We had a small, but perfectly-formed gathering of sixteen racers to see in the start of our tenth season at the Barn. A burst water main in Lancing had done for those travelling west from Brighton & Hove, so they missed out on Simon's sensational track...
It was a great track to drive, the massive length giving us unusually low scores...
There were some cracking finals and some extremely close finishes - this for D final win...
With Mike D winning a thrilling B final, this was the line-up for the feature race...
These are all the scores from the finals...
And our medal winners...
Congratulations to all tonight's winners - we forgot to include Top Tuner Keith in the victory lane mugshot... Must do better next time. It was certainly a competitive WHO Tuners subclass to start off the year.
The new championship tables are on the website here. Flickr are currently deciding whether the club is worthy of a non-profit account, but have frozen our ability to post anything there - the pics are ready to go if they say yes. In the meantime, some of the better ones will appear on Instagram.
The start of our tenth season of HO racing at the Barn saw a modest bunch of sixteen racers gather for some super-fast WHO Mod action. Simon had delivered possibly our biggest ever HO layout - a 130-foot monster that had plenty to keep everyone on their toes. Eleven Vipers would contest the lexan-clad WHO Mod race, with five hard-bodied WHO Tuners competing for the subclass win - three long wheelbase Mega-G+ cars and two Super-Gs.
Jerome and Andy looked rapid in the opening heat, but both had a few offs while they came to terms with the track. Gareth was next up and he kept it clean, holding pole at halfway and having set the only 16-lap heat score, in yellow. Jerome was top junior and third overall, Mike D fourth and Terry fifth. Keith put his Tuners Mega-G+ Camaro in a superb sixth place at half way. Aiden seemed to have the fastest car on the grid, but was struggling to get to grips with the layout having missed out on practice.
The second run of heats saw Andy and Jerome improve, Andy throwing in a huge 17.05 laps in red. With Gareth's car slowing, that gave Andy pole position, Gareth just holding on to second ahead of Jerome. Those would be the three automatic qualifiers for the A final. Peter had a great couple of heats with his new Viper with neo magnets and big wheels - he jumped up to fourth ahead of Terry and Mike D. Aiden rallied to seventh, just ahead of Top Tuner Keith. The top nine were covered by just under nine laps.
The E final was a full house - Daniel and Mike's Vipers up against Duncan's Super-G and Ash with the white Mega-G+ club car. Daniel was first off the line, first on the opening lap and led all the way to the chequered flag. Duncan tried to hang on, keeping the deficit to a lap and came in a comfortable second as Mike and Ash both had nightmares in the gutter lanes. Mike's recovered to grab third and Ash was philosophical in fourth.
Daniel had the joy of white - the least favoured gutter lane - in the D final. He did manage to lead Ned's Viper in the early stages, until Ned recovered from an iffy start. At the front, Simon and Deborah were having a humdinger of a WHO Tuners battle - Simon with his vintage Super-G Capri and Deborah with her super-sleek Peugeot LMP Mega-G+. Deborah led the first half of the race, crossing the line at half distance just 0.29 of second ahead. Simon grabbed the lead with 40 seconds to go, the gap at three-quarter distance just 0.3 of a second. With eighteen seconds remaining, Deborah grabbed the lead back, only for Simon to regain top spot a lap later. When the power was cut at the end of the race, the Peugeot's nose sat less than an inch behind the rear bumper of the Capri. What a race!
That meant Simon had a crack at the Tuners win in the C final. He'd have to beat Keith's ultra-rapid Mega-G+ though. In terms of raw speed, Aiden and Matthew's Vipers were in a different class, but could they keep them on the track? Aiden had managed fourth best score in red lane during the heats and he seemed reasonably comfortable and very quick, managing sub-16 second laps - something very few racers achieved all evening. Despite some offs, his astonishing speed put him a lap ahead of Matthew at half distance. Matthew's race was not error-free either and offs in the second minute allowed Keith to slip by into second place. Simon had given white lane a good go, but ended up well adrift in fourth, happy enough with useful points for the Tuners championship.
The four racers in the B final are all still working on getting the most out of their Vipers. These two minutes would see who had made the most progress during the evening. Aiden already had a decent lead at the end of the first lap, but then crashed at Turn 4. That left Peter at the front, ahead of Terry and Mike. At half distance, Mike had moved up a place, 1.57 seconds behind Peter. The top three were going hard for the win and the step up. Aiden was concentrating on getting some consistency in white lane. After a mostly frustrating evening of car development, Mike was finally able to push his Viper with some confidence and he passed Peter with forty seconds to go. Peter could not respond and a five second gap had opened up by the end. Terry finished within a lap of Peter, with Aiden bringing his Viper home fourth.
The A final saw last season's Mod champion and junior champion up against the top two in the club championship. It was a quality field. Andy and Jerome were quick away and pulled out a decent gap. They'd already raced four times in the heats, with the score 3-1 to Andy. At a quarter distance, Andy had a second and a half lead, with Gareth not able to keep up and Mike having a few offs back in fourth. The top three were driving error-free. At half distance Andy had pulled out a four second gap on Jerome and had lapped Gareth. But a crash with a popped axle or dislodged body could still be very costly - Andy had suffered both in the heats.
It was only when Andy lapped Jerome - just after half distance - that he relaxed a little and settled into a comfortable rhythm. Gareth was lapped again before the end and the reigning champion also crashed for the first and only time. That didn't make any difference as Mike was too far back to capitalise. So more tweaks are needed to close the gap before the next race in April.
Congratulations to all the evening's winners and a big thanks to everyone who took part. Special thanks goes to the hugely-efficient set-up crew and to a very slick race control team led by Daniel. As always, thank you to everyone who stayed at the end to pack away in a rather chilly Barn. Hopefully the heating will be on for our WHO/digital Wednesday evening in two weeks time!
another excellent nights racing at WHO ,so much so that me and debra have decicded will will try to make all mod rounds this year,but we need another camaro body or a mega g plus mustang body if anyone can point us in the right direction please?
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