An encouraging first outing on ‘bring your own cars night’ for the new season’s squad, which began better than ever, went through a bit of a middle order catastrophe but still came out as my second-best score to date. Alec took the honours from Adrian, Graham pipped me to third by a point.
Modern 4WD Rally – Avant Slot Peugeot 207
Given the number of Avant’s little IRC rockets that have been floating around in recent weeks, I felt sure that they would be the most numerous cars out there. But no! Mine was the only one, with Jamie fielding an Avant Subaru and most others opting for Ninco Mitsubishis. The Peugeot has been far and away my fastest non-magnet car at home, and proved to be just the same at the club – blasting away to a pair of wins, one race finishing a lap in front of anyone else. Then it all went a bit wrong: somewhere there’s a problem between the pickups and the motor, leaving my mighty Pug trailing around while lapping with the throttle fully open the whole way, hairpin and all, spluttering and barely able to drag itself around a lap. Thankfully two people fell off to give me a lucky second place in one heat, no such luck in the fourth.
Verdict: still my best ever start to the night, just need to find a way to make that explosive power more reliable.
1960s Le Mans – NSR Ford Mk.IV
Having gone to the dark side and bought an NSR, the qualities that people love them for soon became apparent. It’s blisteringly fast. Completely controlled. And my brown one seemed able to hold its own against the ranks of yellow ones. Despite a domino-effect heap of three NSRs at the first corner in which – to some amazement – I was not the guilty party, the restart saw my new toy take three wins out of four starts, and kept me on top of the points table as well.
Verdict: I still don’t agree with running NSRs against other types because they’re not remotely comparable. After the pace of Avant Peugeot I was almost starting to feel guilty! Impressive engineering, fantastic to race, but from another planet to scale model racing cars...
Ninco N1 – Corvette C6.R
Before anyone else arrived, Graham, Adrian and I got our trio of yellow and red Corvettes out... great fun, very close – but often ending in the Armco as a result of the guide popping out of the slot. It turns out that most people have put 5g of lead in the front of their cars, which I hadn’t, but not even that measure has convinced the Corvettes to behave. A disastrous first pair of races, then I was leading by half a lap and going slowly to try and avoid a deslot – while Paul put on a real spurt with his Cruze and pipped me coming out of the last corner.
Verdict: More like my normal form, I suppose! All Corvette runners have this deslot issue to contend with, putting the tall, narrow Cruze in the box seats so far.
SCX F1 – Ferrari F1/87
There are only three cars to choose from in this class – the Ferrari, the McLaren MP4/4 and the Minardi M189. All are about equal on pace. The only thing to watch out for is whoever’s on your inside, as tail-happy open-wheel cars tend to get a bit tangled up at the slightest provocation.
Verdict: Speed was there, vast improvement over the Nincos – just steer clear of trying to pass people in the corners!
Modern DTM – Ninco Mercedes CLK
On the grounds that I’m not a DTM fan and they’re cheap, I originally picked an SCX Audi A4 for this class. Then Lawrence told me that SCX doesn’t stand a chance against the Ninco NC2 Mercedes, so I found a cheap Mercedes. At home my basic non-magnet setup (big chunk of lead in front of the motor) worked fine, but at the club the car became a complete liability – no means of slowing down whatsoever, with a tendency to flip on its roof at the slightest provocation. Lawrence and Alec were running their Ninco Mercs well to start with, but they were both soon in trouble too. By the end of the class, Alec had given up and swapped to the club’s SCX Mercedes.
Verdict: can’t afford to change the car back to an SCX so I’m just going to have to figure out better weight distribution and learn to be patient on the brakes.
Spirit BMW 635 CSI one-make class
Black beauty joined the ranks of Bastos and Gitanes cars. My prep work on the running gear – oiling it, sticking lead in the nose and glueing the tyres onto the hubs – seemed about on the money. A couple of errors getting used to the car's stopping power after my brakeless Ninco DTM experience (the big Beemer car stops on a dime, even in non-mag trim), but altogether a solid if unspectacular start to its career.
Verdict: Noisy, uncouth and wobbly but not without charm. Spirit’s 635s are like the 2002s – but bigger.
SCX Ford Escort Mk.II one-make class
Standard setup is just to swap the magnet for a Tarn Model Foundry weight and let rip. Very pleased with the motor on my car but need to work on the setup of the motor pod and on taking the edge off my tyres. Where all the other Escorts were going into glorious drifts, mine would tricycle and deslot. As a class it’s as much fun to watch as participate in.
Verdict: Good car, needs tweaking.
Scalextric F1s ‘with or without pants’ – Shadow DN1
My pick for this season’s classes was the venerable 1970s F1s. And do you know what? It wasn’t a bad choice at all. Far from my most successful, but a lovely way to spend a few minutes. Fastest all night was Adrian’s lovely Tyrrell 008 ‘with pants’, while for those of us ‘without pants’ it was the BRMs just ahead of my Shadow and Neil’s Airfix Lotus 79 – the latter falling victim to the only interlocking wheels incident in this class – perpetrated by me, sorry!
Verdict: A great way to relax at the end of the night – even when dropping the single point I needed for my first top 3 finish! Looking forward to trying out more relics of my childhood in the course of the season.
32 races, 8 wins, 81 points (2.5 points per race) 4th out of 9
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