Well it's taken me a while, but here is the review from the 12 hour race.
On Sunday 13th March we held our annual 12 hour race to raise money for charity at the Clanfield, Bolwextric Race Track (www.bolwextric.co.uk ).
I think Steve was telling fishing tales in this shot.
Five teams entered this mammoth race on the 6 lane, 140' long track which had been donated for the day by Tony Bolwell. We took it in turns to race on each lane and each driver had a stint in each hour driving Pioneer Ford Mustangs which had been donated by Jules Birley of Pioneer Slotcars (www. pioneerslotcars.com ). A great turn out with around 20 people competing throughout the day.
This years nominated charities were the local memorial fund for the recently deceased farmer, Ian Rook and The Make A Wish Foundation UK. Teams had to pay a £30 entrance fee and there was also a raffle for a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Scalextric set kindly donated by AC Models (www.acmodelseastleigh.co.uk). On the day we raised £270 which I'm sure will be gratefully accepted by both charities.
Racing started at 9.00am sharp and got off to a flying start with racers not holding back and full of enthusiasm despite it being a Sunday morning. Lots of paint rubbing and door bashing was to be seen in the early stages and a few 'offs' meant it was not unusual to get half way around a bend and suddenly 'T bone' and car that was sideways across your lane. Lap times started off in the 12-13s region as the track was a bit green and the tyres were fresh, but soon dropped as the tyres bedded in and the track got cleaned up. Some teams chose to pit early and tweak their brand new cars by either adding weight, lubricating the gears or turning their tyres into slicks by running them on sand paper. After a couple of hours running it came apparent that, as in real motorsport, we were going to have to keep an eye on tyre wear. My aggressive driving style meant that our team would get little more that 4 hours out of a set. One of the teams however, did manage their tyres very well and only used 2 sets. Each team had been provided with 3 sets for the day.
Another realistic side line to this was that the track was starting to show a clean racing line. As the session progressed and fatigue started to set in, the back end of the car would sometimes get a bit wide from braking too late or accelerating too early and pick up some of the 'marbles'. If this happened we would then need to do 2 or 3 steady laps to regain ultimate grip and be able to push again, this could prove to be quite costly as the opposition would be able to either pull away or catch up. For those people that are not familiar with club slot racing tenths of seconds can mean a lot of difference.
An average hour long session would see most teams doing around 260 laps with a whopping 3216 laps were done by the winning team. The combined total lap count was 15731. The cars took a real beating and probably did more work in that one day than most slot cars would do in a lifetime, but they all made it to the finish line with minimum maintenance, such as lubricating and tyre changes, required.
A very enjoyable day was had by all and I for one can't wait 'til the next one. If anyone is interested either helping the charities, the car or the track please check out the websites listed above.
A quiet moment for MR M.