Social Icons

Thursday, October 25, 2012

F1 Boston - Ignite the Power of Microsoft

Ignite the Power of Microsoft

Location: F1Boston

Address: 290 Wood Rd
               Braintree, MA 02184


Ignite the Power of Microsoft was the title of the event I attended. I won’t bore you with the details of the conference portion of the event but I’ll share with you the specifics of the venue and the thrill of the race.

F1 Boston is located just off the highway in Braintree, MA.  It offers a great facility for a business meetings, team building events or private parties. It is easy to get too and offers two tracks that can be combined into a single large track for longer racing. There are several lounges to choose from, two having birds eye views of the different tracks.

Before racing each racer must complete some paperwork and sit through an entertaining safety briefing. The training takes roughly and hour and they keep it light but informative. Once everyone completes their forms and training you head into the track area where you suit up in a full race suit with all the fixings including a neck brace and helmet.

Both courses were designed by race professionals and the F1 carts can reach speeds of almost 50mph. Four our event we would be racing on the Country Course. They describe it as having longer straightaway’s then the City Course which allow you to gain more speed. The straightway also includes a small hill followed by a curve that will leave your car screaming as you corner hard. Next you enter the off-camber corners where you will need to keep your hands gripped to the wheel as you fight off competitors looking to unseat your position. 

Our event was an endurance race lasting 90 minutes. Teams choose when to change drivers, and each team must have made at least nine pit stops and driver changes during the race. We had 5 people on our team and that resulted in a scheduled change about every 10 minutes. When fully suited up it can be hard for the driver’s to distinguish if they are being flagged to pit stop by a member of their team. They race organizer suggested a form or communication that no other team could mimic. We selected a redsox baseball hat from one of our team members as our signal.  I was selected to race second for our team. Exactly 10 minutes into the race I flagged our driver to make one last lap before pulling into the pit.

Our transition from our first driver to me was smooth. The pit was empty allowing for a quick exit back onto the track. My average lap time ranged from about 17.56 seconds to roughly 21.78 when faced with blocks in my path and slower drivers. It was a like being in a real race car and you could feel every bump and turn of the road as you made the rounds. The air was infused with the smell of burning rubber and the sounds of screeching tires. I managed to improve our position from 4th to 3rd with some hard and aggressive driving. After 10 minutes it was again time to swap drivers and my next team member and I swapped out much slower then I had hoped. Unfortunately when I was flagged in I didn’t and couldn’t see that the pit was gridlocked with all the other teams also changing drivers. While this mistake didn’t cost us position it allowed a couple of the teams still racing to widen their lead.

We changed drivers several more times and our second to last driver was the most timid and cost us several positions. Our team had managed to gain one spot to second place until his 60 second average lap time sunk us to 7th place. We called him in after only 4 laps and he was definitely not upset and apologized for his poor performance. After some ego smoothing he joined us on the side lines cheering the rest of us on to fight hard to regain our position.

My second turn at the wheel came up and I drove harder and more aggressive then I had the first time. I was convinced I could regain at least one position. I jockeyed for position with the current leader and was persistent at pressing him hard. I pushed hard to pass him but his hard driving made that very difficult and we found ourselves challenging each other.  With every turn we would bump each other trying to force each car into the barriers.

Sadly we never managed to get back to second place and only managed to regain 1 position before my excessively aggressive driving landed me a penalty. That cost me about 10 seconds but enough that I couldn’t catch the leader again before I was called into the pit.

About 25 minutes later the race was over and we finished 6th place.  It was a great experience and a nice end to a productive day learning about all the new Microsoft products. I am definitely going to have to return to F1 Boston again and race with my friends.


No comments:

Post a Comment