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A bit of a mixed review of tonights racing at Bearwood Scalextric Club . . . .

Tonights class was SCX touring cars and I was hoping to do well with my recent purchase a Renault Megane.



I was a bit disappointed with my performance tonight but having only done a few odd laps before tonight with the car perhaps I'm being a bit harsh on myself. I managed some decent lap times with the car but I still seem to be having difficulties with stringing a full race performance together.

Mind you the competition was fierce with Honda Accords driven by Steve Beech, Graham Pritchard, James Noake and recent returnee Warren (who is absolutely ballistic).

Jonny Davies was pretty handy with his Honda too as was Will who is producing better results with his Renault Megane than I was able to.

I'm doing reasonably well in the championship and if I can get up somewhere near the midfield by the end of the year I think that will signify some decent progress. My target is to beat Will in the championship, but thats going to be a tough nut to crack because he has this habit of not crashing, spinning or losing any time during the racing whereas at the moment I'm getting more and more expert at all three!

Perhaps I'll do better with my first love which is classic F1 later on this year. Speaking of which Steve Beech let me crack off a few laps with his modified 10k rpm powered Jo Siffert Lotus 49. A lovely car to drive and a superb model too.

Warren also let me have a blast with his Ninco Mosler and Lambo Murcielago. I can't choose between the 2 but we had a bit of a dice and I'll have to say Warrens Mosler is one awesome race machine and I was pretty encouraged by the fact that I was able to hold my own with him. He's a gifted and quick driver so I was really pleased to keep up and stay ahead of him for a few laps.

On a more positive note I'm made a huge step forward with the tuning of my Mercedes DTM which I bought at Milton Keynes Swapmeet recently.



Despite Steve Beech doing a cracking job by A) Spotting the car for me at the swapmeet and
very kindly installing an NC2 motor for me I can't say that I've found it an easy car to drive. However, I did some mods to the front axle last weekend and sorted the rear tyres and its totally transformed the car. All I've got to get used to now is the very "peaky" NC2 power delivery which I'm sure I can sort by using a 60ohm controller as opposed to my usual 25 ohm jobby. It's a case of watch this space on that one.

There was a real buzz in the club tonight as we are preparing to compete in the upcoming Historic Saloon car races at Wolverhampton on 09/10/2011.

I'll be racing a Mk1 Escort, kindly provided by Graham Pritchard. Finished in plain blue he's made the mistake of letting me take the car home with me. Well I couldn't let the opportunity to detail a car go by willy nilly so here's the results.





The car has a definate "lived in" look about it but its quick and has very forgiving handling characteristics which ticks all the boxes for me. I'll definitely have my doors blown off at Wolverhampton but the aim is to have some fun and try my best and thats all that anyone can do isn't it?

Speaking of doing one's best I was fortunate enough to visit my work chums home circuit last weekend.

Les Hunt has some really amazing cars from his childhood in the 1960's which are worth an absolute fortune and he's created a home circuit worthy of the great cars he's got.

I've dubbed it "Tracy Island Raceway" but Les has done a superb job to a better than professional standard, and here's the evidence below.






I'm trying to get Les to join in the fun at Bearwood Raceway, perhaps this post will spur him on?

Thats all for tonight, cheers and keep it on the blackstuff boys!
 

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Here's a picture of the Wolverhampton circuit I'll be racing on with the other Bearwood racers in the historic saloons. I can't wait to be honest!

 

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Hi all!

Just a quick post to show you my latest purchase for our Bearwood BTCC class.



Advertised on ebay as some "minor paint scuffing" (it wasn't) but a "good runner" (no chance!).



The car came with:

1, No Guide!
2, All 4 wheels spinning loose on the axles!
3, Enough fluff inside the shell and around the axles to knit a reasonably warm scarf!
4, Metal filings and shards all around the magnet and engine.

Suffice to say after a complete, strip down, de-fluff, re paint, gluing wheels and oil of motor and axles/CWP its not looking too bad now.



I've inkwashed the door joints and repainted the whole of the interior too.

I hope to give it a run this Thursday, but its parents evening and I'm likely to be late so keep a plug socket free for me!
 

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I had an absolute blast at Bearwood Raceway tonight and won two races using the SCX NASCARS!

Completely bonkers racing but great fun and really competitive, just a pity it was a non championship points scoring night.

My work chum Les Hunt and his wife Sue joined us tonight and they really seemed to enjoy themselves and considering that Les is partially sighted he really got hooked up with the circuit quickly and managed to get a second place in one of the NASCAR races. The funny thing is that I think that his disability helps him to focus on his car and prevents him from getting distracted by the noise and bustle of the other cars around him. He was pretty quick straight off the bat and I hope that he joins us on a regular basis because he's a great laugh and a quick bloke.

I'm happy to say that my recent Scaley Vectra BTCC purchase has turned out much better than I could have hoped for.



It seems reasonably quick with predictable handling which suits me fine.



I did some laps with James Noake who had an identical Vectra and we were fairly evenly matched so I'm hopeful for a decent run in the BTCC class this year, although the Lagunas look quick and Steve Beach's Audi A4 looks fairly solid and quick.

However I am really chuffed with my £21 bargain Mosler.



Its simple to drive, fast and it simply doesn't deslot. The car is about 6 years old and had probably only done about 10 laps with the previous owner (if that) but I think that the tyres are perhaps a bit past their best.

But I could not be more delighted and I'll probably get some new rubber ASAP to make sure I'm on an even par with the other Mosler pilots at Bearwood.



Once again I've made a quantum jump forward in getting hooked up with my NC2 powered Mercedes DTM. I've switched to a 60ohm controller and the car is much more docile and less peaky but even better than that was getting the unpredictable handling dialled out at last.



For some reason the car was "pushing" at corners and deslotting in a peculiar and irritating manner. After a quick look both Graham and Warren agreed that there was too much body rock. After tightening the screws completely the car was utterly transformed! The car seemed flat and I was able to power through corners that previously seemed impossble to take without deslotting. Steve Beach gave me some great advice about drivng NC2s and now the DTM is now a pleasure to drive so many thanks to all three of you for your friendly and accurate advice!

To conclude I must mention Dave Parrish who was most put out by the fact that I didn't mention him in my last blog.

Dave thanks for suggesting SCX NASCARS for tonights racing! I didn't expect to enjoy myself when you suggested it but it was an absolute blast! Great fun! Nice one!

I'm racing in historic saloons at Wolverhampton this Sunday so I'll be posting another blog on Sunday night. I'll be using a Mk1 Escort (see previous blog above) kindly provided by Graham Pritchard and to be honest I can't wait to get there and have a go!

I may not come anywhere but the Bearwood lads will have a laugh come what may. We're all mad as a bag of snakes! Rivals beware!
 

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WOLVERHAMPTON HISTORIC SALOONS REPORT

I had a great time today competing with number 11 on the International Circuit at Wolverhampton today.



I had never driven on the International Track before today with a relatively unfamiliar car.



I managed to have a couple of minutes practice before the heats started and it was a bit of a wake up call as my car which was perfectly dialled in for our home plexi track was completely unmanageable on the wooded International Track.
 

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WOLVERHAMPTON HISTORIC SALOONS REPORT

I had a great time today competing with number 11 on the International Circuit at Wolverhampton today.



I had never driven on the International Track before today with a relatively unfamiliar car.



I managed to have a couple of minutes practice before the heats started and it was a bit of a wake up call as my car which was perfectly dialled in for our home plexi track was completely unmanageable on the wooden International Track.

A rapid pit stop was called for some lead loading to the chassis.



Suddenly the car was transformed and I managed to win every one of my qualifying heats! I was absolutely chuffed to be competitive in my first race meeting. Of course I was way off the leaders pace but I was really happy to be so close to my Bearwood colleagues.

Heats results

Graham Pritchard - 54.25 laps - Mercedes 220SE - Escort MkI 1600GT
Steve Beach - 53.89 laps - Isuzu Bellet
Ian Howard - 51.74 laps - Escort MkI 1600GT
James Noake - 49.60 laps - Datsun Triple Crown

James knocked me out in the quarter finals but I still managed 2nd place so I was really pleased with my performance overall.


Jimmy Noake in the pits fettling his Datsun.



I also had the absolute priviledge of meeting the amazing slot car craftsman George Turner. It was the first time I was able to see his work up close and all I can say is that his work is truly brilliant!




And when I saw the PP Lotus 72 below I just fell in love! What a pair of beauties!



The quality of the modelling was superb and I'll conclude this blog for today by showing you the concours winners.



Other pictures are available to see here.
 

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A good club night tonight racing SCX Rally cars.



Some good tight racing was plenty of thrills and spills, I even managed to win a race with my Delta S4!



There was plenty of variety of cars being raced but I'll have to admit going a bit cross eyed when I was marshalling a race of 4 Citroens all in near enough the same livery.



There was still plenty of chat and banter about the Wolverhampton Historic Race that Bearwood competed in on Sunday last. I think its really healthy for our club members to be getting out there and racing with others outside the club.

Jimmy Noake and I will be going down to compete in the Wye Valley Slot Rally in November and I'll be doing all I can to help and support James in his bid to win the 80s class with his Works Toyota Celica.

I'm also looking forward to the Senna Trophy for Ninco GT cars towards the end of October. I'd like to give my thanks in advance to Warren for setting me up with a decent set of rear tyres for the event. I want him to know that I really appreciate his help.

Dave Parrish, get well soon! He was looking decidedly pale tonight after having succumbed to "Man Flu".

You may laugh but it can be a killer!
 

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Well its been a busy few weeks on the slot car front.

Firstly I was able to secure sixth place in my first time at the Senna Trophy at Bearwood Raceway.

I was reasonably happy with the performance of my Gulf Mosler which was transformed thanks to some help and advice on tyres from Warren.

I had some really silly offs in my race in the blue lane (which is usually very good to me) and I feel sure that I drove myself out of fifth of perhaps even - at a push - fourth place because of inconsistent driving. Still, I managed to win a few heats and I enjoyed the really close racing.

The following Thursday saw my first opportunity to try my Fly Porsche 908 in the Wide Tyre Classic class at Bearwood. I got this little cracker for an absolute song on ebay and I've been dying to try it out in anger.


I've had some tyre difficulties with it though as the car had never turned a wheel before I took delivery and had been something of a "shelf Queen". Consequently all the tyres had split off their rims and needed replacement. I've tried some ureathane tyres from Canada and they offered decent levels of grip but where not responsive to truing up and were ruined by oil.

I even tried super gluing the original tyres back together and that seemed to work nicely but no matter how hard I tried I could not get them to run "properly "true" despite extensive sanding. Luckily the guys at Pendle were able to supply some NSRs which fitted almost perfectly and after truing ran superbly!



I managed to win my first race with the car and after all the heats I was 4th overall on the night which racked up some decent points towards this years championship. I just wished I had radiused the tyre edges earlier in the night, I reckon that alone cost me a race win. You live you learn.

Onto the last round of the 2011 Slot Rally GB at Aberstone club for the Wye Valley Stages. I'll have to say I've not enjoyed the championship as much as I did last year but that's down to me and nothing to do with the superb organisation provided by Gareth Jex and co.

I was there in a more supporting role for my fellow Bearwood racer James Noake who was in with a shout of winning the 1980s class with his SCX Tpyota Celica.



Whilst James was enjoying a storming run I was struggling with poor tyre choice and poor driving skills, I don't know why but I can't seem to attack the stages with the same confidence as James straight off the bat.



Indeed, the only car I really enjoyed driving was my new acquisition a SCX FIAT 131 Abarth (Bargain car at £9.99) which was smooth stable and great fun to slide around.



Mind you I always enjoy ussing my Spirit 205 T16 but I can never find a straight long enough to use its major advantage which is blistering straight line speed.



There were some new stages though with this little belter based upon a Safari Park special stage.



There really was some excellent attantion to detail.







James didn't quite manage to win the 1980s class at the end of thee day but I've got a feeling he's going to feature highly in next years championship.

You never know, I might do better next year too . . . . . . miracles can happen you know!
 

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Once again a busy time with Slot Racing.

I've been putting together some regulations for what I hope will be a fun, fast and exciting Classic Grand Prix Championship for F1 cars used between 1970 - 1980.

These were the cars I was brought up on and I think that its a shame that they are overlooked the way they are. However, there's a lot of enthusiasm for these older cars and we've found that there's plenty of fast and exciting racing to be had with them.

I'll be running a launch/test day of Sunday 19th February 2012 at Bearwood Scalextric Club with a view to running a 4-6 round championship in 2012. Full details can be found here.

You can find rules and regs here.

Tonight we've been flexing some American muscle at Bearwood. Graham Pritchard kindly lent me the red Camaro number 7 in the foreground of the picture below. New tyres transformed the car but it was stiil no match for Steve Beach's Barracuda which is one ripsnorting vehicle! Good fun though and some really close racing.



I've also managed to restore a Ferrari 312T for Bearwood racer Will Charlton.



I'm particularly happy with the result on this one.



I use excellent decals from the USA by INDYCALS. They were a pig to cut out but worth every minute of work in the long run.



All told the restoration was between 25 - 30 hours work spread over 4 / 5 weeks. But I've really enjoyed doing this one despite freezing half to death in my garage workshop whilst working on it.

Will seems happy with it and I hope you like it too.
 

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Its been a while since my last blog because I've been working hard trying to get the Heart of England Grand Prix Championship up and running.

I've also been going Tyrrell crazy. I love these Blue cars and what the Tyrrell team was able to achieve from a humble woodshed in Ockham in the 1970's.

Here are some pictures of my Tyrrell "equipe".

1971 SCX Tyrrell 003. Jackie Stewart won the 1971 World F1 Drivers Championship in this car.


1972 French Scalextric Tyrrell 005.


1973 Scalextric Scratchbuilt Tyrrell 006. Jackie Stewart won the 1973 World F1 Drivers Championship in this car.


1974 Scalextric Tyrrell 007. Recently repainted and reliveried. Jody Scheckter very nearly won the 1974 World F1 Drivers Championship in this car.


1977 Scalextric Scratchbuilt Tyrrell P34 (Ronnie Peterson). Now an amazingly quick car after some front axle modifications.


1978 Scalextric Tyrrell 008 (Patrick Depailler's Monaco GP winning car). I've managed to sign up Dave Parish to drive this car in the Heart of England GP Championship 2012. He's got a good chance too because he's blisteringly quick with this car and won a championship in the 1980's with a similar car.


Here they are all lined up together.


Of course we need a support vehicle too! I managed to livery this £3.60 truck (from Tesco!) in period costume!


I'm quite pleased with the Truck and the completed 006!


Thanks for now!
 

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Gee Ian,you have been busy as....thanks for the race reports(comments and pics)
I especially enjoyed the rally report .
regards
 

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It was nice to get back to Bearwood this evening after a long break over Christmas and the New Year.

We all missed Steve Beach who is recovering slowly from a bout of Pneumonia, but Paul joined us tonight for some non digital non magnet racing (which is well out of his comfort zone) using NINCO rally cars.



I was using my Mitsubishi Lancer EVO which I've never really got on with properly and up against James Noake's Citroen C4 and various Subaru's I played second fiddle all night with some frustrating results.



In a fit of temper I tightened all the screws up on the car to eliminate all the body rock. Result? Total transformation and a car that I could drive at last . . . . GRRRRR! That's where I've been going wrong all year with Slot Rally GB I'm sure.

After racing finished I was able to try out two recent purchases.

I bought this Camaro for our Muscle car class from a seller on SLOTFORUM. Of course I've reliveried it in Mario Andretti's USAC 76 Petroleum colours if only to distinguish it from Graham Pritchards similar car. All I've done besides that is trim back the front airdam and put new tyres on the rear. Result? A blooming quick car with forgiving handling and £10 well spent!



I was also able to turn in a few laps with my new Jim Clark 1968 Lotus 49. Isn't she gorgeous!



It's a birthday gift from Mrs Howard. Don't tell her I've got it . . . I'm not supposed to have it until tomorrow and she doesn't know that I sneaked it out of the house tonight for a spin at Bearwood! It drives lovely if a little too fast. I'll remove the magnet and give it another go in a couple of weeks.

Cheers!
 

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Hi Guys.

I've just completed a "Johnson Formula" legal Renault RS01 for Jon Davies at Bearwood.



It features:

1, Lowered front end.
2, Axle Tube.
3, New guide and copper braids.
4, New livery and helmet repaint in Jean Pierre Jabouille's colours.
5, Repainted rear wing.
6, Motor glued in.
7, Trued rear tyres.



It was pretty cold in the workshop tonight too as its minus 2 outside!



I hope Jon likes it as as I need someone who can weld brass now!
 

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It was good to see the return of Steve Beach after his absence due to ill health for the last few weeks.

It would be nice to see Warren and Trevor more often too. Strangely Dave Parish didn't appear either (he'd probably nodded off in the armchair at home after tea!).

I had a reasonable night with my NINCO Audi in the club racing and I event managed to win a race against Jon D and Graham (who was having a dreadful night)!





Its nip and tuck at the head of the championship at the moment with Jimmy Noake and Steve B battling it out tooth and nail.

With Christmas just gone by and my recent Birthday I've been very fortunate to have some new cars to try out at Bearwood.

Here's my new BMW Christmas gift from my wife for the SCX Touring cars class.



Its got a really good chassis and is very forgiving to drive and only deslots when you do something really mental. How fast it is remains to be seen on the race night soon.

Here's my Limited Edition 2009 Brawn, which was a lovely birthday gift from my sister. Nice to drive too, but the traction magnet is definately coming out soon!



A Dan Gurney Eagle Westlake (Birthday gift from wife).



A Jo Siffert Lotus 49 (Birthday gift from Mum).



A 1968 Team Lotus 49 (Jim Clark) from my wife.



Finally a future project. A Williams Mechachrome FW20 which is going to lose that hateful Winfield livery and will re-appear as a FW18 in the Damon Hill Rothmans Renault 1996 livery.



Too many cars? I'm beginning to think so!
 

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Ian,

Happy to see your Renault RS01, as this Scalex model generally doesn't generate much interest among Scalex enthusiasts (rarely seen in forums). An opportunity for me to post mine, restored a few years ago. Unlike you, I'm not an expert slot man, being mainly interested in making home-made decals. You will notice some differences in the decaling (apart from the missing decals on front spoilers fins).

Cheers,







 

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Yes Ian, it was. At the beginning, in 1977, broken turbos generated huge white smoke clouds, so that it was immediately nicknamed "the Yellow Teapot" by the pits staff.
Cheers,
 

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I've been busy in the garage again!

My obsession with all things 1970's F1 continues unabated and I've recently converted this old Renault RS01 bodyshell.



Into this Walter Wolf WR1 as driven to victory at the 1977 Monaco Grand Prix by Jody Scheckter.



For full details on how I actually built this car take a look at this link.

Its a little cracker too! Superb chassis with great handling and very stable. Watch out Noakesy its a WOLF in WOLF's clothing!

I had an enjoyable night racing NINCO GT cars, t'other night too with my Gulf Mosler.



I had some mild car problems with some inexplicable deslots on the main straight after the first hairpin just after the start. I was keeping well up with Jimmy Noake and harrying him for the lead at times but the deslots cost me dearly with two 2nds and two 4th places on the night.



Still I think I've got the problem dialled out of the chassis now and I hope to do a little better when we race this fun class again later on this season.



I've also recently taken delivery of a 2008 Renault R28. The only changes that I'm going to make are magnet removal and a helmet relivery from Nelson Piquet Jr to Fernando Alonso.



After which I've got a few new F1 projects lined up.

I'm going to do simple refurb/reliveries on a 312T3 Ferrari (Villeneuve) like this one.



The a relivery/refurb on a 1971 Ferrari 312B2 (Regazzoni) like this one.



I'm also going to convert a Williams FW07 into a Tyrrell 009 (Derek Daly) like this one.



Look like I'm going to be busy for some time to come eh?
 
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