I've hardly been a regular in the opening quarter of 2012, but enjoyed some great races when I have... although I've also been a bit perplexed as to how I've managed to bin a good result in new and inventive ways. So here's a summary of the classes we've been running.
Class for Sebring chassis and skinny motors, no magnets. My AC Cobra remains evil, spinning its tyres in true Cobra fashion at the slightest whiff of throttle - and this with 12g of lead in (as much as can be shoehorned in). Still, it has been competitive. Messy, but competitive. The Ford Mk.IV remains the car to have, however.
Lotus and Caterham 7s
My 'Team Lotus F1' livery replaced the Team Rizla Suzuki colours that it came with, and one thing's for certain: this was a quick car. Both Chris and myself bought these last year and they seem to have an edge in power and grip over the older Sevens for some reason. Most times mine was first or second, and for some reason I threw it off the track far less often.
Modern LM GT
With magnets in, there are few cars to touch the pace of Fly's good old Viper, especially in later guise with the 27k Racing motor up front and that big powerful magnet holding it all together. However the wobbly stub axles have been my undoing. I only managed one clean race, the rest of the time one of the fronts would work loose, snag on the wheel arch and tip the car into a violent departure from the scene. The Scalextric Aston Martin DBR9 and TVR 400 are the closest to the Fly Viper on pace, albeit some way back, but they tend to pick up places when the Vipers throw themselves at the scenery.
Modern 4x4 Modern Rally
With the magnets removed, Ninco still rules the roost when it comes to rally cars. We've got some odd interpretations of 'modern' - 1997 Subaru, 1991 Escort Cossie - but it's all academic. The Mitsubishi Lancer is the preferred option, although my Citroen C4 could more than hold its own. Personally I'm struggling a bit for consistency, but the car's certainly up for the cup.
Once again it's a Ninco-fest in this class, with the 2WD Schlesser Buggy head and shoulders above the 4WD opposition. To try and prevent yet another class becoming effectively a one make formula I opted for the Avant Slot Mitsubishi Lancer, with its harder suspension, drop arm that can be screwed in place and real 4x4 with two pinions/spur gears. In testing the car looked mighty, but in race trim it took too long too get up speed and then lose it for the next bend, so Ninco prevailed.
For this class I went to the 'dark side' and got an NSR Audi R18 in kit form, which I then painted up. Once again NSR's combination of brilliant mechanicals and ludicrous proportions came good: both Avant Slot's previously dominant Audi R10 and the Slot.It RAW Audi R8C looked decidedly tame next to the steroid-enhanced sharky thing in their midst.
Group B Rally
Soon to be renamed the MSC class, as nothing else comes close to the silky, sideways nature of their RS200 and 6R4. Sadly my 6R4 arrived with the gears refusing to mesh, and without the tools to fix them I've resorted to other offerings. The Fly Audi Quattro proved remarkably effective against such vaunted 'performance led' technology. Still last, but closer than you'd think. Meanwhile my TeamSlot Renault 5 jumped around like a freshly-landed trout, deafening everybody with the graunch of its cogs until the gears stripped themselves faster than Tulisa in front of her boyfriend's handicam.
Super Magnet F1
Not a class I enjoy too much. Fortunately on the nights I was attending we seldom got to run it, as with 10+ racers it's easy to run out of time. I'm told that the car to have is the Renault R23 with a big magnet and the standard Mabuchi motor rather than the nasty skinny MotoGP motor. However I got a good deal on the skinny-motored Renault R24 in 2006 colours - cracking looker - and lo and behold, did rather well. Having done nothing more technical than remove it from the box, the R24 notched up an encouraging number of wins, only denied a clean sweep when the Mercedes GP that I was about to lap fell off and took me out.
All in all, I haven't really been at the club often enough to know whether or not either my preparation or driving skills are improving. There seem to have been more wins each time, but my scores stay rooted in the midfield - meaning too many non-finishes.
We're now moving to a new three month season and I'm having to miss the first third of it through work! Still, I'm looking forward to getting back and to a lot of classes that are familiar from last year:
Super Magnet F1 - carried over from this quarter: can the Renault keep its early form?
Ninco GTR - NC1 heaven but if you haven't got a McLaren F1 GTR you might as well go home!
Classic Hornby GP - Looking forward to this. With magnet out I'm hoping the Ferrari 375 can stomp the little FF motor cars
F2 Rally - Modern 2WD. I've got a Ninco Clio, which used to set the pace, but the PowerSlot VW Polo looks the favourite
Auto Art Supercars - It's now legal to swap the wheels, tyres, axles, pinion and crown gear. So into the unknown we go!
Revell Long wheelbase - I've gone for a Mercedes 220, but expect hordes of 1960s NASCARs to contend with!
Muscle - Playing it safe with the Scalextric Corvette, but will the Pioneer and SCX cars shake up the order?
SCX SRS2 LM - Also known as the Jaguar XJR14 one make class. So who's the best at fettling???
ThaiRacer on 1990s F1 Pair
driver#8 on 1990s F1 Pair
ThaiRacer on 1990s F1 Pair
driver#8 on New club car pics
Ian H on New club car pics
driver#8 on Repainting a Spirit BMW 635
pace1970uk on Repainting a Spirit BMW 635
FZSsemans® on The return of the #8 cars
driver#8 on Little Pig, little Pig...
driver#8 on Race night 6