Race 3 – 2023-2024 – Ralph Spoilsport Raceway

November 11, 2023 – Hi Ya race fans.  This month we had 10 racers compete at the Ralph Spoilsport Speedway.  Once again, we had competing races.  Several MARC Pros were competing in the KSR Enduro in California.  Wishing them good fortune for their race.

Daunting Squiggles awaiting the uninitiated

For this month’s MARC race, there was an even split between Sportsman and Pros.  Open Weight practice started at 8:00 AM.  Once again, the MARC racers were introduced to the Ralph Spoilsport Speedway “Squiggle”.  Leaving the start line going through the first sweeper, the first straight way and first hairpin you face three feet of track with four left hand arcs about ¾” from center.  This is a unique feature to the tracks on the MARC circuit.  Mike Tiffany, having driven it in 2019, was lobbying to have it removed and replaced with a straight track before the race started.  Mike had to be convinced it would be more fun with it.


Technical note – a few weeks ago while practicing with a naked Fusion chassis, it was noted that the Trackmate lane counter was not always registering.  All four lanes behave the same, Debounce had no effect. The lane counter sensors are located between the pin slot and power rail.  The Fusion chassis has significant gaps on either side of the center to

Sportsman Open Weight Podium – Hal Pierce 3rd, Bruce Olsen 2nd, and Terry Ayer 1st

allow the light to get through, confusing the software.  Pushing the chassis very slowly by hand trips the lane counter three times in one pass.   Most of the time putting a body on the chassis alleviates the problem.  However, large windshields may still allow the light to pass through.  Viper, G3, T-jet, Magnatraction bare chassis do not show this problem.  We had a quick meeting explaining the problem before the race.  More on this later.

Open Weight was the first class we raced.  Power was set at 14 volts.  As

Pro Open Weight Podium – Tom Jahl 1st, Jim Macartney 2nd, Tom Gray 3rd and Paul Ryer 4th

with the Fiddlehead Race this was the first time running Open Weight cars on this track for a MARC event.






Results are as follows:


First               Terry Ayer               297 laps        best lap     3.376 seconds

Second          Bruce Olsen           291 laps        best lap     3.648 seconds

Third              Hal Pierce              266 laps         best lap     3.602 seconds

Fourth            Mike Tiffany            256 laps         best lap     3.756 seconds

Fifth               Jim Colligan            254 laps         best lap     3.710 seconds



First             Tom Jahl                   288 laps         best lap     3.614 seconds

Second        Jim Macartney          281 laps         best lap     3.287 seconds  best time!

Third            Tom Gray                  279 laps         best lap     3.644 seconds

Fourth          Paul Ryer                 277 laps          best lap     3.632 seconds

Fifth              Hakim Harris            245 laps          best lap     3.646 seconds


In both Sportsman and Pros, the lap spread was 43 laps.  The best lap time spread was .334 seconds for the Sportsman and .359 seconds for the Pros.  A good difference in lap count and the best lap times.

With the first race in the record books, we broke for lunch.  It must have been good because it looked like someone licked the chili pot clean.  Hopefully no one left hungry.

Sportsman Open Weight Podium – Terry Ayer 1st, Bruce Olsen 2nd, Hal Pierce 3rd and Jimmy Colligan 4th


After changing the voltage on the track, we began practice for the SPEC racer class.  As is the tradition with the faster cars, we were keeping track of who hit the highest on the back wall after leaving the track.  The SPEC’s traction magnets made a huge difference in the dreaded “Squiggle”.  After a half hour of practice, the drivers seemed to be able to carry decent speed through this obstacle.


SPEC racer results:



First               Terry Ayer               441 laps        best lap     2.460 seconds

Second          Bruce Olsen           421 laps        best lap     2.414 seconds  best time!

Third              Hal Pierce               404 laps        best lap     2.621 seconds

Fourth           Jim Colligan             389 laps        best lap     2.678 seconds

Fifth               Mike Tiffany             368 laps        best lap     2.932 seconds



First             Tom Jahl                   417 laps         best lap     2.616 seconds

Second        Jim Macartney          409 laps         best lap     2.559 seconds

Third            Hakin Harris              404 laps         best lap     2.554 seconds

Fourth          Tom Gray                  398 laps         best lap     2.453 seconds

Fifth              Paul Ryer                 395 laps          best lap     2.556 seconds


Pro Spec Racer Podium – Tom Gray 4th, Hakim Harris 3rd, Jim Macartney 2nd and Tom Jahl 1st

This was an interesting race.  Bruce found a way to exit the track by launching his car from the turn before the “Squiggle” across two straight aways, across the driver’s station and onto the floor.  Not just once but multiple times.  We’re still trying to figure out how he did it.

Remember the lane counting issue?  During the race Paul noticed Mike only had registered 40 laps in blue and 58 in white.  Paying attention to the lap counter we noticed his car was not registering on every lap.  Yup – Mike was driving a Fusion with a semi-transparent body.  After changing bodies to one with a solid paint job – counting improved.   We had to cover the entire windshield with lane stickers to get each lap to count.   Next time we’ll do a quick check during practice on the Fusion chassis to make sure they are counting.


Racing Hard!

So for the race analysis.  Sportsman had a 52 lap span and a differential of .472 in best lap times, pretty big difference.  Pros had 22 lap spread and a difference of .163 in best lap times.  Much closer in spread and in best lap times compared to the Pros.

Terry wound up with a double win in Sportsman.  Home track does have its advantages as demonstrated by John Pileggi last month.  Tom Jahl took the double win for the Pros, negating the home track advantage theory.  Thanks to everyone for making the trip.  All in all a good day of racing.  Next month we meet at Paul Ryer’s.


Keep the shiny side up,