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Sunday, October 13, 2019

SATISFY YOUR “NEED FOR SPEED” SECONDLIFE STYLE- JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING



Q: Why don't Race Car Drivers eat before a big race? 
A: In case they get Indy-gestion.

His name is Mango Darwinian, and there is no one on the grid more qualified to speak on the “evolution” of racing in Second Life.  I have been Duck Racing at Quackerstone, and Chariot Racing in Roma, but I had no idea that Motor Racing was such a popular event in SecondLife.


"Wait, what? That's a thing?" is a common response when people first hear of racing in SL. I was  surprised to find out, as that during SL racing’s Golden Years from 2007-2011, there have been racing sims owned by real-life car manufacturers? Or that sponsors have fought over advertising space on cars? Or that car racing has been one of the top shows on certain Second Life television channels? Or that there are a known handful of racers that have topped a million lindens in prize-money? Yes, racing was big business and racers enjoyed celebrity status, with racing being talked about by people that have never attended a race.

Today, the manufacturers, sponsors and big prize money are memories, as are big fields of 20-30 racers at events. However, now anyone involved in racing is in it only for the racing and as such it's a scene that is genuine and made by racers for racers. The Racing and Motorsports Association intends to bring that big ol' buzz back and this time, with it's more authentic driver base, it will be bigger and better than before.

Recently, I caught up with The Godfather of SL Motor Racing during some down time between races, and he was kind enough to answer a few questions I had about the sport and his involvement.



Josh Bellic (JB):   How did you first come to be interested in racing in SL?

Mango Darwinian (MD): A slightly strange career path for me! From 2006, my first date of joining, until early in 2007, I just looked for fun things to do and stumbled across RacerX Gullwing's giant snail racing. One day, watching the race replay on SLCN (old SL television station), I saw they also showed car racing highlights. After a few watches, I went along one day and was a racer from that day onwards.



JB:  I understand we are at the beginning of L$125,000 Launch Week, Oct 12th-20th 2019.  

MD:  Yes, Racing & Motorsports Association is no longer just a group to hear about other people’s races, although we intend to keep doing that!  To celebrate the RMA now hosting it’s own races, we’re starting things off large with a 12-races-in-9-days pre-season launch week. With cars by three different creators, a range of start times, road and oval, dirt and tarmac, there’s sure to be something for everyone.  Each race is holding an L$10,000 purse and the final one will be for L$15,000, just to make it a pleasing overall amount.

We’ll also crown a Champion of Racing at the end of the week.  You only need to get 4 race results to win this, although the more you attend, the better your chance of getting 4 scores good enough.  No extra money is offered for this, but you will have the prestige of being the second RMA champion after Svenja Rhodes two years ago, who will no doubt be having another strong attempt at it.

Classes that normally use pit stops will run double features for the top 12 instead and the only fueling will be done between races, so you won’t lose on menu skills, only your race skills.
If you won’t race now, when will you!?



JB:  Do you remember your first “Win”?

MD:  Yes, kind of.  It was 12 years ago now, but I remember it came about when I started looking up other racing sims than the initial one I'd started racing at. The competition at the initial one was far too much for me, as you might imagine from a televised organization. So I tried some other less-competitive places and won a few races, and I needed that or else I might have thought racing wasn't for me. Somehow, winning at other places made it start happening at the initial place as well. Confidence is key, I guess!

JB:  The schedule is quite extensive.  If you had to take a guess, How many people are involved in today’s racing community?

MD:  Well, there's not that many regulars that go on tour from sim to sim. I'd say there's only about 20 racing regulars and another 80 or so that pop in and out.  That all equals about 7-10 racers per race, as there are quite a lot of races. It's WAY down on the "good old days", which in my mind is 2007-2011. Probably a third of the size of what it was back then

JB:   Have any big-name NASCAR Racers ever participated in SL Racing that you know of?

MD:  Haha, no. Maybe a pit crew member here and there!



JB:  Why do you think corporate interest in SL Racing died?

MD:  I think it was just the realization that it wasn't as big a vehicle, so to speak, to promote their brand as they thought it might be. They all wanted to get in there early in case it was a good investment or involvement and we reaped the benefits for a few years before they decided otherwise. I don't think that's specifically about racing though, just a Second Life thing generally.

JB:   Do the different time zones make it difficult to race?  If so, how so?

MD:  I've always been a late night person, so not too difficult until it starts getting to about 7pm (3am my time) and then I'm starting to lose my co- ordination.



JB:  So tell me Mango. When was your last speeding ticket in RL?
MD:  I'm law-abiding, of course! I don't fancy myself as a racer in the first world, only here. The real racers in first life are on tracks already, only wannabes use the roads for it.


So, there you have it folks. Straight from the horse’s mouth.  Why don't you visit the Racing and Motorsports Association's HQ, or join the group and pick up the notecards posted in there regularly. They even welcome fans that just like to watch racing and they have some superstar spectators, too. You can do that in person or just watch races on one of the streaming channels you'll find addresses for within the 'SL racing schedule', like https://www.youtube.com/user/SuperMango73/videos

Come on, be a racer! (You'll love it, I promise.)


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