Speed Circuit is among the most stable group of players at WBC with
only 20 players claiming 48 laurelist places.
John Sharp III ponders whether
he should make his move at the next corner. He was among the
leaders again this year.
The race games with their scale
model cars are among the most photogenic and tactile events at
WBC. Boys love toys!
first to win a pair
drivers took on three different quaifying tracks seeking entry
to the semi-finals. Long Beach, Nurbergring, and Monza challenged
players with different track styles and produced a diverse set
of semi-finalists. All six qualifying races were won by different
drivers -- Kevin Keller, Jim Fleckenstein, Dennis Nicholson,
Doug Galaullo, Terry Schulz, and Scott Cornett -- and five more
drivers qualified with second place finishes.
Twenty drivers qualified for a run at Montjuich and the ten
spots in the Final. Terry and Doug won their respective tracks
and dramatic moments in the final corner of both races decided
the eight drivers who would provide the competition in the Final.
Six previous Speed Circuit champions toed the line
for the start of Vitesse Jean-Behra trying to be the first ever
to claim a second title. Terry outbid fellow semi-final winner
Doug for the pole and broke out to an early lead. However, Doug
would soon regain the advanrtage and hold a one-space lead as
the second lap began.
Corner 7 of lap 2 witnessed the most discussed move of the
race as Doug slowed going into the corner to block Terry from
exiting cleanly. Terry attempted a forced pass to move into the
lead but was blocked and stranded in the corner. Terry was immediately
passed by three cars and broke his acceleration on the very next
turn -- leading to his retirement.
The last lap began with Doug nearly a full turn ahead of the
pack. But Kevin Keller spent seven wear in four corners over
three consecutive turns to pull along side coming out of corner
7, setting up a side-by-side duel with Doug for the championship.
Kevin's failure to push his top speed and Doug's success pushing
his acceleration kept both drivers even going down the back straight.
Doug kept pushing his car, exceeding his top speed to gain the
initiative over Kevin then used his last wear and a brakes test
to stay safely out of corner 8. Running out of options, Kevin
made a naked chance in corner 8 followed by a test brakes prior
to a second naked chance in the last corner to claim the lead.
Doug, seeing his shot at a championship slipping away, attempted
a naked chance of his own in the final corner that resulted in
Kevin walked away as the first holder of two Speed Circuit.
titles in a very exclsuive club as he was followed across the
finish line by five other returning laurelists. Last year's top
six had reclaimed all the laurels again this year - merely reshuffling
the top spots ... the first time in memory that had happened
for any WBC event.
More details on Speed Circuit racing as practised at
WBC at http://www.lucidphoenix.com/sc/wbc/