Directly from the world of Caribbean delusion and after surviving the Guri-Guri Hurricane, the Marimonda pilot made it to Austin, TX, in time for the annual Danger Derby. Her vehicle, #35, a highly customized pinewood car featured a built-in anti-fire, water and gas attacks’ device, a turbo engine made out of pieces of an old tv set, and carbon yellow wings with laser lights.
However, despite the recycle-tech sophistication, home-made aerodynamics and winning the first race, the Marimonda did not classify to the finals. Unfortunately, it was beaten by a Hot-Dog-Nachos racer in the second phase after doing an acrobatic jump through the fire and avoiding an anvil impact.
This year, the Blue Genie Danger Derby was epic. In its second iteration, the “no rules” derby was more competitive and diverse than the one of 2012. 84 cars entered the competition this time, and short races of 4 were performed every 10 minutes. More than 30 races were performed an unusually cold night for central Texas. An inter-generational audience vibrated with the action, cheered for their favorite cars, and also tried to stay warm around bonfires that surrounded the massive track. If I was impressed and totally moved by the 2012 Danger Derby edition, this time I was even more engaged, documenting the event with video and photography, as well as participating with a fantastic Marimoda Racer car.
I was highly impressed by the variety of pinewood cars. Each model had a unique touch that reflected the labour and creativity of all the participants who designed insanely unique pinewood cars. Thanks to being a “no rules” derby, many of the designs were quite insane.
The vehicles had all kinds of shapes such as a shark fin, a unicorn, a dinasour-barbie, a police box, a dragon, an armadillo, a brick, an airplane, a duck, and an astro-cat. Moved by their passion to make unique, competitive, and powerful pinewood cars, the participants engaged in a very creative bricolage that turned the Derby platforms into an exhibition of amateur and DIY vehicle design.
The race track was improved from last year and the danger mechanisms were operated this time by a professional engineers from the Blue Genie Industries’ crew. As a result, the level of difficulty was higher and many cars were not able to overcome the obstacles.
The winner of the Danger Derby 2013 was an infamous Cactus-Boat-Tank that despite loosing its pilot during several of the races was able to advance to the finals and beat all of its rivals.
However, it was the astro-cat racer who won the people’s choice award. A prize given by members of the audience who deposited their vote in a very democratic box.
Despite not having made it to the finals with the Marimonda Racer, I enjoyed very much participating in the Danger Derby 2013 and followed all the races closely during almost five hours of madness. Few people stayed during the whole competition perhaps due to the cold weather and also to its length. One of the things that the organizers should consider for future iterations of the Danger Derby is to have a faster system of tournament brackets that reduces the number of races. With all the video footage recorded during the competition, the registration, and a couple of interviews to the Blue Genie Industries’ crew I will be working in a short clip about this epic participatory race. Stay tuned for more news and live footage of the crashes, acrobatics, and amazing pinewood car performances.
And finally, after weeks of burning eyes and careful editing, the un-official video documentary of the Danger Derby 2013 has been published online. Watch it and enjoy it!