Gravity Racing of New England – Nov 5, 2016 – Catfish International Speedway

Cambridge Massachusetts, November 5, 2016 – What we lacked in entrees, we made up for in enthusiasm and fun!  While we only had 5 entrees at the Gravity Racing of New

Tom Smith and Mike Tiffany practicing for the Gravity Car Race

England event at Rob Hayes’ Catfish International Speedway on Nov 5th, we still had lots of fun; the enthusiasm from the more seasoned Gravity Racers was matched by Gravity newcomer Mike Tiffany, who made the trek up all the way from NY to join us for the day.  With judicious use of dummy placeholders, we managed to run the races with 3 turn marshals and 2 racers per heat, while far from ideal, it still allowed all three races to be run.  As I suspected, Rob’s track was a perfect fit for Gravity Racing, long straights with fast sweepers and a few hairpins throw in to make life interesting.  We had 4 mini-motored cars (2 sidewinders and 2 anglewinders) with one

Gravity Race Podium – Rob Hayes 1st, John Reimels 2nd and Paul Ryer 3rd

traditional AFX based brass panned car in the mix.  One benefit of the lower than hoped for attendance – there was plenty of track time during practice allowing folks to share info, help with set ups and, in general, enjoy the day.  When the dust settled, Rob Hayes showed the rest of us how to drive gravity cars on his track.  His well sorted Scott Terry anglewinder just flew around the track looking more like a magnet car than a gravity car beating John Reimels’ sidewinder by a healthy 3 laps.  Paul Ryer finished in third another 4 laps in arears with his newly acquired Scott Terry anglewinder.  Rob was very open about the tweaks he’s made to his car, judging by the notes Paul was taking, he should be ready to go for our next event on January 2nd!  Fourth was Tom Smith in the lone AFX brass panned car closely followed by first time gravity racer Mike Tiffany in a sidewinder out of John Reimels’ pit box.

Next up was the BRASCAR class for cars utilizing a Mabuchi HT-50 motor.  We decided to


simply run four cars built by John Reimels IROC style.  These in-line cars were built about 6 years ago and have seen many a race but they’re still going strong.  Once again Rob showed his mastery of the track beating John Reimels to the line, this time only by 1 lap.  Paul Ryer finished third 2 laps behind John with Mike Tiffany in fourth and Tom Smith in 5th.




Last up were T-Jets.  It’s amazing how well these cars run considering they’re based on “toys” built almost 50 years ago.  The hope is that Gravity Racing of New England will

T-Jet Podium – Paul Ryer 3rd, Rob Hayes 2nd and John Reimels 1st

migrate this class to a brass panned T-Jet to better fit the theme of brass / gravity racing.  Al Thurman has a new generation pan that fits the chassis with no modifications and allows the use of Lexan Bodies (what god intended for real slot cars …).  Hopefully we’ll have enough brass panned T-Jets for use at our next event.  In the meantime, we’re using the ECHORR Super Stock rules for our T-Jet racing.  The question at the start of the third race – would anyone prevent Rob from sweeping the event?  Would he play the good host and take a dive?  The answer was yes and I certainly hope not…   With the smell of T-Jet oil wafting in the air, Rob was finally defeated after having a rough heat in the blue lane.  John Reimels was able to beat Rob to the finish line by 2 laps with Paul Ryer coming home third one lap behind Rob.  Mike Tiffany came home in fourth followed by Tom Smith in fifth.

Gravity Car racing and Catfish International Speedway – a perfect combination

I want to thank those that made the event, especially Mike Tiffany who had quite the drive to get to Cambridge, Rob Hayes for hosting the event and Tom Smith who made the trip despite just getting home from vacation.  Based on conversation throughout the event, the smaller turnout didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for racing gravity / brass cars.  Our next event is scheduled for Monday, January 2nd at Ryan Archambault’s Fast Five Raceway.  If last year’s event at Ryan’s is any indication, we should have a blast racing the gravity cars on his fast Snake Bite track.  Mark your calendars!!!!

John Reimels

Brass Car Enthusiast and Advocate