still playing with toy cars ...
After six qualifying races over four heats, we seeded a 14
car grid for the 2000 WBC finals at the Pittsburgh Grand Prix.
The initial lead pack of Lane Hess, Jim Fleckenstein, and Dave
Anderson separated from the rest of the field at the second corner
at Westinghouse Pond: a long, slow, and thin hairpin following
a long wide straight.
Lane drove a solid race and gained seperation through the
golf course section of the track and the following Serpentine.
Lane ended his 1st lap more than a turn ahead of Scott Cornett
and Jimmy. Gerald Lientz and Dave finished lap 1 roughly two
turns behind Lane. Trevor Bender completed the 1st lap without
spending a single wear but five turns behind the leader. The
2nd lap saw Trevor spend his 1st wear to much cheering.
The Serpentine upheld its reputation as the most important
set of corners in the finals in lap 2 as Gerald made a big move
through the second half of the Serpentine, passing two cars that
got caught in bad lines outside and moving into 3rd place.
Lap 2 ended with Lane maintaining his one-turn advantage over
the lead pack of Jim, Gerald, and Scott in that order. Dave remained
two turns off of the lead after two laps. Trevor remained five
turns behind Lane.
As lap 3 began it appeared to be Lane's race to lose. But
with his pursuers not far behind, Lane took a chance in the Westinghouse
Pond hairpin that would have given him a substantial margin.
Instead, he spun off the track. Gerald and Jim went through the
hairpin just as Lane was trying to re-enter the track, delaying
him even further. Lane ended up dropping to 5th in that corner.
Subsequently, he managed to move into fourth through the golf
course section, passing Dave with a successful chance in corner
As we entered the Serpentine with the checkered flag three
corners away, Gerald led Jim with Scott and Lane just behind.
Dave lurked just after while Trevor had managed to work his way
through the field and into striking distance with his reserves
of wear. Lane opened the insanity with a chance in the 1st half
of the Serpentine that resulted in him spun off track. This time
he re-entered cleanly and stayed in 4th. Jim pulled alongside
Gerald in the middle of the Serpentine and tried to outbreak
Gerald for initiative going into the second hairpin but locked
the brakes and spun off the track. Scott took a chance in the
hairpin and pulled up alongside Gerald at the end of the Serpentine.
Dave also took his chance in the second hairpin and pulled alongside
Lane in contention for 3rd. Jim had difficulties re-entering
the track and dropped back to 6th. Trevor made his big move in
the Serpentine using two wear and a chance in the first hairpin
to pass two cars and move into 5th, then he spent two
more wear in the second hairpin to pull alongside Dave and into
Gerald entered the last corner before the finish ahead of
Scott to seal the victory and leave Scott in the bridesmaid position
again and forced to settle for runnerup for the second consecutive
year. Dave spun off track in the last corner and Lane locked
his brakes and spun off the track right before the last corner
to give Trevor a clear shot at 3rd and Jim recovered enough from
a missed shift to safely navigate the last corner in 4th place.
More details on Speed Circuit racing as practised at
WBC at http://www.lucidphoenix.com/sc/wbc/