The First round of the HSC Slotworx Porsche Cup Sprint Series for 2020 got underway this last Saturday and attracted 12 Starters, which was a pleasing number, although I fear that those numbers were somewhat 'inflated' by quite a few of Our 'Southern Brethren', who were Keen to get a 'run' on the Small track, prior to the upcoming National Enduro this Next weekend,.. I guess only time will tell, but was Great to see them 'Up for a Race'.
Hopefully the Great racing will provide an impetus to return for More Racing in the future rounds !!
There were a few regulars (from the previous series), seemingly 'missing in Action'.
The Series instigator (Wayne Bramble), would appear to No longer be racing Anything,.. (due to personal reasons) and Cody was racing 'Wing 12's last night !!??
In preparation for this race, I had Re-Fitted what I believed to be My Quicker Motor from the previous season and was (initially), slightly disturbed (whilst quickly doing a few Laps), that (compared to some others'), it Didn't seem to be that quick
I resisted the urge to change motors though and as I discovered whilst turning some laps prior to the start that it was probably just Me, (being a bit rusty) from lack of track time since last years racing.
One thing I DID happen to notice, (whilst sitting & observing those practicing), was How Quick and Quiet Jon V's Cup car was.
During last years Series, John and his car were constantly Improving and from what I was seeing during practice (and what transpired in the Race), would certainly seem that he is Still Improving !!!,..
With the track in seemingly great condition and the Weather (If But a wee bit 'Steamy'), almost perfect for Slot car racing,.. we got underway,.. with an Interesting Random 'Mix' of the entrants across the Scheduled 2 x Heats of 4 x Minutes on each lane, slightly Reduced from the 5 x Minutes per lane we ran last year ??
Not sure Why really, as Whilst 4 minutes is OK, 5 minutes, is a Goodly Bracket time for these cars and does tend to both make it a bit more of a challenge, whilst also allowing one some time to Re-Work one's Race,... but I digress.
Benno', Clinton, Dale, John V, Vito and myself lined up for the start,.. of what turned out to be a really Fantastic and Very Fast race,.. especially between John and myself !!
It was funny that having been discussing Starting Procedures and Styles with John prior to the start and commenting on How it IS good to be first into the first corner (if you can manage it) and to try to set a Brisk early pace, Can at times allow you to 'get a break' on the competition,.. and that IS Exactly what John Did !!!!
John, myself and initially Clinton, were circulating quickly, ahead of the rest of the pack, with eventually both Ben and Dale moving slightly ahead, to have 1st through 5th All being separated by 1 x lap Each at the end of the Bracket,.. with John in 1st and as it transpired, managing to Hold that 1st place for quite a number of brackets !!!
He was driving very well and his car was Damn quick !! Whatever he had done/changed in setting up and tuning it at his local raceway certainly seemed to be working well !!!
John managed to slightly increase his lead over myself, as I went onto both Purple and Black, the 'Gap' getting to 5 laps at the end of the 4ht bracket, (but John had Yet to run on Purple and Black).
After running in a seemingly comfortable 3rd since the start, Benno' Obviously had some 'issues' on Purple (a crash and journey to the floor Not helping,..lol), which dropped him to 5th with Dale starting to get 'into the groove' with his Re-fettled car and turning some good lap times.
Clinton had also passed Benno' to grab 4th and Vito (at this stage bringing up the rear), simply wanting to do Laps and get more track time prior to next weeks Enduro etc but realistically, doing OK against quite a Quality field.
Benno's 'issues' seem to have continued on Black, as Vito also passed him in the fifth bracket to take 5th (although Benno' Did turn 37 on Yellow), but withdrew and did Not run for the last 2 x brackets, as he was obviously Not having a great deal of fun with his perhaps 'less than Ideal' car.
Up front, the 'Battle' between John and myself was continuing and getting Closer, as John moved onto Purple and Black, with a slightly disappointing 36 on Black, allowing me to Move ahead by 2 x laps and take the lead at the end of the 6th bracket, Dale motoring along very nicely now was a further 5 laps behind and Holding down 3rd with Clinton 4th and Vito 5th,.. places they would all Hold till the End.
John was still Motoring along Extremely Quickly and most definitely keeping me VERY Honest John actually set the Quickest times in 5 of the brackets, but I managed to put in My Quickest laps on both White and Red and finish with a couple of 42's to help keep John 'at bay', finishing Only 2 laps up, with Both of us doing great overall lap totals and (as will be seen below), the Only Two to get into the 320's on the Night.
All in all a Truly Fantastic and Extremely enjoyable Battle and for myself a somewhat Unexpected outcome,.. Very Satisfying and congrats and well done to Both John and Dale !!!!
In this heat we had Darryl, Jake, JJ, Charles, Rodney and Mark, which should by all accounts, have proven to provide a very fast race,.. which it certainly seemed to be,.. especially in the first few brackets, with Mark's 'theoretical' Total showing as 326 !! (Am personally quite glad he did Not manage to achieve that total,.. ).
Foxy took off at the start and was setting a very quick 'Pace', closely followed by an Increasingly hard charging Darryl, doing his best to keep Mark Honest and actually catching him and taking the lead by 3 laps at the end of the 4th bracket, after mark's sojourn on Purple and Black although Darryl had yet to run on those 2 x lanes.
Jake had started on Purple and was seemingly quickly settling in to a good Pace as well, but was perhaps a bit 'rusty' himself, after Not doing much driving / racing and perhaps having a few too many Unforced errors initially, as his car certainly seemed quite quick,.. being 5th at the halfway point.
JJ, was also running quite well, but was having a few Offs that weren't helping his overall lap totals but was holding a solid 3rd, until around the 5th and 6th brackets, when Jake moved into 3rd and held a Slim lead over JJ, of 1 or 2 laps till the end.
Charles, (perhaps a bit like Vito), was simply Motoring along at his own pace doing consistent laps and times in Prep for next week's Enduro and basically held down 5th from the halfway point till the End.
Poor old Rodney, had a Disastrous time of it in the 2nd bracket when on Green,.. with a Rear Wheel that Fell Off and somehow Would Not (at least initially), Stay On !! requiring a number of Visits to the Pits to finally bring about a cure and keep it attached for the remainder of the race, but after turning Only 5 laps on Green, any chance of a decent finish on the night had literally Run,... or Rolled,.. lol Out the Door,.. lol
Up front, Mark and Darryl were having a serious and very close race, in a similar fashion to John and myself, with Darryl JUST managing to Hold onto his lead and 1st place, but with them at worst Only a single lap apart !! Mark's car appeared to have 'visually' Slowed at one stage, with (as it turned out) a bit of the Body at the front 'binding' one of the front wheels after a bit of a 'bingle' and Visit to the Floor, which probably Hindered his ability to get a break on Darryl,.. but that said, Darryl was doing his usual jib of driving extremely well, and with a car the certainly seemed to have gotten quicker as the race progressed.
He managed to keep his lead over mark when on Purple and Black and set quickest time of the Night on Black, to eventually finish 1 lap Up on Mark.
Once again, a particularly enjoyable Event at HSC, with some really good racing and social atmosphere amongst all the Racers.
Thanks to James and all at HSC for the Great Track 'Prep' once again,.. a Good Night was I think,.. pretty much had by All.
I only Hope we can Keep the Good numbers Up for this great series, as we move forward into the Year.
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