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The Magic Lamp powergear experiment

Started by Duplode, June 03, 2023, 07:08:26 PM

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Here's a report on a little experiment ran a while ago, with support from @Daniel3D and @alanrotoi . The first two CCC races of this season, Magic Lamp and Free The Genie were set up so that we could gauge how much difference powergear makes to the performance of powergear cars. The extent of powergear availability is a major confounding factor in the sort of bulk comparison I attempted during the ZakStunts preseason rules discussion (which is otherwise fairly accurate). In this experiment, a complementary approach was taken: Magic Lamp is a (mostly) PG-free track, while Free The Genie is a PG speedway, so the differences in relative performance between the tracks can give us a view of influence of PG.

To begin with, these are the results for Magic Lamp. Those were NoRH laps (except for redoing the finish with the flexible PG cars to avoid getting PG on the final loop) driven by me with roughly the same effort on each of them (laps and tracks are attached). For the flexible PG cars, powergear was intentionally avoided on the final loop. The final column is the bonus percentage, ZakStunts-style, corresponding to the laptimes. P962 (fixed at 0%) and LM002 laps have also been included for reference:

PMIN    1:35.85    -5.7
P962    1:41.30    0   
XCFX    1:42.90    1.6   
PFCR    1:47.30    5.6
FGTO    2:09.40    21.7
VETT    2:10.60    22.4
ANSX    2:11.35    22.9
LM02    2:19.95    27.6
PACK    2:33.55    34.0

(XFCX is the Xylocaine, PFCR is the Crown Victoria, PACK is the Packard 8.)

This comparison puts non-PG Indy at -6%, the other original PG cars fairly close to each other around 21-23%, the Xylocaine at a pretty low 2%, the Crown Victoria (which isn't quite a PG car) at 6%, and the Packard at 34%.

Next, the Free The Genie results. I drove this with RH so that a comparison of full PG laps would be realistic, again putting similar amounts of effort in each lap (though the Xylocaine one might be a touch stronger than the others):

PMIN    1:07.55    -28.6   
XCFX    1:12.45    -19.9   
PACK    1:19.45    -9.3   
FGTO    1:20.10    -8.4   
VETT    1:20.85    -7.4   
P962    1:26.85    0   
ANSX    1:29.20    2.6   
PFCR    1:48.85    20.2   
LM02    2:28.60    41.6   

Both the Crown Victoria and the LM002 lose heavily here due to not having been fast enough to cut the second u/d cork (even the P962 barely made it). As for the PG cars, we see gains of over 40% for the Packard, around 30% for the Vette and GTO, and around 20% for the Acura (as expected, gains are limited by the lack of powerslides), Indy and Xylocaine (which are a little less dependent of powergear thanks to better handling).

These are results obtained by one specific driver on two specific tracks, so they are certainly affected by idiosyncrasies and chance. Still, they should give a rough idea of what to expect when it comes to the influence of PG on e.g. bonus percentages.


Wow!  A significant difference was to be expected, but seeing the actual numbers settles it very well. Stunts cars could not have an "absolute" handicap value because, of course, the track environment makes things different every single time, but the particular feature of PG makes so much a difference that it dwarfs ("dwarves"?) every other quality of a car. If a tournament had fixed handicap values, it could still be stable as long as PG use was a constant yes or no.
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