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Dreadnaut and ten years of ZakStunts

With October 2022 coming to a close, I have been part of the ZakStunts world for ten years. I wrote some notes five years ago, and the time is ripe for another checkpoint.

Keep on the road

What have I been up to in the past five years? I’ve been driving! Sixty new “ZCT” tracks, with their cuts to discover and tricks to master. It’s been fun, and varied: fast straights, tricky banked roads, far too many corks. The Yellow Fleas disbanded in 2017, but I have since been part of Rolling Stunts, and more recently founded Doubleplusspeed with Alan and Frieshansen. Yes, the name is Newspeak, and I’m quite proud of it.

I took a year of “solitary” racing between them, but I think teams are one of the best features of ZakStunts. There is joy in setting goals together, sharing driving lines and discovered tricks with each other, in pushing for and celebrating faster laps. Sometimes it all comes together, and you reach those goals: a great replay, a personal challenge, or even a team podium.

After ZCT194, I managed to win two more races. Turns out I have more patience for powergear tricks than I have for proper driving, and that has become my niche. I do feel like my skills have improved overall, but I am still far, very far from the Gods.

As those who have been racing for multiple years have already discovered, motivation to drive and improve waxes and wanes. It takes time and dedication to close a race near the top, but just as much, it turns out, to keep the competition running.

Wait, am I driving this thing?

Five years ago, Zak announced his desire to take a break from management. I had been helping with updates now and then, and thought “why not? I can deal with tracks and replays for a few months!” Things turned out differently, as the clouds of responsibility gathered over me, and Zak’s break extended into the next season. and the next one. Life does that.

Yet, the Stunts community rose to the occasion: with everyone’s help we have a variety of tracks, news articles and race summaries. Banter and excitement fill the shoutbox and the forum, next to complex discussions about the evolution of the competition, and statistics about its history. Most importantly, we have new and old drivers heating up the asphalt every month!

My role is not entirely clear to myself, but I try to be glue. I don’t think I bring great wisdom, charisma or showmanship to the mix, but there are so many skilled people around this community who only need an opportunity, or at most a tiny push. And every time I am impressed by what they can create, as part of the competition, on the forum and wiki, or in the wider Stunts-verse.

Beyond ZakStunts

I often read about the “golden years” of Stunts. I wasn’t around then, but the current times look pretty shiny to me. ZakStunts might be the main (strange) attractor, but many exciting things are happening elsewhere: live races, new competitions like Race for Kicks and CCC, tons of new cars, and advances in reverse-engineering to mention a few.

It’s a pretty interesting time for those who enjoy Stunts, and I’m proud to be part of this. I don’t have time to take part in all the competitions or to drive all the new cars—and that’s OK—but my head is full of ideas for the website, for live races, for the coming seasons. And I am surrounded by a bunch of other heads like mine. That’s the mark of a community which is alive and thriving, evolving, creating new things.

My words five years ago were focussed on the past, but my thoughts today are all about the future, about the Stunts-things we are going to build together, and the great people I’ll get to do that with.

Back on the road now. There's a lap to drive, and new places to reach.

Submitted by dreadnaut on 2022-10-31.