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Modified - 3 November 2010

Race Report


Here at Worthing HO Racing we like to please our racing public - bringing in new technology and making tweaks to the race format. We try to keep things interesting.


Well, tonight was a truly 'interesting' night and our technology gave us a good 'tweaking'…


After a breathtaking season in the fast 'Mod' class, this was the final round. The championships were decided, but 24 racers turned up to try out their skills and some had points to prove.


The evening started with a ten minute Annual General Meeting where we looked back at our first year and previewed a few changes for 2011.


When the power went back on, the lap counting on blue lane had gone completely bananas. This close to Halloween, you had to suspect something supernatural going on.


After 10-15 minutes of diagnostics, head-scratching and no progress, Race Control decided to 'retire' blue lane and run three-car heats for tonight's meeting.


It turned out to be a great evening's racing - something 'different' anyway.


Heats


The heats started quite messily with some good racers not delivering their expected performances. One factor might have been some club cars having half an eye on the long winter break and a luxurious overhaul in Robin's garage ('Mod' class will resume in February). Tonight gremlins had found their way into plenty of pick-ups and body mounts.


One piece of good news for the club cars was the record numbers of racers using their own 'Mod' class cars. Dave was running his new Life-Like Chevy; John and Robin were running the Tomy Super-Gs they have prepared for the national EAHORC Nascar class; and Mike McCann ran an impressive MicroScalextric Audi TT in his final.


The pick of the bunch was the lexan-bodied Super-G that Ashley and Rick had 'borrowed' from Dave and shared in the heats. I suspect the lightweight lexan body will be a common sight in 'Mod' next year.


As racers got comfortable on Robin's fiendish circuit the record score went up and up. This was mainly thanks to John, who took the top two scores - 24.40 in white and 23.30 in red. John shared top score in yellow - 22.15 - with Ashley. So last month's medal winners were in good form.


John was rightly in pole position for the finals - but with the worst score dropped and only two lanes counting, Rick just managed to slip in front of Ashley who was ranked third after the heats.


Finals


More gremlins hit in the last round of heats. This time the computer was calling phantom laps in yellow. Kev was the hero and counted all the laps in yellow lane for half a dozen heats and all eight finals.


Unusually, the finals took place with three drivers in each - except for the first, which had two after newcomer Harry had to head home. Louise and Jack W battled it out in a close and entertaining 'H' final with Jack eventually pulling away and winning it by over three laps with an excellent score of 18.15 in white.


Jack's dad Mark was up against Tyler and Daniel Mills in the 'G' final. Mark had a nightmare first few laps and couldn't catch the two local youngsters who fought it out for nineteenth place. Daniel is starting to show what he is made of and beat two-time junior winner Tyler by half a lap.


Mike was brave and used an under-powered MicroScalextric car in his final. He drove it well and was not far behind Jack K. It was good to see Jack back on the track, but he was clearly a bit rusty and Daniel McCann took the 'F' final with some ease.


Daniel's brother Stephen was just one final ahead this month. Up against Stephen in the 'E' final was Callum - making a very impressive debut - and former junior winner James. This final was a bit of an epic, with constant lead-changes and tiny gaps between all three racers right up to the end. James won it, with Callum second and Stephen third. Great stuff.


The 'D' final saw two racers - Mark Boltwood and Tim Baker - who we'd normally expect to see in the 'A' final. Neither had learned to love tonight's track. Jonah was determined to add to their nightmares, but Tim and Mark pulled it together and came in 1-2 with Mark top dog.


Two 'grown-ups' featured in the 'C' final too. Mike Dadson had not been along since March, but due to our delays from the computer chaos he was able to arrive late and complete all his heats. Simon is always eager to race but is rarely able to get to Goring in time. It was great to see both tonight. In another classy final, Simon drove superbly to beat an impressive Mike and junior champion Will.


Darren has obviously raced a slot car before. He drove sweetly from the off and qualified fourth from the heats - usually enough to make the 'A' final. But with only three lanes in use, he found himself up against 'Mod' champion Robin and club championship leader Dave in the 'B' final.


With Robin and Dave running their own cars, Darren took the white lane club car by the scruff of its neck and wrung out a superb 21.30 - but not enough to beat Robin's 24.05. In a fast but uneventful final, Dave came in third with a 20.35.


After his pole position last month, Ashley could 'only' manage third in the heats this time. He had totally clicked with his grandad's Super-G+ and bagged it for the final - Rick taking over Dave's Life-Like. Could either of them challenge John, who had won last time out and had been dominant in the heats?


Ashley gave his answer early, successfully defending a small lead, then relaxing and pulling away in the second half of the race. John and Rick fell over themselves trying to catch up. Ashley drove the lexan-bodied Super-G like a master, drawing 'Oohs', 'Ahhs' and 'Olés' from spectators as he scythed through the competition.


As midnight and the witching-hour fast approached*, Ashley's victory was the perfect ending to an 'interesting' evening's racing. That so many people had stayed on to enjoy the finals is testament to how much fun we have together and how seriously we all take the competition.


With Ashley making WHO Racing history and winning both medals in the penultimate round of our first season, we move on to the last round and our first prizegiving on Wednesday 1 December.


I honestly can't wait.


- Andy


* It was late, but not that late!