Fast Lap: 2.30.51 by SLO_COPE
Garage Settings: 1500 med tires/soft suspension
SLO_Demigod burst on the track-making scene (kind of a melodramatic start, I know, but work with me lol) with a little number called, “Fine Line”. It was significant in that you rarely see first-time track makers producing tracks with layouts and workmanship on such a high level. Oddly enough, after Fine Line was completed, he made comments about his uncertainty with regard to making tracks in the future. He agonized over “Fine Line”, pushing himself to ensure it was as good a track as he was capable of producing. It paid off, of course, but my guess is maybe the thought of going thru it all again kept him away from Traxx for just over a year. On the other hand, it’s possible he found a stray copy of Winterkill’s book, “Track Making, Procrastination, and You
You could argue that Demi’s new release, “On the Fly”, was destined to be a hit. Why? Well, the first thing he did was grab Mal’s texture sets from “MOmentumX”; grade-A, top of the line track dirt…and some grass lol. He then laid out a course that has just about everything you want in a track as a pro racer: speed, areas requiring a touch of finesse, room for maneuvering/passing, a couple of nicely banked turns, respectable airtime…and water to wash the mud off your truck.
Decoratively speaking he kept it modest and used a great deal of trees – HotShoe’s trees, which really help enhance the look of any track. East of the start line is a quaint little village that serves as a place for free-roamers to stop off, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the local town-folk…if you can find any lol. Essentially there’s not a lot to see, but the emphasis is on the track itself and racing. He never intended to create a visual wonderland, however, the choices he made in terms of texture sets and models, as well as his use of water certainly makes OTF extremely easy on the eyes. Oh, and I would be remiss in my track reviewing duties if I failed to mention Rep Fan’s Garage lol.
This track is interesting in that although it’s a blast to run in general, it’s a pretty basic and straightforward ride if you stick to the road. But if you’re looking to put some distance between you and an opposing racer, or close on the leader (or whoever’s in front of you), you’ll have to take a few risks, and some of those risks entail using more than the width of the road. Here are a few examples:
• Looking at the terrain without the models, at the start of the race it’s possible to go off-road
and use the somewhat flat areas on the left side to gain an advantage. It’s not nearly as easy as it looks in the picture due to the rough, bumpy terrain. If your line isn’t just right it’ll cost you plenty, so if you’re going to use it, you’d better know what you’re doing. Oh, and remember, that’s a models-free shot; there are trees in the way (hard ones) to make things easier for ya lol.
• You can to maintain maximum speed thru checkpoint one and into the ensuing high swinging right banked turn by splitting the trees as shown here
. Careful however, because if you don’t setup properly…well, that tree, the big one, will become your new best friend lol.
• Shortening the swing on this turn here could
shave a second and some change off your lap times, however if you cut the turn too sharply you’ll lose momentum (big time) thru checkpoint 3, negating the time saving effect it has when properly executed.
• This is a tricky turn here
. On the left there’s little or no road due to high water level, and if you cut the corner too severely you’ll slam into the side of the grandstand. Takes a few tries to be able to navigate thru there successfully at relatively high speeds.
• Letting off the gas just before you hit the bridge allows you to make an acute right turn, enabling you to use the outer portion of the right side of the road
, which is flatter, which means less airtime, which translates to more speed. The down side is if you slide over too far to the right, you’ll slide off the raised portion of the road altogether, which means tumbling, which translates to less speed…a lot less lol.
When OTF was still in its developmental stage, there was a shortcut across the water
. Demi decided to close it off by raising the water level, forcing racers to use the road that loops around as shown here
. Well, the jump cross the water is still possible. It’s not as clean is it used to be, and in fact, if you have a set of swim fins handy all the better, because you’ll be spending a few seconds in the water. If done correctly, however, it’s a little faster than going around. I didn’t discover the cut was still intact until “after” it was released (bad Copey lol). At the same time, it has that key characteristic any good shortcut should have in my ever so humble opinion: dangerous, but if you make it you’ll be rewarded; miss it and you’ll pay dearly. As I said, the time you save by jumping across the water, although not substantial, will
give you a slight edge if done correctly. The key is you have to decide whether to stay conventional or risk taking a chance in an effort to overtake or close in on the leader. I’m here to tell ya, that’s a critical component of great racing – the decisions you make or don’t make, the chances you take or don’t take, and so many times such decisions are made on the fly
After back-to-back superb tracks like "Fine Line" and this one, the natural inclination is to think the next one will be just as good or even better. The fact is I have no idea if Demi will make another track. If I had to guess I’d say he’ll wait til the mood hits him rather than try to force himself to create. Course, who’s to say when that mood will hit lol. As I alluded to in the first paragraph, if he’s taking cues from my man Wint, well…it could be a while before he graces MTM-2 with another great track. Still, we’ll take what we can get, and thus far he’s yet to shortchange us.
As for the Copey Rating, it’s unfortunate in a sense that I’m limited to assessing tracks based on characteristics such as race-worthiness, creativity, model/checkpoint placement, general workmanship…flimsy stuff like that. Maybe I’ll go hardcore and expand the scope of my ratings to encompass critical factors such as respect for elders (to include Copey lol), number of times the author agreed with me as opposed to saying “Heck no, Cope--I’m not doing that crap”, whether or not they like my truck, and finally, if they’ll consider naming (or renaming) their kids or pets after me…all of them lol. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? I’m definitely going to give it some serious thought, but for now I’ll stick to the current rating criteria. With that said, “On The Fly” garnered a rating of…10
out of 10 possible points! Remember, this is only his second track, so it’s probably safe to assume he hasn’t even come close to reaching his creative peak. I wish I could say this is only the beginning, but I honestly don’t know. Whichever way the wind blows for the Demi, he’s definitely made his mark in this game with the two outstanding tracks he’s authored to date.
Outstanding job, partner! There was never a doubt in my mind you’d follow-up “Fine Line” with something equally (if not more) impressive.