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Mile High Raceway Lemans 2017


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#1 Jairus

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 07:58 PM

Covered a race today at Mile High Raceway today. It was like a 24-Hour of Lemans with four teams of three drivers per team driving one car.  The cars are hard-body Coupes based on slot car/model car/resin from ’66 to ’72.  The Chassis is brass scratch-built any style with 16D motors. From what I could tell, they all used the Pro Slot.

All cars pass tech as do all back up cars and replacement motors! Cars are fairly heavy and I demonstrated what the chassis looks like in the latest issue of Slot Cars Magazine so won’t go into that again.
 
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Track is smooth and no glue allowed but cleaning with lighter fluid or sun blocker style skin cream is the only material allowed on the tires.  And it does seem to work very well for most of the heat.  Heats are run with no time limit, but the lap counter cuts the power when one lane hits 85 laps.  Lap times average 5.4 but 5.0 being a fast lap for these cars.  Toward the end of the heat the tires do tend to start getting more loose.
 
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The first heat, the second team was behind by one lap having the power go off only feet behind the lead car!  So racing was very close.
I stayed for two heats but had to leave and as of the time of this writing, the race is still going on.

Teams vie for their lanes by qualification.  Highest time gets to pick a lane and then second… etc.  The cars/team stay in that lane for the duration of the race.  All lanes are exactly the same length.  Team members take turns rotating each heat and run the car for 24 heats using whatever driver rotation they choose.  Other team members stay handy to swap to a back up car and clean tires on the primary car in order to keep the race moving.

A couple other changes race director Paul Painter added to the mix is the power is only 11 volts.  And the addition of a kill switch/yellow flag drivers each have at their station.
If a car comes off in a corner the driver can hit that button killing the power.  Soon as someone replaces the car, the driver re-starts the power with the kill switch and the race resumes.
This is to keep wrecks to a minimum and eliminate corner marshals fingers getting pinched from other cars still moving on the track.  But for the heats I saw, the power went off only a few times per heat.  Mostly because these guys are very good at what they do.

The guys are from all over the Willamette valley: Portland, Donald, Wilsonville, Springfield, Corvallis, Albany, Keizer and Salem.  But for simplicity we named them:
Portland
Keizer
Pelican Park 1
Pelican Park 2
(Pelican Park is in Springfield if you didn't know....)
 
 
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Above is the drivers station with the red button for power off.

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Above, the qualification sheet.  Each team is given two runs with a choice of driver.

Cars lined up below with drivers at their stations.
 
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The TEAMS in order of their finish after many hours of racing!
 
 
 
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Taking first place above:
Keizer racers, who were competing on their home track took first driving a white Porsche 917 #22.
Drivers were Gary Tipton, Bob Schafer and Paul Painter with 1117 laps after 12 heats.
 
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Taking second place above:
Team Portland driving a Bob prepared Porsche 917 #2 was driven by Stuart Wall, Bob (Bad Bob) McFarland and Herb McRoberts with 972 laps.

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Taking third place above:
Pelican Park team #2 driving a Ford GT 40 (MkIII or a newer Polar Lights body) pulling 861 laps.
Drivers: Cully Bowman, Basil Snyder and Leo Deffenbacher.   
(Again I am sorry if I mixed up the names. We need name tags next time.)

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Forth place shown above:
Team Pelican Park #1 (aka: "Nash Ramblers") driving a white Porsche 917 that made 861 laps total.
Drivers: Deke Coleman, Tom Snyder and James Wendell. (but I get those two mixed up so apologize if I made mistake guys.)
 
(Side note, James (or was it Tom?) said to me before the race that they appreciated the Salem guys coming down to Pelican Park and "volunteering to get their hats handed to them."  They felt it was time to allow a chance for the same to be handed to them.)  Good guys those!
 
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This is the board after the 2nd heat.
 
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Respectfully submitted,


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Jairus H Watson - Artist
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#2 n9949y

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:44 PM

re:  team 1,  left to right, James Wendell, Deke Colman, Tom Snyder. Basil's silver and green Ford GT 40 is a 1/24th Fujimi version of the 1968-69 John Wyer 289 Ford GT that won both the 1968 & 69 Le Mans. The Polar Lights model is a 1/25th model of the 2005 Ford GT, not eligible for yesterday's race.


Todd Messinger

Remember folks, traffic lights timed for 35 MPH, are also timed for 70!





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