The Heart Of England Classic GP Championship.
Rounds 3&4 Race Report and Official Results.
Report by: Graham Pritchard.
Following closely on from Rounds 1 & 2 just two weeks ago at Wolverhampton Slot Car Club the Championship moved to the tight and twisty "Monaco like" Bearwood Scalextric Club circuit for Rounds 3 & 4 on 6th May 2012.
As well as representatives from the three central clubs of Bearwood, Wolverhampton & Great Barr we also had Mark Wain joining us from the North Staffs club for today's meetings which meant we had 16 racers on the day which was lower than at Wolverhampton but with the Bank Holiday & decent weather for a change it could only be expected.
Mark's remarks to me that he was using a "99p car bought off E-bay" summed up the ethos of the Championship rather brilliantly I thought - cheap but enjoyable - he normally races in the Slot It Challenge - what a difference !
As would also be expected the Bearwood locals were flying around their home track - but some of the Wolves lads were also hot on the pace - not bad for only having had a few practice laps in reality.
Whilst Championship Organiser Ian Howard was not feeling 100% (Ian had a bout of Vertigo and was staggering around like a man with one too many Shandies inside him!) today he had insisted that he was going to attend today's meetings and managed to put in a few good races overall with his brand new homebuilt Tyrrell 010 (which had never turned a wheel until race day) which was good to see.
I think that that probably summed up a lot of people, you had some highs today & probably a few lows but that's what it's all about, you need skill, luck & a reliable car to do well - if one of those three items is missing you will struggle to achieve that - keeping a cool head is what it's all about - and the cooler you are when it all goes wrong the more respect you will get from your fellow racers.
Got to mention the Great Barr lads again, real dedication to the hobby, they are used to magnets & Ninco track remember but their "home race" is right at the end of the calendar and your turn will come for the home advantage then so thanks for still supporting these events even though you must feel like a fish out of water at times !
The atmosphere today was again superb with everyone willing to help everyone else - Ian & I were lending cars out to racers who were struggling for various reasons so that they too could enjoy the day even though their cars were having problems.
Once again there were lots of smiling faces and many rounds of applause & cheering in appreciation of some very close racing from fellow club members & new friends made on the day.
A titanic battle between the Renaults of Malcolm Scotto and Mark Wain provided a real nailbiting race, with Mark going from last place to first in the last few laps of the race. Classic!
Tyrrell 007, Jonathan Davies 1st overall (under 16s Rounds 3&4).
The racing format today was "15 laps to the flag" together with ladder finals so that anyone who had underperformed during the heats (whether due to car problems or unfamiliarity with the track) could have a chance to storm back through the finals to make up for it and if you were in the lead you could ease off a bit to avoid coming off and losing the lead as it was not "distance racing" like at Wolverhampton.
The A finals were 25 laps of racing to the flag and in the second final at least, in common with many of the heats there were in effect 2 races going on at the same time for 1st & 2nd and 3rd & 4th.
The heats over the 2 rounds seemed to mix every one up equally with some having "easier" races & then "harder" races or vice versa throughout the day - trouble is this is hard to avoid with a low number of racers and the requirement to avoid closely following races so that you have time to race then marshal then work on your car if required before you are called back to race again.
Rounds 1&2 victor Andy Bartle (Tyrrell 007) managed to qualify for the round 3 finals but could only manage 3rd place today.
Andy Bartle's Tyrrell 007 (Winner of Rounds 1&2)
The winners spoils went to James Noake (Ferrari 312B) and Lewis Gough (Lotus 77) who shared 1st and 2nd places in both rounds.
Noake took the winners laurels in round 3 after a race long battle with Lewis Gough. Round 4 was equally close with Gough taking the win from Noake closely followed by yours truly (Graham Pritchard Brabham BT49) in 3rd place.
Gough has now established himself as championship leader at the halfway point. Noake and Bartle are hard on his heels and there's still all to play for in the remaining 4 rounds.
Got to say the race changeovers were prompt at most times so thanks to you all for knowing when you were next on & for being ready to marshal without too much prompting - all in all this made for a fairly relaxed day with a fairly early finish also.
Also got to say a big "Thank you " to Will & his wife Sue for writing & implementing the necessary spreadsheets so that we could utilise a computer & printer on the day to save me having to write it all out by hand and so that you could all read it - my initials are "GP" remember, and that is how bad my handwriting is !
Many thanks also to James Noake who got to the circuit early and opened up for us.
So, due to the loss of the Oaklands Park track the next 2 rounds are scheduled to be here at Bearwood again BUT we are currently endeavouring to try to obtain the use of a different track instead in order to remove the "home track advantage for Bearwood" that obviously exists for us but please remember that that fact was out of our hands when the news broke about Oaklands and the above move was made in order to keep the Championship an 8 round event rather than just a 6 round event.
(Please keep checking Ian's blog etc on Slot Forum for any future announcements on the above).
One other point I wanted to mention is that you may have noticed today that those expensive "black box" controllers were absent due to the way the track is wired at Bearwood but to me the "same old names" were at the top of the running order which must surely prove to the doubters that having a "black box" controller is not necessarily going to guarantee you a win as they can also do well with a good old cheap Parma hand controller as well.
Got to be honest but our top guys do not own them & yet they can still do well elsewhere, they do not make up for a lack of skill at all, they purely mean that you only need 1 controller instead of a selection as you are able to set them up to match the resistance that a particular motor will better respond to.
I for instance used a 60 ohm controller all day whilst others used 45, 30 or even 15 ohm ones - it is purely is up to you to use that with which you feel the most comfortable with - you can't go faster than "flat out" so whichever controller you use you will still stand the same chance of winning.
Right, thank you once again to everyone for attending Bearwood Scalextric Club and for helping to make it the huge success that it was. I hope that the remaining rounds will be as enjoyable & competitive as Wolverhampton & Bearwood have been so far.
Results Round 3.
1, James Noake Ferrari 312B - 25pts
2, Lewis Gough - Lotus 77 - 20pts
3, Andy Bartle - Tyrrell 007 - 16pts
4, Jonathan Davies - Tyrrell 007 - 13pts
5, Graham Pritchard - Brabham BT49 - 11pts
6, Will Charlton Brabham BT48 - 10pts
7, Ian Howard - Tyrrell 006/010/Wolf WR1 - 9pts
8, Steve Beach - Brabham BT49 - 8pts
9, Paul Munro - Ligier JS11 - 7pts
10, Mark Wain - Renault RS01 - 6pts
11, Malcolm Scotto - Renault RS01/Ferrari 312T - 5pts
12, Nick Wixon - BRM P160 - 4pts
13, (Cr)Ashley Evans - Lotus 77 - 3pts
14, James Roberts - Renault RS01/Lotus 77- 2pts
15, Ken Roberts - Tyrrell 007 - 1pt
16, Richard Woodward - Shadow DN1
L to R , Lewis Gough, James Noake, Andy Bartle.
Results Round 4.
1, Lewis Gough - Lotus 77 - 25pts
2, James Noake - Ferrari 312B - 20pts
3, Graham Pritchard - Brabham BT49 - 16pts
4, Steve Beach - Brabham BT49 - 13pts
5, Will Charlton - Brabham BT48 -11pts
6, Ian Howard - Tyrrell 006/010 - 10pts
7, Andy Bartle - Tyrrell 007 - 9pts
8, Jonathan Davies - Tyrrell 007 - 8pts
9, Paul Munro - Ligier JS11 - 7pts
10, (Cr)Ashley Evans - Lotus 77 - 6pts
11, Mark Wain - Renault RS01 - 5pts
12, Richard Woodward - Tyrrell 008 - 4pts
13, James Roberts - Lotus 77 - 3pts
14, Malcolm Scotto - Renault RS01 - 2pts
15, Nick Wixon - BRM P160- 1pt
16, Ken Roberts - Tyrrell 007
L to R. James Noake, Lewis Gough, Graham Pritchard.
Championship Standings after Rounds 3&4.
1, Lewis Gough - Lotus 77 - 85pts
2, Andy Bartle - Tyrrell 007 - 75pts
3, James Noake _ Lotus 72/Ferrari 312B - 74pts
4, Graham Pritchard - Brabham BT49 - 43pts
5, Will Charlton Brabham - BT48 - 38pts
=6, Ian Howard - Tyrrell 005/006/010/Wolf WR1 - 29pts
=6, Rob Wallader - Williams FW07 - 29pts
7, Paul Munro - Ligier JS11 - 24pts
=8, Steve Beach - Brabham BT49 - 21pts
=8, Nick Wixon - BRM P160 - 21pts
=8, Ryan Nightingale - Renault RS01 - 21pts
=8, Jonathan Davies - Tyrrell 007 - 21pts
9, Dave Farrow - Ferrari 312B - 20pts
10, (Cr)Ashley Evans - Lotus 77/BRM/Lotus 77 - 14pts
11, Mark Wain - Renault RS01 - 11pts
=12, Malcolm Scotto - Ferrari 312T/Renault RS01 - 7pts
=12, James Roberts - Renault RS01 - 7pts
=13, Dave Parish - Tyrrell 007 - 5pts
=13, Sam Farrow - BRM P160 - 5pts
=13, Barry Davies - Lotus 77 - 5pts
14, Richard Woodward - Tyrrell 008 - 4pts
15, Ken Roberts - Tyrrell 007 - 1pt
Under 16s Championship.
1, James Roberts - Lotus 77/Renault RS01 - 22pts
2, Jonathan Davies - Tyrrell 007 - 20pts
3, Ryan Nightingale - Renault RS01 - 10pts
4, Sam Farrow - BRM P160 - 8pts