myself. Not only does this make for a more eye-catching game, but I personally think it's more fun. And it also gets around the unfortunate production issue with the game where the included cars only fit in the squares on one of the 4 published tracks (d'oh!).

I've put a notice on the Guild of Blades electronic bulletin board, and one of the guys is going to put up physical notices at the two west side places near him (as it looks like they don't do electronic).

Still don't have any dates, but it's looking like we won't be able to start until late April at the soonest. We're looking at Friday nights, Sunday days, or Saturday nights (in that order).

I hope you'll be able to make at least one of those places when we finally get some dates. If we can attract enough people - I'd say a minimum of 6 - then we'll start a full season of racing. I'd still plan on rotating around where we play in case guys want to play occasionally and not worry about a full season (or people want to drop in and try it out).



 
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Jack Beckman
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OK, things are firming up - we are shooting for an initial demo/exhibition race at Guild of Blades on Friday, May 5th at 7 PM. I think I have at least 4 (including myself) coming. Hawk Strike (and any other metro Detroit potential drivers) please try and come by!

Guild of Blades, 775 E. 14 Mile Rd. in Clawson
http://www.gobretail.com/

The ultimate goal is to get enough guys to run a series, hopefully at least monthly, and alternating East side/West side (to try and pull in more folks). Once we start series races, we'll be competing for points leading up to a Driver's Championship!

The first track will be Monza. If you've never played before, we'll be happy to teach you!
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Jack Beckman
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We had 6 drivers last night (2 rookies!), in spite of stormy weather, come to Guild of Blades for our demo race at Monza! A detailed write-up will be in the Sessions section shortly (it's "under review," probably because I included an uploaded picture).

Everyone had a good time, and we're planning the next demo race, so if you are interested, let me know or just come by - I will post details of where and when once we get them settled. Looks like we are on our way to a monthly series, with 8 or so races in a series, based on the discussions last night.
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Jack Beckman
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The next race will be at 7 PM on June 9th at RiW Hobbies, 29571 Five Mile Road, Livonia Michigan 48154. (http://riwhobbies.net). Garry will be bringing a track (not decided yet). Hope to see folks there! New drivers welcome, we will teach you how to drive!
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Mark Davis
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Westland
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How many drivers do you have for Friday?
 
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Jack Beckman
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Don't know - I know of 4 for sure, and at least two or three others that are planning to come. We can easily handle 12+ players so there will be room for everyone. If it's like last time we should have at least 6-8. The more we get the better the game will be, but we can have fun even if it's just 4.
 
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Jack Beckman
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We had a GREAT race last night at RIW with 8 drivers participating (including 2 who had never raced before and 1 who had only played once in recent years). The track was the Detroit street circuit - a very slow track that's hard to pass on.



Jim, a Speed Circuit veteran who was not at our last race, won the race from a 6th-place start, using his last wear in the last chicane!

2nd went to Richard, another veteran, who started 7th. The final podium spot went to Garry, who made the beautiful track by spray painting on a sheet (which also makes for quick setup and teardown).

4th place went to Mike, a new driver who started 4th. 5th went to Blake, the 2nd place starter, who had played a game recently and also played Speed Circuit a little many years ago.

6th place went to Russ, who started 8th. 7th went to Mark, a rookie who started 3rd.

I was a DNF, crashing out on Woodward (a little shy of 2/3rds of the way around) on lap 3 - I started from the pole, and spun twice before this (I rolled dice 3 times and failed them all!). Russ, Mike, and Mark all had to get by my wreck but did so without issues.

Lots of dice were thrown - Mike spun twice, and Garry once, as did Blake. They were running the Team Lotus cars, and both spun on the final chicane on the same turn! Russ and Richard threw a lot of dice in the corners and made them all.

We were running a bit late and trying to keep the game moving, so I only have a shot of the starting grid. Garry and Russ took some shots though; Garry should be appearing on the CFR web page at http://www.michigumbo.com/cfr/ at some point. Russ' pictures should be up at our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/938556052913382/ when he gets a chance to post them.

I'll announce the next game here, and it will be up on both the web sites mentioned above as well, as soon as we figure out when and where it will be. We're still in demo mode, so no point awarded yet.

We're also trying to get on the schedule at Michicon this year; waiting to hear back from them. That will also be a demo race.

However, once we start the season - possibly in September - don't feel you have to commit to a whole season to race with us. If you can make each race, great! That ups your chances for winning the season. But if you can only make one or two races, that fine too. We'd love to have you come out with us and race if you're available, and we're trying to be accessible to new drivers.
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Mike Hoyt

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Tell us more about the spray painted sheet please? I've printed a track and cut and taped together the sheets (paper) for my first race Monday, but it doesn't look as nice, nor will it last as long, as I suspect your method will
 
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Garry Kaluzny
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I'm Garry, the guy who made the (downtown) Detroit track on a sheet. Richard White and I (mostly Richard) made more than 20 tracks way back in the 1980s, making them on bedsheets as sheets were way cheaper than using posterboard or foam-core board. The sheet tracks are also very durable, and can even be washed (by hand!) if they get spills or food stains on them.

The process is fairly simple, assuming you already have a printout of the track you want to paint on a sheet. Obtain these materials:

* 1 flat sheet (many tracks will fit on a twin bed flat sheet that is 5' x 8', some tracks will need larger sheets)
* 1 can of flat black spray paint
* Different colored paint markers (I use red, white, and yellow)
* A black sharpie (used to outline the track)
* a pencil (a carpenter's pencil works well)
* a carpenter's style tape measure
* a straight edge (like a ruler or yardstick)
* a roll of masking tape
* spare newspaper or cardboard (to help with masking areas that won't get painted)
* posterboard or other spare cardboard (you will probably need several pieces)
* a large table (at least ping-pong table size, like 5' x 9')

The first thing I do is to make templates from posterboard of all of the straight track sections. I make the spaces 3" long by 1.75" wide. You could possibly make each space 3" x 1.5", but with some of the modern 1:64 cars, I find 1.75" wide works better. You will use your ruler to mark off either a 2-wide (3.5" wide) or 3-wide (5.25" wide) section from the posterboard, then cut that off the rest of the posterboard. You can then cut the long sections (you can get a 9-space long straightaway from one piece of posterboard). Make as many sections as you need.

You should also make tick-marks where each space will be, and also at the ends for the lane divider(s).

When you have all of your straightaway templates, place them in rough position on a large table (a ping-pong or other tables). You are not laying the templates out on a sheet yet, as you want to see what size the track will be so you will know what size sheet you will need.

You can then use scrap pieces of paper to lay down at the corners, and you can "fudge" where the corners will be. It helps to use actual 1:64 cars to make sure the corner spaces will be large enough. With modern computers and printers, you can of course print just the corners of the track at a large scale, then use those large printed corners as templates. Make sure to mark which is "turn 1," "turn 2," etc.

Once you are satisfied that the track will fit into a certain space, pick up all of the pieces, then lay out the proper size sheet, and tape it along the edges to stretch it out and keep it fairly wrinkle-free. Then lay the track sections back on it, and try to center the track as much as you can.

You can then use a carpenter's pencil to mark around the inside and outside edges of the track. When all are marked accurately, you can pick up the track pieces and go over the pencil marks with a black sharpie.

Then mask along the inside and outside of the sharpie marks with masking tape. Then lay out newspapers, etc, to cover everything you don't want to paint, and mask it down with tape.

Apply two coats of flat black spray paint, allowing about an hour between coats. Then let everything dry overnight.

The next day, remove all the masking, then use your white or yellow paint marker (with a straight-edge) to mark the lane dividers and spaces. After you have gone around the track, if the paint for the stripes is dry, you can write in the speeds on the corner spaces. After going around the track, and if the previous paint is dry, you can then mark the cornering arrows (I used red for the recent track's arrows, but the Craftsmart markers I used now didn't seem as bright as the Testors markers I used to use in the 1980s).

After that, mark white dashes where the red & white striped lines will be to denote the inside of the track to the next corner, then go around a second time and add the red dashes in between the white dashes.

Use the sharpie to name the track, also write the name of the track on a corner hem so you'll later be able to tell what track it is when it's all folded up.

The next track I build, I will document the process with pictures.

RustyDM
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Jack Beckman
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If you check out the link I listed, photos are up of our race where you can see the track.
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Jack Beckman
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I don't have the time or space to do a decent job like Garry (they really are striking in person, and setup time is just a few seconds - unfold and straighten). I took my paper one and lamented them sheets to make them last. I've only built Monza so far, and I made the spaces too big, so it takes up a lot of space. Whatever track I make next will be smaller so I don't need as much table space.

Setup time was long, as we had to clip together each sheet. I am going to try taping several sections together so that next time it just needs to be unfolded and only a few sheets need to be clipped together.

 
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Garry Kaluzny
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Also, a note about our recent Detroit GP demo. The reason Jim, Richard, and I were able to finish 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, in spite of starting 6th, 7th, and 5th, respectively, is that we tried to ration our Wear, and not use such as 2 Wear to gain one space on the track. So, late in the race when other folks were basically out of wear, we three still had wear left. I was lucky to get 3rd, as I was in 4th place with only two corners to go. The 3rd place car in front of me took a Chance roll in the final chicane, spinning and hogging the arrow through the chicane. While I had planned on using the arrow to go just 20 mph over the speed limit in that chicane, now that I couldn't use the arrow I was 40 mph over. So I used my last Wear, and rolled a Chance, using two -1 Skill. Naturally, I also spun. However, I could start at a higher speed on the next turn (I had a 60 Start Speed and a 60 Acceleration, while the other guy had a 60 Start Speed and a 40 Acceleration), so I started at 60 mph, and he started at 40 mph. So that put me a space ahead. As we still hadn't crossed the line, I was able to over-Accelerate from 60 mph to 140 mph (using no Skill as I had none left), which put me over the Finish line, at the end of the front straightaway, in the inside lane. The only way anyone would have been able to pass me would have been to have gone 160 mph, and then they would have been in the 1st turn, at 80 mph over the speed limit (meaning they would have automatically crashed, and not have finished the race).

I believe I'll probably build the Detroit Belle Isle course next. While it's not an F1 track, it still is a "home" track for us Detroit area folks.

Garry K
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Mike Hoyt

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I really like the painted sheet approach, thanks for taking the time to spell out the steps.

I'm hosting the first race in Durango, using a paper track and MicroMachines Indy 500 1996 Starting Grid cars. We'll see if there is enough interest to justify making better tracks. I'm fairly hopeful, got 8 signed up now (and Durango is a LOT smaller than Detroit!)



Whole track measures 3x4' with 1.5" spaces (just a hair too small for the cars) but should fit on the game store's folding tables



OK, not to hijack your thread, but thanks for leading the way! Very inspiring
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Garry Kaluzny
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Another thing about painting tracks on flat bedsheets. You of course will have to wash a new bedsheet, as they come tightly packed in a wrapper (usually). When you unpack them, they will be very wrinkled. While you could just iron out the wrinkles, I prefer to wash them before painting on them. If you paint over wrinkles, the track will never really lie flat over that wrinkle.

RustyDM
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Jack Beckman
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A write-up of our latest demo race is available at http://michigumbo.com/michigumboblog/?p=535 thanks to Garry.

See the end of the post for demos possibly at MichiCon or the Canton Library.

We will have a demo race on the east side of town on Aug 11 at Guild of Blades (775 E. 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI).

Our first points-paying race will be on Sept. 8, venue and track TBD.

Come on out and race with us! We're still happy to have new drivers join us.
 
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Garry Kaluzny
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Speaking of having a series of races with points leading to a championship....

When we ran Speed Circuit back in the 1980s, I was afraid that if someone locked up the points championship before the end of the season, that other drivers would lose interest and stop coming to the races. But to my surprise, late in that first season in 1984 we actually attracted new racers! I guess folks wanted to learn to be a better driver for the next season to come. Of course, in those Speed Circuit years, we averaged 12.8 racers per race, while in our current CFR races, we only had as many as 9 drivers at one race (so far).

Even if a driver was far behind in the points, with no chance to win the championship, they could still go for the glory of winning a race.

RustyDM (aka Garry)
 
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Garry Kaluzny
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We are having another "demo" race of CFR at Guild of Blades in Clawson, Michigan, on Friday, August 11 (2017). Anyone interested in racing CFR is welcome to join us!. We hope to start racing at 7:00 pm. We will race on the Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi) track, using 1:64 scale cars.

RustyDM
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Garry Kaluzny
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Our Detroit, Michigan area CFR series begins on Friday, September 8, at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan (a northern suburb of Detroit). Race time is 7:00 pm, and results will be posted on our CFR-Detroit page at http://michigumbo.com/cfr/. We are racing on the CFR-designed Monza track.

RustyDM
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Jack Beckman
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Race 1 had 10(!) drivers - the most we have had for any single session! Garry will have a write-up on his blog, hopefully tomorrow, so I won't spoil it here, but we did have a lot of fun.
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