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Formula One - 6 June 2018

Race Report

Twenty-three racers took to the grid for our first ever F1 oval race at the Barn - the inaugural WHO Indy500. We were delighted to welcome back Stephen from his eight-month loan spell at Bournemouth Slot Car Club.

The WHO version of Indianapolis Motor Speedway was sixty-three feet long - and the ratio of long straightaways to short chutes was as close as we could get to the real thing.

There was no doubt that raw speed would be important and we saw six racers switch to Super-G+ cars for the evening. A minimum tyre height of 11.5mm usually means the Super-Gs are too much of a handful in F1, but could they be successfully tamed for the oval? Also in the paddock were three Mega-Gs, two Tycos and twelve Mega-G+ runners.

Practice suggested the Super-G+ was a good option. In the first pair of heats Gareth and Keith had very fast cars, but struggled to stay on around the corners. From that group, it was Simon's Mega-G+ that was comfortably top after the first two lanes.

Elsewhere through the field, Mike D's Mega-G led at halfway, just a lap ahead of Simon and Andy's Mega-G right behind. Deborah, Keith and Peter followed - the top six covered by less than four laps. Keith was the only Super-G in the top bunch. Ryan was top junior back in fifteenth, closely followed by Jerome in sixteenth.

The second set of heats saw some huge scores and most of the Super-G drivers staying on track. Keith and Gareth stormed the top two positions, only for Andy to split them with his Mega-G and then Mike D put on a perfect performance to grab pole by a huge five laps. The top four were the only racers to total over 100 laps for their best three runs.


Aiden and Mike McCann faced off in the H final. Mike's car failed to leave the line and Aiden very sportingly waited until Mike swapped to his spare. The pattern of the race was scrappy, with Mike gradually reducing the gap to the Tyco until he took the lead with 45 seconds to go. Mike kept going and finished two laps ahead.

The G final saw two Walkers and two McCanns - Oliver's Mega-G up against Steve's Super-G and Mike and Stephen with a Mega-G+ apiece. It was a pretty smooth race, Stephen taking the early lead and never giving it up. Oliver successfully stayed ahead of his dad, with Mike falling back at the end.

Duncan's rapid Tyco joined three Mega-G+s in the F final, piloted by Stephen, Matthew and Ryan. The Tyco was a proper Indy car - sporting a 1980s Pennzoil livery - and Duncan had gone well in the heats. The opening 30 seconds saw all four cars lapping close together, with Matthew and Stephen pulling away by about a lap at halfway. Disaster struck for Duncan - a series of crashes dropping him back - but Ryan started to close in on the top two. As the chequered fag fell, Matthew claimed the win by just over a lap and Stephen held off Ryan by the smallest of margins to take seond.

Up in the E final, we had Terry's Super-G joining the Mega-G+s of Daniel, Jerome and Matthew. Terry took the early lead, but a crash dropped him back to third. After thirty seconds, Jerome led Daniel, Terry and Matthew. That's how it stayed at halfway - all four covered by just over a lap, but the rest of the race would be rather exciting. Terry's comeback drive soon got him past Daniel and he set his sights on Jerome's car. Not far behind, Matthew worked himself up to third and then, in the finals seconds, passed Terry for second. Up front, Jerome won by a comfortable lap a half, but the other three were covered by just over half a lap.

Jerome stepped up into the inside yellow lane for the D final. He was up against Hayley and Rick in Mega-G+s and Ash with a Super-G. The start was close and fast. Jerome worked himself up to second and then took the lead from Rick, before crashing the back of the pack. Ash soon followed, giving the race order at thirty seconds: Rick, Hayley, Jerome and Ash. Hayley grabbed top spot just before halfway and pulled out a small lead as Jerome battled with Rick. Jerome eventually got past, but Hayley now had a lead of three-quarters of a lap. Try all he could, Jerome could not completely close the gap - until a off for Hayley on her final time through turn four changed everything. Duncan swiftly marshalled the orange and purple Mega-G, but had Jerome got through? As the power was cut for the end of the race, Jerome's car rolled to a halt three car lengths in front of Hayley's.

A second step-up kept Jerome in yellow for the C final. He was up against the Mega-G+s of Tony and Peter, plus Andy Phillip's Super-G. Another very fast and close start got exciting when Tony and Andy's cars collided coming out of turn two. Jerome led the field through the thirty second mark, with his dad just behind. The gap between the two was down to 0.2 of a second at halfway, but then Jerome crashed, sending him tumbling from first to fourth. Andy was getting to grips with his Super-G, passing Tony and closing in on Peter. Then there was a big pile-up between turns three and four, Peter getting through and Tony escaping relatively unscathed. That decided the finishing order - Peter seeing out the win, followed by Tony, a disappointed Andy and an unlucky Jerome.

Gareth's Super-G was the fastest car in the B final, but could he keep it on the track? The answer in the early stages was yes, Gareth pulling out a decent lead over Simon, Deborah and Peter. Simon crashed and dropped back to third at halfway, by which time Gareth had stretched his lead to a lap. Simon looked the fastest of the Mega-G+ runners, but a couple more offs put him out of contention. Gareth added another lap to his lead over Deborah and ended up almost exactly three laps ahead at the chequered flag. Simon held off Peter for third.

The top four qualifiers lined up in the A final. Two Mega-Gs and two Super-Gs. The opening laps were tight, with Mike and Andy leading the way and the two Super-Gs having an off each. Coming up to halfway, Andy crashed twice in two corners and then fell to pieces. Gareth had got back into the dominant rhythm of his B final win, but was nearly two laps back already. Mike backed off as carnage struck on the main straight, the other three cars colliding and the two Super-Gs hitting the floor. More crashes followed, but Mike stayed out of trouble, bringing his Mega-G home almost four laps ahead of Gareth, with Keith in third. A Super-G might not have won, but Gareth did grab fastest lap.

Congratulations to Mike on holding off the Super-Gs and winning the inaugural WHO Indy500. Jerome had a great night with a double-step up and the junior medal, although his dad did pip him to top rookie honours. Duncan won yet another Classic Cup duel - his sixth in succession.

A big thank you to everyone who made it another excellent HO evening at the Barn. Special thanks go to the set-up and tear-down teams and to a three-strong McCann team on race control.

We'll almost certainly do a second WHO Indy500 in June 2020, but we're back to turning left and right next month for WHO Mod.

- Andy P



Race Results

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