Bad news time,,,,, I am down in cider country for a few days so will be unable to attend. Good news,,,,, I am taking orders for any strange cloudy liquid with bits of apple 🍏 floating in it. So if a pint of sheep 🐑 stabber is your thing get the orders in now!
Here's Simon's fab track design for tomorrow night's race...
And yes, there are two brand new Vipers in the club shop (£35), plus 3 new painted lexan bodies and a box-full of spares, including Level 10 traction magnets and rear axle assemblies. Also a re-supply of Mega-G+ shoes and springs.
Despite the Mikes being on holiday (not together) and a few other notable absences, we had a very healthy 23 on our WHO Mod grid, including Brad and Rod returning to the Barn to try out the smaller scale racing...
Simon's track design was extremely satisfying for the WHO Mod cars, giving them plenty of space to stretch their legs and some tricky parts that required concentration...
Some imperfect runs in the second half of the heats made the battle for pole extremely interesting. These were the scores...
And this the A final line-up...
Here are all the scores from the finals - some really close races and dramatic finishes in there...
Huge congratulations to our winners Gareth and Jerome...
Jerome was also top rookie of the night. Simon won the WHO Tuners competition and is our first WHO champion of 2018. Gareth has a handy lead in the WHO Mod championship - and if both Andy and Deborah go on holiday (as planned) in October, he cannot be caught. However, even if no-one is away, a top three result in October should probably be enough for Gareth - Andy would need pole, fastest lap and the race win to tie the championship if Gareth comes third. Deborah would need a win and Gareth to finish eighth or lower.
Despite a few notable absences, we had a very healthy twenty-three racers on the WHO Mod grid. We welcomed Rod and Brad back to the Barn for their first taste of the smaller scale cars. The race fell on the Fourth of July, so Deborah and Keith were decked out in red, white and blue - nothing to do with the soccer.
Simon's track looked fantastic and positioned the drivers in the middle of the hall, catching the breeze between the front and back doors to keep us cool on a sweltering evening. The track wasn't only designed for comfort - it was a cracking racing track with some long straights, flyovers and some tricky corners that required maximum respect.
There were big scores in the first round of heats, although plenty of errors too. Andy led the field at halfway, just a tenth of a lap ahead of Gareth, who was six tenths ahead of Deborah. A gap of two laps separated the top three from John in fourth, with Aiden another lap back in an excellent fifth place and top junior. Ryan was top Tuner back in sixteenth, racing Gareth's Marchon MR1.
As the second round of heats began, Gareth's big total in red lane made him favourite for pole position. Then a lapse of concentration on white saw his car leave the track and fly out the back door. That might have given Andy a chance, but two crashes and two popped axles in white and yellow dropped him back to third. Deborah had three excellent scores to put her second and John just missed out on beating Andy by five hundredths of a lap.
Aiden qualified as top junior, but a popped axle in blue dropped him from the B final to the C final. That meant he would face Jerome - and possibly Corey - for a tense race to decide the junior medal.
The H final was a head-to-head between Rod and Matthew. Usually these two-car showdowns are a bit of an anti-climax, but this one did not disappoint. The cars remained close together throughout the two minutes, an off for one driver was inevitably matched by a crash from the other. Matthew looked to have the advantage, but he crashed with half a minute to go. Rod slipped through and he kept his car on track. Matthew hung on, but another off with a few seconds to go ended the contest in Rod's favour.
Rod stepped up to the G final. He was up against Brad, Ash and Oliver. It was Oliver's Mod car that led off the line and had pulled out a two second lead over Brad by halfway. That advantage disappeared after a crash with 45 seconds to go - Brad moved into first. Oliver fixed Brad's Porsche in his sights and both drove hard to the chequered flag - who would get there first? As the race moved into the final ten seconds, Oliver passed Brad and that was it - a win by two tenths of a lap. Ash just beat Rod to third.
Oliver and Neil's Mod cars were favourites for the F final, up against Ryan and Simon's Tuners. Oliver led off the line again, but crashed on lap three, handing the lead to Neil who then crashed out on the following lap. That put Simon and Ryan in control of the race and the two Tuner cars pushed on. Simon had a decent lead by half distance, which he stretched to over a lap with thirty seconds to go and two laps at the end. After mildly disappointing heats, Simon was delighted with this final win, giving him full Tuners points and clinched the 2018 WHO Tuners championship with a race still to go. Ryan held off Neil for second and Oliver was not far behind.
Simon looked confident going into the E final, despite being up against the Vipers of Keith, Stephen and Daniel. A very close start developed into a big battle between Keith and Stephen - Simon and Daniel dropping back. Stephen held the advantage over the first half of the race, but Keith took the lead and looked like he'd finish the job - until the final stages. Stephen squeezed the most out of his car and moved to the front with just nine seconds to go. He was delighted with his win. Simon wasn't too far behind in third.
It was Stephen's turn to fancy his chances with a step-up to the D final. However, he wasn't the first to have a first lap crash in yellow at the uphill Turn One... Corey was the early leader until Peter got through and built up a 1.5 second lap at thirty seconds. Corey re-took the lead just after half distance and the two of them ran nose-to-tail lap after lap - that's until a late off for Peter seemed to have decided the outcome. Dramatically, both the leading drivers came together with Stephen's crashed car in the final ten seconds. Peter got going, but Corey didn't - Steve slipping through to grab a last-gasp second place. A disappointed Corey would miss out on the junior medal showdown.
One of the two juniors in the C final would go home with a medal. Would it be Aiden or Jerome? Racing for the step-up were also Terry and D final winner Peter. Aiden's new Viper was extremely rapid off the line and had a six-foot lead after the first lap. He'd lapped Jerome by the thirty second mark and looked nailed on for the win and the medal. Then disaster struck - a big off at the tricky Turn Three popped the Viper's rear axle and sent Aiden to the back and with a huge amount of ground to make up. At the front Jerome was followed by his dad, Peter having a superb run in yellow lane. Peter kept the pressure up on Jerome - and Terry stayed near enough to punish any errors. Behind them, Aiden had given up the chase after more offs. As the race ended and Jerome won the race, Aiden pondered what might have been...
Jerome stepped up into yellow in the B final. John was the best qualifier and started in the favoured blue lane. Hayley was in red and Tony in white. Daniel had been longing for a special Fourth of July red, white and blue finish in one of the finals, but we'd not had one yet and we would not have one here. John was in full focus mode, eyes out on stalks and a relentless pace stretching the gap to the other three. Tony, Jerome and Hayley were fast and neat, but could do nothing about John. Tony was best of the rest, just under two laps down at the end. Jerome's 22.60 laps was the best finals performance in yellow.
That just left us with the A final. Gareth lined up in blue, Deborah had chosen white, Andy was in red and John stepped up to yellow. The opening laps were incredibly close, the cars covered by just a few feet. Then crashes for Deborah and John dropped them back, leaving Gareth about six feet ahead of Andy. That's how things stayed until John and Deborah's cars got mixed up just after the start line. Andy's car got caught up and sat stranded for what felt like minutes... When all the cars got going again, Gareth was just a few feet behind Andy, almost a lap up. The rest of the race played out with the front two playing cat and mouse, but a lap apart. Gareth didn't need to push too hard and successfully avoided any errors. Deborah and John had pushed hard, crashed quite a bit and ended up well adrift but managed the fastest laps of the race - John with 4.21 seconds and Deborah with a 4.22.
Huge congratulations to Gareth and Jerome on their medal wins. They also took home a copy of Slot Car Magazine each. Jerome finished top rookie and scored some very useful points towards his bid for the junior club championship. With one Mod race to go, Gareth is hoping that both Deborah and Andy successfully go on their holidays in October. Lifts to the airport might even have been offered. If either of them do race, Gareth needs a third place to guarantee at least a share of the title. If neither race, Gareth has the trophy in the bag - the gap to Tony in fourth is 235 points with 160 for a win.
After an exciting evening at the Barn, big thanks go to everyone who took part, especially to the set-up and tear-down teams and to Daniel, Hayley and Stephen on race control. Daniel will be in Sri Lanka next time, so we wish him a wonderful trip and look forward to plenty of adventure stories when he's back at the Barn.
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