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Formula One -
The 4th December marked the end of the tenth season of WHO Racing’s HO championships. The past 14 rounds saw seven different winners in the club championships and a further six winners in the AFX championship with Keith a constant presence in the top spot to boot.
Andy’s super consistent and winning ways had seen him wrap the Club, Mod and Nascar championships and Jerome similarly had wrapped up the Junior Club and Junior Mod titles. Only a catastrophic final round (and an A Final win from Oliver) would prevent him winning Junior F1 as well.
So one title left to decide and this was shaping up to be one of the most dramatic showdowns in WHO history. We had three title contenders in Deborah, Keith and Terry. Deborah with two F1 wins this year, Keith with one and Terry still hunting that elusive first A Final win but with a super consistent run of two seconds and a third so far this season in F1. It was winner takes all so all three were gunning for the pole and win.
Looking to complicate things and make it even more exciting, the trio of Andy, Pete and Jerome all had potent Mega G+ cars with the pace to get in the mix. This was also the final race for the current Classic Cup format and we had Duncan and Simon C engaging in a duel for that last ever win. Duncan had already wrapped the title but could he make it a clean sweep?
The track we were to race on was a stunning recreation of the Karlskoga Motorstadion in Sweden with some very long straights, a fast and flowing first sector and hidden 6” bends in the hairpins to catch the unwary. A track then that opened the door to the very fast but very tough to drive Super Gs and Mega Gs. Could they be joining that ever growing party at the front of the grid?
After the first round of heats there was some dismay for our title contenders as it was Jerome who was on provisional pole. Keith was in touching distance in second with Andy in third. Deborah and Terry knew that they had to improve from the B final which they shared with Pete. Gareth was the top SG back in the C and Mike D with his MG was all the way back in the E Final. There were crashes a plenty through the field with the Velodron Bend hairpin and the infield hairpin of Turn 7 keeping the marshals busy throughout the night. Even the innocuous looking Turn 4 in the middle of the back stretch kept catching the SGs and sole MG with many winces and theatrics as the cars hit the floor.
Keith threw everything he had into his last pair of heats but Jerome was a man on a mission in blue lane with a monster 22.40 laps which sealed the pole by half a lap from Keith. Terry finished half a lap clear of Deborah but both had been beaten by Andy and both would have to win the B Final to have any sort of chance against Keith. Meanwhile Duncan was on Classic Cup pole 4 laps ahead of Simon.
F Final. Jack had to head home before the finals so we had a three way scrap between Simon C, Simon R and the irrepressible Max who took the lead from the start leading his dad in the club cars. Simon C struggled to keep his Tyco in contention and by the minute mark he was already two laps in arrears while Max held a comfy 9.5 second lead to his dad. Simon slashed that gap in the second minute but was still 4.35 seconds back at the chequered flag and Max was once again celebrating a win.
E Final. Oliver’s SG had been misfiring all evening before a trademark Mike D “tinker and a fiddle” had it back on song. This meant he was able to take the lead from pole man Duncan in the first 30 seconds of the race who was a second ahead of Mike M with Max bringing up the rear. Mike’s car was stalling every lap in the hairpin and a look underneath revealed he was missing a pickup shoe. A switch to a spare car was too little too late giving another adult scalp to Max. At the front Oliver extended his lead to Duncan to a lap at the finish with Duncan a further lap clear of Max. Duncan had won yet another Classic Cup race and the last ever magnet Classic Cup race. Will we see that Tyco running brass weights next year?
D Final. Ash was on pole for this one facing Mark, Mike D and Oliver. Ash is a master at extracting unbelievable speed from the club cars but Mike had finally dialled himself Into the track and his Mega G was clearly the fastest car we had seen in the finals so far. After a minute Ash was 3.38 seconds down, crashes still being a factor for Mike. Oliver was matching Ash’s pace but an SG in yellow was always going to be hard work in particular into the aforementioned left hand hairpin Turn 7 which proved to be Oliver’s downfall. Mike eased to the win but Ash remained less than a lap back at the close. Mark drove solidly to put a lap on Oliver but both were some way back from the leaders.
C Final. Some interesting lane picks meant that Mike was able to step up into red lane for the C Final joining Gareth, Matthew and Ryan who needed to win this and the B Final if he fancied a crack at the Junior medal this evening. Off the line it was pole man Gareth who led them away but Mike was coming at him with ferocious speed. The SG and MG were neck and neck before Mike crashed into Turn 7 and fell back down the order. Matthew was now into second place and driving clean laps but struggling to keep pace with Gareth who was locked in a comfortable rhythm despite a couple of offs late in the race and who finished over a lap ahead. Ryan was up into third as Mike continued to be breathtakingly fast but very crashy. He took the fastest lap of the night but wound up in fourth. Ryan had driven well to consolidate third but sadly for him no chance of that medal this evening.
B Final. Now we arrived at crunch time. Could Terry or Deborah get to the A Final and challenge Keith for the title? Terry had pole in blue lane and led a very tight pack in the opening exchanges. Gareth tried to match the MG+ cars in the hairpins and wiped himself out of the running. The MG and SG had to be driven in a very different way to the MG+ so a silly error there. Deborah was also struggling in white and was 4.6 seconds down on Pete after just 30 seconds. Pete was flying and was still only 1.6 seconds behind Terry after a minute despite being side swiped off the road by Gareth in the Turn 7 hairpin while lapping him. Terry’s car was only the third fastest in laptime in the race but it was a masterclass in measured driving as he finished over 2 laps clear of Pete while Deborah had driven the wheels off her car to close the gap to under half a lap between second and third. Sadly that ended her championship challenge though.
A Final. Terry would have his work cut out for him in white lane in the A Final but he was looking determined. Jerome swept off the line and into the lead on blue lane. Keith was less than a second behind after 30 seconds and piling on the pressure with Terry a couple of seconds further back. Andy meanwhile had a huge accident almost instantaneously and lost at least one pickup shoe necessitating a lengthy pitstop that took almost the entire race to complete. An unfortunate end to an otherwise glittering season.
Meanwhile Jerome was *ahem* schooling Mr Schooling as he lapped smoothly and consistently to a best score seen all evening of 22.55 laps. Keith’s car almost had the same pace but he couldn’t live with Jerome and instead had to turn his attention to Terry who was flying and closing in fast behind him. Second place would be enough for either driver to claim the title so tension was high. In the end Keith had done enough and breathed a sigh of relief as he clinched his second major title of the season to go with Tuners and Gen6. Terry finished less than a lap back and can be proud of his season.
So congratulations to Jerome on another memorable double win, he was in a class of one for this round. Massive congratulations to Keith for the F1 title, Jerome for Junior F1 and Duncan on scooping Classic Cup. Thanks as always to the set up and break down crews, all of the race controllers and to Andy without whom we wouldn’t be enjoying such amazing racing and exciting Wednesday evenings.
Have an amazing Christmas and New Year and see you all for our ten year anniversary in 2020.
The final championship tables are on the 2019 season page
All our 2019 champions and medals winner are now in the WHO Hall of Fame