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Once per month, the denizens of the Farnham Scalextric Club like to let their hair down and have a night that goes beyond the regular format of classes and heats to try doing something different. We've had an American night, a Targa Florio night, the odd Rally night and now here is the report for our latest dispatch from Novelty Island: the Need for Speed.

Rather than racing door-to-door the plan was to try and set the fastest possible lap time on each of the four lanes in a one shot showdown. The idea was that each person in attendance would bring three cars with them. Each car would sit within one of three classes, which were outlined thus:

Class 1: May

Cars to be exactly as they came in the box - save the removal of any traction magnets. Weight may be added.

Class 2: Hammond

Permitted to change the factory-fitted guide, tyres, gears or motor but no changes to body, interior or chassis - apart from loosening screws (Race prepared such as SCX Pro or Ninco Lightning were in Clarkson class).

Class 3: Clarkson

Anything goes - and no punches pulled- including kits and scratch build. (NSR, Avant Slot, Slot-it and MSC are in the Clarkson class).

The full entry laid out for "Need for Speed" night

As soon as the cars started the warm up lap on the first of the 4 lanes they were under Parc ferme conditions.

Round 1: May

In the May class for standard cars there were those who took the option of running cars that don't fit within the usual club classes and those who grabbed the nearest regular runner. It was the latter who profited - the magnet motor and wide track of Graham's Spirit Peugeot paying huge dividends, dipping under the magic 11 second barrier to win despite deslotting briefly on the blue lane and dropping 3 seconds.

May Results
Graham Spirit Peugeot 406 - total 47.71 seconds
Gareth Ninco Renault Clio S1600 - 49.16 seconds
Ben Ninco Toyota Supra - 49.50 seconds

The podium finishers in May class…

Round 2: Hammond

The Hammond class gave some scope for tweaking the cars, but Graham was left without a car when his Ninco Lightning Audi was deemed to be in the flat-out Clarkson division. As a result he borrowed a box standard Racer Sideways Capri and still made the podium! There were four drivers within a second of each other after their four runs, but it was Ben's old school SCX SRS2 Jaguar XJR14 that prevailed over more modern technology.

Hammond Results
Ben SCX SRS2 Jaguar - total 11.76 seconds
Gareth AutoArt Koenigsegg with Slot.It running gear - 12.33 seconds
Graham Sideways Capri box standard - 12.43 seconds

The top three in Hammond class take a bow

Round 3: Clarkson

And so to the final class of the night and the opportunity for mechanical self-expression that would usually be referred to as cheating. In fact nobody built a special rocket ship, instead the runners favoured letting the likes of Slot.It and NSR take the strain at the factory and brought out an array of sleek sports cars. Once again it was Graham who triumphed, his fast but stable Ninco Lightning Audi R8 proving to be less of a handful over the Farnham lumps and bumps than some of the thoroughbred competition cars.

Clarkson Results
Graham Ninco Lightning Audi R8 GT - total 42.96 seconds
Ben Slot it Audi R8 LMP1 - 43.57 seconds
Jamie NSR Ford P68 - 44.28 seconds

The top class podium - ending a fun night for the club

The evening scores revealed a few things - not least that members are much more likely to come to grief on the green and blue lanes in the middle of the track than on the inner (red) and outer (yellow) lanes. The average lap times per lane were:

Red lane 12.27 seconds
Blue lane 13.56 seconds
Green lane 12.54 seconds
Yellow lane 12.75 seconds

And the average lap times per class, from box standard home racers to high performance club specials, was also relatively small. Worth bearing in mind when spending a shed load of cash on a 'high performance' car!

May class average 13.26 seconds
Hammond class average 13.08 seconds
Clarkson class average 12.01 seconds

Next week normal service is resumed with lane cars before we wheel out our own cars for a new 2-month season on May 13 with our new NSR Classic class alongside old favourites like Spirit BMW 635s and Super Magnet F1s.
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