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SERRA™ Race #4, Abbeville, SC


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#1 SlowBeas

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 06:07 PM

What size crowd we expecting? If you've never been to Slots of Fun, you're in for a treat. Don runs a great shop. Nice 135' Grandstand.

How many for Can-Am? F1? Flexi?

Count me as one - hopefully for all three races!

Beas


Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983




#2 SlowBeas

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:29 AM

FYI, we expect to have a group from the Columbia/Lexington, SC, area. Probably three or four, at least.
Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983

#3 Cheater

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:35 AM

Jim,

I think we're at last going to have full races in every class and maybe more.

Counting myself, there's at least five coming from the Atlanta area, and maybe more.

I'm really looking forward to it!

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#4 SlowBeas

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:24 PM

Looks like I'll be primed for at least an 8th place finish, then! ;)
Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983

#5 Don Weaver

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:49 PM

Jim,

I'm planning on being there so next to last is the worst you can do! :laugh2:

Don Weaver

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#6 SlowBeas

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 08:12 AM

Something I'm stoked about:

I just finished building my first F1 (Ferrari body) and retro Flexi (Ford GT). I have no idea how well either will perform, though. But it was fun building them nonetheless.

With less than one week before racetime, I won't have the chance to test either one. But if I can just get them to STAY on the track long enough to run a heat or two, I should have a car ready to run in all races.

Looking forward to seeing/meeting everyone at Slots of Fun next week.

Jim
Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983

#7 zforce

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 07:32 PM

Ran into Chris Barnes today. Haven't seen him in two or three years. He said he will make an effort to come.

Hope the Alabama gang show up. It's a long ride for them but they are always good competition. I have built six Can-Ams and three F1's and my stable is growing.

Next Saturday can't come soon enought for me.
Tommy Flythe
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#8 jdracer

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:00 AM

Wish I could make it, but not this time... Plan on the next one at Marietta though, should have my Can-Am car up and running, not sure if anyone from here (the 'Bama gang) except for Jay with be at South Carolina...

Sure hope that there will be more races scheduled after the Marietta race... Hope you all have a great time and good luck to all!!!
Jim Dalton
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#9 Cheater

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:21 AM

Sure hope that there will be more races scheduled after the Marietta race...

Jim,

Have no fears, we will continue with SERRA racing after taking a break in June and July.

We're looking at having a race on our normal fourth Saturday in August, since most of the school systems in the South are now starting back by mid-August in most locales.

How would a race on Saturday, August 23, work for everyone? We'd like to go to Thunder Road in Cleveland, if they can schedule it.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#10 Pappy

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:46 AM

Works for me! :)

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#11 zforce

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 12:11 PM

I'm in.
Tommy Flythe
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#12 GotToRace

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 10:25 PM

How would a race on Saturday, August 23, work for everyone?

1) You realize of course that conflicts with the USRA Wing Nats, Pro/Am G27? Not that that's necessarily a big deal for most of the retro racers probably. It's fine with me at the moment.

2) It would be real nice if the major series organizers (SERRA, AMSRA, SUSRA, and FCR) could work together to avoid as many conflicts as possible. Had a few this season. I for one would like to run as many of the races (scale mostly) as possible next season. The SERRA and AMSRA are the biggies for me and I guess for others as well. Also have started working on an FCR hard body to try that series. I hate having to choose one over the other.

BTW Sorry but I'll miss race 4, just a bit too far right now. Looking forward to Marietta.
Steve (Spud) Saunders
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#13 Cheater

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 06:58 AM

Steve,

We selected the third Saturday of the month to avoid conflicts with AMSRA (whose events are typically on the first or second Saturday of the month) and Mid-South (whose races are on the second Saturday).

Except for Tommy Flythe, I can't think of any of the current SERRA racers who have been active in wing racing in recent years, so I doubt the schedule conflict with the Wing Nats will be a big issue. At least, I hope not.

Sorry you won't be able to make it to Abbeville, but with gas as high as it is, that is perfectly understandable. The SC crew didn't make it to Oak Mountain either... :lol:

I'm really looking forward to the race at Slots of Fun this Saturday, as it looks like we're going to have a great turn-out. It'll be good to see Chris Barnes if he makes it, as I believe it'll be his first race since his recent bypass surgery.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#14 jdracer

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 07:54 AM

I'm in for the August race... Maybe I can get more cars built what with the downtime in June and July...

Good luck to everyone at race #4...

:D
Jim Dalton
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#15 'Slots of Fun'

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 07:44 PM

How does everyone want their steaks cooked? Medium-rare! Only kidding... I hope everyone likes Subway sub platters. :)

V/R,
Don Berni
'Slots of Fun'
200 W. Pinckney St.
Abbeville, SC 29620
(864)366-RACE (7223) (raceway)
(864)394-1113 (cell)
slotsoffun@wctel.net
www.slotcars.org/slotsoffun/

Don Berni


#16 Jay Guard

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 10:26 PM

Don:

I'm really looking forward to this one, sounds like we're going to have a great turn-out. The Subway platter sounds great too but just one thing, can I have mine with a side of spray glue? :D

See you Saturday!

Jay Guard

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#17 Nick D

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:04 AM

I guess I'll give this retro thing a try. I was supposed to be out of town, but a last minute change of plans came along so I'll be there.

I sure hope this Warmack kit lives up to the hype. I have had it for some time, but didn't get around to assembling it until Sunday so I will be putting on the last few parts Saturday morning and racing it fairly untested. I did go ahead and brace the motor bracket and front wings. I could already see problems developing there.

I also plan to race Flexi GT. I absolutely despise last-minute thrashing to get a car together, so any info you all are willing to part with (gearing mainly) will be appreciated.

Anywho, I look forward to seeing those of you I know and meeting those of you I don't. See y'all there.

I wish my grass was emo so it would cut itself
Nick Deangelis


#18 SlowBeas

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 08:52 PM

Hey, Nick.

Good to know you'll be coming to Abbeville Saturday. Looks like we'll have a full house.

Beas
Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983

#19 SlowBeas

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:09 AM

#4 is officially in the record books now. Great turnout from Georgia, SC - and Jay even found his way from Alabama to Abbeville!

Congratulations to all racers for helping to make it a great event. It was nice to finally put a face with some of the names, too.

And a special thanks to Don, Mr. Slots of Fun, for giving us such a great venue. I heard more than one racer comment on both the track and the inventory on-hand. Now, everyone else knows why we call Don's shop our home track - even though he's two hours from my house!

Before Cheater or anyone else has a chance to comment on my performance in both races, let me make a lame attempt at some excuses. Feel free to use them for yourself sometime, if you need:

1) Abbeville? Where's Abbeville?
2) It was too cold.
3) It was too hot.
4) I was hungry.
5) I was tired.
6) I had a lousy motor.
7) My setup wasn't tuned to the track.
8) My dog ate my car (my favorite one).

I'm sure there are many others that I've missed.

But seriously, it was a great race. Cheater and Jay did a great job of organizing. And the venue really raises the bar for the next race I attend.

Best,

Beas
Jim Beasley
South Carolina, USA

"Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles."
- Pat Paulsen, 1968
"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol."
- Steven Wright ca. 1983

#20 Don Weaver

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:43 PM

Beas,

And a special thanks to Don, Mr. Slots of Fun, for giving us such a great venue. I heard more than one racer comment on both the track and the inventory on-hand.

And don't forget about the building... an old antique and classic car showroom complete with an original sign advertising gas for 35.9 cents! Talk about RETRO and the spirit of the times!!!

Not to mention our own retro "machine shop," complete with band saw, drill press, sander, and tumbler, that Don has provided for us to use on the premises.

Don Weaver

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#21 zforce

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:02 PM

Been goading guys for weeks to go with me to this race and at the last possible moment I learned that I had to work.

On top of that I've been battling the flu and allergies. Seems like the older I get the harder it is to recover from this stuff.

Sure hate I missed this race but I'll be at the next one for sure.
Tommy Flythe
June 8, 1955-March 20, 2021
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#22 Cheater

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 11:02 AM

SERRA #4 was a blast! We had six F1s, eleven Can-Ams, and ten Flexi GTs, which is a very good turnout for our first SC retro race.

Tommy and another Atlanta area racer who was to ride with him were AWOL, and I was told there were two or three local racers MIA due to a broken bone suffered by one of the wives during the week. Had all who planned and wanted to show done so, we'd have had a record crowd.

Slots of Fun is a fabulous raceway, with a parts stock that is as good as I can remember seeing anywhere and organized in a very logical fashion. Don has also really loaded up on retro parts, and had some stuff I've not seen anywhere else. Most impressive! He got a big check outa me and I've been kicking myself for not bringing some more stuff home. (Hey, Don, do you do mail-order?)

It was great meeting several Slotblog members in person for the first time: Don Weaver, Nick Deangelis, and others.

I was also very impressed with the historic town of Abbeville, SC, which I had never visited before. There were about a dozen antebellum houses that could have stood in for Tara in "Gone with the Wind" and I will have to find a way to get inside the 1908 Opera House on the square next time.

Funniest thing during the day for me was, as Jay and I were just finishing up tech for Flexi GT, I heard someone say behind me, "Greg should be here today." I didn't think much of it, as Greg is a fairly common name, but when I got up from the table and turned around, there was Jim Anderson and Mary Ann Kretz, the couple who own the company I work for! Seems the North Georgia Jaguar Club had a weekend tour to Abbeville and they just happened upon the raceway while exploring downtown. It is a small world...

Sorry not to have the race report up yet, guys. I organized, adjusted, and cropped the pics last night but a few honey-dos were laid on me and I couldn't finish the job. Tonight is going to be tough, as there are drinks and a free meal at Mrs. Cheater's workplace (Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University) then Son 2's Emory Brass Quintet is performing the West Side Story suite at a local church after that. Dunno if I can prop open the eyelids long enough to finish the deal tonight, but I'm going to give it a go. If not, Tuesday will see it completed and posted.

Thanks to all who joined us for this race. I hope everyone had fun and that the couple of minor glitches in the program weren't a real problem for anyone. Jay and I realize we threw the Red Flag Rule on everyone without sufficient explanation; we'll do better next time.

Mucho thanks to Ron "Outisight" Hershman and Joe "Noose" Neumeister for donating the prizes given for the concours winners. We utilized racer voting for concours for the first time (thanks for the idea, Shontel!) and it worked out very well. I suspect we will retain this as our procedure moving forward.

Thanks again to Don Berni for supporting SERRA and this event to the maximum extent imaginable. We'll certainly be coming back to this raceway in the near future!!

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#23 Cheater

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 07:59 AM

F1

Six entries

Concours awards

"Best Appearing" - Allan Reeder
"Most Realistic" - Robby Gruggett

1) Jay Guard - 291 laps, best time 4.559 secs in black
2) Randall Durham - 291, 4.501 in white
3) Allan Reeder - 281, 4.621 in blue
4) Richard Sylvester - 279, 4.719 in green
5) Robby Gruggett - 227, 4.719 in orange
6) Jim Beasley - 191, 4.712 in orange

F1_podium.jpg

Can-Am

Eleven entries

Concours awards

"Best Appearing" - Ralph Thorne
"Most Realistic" - Randall Cunningham

1) Jay Guard - 305 laps, best time 4.299 secs in green
2) Nick Deangelis - 294, 4.499 in yellow
3) Robby Gruggett - 292, 4.609 in green
4) Dan Parker - 285, 4.588 in green
5) Shane Watson - 283, 4.660 in white
6) James Merriman - 277, 4.660 in yellow
7) Ralph Thorne - 258, 4.730 in black
8) Richard Sylvester - 234, 4.500 in red
9) Allan Reeder - 217, 4.499 in blue
10) Randall Durham - 216, 4.562 in orange
11) Jim Beasley - 95, 4.719 on purple

CApodium.jpg

Flexi GT

Ten entries

Concours awards

"Best Appearing" - James Merriman
"Most Realistic" - Nick Deangelis

1) Ralph Thorne - 321 laps, best time of 4.168 secs in red
2) James Merriman - 318, 4.114 in red
3) Jay Guard - 315, 4.277 in orange
4) Robby Gruggett - 311, 4.227 in red
5) Nick Deangelis - 300, 4.391 in white
6) Chris Barnes - 296, 4.230 in red
7) Jerry Richey - 287, 4.449 in red
8) Dan Parker - 268, 4.558 in red
9) Skinny McKinney - 242, 5.109 in white
10) Richard Sylvester - 4.499 in green

Cpepodium.jpg

Jay looks pretty happy to have eked out third place behind Ralph Thorne (center) and James Merriman (left). Perhaps that old adage about old age and treachery overcoming youth and enthusiasm isn't true anymore...

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#24 Cheater

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:18 AM

storefront_a.jpg

Slots of Fun is located just off the square in Abbeville, a lovely antebellum town. Most of downtown is paved with brick and is a great place to walk around. The raceway gets a lot of walk-in traffic from an historic Gothic Revival Episcopal church right across the street. Other downtown attractions (besides some nice restaurants) include an opera house built in 1908 and a 1900 courthouse.

Away from downtown, Abbeville features some of the finest and largest antebellum mansions I've ever seen. There are a least a couple of dozen houses that could have subbed for Tara. Since this is a race report, I didn't take any pictures of the homes, but I am already planning for a return visit with the missus to play tourist. And we might even stay at Don's other business, a bed and breakfast called Bernibrooks Inn. The inn, which is listed on the National Historic Register, was built in 1860 and is located a short block's walk from Slots of Fun.

Most of Abbeville's downtown area seems to have been built prior to WWI. The raceway is located in a building that was once an early drive-under gas station, that was later enclosed and used as a new car dealership for many years. Notice the gas prices on the sign next to the front door. Don tells people the prices are still good, but that unfortunately the prices now are per drop, not per gallon...

track1_a.jpg

Slots of Fun's super-smooth Hillclimb. As you can see, the large windows bring lots of light into the building. The combination of natural, flourescent, and incandescent light makes taking pictures a little difficult from some angles, though.

parts1_a.jpg

Don's parts stock is about as good as it gets and I was very impressed at the number of retro products in stock. Don had just about every retro body as well as all the brackets, jigs, and all the other accoutrements an avid retro racer would need. If Don didn't have it, you probably didn't need it anyway!

One of the neatest marketing moves (among many) at Slots of Fun is barely visible in the pic: retro bodies hung from wires stretched above the counter, showing the available bodies for each IRRA/D3 class.

tires_a.jpg

I don't know the last time I saw such a huge selection of tires at a raceway that wasn't holding a USRA Nats race. If a racer couldn't find a set of tires that worked for him, there must have been something wrong with his car!

don_a.jpg

Here's Don in his normal mode: directing the race. Don doesn't race himself, but devotes all his energies into making Slots of Fun into one of the nation's better small raceways. And it shows...

drivers_a.jpg

Here's a shot of the drivers during the Can-Am race. Looks like Richard Sylvester on the far left is running all by himself, while everyone else is in a pack at the other end of the track. (L to R) Richard Sylvester, Ralphy Thorne, Jim Beasley, Randall Durham, Allan Reeder, James Merriman, Nick Deangelis, and Dan Parker.

marshals_a.jpg

Is it marshalling or is it standing bench racing? Who knows? It was terrific to see Chris Barnes (black shirt) in Abbeville, as only seven weeks before he'd had quadruple bypass heart surgery. Chris is a very experienced and highly-successful slot racer from the Atlanta area and it's great to have him join us in SERRA retro racing. He only competed in Flexi GT at the event, but that'll change!

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#25 Cheater

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:15 AM

Here are the Formula 1 cars raced at Slots of Fun:

F_Beasley_1.jpg

F_Beasley_2.jpg

Jim Beasley of West Columbia, SC. This race was Jim's first foray in retro racing and he brought some nice-looking cars for his first stabs at scratchbuilding. Beas didn't have the most successful day of racing, but still says he had fun. We had to tip him off to a few things, such as the fact that candy paints need a backing coat to be opaque! 101.0 grams.

F_Gruggett_1.jpg

F_Gruggett_2.jpg

Robby Gruggett of Charlotte, NC. Robby's F1 was voted "Most Realistic" by his fellow racers in the concours judging. 103.2 grams.

F_Guard_1.jpg

F_Guard_2.jpg

Jay Guard of Anniston, AL. This is the same F1 chassis and body that Jay's been running in retro races since the Sano last October. Chassis still looks good but the body seems to have more strapping tape applied before each race. May be time to paint another one, Jay... 103.8 grams.

F_Reeder_1.jpg

F_Reeder_2.jpg

Allan Reeder officially of Denver, CO, but currently residing in Cumming, GA, for work. Allan's F1 was voted "Best Appearing" in the concours voting, which should come as no surprise since Allan supplies Mike Swiss's Chicagoland Raceway with lovely (and quick selling!) painted retro bodies on a semi-regular basis. 101.8 grams.

F_Sylvester_1.jpg

F_Sylvester_2.jpg

Richard Sylvester of Gilbert, SC. Richard was another racers who didn't have much luck at Abbeville, having trouble with gears, motors, and chassis in the various classes. The quality of his cars suggests he'll have more success next time. 110.5 grams.

F_Weaver_1.jpg

F_Weaver_2.jpg

Don Weaver of Greenwood, SC, built this car, which was driven by long-time Mid-South USRA racer Randall Durham. This nifty chassis looked to be the class of the field, handling like it was on those proverbial rails. I should have taken a top-side shot to show its construction details. IIRC the center brass is .062" and the end pieces are .062" doubled with .032". I had been hearing through the racer grapevine that Don (who I met for the first time at this event) was a top-level scratchbuilder and based only on this F1 chassis, I'd have to say his building skills were certainly not overstated! 122.6 grams.

This car was a rocket and came close to taking the top spot away from Jay Guard, both racers finishing on the same lap. In fact, there was some question as to which racer actually took the win, as it looked like Randall was ahead on the track but the lap counter showed Jay in the lead. Randall agreed that he had not passed Jay in the last heat and graciously did not question the lap counter's results. One less off on Randall's part and Jay would have had to settle for second.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap






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