So today I worked the VIP area in the morning helping folks learn how to fly the Mustang around the Reno course. In general people did pretty well once they realized just how big the course really is. Everyones first instinct is to turn left immediately after passing the first pylon (the scatter pylon) without realizing the next pylon is a couple of miles in a straight line. So they turn left and head straight across the course and get disqualified. Once that is figure out they can usually find their way around.
So far everyone that has taken a look at Acceleration has been very impressed (real racers as well as racing fans). We had two of the guys on the Miss America team flying the course and they were having a great time. Lots of concentration on their faces as they tried to fly the smoothest line they possibly could. I don’t think they really want to go.
I am most impressed with Mike Singer getting hooked on racing. He describes himself as a hardcore sim guy that loves learning systems, running autopilots and programming an FMC. Airliners and GA are his passion. So how could he possibly get hooked on air racing? The answer is that air racing and winning takes precision and management of the racing line, the engine, and the attitude of the aircraft. Most importantly, it’s FUN! He has been practicing and flying in the multi-player events and has really gotten into it.
We ran several multi-player races in the public display with some proud moments for some of the racers as they win a race or get a good race time/speed. As the crowds increase it will be interesting to see how the races go.
As for the real-races going on, qualifications ended and the race heats have started. I didn’t get to see many of the races as I was either in the VIP area or walking around catching up with people, but tomorrow I am going to spend the morning watching races then go back to work in the VIP area again.