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DTM Round 1 - 6th February 2018

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First time for Pantyffynnon Slot Car Club to be running a Carrera class with the majority of members showing up with some new cars or two.

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Leon takes the inaugural win closely followed by RichP and Mike who finished on the podium, with James just a hairs width behind Mike for fourth but takes the bonus point to stay level. The rest of the pack are just a few tenths further back, but it looks like these Carrera cars need plenty of running to loosen everything up.

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This table should hopefully show some real close results by the end of the year.

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Still a close class as there is less than 6 tenths between first and eighth place. Previous classes have certainly shown bigger gaps.

Spin those gears up, run the motor in and knock some time off your PB's
 

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DTM Round 2 - 6th March 2018

Very late with the results for this race sorry, thought I had posted them last week.

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No idea what happened but someone won, me, and no doubt Gareth had a mechanical issue or six at some point.

Looks like RichF, Jason and Mike got into it, with RichF and Jason tied for the last podium step. Mike finishes behind them but bags the bonus point.

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Most of the crowd improve on their personal bests with RichP getting to within a couple of hundredths of Leon's previous best, only for Leon to extend that another tenth later on.

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The battle for third place looks like where the action is going to be, with Mike, RichF and the rookie Jason all looking strong.
 

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DTM Round 3 - 10th April 2018

I'll just slip this in here and hope no one notices...

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Extremely close racing as RichF ties with RichP for second place and Jason ties with Keith fo share fourth place.

Mike manages to stay ahead of Gareth for sixth but Gareth salvages the bonus point to give him equal points with Mike.

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Leon extends the gap on the leaderboard whilst a brace of racers all improve on their personal bests with RichF jumping up to third and Gareth up to fourth.

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DTM Round 4

With Leon, the current runaway class leader, away on family duties it was a chance for the rest of us mere mortals to have a crack at top spot and it was a ding dong battle between the two Rich's with the evening's winner down to the last race and it was a VERY tight finish.

Heat 1

Rich P was marshal and Rich F threw down an early marker recording 70 laps in12 minutes with Jason on67 only slightly ahead of Keith with Clive way off the pace with a troubled A5 that wouldn't get below 10.9s - about 1.6s off the pace. Half way through the race he substituted the car with Rich P's spare M4 and was suddenly right up there in the mix recording the second fastest lap of the heat. But it wasn't enough to wrestle third place from Keith who was breathing down Jason's neck throughout the race.

Heat 2

Rich F was marshal and so Rich P set about the heat recording 73 laps and pushing the challenge right back at the previous heat winner. Jason was dragged along in his slipstream and recorded 71 laps - enough to have won his previous heat. Keith also recorded 2 more laps than the previous round and Clive, with his borrowed wheels, was 6 laps up.

Heat 3

Jason took a turn in the marshal's hut and at last the two previous heat winners met on the grid. Rich F stormed ahead with Rich P recording faster laps but crashing more in his attempt to reel the leader in. In the end Rich F won with 74 laps - 2 ahead of Rich P. Keith and Clive both recorded exactly the same number of laps as heat 2. This was getting tasty with Rich F looking to close in on Rich P in the championship standings.

Heat 4

Clive took his turn off the grid and it was game on with Rich P looking to claw back the evening in this must-win heat. The racing was really hotting up now and Jason had some issues with the pressure taking some scenic tours of the Armco and coming in 4th with 70 laps - that would have been good enough for the win earlier on. Keith got caught up in the spirit and recorded 72 laps - 4 more than his previous best of the evening. Rich P managed to claw the win from Rich F with both finishing on 74 laps but Rich P kept his cool at the end with Rich F having one off too many.

Heat 5

So now it was clear that Rich F and Rich P were head to head for the honours - it was simply whoever beat the other regardless of position for the overall win.

The scene was set for battle royal and it didn't disappoint.

At the off both Rich P and Jason got start penalties (despite both not touching their triggers at the start) - DISASTER and a 5 second stop-go which put Rich P at an immediate disadvantage and under sever pressure. Rich F then set about pushing hard to build up a lead and at one point Rich P was 2 laps down. But Rich P was using a fuel saving strategy and was pressuring Rich F in close racing even though he was 2 laps down - this caused Rich F to burn more fuel as he fought (in the slower lane) to keep up with Rich P. Then all of a sudden Rich F ran out of fuel and had to pit handing the lead to Rich P who upped his pace to try to get a decent lead for his pit stop. Then Rich P pitted and filled up a short tank exiting just in front of Rich F. Rich P then proceeded to race in Rich F's preferred slow lane as he had spotted Keith in the fast lane. So Rich F was frustrated for about 3 laps with no means of passing and had become lulled into a slower pace. Then they passed Keith and Rich P changed lanes and floored it taking Rich F by surprise and gaining almost half a lap before Rich F responded. Rich P used this half lap for a quick splash and dash, exiting the pits just in front of his rival and crucially with a little more fuel and psychological advantage. For the last 10-12 laps the pair of them swapped the lead about 4 times as they did little splash and dashes to try to keep in contention. They both ended up recording 8 pit stops!!!

2 laps from the end came the decisive move as Rich P's years of race craft allowed him to read the track to see Jason in the fast lane half a lap ahead. Rich P took his chance and pulled in front of Rich F in the slower lane knowing it would take at least 4 laps for them to get past Jason. With 2 laps to go Jason stuck it in the weeds and Rich P pulled into the fast lane and sprinted to the end. There was still one more splash and dash from both Rich F and Rich P. The end of the race came with both of them on the same lap but Rich P had managed somehow to cling on to that half lap lead. Both ended running on fumes in what was a very competitive (but fairly contested) heat.

So Rich P took the win but he was pushed every inch of the way by Rich F.

Clive had a nightmare early on with his car - we had a look and the drive train was moving freely and there was no binding anywhere to explain his slow speed and excessive fuel burn - so we put it down to a weedy motor that needs changing. When he borrowed Rich P's backup M4 Clive was well on the pace and recorded his fastest ever DTM lap in a car that Rich P says is only one tenth slower than his main car - it just goes to show that the car prep makes a big difference as we are all capable of getting right on the pace now.

The battle between Jason and Keith is getting interesting as, given the way they are scoring, the advantage from the first 2 rounds that Jason built could get eroded once they start dropping scores later in the season.

As it stands it is shaping up for Leon on the top spot but the two podium spots below Leon look like a 5 way battle at the moment and if Clive gets his motor sorted he is more than capable of putting in a strong challenge too. We were hoping DTM would give us close racing and (apart from Leon who has a jet engine in his Audi) it seems that is what we are getting...

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PSCC DTM Round 6 - 24 July 2018

Round 5 was cancelled.

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Five racers turned up for what is turning out to be an entertaining class with very close racing.

Leon used up his second dropped round meaning his lead is now a single point over Rich P once dropped rounds are taken into account. Simply put Leon can't afford to miss any more rounds.

There were some ding dong battles starting in the first heat when Rich P was 3 laps clear in the lead and then suffered an ID loss!!! After resetting his ID he was 2 laps down on the leaders with 2 minutes to go and managed to pull them back to within one lap but only salvaged a 3rd place from his disaster. Jason fully capitalised and took first blood.

These cars are proving difficult to overtake being quite evenly matched. In fact, as the evening progressed the cars seemed to get faster with Jason's mirrored Merc getting within a tenth of RichP. Clive's car is suffering from lack of power which was proved when he drive RichP's Audi on one heat and was right on the pace.

I think that at various stages of the night all 5 racers held the lead in a heat for quite a few laps showing just how close these cars are.

Jason grabbed a decent second place as RichP took the win on an uphill struggle from his heat 1 misfortune. It was down to the final heat and Jason felt the pressure needing the win but coming in as rear gunner. He has the pace but it's the headology he needs to sort now....

Mike and Keith came in equal on points thanks to Keith's non-podium fastest lap bonus. Clive is scouring the InterWeb for a source of Carrera DTM replacement motors because he has the pace as a driver but his car is noticeably short on torque.

This is going to be nip and tuck right to the end of the season...
 

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DTM Round 7

How the tide has turned in this class with the early runaway leader - Leon - missing his 3rd round and effectively demoting himself to around 4th or 5th. Even his jet engined Audi will struggle for a championship podium this season.

This left the top half of the championship wide open with Jason slightly better positioned than RichF and Keith who were hot on his heels.

The night's racing was close with the final heat showing RichP to have a single point lead over RichF and Keith - so the night's win was on the cards for 3/4 of the final heat's grid!

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Heat 1

Keith and Clive were marshals for the opening heat on what was a slippery track that didn't really offer much grip until the closing laps. RichF was right on the pace from the start and scored a comfy win 3 laps ahead of RichP and Jason who finished in that order on the same lap. An early marker from RichF then...

Heat 2

Heat 2 saw the most exciting race of the night with some serious nip and tuck all race between a hard-charging Jason and a fuel-efficient Keith. Mike, in his second heat of the evening was still suffering from the performance issues that dogged him in heat 1 with some serious power issues. Jason managed to stay slightly ahead of Keith for 68 laps but then, on lap 69, Mike had another power issue leaving Jason and Keith in a train behind him. So Jason held back slightly and managed to lane change out from behind Mike with Keith following him through and both zipping past Mike... but then, in a master stroke, Keith immediately changed back a second or two later and drew alongside a surprised Jason. As Keith had the inside lane he was well positioned to ease ahead of Jason and with about 10 seconds to spare only had to hang on for one more lap - which he did to take a victory that would provide a valuable extra point towards his overall result.

Heat 3

RichP and RichF were back in the mix from Marshalling the previous heat and RichP had made one major change - he lubed his axle bearings and was suddenly six tenths quicker. He also burned way less fuel and only stopped twice compared to the four stops in his previous heat - that will teach him not to be lazy when it comes to car prep! So with decent lap times he set about avenging the drubbing RichF handed him in heat 1 and took the win by 4 laps from RichF and only 2 laps from Keith who seemed to have found some speed to go with his fuel efficiency and snuck past RichF who then crashed a lot trying to catch back up. Clive was suffering with his car having a lack of power - time to change the engine maybe?

Heat 4

Heat 4 saw RichF battle it out with Jason, Mike and Clive. By now Mike had been having control isssues with both his cars and had narrowed it down to a dirty Truspeed. With a borrowed throttle his racing improved but time off the track saw him finish 10 laps behind the rest of the field. RichF and Jason having another ding dong battle and ending up finishing on the same lap with RichF taking the win. There was a pit lane incident where RichF lurched unintentionally out of the pits and over the start/finish line and he picked his car up to replace it in the pits. It was then realised that he had registered a lap which put him ahead of Jason. But, fair play, when this was realised he pulled back into the pits without refuelling and waited for Jason to complete a full lap before re-entering the fray. Jason was back in front but as it turned out RichF had less crashes than Jason towards the end of the race and squeezed out the win.

Heat 5

Keith continued with his new superpower of speed and fuel efficiency and pushed RichP right to the end with a 72 lapper - the second highest of the night - unfortunately for Keith; RichP went one higher. Jason was close behind and is proving to be a tenacious competitor.

Heat 6

the final heat and all to play for. RichP was a single point ahead of RichF and Keith (each heat awards 6 points for 1st down to 1 point for 6th and totla for the evening determines placings and championship points). So a win for Keith or RichF would mean an overall win maybe shared with RichP. A win for RichP would mean RichF and Keith in a straight fight for the Silver medal.

This was a fiercely contested final heat with the three different leaders in the first 3 laps! Differing fuelling strategies meant a couple more lead changes but gradually RichP - who was now well in the (lubricated) groove - eased ahead of the battle and was able to stay marginally ahead of a charging Keith who was pushing hard and finished on the same lap as the winner and one lap ahead of RichF.

Final results shown below. RichF and Keith both improved their fastest lap times which shows how hard they were pressurising RichP who was one tenth off his fastest performance.

A great night's racing although we feel for Mike's throttle issues and Clive's underpowered motor. Now we have a source of replacement motors (and Clive has two) and Mike has time to service his throttle - hopefully next time they can join in the pack snapping at the leader's spoiler (we know they are fast drivers).

Overall RichP is creeping away at the front and probably only needs one more podium finish to take the championship. BUT, taking the dropped results scenario - RichF, Jason and Keith are all within a point of each other with only a small gap to the rest of the field. The rest of the championship podium is not a foregone conclusion by any means with three rounds to go (and possibly a catch-up for round 5) so the glory is there for the grabbing.

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DTM Round 8

9th October 2018

What a topsy/turvey world slot car racing can be!

Our early championship leader Leon has retired from this particular race (evidenced in the write-up below) and the newly-emerged front runner had possibly his worst result for about 5 seasons. And the Silent Assassin's patient wait for victory was over in an evening that was the slot racing equivalent of an upside-down cake.

Heat 1 saw Clive, Jason, Keith, and Mike line up in that order for the first heat and traditional slide-fest that warms up the track. We really ought to remember to wipe it down before we start but 4 sets of rear boots seem to do the job... eventually :)

We were admiring Clive's new Audi RS5 which is just like Leon's stupendously effective one - and then the penny dropped... it WAS Leon's car which he has gifted to Clive. The smirk on Clive's face as that little bombshell softly exploded was a joy to behold. And it was so effective that Clive jumped from 9th fastest to 4th fastest on the overall DTM fastest lap leader board and he hasn't even got fully used to the car yet!!!

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Unsurprisingly, armed with the red rocket, Clive took the first heat with 71 laps in 12 minutes; a full 3 laps clear of Keith and Jason who finished in that order a couple of seconds apart. Mike was 4 laps further back with a car/controller combo that was going to cause him major grief all night. Mike's backup car was even worse just adding to his woes. Some serious remedial work is needed as the catch-up rounds are coming thick and fast.

Heat 2 and RichF and RichP entered the fray alongside Jason and Mike. RichF matched Clive's 71 laps for the win with Jason and RichP in that order 3 laps back having had a ding-dong battle for 12 minutes swapping places every few laps. RichP was having a few handling issues - getting ahead only to crash out and have to chase. Jason kept his cool and 50 seconds from the end edged ahead and kept it in the slot. Mike brought up the rear only 3 laps back despite his car's power issues.

Heat 3 saw Clive, RichF, Keith and RichP face off. Clive and RichF already had heat wins but RichP called on his racing Gods and pulled a 72 lapper out of the hat to take the win. Keith was breathing down his neck less than 3 seconds behind after a tense race with clever fuel strategies required. Clive was Mr Consistent on 71 laps whilst RichF was rear gunner due to a few offs. This was getting interesting and it was looking like anybody could take the overall win at this point.

After the break, Heat 4 saw RichF, Jason, Mike and Keith line up. Keith was straight back in the groove matching his 72 laps from the previous heat and RichF stopped crashing and finished on the same lap just slightly behind. Jason recorded 70 laps and Mike had yet more power/control issues. So Keith took the win - 4 heats and 4 different winners!!! We were hoping this class would be evenly matched and it is really shaping up that way now.

Heat 5 and the penultimate race of the evening. I'm not quite sure what happened in this race. RichP put in a respectable 70 laps and yet he was crashing loads. It should have been good enough for 2nd or 3rd but no he was 4th because Clive recorded 73 laps, Jason 74 laps and RichF an incredible 75 laps - way ahead of the previous heats. RichP was just as fast as previous rounds - it's just that everybody else seems to have got faster!!! The championship leader was at the bottom of the pile and there were 4 pretenders fighting over top spot.

Heat 6 the final heat. Mike and RichP (both of who were mathematically certain of missing the podium) lined up with Clive and Keith (both of whom were in the running for the overall win). Mike's backup car was acting like it had an on/off switch instead of a throttle. RichP knuckled down and posted a credible 72 laps - that would have been handy earlier in the evening. Keith went one better on 73 but Clive, with a decent car at last (not the fastest but a great handling car) posted the best result of the night with 76 laps.

And so, as the dust settled on our race night we learned that, unsurprisingly due to his car issues, Mike came last. RichP was 5th and didn't even get the bonus point because Jason was a little faster in 4th. Joint second were Rich F and Clive. Leaving the winner of the night as Keith - he didn't win the most heats but he was the most consistent always coming 1st or 2nd in his heats. The Silent Assassin won a famous victory and Clive was sooooo close just a single point behind Keith.

Well done Keith and Clive, I am genuinely chuffed for you guys. Like Mike, I will be rebuilding my DTM and coming back for revenge in the next round :)

Here are the stats...

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Great battle between Clive and Keith for top honours on the night, either one would have been deserving winners and its good to see such close, clean racing. Well done both of you!
 
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DTM Round 5 catch-up (run between rounds 8 and 9)

The first class of the evening's double-header (hence the short write-up)....

As a club we discussed whether to try to catch up all of the rounds we have missed this year and agreed on double-headers of DTM and Trucks to do this. It actually worked really well - loads of racing and good variety (better than running one class twice on the night). There might be some mileage in doing this more often...

The DTM class had a major shake-up in the previous round with Keith and Clive deservedly taking the top 2 spots and championship leader RichP going as fast as usual but being overtaken by almost the entire field!

It was time for revenge - but it had to wait in the first heat as RichP was marshalling :)

Heat 1 - Jason took the win with 48 heats from Keith's 47 and Mike and Clive both on the same lap just behind.

Heat 2 - The 2 Rich's came off the bench and did battle with RichP putting in a massive 49 laps only for RichF to record 50. Clive managed 48 which would have been good enough to win the previous heat and Mike trailed in with an improved lap count over his previous result. The track was coming to life!

Heat 3 - and the Gauntlet thrown down by RichF in Heat 2 was taken up by RichP who matched the 50 BUT Keith, the Silent assassin, snuck in with 50 laps and crossed the line in front to take the heat win. Had RichP's fall from grace become permanent??? Maybe not as RichF came in with 48 on the same lap but slightly ahead of Jason who had been reeling him in spectacularly but ran out of time. Jason in 4th - now the points were getting really close.

Heat 4 - Like a Ninja (albeit in a bright yellow car) Keith made a power grab and won with 50 laps from Clive's 48, RichF's 47 and Mike who had some control issues again.

Heat 5 - and RichP having replaced his motor in the week, found it to be slower and then swapped back only to find the old motor had speeded up by 5% (go figure - must be subtle gear mesh or something) - won the heat with 50 laps. Jason came second on 47 - another good result to challenge for top spot. Mike cruised in 3rd with RichF beginning to struggle with only 42 laps.

Heat 6 - and RichP and Keith were only a point apart and in contention for the win. And this was an epic final heat with Clive coming 4th with 48 laps!!! Keith whose fuel strategy left the door open,came 3rd with 49 and Rich P crossed the line on 50 laps only 2 seconds in front of Jason also on 50 laps and closing fast (again). Jason needs to make his push a bit earlier maybe.

Clive got the fastest lap of the night and was the only one to improve on his lap time which is odd because he didn't score as well - perhaps pushing the speed envelope was causing more crashes and in this class, with so many racers so close in performance - one big crash can cost you a lap and drop you 2 or 3 places.

So overall RichP edged it from Keith and Jason. In doing so he secures the championship but it's not all over because Keith, RichF and Jason all have a clear shot at 2nd with 2 rounds to go.

Keith is becoming a late-blooming star in the DTM class and is looking slight favourite for 2nd overall - but let's see what Jason and RichF can do about that....

Here are the numbers -

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DTM Round 9

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This was part of a double-header of DTM and Trucks to help us clear the backlog of missing rounds.

8 minute rounds with fuel. Sorry - guys not been well last couple of days so the report is short and sweet.

Results....

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DTM round 9 championship standings.JPG
 

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