The Worthing HO Racing website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (except where otherwise noted) 2012-24

WHO/DIGITAL Scalextric Sport Digital Racing in Worthing

Our second WHO/digital Saturday of the year saw sixteen people take to the grid for a day of thrilling Scalextric digital racing. The results, stats and some pictures are on the right, plus there’s a video over on YouTube. Updated championship tables are on the 2019 season page.

Race Report

Sixteen racers joined us for our September Digital Saturday, plus six more people spending time watching, chatting and marshalling the cars. Mike had designed a slightly unusual track for him, with tight corners and fast straights. The pit lane was rather bijou and fitted inside a 180-degree corner, just to add to the design innovations. Despite excellent track building work by our well-oiled set-up crew, there were a couple of technical issues to resolve before practice began just after 10am.

BTCC Qualifying and Race One

BTCC qualifying began at 10.30 and it was the first time on track for one or two of the racers. Jean's BMW was refusing to fire up and he had a race against time to be ready. Oli was quickest of the first qualifying group, setting the only sub-13 second time. In second group of six, Gary and Mike managed sub-12 second fastest laps. Jean failed to get on track in qualifying and his car was not ready to take to the grid, meaning we had two finals of six cars each and no step-ups.

Alex was on pole for the B final, but it was the slowest qualifier who took the early lead - Dean almost immediately taking two and half seconds off his qualifying time in race conditions. It was pretty close through the first eight laps of the sixteen lap race - Alex leading Matthew, Dean and Ryan at half distance, Terry and Oliver having dropped off the lead lap. Alex pulled out a decent gap, which left the BMWs of Matthew and Dean fighting over second. On the penultimate lap, Dean made a slightly controversial move on Matthew at the end of the main straight. Dean hung on to take second, with Matthew third - the top three all finishing on the same lap.

Despite being on full ballast, pole-sitter Gary took off on his grippy soft option tyres and built a comfortable lead in the A final. Mike, Oli and Peter fought over second, with Simon starting slowly and Andy's Civic not starting at all. Mike won the battle to be Gary's closest challenger, but that only meant he was the only car not to be lapped by the championship leader - mind you, he did grab a point for fastest lap. Oli, Peter and Simon trailed in a lap apart, with Andy completing just eight laps.

Goodwood Revival Club Car Rotation

September is a special month in West Sussex with the Goodwood Revival just up the road in Westhampnett. To mark our local international motor racing event, we will be transforming our September Digital Saturdays to a day of racing models of cars from the 1949-1966 era. This year we made do with using some historic cars for the club car rotation. Okay, a few of our cars crept over the 1966 cut-off-date - two Scalextric 1969 Camaros lined-up alongside a Carrera Ford Torino, a Scalextric GT40 and two Ferraris - a green Scalextric 330 P4 and a Carrera 365 P2.

Right from the early heats, it looked like it would be a very close competition. All drivers made some mistakes - especially with pit stops - and some found it difficult to switch from the low and sleek GT40 and Ferraris to the bigger muscle cars, especially the Torino. The first driver through their six heats with the six cars was Peter and he had a total of 60.5 laps. Andy was next to finish and the first to complete 12 laps in a heat - his total was 62 laps. The rest of the rotation was nail-biting... Mike mucked up his last heat, but grabbed the lead by three quarters of a lap. He was then joined on 62.75 laps by Jean.

Next to finish was Gary - a rather nervy last run ended with a 10.75 laps score giving him the overall lead by exactly one lap. That just left the final heat - where both Ash and Dean could tie with Gary if they scored eleven laps or win if they got more. With such a lot at stake, it was a little scrappy. Ash and Dean only managed 10 laps each - enough to tie them with Mike and Jean for second place. It was a packed podium - Gary taking the win, Ryan with the junior medal (just two laps back from Gary's winning score) and the four runners-up. We've never had a rotation race quick that close...

BTCC Race Two

Jean had been working right through the morning to fix his BTCC car and had it ready for race two. He would start from the back of the grid, alongside Ash in a borrowed MG6. That gave us fourteen on the grid and three finals.

Jean made up for lost time by grabbing an early lead in the C final. Matthew was hit by a stop-go penalty and the other four cars got caught up in a first lap pile-up. With Jean escaping, it was a close battle for the second step-up spot. Ryan had the better of Terry and Matthew early on, but Terry was just ahead at half distance, followed by Ash. Jean finished comfortably a lap ahead of Terry, with Ryan, Matthew and Ash not far behind.

It was Andy that took control of the B final, leading Simon by a lap at half distance. Jean was looking good in third, battling with Simon and Alex for that important second spot. Andy was forced to slow near the end as his soft tyres went off dramatically - Simon, Jean and Alex finishing on the same lap and in that order.

The A final was a topsy-turvy sixteen laps. After an early error from pole-sitter Gary, Mike and Andy got away, before they crashed together, letting Gary back through. Andy took advantage of his zero ballast and soft tyres to take the lead again by half distance. Gary wasn't far behind and had a decent gap back to Simon, Mike, Oli and Peter who were all fighting for third. Although Andy pulled away, his soft tyres went off over the final laps allowing Gary to close the gap a little - but not enough. Simon held on to third, Mike was fourth, with Peter and Oli a lap down on the winner. Gary took the bonus point for fastest lap.

And then it was lunchtime - Simon serving up a feast of hot dogs and potato wedges with melted cheese. Plus plates of biscuits and cakes to see us through the afternoon. He certainly looks after us, does Simon. Group C

After a short practice session, it was time for the postprandial Group C race. When we suggested the class, no-one expected many takers. The entry list this time was nine cars strong - with a couple more expected before next time. New on the grid were Jean's Leyton House Porsche 962C and Dean's Martini-liveried Lancia LC2. The format was tweaked to give us a BTCC-style qualifying session with the four fastest cars guaranteed an automatic place in the 40-lap feature race and the other five racers racing over 20 laps for those final two spots.

Alex and Andy had just missed out on automatic qualification and started at the front for the B final. Alex got away, but Andy got caught up in some bashing and banging in the early laps. At half distance Alex had a one lap lead over Dean, who was the good part a lap ahead of Terry and Andy. Jean was a further lap back, but had the fastest car on the track. With five laps to go Alex's lead was up to two laps, with Andy closing in rapidly on Dean and Terry not far behind. Alex crossed the line two laps ahead of Andy, Dean and Terry with Jean a further lap back. Four of the five drivers had sub-eleven second fastest laps.

Mike had put his Lancia on pole-position for the feature race ahead of Matthew's Nissan, Simon's Toyota and Oli's Jaguar. They were joined by the Porsches of Alex and Andy - and it was the two Porsches who got through the field and diced for the lead in the early stages. However, it was a very tight race and any errors were costly. Andy and Alex dropped back, leaving Matthew in the lead after ten laps, closely followed by Mike, then Simon, Alex and Andy. Oli had dropped four laps off the pace.

At half distance, Simon had also dropped out of contention, Oli moving up to fifth. At the front, Mike lead Alex by nearly a lap - Matthew and Andy were two laps back. One pit stop would be needed during the race, Oli ended up pitting twice (after fitting the wrong tyres) and both Simon and Andy left their stops late. By three-quarter distance it was 'as you were' at the top - Mike leading Alex by the best part of a lap - with Andy up to third and Oli closing in on Matthew for fourth.

Then Mike's race to victory fell apart - he got caught up in other people's mayhem on the back stretch and was left helpless as Alex nipped past. Alex's Porsche was the fastest car on the track and he was driving flawlessly - there was nothing Mike could do. The chequered flag fell with Alex and Mike both completing 40 laps, Andy third on 36 and Oli and Matthew another lap back. Alex was utterly delighted.

WHO/digital GT Championship Sprint Race

The shortest race in the GT championship was a rather complicated, but exciting format. All twelve owner-drivers qualified their cars on fastest times and then the horse-trading began to choose pairs to race in the B final and feature race. We'd welcomed Duncan and Jerome at lunchtime, so we'd have eight pairs - three to qualify directly for the 15-minute feature and three of the remaining five pairs to step up from a six-minute B final dash. Oli and Dean qualified with the fourth and fifth fastest times, but withdrew to join faster team-mates. That allowed Duncan and Simon's McLaren and Jean and Ash's BMW to sneak onto the grid.

Oliver and Ryan qualified their Mercedes AMG top of the B final, just ahead of Andy and Matthew's Aston Martin. However, it was Jean and Ash's Team Brasil BMW that led the first half of the race. After the driver change-over, Andy got ahead of both Jean and Simon before a track short cut the race in two. The final two minutes were run from where the cars had stopped, the top three finishing in the same order, with Terry and Jerome's Aston Martin a lap back and Oliver and Ryan in fifth.

A bit of weather - sun to damp to wet - was added to the RCS64 simulation for the feature race. Gary and Peter's Porsche was on pole, ahead of Alex and Dean's McLaren and Mike and Oli's Mercedes. They were joined by the top three from the B final. The first half of the race was in the dry and Gary took full advantage, leading Dean and Oli to the pit stops. The rain started just as the one-minute driver-change window closed, some drivers immediately returning to the pits for wet weather tyres, others bravely staying out - the track was getting pretty slippery on the wrong tyres.

With five minutes to go, Alex was in front of Peter - the Porsche recovering from a long pit stop. Despite the delay, they were still on the same lap and Mike was driving hard to catch them. The top three were all on Intermediates, the other three cars on Wets. Jean was in fourth, Duncan in fifth and Andy sixth after an extra pit stop. Mike and Alex would both need to pit one more time, but Peter might just make it to the end. It was a tense final minute as Peter came very close to overhauling the McLaren for the win. But it wasn't to be... A very excited Alex and Dean took the chequered flag and headed to victory lane. Mike and Oli were a comfortable third, one lap back, with Jean and Ash fourth - a further five laps adrift - and Matthew and Andy hauling themselves up to fifth.

Goodwood Revival St Mary's Trophy Pairs Race

A second Revival-themed race of the day borrowed the popular St Mary's Trophy pairs format where each driver drives one 15 minute heat each and the two lap scores are added up. The St Mary's Trophy race is run at the Revival with a saloon car grid (as it will be at WHO next September), but this time there was a wide range of cars, mostly sports prototypes, plus one E-Type Jaguar and a big Ford Galaxie - both wonderful George Turner models built by Mike.

Dean and Alex were driving a Scalextric Ferrari 330 P4 and it was Dean who set the best score of 65.50 laps in Heat One, Terry driving his Chaparral 2F to second place with 63.50 laps. Heat Two saw Alex add another 68 laps to the Ferrari's score and Ash adding 63.75 to the Chaparral's - leaving both cars top of the pile with just one heat to go. The leading two pairs had to watch on as Mike drove his Jaguar superbly in Heat Three, finishing on a massive 68.25 laps. Added to Jean's score of 64.25 in the second heat, that gave them a total just one lap shy of the Ferrari's - Alex and Dean had done it again! Gary also put on a great show with the Galaxie, his score of 66.50 being the third best of the entire race and - added to Peter's heat score - put them in third place, just ahead of the Chaparral.

Ryan and Oliver did a great job to bring the Carrera Ferrari 365 P2 home in fifth, ahead of Oli's Scalextric Ford GT40 MkII that he shared with Andy. Matthew and Jerome finished seventh with Dean's Fly Lola T70 and Simon and Duncan had a frustrating time having to fix their Fly GT40 MkII. Next September, some of these cars will run in the Whitsun Trophy race, whereas the St Mary's Trophy pairs race will be for saloon cars only.

BTCC Race Three

The dreaded reverse-grid BTCC race was a cracker. The finishing positions of Race Two were reversed so Andy started last in the C final, together with the rest of the Race Two top six. At least, that's the theory. With Jerome joining the fray, he started at the back, with Oli bumped up to the B final, a space being freed up by Ryan heading off to watch the football...

The top drivers of the day battling for the two spots to get out of the C final is always very entertaining. This was no exception. All six cars were in with a shout - Mike, Gary Andy, and Simon all leading during the first half of the race. Mike thought he had it until he crashed out heavily, letting Andy through, although - on full ballast - he soon crashed too. Gary grabbed the lead with Simon close behind and they stayed error-free to the line, clinching the two step-up spots. Andy and Mike followed on the same lap, with Peter and Jerome two laps behind the winner.

The B final was another frantic race. After four laps Alex led, followed by Gary, Simon, Jean and Oli - all on the same lap. By half distance, the order was the same, but Alex and Gary had stretched the gap to third place, both driving flat-out. Then it started getting a bit messy. An off for Alex dropped him to third behind Gary and Simon, before Simon inherited the lead ahead of Alex and Gary... On the next lap Alex took the lead again and on the following lap Gary fought his way ahead of Simon into second. With just one lap to go, the top four - with Oli in fourth - were covered by just over half a lap.

Leading down the main straight on the final lap, Alex de-slotted going into the corner - maybe ten feet from the finish line - allowing Gary to slip past and grab the narrowest of wins. Alex crossed the line in second, with Simon third, Oli fourth and Jean fifth - all finishing on the same lap. Alex was gutted, but he did have that precious step-up into the A final. Could he convert it into a win?

Oliver and Ash started on the A final front row. Oliver was quickly caught and passed by Gary and Alex, but Ash led the first three laps. Gary was in hot pursuit and passed the MG just before the end of the fourth lap. By half distance Gary held a decent lead over Alex, with Matthew, Oliver and Ash in a very close battle for third. A slip up by the leader let Alex through on lap ten, but Gary was back in front just two laps later. It was now Matthew and Ash battling for third, a lap back from the leaders. And that's how it stayed - Gary bringing home a second BTCC win of the day and extending his lead in the championship. Matthew grabbed the final place on the podium, but Ash was certainly getting to grips with the MG - expect more from him next time.

That was the end of the racing. A rapid tear-down finished just in time for the church to serve tea and coffee for their Saturday night service and for us racers to head home and reflect on the day's action. A very big thank you to everyone who came along and took part - especially to the set-up crew, race control team, those who stayed to pack away and especially to Simon for feeding us so spectacularly well. Massive thanks goes to Mike for the loan of his magnificent Scalextric digital kit and for the inspiration to try out digital racing at the Barn back in 2014 - without all that there would be no WHO/digital. We'll be back with more in November.

- Andy P

After the event, you’ll be able to click on the logos to watch the video and follow the discussion.