MARC Season 2015 – 2016 – Race 2 at Catfish International Speedway

Small Turnout, Small Cars • MARC Round Two @ Catfish International

Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 17, 2015 –With all the trouble in the world, we got to spend another day together, joshing, eating pie, using micrometers, and making 2.5-

Prepping the cars for a fast day of racing

inch cars hurtle around a tabletop at more than 20 feet per second. Other folks hike, ski, play Ultimate or tennis, watch college football, write novels, make Jello®… I mean, there’re a lot of ways you can spend your time, you know? We’ve found that this is right for us. And I feel so lucky to have called MARC my home club for the past 25 years.  Catfish International Speedway is in the basement of a 1903 three-decker apartment building, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Somehow, I convinced several people to throw in their lot with me, so we could have the room, and an 82-foot racecourse, to pursue this somewhat daft hobby at a moderately high level. I am grateful to them all, but none more than Bryan Henden, who created our racetrack, the Brystal Catfish. Donuts and cider helped begin the day in paradigmatic New England fashion. At midday, we had pizza, and as we began to wrap up, with the shadows getting long, out came the Cherry Crumb and Salted Apple pies. If you haven’t yet been here to race, you have to know that food is one of several good reasons to change that up. With all of these inducements, all this catnip, still many mice stayed away. There were competing race dates, a big problem with accessibility, youth sports, family troubles, planes to meet at JFK, honeymoon, you name it. Just the day for many of these to coalesce, leading to a smallish turnout. We missed you guys! But those who came?

They had fun.


MARC Spec Racer: Two amateurs. Yes, two. Jimmy Colligan and Eric Handel were the lonely pair, and we mushed them in with the Pros. Five minutes per lane, round robin,

MARC Spec Racer drivers hard at it

European rotation. 82 feet around, in a little over four seconds. Sharing the track with various, motley Pros, Jimmy took the bleu riband with 232.17 laps, and Eric came next with 213.36.  Ten Pros stepped up: Ryan Archambault, Tom Gray, Rob Hayes, Jim Macartney, Dave Muse, John Pileggi, John Reimels, Paul Ryer, John Stezelecki, Vince Tamburo, and by the end of the program we had seen a new single-lap class record from Ryan Archambault, 3.861, and a new record lap total, 286.42, from host R. Hayes, who ran all four lanes without one deslot. So, Rob, Dr. John 279.06, JR 277.37 just slicing Ryan at 277.20, Vince (with a superb car) at 269.19, Stez with 261.01, Paul Ryer with trouble on White 258.18, Tom Gray with the Catfish backup car 253.13, Jim Mac 238.08, and Dave Muse 236.20.


Awesome half-time musical interlude – Hunter Burgamy

Our musical guest, Mr. Hunter Burgamy from New Orleans, arrived and was playing the national anthem for us on his antique Harmony hollowbody around 1:45. He followed with a rendition of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train.” Both were well received, and we thank you, Hunter


Lots of practice time for a Compression Molded Polymer Modified field – amateurs and pros — that has shrunken to just nine. Through practice, some folks did find a way to run softish tires and not burn up; and some clearly didn’t. In the amateur program, Jimmy Colligan and Eric Handel hung in, with Jimmy hanging a 40 lap decision

MARC CMPM on a fast challenging track – it can be difficult to catch your breathe…

on Eric. We had just enough folks, with Jimmy and Eric to race and marshal a Main, so that’s what we set our caps for. This looked, early on, like it would be a war of attrition. Tommy Gray tested the limit of physics once more, with soft tires and a 300-some degree reading (!) from his car in Blue. Vince had problems with the little round things with all the teeth, and other rotational parts as well. JP, JR, Ryan and Rob moved up to the Main, as Mac had a devil of time on Red, and didn’t quite find the range on the other lanes. Rob did not find the setup until the very end of the race, and spent some serious time on the floor on White, so doomed himself to 4th, three back of Ryan. JP and

Main Finishing Podium – Pileggi 1st, Reimels, sr 2nd, Archambault 3rd, Hayes 4th

JR had a royal tussle, with JP’s 51 laps on Red making the difference. Dr. John Pileggi 204.33, Reimels Sr. 199.28, Ryan Archambault 189.11, and track owner Catfish Sr. 186.39, but somehow setting a new single-lap class record of 2.978.  We closed out the day with pie, closed our boxes, and bid adieu. Thank you all for coming; so fortunate to have days like these. Our next MARC tilt will be Saturday, November 14 at Nantasket Beach Raceway, in Hull, Massachusetts, where we’ll be racing F1 G-Jets, and Super Stock. We’ll hope to see more of you then