: 1400 Shallow Tires/Soft Suspension
Decent Lap Time
I figured we were wearing that ZooN thread out, so what better time to post a review on a fairly new track lol.
“Timberland Grove” represents ZR1_DkriderX’s 17th “publicly released” track. So that there’s no confusion, he’s entered a track in the upcoming 2003 Expo, hence he’s actually authored 18 tracks…to my knowledge, that is. Dk is definitely his own man where track making is concerned. He knows what he likes, he has his own style, and he excels at it. It’s interesting that he seems to get into certain “modes”, if you will. For a while he was doing the jungle theme thing, but my guess is he reached his creative limits with tracks loosely based on bamboo huts, gorillas, and dudes sporting nothing but loincloth. He switched up and decided to bust a move (that phrase is for our young, street-wise, hip readers lol) and breakout with something different, hence the arrival of “Spring Fever”. It’s true that “Timberland Grove” is nowhere near as colorful as “Spring Fever”, and in fact, there are several other subtle differences between the two, but by and large they’re cut from the same fabric so to speak. By that I mean the racing characteristics are similar, but again, there’s more than enough dissimilarity to justify keeping both tracks in a personal “favorite pods” folder.
“Timberland Grove” is a blacktop racetrack with a somewhat predictable layout (not a bad thing, mind you) complimented nicely with several slightly banked corners that accentuate the course’s flow, quite nicely as well as enhances ones sense of speed. It’s set in a rich, green forest area densely populated with trees, shrubs, cabins of various types, and a 1972 Ford Pinto. Actually the last item was just an attention getter. Sometimes readers start drifting on me, and little stunts like the one I just pulled snaps them back into place mentally lol. Moving right along, Dk continues to successfully pull off combining tracks that require a little brainpower to master, but also offers little in the form of pain and frustration to aspiring pros. The mastery part comes into play on the hills he’s put in that require you to temper the inclination to slip into to the “fast, faster, fastest” mode. There are specific times where accelerator control and easing off the gas just a tad works far better than sticking your foot thru the floorboard and going for the gusto. To illustrate my point, check out this replay
– undeniably one of the best racers out here today. Pay particular attention to how smooth he is throughout, the way backs off the gas at certain sections, placing the emphasis on control and technique to minimize skidding, which inevitably robs you of precious seconds off your lap time. I’ll tell ya right now, in order to run this track in the manner that Shaggy does in that replay…well, you have to be a machine with precision-like reflexes. Then again Shaggy is a machine; Jump and I built it out of scrap Tonka Toy truck parts, old matchbox cars, and leftover Cabbage Patch doll parts in SLO_JDAK’s garage. Not in our wildest dreams did we count on our little project turning out this well. Shaggy cries a lot—often times a little cranky, but hey, that’s another story lol.
Getting back to “Timberland Grove”, there are really no surprises here. The layout is uncomplicated, lots of fun, and the scenery is very easy on the eyes. Objectively speaking I did take note of a few model blemishes, and if memory serves me well, he’s aware of them. The first is at checkpoint marker number 2
. If you try to cut it too close you’ll collide with an invisible portion of the model as shown here. However, if you stay within the confines of the white borderline you’ll be just fine. The other is this cabin
just before checkpoint 7. If you try to shave the corner by cutting in between the cabin and the tree, you’re likely to get a jolt from the invisible portion of the model if you cut it too close. I did find 3 trees that are just b a r e l y floating, but I decided not to make a fuss over it. The flaws are so slight (microscopic even) that to take pictures would serve as proof positive just how anal retentive I am, and we can’t have that! Speaking of trees, I feel that for the sake of consistency, ALL trees within close proximity to the road or racing line should be set to no collide facing, then fitted with an object box to simulate a tree trunk. It not only adds a sense of realism to the track, but also racers know what to expect throughout the course of the track. In "Timberland Grove" some are set to no collided facing, some aren't. On the other hand, you could opt to set them all to no collide facing and leave it at that. I'm partial to the former mostly for the added sense of realism.
In summation Dk has once again carved up an extremely nice layout that manages to appeal to all levels of racers. It’s works just as well as a one-on-one track as it does with three to five racers. SLO’s new APL comes out on July 15, so don’t be surprised if you see this one on there…and possibly “Spring Fever” as well. “Timberland Grove” pulled up with an impressive “9.25
” out of 10 possible points on the Copey Rating scale.
A very nice track, Dk—arguably your best work to date. I understand you’ll be taking a break from the track making scene for a while, which is cool, of course. However, I’m definitely looking forward to your next project when the inspiration hits you again. I love your stuff, bud…and so do many others. Take care and we’ll see ya when you return…and you better not come back empty handed lol!