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Our first WHO/digital Wednesday of 2018 followed on from our last one in November
Our biggest year of digital racing started with a huge grid of thirty racers for the Nascar club car team race. We welcomed 1/32 racers Andy, Dean, Jim, Ben and Thomas for their first visits to the Barn. There were also a few more racers using the RCS64 race management programme for the first time, so Mike's Dadson Digital Driving School was pretty busy.
Nascar Team Race
As Mike gave the driver briefing, Andy put together six teams of five racers -
Our Nascar club car team race is the original WHO/digital format and it works very
well. An hour of racing is broken up into three twenty-
Simon's track looked good on paper and it was even better to drive. There was a fast
loop round the outside and a superb technical section in the infield. It flowed perfectly,
allowing plenty of options to overtake and made the pit entry and exit easy and incident-
Segment One -
We set up RCS64 with just the fuel burn simulation to ease people in to the first twenty minutes. The fuel tanks weren't big enough to stretch the four minutes between driver changes, so there was immediately strategy at play. Team captains had to be on the ball, talking to their drivers, helping those new to RCS64 and keeping a very close eye on fuel levels.
At the end of that first twenty minutes, we had two teams tied for first place -
Segment Two -
The tyre wear simulation was added for the second twenty minutes. Racers and team captains would now have two simulations to think about and would need to monitor the use of both fuel and tyres. Less experienced racers would be dealing with a more complex pit stop menu. Communication within the team would be key.
Some teams faltered, Ryan's Racers dropping five laps on their earlier score. The
Jammie Dodgers and The Hive Mind also came in short of their first segment scores.
There were also some big improvements... Don't 'Ave One added a huge eight laps to
finish on 65 -
I'm not sure we've ever had a three-
Segment Three -
Talk about tense and full-
The final round of pits stops left the Jammie Dodgers a lap and a half ahead of Jonathon's
Team and Gold & Silver Tops -
The final scores were as close as we've seen in a WHO/digital team race -
Dean and Ben also did a great job on debut, finishing four laps behind the winners
with Ryan, Graham and John. Don't 'Ave One recovered from their appalling start to
finish just eight laps behind the winners. Somebody has to finish last and this time
it was The Hive Mind -
After the traditional medal celebration and team photographs, we presented trophies
and certificates to the 2017 WHO/digital class champions and top juniors, plus the
second and third place racers. It was Mike D, Aiden, Jonathon and Andy who took home
the shiny plasticware -
Although it'll take a while for some of us to stop calling the Digital Wednesday
pairs race 'Goodwood Revival', this was the first running of our new Trans-
We'd tweaked the format slightly, but the basis was still two ten-
The first heat saw two Dodge Challengers, a Scalextric Mustang Boss and three Camaros
With just five cars in the second heat, the winners would qualify, but everyone else would have to wait nervously for the results of the second race. Ben and Thomas were a couple of laps back with Graham's loaned Penske Camaro. Simon and Jonathon were looking precarious in the wonderful lime green Posey Challenger, just ahead of Alex and Terry's Pioneer Camaro. Andy D and Dean's Dodge was back on 28.5 laps.
Mike D and Jean blitzed the second the heat and finished with a huge 40 laps, Mike's
Ford Falcon was big, but fast and looked a lot of fun to drive. Neil and Corey's
brand new '69 Camaro also looked pretty handy, coming home with 36.5 laps and slotting
in to third place in the qualifying order. Andy P's new Javelin finished third in
the heat and fifth in the qualifying order, sharing with Simon A -
Daniel and Mike McCann finished fifth in their '69 Penske Camaro and would join four
pairs from the first heat in the consolation race. A five minute sprint, with a driver
change at half way, it was a cracking race. With two minutes left, the three leading
cars were on the same lap, Jonathon and Simon holding a small advantage until Simon
ran out of fuel and fell back to fourth. That let the two Penske Camaros get through,
with Mike and Daniel just beating Ben and Thomas at the end. Andy D and Dean weren't
far behind -
The feature race lined up with Mike and Jean's Falcon the clear favourite. A start
line crash held up the Camaros of Terry and Corey, both of whom would need a lap
added at the end. Jean was out in the lead, but the racing was very close -
The injection of adrenaline following the driver change saw plenty of crashes, including Neil's Camaro left spinning on its roof as Ash valiantly marshalled cars right, left and centre. Mike had the lead with the Falcon and it was now John who was pushing hard to keep in touch and close the gap. The scoreboard showed Neil a lap further back than he really was, but his was also on a mission and started to claw back ground on the two leaders. Graham's Mustang was jumped by Andy's Javelin, thanks to some pit stop strategy that put the little inline car up into second place.
As we moved into the final minute, Andy's tyres gave up and he was forced to make
an unscheduled stop, dropping him behind John and Neil, but still on the same lap
and on soft tyres. That turned into a frantic battle for the runner-
Graham and Jim's Mustang had faded from the early strong position to finish fifth
on 36.25 laps, but did get the fastest lap of the race. Aiden and Terry were sixth
on 34.50, probably a little disappointed not to push on from an excellent qualifying
performance. In the new constructors competition, Chevy beat Ford, Dodge and AMC
Huge congratulations to all our winners and a big thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a great start to the 2018 WHO/digital season. Special thanks goes to Simon for his superb track design, Daniel for his excellent work on race control and to all those who came early to set up and stayed late to pack away. Of course, we couldn't even think about racing digital at the Barn without Mike D's inspiration and loan of his amazing kit.
The next WHO/digital race is another Digital Wednesday on 21 February.