formula de [Updated August 2001]

FDE  3 prizes Beginners Mult Ent Sing Elim Scheduled 
   Demo 18  Rnd1 Heat1 19    Rnd1 Heat2 Rnd1 Heat3 14
   Round 2 12 Final

 Rnd1 Heat1 Valley  Rnd1 Heat2 Belmont  Rnd1 Heat3 Garden  Round 2 Salon B

Roderick Lee, CA

2001 Champion

2nd: Robert Kircher, MA

3rd: Lance Fogel, MA

4th: Bill Dyer, IL

5th: David Wong, NJ

6th: Brad Johnson, IL
Event History
1991    None      -
1992    None      -
1993    None      -
1994    None      -
1995    None      -
1996    None      -
1997    None      -
1998    None      -
1999    None     -
2000    Keith Levy     65
2001    Roderick Lee     80

AREA Ratings:

GM: Brian Carr

View from the Front

The second WBC Formula De event was a big success, with the game's popularity increasing over the hit 2000 debut. Three qualifying heats were run with all winners automatically advancing to the Saturday final. Runner-ups had a chance to advance as well. All heats were two-lap races using the basic rules. In addition, all heats used Slip-Streaming and a common tournament rule called Red-Lining. The final was run as a three-lap race using the advanced car construction rules, plus Road Holding. The GM chose to modify the normal car construction limits by giving everyone 22 points to build their cars, instead of the standard 20. No weather or special tire rules were used.

In each heat the players were allowed to pick any track they could mutually agree on (with a couple of tracks excluded because they are too small). The 1st Heat saw a big crowd with four different races fielding nine cars each. Each race chose a different track, all were close with lots of excitement. A special highlight was the race on the France track. Andy Maly was on hand to thrill the crowd with a complete set of full size racing flags. Because of the highly aggressive racing styles of most everyone at the table, the crowd was treated to the noisy waiving of the yellow flag on numerous occasions. The GM has never before seen a group of racers who attacked the racetrack the way Patton attacked Germans. Unfortunately for the drivers, their risky driving proved fatal most of the time. Of the nine cars that started only three finished intact. David Wong kept his wits while all others around him lost their heads, and won easily. In contrast, the next table raced on the Atlanta Speedway where apparently only sane drivers were allowed. All cars safely maneuvered the course until two engines blew in the final turn of the last lap. Jim Castonguay proved the best of this group. Other winners in 1st heat races were Jeff Ribeiro on Watkins Glen and Rob Kirchner on Zeltweg.

The 2nd heat saw four more races of 8 or 9 drivers each, on four different tracks. Lots of drivers apparently hadn't gotten their morning coffee before the race because four stalled on the start (the dreaded 1 on the Black Die). Three of the heats were close with Lance Fogel (Nederland #2), Dennis Nicholson (Budapest), and Brad Johnson (Italy) all squeaking out wins. On the 4th track Bill Dyer won easily on the new track Sepang (#32), but the battle was for second. The final corner was a graveyard as your GM (running second) spun out followed immediately by Luke Koleszar's crash. Jon Zug in last place, made a huge comeback through the last two turns. With my car trying desperately to accelerate up through the gears, Jon hit the final corner in 5th. Second place was guaranteed to Jon if he made it through the corner, so Fate promptly spun him out to end his desperate comeback bid. Bruce Young also made a run from the back but was nipped at the finish line and had to settle for 3rd.

The 3rd heat drew the biggest crowd with five different races. Again different tracks were run, and in fact the 13 heats used 13 different tracks and yielded 13 different winners. On Suzuka Alex Anderson survived a wild race where only four of nine cars finished. On the South Africa track Justin Thompson was running away with the race, a full three turns ahead, but with not much left on his car, when a hard-luck die roll caused a crash a few turns shy of victory. Chris Janiec was happy to grab the surprise victory. Roderick Lee won on Nurburgring, and Kevin Brunell won on Belgium. Lance Ribiero set up a father-son showdown in the finals with a true skin-of-the-teeth win on Monaco. Lance used his next-to-last engine point about half way through the first lap and held on to the end without his car failing him. Unfortunately, neither Ribiero was able to run in the final so the showdown did not materialize.

The Final was run on Watkins Glen, using all possible corners. Thanks to Ron Magin at Eurogames/Descartes-USA, we had a blown-up version of the board that measured 8 feet X 5 feet, complete with MicroMachine cars fully painted. Laid out on two tables, it was an impressive site. There were many ooohs and aaahs. Only eight of the 13 winners showed for the final, so two runner-ups were allowed to round out the 10-car field. Your GM qualified as the only driver with a pair of 2nd place finishes, and was given the 9th pole position. The others with a single 2nd place diced off with Mark Geary winning the coveted 10th spot. Dice were rolled among the eight winners for pole positions and the starting line-up was: Lance Fogel, Roderick Lee, Rob Kirchner, David Wong, Alex Anderson, Brad Johnson, Jim Castonguay, Bill Dyer, Brian Carr, and Mark Geary. Gentlemen, start your engines!

Lap 1 was notable for two things. First, the Road Holding rules proved brutal. Engine checks were failed left and right, and a few body checks as well, with more than a dozen debris spots appearing on the first lap. Several of these were adjacent and in strategic corner spots. Much groaning could be heard around the table. The other special note was that Lance Fogel had impressive foresight and was the only driver to give his car five engine points. Starting in the Pole Position Lance needed every single one as he failed four engine checks on the 1st lap alone! His car limped into the pits, refitted with two new engine points, and kept his spot near the lead.

Lap 2 saw Jim Castonguay make a truly impressive move to the front. Starting the race in 7th place, Jim spent the first lap holding his own and looking for chances. In the 2nd lap the chances came and he used his superior knowledge of the track to maximum advantage. Jim understood where he could risk 6th gear, which he did several times. Finally, two thirds way through the lap, Jim took the lead from Roderick Lee and held it comfortably for several turns until fate struck him down. With two new engine points waiting for him in the pits a couple of corners away, Jim's car gave out as he failed one engine check too many. It was an impressive run that demonstrated two important things: (1) a car in the back of the pack can work its way to the lead given skill and some lick; and (2) a driver with a good understanding of the particular race track can position his car intelligently for the maximum chance of making corners. Of course, like real racing, even superior skill and knowledge can be undone by malfunctioning machines.

The final lap was marked by Roderick Lee's maintenance of the lead and by Rob Kirchner's near victory. After Jim's engine blew. Roderick never relinquished the lead. In fact Roderick had taken the lead from Lance about half way through Lap 1, and he held it nearly all of the race despite impressive charges by the others. In Lap 3 Lance missed a couple of corners with bad dice and his chances faded. Rob Kirchner was the quiet unknown who started in 3rd position and managed to avoid drawing any attention through two laps. While everyone followed Lance's engine dynamics early on, Jim's big charge in the middle of the race, and Roderick's steady lead throughout, Rob continued to run in second or third the entire time, and he did it without using any points on his car. Near the end of Lap 2 he was able to burn some tires to help his position. He had the ideal position of being able to roll 5th gear down the front straight away. If he rolled high enough, he would make the corner and take a commanding lead with Roderick forced to pit. If not, he could make the corner, dive into the pits and refit. Luck was against Rob and he had to settle for a pitstop. It was hardly settling however as he came out of the pits with the same pristine car he started with. This while the others, including Roderick, had used their two points in the pits and still had serious weak spots in their cars. Everyone but Rob started Lap 3 seemingly one bad die roll from disaster. Roderick and Rob stayed 1 and 2 throughout the lap with no one else able to make a run. Coming through the last quarter of the track Rob could not seem to get the break he needed as Roderick made all his corners, often by the exact die roll he heeded. Even coming into the next to last corner, Rob kept the heat on and forced Roderick to make his roll every time in order to keep the lead. Rob used nearly all of his car up trying to get the lead, and Roderick did the same maintaining it. Each driver had to pass at least one engine check in the last stages of the race with no engine points to spare. In the end Roderick Lee held on for the win, with Rob gritting his teeth just behind trying to will his car to give a little bit more. Roderick had the answer every time he needed it, and he deserved every bit of the plaque he won. Throughout the race he kept his cool, and raced within the limits of his car, not taking unnecessary chances. And he had the dose of good fortune that every driver needs to win a race.

 GM      Brian Carr [1st Year]  1624 W. Grace St, Richmond, VA 23220   NA

2001 Preview Page
View the Icon Key