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WHO Mod - 6 April 2016

Race Report

There was twenty-one racers for our second race in a week at the Barn. This time it was our ultra-fast WHO Mod class, accompanied by four reasonably quick WHO Tuners.

Simon had provided another epic track. His imagination and out-of-the-box thinking looks superb on paper, but his creations always deliver a brilliant driving experience too. His latest design was certainly a challenge with lots of short straights and fast corners, but it gave plenty in all four lanes - and that was going to give us some scintillating finals...

Before that, we had the heats. Although few had a completely trouble-free time of things, it was clear that the WHO Mod cars were loving the track. The Tuners runners less so, all apart from Hayley who qualified well ahead of Duncan, Richard and Andy, who were all down in the F final.

Up front, Mike and Ned were way ahead, Mike just beating seventy laps in his best three heats, Ned just missing out. John was five laps behind, closely followed by Corey with Neal, Debra, Tony and Keith bunched within a lap of each other not far behind.

And one for the anoraks - we had our first all-Viper four-car heat at WHO, with a total of ten racers running the new chassis this round.


A WHO Mod G final is usually made up of those who've had a disaster-prone evening of heats. This was not an exception, with Mike Mc, Paul and Fernando battling it out to recover a little pride. Mike had ditched his dying Turbo and built a new one from assorted parts in his box. It went like a rocket and stayed glued on the track, so - after a first corner crash - he romped the final with what might have been a glimmer of a smile returning to his face. Fernando switched to a Life Like club car and things seem to click for the youngster - he beat his dad and set an excellent score, clinching the under-11 medal.

Mike stepped up into the F final and rather side-stepped the battle of the WHO Tuners also-rans. Still in yellow lane, he improved his score and won his second final comfortably. Meanwhile, the Tuners boys were going at it hammer and tongs. Although Duncan had the faster car, Richard was getting better and better with his Mega-G+ Nascar. Andy had made a few adjustments to his Mega-G+ GT40 and he put himself in the mix, stealing a small lead on the other two which he just about held, with all three crashing in the final seconds. The gap between Andy in second and Richard in fourth was 0.15 of a lap for those all-important Tuners points.

Mike was back amongst proper WHO Mod cars in the E final. And it was a very close-run thing. Rookie Aiden had a great evening with Mike D's loaner Viper, but he was slightly outclassed by seasoned WHO veterans Simon, Aaron and Mike. Those three had a great tussle over the two minutes. Simon seemed to have stopped the McCann missile, but Mike took the lead with about 30 seconds to go and Simon just couldn't close the gap, which was a mere half a lap at the end. Aaron was just another half lap back in third. It was a brilliant race.

With three wins in yellow lane, Mike was handed blue in the D final. The middle lanes had been considered the best lanes by many in the finals lane choice, but it was the gutters that looked good so far. This was another cracking final - a tense two-way battle between Mike and Jamie for the win, and Hayley putting in a tremendous performance as top Tuner, beating Stephen to third. Mike just couldn't get the same rhythm that he had in yellow lane and it was Jamie who just about held his nerve to take the win in red with his BSRT G3 car.

Jamie stepped up into white lane in the C final. There he joined Tony, Neil and Keith. After a brief pause to repair the effects of a marshal-induced earthquake, the race re-started at an intense pace. Tony seemed to be controlling things with his new modified Life Like, but he simply could not shake off Jamie and Neil. Keith was having a bit of a nightmare, which was disappointing after some very good heats. As the clock ticked down to zero, Tony managed to close out the win, although he had to hang on for some laps to be added and taken away before he was totally sure. Jamie was an excellent second, in the end scored at just half a lap back, with Neil a further lap in arrears.

The B final looked like it would be a cracker, but it went beyond those high expectations. Tony's Life Like was up against three Vipers. Tony had red lane again, with Corey having first pick and choosing white. Neal was in yellow and Deborah in blue after a brilliant performance in the heats. This was an incredibly clean race, with few offs. Everyone beat the twenty lap mark, with Deborah setting her highest score of the night - twenty-one laps - to beat Tony to third. But this final was all about Neal and Corey...

The guys in the gutters were on fire. Corey is a WHO Mod winner and Neal has made B final wins a habit this year. Although Corey lead the way, Neal followed no more than a second or two behind. With around twenty second to go, Neal's car was massive in Corey's rear-view mirror - the gap was less than a tenth of a second. But Corey did not crack under the pressure, in fact he gradually pulled away, finishing nearly half a second or 0.15 of a lap ahead. They'd just set what would be the two best scores of the night. Corey was exhausted, but delighted. He'd have to do it all again.

Corey stayed in white lane for the A final, which would certainly help. He joined WHO Mod maestros John, Mike and Ned. The pace was right up there with the B final, but the precision was not. A little too much adrenaline, perhaps? Mike was the first to overdrive and crash. As he tried to recover, our pole-sitter crashed more and more... That left three in the hunt for the win. John's Marchon had a couple of offs too, but he did get back into the rhythm, overtaking Ned, whose Viper wasn't quite on the pace, but was staying on the black stuff. That left Corey out front, super-fast and error-free. There was no way any of the others would catch him. I don't know if he eased off at all, but he certainly looked more relaxed - he knew he had it in the bag. At the chequered flag, Corey's smile was massive - a most impressive and well-deserved win, especially sweet after the step-up. That's the second time Corey has won a WHO Mod race and the fifth time in the past year we've had a junior take both medals at a WHO race. The only previous junior race winner was nearly six years ago... What's going on?

Huge congratulations to Corey - our race and junior medal winner - and also to Aiden as top rookie, Fernando as top under-11 racer and to Hayley on a brilliantly dominant performance to take the WHO Tuners honours.

Thanks to everyone who made it such an excellent and enjoyable evening of racing at the Barn - special thanks goes to Simon for his track design and to all those who helped set up, ran the race and packed away.

- Andy P



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