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WHO Nascar - 3 February 2016

Race Report

The 100th WHO race at the Barn fell nicely on the club's sixth birthday. Twenty-seven racers celebrated with an evening of high-octane Nascar carnage on a medium-sized oval. There was cake too.

The event also saw the debut of the Nascar Gen6 Cup, a subclass for the new AFX Mega-G+ Ford Fusions and Chevy Impalas, which - very excitingly - may be available for sale in the UK very soon. So there was much to talk about in the traditional Nascar slip cordons.

No-one really knew how the Mega-G+ Gen6 Cup cars would perform against the traditional WHO Nascar runners, but in the first two heats Andy's Miller Lite Ford Fusion finished ahead of three Life Like Ts.

The short-ish oval with fast, wide corners one end and a tricky tightening combo at the other, offered something to all the chassis. Nonetheless, it was the Super-G+ cars in the hands of the Nascar champs - John, Mike D and Darren - who headed the field at half way and at the end of the heats.

With a massive 50 lap run on blue, Mike put himself on pole for a twenty-third time at WHO - equalling John's record. John just pipped Darren to second. Behind them, Ned was top junior in fourth, with Neal and Andy Player neck and neck for fifth, only separated by Andy's better dropped score.


The I final was a tale of three Life Like's. Nathaniel qualified top, chose red lane and won the race with a decent run. Hayley wasn't far behind, but wasn't happy with her car. WHO newcomer Cameron came in last, which is not unusual on a first visit to a WHO Nascar race!

Nathaniel stepped up into the first big Gen6 Cup battle of the night in the H final. Deborah, Matthew and Richard P were all looking to climb up the results table after some inconsistent heats. On their chosen lanes, it looked from the heats scores as if Richard would give Deborah a run for her money. It didn't turn out that way, with Deborah beating 40 laps for the first time and walking away with the win. Richard was second, six laps adrift, then Nathaniel ahead of Matthew.

The G final was the first humdinger of the night and Deborah was at the heart of the action. Her battle with Corey's quick Mega-G was nail-biting with barely a lap separating them for the entire two minutes. It looked like Corey had the win until a late off let Deborah slip through. In his frustration, Corey crashed again, which meant a late off from Deborah was not quite enough to hand victory back to the youngster. Behind them, Andy J was third and Aaron had a race to forget in a distant fourth.

Deborah's prize for her second successive step-up was another Gen6 Cup battle, this time with Keith and Richard S in the F final. The odd one out was Andy Phillips, making his WHO Nascar debut with a swift Life Like. This was a three-way cracker, with Keith leading the way, but Andy and Richard never far behind. With the clock ticking down, Keith had the race in the bag until a late off handed Andy the win on what was the penultimate lap. A classic case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Andy had hung on and never given up and you never know what might happen in an oval race.

The Super-Gs of Duncan, Mike Mc and Daniel welcomed Andy in the E final. Those Super-Gs are quick but can be fragile and all three hit the floor in the early stages, with catastrophic consequences for Duncan's car. Andy's Life Like hit the front and although the other three all recovered they couldn't catch the leader, Andy beating 40 laps for the first time in a flawless run. Mike beat Daniel, which pleased him, and another car disintegration late on left Duncan fourth.

The D final brought together the two fastest Life Likes and the second and third fastest Gen6 cars. The pace was relentless and this two minutes was relatively error-free. Alex headed the field and was untouchable. His winning score of 43 laps was the best of the finals so far. Andy made it a Life Like one-two with another big score in yellow lane. Simon beat Tony to claim runner-up spot in the first Gen6 Cup race.

The C final started as the previous final had finished, fast and precise. But then the racers got over-excited and their cars started to leave the track. That's how WHO Nascar happens. Jamie's Super-G came off worse in a coming together with Neil's Mega-G early on and never really recovered. Alex's Life Like had big problems too and eventually recovered to third place. Stephen plugged away in yellow lane, yet Neil managed to pull away for an memorable win and his biggest score of an impressive evening's racing.

The B final looked like Ned's to lose. And he did. Neal had got stronger and stronger as the heats went on and his Super-G was solid as a rock. Nonetheless, Andy's Gen6 Ford hung on - showing very promising oval pace for the new Mega-G+ car. Neal had pulled out a lap by the end, finishing with just over 46 laps. Ned came home third, with Neil a couple of laps further back.

It would be Neal's first ever A final, but he was up against three former WHO Nascar champions in Mike, John and Darren. As we've come to expect from Nascar A finals, this was no clean, gentlemanly dash for the chequered flag. The adrenaline pumped and we were served up two minutes of mayhem.

Neal was clearly over-excited and kept the marshals busy from the start. An early off for pole-sitter Mike dropped him back behind a very focused John and Darren in second, putting in consistent laps in yellow lane. John was pulling away a little on pace, but then was gifted a lap with offs by both Mike and Darren, which also moved Mike up into second. Meanwhile, Neal was starting to settle down.

The big moment of the race came with about 40 seconds to go. John was controlling the race with Mike pushing to unlap himself. John let him go, but then disaster struck. Coming round turn four, Mike's car came off across John's lane. There's a question mark over whether another car was involved, but maybe not... The outcome was both John and Mike's cars ended up on the floor, under the tables and at opposite ends of the track. Mike's car was marshalled quickly, but no-one could see John's car, not even John.

Darren was through and in the lead with Mike in hot pursuit just a lap or so back. John's car was still on the floor and would remain there for several more laps before retuning to finish ahead of Neal.

Despite pushing hard, time ran out for Mike. Darren took yet another Nascar win. This time he'd come straight from work without his cars or controller. Mike kindly loaned him a car from his box and, using a club controller, Darren did the business. An impressive victory and the second time this year Mike has been beaten by one of his own cars.

Huge congratulations to all our winners - Darren for his remarkable win, Ned for finishing top junior, Alex for his first under-11 medal, Andy Phillips for finishing top rookie and Andy Player for taking the first Gen6 Cup win.

Huge thanks to everyone who helped make it such a good evening - and for the previous 99 WHO events at the Barn too.

- Andy P



Race Results

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