Ok where did the spaceship come from? Hahaha—I’m sure that “attention getter” alone will prompt people to try this track in order to see what I’m talking about. Mal’s newest release, “Panama”, doesn’t need trickery, gimmickry or any other “-ry” to get people to take interest. The author’s name alone should be more than sufficient…and no, he didn’t pay me to say that. However, I could use a new tennis racquet…and some socks. I mean, if you happen to pass a sporting goods store sometime in the near future.
I’m going to go radical here and start trimming some of the content off my reviews over the next several weeks. I’d love to be able to review more tracks, but as it stands, I’m so far behind it’s not even funny. Oh and hey - so that it’s abundantly clear, I don’t do these things because Phineus wants me to, or because Mal “just might” buy me that new tennis racquet (Ha!). I do them because I have a genuine appreciation for what these guys and girls put into making tracks. My goal is to review all new tracks, highlight a few newcomers that show potential, and maybe sneak in a comment or two on tracks I feel are simply awesome, but didn’t receive public recognition. The only way I’ll meet that goal is to go easy on the keys. With that said, let me get started before I accidentally turn this thing into a novel.
When I first saw the post on “Panama”, my thoughts were, “Oh gee, another conversion by Mal. Whoopy. Yay. Hooray. Can’t wait to try it out (yawn). Hahaha Actually I downloaded it right away, jumped in my truck, and was off and running. About halfway thru I thought to myself, “he finally did it, he finally put out a track I don’t really care for”. But then I ran it again, and again…and as I started to get the hang of the subtle nuances, it began to grow on me. Now all I can say is, “wow!”
Probably your first impression when you start your run is that everything is so…so….so open! Typically the name conversion has been associated with close-quarter, high speed racing, with narrow roads, and minimal passing lanes. Panama gives you more room than you’ll ever actually need…and then some. Hehe in fact, there’s so much wide-open space, it takes a few laps to figure out what parts of the road you DON’T need to drive over. How’s that for a drastic change?
Mal says this track is loosely based on Evo 4X4’s “Costa Rica”, and that’s an accurate statement. What’s noteworthy here, and he downplayed it to the max in his post (not wanting to toot his own horn I’m guessing), is how he reinterpreted the track. It’s quite impressive how this guy inserted a few of his own ideas, to include how the race begins with the jump across a small body of water, and the very narrow bridge that provides passage across a gaping divide in the land that houses a river below. Then you throw in the little elevation changes, variations on angles/slopes, and how he reworked a few corners…and of course, that freakin spaceship! Where on earth…strike that; where did you dig that up from, Mal? Hahaha ok I’ll let the flying saucer thing go…for now.
At any rate, this is one heck of a track, and I can’t wait to feature it in an upcoming SLO Fast Lanes event (new website coming soon!). Furthermore, it’s my pick to go on SLO’s “Jump-Cope” racing list!
As you may have surmised, the “Copey Rating” for this baby is a very impressive “10” out of 10 possible points! It’s a wide-open, medium paced, thriller of a ride with a few deceptively tricky spots that are sure to elicit a “Whoa!” or three from the seasoned pros. I could certainly say lots more about “Panama” (hard to believe, I know), but in keeping with my new “weight watcher’s review program”, I’d better be moving on. Mal, a tremendous effort on your part, bud. I sure hope people realize and appreciate the depth of your “personal touch” on this one. Awesome stuff!
PS – “Cocky SLOsters”? “Cope’s Copius reviews”? Hehehe
[This message has been edited by SLO_COPE (edited 18-08-2002).]