A Bigg Program: week 3 of summer camp in the books

Our third week of summer camp was a quick one. Featuring two classes; Fun and Games at the World of Speed and Racing 101, we tailored our programs to an older age demographic. This means that new activities were tried and times were blazing. This week we added a new staff member, Ariel Biggs. Her knowledge of racing and car setup is an invaluable addition to our staff. As she was becoming acclimated, the first day of the camp emphasized working together as a team, playing outdoor games and racing in tandem.

Though is not required, many of the Racing 101 students already had some sort of racing expertise, whether it was karting or virtually. Thirteen year-old Griffin commented that his experience prior to starting the camp was cybernetic. “I do a lot of racing games,” he said. With our two resident racing experts, Ariel and Ryan, the students watched race film to learn about track maneuvers that are effective and safe. With that newfound knowledge, they ventured out to Sykart indoor racing complex. While the temperatures climbed outside, track times dropped to frigid precision. Slipping and screeching on the slick course, the students set the fastest laps the track had seen all month. Faster than our driving counselors, 15 year-old Brayden recorded a 31.033 second lap time. Taking what they learned from their track excursion, they shaved seconds off of their simulator times in preparation for the final race day.

This group of Fun and Games designed and raced their very own Pinewood derby cars. The design process included inspiration from the World of Speed gallery. “I designed my car to be part Challenger 1 and this car.” Meaning Rolla Vollsteadt’s 1965 Bryant Heating and Cooling IndyCar. “They were both known for speed. The Challenger with the engines and this one with aerodynamics.” said 12 year-old Howard. He knew from the beginning what he wanted his car to look like. 12 year-old Jace had so much fun last week in Racing 101 he registered again for this week's course. This time around he would have the chance to let his creativity run wild: “I am designing my own Pinewood car. Though it is going to have Jeff Gordon’s Rainbow Warrior paint.” While wheels were being added, all designers were talking big and imagining their car in the winner’s circle. At the end of the week the projects were put to the test on our state-of-the-art Pinewood ramp. It was Zane in his ‘Stealth Speed’ car that would walk away victorious but Howard would win the design portion of the contest with his ‘Eagle 1’ modeled after the Challenger 1 and Bryant Special. These students also had the opportunity to build their very own model car of their choosing, a challenge conquered by this age group with vigor.

In the overall racing competition held at the end of the week Brayden would be the fastest on both open wheel simulators at 1:25.925 for the Lotus and 1:13.698 in the IndyCar. Although he was crowned overall simulator champion he couldn't make the clean sweep as returning racer, Jace had the fastest time on the NASCAR simulator at 50.996. Second place across the board was given to 13 year-old Josh who was second quickest in all three simulators. In the RC cars Spencer would be the clear winner at 16.7 seconds around the makeshift course. In the slot cars Jace would come from last position to be the upset winner, a fine finish to our winning week. It was a fast one here at the World of Speed and we can't wait to see what excitement is around the corner next week as classes continue.