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WHO/DIGITAL Scalextric Sport Digital Racing in Worthing

Our first WHO/digital Saturday of the year saw twenty-one people take to the grid at some point during a packed morning, afternoon and evening of thrilling Scalextric digital racing. The results, stats and some pictures are on the right, plus there’s a video over on YouTube. Updated championship tables are on the 2019 season page.

Race Report

It was a fabulous day of Scalextric digital racing at the Barn - our longest day of the year, with a morning, afternoon and evening session. Twenty-one people joined us for at least one of those sessions, including three visiting the club and trying out digital slot car racing for the very first time.

Mike's Suzuka-inspired track was utterly superb and gave us some great racing through the day and evening. The two dimensional layout plan doesn't do justice to the sweeping turns and elevation changes over the bridge - it was a joy to race and to watch.

BTCC Qualifying + Race One

First up was BTCC qualifying - with two new Civics topping the charts - and then Race One, which saw Gary kick off the defense of his title from pole position. The field of twelve was split into two 16-lap races with no step ups.

Matthew led the B final early on, but a stop-and-go penalty for an over-eager start dropped him behind Peter, Dean and Rob at half distance. Peter had qualified last, but took the win ahead of Dean - Matthew grabbing third from BTCC debutant Rob.

The Civics of Gary and Andy battled for the lead of the feature race on the first lap, but Gary soon pulled away and Andy dropped back into the pack. An almighty pile-up on the bridge took Alex and Simon out of contention, Gary now being chased by Mike, Oli and Andy.

Gary controlled the second half of the race, finishing ahead of Mike. Andy pipped Oli for the final place on the podium and also grabbed the extra championship point for fastest lap.

Club Car Rotation

Seventeen people took part in a highly-competitive club car rotation race - the six Scalextric GT club cars being raced for three minutes by each driver. Early on it looked as if ten laps was the perfect score, but then Mike and Andy chipped in with three eleven lap heats between them.

Mike's big scores were matched by superb consistency, giving him a total of 61 laps and topping the chart ahead of Andy, Jean and Alex S. Newcomer Alex H worked hard to master the digital format and went away with the junior medal and a copy of Slot Car Magazine to read.

BTCC Race Two

The final action before lunch was BTCC Race Two. John and Alex F had joined us for the rest of the day, stretching the BTCC field to fourteen and three finals. Jean had finished dead last in Race One, but stormed through for a comfortable win in the C final, followed by Matthew.

Those two stepped up to the B final and held the top two spots after four laps. Peter had grabbed the lead by half distance, Matthew was second and Jean third. Disaster for Matthew saw him drop off the lead lap and it was Jean that fought back to grab the win, just ahead of Peter. Matthew managed to stay ahead of Alex, Dean and Simon.

The A final was incredibly tight and full of errors. While Andy slipped to the back, it was Jean who incredibly moved to the front after ten laps - the top five all on the same lap. A high pressure final six laps saw Jean hold on for a simply sensational win - coming home first in the C and B finals and then beating both Gary and Mike to take a first BTCC feature race victory! Peter came in a close fourth, with Oli and Andy a lap behind.

Simon cooked up a treat for lunch and we devoured his delicious hot dogs and wedges. After a bit of a rest, the track was powered back up and we started the afternoon with some Group C racing. Group C

Two 20 lap qualifying heats would see the top three from each go through to a 40 lap feature race. Matthew's new Nissan R89C looked the class of heat one, but technical issues dropped him to the back - a very lucky escape for Mike, who'd been struggling with his Lancia. Oli dominated the second heat, with Dean finishing fourth behind Andy and Simon and missing out on qualification.

Oli and Alex started the feature race at the front, having won their heats. Andy and Terry lined up on the second row, with Simon and Mike at the back. Again, it was Oli who stamped his authority on the race with his smooth and rapid Jaguar XJR12. Both Alex and Terry suffered significant car problems, leaving Andy to try and keep in touch with Oli at the front.

Mike had rediscovered some form, but numerous crashes dropped him behind Simon. A single pit stop seemed sufficient to get through the 40 laps on fuel and tyres, but Oli was forced to slow in the final stages, just to make sure. Andy closed in a little, setting fastest lap, but Oli deservedly took the first victory in the new WHO Group C championship.

Goodwood Revival - St Mary's pairs race

Dennis joined Jean for our Goodwood Revival pairs race to debut the fabulous French Lotus Eleven that is modelled on the exact car Jean's grandfather raced in the early 60s. It might not have been the quickest car, but it was certainly the most eye-catching.

The Eleven was up against six sleek mid-to-late 60s sports cars, together with Mike and Peter's George Turner Jaguar E-Type. Each team completed two ten minute heats, with a single driver racing one heat, just like in the St Mary's Trophy at the Goodwood Revival event.

Simon and Duncan set a mark of 65 laps in their Fly Ford GT MkII, just a lap ahead of Gary and Ash in Andy's Carrera Ferrari 365P2. However, five teams still had a heat to come. It was Mike and Peter's E-Type that finished top on 68 laps, two ahead of John and Alex F's Scalextric Ford GT40.

Simon and Duncan slotted into third, Gary and Ash fourth, just a lap ahead of Terry and Rob's Scalextric Chaparral 2F - the top five covered by just five laps! Oli and Matthew's Scalextric GT40 finished sixth, Alex S and Dean's Fly Lola T70 MkIII struggling to seventh, just ahead of the wonderful Lotus Eleven.

BTCC Race Three

We wrapped up the afternoon with the final BTCC race - and it was another cracker! The reverse grid placed the top drivers in the bottom final - with just two stepping up to the B final. It was Gary who finished first, with a frantic Mike grabbing the second spot ahead of a chasing pack of Peter, Andy and Oli. Jean - weighted down by maximum success ballast - went from hero to zero and last place.

Mike led the B final from the early stages, Alex S following close behind. It looked as if Alex's BMW was heading to the feature race until Gary took advantage of some late-race drama to overtake just three laps from the end.

Despite an impressive start to the race by Alex F, it was Mike and Gary who drove away from the pack gave us a humdinger of a race in the A final. Alex had fallen back a lap by half distance, with Mike and Gary then swapping the lead and throwing everything they had at each other.

It wasn't the cleanest of races, but it was thrilling to watch. In the closing stages, it looked like Mike had won it, but then Gary somehow managed to slip through to take his second BTCC win of the day.

That was the final action of the regular Digital Saturday schedule, but there was still more to come. Before we started on the evening Tourist Trophy GT race, it was time for a bit of a breather for the race control team and a chance for everyone to grab a cuppa and have a natter.

WHO GT Championship - Tourist Trophy

Back on track at 5.45-ish, a frantic qualifying session decided the six cars to race, followed by negotiations to sort out the teams - four pairs and two teams of three. The lights were dimmed and we were ready to race for 300 laps...

Gary had taken pole position with the DiSCA Proton Porsche 911 RSR and had paired up with Ash to reunite last year's Tourist Trophy winning team. Pete had driven the Rum Bum racing Audi R8 into a superb second place on the grid - he teamed up with Simon and Duncan.

Alex and Andy qualified just behind - Alex would share his AST One McLaren 12C with Dean and the Massive Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage would be driven by Andy, Rob and Terry. Terry's Vantage had been pushed out of the top six on fastest lap times by John and Mike. Mike shared the DadTech Porsche with Matthew and John would drive the Team Hulk McLaren with Alex.

The early stages of the race were close at the front, despite Gary pulling out a lap lead early on with the DiSCA Proton Porsche. Alex and Dean's AST One McLaren were swapping second with the Massive Motorsport Aston Martin, which was attempting a fuel conservation strategy. The Rum Bum Racing Audi R8 was certainly in the mix too.

The RCS64 weather simulation gave us heavy rain and a wet track to start the race, so everyone was running wet tyres. Long fuel stops came round every twenty-five to thirty laps, but tyre wear was low.

The first fifty laps were knocked off in just over twelve minutes, Gary leading the AST One McLaren by two laps, Andy a further lap back in third and Mike a lap behind in the second Porsche. The Rum Bum Audi and Team Hulk McLaren were a few laps off the pace - everyone having stopped just once for fuel only.

Teams were free to change drivers whenever they chose, as long as they shared out the racing team as equally as possible. That meant different strategies could come into play as the rain stopped and the track started to dry...

After thirty minutes, the DiSCA Proton Porsche had a big seven lap lead on the AST One McLaren, but with a scheduled pit stop looming. Massive Motorsport, now with Rob at the wheel, had already saved a whole pit cycle and were running neck and neck for second. Rum Bum Racing were back up to fourth.

As the race wore on, some of the cars had technical problems - John and Alex's McLaren suffering chip ID issues and the AST One McLaren requiring repairs. Just after Rob handed over to Terry, disaster struck for the Massive Motorsport trio - a loose electrical connection took several minutes to repair, dropping them right out of contention.

At the front, Gary and Ash just kept driving superbly, stretching their lead to Alex and Dean in second. Also keeping things clean, Mike and Matthew's DadoTech Porsche crept up to third place, just ahead of the Audi of Peter, Duncan and Simon. The Aston Martin had closed to just three laps behind the Audi, but John and Alex were now twenty laps back after more car issues. That's how things looked after an hour, with the leaders on 221 laps.

Gary attacked the final laps with finesse, rattling them off in twenty minutes. By that time the gap to Alex and Dean was up to nineteen laps, the McLaren having made two more pit stops. Completing the podium was the DadoTech Porsche, which finished fourteen laps behind the McLaren and seven laps up on the Rum Bum Audi. Massive Motorsport were six laps back, with the Team Hulk McLaren finishing strongly and cutting their deficit to fifteen laps.

And that really was it - the end of a fabulous day of Scalextric digital racing. Huge congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to everyone who came along and made it such an enjoyable day. Special thanks goes to the set up crew, the race control team and to all those who stayed at the end to pack away. Thanks also to Dean who loaned us his monster 50-inch TV (with the size of the track, it was essential) and to Lyn who brought us some treats that kept blood sugar levels suitably high during the afternoon and evening. Enormous gratitude goes to Simon who balanced setting up the track with expertly running the kitchen and finding time to race too! And finally, thanks to Mike - without whose amazing digital kit we would have no digital racing at the Barn.

Until next time!

- Andy P

After the event, you’ll be able to click on the logos to watch the video and follow the discussion.