Fast Lap: 00:53.26 by SLO_Scrooch
Garage Settings: 1400 med tires/soft suspension
The only reason I recognized the name “BowtieBandit” is because of last year’s Expo; he participated as one of the contestants. Bowtie’s stock and trade is that of a drag track maker, however, after sampling “Rep Fan’s Garage”, I think it’s safe to say he knows a thing or three about circuits, too. Before I get knee-deep into talking about the track I thought it’d be interesting to know a little about the guy since I’ve never seen him online or chatted with him. I went to KC’s and took a peek at his profile
. Now, starting from the top working down, everything appears perfectly normal. It’s when you get to “Occupation” and “Hobbies” that you kinda go, “hmmmm…” lol. Personally I don’t have a problem with either his occupation or hobby; they happen to be two things I excel at. However, if I was the advice giving type, I’d suggest he keep his marital status exactly the way it is lol. Marriage has destroyed so many MTM careers, and well...I get all emotional just thinking about it. I detest losing comrades to that dreaded institution. Actually it’s more like a disease lol...but for the sake of arguments we’ll go with the former.
Rep Fan’s Garage is the result of a friendship shared between Bowtie and the person for whom the track is named. Regardless of how it turned out, the gesture alone is quite admirable and speaks for itself. However, in this case we’re fortunate in that Bowtie’s second attempt at a circuit happened to be more than just a nice idea or a good deed. He’s conjured up what amounts to a very exciting mx style circuit with a subtle drag track twist, which is where the crushed cars (probably built by Rep Fan and abandoned by the owners after they realized the cars were junk lol) come into play. The only circuits I’m vaguely familiar with that use crushed cars are Reospeed’s "Country of Stunts" and "Boss’s Misty Mountain Hop", but even so, this track is nothing like those two. Bowtie opted to make the cars an integral part of the layout, forcing racers to not only contend with whoops, elevation changes and quick turns, but jumping over cars as well, and you know what? It works, and it works extremely well. If you fail to position yourself in such a way that you strike the cars squarely, you’ll get hung up, costing you valuable time, and possibly the race. Another little characteristic I like is his use of subtle misdirection and banking. For instance, at checkpoint 8 instead of simply making a flat, semi-abrupt change to the direction of the road coming off the mini straight, he built up the terrain as seen here
. The combination of the terrain (sloping upward and to the right from the road as you approach) and directional change up he threw in is nicely done in my opinion. Instinctively you would expect the road to continue going to the left, or at the very least take a downward path mainting the same direction. Instead it veers off to the right, giving racers something to think about, forcing them to make adjustments in an effort to sustain maximum momentum. I also like how he placed a whoop just before checkpoint 9 and the immediate left turn. Yep, it’s a little awkward, but the key is how you set up for it starting at checkpoint 8, and it’ll take some practice and getting used to. Additionally, it's a prime time spot to go for a pass because many a racer will be get caught up in the moment and forget all about setting up for change in direction. I noticd to how he discontinued the use of concrete barrier/fence combinations and just went with plain concrete barriers to finish off two blocked off sections of the track (here
). What that does is improve a racers line-of-site to checkpoints 6 & 9, and it's definitely what I consider a heads-up move on his part.
Critically speaking, if I would’ve had the chance to beta test this track prior to its release, the first thing I would have demanded that Bowtie get rid of is this cheesy model here
. It suffocates the ambiance of the whole track, seriously crippling what is otherwise a very nice piece of work lol. Seriously speaking, his checkpoint placement could’ve been better to preclude racers from circumventing the jump over the cars. Relocating checkpoint 4 (or adding an additional checkpoint) as shown here
would taken care of the first instance of that problem. The second occurrence is just before the finish/start
line. You can bypass the crush cars by simply staying just to the right of them, proceeding directly thru the finish/start checkpoint at maximum speed. The easy fix would have been to move the checkpoint back just before the cars. Getting back to the concrete barrier just before checkpoint 9, objectively speaking it could have been placed better, more accurately. Personally I don't think he needed to extend it out quite so far either. On the approach to the checkpoint, ideally you have to setup for it from the right working slighty back to the left to maintain respectable momentum thru the corner. The barrier seems to be extended out to preclude cutting the corner to checkpoint 9. It's unnecessary because if even if you could proceed directly to checkpoint 9, you would handicap yourself in the turn because of the whoop, which pops you up in the air. LOL that Bowtie is a devious youngster, isn't he? Finally, the checkpoints don't trigger consistently the same. The banner model he uses as checkpoint markers are set to no collide, so be wary of trying to shave microseconds by cutting them too close. The only other thing I noted were a few minor texture alignment issues and one (ever so slightly) floating tree. Neither was worth photographing really, thus the mere mention of the observation is sufficient as far as I'm concerned.
It's no stretch to conclud that Bowtie did a great job with this track. Truthfully, it’s hard to believe it's only his second time out making a track of this type, but it’s pretty clear the guy is well within his creative comfort zone. The detailed workmanship confirms that, right down to setting the trees so that they can only be viewed in normal or complex scenery. If lag or chug is a problem, racers can try sparse in hopes of minimizing the ill effects No matter how you slice it, RFG makes for some pretty fun racing, and it doesn’t matter it’s a one-on-one match-up or with 3 or 4 others. About the only advice I would give Bowtie is that he should be a bit more choosey when picking friends. I was friends with Rep Fan long enough for him to finish making my truck…then I cut him loose lol.
As for the Copey Rating, this one gets a big time 9
out of 10 possible points! I love the idea, and I’m extremely impressed with how well he pulled it off. A superb effort on your part, Bowtie, and I certainly hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of you, bud!