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Roulette Runner [FINAL RESULTS]


#261

Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 7


Before the Stage

“So, we’ve got 13 stages on Day 2, right? And we’re about to start stage 8?” Amy asked.

“Yes.” Luke said, studying the map Linda had handed him.

“Isn’t 13 your lucky number?” Linda asked Luke.

“I don’t believe much in luck.” Luke replied. “But I don’t mind 13 as a number.”


Day 2, Leg 8

As Luke drove up to the starting line and the flag was waved, they made a mad dash for the road, the car roaring as they threw it around the winding corners and twisting, rough road. The sun tried to burn them all, though with the top down and air flowing around the car, it wasn’t able to make them miserable.

However, not all was entirely well on the trip. Being from 1977, the Sinistra Savage was not a small car, and the first encounter with a narrow bit of road ended up scuffing and scraping the paint. Several more bushes near the narrow spots in the road scratched the paint and smashed the passenger side mirror, as well as breaking one of the headlights on the car.

“Most of that can be repaired. We’ll just use the can of clear-coat spray paint in the trunk to go over the scratches, keep them from rusting.” Luke said, as everyone seemed upset by the scratches and scrapes.

“Luke, the mirror exploded into my seat.” Amy said.

“I said most of it can be repaired. Not all of it. And we don’t need three mirrors, anyway, just one.”

Another crash through a bush claimed a turn signal lens and banged a branch against the rear quarter panel.

However, they did make it to the Jade Mountain Fire Lookout mostly in one piece, other than some broken lights and a missing mirror.


Day 2, Leg 8 Aftermath

“So, battle plan, Luke?” Scott asked.

“Top up the fluids, clear-coat the scratches, replace the broken headlight with one of our spares, dismount the rest of that mirror assembly, and if we have any remaining time, replace the driver’s side turn signal side-marker lamp.”

“Got it. Let’s get this crap going.” Linda replied, as they opened the trunk and started with what needed to be done.


Car Condition:

Looks like hell, but functionally identical to previous leg. Now sporting a blue paint job with bare-metal abstract scratches, and a new coat of clear-coat to keep the rust away.

Team Condition:

MRL +14 overall (no change). Feeling good, and they’re confident that they might be able to make it. With 5 stages to go, keeping the car in one piece is more important to them than going the fastest and risking the car.


#262

TEAM OUTRIDERS

Day 2 Leg 7

Marc: Okay, we’re headed to Jademount, we’re gonna take the Pearson Dam road. Bladder check.

Blake: I’m good.

Marc: Me too.

Blake: Aw, son of a bitch! I’ll be back.

Marc: Hmm, now that I think of it I should probably go too.

(A few minutes later)

Blake: Okay, let’s rock.

Marc: Remember, we have to stay at least seven feet away from the tracks, this is an active railway.

Blake: I know, I was at the briefing.

Marc: Okay, okay, it’s just that I don’t want to be flattened by a train.

Blake: Looks like this road hasn’t been very well maintained. It’s gonna get a little bumpy.

Marc: Ouch! You call that a “little” bumpy?

Blake: Okay, so I tried to soften the blow.

Marc: How’s the car handling?

Blake: Just fine, in fact, I’m having the time of my life!

(The team arrives at Jademount, with nothing really to peak their interest, they prepare themselves for the next leg.)

Day 2 Leg 8

Marc: Looks like some tight curves on this next one.

Blake: Bring em on!

(SCRAPE)

Marc: Shit, could you hug the right side any closer?

Blake: You’ve got more clearance on that side than I do here.

(BRUSH, SCRAPE)

Blake: Dammit!

Marc: Now I see the advantage of some of those smaller cars.

Blake: Yeah, but if we had to we could camp out in this car and our spines would still be straight the next morning.

(Arrival at Jade Mountain Fire Lookout)

Blake: Damn, look at all that!

Marc: I never knew side mirrors could hold that much foliage.

Blake: I’m almost tempted to leave it in, it could be camouflage.

Marc: Really? Any negative effects to doing that?

Blake: Nothing comes to mind, but I’m gonna rip em clear anyway, give me a hand.


#263

#Team ‘Southend Or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

Given that this route had sharp corners with big drops off cliff edges, Martin was elected not to drive immediately, so Seb took the wheel. The narrow roads didn’t stop him from driving quickly though, plus it meant that at least some air was coming into the car to keep them cool.

“Mind the paintwork” asked Martin, worried.
“Martin it’s only bushes” said Seb, getting a little tired of Martin’s constant worrying about the car. “And anyway, this car has certainly been through much worse” he chuckled.
“Well still” said Martin in a stubborn tone. He looked down at the map - “Here come a few more sharp turns”.

“I can’t believe we’re really almost there” said James, getting a little emotional.
“Careful now, we’ve still got to finish first” replied Seb, his black hair being roughed up by the bumpy road conditions.
“True” said James. “But come on, we’ve made it this far, while many others haven’t”
“Speak of the devil” said Martin “I think that’s the Unfazed team isn’t it?”
“So it is” said Seb, a smile growing on his face. He always seemed to adopt this slightly evil tone whenever he saw a team in distress.

“My word, that’s nasty” said Martin, scoping out the damage to the car. “Look’s like the whole of the left front wheel has been ripped out of the car”.
“There’ll be no fixing that” said Seb. “Shame”.
“We can at least give them some help” said James. “Especially after what Twin-Snail were willing to do for us”.
“What is there to do?” questioned Seb.
“Well I’m going to do something” said Martin, determined. He rolled down the window and shouted “Sorry to see you’re in a bad situation, can we help?”
“Oh my god Martin” said Seb, clearly embarrassed.

The other team looked up, bemused. Martin read their faces. “Seb, drive”
“Huh?” said Seb, still dealing with Martin’s actions.
“Drive for fucks sake!” shouted Martin, and Seb floored it.
“Guys I think we just misread them” said James, trying to bring some balance.
“No no, it’s not that” said Martin. He sighed. “They’re Australian”.
“Sorry, what?” said James, very confused. “You wanted us to drive away because they’re Australian?”
“YES” - Martin cut in - “I…I just don’t like them, ok?”
James was taken quite aback, as was Seb. It seemed they’d all learnt something on this trip.


#264

Needs more Duct tape. But pretty much

Team Riot Uncontrol

Day 2 Leg 2

Aaron " Wow. You really won the grand prize now…"
Paul “WHAT”
Aaron “You destroyed the Wood holding together the K-member”
Paul “At least we didn’t crash our van like the russian wagon did”
Aaron “Still. This needs to be redone…”

Day 2 Leg 3

Paul “What is this ?”
Aaron “What ?”
Paul “This road. It is… so normal”
Aaron “We could always just dive into the next field if you want”
Paul “CAN WE ?!”
Aaron “You serious ?”
Paul “NooOOOooooOooo ?”
Aaron “Yeah i can see that…”

Day 2 Leg 4

Paul " Nice weather with a nice road"
Aaron “Yeah my butt really enjoys this”
Paul “Lets put some music on”
Aaron “Sure can do”
Aaron take the megaphone and starts playing music ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNjG22Gbo6U)
Paul " Thats a good song, but nobody will get it."
Aaron “What ever”

Day 2 Leg 5

Aaron “Can you turn on the AC ?”
Paul " This and an AC ? What’s next Launch Control?"
Aaron “This sun…”
Paul “We will survive”

Day 2 Leg 6

Aaron " GOD IS THIS HOW HELL FEELS ?!"
Paul “I am cooking… Can you do something for me ?”
Aaron “What?”
Paul “Hold the wheel for a second”
Aaron starts to grab the wheel, “Now what ?”
Paul starts to strip his shirt
Aaron “Wowowowowo What is this”
Paul also gets rid of his pants, “MUCH BETTER”
Aaron “Really ?”
Paul "Not Like you havent seen me like this before "
Aaron “Just… just take the wheel again”

Day 2 Leg 7

Aaron “Finally some shade”
Paul " It will still take a while to get all this hot air out the van…"

Day 2 Leg 8

The van slowly drives past the crashside
“Danm” Paul says “That is scary”
Aaron “Well thjis could happen to us if the K-Member fails”
Paul “Thanks for that confidants boost…”


#265

Day 2 Leg 9 Data

Jade Mountain Fire Lookout to Jade Lake, unnamed “road"

This is really more of a glorified ATV trail, winding VERY quickly down to the lake below. It’s a good thing that this area has not seen recent rain, because this would be extremely treacherous otherwise.

Length 2; Avg Grade 9; Max Grade 20

@Madrias
LAE Low (slow); MRL +0; Notes: Played it safe with the brakes this time around and went slow. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

@DeusExMackia
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: Enough shade + decent pace = good.

@Mikonp7
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: Mirror image of the Erin’s run.

@JohnWaldock
LAE Very low (slow); MRL -2; Notes: Extremely down on power. Very slow pace, despite being downhill. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@DoctorNarfy
LAE DNF; MRL -5; Notes: CRITICAL FAILURE: Aaand the head gasket has puked completely. Morale overall positive, despite failure.

@BobLoblaw
LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@Dorifto_Dorito
LAE - High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@Darkshine5
LAE - High (slow); MRL +1; Notes; None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@EnryGT5
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.


#266

Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 8


Before the Stage

“Luke, you’re not gonna like this.” Linda yelled.

Luke set the bottle of coolant down and walked over to Linda, who had laid one of her maps over the windshield. “What is it?”

“Remember that hill that fucked the brakes early on? We’ve got another one just like it.”

“Thanks for the heads up. I’ll start planning… And that’s done. We’ll go down it in first gear.”

“Really, it’s that simple?” Scott asked.

“Pretty much. I mean, if it’d make you feel better, I can stuff a sock in the dirty side of the air filters, clog them up, starve the engine of air so we have even more drag.” Luke replied.

“Then do it, please, because that hill made me think we were all gonna die.”

“I wouldn’t die. I have backups.” Luke said.

“That’s not the point!” Amy yelled. “Luke, can you just take it easy down this hill?”

“Sure. Though we’re not using Scott’s socks because they’re full of sand.”


Day 2, Leg 9

Luke gripped the column shifter and pulled the car all the way down to low gear, then waited for the flag to drop. Once it did, Luke let go of the brakes and gave the car barely any gas, letting gravity do the hard work. The engine, despite the lack of fuel, started to rumble louder and louder. The power steering pump bearing started squealing as the revs climbed above 1100, and shortly after, there was a sharp chirping, a clunk, and a screech as the fan clutch engaged, providing the big engine’s radiator with enough cool air to keep from overheating. Luke turned on the lights, then the radio.

“Scott, pick a song.” he said.

“What? Why?”

“Alternator load. I don’t care what you play, but play it.”

“Ride of the Valkyries it is, then. Still the song cued up.”

Soon after, the loud music started, with Ride of the Valkyries playing as they just-about-coasted down the steep winding hill, engine screaming as gravity pulled over-two-tons of car down the road. Luke didn’t mind as other cars passed them, knowing that his strategy would mean they lived instead of pulling a death-or-glory dive down the hill.

As Team Southend-or-Bust flew past, Luke blared the air horn, just for good measure, only to round the next corner and have to avoid the broken down Shromet with probably the widest car on the planet.

“They couldn’t pick a better place to break down?” Amy grumbled as they rolled past, engine still screaming despite Luke being very careful with the gas pedal.

Once the road started leveling out a little more, Luke went up a gear, and the gremlin in the gearbox, having been denied the right to hammer for so long, smacked them into second with everything it had, unsettling anything in the car that wasn’t bolted down.

They rolled through the checkpoint at Jade Lake and parked the car.


Day 2, Leg 9 Aftermath

“Well, there goes all that time we gained by speeding.” Linda said.

“Yes, but we made it down safely, and more importantly, the car’s still working. That means next stage, depending on the terrain, we could take it easy or we could flog the car. I’d rather make it to the end of all this, even if we don’t win.” Luke said.

“So, fluids, check for damage, cook burgers. Good plan?” Amy asked.

“Sounds good to me. Luke, you feel like doing the car stuff while we eat?”

“Nothing better to do anyway, so I’ll go top everything up.”


Car Condition:

Socks removed from air filters. Brakes are fine, transmission’s okay, radio’s still on and playing some random bit of mid-90’s techno. Air horn air tank refilled for later.

Team Condition

MRL +14 (No Change). Everyone’s having fun.


#267

Day 2 Leg 10 Data

Jade Lake to Historic Jade Trading Post via Jade Lake Road

A mostly dirt segment with some exposed rocks and occasional washboarding. Not difficult compared to the last few legs, and it ends up and an interesting historic wooden trading post and museum, part of overland expansion.

Length 17; Avg Grade 2; Max Grade 5 (downhill from Jade Lake)

@Madrias
LAE High (slow); MRL -1; Notes: Growing concern: Fuel level is low. Reserve can was poured in the tank at the end of this leg. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

@DeusExMackia
LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Quick soak of heads/shirts in the lake before departing helps keep cool.

@Mikonp7
LAE High (slow); MRL +1; Notes: Mirror image of the Erin’s run. Including self-cooling in the lake.

@JohnWaldock
LAE Medium (slow); MRL -1; Notes: Gave the engine everything it could. Still very slow. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@BobLoblaw
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@Dorifto_Dorito
LAE - Exact; MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@Darkshine5
LAE - High (slow); MRL -1; Notes; Lack of comfort is starting to take its toll after nearly 2 full days. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@EnryGT5
LAE High (slow); MRL +1; None. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE Low (slow); MRL -2; Notes: Van sputtered a lot, and died again rolling in to trading post parking lot. You now have a diagnosis: failing fuel pump. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.


#268

Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 9


Before the Stage

“How much do we have in the reserve?” Luke asked, tapping the fuel gauge on the dash.

“Not a lot. We’ll be hard-pressed to make the distance with our fuel stores this low.” Linda said, banging on the gas cans in the trunk to find they were rather low on fuel in the reserves as well.

“I don’t like this. We’ve got 3 stages to go, and we might be out because our fuel supplies can’t make it.” Scott said. “Is there anything you can do, Luke?”

“We can shed as much weight as we can from the car. But that comes at a risk of not having that stuff when we need it. If we had a lift, a transmission jack, and enough time, I could re-ball the valve body, change the shift points so we’re more economical, but we don’t have any of those things. We can reduce the load on the engine, but that means any major down-hill sections will need more brakes.”

“How much load can you reduce on the engine?” Amy asked.

“I don’t need power steering, and we’re in a convertible, so we don’t need air conditioning. And the bearings in both of those are awful right now. We could remove the belts, but… I don’t think it’d make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.” Luke said.

“Well, how much can the little things add up?” Linda asked.

“We get 8.8 MPG unloaded in our starting condition. If we lose the air conditioning belt, the power steering belt, oil the flying-crap out of the fan bearings, and gut the radio, we’ll make no change.” Luke replied.

“So what can we do?” Scott asked.

“It’s not legal. If we got pulled over, we’d be in big trouble, as in ‘massive fines’ kind of trouble.” Luke replied.

“No, seriously, at this point, what can we do?” Amy inquired.

“My calculations predict that we could improve fuel efficiency from 8.8 MPG to 9.6 MPG by removing the catalytic converters.” Luke said. “But we lose all emissions legality if we do it.”

“What about the rest of the exhaust?” Scott questioned.

“We might have to ditch it. And our car’s much, much louder than the Erin Berlose that Team Southend-or-Bust has been driving. It drove them crazy when their muffler went.” Luke replied. “But… It might have to be done.”


Day 2, Leg 10

Luke pulled the big beast up to the starting line, this time trying to keep the revs low so that they didn’t burn more fuel than they had to. As the flag dropped, he slowly let out of the brake and gave the car the barest tickle of gas, making it rumble as it began rolling. With no radio on, no lights, nothing that could put a significant drain on the engine, they were driving this stage as economically as possible.

They made their way down the hill, coasting as much as possible to avoid burning fuel as much as they could, each team member looking at the gauges as Luke drove down Jade Lake Road.

It became obvious that Luke’s pace was picked for more than just saving fuel, as he was trying to avoid putting any excessive heat through the engine. The turbos were barely whispering, the intercooler air-side temperature gauge stayed reasonably close to the ambient temperature, and Luke seemed more concerned about the engine temperature than anything else.

“What are you doing, Luke?” Amy asked.

“Trying not to build any extra heat into the engine. The longer it runs without clutching in the cooling fan, the better off it’ll be.”

“Wouldn’t driving faster help that problem too?” Scott commented from the back seat.

“It’d burn more gas. And right now, we can’t afford to blow through fuel like we have been. We need every drop we can get.”

They crawled their way over the finish line at the Historic Jade Trading Post, then set about their duties.


Day 2, Leg 10 Aftermath

Linda finished dumping in the last remaining 5 gallon can of gasoline, dropping the empty container back into the trunk once she was done. “Well, there’s either 44 or 48 miles, depending on whether Luke can dismount the converters. Plus whatever little was left in the gas tank.” she said.

Scott checked the fluids while Luke was under the car, both trying to decide if he could remove the converters and also if he could manage to put the muffler back on, straight off the turbo down-pipe.

“It might be possible, but… I don’t know if I can manage to get those bolts out. We have to make 3 more legs in this car to finish, but we weren’t briefed on how much distance we’d be traveling, or I’d have made sure we had a sufficiently large reserve, more than we brought already.” Luke said.


Car Condition:

Similar to last leg. Potentially missing the Catalytic Converters to improve fuel efficiency.

Team Condition:

MRL +13 overall. Nervous about the fuel supply issue.


#269

#Team ‘Southend Or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

The story so far: Three uni students in an un-air conditioned Erin Berlose pushing it and themselves to the limit. They’ve had a rough few legs, both for the car and their friendships, but they seem to have got things back together (crowd goes “Ahhh”).

It was Martin’s turn to the drive once more, though he was getting seriously annoyed at this air con problem. It had been manageable for the last two runs as they’d either had some shade to utilise or they’d been driving fast enough to keep the air moving in the car. But, having just been standing around for 20 minutes waiting for the next leg in the heat, Martin had snapped.

He fell into the car, with the rest of them. “Are you alright mate?” asked James, grabbing the map and taking up position.
“Yeah, it’s just” - Martin paused - “It’s just I’m…”
“What?” asked James, gently.
“…I’M FUCKING HOT, THAT’S WHAT” - Martin was evidently quite hot.
“No no” chuckled Seb, “that’s me, silly”. The joke didn’t go down well.

Thankfully, after Seb’s ridiculing by James and Martin, he found a solution. “Hey, hang on, the start of the next leg is right next to that lake” he announced.
Martin turned to him with a face like a puppy, seeming very hopeful. He immediately started the car, sped over to the starting point and promptly got out when they reached it.
“Ha, that cheered him up” said Seb. The air had stopped moving again and the heat returned. “Though, er, I might have to go join him”.
“Yeah me too” replied James hastily, and they both got out to run after Martin.

.

The dip in the lake had made all the difference, and the boys hadn’t even bothered to dry off once they got in the car. It wasn’t like they’d need a lot of time to let it dry out, after all. It was a good run, too, nothing to difficult and the guys had plenty of laughs along the way too.

.

Martin crossed over the line and went over to park near the historic trading post. He turned the ignition off and paused. The other two turn to him.
“Look guys” he began. “I know I’m a worryer”
“A warrior or worry-er?” questioned James, prompting a smile from Martin.
“The latter” he said, jokingly. “Anyway, I know I worry a lot and I’ve particularly worrisome on this thing what with a slightly mechanically unsound car and all, but…” - he stopped for a moment - “I just want to say thank you for putting up with it. Because, you know, you dragged me into this James knowing full well I might be like this, and yet you were more concerned about my mechanical knowledge than my, er, habits, shall we say”

“Oh man” said James, blushing a little. “I’m gonna fucking tear up in a second” he mocked.
“But seriously, thank you, both of you, for putting up with me. And also thank you for making this so much fun. Even if we don’t make it to the end, it’s been so great doing this with you guys. You guys in particular, and I only hope you think the same”.

Seb thought for a moment. “Yeah, it’s been alright” he said before pretending to get out of the car. Martin and James laughed. He turned to Martin “No, but I get what you’re saying. It has been a lot of fun. Heck, I dare say we might be up for doing it again”
“Careful now” said James. All the boys got out of the car to go and check the incoming competitors and the museum too. Things were ‘great’. Just great, right now.


#270

Day 2 Leg 11 Data

Historic Jade Trading Post to Trout Lake via FR 3912A

Steep in places, and full of snags and hazard, this spur climbs quickly to a small fishing lake known mostly by the locals (and anyone with an internet connection).

Length 5; Avg Grade 6; Max Grade 12

@Madrias
LAE Exact; MRL 0; Notes: Everyone is watching that gas gauge. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

@DeusExMackia
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: Trout Lake also made for a good quick soak.

@Mikonp7
LAE DNF; MRL -5 (still positive overall); Notes: CRITICAL FAILURE: multiple fatigue fractures along the length of the rusted-out frame.

@JohnWaldock
LAE High (slow); MRL -1; Notes: Leg completed, but still doesn’t have enough power to maintain pace. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@BobLoblaw
LAE High (fast); MRL +1; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@Dorifto_Dorito
LAE - High (slow); MRL +); Notes: None. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@Darkshine5
LAE - High (fast); MRL -1; Notes; Lack of comfort is starting to take its toll after nearly 2 full days. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@EnryGT5
LAE High (slow); MRL +1; None. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (slow); MRL -1; Notes: Sputtering continues. Fuel starvation is slowing the van. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.


#271

With all but eight entries having fallen by the wayside, this challenge has turned out to be a true test of durability and crew ingenuity!


#272

As a note on that, last year’s OG 500 (in Oregon) had a dropout rate of just under 50%.


#273

Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 10


Before the Stage

“Looks like we’re as ready as we’re going to get.” Luke said, looking at the fuel gauge.

“Shame that we’re gonna have to give up the cooking block for fuel efficiency, but… I’d rather make it instead of running out of gas.” Amy said. They left a pile of car parts and some cheap pots and pans at the Trading Post, as well as one ceramic brick.

The four of them got back into the land-barge that’d been their home for the past couple days, then headed out to the starting line.

“Just remember, Luke, we finish this stage, there’s only two more to go.” Scott said.

“I just hope there’s a gas station or something where we can top up the tank soon, because I don’t want to be stranded out here. There might be bugs.” Linda grumbled out.


Day 2, Leg 11

Knowing that the fuel was low and that this stage was all uphill, Luke knew he had to drive as efficiently as possible. “9.6 MPG. We need to avoid burning fuel as much as possible.” Linda said, as the flag dropped. Luke rolled into the power, trying to keep the engine cool. Everyone felt the clunk of the gearbox changing gears as they climbed the hilly road, everyone focusing on the gas gauge, bobbing lightly as the float in the tank moved around.

“I wish it’d quit moving.” Scott said.

“Don’t say that!” Everyone else said at the same time.

“That just means we’re out of gas if it stops, Scott.” Luke said. “I’d rather have it bobbing like this, even though it’s not optimal for reading it.”

It was a long, mostly slow drive with no radio, and Scott’s attempt at “99 bottles of beer on the wall” was cut short when Linda threatened to tape his mouth shut. However, they did make it to Trout Lake, and apparently did so with good time.


Day 2, Leg 11 Aftermath

All of Team Twin-Snail watched as everyone arrived, counting cars.

“Someone didn’t make it.” Luke said. “The old riot-van’s gone.”

“Shame we didn’t nick their gas.” Scott said. “Would’ve given us a chance, at least.”

“That’s not being a good sport, Scott.” Linda snapped.

“Well, how are we going to make it with basically nothing in the gas tank?” Amy inquired.

“We’ll make it. I don’t yet know how, but we’ll make it. We have to. I’d say we could disable half the engine’s fuel injectors, but… We really wouldn’t gain from that at all. It’d lose us so much power that we’d be crawling along, burning more fuel while not going anywhere at all.” Luke said.

“How about asking one of the other teams for fuel?” Scott asked.

“This close to the finish line? We’d be lucky if they didn’t siphon the rest of ours to seal our fate, take one more team out of the chances for the prize.” Luke replied. “No, we’ve got to solve this ourselves.”


Car Condition:

Missing catalytic converters, mufflers attached directly to manifolds. Lightened up by removing the can of broken junk, the catalytics, the spare catalytic from the trunk, Luke’s miscellaneous pots and pans, Amy’s small grill, and the empty food wrappers Scott put in the trunk. The only empty containers left in the vehicle are the gas cans. Fluids topped up, containers thrown in the trash.

Team Condition:

MRL +13 (No Change). Hoping for a lucky break. Worried about the gas problem.


#274

Well. At least i have a hella stanced van now…


#275

Day 2 Leg 12 Data

“The Orchard Run”, FR3912A to private roads

Back down to the valley, then across the river to another private landowner. A bit of an eccentric, this guy has an old orchard that he is about to cut down and re-plant. A course through the rows of trees has been planned. Plenty of potential snags here…

Length 15; Avg Grade 2; Max Grade 12 (downhill from Trout Lake)

@Madrias
LAE High (fast); MRL 0; Notes: It looks like it’s close, but the team might make it on fuel. The side panels of the Sinistra, on the other hand, will have several new scratches from some low branches. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

@DeusExMackia
LAE High (slow); MRL -1; Notes: Getting hot again.

@JohnWaldock
LAE High (fast); MRL -1; Notes: Power wasn’t as bothersome on this portion, but the power steering fluid is probably all gone, given how heavy low-speed turning is now. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@BobLoblaw
LAE High (fast); MRL -2; Notes: Engine suddenly sounds like a can of ball bearings in a paint shaker. Noticeable vibration, but power doesn’t seem to be affected. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@Dorifto_Dorito
LAE - High (slow); MRL +0; Notes: None. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@Darkshine5
LAE - High (slow); MRL -2; Notes; Lack of comfort is increasing its toll. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@EnryGT5
LAE High (fast); MRL +0; None. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (fast); MRL +; Notes: Starting to get a handle on the fuel starvation, made up a little time. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.


#276

#Team ‘Southend Or Bust’
Original Post - Previous Post

The story so far: Three uni students almost at the end of this gruelling challenge. They’ve managed to stay cool for the last few runs thanks to conveniently placed lakes, but without them, the lack of air con is becoming a problem.

The air con fan started whining again. It had in fact been whining for well over half a day now, but it was now making new a new whine. Martin tried hitting the dash in a different spot this time. It didn’t make a difference.
“Stay with it, Martin” said James, scanning the map.
“I know, I know” Martin replied, some sweat shining on his face. “These orchards are nice though”.
“Yeah, interesting choice of route, isn’t it” said James, his thoughts turning to his love of Cider.

Seb was far more adept at dealing with this heat than the other two; he was from Spain, after all. But being stuck in a now rather sweaty car was getting annoying.
“I dread to think of the next owner of this car” he said, smiling. “There’s, uh, how do I say it, a lot of sweat in these seats now!”
“Ewww, dude” said James, grimacing, “I don’t want to think about that!”. Seb laughed.

“Ha…” chuckled Martin, trying not to think about how mad he was being driven by this heat. How much longer he could really take was questionable. Worse still was dealing with the fact that he couldn’t just fix this problem. This wasn’t a dodgy sparkplug or some grinding noise coming from the wheels; it’d require the whole of the dashboard to be taken off.

Maybe he’d be driven so mad, he’d actually try to do that out here.


#277

Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 11


Before the Stage

“Hey, Luke! Next stage has some downhill in it.” Linda yelled.

“Might know a few hypermiling tricks I learned from driving my old Surge that I could adapt and put into use on this leg of the run…” Luke replied, contemplating the strategy.

“Oh?”

“Ever driven an old Storm Surge, 2004 era?”

“I have.” Amy said, as Linda shook her head. “Oldest trick in the book with the 3XR is to turn the ignition off with the gearbox in neutral going down a hill. Even on a car like this, the fuel consumption to re-fire the engine is nothing compared to what it’d waste running closed-throttle down the hill. Just you’ve gotta have strong legs to use the brakes, because there’s no vacuum brake booster when you do that, and there’s no power steering, either.”

“Exactly. But I have strong legs, and I’m strong enough to turn the wheel with no power steering. I’m 93-percent confident that we’ll make it through this leg and have enough fuel for one more leg.” Luke said.

“What’s the other 7 percent?” Scott asked.

“Well, a 4 percent chance that we finish the leg with insufficient fuel to make the next one. 2 percent chance we end up with insufficient fuel to finish the leg. 0.8 percent chance of us running out of fuel at the finish line. 0.15 percent chance that the lack of power assistance causes me an issue and we have to resort to alternative means to finish.” Luke said.

“What’s the last point-oh-five percent?” Linda asked.

“0.05 percent chance that a catastrophic event occurs and we all die. Well, you three die, and I have to resort to my backup in the mainframe and waste a bunch of factory time to build a new chassis.”

“Oh, great.” Scott grumbled out, before all of them got into the car.


Day 2, Leg 12

At the line, once the flag waved, Luke carefully nudged the car with a blip of throttle in Drive, let the big old beast build up enough rolling momentum to overcome the friction in the transmission, then threw it in neutral and quickly shut down the engine, returning the key to the “Run” position so the wheel wouldn’t lock up. Now dead-silent, the Sinistra Savage slowly began building speed in the world’s heaviest soap-box derby car, the only sounds coming from the car being the quiet scrape of wheel bearings, the sound of the driveshaft and diff-gears spinning, the rush of air over the interior of the car, and the wheels over the dirt and gravel. Occasionally, the springs squeaked and panels rattled.

After nearly a minute of near-perfect silence, a rattle shuddered through the car as Luke ran over a few large rocks, and the glovebox door swung open, smacking Amy on both kneecaps.

The outburst of swearing was rather quite terrible, but was mostly contained after a few seconds.

Soon, Luke saw the hill starting to level out, and leaned on the key, the inertia starter whining as it readied the flywheel to start the engine.

“Contact!” Luke said, followed by a clunk, bang, and roar from the engine starting, then a thud from the transmission engaging third gear from neutral. The car shuddered violently before accelerating toward the orchard.

They dashed between the trees, engine snarling and the wheels kicking up dust and dirt and smashed bits of apple. An apple fell into the car and knocked Luke in the head, making him swerve and scuff the entire right-hand side of the car through a bunch of low branches. Luke removed the offending fruit from under the brake pedal, in the process side-swiping the left side of the car and smashing the driver’s side mirror.

“Who knew that food could almost be our undoing?” Scott said, seeing the chaos one simple apple caused. Another apple plopped onto the rear center console and rolled onto the floor, where Scott picked it up, screamed in pain, and threw the offending fruit over the back of the car. “Can you try not to use the car as a fruit basket, Luke? There’s wasps in some of these.” Scott yelled.

“I can try, but we’re in a very big car on very narrow trails.” Luke replied, though started weaving around even more, trying to avoid branches that looked like they contained fruit ready to drop into the open top of their car.

They made it to the finish line, and Luke checked the gas gauge.


Day 2, Leg 12 Aftermath

“We might, just might, have enough fuel to make it.” Luke said.

“Let’s just hope for favorable conditions, then. And let’s top up the fluids, spray some clear paint over those scratches, get the last maintenance done on the car.” Amy said.

They all got out of the car to start doing their fair bit of the work. Scott decided to deal with the spray paint as it was the least technically involved task he could find, and avoided him having to grab caps, wrenches, or other tools with the thumb that the wasp had stung. Luke dealt with checking and topping up the fluids. Amy tightened bolts on the car that had started to rattle loose, and Linda grabbed the last set of clean air filters and put them on the car.


Car Condition:

Looks like hell. Apple mash in the back seat, scratches all down both sides. Missing both rear view mirrors. Fluids all topped up. Fuel is low, but might be just enough to make it.

Team Condition:

MRL +13 overall (No Change.) Feeling very lucky. Luke’s fine after taking an apple to the head, cameras realigned almost instantly. Scott’s thumb will be sore for a few hours, but no lasting harm done from the angry wasp.


#278

Day 2 Leg 13 Data

“The Orchard” to Double Chevron Ranch via SR 24 and private road

Though the run down Highway 24 is paved, smooth, and high speed, the final 5 miles are on rough private roads, leading to the finish line — the Double Chevron Ranch. The organizers are awaiting, as is some killer grub…

Length 67; Avg Grade 1; Max Grade 5

@Madrias
LAE Medium (slow); MRL +4; Notes: Most of this phase was extreme, butt-puckering fuel conservation (not what you really think you’d ever pucker your butt for, eh?) On the last mile or so of the private road, the Sinistra was cutting out and misfiring. But it MADE IT, under its own power, on just fumes. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

@DeusExMackia
LAE High (slow); MRL +2; Notes: Everyone’s sweating profusely and feels like they’re sunburned, but crossing the line and grabbing cold sodas/beers was an amazing feeling. TEAM MORALE IS VERY HIGH.

@JohnWaldock
LAE Low (slow); MRL +2; Notes: Sustained lack of power has cost a lot of time, but the team has finished nonetheless. Side note: after finishing, you were able to discover the source of your power issues: a clogged catalytic converter. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@BobLoblaw
LAE High (slow); MRL +2; Notes: Despite sounding like death, the Enforcer has crossed the finish line. And only barely. Diagnosis of new problem (prepare to hitch-hike home): one of the valves in a deactivated cylinder came loose, punched through the piston, and started rattling around. You’re actually amazed the engine didn’t grenade earlier. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@Dorifto_Dorito
LAE - High (fast); MRL +0; Notes: Despite your team’s mistake of installing the springs wrong when replacing the front suspension pre-race, you did not have a catastrophic failure. Though maybe next time let a professional fix them. :smiley: TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@Darkshine5
LAE - High (fast); MRL +2; Notes; Your backs and butts are worn out from the bad seats, but it was all worth it. You’ve made it. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

@EnryGT5
LAE High (slow); MRL +0; Overall a grand experience for the team. It’s over, and time to celebrate. TEAM MORALE AT MAXIMUM.

@titleguy1 / @ramthecowy
LAE High (fast); MRL +3; Notes: Another team that will likely have to tow their ride home and find alternate transportation, the fuel pump on the Kimura has held together long enough to get the young team over the finish line. TEAM MORALE VERY HIGH.

Day Two Results:

DeusExMackia (Exact)
Dorifto Dorito (Slow)
Titleguy1/Ramthecowy (Slow)
Bobloblaw (slow)
Darkshine5 (slow)
Madrias (slow)
EnryGT5 (slow)
JohnWaldock (Slow)

Double Chevron Ranch – BBQ and Awards

The contestants are welcomed to the Ranch with great cheers by Ranch staff, event organizers, and a handful of local motorsport enthusiasts. Cold soda, beer, wine, and water flow freely, and the dinner buffet spread beckons. Barbecued ribs, grilled steaks, fresh corn, homemade potato and pasta salads, baked beans, and wide variety of fruit and crudites cover six large tables.

The contestants are invited to take as much as they want, and enjoy the spoils earned from a hard fought finish. As everyone is filling themselves, the event organizers step up to announce the winners… (Note, day 2 was pretty brutal… and ALL finishers were off pace on the slow side for the 2-day course average)

DNF: VicVictory, cpufreak101, Vri404, F17Francesco, HighOctaneLove, conan, szafirowy01, Mikonp7, 8bs, DoctorNarfy, stm316, Leonardo9613, RK38
8th: JohnWaldock
7th: Madrias
6th: EnryGT5
4th (TIED): DeusExMackia and Titleguy1/Ramthecowy
3rd: Bobloblaw
2nd: Darkshine5
WINNER: Dorifto Dorito. Here you go, here’s your pistons welded skull-and-crossbones style to a flywheel!

RP award: Madrias
RP honorable mentions: Bobloblaw, DeusExMackia
Hard Luck Award: stm316 (that thing really should have made it… I almost cried when it rolled 2 critical failures in a row)
Ballsy Award: Rk38 (the only car with medium compound tires, which bit them several times… yet they still managed until their spectacular failure)
Ballsy honorable mentions: Leonardo9613 and HighOctaneLove

Thank you all for submitting, it was fun! (also, feel free to do your final RPs should you choose)


#279

Congratulations for @Dorifto_Dorito for winning this challenge! Merely finishing this challenge was incredibly tough for the entrants, however, which explains the high attrition rate and is a testament to the skill of all the crews of the vehicles which crossed the finish line.

And many thanks to @VicVictory for hosting this competition!


#280

Team Twin-Snail

Day 2, Leg 12


Before the Stage

With the news that they had quite the distance to travel to make the trip, the decision was made, mutually, to empty the trunk. Out came the empty fuel cans, the spare bottles of oil, the containers of transmission fluid, the last of the repair parts, everything except the jack, tire iron, and spare tire.

“Think we can make it?” Amy asked.

“I’m not sure. We should be able to make it, but… We might not have enough fuel.” Luke said.

With that bit of news in the air, most of team Twin-Snail got into the car as Luke pushed it to the starting line.


Day 2, Leg 13

“The car has to be running, pal.”

“I know that. We’re so low on fuel that we can’t afford to waste it by driving it here.” Luke replied to the race official. Wave us through and start the timer, I’ll cross the line under our own power, but I don’t want to sit idling while you yank our chain for three minutes."

Luke got into the driver’s seat and held the key, letting the starter buzz up to speed. The flag dropped, Luke let go of the key, and the engine roared as Luke stuffed it in Drive the instant the car started. They lurched violently as the car started moving, slowly bringing it up to highway speed. They rumbled along at 50 miles per hour, the car’s optimal speed for economy, watching as the gas gauge bounced and wiggled with every bump.

As they drove along, the fan clutch partially engaged and filled the car with a rather unpleasant screeching, made worse by the power steering pump bearing going from “kinda dying” to “certainly dead” and joining the chaos. Shortly after that, the alternator bearing, which had been rattling for quite some time, finally let go and picked up a third note in the wailing of screaming metal. This, of course, made the highway miles particularly unpleasant.

“Why did they all have to fail now!?” Linda yelled.

“Murphy’s law. By doing it now, they’re making the fuel efficiency worse when we need it the most. The fan’s stuck partially on, the power steering let go, and the alternator’s joined the chaos.” Luke replied.

As they made it off of the highway and onto the last 5 miles of road, the fuel situation was even worse, with the gauge reading on empty, and every time they hit a bump, the “Fuel Empty” light in the gauge flashed in the typical crimson of all the other gauge lights. Every now and then, there was a slight sputter, a mild lurch, though the car kept rolling.

“The hell is going on, Luke?” Scott asked.

“Fuel starvation. She’s having a hard time picking anything useful up, so she’s bucking and coughing and shuddering.” Luke said.

“Oh, because that’s such a good thing to do with a turbocharged car.” Linda said sarcastically.

As they neared the last mile, the car stalled. Luke slammed it into neutral and turned the key, releasing the starter and kicking the engine back over. It sputtered instead of roaring away, but it started, and while it kept sputtering, lurching, and coughing, it kept running.

With mere yards to go, the engine coughed and started making all manner of unpleasant noises.

“Spark knock! We’re on nothing but fumes now. Come on, baby, hold together.” Luke said, trying to limp the rattling, sputtering, knocking Sinistra into the parking lot.

As they made it over the line, the engine sputtered and stalled, spitting an angry puff of black smoke out of the cropped exhaust system.


Day 2, Leg 13, End of Race Aftermath

With the car still barely rolling, Luke guided it to a parking spot, throwing the car in park. The instant the car stopped moving, Linda, Scott, and Amy jumped over the sides of the car, not even bothering with the doors as they ran for the food, the booze, and the soda. Luke, on the other hand, took his time getting out of the car and immediately set about trying to sell the Sinistra to anyone who looked at it.

“It made it here through two days of hell, and while it needs a lot of work to restore it to its former glory, it does run. You’ll have to put some catalytic converters on it, the fan clutch needs replacing, the alternator and power steering pump are shot, so those have to be fixed, and we’re missing two of the four mufflers for the car. Oh, and the 35 gallon gas tank is completely empty, as in ‘can’t start the car’ empty. So whoever buys it is gonna need to provide fuel. Oh, and the top sticks.” Luke said.

While Linda and Scott were busy arguing over whether the ribs or the steak was better, and Amy was getting up to get another beer, Luke attended the Awards Ceremony.

When it was announced that Team Twin-Snail managed 7th, Luke was secretly rather glad. This challenge wasn’t just about getting to the finish first, it was about surviving the challenge overall. That their $500-or-less land yacht had managed to finish at all was impressive enough.

More impressive was Luke managing to trade the old 1977 Sinistra Savage Convertible for an old 1998 Minerva Midnight as their next major project car.

“Hey, come look at this!” Luke yelled, standing next to their new car.

Linda, Amy, and Scott ran over, looking at the dark blue sedan. “What about it?” Amy asked after a few minutes of trying to figure out what was so special about it.

“It’s ours. I traded the old Sinistra for it. Someone was here looking to sell it, but despite the Sinistra’s problems, they decided they’d restore it instead. So we’ve got a V6 executive FWD to make our way home in.” Luke replied.

“I like the thought of that.” Scott said.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Linda asked.

“I’m not telepathic.” Luke replied. “But if you’re thinking that we ought to use this the next time the Roulette Runner comes around, I’m thinking that’s a great idea.”


Original Car Condition:

On a flat bed tow truck heading to Texas.

New Car Condition:

Seems okay enough. Surely comfortable. Slight lifter tick, and Luke highly suspects the number 4 cylinder is misfiring.

Team Condition:

MRL +17 overall. We made it! The living members of the team are enjoying the food and festivities. Luke is busy making sure the new car’s able to get them home.