Wild Ones and Racecraft
These were the series that Aurora called The Wild Ones. They were equipped with hotter armatures than the standard thunderjet chassis as well as slightly stronger than stock magnets, and silver pick up shoes and brushes.
On the Home Page I made reference to "racecraft." I first heard this term used by Mike Engelage. I learned what it meant by watching he and Rick Jocham race fray style tjets in our club. These guys have always had fast cars which handle very well. Just at the end of the 2003 season, I was invited by Mike and Rick to come and tune with them at Mike's place in Brea, CA. I had witnessed their racecraft during the 2003 season. Racecraft makes reference to the act of overtaking in the right spot on the track during a heat. The hard part can be determining where the right spot is. Each track has somewhat traditional passing zones. These can be utilized when you catch a slower car in that area. Sometimes a newer, or even a seasoned, driver can close the door on you in the passing zone. What I observed Mike and Rick doing is following along at a safe distance until the door of opportunity was opened to pass. You see, trying to pass at an inopportune time, can cause you to come off the track (de-slot). Then, you're at the mercy of the marshals. The newbies tend to defend their positions aggressively and will more often than not de-slot. If you're lucky, they won't take you out in the process. Any time out of the slot means lost laps. This is where your racecraft comes in. Choose your spot to pass. Pass safely. The seasoned racers will allow you by without too much resistance if they're not on the same pace as you are or they're running in a gutter lane which requires a slower pace due to tighter radius turns or gotchas. If you're on the same lap and fighting for position, racecraft really comes into play on the part of both contenders. If you're running a superior car, you can usually choose your spot and make your move safely. If you're slightly more seasoned than your opponent and his car is equal or faster, sometimes you can simply run along as closely as possible until the opponents lack of savvy causes them to buckle under the pressure and they deslot. It's about knowing your opponents and their capability. That's why I like to watch the heats I don't race in. Sometimes I'll see where a driver is not pushing hard enough in a certain area of the track and know I can capitalize on that if I go head to head with that individual. I will sometimes see areas where I may be losing time because I've been sandbagging in a given area. I'll correct myself after close observation. It's all a part of racecraft. When it comes down to the finals, it gets really exciting because the guys who get there are more predictable. You know their tendencies and can communicate with them when you're running a center lane and they run a gutter. One good turn deserves another and, what goes around, comes around.