A few festive hangovers on show and some grotty colds keeping folks at home, so eighteen on the WHO Mod grid was perfectly acceptable. Simon's track was pretty awesome - a lot of track in a small-ish space...
There were a fair few new cars on show for 2017...
The heats saw the challenging track and new cars give us some varied scores, some good and some bloody awful...
This was the A final grid (2 was the number)...
And here are the final scores...
None of which tells even half the story of the A and the B finals, of high hopes and of the most gut-wrenching tragedy. That must wait for the full race report.
In the meantime, huge congratulations to Corey, on his third WHO Mod win - a very composed and clinical job...
Congrats also go to Duncan on a very solid WHO Tuners win.
There will be a race report and video in due course. The first championship tables of 2017 are here and there are plenty of pictures over on Flickr.
Our first race of 2017 came on the tenth day of Christmas. Sadly Mike D was tucked up in bed with the man flu and Hayley was recovering at home after a brief stay in hospital. We wish them both speedy recoveries. Amongst the eighteen who did make it to the Barn, many were coughing up a right old viral brew. One almighty sneeze from the Grant / Schooling corner appeared to blow cars off the track…
Simon's track was compact, fast and a serious mental challenge. It would certainly punish any festive hangovers. Plenty of racers ploughed on at turn nine when they thought they were on the main start / finish straight. Hopefully that wouldn't bash up too many of the new cars and plenty new shiny lexan bodies on the grid.
The heats really showed up the problems some were having with the track and their new machinery. It took a while to get to grips with both, but most got there in the end. At the half way point, Keith led the way with his brand new Viper, kitted out with the stronger Pro10 traction magnets. Behind him were Corey, Deborah and Tony with similar machinery.
Andy was holding fifth with his straight-out-of-the-box Pro4 Viper. Both he and John were running the stock Viper set-up as they made the jump to the increasingly popular chassis. It was fun to drive, but needed those Pro10s. John switched at halfway and his second pair of heats shot him up to third, bumping Tony and Deborah down to the B final with Andy, who'd stuck with the Pro4s. Keith took his first WHO pole position, just under a lap ahead of Corey. Duncan was top Tuner, some distance ahead of Alan, Richard, Ash and Simon.
Simon had a wretched evening with his Tyco and found himself qualifying last, down in the F final. The car was essentially his all-dominant F1 Classic Cup chassis with a Lamborghini body, but it was proving difficult to drive and very fragile. Simon joined Aaron and Jamie, who'd also had frustrating evenings with their new SRTs. Things didn't get much better for the latter two, Jamie's car finally coming to a halt and Aaron's falling apart. Simon somehow managed to complete two minutes of racing - and won.
Up in the E final, Andy Phillips was the sole Mod car alongside the Tuners of Ash, Simon and Richard. It was Richard who was the star man from the off, putting in some cracking laps with his Mega-G+ Nascar to pull away from a tight battle behind him. It looked like Ash would take his Mega-G+ club car to second, but a couple of crashes late on allowed Simon to sneak through and salvage something from the evening. Andy finished tantalisingly close to Ash, but had to make do with fourth.
The D final saw two Tuners and two Mods. And it was the two Mods who led the way, with Mike's Turbo closely followed by Aiden's new BSRT G3. Two trips to the floor meant the youngster dropped back, allowing both Alan and Richard to move up. Alan's Ferrari Daytona Super-G+ was quick, but not quick enough to close the gap to Mike, who won comfortably. Richard just about hung on to third, with Aiden driving hard to make up for those early mistakes.
Duncan was top qualifier in the C final with his impressive Super-G+ Ford GT40. The reigning Tuners champ was up against some quick Mods though. Stephen's Super-G looked the class of the field and he quickly built a decent lead. There was quite a battle between the other three, with Duncan holding his own by staying on the track - something Neil and Mike weren't doing too well. However, as the race settled down, it was Neil who began to motor. Stephen's comfortable lead evaporated in a big off late on, but he was a relieved man when the race ended and he'd still got nearly half a lap on Neil. A late spin for Duncan saw him drop behind Mike.
The B final looked tasty. Deborah and Tony had been fast all night, Stephen's performance in the previous final has been impressive and Andy joined John by swapping to the Pro10s in his Viper. It was Andy who rocketed into the early lead, pulling away from Deborah and Tony with ease over the first forty-five seconds. He was already thinking about the A final when disaster struck and his car just stopped dead. That left Tony and Deborah to battle for the win. Deborah had the fastest car, but kept crashing in turns four and five, dropped back and then caught up again. As the end of the race loomed large, Deborah finally took the lead - and then immediately binned it in turn five. Another crash for Deborah right at the end gave Tony a win by just over a lap. Despite a slower car, the 2015 WHO Mod champion had kept it on the track.
The A final line up was a Viper clean-sweep, two of them well used and two brand new. The opening laps were breathtaking - you could throw a handkerchief over the three cars of John, Keith and Tony. Corey lurked a few feet back. Tony was the first to slip up in the marginally more tricky yellow lane, but the other three were still going at it hammer and tongs. After a brief interlude for a break in the track, the battle recommenced. John looked good for another WHO Mod win before a couple of offs put him back in third. That left Corey - who'd driven faultlessly - a second ahead of Keith.
With virtually nothing left on the clock, Corey made an error coming through turns six and seven. Determined to get Corey back in the race, the marshal just clipped Keith's car as he was steaming through into the lead. It was catastrophic for Keith, not only was he robbed of an almost certain first HO win, but John sped through into second, finishing just a fifth of a lap behind Corey. What a topsy-turvy way to end the A final. But that's racing!
Huge congratulations to Corey on his third WHO Mod win - one each in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It was also the second January in a row that a junior picked up the race win. Festive hangovers? Congratulations to Duncan on his dominant Tuners win. I am sure Hayley will be back to challenge him in April and I suspect Simon will have sorted his Tyco by then too.
No rookies tonight, but we did present Andy Phillips and Aiden with their 2016 Rookie of the Year and junior rookie trophies. And it was great to welcome Terry who popped in and got some track time at the end - perhaps a contender for the 2017 Rookie title?
A big thanks to everyone who came along and made it such an excellent evening at the Barn. Special thanks go to those who came early to set up and stayed late to pack away. Simon designed another magnificent track and both he and Stephen did a fabulous job on race control. A great way to start our eighth WHO Racing season.
A forum community dedicated to slot car owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about collections, racing, displays, models, track layouts, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!