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Andy Player
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We're back at the Barn for our 2018 WHO Mod championship decider, although with Debra currently in North Carolina and Andy due to fly to New York the day before the race, it's looking good for Gareth to become the second Winslade to hold the WHO Mod title. Championship tables are here.

A track plan will follow soon...
 

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While I'm obviously delighted at the prospect of finally winning a full WHO Championship, it is a massive shame that two of the fastest three cars in this year's championship probably won't be on the grid. And it does of course make the idea of racing in Tuners for this round extremely tempting. Although I won't do it because I'm looking to consolidate third in the Club championship.

The Junior battle between three time junior Mod champion Corey and leading rookie Jerome should be hugely exciting next week if they both can make it. Corey's season started very strongly and has subsequently tailed off slightly. Jerome's season is the absolute reverse! And if Ned turns up with a good car or Aiden delivers on the promise of his car from July, we could be looking at a four way fight for the title as well as four potential A final winners next Wednesday.

This round is also intriguing for its implications on the Club Championship. Andy's probable zero score from what should be a high scoring round for him will leave the way clear for Mike to claw his way back into the championship lead. And with two of the fastest cars out of the way, Mike also has a good chance of racking up more points than he has in the previous three Mod rounds this season.

Which leaves us with the tantalising prospect of an almighty scrap for the title going into the Nascar round in November and F1 in December.

Once the scores are in next week, we'll have to take a good look at the resulting permutations.
 

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A select group of 15 racers on the grid tonight with a number of notable absences, not least of which our beloved Chairman Andy last reported to be eating his third breakfast of the day in the USA!

There were some seriously quick cars spread throughout the heats but the end of qualifying looked like this.

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A stunning pole position from Jerome, champion Gareth in second and the incredibly rapid Aiden in fifth.

After the finals, these are the results.

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Photos and a race report to follow tomorrow.
 

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Race Report

The first Wednesday of October sees the start of championship decider season at WHO. This time out there wasn't too much tension to be found on that front with Simon already securing the Tuners title last time out with an unassailable points lead over Ash. Meantime the Mod title was decided on Tuesday when Andy flew to the USA. With Deborah and Keith already out there, it was Gareth who found himself with an unbeatable lead back to Tony and Corey. That still left the Junior title in the balance and we had three of the four protagonists in Jerome, Aiden and Ned on the grid for this deciding round.

Simon served us up a breathtakingly fast "double dogleg" track design with Turns 1 and 7 proving to be the key corners that caught drivers out and often decided race victories.

Track set up proved to be somewhat fraught with the Trakmate power lead shorting out. Fortunately Rick came through like a true hero by rushing home to fetch a replacement which meant racing was only 15 minutes delayed in starting. Terry, Simon and Mike did a brilliant job in managing the situation and getting us up and running.

The final round of the Mod season often sees car issues and "gremlins" become a factor in the races and tonight was no exception. Rear axles popped out of the Vipers when they hit the barriers with considerably more ease than earlier in the year.

The four groupings in the heats saw fast cars spread evenly through the field. Peter was quick and consistent in the first group to lay down a marker before Jerome and Terry went even quicker immediately behind followed by Gareth in Group 3 then Mike and Aiden in Group 4.

At the half way point it was Gareth followed by Jerome and Terry. Aiden meanwhile was alternately smashing his car and the lap record necessitating a reduction in the Min lap time....twice! Top of the B final was where he found himself but if he could manage two clean runs in white and yellow, surely he would be on pole?

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Through the second round of heats it became clear that getting three good runs with a minimum of mistakes would be more crucial than ever. It really was so tight at the top. Peter managed well, Terry went quicker and then Jerome went 2 laps clear of him to take a well deserved pole position. Gareth smashed his car into the Turn 7 barriers to pop the axle and wound up second after not doing quite enough in Blue lane. All eyes turned to Mike and Aiden. It was Mike who made the better of the situation to snatch fourth with Aiden in fifth. White lane was proving to be a little trickier than the other three lanes.

Meanwhile in Tuners, it was Ash who was the pick of the bunch taking top spot in the D Final ahead of Ryan, Simon, Rick and Steve. Champion Simon elected to try out a Tyco Lamborghini Countach. The car had promise but is probably right at the beginning of the tuning and development process. Could be interesting for next year.

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Finals

The E Final was an all Tuners affair. Steve and Rick had a tight race long battle in red and blue which went to Steve by less than half a lap. Meanwhile Simon's Tyco was suffering from a very flexible chassis so any crashes or moments saw the drive train being knocked out of alignment which meant he couldn't challenge the other two for the win.

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Steve stepped up to white lane for the D Final to take on Ash, Matthew and Ryan. Matthew's Viper had suffered a number of car troubles during the heats and he probably expected to take the race win with ease. Sadly another big crash dropped him back down the order. He pushed on well setting fastest lap of the race in the process but he was behind Ash who is a master of driving under pressure in a final. Ash took the win in his Tuners Nascar only 1/10th of a lap ahead of Matthew. A great duel for the win once again. Ash was also the winner of Tuners overall in this round. Behind them, Ryan led his dad home by three laps for Tuners Walker bragging rights.

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The C Final would be a three way Mod fight between Ned, Oliver and Daniel. Oliver had got really hooked up with his BSRT G3 which was really good to see. This was the final race before the car receives an upgrade to "full Mod" spec so Andy's development process clearly was paying dividends. It was Ned who got away from pole in the lead. Daniel, perhaps a little too distracted by the Baby Shark song on heavy rotation in his head, was on a similar pace but with far less consistency. Frequent crashes dropped him to third while Oliver put in a very consistent race to go past him into second. Ash struggled to hang on to the Mod cars and had to settle for fourth. At the chequered flag, Ned was exactly one lap clear of Oliver who was nearly two whole laps up on Daniel.

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Aiden had recorded a scarcely believable 4.447 second lap in the heats but had struggled to tame his car enough for a clean run. Mike has struggled with car development all season. Neverless it was these two who duked it out for the B Final win. Aiden set the fastest lap of the finals during his run to the chequered flag and the race win. Crashes gave hope to the others but he got the job done. Mike meanwhile seemed to be struggling with a pace issue. After the race he spotted the problem. An armature stack had failed (in his final heat but Mike was unaware at the time) and windings were spooling out of the motor. It's impressive that the car kept going and scored so well in the end. Handy points for the club title for sure.

Meanwhile Peter had picked white lane (his best of the outer lanes) which was probably the least favoured by the other drivers and struggled to replicate his heats form. Ned gratefully seized the opportunity and sneaked through into third place by a little over a lap at the finish.

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And so to the A Final between Jerome, Gareth, Terry and Aiden. Jerome and Gareth had both chosen their best lane from qualifying. Jerome rocketed off the line into the lead with Gareth only a few car lengths behind, both opening a gap to Terry and Aiden behind. The lead gap was never more than a second for several laps before Jerome crashed into Turn 1 and Gareth went through. Jerome re-joined around half a lap back thanks to some sterling marshalling but one crash normally signals another and a further brace of offs saw the gap extend to one lap. Aiden meanwhile was struggling once again with white lane and more accidents saw his car cry enough and he was forced to retire on Lap 8 with a stripped pinion gear. Terry was banging in the laps with his Super G/Viper hybrid but couldn't quite reach the pace of the top two. He later said he felt he was suffering from a lack of top speed on the straights.

As the race went into its final stages the top two were side by side on track again and having another huge scrap but sadly this time there was a lap between them. As the power went off, Gareth had won it by an exact lap from Jerome. Jerome picked up the Junior medal and the Junior Mod championship at the same time. Well done on an excellent drive.

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How the top two finished on track. Jerome in yellow and Gareth in red.

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Huge congratulations to the winners (Gareth (Mod), Jerome (Mod Junior and Top Rookie) and Ash (Tuners).

A massive thank you and well done to the set up and take down crews. Terry was amazing for stepping up and making sure we could race. We all really appreciate it.

That's it for Mod 2018, see you on the grid in Jan 2019 when we start it all over again.

GW
 

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Thanks!

We've got a brilliant set of fast Juniors at the moment. We must help Aiden to tame his car as that is a definite contender as well. Maybe going a couple of sizes lower on the tyres might make him a little slower but faster in the corners.

Oliver was very impressive last night too. His best individual HO score last night and no crashes in the final or most of his heats. I'm hoping this is the start of of a huge upswing in form.
 
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