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Formula One - 11 Sept 2019

Race Report

Twenty racers joined us for the first Wednesday evening event of the autumn. We were delighted to welcome back Max, Al, Simon and Gillian for their second visits to the Barn. The track was inspired by both the Mexico City Grand Prix circuit and Zolder in Belgium - giving us a pretty fast layout, but with a few tricky bits around the lap that required full concentration.


On the grid were two Tycos and eighteen Mega-G+ runners, five of those running the club cars. A couple of the club cars still sounded a little rough after the August AFX team race and required tuning through practice and the first few heats. Unsurprisingly for a fast track, it looked like red and blue lanes would be quick, with some people enjoying white and one or two doing well in yellow.


At the halfway point, Keith led the way - but just one lap ahead of Deborah. They had both started in yellow and blue lanes. Third was Andy who already had red and blue in the bag and was a third of a lap behind Deborah. Terry was a further lap back, having done superbly in white and yellow. Jerome was top junior in sixth, Max was top rookie in an excellent thirteenth place and Duncan was top Tyco in sixteenth.


For the second pair of heats, those running in red and blue were certainly looking to climb up the field. There were some big scores - none bigger than Keith's 26.0 in red lane. Jerome banged in a huge 24.15 in yellow and a 25.20 in blue, leaving Deborah under pressure for second place. She did just enough - beating Jerome by 0.15 of a lap. With Keith two and a quarter laps out front, that was our top three and the guaranteed A finalists. Terry comfortably beat Andy to fourth, with Peter just behind in sixth. Top rookie was Al, thanks to a superb 21.70 in blue and was the only one of the rookie drivers to get over 20 laps in the heats. Duncan comfortably beat Simon C in the battle of the Tycos.




Gillian and Max lined up in blue and red for the G final. It was a competitive race, interspersed with the odd crash or two. Max led from the early stages, pulling out a two lap lead by half way. The gap remained pretty constant through the second minute, Max stretching it to two and three quarter laps at the end. Gillian had the fastest lap though...


Max stepped up into yellow lane in the F final. It was a messy start - Al getting stuck on the line and Max crashing at the hairpin. That meant the two Simons got away. Simon R was driving the blue club car extremely well and pulled away from Simon C's Tyco - 4 seconds at a quarter distance, a lap at halfway and two laps after 90 seconds. That's how it stayed until the end - an excellent win on a first 'heats & finals' club night. Simon C had his hands full holding off Al's charge for second. The youngster was close, but not quite close enough, finishing half a lap back. Max struggled a bit in yellow, but had his excellent G final win to remember.


Duncan was the last Tyco standing in the E final and so had wrapped up the F1 Classic Cup win. His car was another one left stranded on the line, which put him back in third after 30 seconds, just ahead of Simon R in white. At the front, Gareth led the way - his gap to Ash was a lap at half distance. Ash had chosen yellow lane and was driving well, although Duncan was fighting back. A three second gap at half way had dropped to 0.34 seconds at three-quarter distance. Duncan made the pass with twenty seconds to go, holding on despite some late drama. Gareth's margin of victory was a very pleasing three and a half laps.


Gareth moved along into white for the D final and was up against Stephen, Oliver and Mike McCann. Both Mike and Gareth crashed on the first lap, Stephen in blue leading Oliver in red. Stephen was cruising away, lapping Oliver before half distance. Gareth was snapping at Oliver's heels, just a quarter of a second behind after a minute. Gareth soon got past, but then dropped back again as Oliver found some consistent pace and Gareth spent more time off track than he would have liked. Stephen finished a lap ahead of Oliver, Gareth a lap and half further back and Mike two laps adrift.


It was Matthew and Mike Dadson who were up against Daniel and Stephen in the C final. Matthew and Stephen made the best starts, Mike working himself up into second at a quarter distance. That's how it stayed at halfway - Matthew leading Mike by three seconds, Mike three seconds ahead of the twins, who were running absolutely side-by side. By three-quarter distance, Matthew had pushed his lead out to nearly five seconds, but the gap between Mike and Stephen was the same as it had been. Daniel had dropped back a little. Big drama unfolded in the final seconds - Matthew got caught up in a McCann crash and in the chaos Mike slipped past and into the lead. And that was it, the race ended and Matthew was somewhat gutted...


Mike's good fortune put him into white in the B final. Terry had red, Andy blue and Peter yellow. Mike didn't get off to a great start, but the other three were very close, separated by just over two seconds at a quarter distance. Terry led the way and Peter got past Andy. By halfway, Andy was three seconds behind Terry and just ahead of Peter. Mike was two laps back. Andy closed the gap a little and Peter fell back, but it ended with Terry, Andy and Peter finishing in that order and covered by just over a lap. A very close race.


Terry's win gave us the top three in the Formula One championship table together in the A final - alongside the junior championship leader. There was certainly a lot at stake. Pole-sitter Keith was the latest driver to stall on the line - and he was joined by Jerome. Deborah led Terry through the first few laps, but Keith was back into second soon enough. By halfway, Keith had the gap down to two seconds, Terry was four seconds further back and Jerome three seconds adrift. It was pretty close.


Deborah was doing all she could to hold on to the lead, but Keith was slowly chipping away at the gap - it was down to 1.46 seconds with just ten seconds to go. On the next lap it dropped further, but then in a last-gasp attempt to get the win, Keith overcooked it, crashed and the gap was back out to nearly four seconds on the final time through. Deborah celebrated her second superb F1 win in succession, plus a ten point championship lead with just the final round to come. Keith finished second in the race to sit second in the championship. Terry's battling third place put him just twenty points behind Deborah. It will be a nail-biting winner-takes-all race in December.


Congratulations to our winners - Deborah, Jerome, Duncan and Simon R - and a big thank you to everyone who came along to make it such an enjoyable evening of racing. Special thanks goes to the set-up crew of Terry, Andy and Keith, to the McCann trio on race control and to all those who stayed behind to pack away. See you next time!

- Andy P



Race Results

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