Growing up on the Default track
In 1995, my brother had driven 1.12.00 on Default and that was an impossible unbeatable time. He had been competing with his friend all night and set that high score. When I set the school record that year at 1.11.95, I was extremely proud. Then after a year or so, in 1996, I did the incredibly, unbelievable 1.09.70. For a long time, that was the record, and from that time on, my big brother admitted that I was better at Stunts than him. I remembered having once spoken to a guy who said he had done 1.08 on Default and being completely sure that he was lying. Such a time would simply be impossible. By doing 1.09.70, I had pushed everything to the limit.
Then came some years of absence from Stunts, and it was only when I started playing it against my friend in 2000 that another development happened. We had some fierce fights on a lot of tracks on some long afternoons after school. He was ManOnMoon and he raced in the Kalpen contest 2001 also.
In December 2000, I found Stunts on the internet and the first site I stumbled upon was Lukas Löehrer's site. There were records for all of the original tracks and I was extremely impressed. The record for Default was 0.54.70. At first I was shocked, but then I watched the replay and thought "oh.... but that's not fair". He was using the basic way-switch shortcut. The record-holders were called StreetHawk, Guven and some third name, and I dreamed of being as good as them. They had 2.00.30 on Bernies, 3.43 on Cherry's and 1.11.10 on Joes.
It was when I joined the Kalpen contest on CTRACK27 that things really began to change. I raced that track over and over again, knowing nothing of replay handling, and I think this, and the similar exercise on the next two Kalpen tracks, on which I still didn't know of replay handling, really improved me as a pipsqueak. I saw the winning replays and began to realize the possibilities in Stunts. Strange how I had been playing this game for so many years without realizing how good it was really possible to be. I guess I still dreamed of the best possible time on Default as being something around 52 seconds. I started to explore this track using the intended road and started to get times like 1.07-1.06-1.05. Suddenly my days of playing Stunts at school seemed very far away.
Then there was the next big change: the permanent competition at Zakstunts. I think it was my idea originally, and its introduction meant we got to play on the original track with all the expertise that the 2002 season of Zakstunts had given everyone. Times broke down faster and faster, and we pushed each other to finding sicker and sicker ways to drive Default and the other tracks. In 2003 or 2004, I finally reached my limit on Default, doing noRH laps on the regular road at 1.01. Alain proved that with replay handling, it was actually possible to go on the road, with ISA rules, and finish under one minute. I began to realize that the guy who told me he had done 1.08 probably hadn't been lying. But even when, after hours of trying, I did my 35 seconds that stayed as the Default record for more than 4 years, I was still so much like my old self. I thought that I had done a once-in-a-lifetime drive and that anyone who wanted to beat me would need extreme luck. The limits had been erased in Stunts, it was after the generation of the maximalists, and I thought the record would simply stop going down at some point. How naive.
I think it was only with the arrival of Renato Biker in 2006 that I truly understood Stunts and began to become relaxed about it. I knew that there was really no limit, and that I could not seriously be one of the best unless I devoted hours of hard work. I also realized then that Stunts was a mind game. Driving skills are just the basics. The real issue is thinking skills and then dedication.
Then came the moment of ZCT79, the big race on Default that everyone had been waiting for all these years. What seemed impossible became possible. Competition racing pushed the record 4 whole seconds, which is an incredibly amount of time on this kind of track. and with the improvement of Default, theoretically all other permanent track records also disappeared. It became clear that the motivation of a Zakstunts competition track could make the pipsqueaks go further than any racing on a permanent competition. Even then, it wasn't the end. For me, in 2009, doing 0.31.55 imitating Ayrton was nothing special anymore. But even after this greatest eternal master Ayrton had done his best in a Zakstunts competition track on Default, it wasn't over yet. I must confess that even then, in 2008 or 2009, I thought it was over. I could not see how Ayrton's time could be improved.
It could - of course it could. Now Mark L. Rivers is the king (I remember what Gutix or Renato Biker said to me when I had the records at 35.70: "my records on the other tracks don't matter, you have the big throne". ), but who knows what the limit is? I sure don't, but I'm looking forward to any new record attempts that might happen. At this point it's us against the tracks. And Default is our primest proving ground, where state of the art Stunts must be showcased. It's the one biggest shocker for anyone who joins the Stunts community, the thing that makes them see the full, vast, perspective of the Stunts community: "these guys did Default in 30,90 without cheat cars"