Beware the Alternates ...
John Coussis, Peter Gathman, Adina
Weiss and Carol Caler
Take That! Did the Juniors Room have
The Master beats up on girls? Shame
The high faluting Finalists with their
We had 24 preliminary races over three heats with Tuesday night being the most popular as the first heat filled ten tables. The 24 games generated the following statistics:
Minimum score for win: 29 (increase of one from 2014)
Maximum score for win: 42 (decrease of one from 2014)
Average score for win: 34.4 (increase from 34.0 in 2014)
Mininimum score for second place: 25 (increase by one from 2014)
Maximum score for second place: 38 (major increase of three from 2014)
The stats are starting to level out over the years, with the exception of the Max score for second place which was skewed by a rare 4-player game. Eight games in the preliminary were the 5-player Variety. The non-player (aka bank car) came in second once, fourth once and either fifth or sixth otherwise.
In the first heat, Dacey Collinson, on her last play of the second race, was able to successfully move her car from the ninth position to first. Jordan Shea was not so lucky as he had both of his cars crash in the first two races. The crash was not played in the third race (I wonder if he was holding it?). He won race 4 and 5, but crash did come back to knock one of his cars out in the fifth race.
The crash variant table returned in the second heat. Josh Coyle, Chris Greenfield, Shannon Keating, Jack Beckman and John Faella braved the challenge of mandatory play of the crash card. John may revise his derring do attitude next year, losing five cars in the six races.
After the third heat started, I realized I did not do the drawing for the free games GMT had provided. Since we now had prizes for the first four places in the Final, I decided that whoever got fifth and sixth would each get a game. So, if you made it to the Final, you were walking away with something to remember the day.
21 qualifiers appeared for the semifinals. The runners-up list yielded Brandon Bernard, Katie McCorry and Steve Caler as alternates so the four semi winners would advance along with the top two runners-up. The semifinals were not kind to Katie as she lost six cars. At Katie Elliot’s table, she started the semifinal by laying the Crash card as the first card to be played - knocking one of Anna Rinke and Dacey Collinson’s cars out of the race. In the second race, Dacey tried to move up her remaining car. She started in the tenth position and made it all the way to second. Then those famous words were spoken, “I will do just one more roll”. Of course, this roll failed and moved her car back to last. In the sixth race, James Pei - yes, that James Pei, was lucky enough to get the crash card. He played it only to roll his own car. Lynn Riberio and Mark love knew that feeling also as all three shot themselves in the foot.
Jodi Folk, Pei, Chris LeFevre and Brandon Bernard won their tables. Drew DuBoff qualified as the first runnerup to advance. Lisa Gutermuth and Lynn Ribeiro were tied. Lisa advanced to the last seat via tiebreaker and thereby got to use the new set of cars she provided with Chris Kizer’s elaborate track display.
It was an experienced crew that contested Round 3. Lisa, is the only two-time winner of FMR and its top-rated laurelist. GM Chris LeFevre was the 2009 champ. James Pei is the reigning Caesar and alltime BPA laurelist. Drew was the only returning laurelist from 2014 to make the cut. Although Brandon has never won FMR, he is a frequent finalist and the fifth leading career laurelist. Moreover, as an alternate enjoying a second life, he has timing on his side. Only Jodi lacked bonafides - appearing in her very first WBC Final - thus making her the overwhelming favorite - or so the Hollywood script writers would have you believe.
The crash card made no appearance in the Final’s first race. Brandon suffered the only car loss to a Spin-out played by Chris who went on to win the first race. This is usually not recommended as it makes you an early target. Drew did well by having both his cars finish in point positions, second and fourth, for nine points. Lisa finished, third and sixth for five points. Jodi took fifth for two points.
Chris started the second race, but lost both of his cars. Jodi did not let her lack of experience intimidate her, knocking out Chris and Lisa’s cars with a Crash. Lisa had her remaining car spun to last, only to be successful at rolling it back up to second place. She did not press her luck and stopped there. Brandon won this second race, while also placing his other car in fifth. James made a strong showing in second and sixth. Lisa claimed a third and Jodi a fourth. The score was now Brandon 12, Chris 10 points, Lisa and Drew tied with 9, James 7 and Jodi 5.
The only cars lost in the third race was by crash. Drew played the crash card on himself but took Lisa with him. Brandon got his second win to increase his lead with 22 points. James came in second (13), Lisa third (13). Jodi scored both fourth and fifth(10). Chris took sixth (11). Drew was shut out and trailed with nine points.
Chris’ first play in Race 4 was the crash card. He rolled an 11 to hit unlucky Drew. Chris’ options were to have Drew crash both of his cars as his second car was in the 12 position or one of his own cars which was in the tenth position. Chris went with the first option and poor Drew was then left playing cards just to influence others in the race as both of his cars were out of commission before he even got a turn. Drew was able to spin-out one of James’ cars for his only satisfaction. Chris won fourth race, giving him a total of 21 points. Jodi finished strongly in second and third, giving her a total of 20 points. James took fourth (16). Lisa claimed the remaining point positions, fifth and sixth (16). Although Brandon did not score, he still remained in the lead with 22 points.
There was a lot of back and forth play in the fifth race. Drew tried his best to get one of his cars moved up to the lead, only to roll a blown engine instead. Chris played spin-out on Lisa. Jodi, getting the hang of this Final stuff, played the crash card as her last play, torching Chris and James. Lisa won the fifth race (26), Brandon took second and third (28), James fourth (19), Chris fifth (23) and Jodi sixth (21). Hard luck Drew was shut out again and stuck on nine points.
For such a close contest, the last race was very quiet. The crash card was not played. Drew took out one of James’ cars with a spin-out while Lisa attacked the leader as Brandon blew an engine. Drew, no longer anyone’s target, did finally have both of his cars finish. He took first and fourth (22). Brandon was unable to score but was able to stop his closest pursuers from overtaking him. He ended with 28 points to claim the 2015 FMR championship. It was a very close game with only six points separating first from last.
I would like to thank Lisa Gutermuth and Chris Kizer for their help as assistant GM’s, and to everyone who played to help make this another enjoyable year.
Bumper Cars anyone?
Formula Motor Racing Junior
Adam Wojtaszczyk, himself all that not far removed from his
days in the junionr's room, returned there on Friday afternoon
to provide a junior racing circuit for the pint-sized bumper
car drivers. Well, there nat have been some encouragement involvd
from his mom who runs the program. There were 28 little race
drivers sans learning permits loosed on the streets of the Vistas
room. The fastest of these was:
~ 1st: Andrew Freeman, age 8
~ 2nd: Aubrey Powers, age 9
~ 3rd: Shira Weiss, age 11
~ 4th: Holiday Saccenti, age 12
~ 5th: John Wobbeking, age 11
~ 6th: Ethan Shipley-Tang, age 10