Latest news from the ZakStunts crew:
Reporting on ZCT260
In ZCT260, ZakStunts 2023 has had another fascinating race, with plenty of activity and intriguing subplots.
Though envisioned by Cas as a flowing IMSA track, ZCT260 had plenty of long straights and runoff in just the right amount to make it a challenging yet enjoyable powergear ride with the Ferrari GTO. With signs of how the race would develop visible from the first day, there was enough time for racers to dip their toes and then dive into PG riding. As a result, ZCT260 was the first GTO-won race in a long time in which most of the field actually stuck to the GTO, with close battles all over the scoreboard. Nice job, everyone!
The deadline day saw Argammon emerge victorious, by following up on his fascinating laps for the GTO side scoreboards on ZCT258 and ZCT259 with an absolutely outstanding replay, flying into orbit and then landing back. In the process, he has also set a new ZakStunts record for the longest gap between race victories (two hundred, from ZCT060), and made another step forward in what has been an impressive comeback. Congratulations!
In second place, we have seen Duplode, racing hard but ultimately powerless against Argammon's invention. Alan Rotoi has again taken the final podium step, and once more in fourth place there was Friker, on a strong comeback season of his own. Completing the top 6, we find Overdrijf, rounding off a solid performance for Cork's Crew, and Frieshansen, with a gorgeous magic carpet at the final sector. In the Amateur League, Erik Barros has taken the victory with an impressive performance (8th place overall), ahead of Ryoma and Heretic.
The recently started ZCT261 is evolving in a pretty different direction: a shorter, tighter course for sports cars, nestled in the mountains of central France. It is a design originally by Krys TOFF for his Feel The Thrill competition, which is all the more fitting for the current times, as Daniel3D's initiative picks up the torch of NoRH-first competition. However it plays out, we are set for further thrills and spectacle from newcomers, veterans and returnees, Stunts racers of all stripes.
Reporting on ZCT259
Well well... ZCT259 has finished and left us a lot of interesting information to analyze, but first let's see what has happened in the standings. To no-one's surprise—but still surprising us all—Duplode won the race with an extraordinary replay, the only one driving the Corvette CERV III. His lap is truly magical, as magic as the carpet he used to skip a slow corner by flying over the water, landing back on the track. The type of trick we don’t normally see, coming from the pocket of a skilled magician like Duplode.
There was a huge number of replays this month: 173, the highest number since ZCT049 in 2005. The previous month was also unusually high (157 replays), likely due to dreadnaut's idea of the Car Podiums—we will talk about that later.
The podium was completed by Argammon (author of the track) and Alan Rotoi, despite not improving during quiet days. Along with these two, the rest of the scoreboard used the Lamborghini LM002, except for HunterBoy344 who came in last place using the McLaren/Honda MP4/4.
Moving away from stats and standings for a moment, Argammon explained his track design as an attempt to make both lanes of this dual-way track as even as possible when driving the LM002. Both, track and car, are the author's favorites. It should be noted that it is a legal and fully understandable decision. Many builders when building a track for ZakStunts look for a car or a series of cars to be used on them, sometimes it can go well and sometimes what is planned does not happen despite a meticulous preparation.
Continuing with the scoreboard, Friker came from the shadows and reached fourth place with a strong replay uploaded on the quiet days. Frieshansen, KyLiE and dreadnaut followed, also with quiet replays. There were few battles for positions outside the podium. Instead, there was a phenomenon generated by the new Car Podiums, a super successful idea from dreadnaut manager's mind—my most sincere congratulations. These new podiums per car allow us to have small quests or objectives within the same race, giving us the freedom to use all the cars, not just the best car for the race. We saw many pipsqueaks testing and positioning using a variety of cars, if not all. Here also appear Zapper (8th), Ryoma (10th) and Afullo (15th) and especially Shoegazing Leo (16th): he has always tested multiple cars in each race, as if he were the precursor of this idea. Overdrijf (9th) and Heretic (11th) kept a discreet participation this month, but still got points. I hope they'll have more time next month! Closing the points table was a young promise from the Doubleplusspeed team, Erik Barros, obtaining 12th place.
Stunts legend Mark Nailwood participated again reaching 13th place, 5 seconds after Erik Barros, but fastest among those using automatic transmission. He was followed by Rody, our new friend from Ireland, himself half a second ahead of Afullo. Completing the scoreboard, Cas took 17th place with a replay very early in the month, as so did Stan 286XT (18th), Shorty (19th) (with his fourth consecutive month since his return to ZakStunts), Daniel3d (20th) (testing several cars in the quiet days), and the aforementioned Hunterboy closing the scoreboard.
Only Argammon collected an LTB point, while Duplode finished just 20 hours away from it. Without a doubt we can conclude that Car Podiums have been successful in generating participation and spreading it among all the cars allowed by the competition.
Personally, I didn’t like this track. There was too much water, ice and straight lines, and not enough stunts. A positive note is that it avoided dual-way switching—OK, Duplode used it, but with a superb trick :D — In any case, it's hard for me to believe that those who spent some time on the track enjoyed it. It was more appropriate for a short event, rather than a monthly competition.
While statistics can’t tell us how much fun we had, they do show high participation. I think the factors that contributed to the huge turnout were the simplicity of the track, which I spent so much time complaining about, and of course the Car Podiums. Surprisingly, a track that is too long or one that is too difficult can see a high turnout.
If I have to rate the track as a player, it would not be low, but it has been a successful track. The 2023 season of ZakStunts is also starting well, not only thanks to the Car Podium. Participation picked up in late 2022, when ZCT257 saw 95 replays. There’s been many comebacks, new ideas, retro tracks, new pipsqueaks, projects, and new options on the site. It's a great year for ZakStunts and the community! Let's keep having fun, participating and strengthening our beloved community! Each project, each comment, each competition, each replay and each greeting counts to keep the flame alight.