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Despite a man-flu epidemic raging along the south coast, twenty racers made it to the Micro Scalextric grid for our February half-term sprint race. We welcomed Andrew, Ben, Nathaniel and James for their first taste of HO racing. All had raced Scalextric digital at the Barn before.

For the penultimate round of the 2014-15 championship, we had a short, fast yet twisty layout to master.

The first round of heats were certainly quite a challenge for the vast majority of the grid - even those at the top. At half way, those were Stephen, Andy and Keith.

Stephen remained on top through the second round of heats, setting the best score of the night on yellow lane. The juniors were in great form as they managed to tame the track. James set highest score in red and was just pipped to the best in blue by Mike. Aaron grabbed top score in white.

When Simon and Duncan sorted the final heat scores, we saw that the top four were Stephen, Andy, Simon and Mike. It was time to pick lanes for the finals.

The choice seemed straightforward - red was best, white second and then yellow. Blue was to be avoided. That was strange, because during preparation for the event the red car was nearly swapped - it seemed down on power. Maybe the other three cars were just a little too punchy for the track?


The G final was a head-to-head family battle between Andrew and Nathaniel. Andrew seemed to have control of the race - and set fastest lap of the night - but a few offs near the end put Nathaniel back in contention. When Andrew's red car hit the floor and lost its body shell, it could have handed the win to the youngster. However, the chequered flag came just in time.

Andrew stepped up to the F final and found himself alongside two of our championship contenders, Ash and John. Both had torrid times in the heats but still had smiles on the faces. John was given a tough time by Corey and Andrew in the final, but took the win by a lap and a half over Corey. Ash, the championship leader coming in to the race, fought hard in yellow, but couldn't keep up with battle ahead of him.

The E final saw John, Duncan, Tony and Alex laughing their way through two minutes of dodgem car racing. All four managed to nerf each others cars off the track with hilarious regularity. It was Duncan who stayed on when it counted, taking the win by a lap from Tony, with John just edging out Alex for Ferrigno family bragging rights.

The D final looked rather more serious. Keith had dropped right down the field during the second set of heats and he needed red lane to work for him and get him back up the sharp end of the field. A cracking score of 22.95 put him in the C final. Behind him, Duncan showed that blue lane could work, coming home second. Richard was third and Alan came home fourth.

Keith stepped up to the unfavoured blue lane in the C final, but that didn't stop him winning a second race on the bounce. Ben followed him home in second, with James and Aaron disappointed their awesome performances in the heats couldn't be converted into progress to the B final.

Keith has just burst red lane's bubble and James certainly hadn't found the red Nissan as good as it was in the heats. It was a worrying time for the top qualifiers for the top two finals, Mike and Stephen. Were the McCanns cursed?

In the B final, it looked that way. Mike couldn't get the car round the track - it seemed to be bottoming out. Some trackside tweaks didn't help. Mike was left stranded in fourth and the car would need more work before the top final. Also left struggling was Neil, with the yellow car seemingly on its last legs too. That left Jamie and Keith mano a mano for the win. Could Keith manage three step-ups and a second win in blue lane? In the end, the answer was no, Jamie was just too strong and won by half a lap.

The A final saw a nervous Stephen line up alongside Andy, Simon and Jamie - who was appearing for the first time in the top final. An axle change and more tweaks had got the red car going again, but as soon as the final started everyone could see it wasn't as smooth as it had been. Andy got away from the line first and it was all a bit crashy behind him for the first few laps. Thanks to some excellent marshalling, Stephen and Jamie stayed on the same lap as Andy for the first half of the race. Simon was not enjoying yellow lane and lost touch with the rest.

Some more crashes at half way saw Jamie drop back and Stephen go a lap down. Although it looked like the red and blue cars of Stephen and Jamie were quicker than Andy, the white car was staying in the slot. Stephen continued to pile on the pressure and un-lapped himself with around fifteen seconds to go. However, on the next lap the red car crashed at the first corner and that was that.

Congratulations to Andy on his win. Commiserations to Stephen, who was the class act on the night - but at least he won the junior medal.

The result does shake up the championship table somewhat. Andy now had a useful lead, but with Ash and Stephen having far superior records in the team races, the trophy is still most definitely up for grabs.

Thanks to everyone for making it yet another excellent Micro Scalextric night at the Barn - and don't miss the championship decider on Wednesday 8 April.

- Andy

Round 5 - February 2015

Click on the logos to watch the video and look at more pictures.

Race results are below, click to enlarge.

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