• Replay: Rhubarb
• Garage Settings: 1500 med tires/soft suspension
• Fast Lap to date: :30.27
Excellent review, rocket!! You know, I was working my way up to this one (among others), but with a review like this I guess I can just springboard off of your comments.
You are quite correct - both Ruach and Rhubarb are very simple tracks indeed, and as you noted even basic layouts can prove to be challenging and quite fun. I've already heard comments like "Well sure, they're nice tracks, but there's nothing to them really". Not so. They're exceptional pieces of work, and most likely more complex to master than people give them credit for. Besides, what is it being compared to? It would be unfair to pit Rhubarb and Ruach against Wake Up! because there's just so much more going on in that track - a whole lot more. Even Expo Loading Dock is quite a bit more complex than Ruach and Rhubarb, but by no means does that make these two little munchkins inferior tracks. The quality of workmanship is second to none, and their race-worthiness is outstanding, and it's because the guy knows how to make a track - period. Quite frankly, as far as I'm concerned Wint is a genius where track making is concerned. Nope, no sarcasm there whatsoever. It's just my own personal opinion. No one does it quite like he does, regardless of the type of track it is.
Ok Rocket, you brought up the topic of execution and how no one has mentioned it or discussed it. Oh wait, before I get into the finer aspects of racing lines and so forth, sure, I go a little nuts when I see tons of tiling blemishes, floating models, and seams in a track. For most track makers I think much of that stuff can be prevented if they focused more on detail and allowed beta testers to look at their work to pick up things they may have missed. But at the same time by no means does a track have to be free of slightly floating models and/or misaligned textures to be a great track, but I certainly wouldn't expect guys like ONaN, PreaCh Rocket, and the like to release a track loaded with flawed texture work. If you did, I wouldn't hesitate to call it what it is; crappy workmanship lol. But realize it would be based on what I know you're capable of. Nowadays I think the standards have changed. There are some old tracks out there (for example, Wun Lake by GTX_Iwunagan) that are full of flaws, and of various types, yet the MTM racing community maintains that it's a classic, and it is, but that was based on the 6-year old standards and expectations. Thanks to MTMG the tools exist to raise that standard, so expectations are higher, as they should be. At least that's how I feel about it. Ok enough of that; let's have a little Rhubarb pie!
So you want to talk about execution, do ya, Rocket? I just ran 8 laps to refamiliarize myself with the way this baby races so that I know what the heck I'm about to talk about. As with any track, if you're shooting for super fast laps you're going to have to spend some time on it learning every little bump, the characteristics of each turn and so forth. From there the next step is to set about making minute adjustments, and I'm here to tell ya, often times the adjustments are seemingly insignificant, but when you're talking about shaving hundredths of seconds off your lap time, they are indeed more significant than they appear. Even if running :30/:31 second laps on Rhubarb isn't your goal, you'll definitely learn a little about this track based on what you're about to read.
a shot of the layout with the checkpoints marked for reference. As you start out, you'll want to stay tight up against the rock structure
as you pass through cp 1. You'll maintain that line (staying close to the inside as you round the corner) until you reach this section here
, where you'll want to drift slightly out to the left where it's a touch smooth. If you stay too far to the inside you'll find the your tires momentarily leave the ground due to the roughness of the road. It's only for a fraction of a second, but again, it all adds up in the end. More importantly, positioning your truck a little more to the left sets you up for the next checkpoint. As you pass thru cp 2
you'll want to try and get more to the right
because the track terrain will start to dip downward, and it's more pronounced on the left, hence your truck will become airborne. Actually, you'll catch some air regardless, but for a slightly longer period of time if you stay to the left. As you proceed downward toward cp 3, the track will start to swing to the left in a subtle banked turn. Use the bank to build speed, and as you close in on cp 3, start moving in close to the marker so that as you pass thru, it's immediately to your left as shown here
. Allow the truck to drift slightly out to the right, which is pretty easy since your momentum will be pushing you in that direction anyway. Let off the gas momentarily and start making the turn through cp 4, again, maintaining close proximity
to the marker. As you pass the marker, downshift into second gear to regain control, allowing yourself to drift outward in lieu of immediately turning downward toward cp 5. As your truck becomes aligned with the marker for cp 5, start down toward the finish. The reason for taking that approach to and through cp 5 is to allow for maximum speed to the finish, which should be around 92/93 mph. Now, having said all of that, you can down load and watch the replay on our HoF
that Jumper made. Lap 5 of the replay is run pretty much exactly as I described above. Similarly, the marked picture of the overhead shot shows the line to take at each juncture of the track. So as you can see, there is in fact more to Rhubarb than most people realize.
Actually there's more to what you've just read, because there's no way to communicate the accelerator control that's involved to hold a line like that. It's more about "feel", so all I can say is practice, practice, practice!
As technically involved as that was, I’m sure Wint wasn’t saying to himself as he was laying the terrain, "Let’s see, if I put a slight little bump here, that’ll force racers to drift wide to the left, then as they pass cp 2, they’ll have to go back to the right and use the bank turn to build momentum . . . " He’s not THAT kind of genius lol. Make no mistake, however, the way that this track performs in a race is no accident; the guy knows what he's doing when it comes to constructing a race track - that's just an irrefutable fact.
I love both Ruach and Rhubarb – they’re outstanding tracks that obviously appeal to quite a few people with 112 and 74 downloads respectively at the time this review was posted. In my opinion Rhubarb is the more difficult of the two because the line is harder to find and hold. With Ruach it’s mostly a matter if hitting those turns as close to the fencing as you can, then executing the swinging left turn into the finish line as smooth as possible with as much speed as you can muster. Note that on Ruach your first lap will be the fastest due to the starting position of the trucks, so don’t go killing yourself trying to hit :30 second laps after the first lap; it’s just not going to happen. The fun factor on both are neck-in-neck as far as I’m concerned, proof positive that you don’t need wiz-bang special effects, a heep of models or a 4-minute long course to have a ton of fun when racing. With Wint I never have to justify or explain why I give his tracks Copey Ratings of “10”. The guy is simply a master track maker that doesn’t miss a trick.
I do have one suggestion for ya, Wint. In your readme.txt for Rhubarb you explained how the track got its name. The next time you find yourself in the midst of creating another masterpiece, try to eat before you sit down and open Traxx or maybe save satisfying your hunger after you're done working on a track. My fear is we’ll end up with names like “Pot Roast & Mashed Potatoes” or “Oatmeal & Toast” lol. Once again awesome work, partner! I have to tell ya, man . . . the more I run these things the more I love ‘em, and although I haven’t tried ‘em out against my fellow teammates, I’m definitely looking forward to it. These kinds of tracks make for exciting, drama-filled finishes, so it should be a blast!
Now, if I may borrow a few choice words from Phin . . . “What’s next?”
P.S. - I had no intention of posting a review for this track today, but that dang Rocket got me going lol.