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Compubookie predicts SDC to win Carnival buggy races

To start, I have to thank Ben Matzke for helping me last year to get my annual thoughts on buggy out there. This year, however, I’ve opted to go back to the good old ways.

This year has been quite the interesting one. We’ve seen some new additions to the buggy fleet with a few buggies mysteriously disappearing from competition, but that aside, the field is more level this year than I would have predicted while watching fall rolls. Well, that is, if you’re not counting SDC. As a hint, going forward into predictions, you’re going to see those letters come up very often. Let the fun commence.

In the women’s division, we’ll watch the powerhouse that is SDC A walk away with a (nearly) uncontested first place finish. There is potential for them to break the 2:30 barrier. Their competition will be from Fringe A, who will be looking to close the gap after last year’s performance. Both teams have solid pushers to follow up the even faster buggies from those organizations. Things will get a little lazy between CIA A and SDC B, but I believe the willpower of the CIA women will edge out SDC B for their respective third and fourth place finishes. Last year, we saw a third place finish from PiKA A, narrowly ahead of CIA and SDC, but this year, I haven’t seen much of their pushers and expect them to roll into fifth place, relying heavily on PiKA mechanics. At the bottom of the pack, I expect a dark horse candidate out of Sig Ep A.

Before I share my thoughts on the men’s division, I want to say that this year will have all the excitement one could imagine. The spring rolls started very late, and I have yet to see raceday-quality speeds from any organization. Moreover, course quality has been rapidly degrading to the point that drivers have the joy of zigzagging through cones every morning.

That in itself isn’t too hard, but knowing other treacherous potholes on the course must be holding back drivers and mechanics alike. So with drivers coming down the course faster than they have all semester combined with abysmal road surfaces, expect to see shuddered wheels and spun-out buggies in the chute this coming raceday — on to men’s predictions.

Barely making it to day two, I expect to see SDC C come back weaker than last year. This time, I doubt there will be as many disqualifications to boost their place.
Having an additional year with their driver, PiKA B will likely squeak into a ninth place finish. Look for Fringe B to come in eighth with one of their faster buggies. CIA A will be safely into day two with a seventh place finish above all the backup B and C teams. Recently having put a new buggy on the course, we’ll see if their pushers are equally motivated as their mechanics.

Spirit A is a team with everything to win and hopefully their driver will display as much skill as their pushers have speed. They will land short of the top five with a sixth place finish. Inevitably, that spot will be stolen by SDC B. The indomitable SDC will surely use one of their experienced drivers and sleek buggies to propel the second team into fifth place. PiKA A will end up disappointing, with another poor showing in the pushing department. Their SDC-esque buggy is going to dominate the downhill, but when we’re in the top five, a fast buggy will never be fast enough. That’s because there are still some competitors to be reckoned with, such as Fringe A, who will not make the same mistake as they did last year. Sending their top buggy and top driver with a quality push team can secure them some third place hardware. Sig Ep A, who jumped up the rankings in 2013, will surely be motivated to keep that next-to-top spot; they have shown signs that they are ready to fight for it and will hold onto it, at least for this year.

With no further delay, as you may have predicted yourself, SDC A will cruise across the finish line with the coveted first place trophy waiting for them. Buffered by a five-second gap between first and second last year, SDC will have their eyes off the rearview mirror and zoned in on the clock.
Good luck to the teams and enjoy the races. I look forward to seeing you all on raceday, although you’ll never see me.

Predictions:

Men's:
1) SDC A
2) Sig Ep A
3) Fringe A
4) PiKA A
5) SDC B
6) Spirit A
7) CIA A
8) Fringe B
9) PiKA B
10) SDC C

Women's:
1) SDC A
2) Fringe A
3) CIA A
4) SDC B
5) PiKA A
6) Sig Ep A