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Formula One - 4 June 2014

Race Report


The second Formula One round of 2014 kicked off with 21 racers on the grid. We welcomed Keith for his official WHO debut and it was great to see Darren back in action at the Barn.


Alas, we were without the Roses again this month, revision taking priority for Hannah. Good luck to all our racers sitting exams and completing coursework in the next few weeks.


The layout for the race was based on the Indianapolis Grand Prix circuit. This was inspired by the two Brad Track routed banked curves on loan over the summer from Eahorc. They really gave a wow factor as people walked through the door. And they were great to drive.


Heats


There was a lot of drama about the heats tonight. On previous F1 form, the top dogs looked likely to be Mike, Andy, Dave and John who'd probably be joined by Darren and Gareth - if they'd sorted their cars out. A few more looked quick in practice, including Jon's Super-G, so we were ready for some surprises.


At half way, our top three was Andy, Mike and Richard.


Richard banged in a couple of excellent scores in yellow and blue lanes and seemed on course to fulfil the promise he has shown this season. Tragically it all fell apart and two disastrous heats left him in the E final rather that the A.


As we went through the groups for a second time, Dave had two strong heats which put him in provisional pole position. In the next group, Andy snatched pole away with a 21.85 in blue, the best score of the night - so far...


Darren went even better in the penultimate group, with consistently high scores putting him two laps up on Andy. It was left to Mike, racing his last two heats in the gutter lanes, to see if he could end up top of the pile. And he did - with two massive scores giving him nearly a lap advantage over Darren and first pick of lanes for the A final.


Finals


The G final saw Mike and Stephen up against Corey - all racing Tyco club cars after catastrophic issues for the McCann Micros in the heats. With three evenly-match cars that were going really well on the layout, it was a great final. Corey eventually lost touch after a few too many crashes on white lane. Mike's frustrating evening picked up significantly with a satisfying victory over Stephen by just half a lap.


Mike stepped up to yellow lane and had his second best two minutes of the evening. Mike beat Tony, who was still getting to grips with the speed of his new Mega-G, and was not far off Karolis, who was finding F1 a little more tricky than Nascar. Ahead of all three was Paul, surprised, but delighted to have won. "This doesn't happen to me" he said. Maybe, at last, we'll see Paul moving up the HO grid.


Up in the E final, Richard looked to get back to the heights of his first two heats. He ended up in a stunning Mega-G battle with Tyler, neither of whom could shake off Neil who was having a steady run in a Tyco club car. In the end, it was Neil who kept his cool and took the win by a lap over Tyler, with Richard on the same lap as the youngster.


There was more of the same from Neil in the D final. This time he picked off Jonah to take third. A great performance in a club car, but I noticed he and Corey have their eyes on the Mega-G twin pack in the club shop... Dinking it out for the win were John and Keith - and what a battle it was! Keith's Tyco was fast and smooth and was keeping pace with John's Mega-G, an F1 A finalist last time out. In the end it was John's experience (seven championships, 16 race wins, 18 pole positions) that won out. A magnificent debut for Keith though - winning rookie of the race honours.


The C final was probably the best final of the night with all four drivers in the hunt. Gareth's Mega-G had new pick-up shoes and had really come to life after a stodgy set of heats. Simon was determined to get the step up and swapped the lead early on and put pressure on Gareth throughout. However, the G-Man held firm and set his best score of the evening, which showed what might have been... John and Duncan had stayed within two laps of Gareth and were never out of it. Duncan's Tyco was absolutely rock-solid and took the Classic Cup win.


Gareth stepped up to the B final where he took an early lead in white lane. Maybe the prospect of a double-step-up went to his head, and a string of offs in the tricky parts of that lane dumped him back down to earth and he limped home in fourth. Ahead of him, Dave was doing a good job of keeping Ned and Jon behind him. Jon was showing great promise with his Super-G and was making the most of the outside lane round the banked turns and down the long straight. However, he just couldn't stay with the top two. In the end it was Ned who just pipped Dave to the win and the step-up to the A final.


The top final looked tasty. Darren and Mike were the guys with the outright pace and the middle lanes, but Andy wasn't far behind and wasn't unhappy about having white lane for the final. Ned - who's becoming a regular A final fixture - was the joker in the pack and ready to capitalise on any slip-ups or disasters.


And it was Mike and Darren who lead off the line. It looked close for a while, but an off put Darren behind Andy. That battle for second would be the only fight for the middle part of the race, but it was all about Darren coming off and then having to overtake Andy - which he had the pace to do so fairly easily. Out front, Mike was keeping it clean and finished three laps ahead with a massive score of 25.40. Andy just stayed on the same lap as Darren, but had to hold off a strong late charge from Ned, who nearly grabbed third in the final moments... but not quite.


Congratulations to Mike and Ned on very convincing medal wins. The 160 points puts Mike in the lead of both the F1 and Club championships. Ned's 90 points sees him dominating the junior charts. Duncan hurdles Andrew to lead the Classic Cup table after two rounds and Neil has drawn level with Tony for Rookie of the Year honours at the half way point of the season.


Another excellent night at the Barn. Thanks to everyone who helped set up (it was a bit more tricky with the Bowman sections to fit together) and to those who stayed behind to pack away. Congratulations to Mike and Paul for finally figuring out the puzzle of fitting the banked turns back in their box! And a big thanks to Mike McCann who anchored Race Control for the evening and suggested using the banked curves for F1 - a fine suggestion that worked well.



- Andy P

Heats

Finals

Race Results