Feb 062013
 

Here at SRT, we take our racing just seriously enough. While we do our best to be competitive and do things “the right way,” it’s really just a game with nothing on the line. That’s certainly fun, but Inspectigater and I decided we’d like to take things up just a bit and put a reward out there for winning one of our series. Since we were just kicking off the SRTRGTWRC rally series, it seemed the perfect time. Other race leagues have offered prizes before: a gift car or ticket for in-game, a crappy keychain. Sometimes the stakes are much higher: A wheel, or a racing seat. We had neither the desire to offer crappy prizes nobody wanted, nor the means to offer anything expensive. Plus, we wanted more—something personal and specific to SRT. Finally, we hit upon the perfect prize: a model car, done up in a completely custom SRT livery.

We started off looking for a basic inexpensive RC car. RCs are typically lower cost than many model cars, and easier to take apart and reassemble. Plus, it’s remote controlled, which is a great bonus. We focused on rally models (it’s a rally series after all) and found a refurbished car at a good price online. When Inspectigater picked up the box, we were pretty pleased. It was much larger than we’d expected! We put some batteries in and it checked out, so it was time to get to work. I took first shift and, of course, began by taking it apart. Remote control is nice and all, but we could do better! I gathered some electronics parts, broke out the soldering iron, and hacked a bunch of LED headlights and taillights inline with the car’s circuitry. There are four white high-brightness LEDs and two basic reds. My wife took on the task of getting the stickers off the main body. The adhesive left a particularly nasty residue. A bit of internet searching later and we found ourselves covering various parts of the car in peanut butter. That was probably the oddest part of the build, and the car smelled like peanut butter for a week, but it worked exceptionally well. At that point it was time to lay down some paint. I tried some basic spray but it was too cold outside and I don’t have any place ventilated indoors to work with. I passed the car to Inspectigater to paint while I pushed the design along. Afterward I attacked the body with a Dremel to get the LEDs in place, held by large piles of hot glue and some electrical tape to prevent shorting (and light leaks). We did a couple paper prototypes and then output the final design onto clear labels. Overtop everything went a nice clearcoat.

For the design, we knew the base color would be SRT white. From there we passed ideas back and forth, keeping in mind rally styling but going in our own direction. We obviously wanted SRT to be the predominant sponsor. GT5 and Tacos were a must. APM Racing needed a tag—long standing SRT members will recognize this true-life racing team which has at least one car sporting the SRT logo—so reciprocity was only common courtesy! From there, the sponsors mostly represent the drivers in the series. Every driver who made at least two races in the series is represented on the car in some way. (Can you recognize them all?)

Lastly, it just wouldn’t do to take a couple crappy photos with a phone. Hazard did the shoot.

You didn’t win this.

Sorry, it’s mine! I had definitely expected to ship this out to CA, NH, or IN to whomever won the rally series, and place that driver’s name on the side of the car next to the coveted #1. Instead, I brought the top of the podium home and at least for now, that’s where this SRT trophy will stay.

… but this doesn’t have to be the only one. If anyone wants a car produced, let ‘gater and I know! We’ll probably want you to source and ship us the base car, but we can do the production work. We learned a bunch from this build and the next one will go smoother. We’d love to have the opportunity to build and see more of these custom SRT models in the hands of our members.

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Jan 292013
 

Race 1 @ Monza

The first race in the season opened with a wetland caused by a massive downpour that would not let up till the last lap of the race. The field was full, and with a 28% saturation of moisture on the track surface, nobody could tell how grueling it would get. Rain persisted till the track had a 98% saturation, causing mayhem to happen all over the track. Few were able to completely tame the conditions, but several adapted to the track conditions quickly to take full advantage. Wilo started last and worked his way up through the field finishing 5th, while Veloci and Pedrozaiter battled for first, with Veloci taking 1st. Texastyme was able to ride the unicorn Panoz to a 3rd place podium, and the battle for 5th with Wanderlust and Wilo requiring a photo finish inspection. This was a very grueling race with many different strategies playing out to battle for position.

 

Race 2 @ Madrid

 

After the washout that was Monza, the competitors were looking forward to this sun drenched race. Race fans were presented with a race full of action, which started with a pace lap spin by Pedrozaiter. On lap 3, the Madrid pit wall claimed another slew of casualties, when Wanderlust collided with the wall then collected several competitors.

 

The race was full of competition, with very close racing throughout. Hemiata came out on top with the win in his XJ220. What will race 3 hold for the competitors?

  • Official Color Race-off (11/1/11)
FIA GT-C

Dec 192012
 

In a somewhat unfortunate turn of events, for our little Veloci_2NR (Joseph Alves), he was cut fairly early from the competition.  Of course, we here at SRT are surprised and a bit bummed out.  We strongly feel his potential secured him a much stronger standing than what we ended up getting to see.  But, that’s how a competition works, folks.  It’s not always fair and sometimes the cards just don’t quite fall your way.  Sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it.  All the same, though, SRT stands tall and proud of Veloci_2NR.  His accomplishments are nothing short of amazing, and the fact that he even got to go to Silverstone at all is a huge credit to his name.  We’re all proud to consistently lose to him.

Showing a very strong performance in GT Academy was also Jeff Stuart and Jett Chandler, both friends of the Sofa Racing Team.  Both drivers made it to the very end of the competition, and we here at SRT offer them many congratulations.  They did a fantastic job stepping up to the plate when the chips were down, and did themselves proud.

The Sofa Racing Team also wants to congratulate all the drivers the made it to Silverstone.  Every driver there showed amazing potential, which is not to go unnoticed.  We hope that the 16 of you can look forward and are able to take the opportunity to race in whatever form it presents.

For anyone looking to see the entire US GT Academy series, head over to the nissanusa channel on Youtube to view all six episodes.

Here’s the first to get you started:

Jul 162012
 

Unfortunately, 2NR’s final race was in an even numbered group, so we were unable to see the race.  However, all information points to 2NR performing exceptionally well once again!  Securing his additional 12 points in round 3 gave him a much needed point boost, and it would appear that another excellent performance has slotted him in the top 16.  From here he will be sent to the Silverstone circuit in the UK for the final round of competition!

Sofa offers its congratulations to all GT Academy members.  Making it to the top 32 is a pretty amazing feat.  In particular, all of the members of the “Alt_F4” Racing team (Veloci_2NR, Jett Racer, Racer-X) have moved into Silverstone, which is just astounding!  Way to go guys and best of luck!

Good Luck 2NR!  We can’t wait to watch!  Keep your cool, buddy!  You’ve got it in you!

Jul 142012
 

Veloci_2NR survived a rough round 0 and round 1, getting paired with some of the tougher rivalry in the competition.  Finishing 3rd in both rounds secured him a spot in round 2, however.  Round 2 saw some less than clean racing which 2NR was unfortunately at the butt end of.  Running from the head of the pack to being swiped into a wall and falling into 4th, 2NR was forced to fight for a 3rd place finish instead of first or second.  Finishing 3rd gives him a total of 6 points in the competition, which is plenty to stay in it for day 2!  Follow 2NR today at gtplanet.net!  Start RIGHT NOW, in fact!

http://www.gtplanet.net/gt-academy-2012-u-s-national-finals-live-stream-day-12/

Please join other sofa racers in our chatroom throughout the event.

Good luck 2NR!  We’re all pulling for you!

UPDATE: Not only does 2NR survive round 3, he blew it out of the water!  Pulling the fastest lap in qualifying (Cape Ring North, gap of .1s) set him up for pole position into heat 1.  Heat 1 saw a gap between first and second of 3.3s!  Continuing his good fortune, 2NR pulled 12 points out of round 3, placing first in both heats, securing his position for round 4.