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WHO Digital Tin Top Saturday - 18 November 2023

Muscle Car Mondiale

The final action of the day was a favourite class for many - the single-driver Muscle Car Mondiale format, offering a vast choice of Scalextric tin tops from the 50s through to the late 80s. With three 10-minutes heats and a shorter-format 5-minute shoot-out, it's a great way to end a Saturday. Heats were seeded from the morning's club car rotation, giving the chance for the winner and runner-up from each heat to qualify for the shoot-out. No weather changes for this one, but we did run a Damp track to match conditions outside...


Duncan had to head off early and Pete decided just to marshal, giving us us 16 drivers - two heats of five and one full heat of six. The first heat saw three new cars - Simon's Aston Martin V8 and two BMW M3s for Dylan and Daniel - up against a pair of 1971 Chevy Camaros in the hands of Mike and Dean...


Simon's Aston looked good from the start, but started sounding rather rough. He persevered, but decided to call it a day about half way through and concentrate on developing it more for next time. That left Dean leading Mike by a couple of laps, Daniel third and Dylan at the back, finding the BMW a handful. Dylan had definitely mastered those pit stops, so a successful first digital event! In the second half of the heat, Mike trimmed Dean's lead by a lap, those two qualifying for the shoot-out. Daniel was third and Dylan finished on the same number of laps as the retired Aston of Simon.


Heat two was the full grid and there were lots of familiar cars - Matthew's orange Camaro, Rob's Javelin, Ryan's borrowed '69 Camaro, Terry's Javelin, Stephen's veteran Cougar - plus a new Bastos Camaro Z28 for Jeremy. This race developed into a four-way battle for the lead between Ryan, Rob, Matthew and Jeremy - the other two never quite on the pace and Stephen retiring the Cougar. At halfway, it looked good for Ryan in the lead - but Jeremy had work to do in fourth. At three minutes to go, the one-two was Ryan and Jeremy, but the Bastos Camaro was out of tyres... Final pit stops - and a beautifully-executed splash & dash for the Javelin - put Rob just ahead of Ryan, with Jeremy third and Matthew now a couple of laps back. Ryan pushed hard and somehow passed Rob to take the win - but both went through to the 5-minute feature.


The third heat looked like a walk in the park for Alex - at least until Andy got into a decent rhythm in his Javelin and pegged the gap to a lap. Gareth was super-quick in the Camaro IROC he'd borrowed from Alex, if only he could have strung some consistent laps together! In the end, Alex finished on a monster 45 laps - the best score of the heats. Andy was a lap back, those two qualifying for the shoot-out. Ash was an excellent third with his borrowed '69 Camaro, Gareth fourth and Ollie fifth - also very quick in his 1971 Camaro. Indeed, Alex and Ollie had the only sub-11 second laps of all three heats.


Mike enjoyed giving the shoot-out cars a last once-over for the final 5-minutes racing of the day. He particularly liked Alex's Camaro, but it was a good-looking grid of American Muscle. Alex and Andy started on the front row, thanks to having the highest heat scores...


Dean and Mike were next, with a pair of '71 Camaros...


Last, but not least, were Rob and Ryan...


Always a little more frantic than the heats, the shoot-out was an incredibly close battle. Alex got his nose in front, Mike and Andy scrapping for second - and the other three never far off. In the end pit strategy paid off, Andy jumping Mike with a long first stint and a splash & dash. For a moment he though he was right behind Alex, but there was still a lap between them. Alex took another medal, adding to a substantial haul for the day. Andy and Mike joined him on the podium, with Rob fourth, Dean fifth and Ryan in sixth...


Some great racing, big scores and - most importantly - a lot of fun...

Click image to make it bigger.

So ended a truly action-packed day of a mind-boggling 36 races! With no off-track programming, it was all rather exhausting - so huge thanks to the Race Control and start-line crews of Ash, Andy, Stephen, Mike, Ollie and Rob for their skilled and unflappable work to keep the action running smoothly. The rotation started 10 minutes late and we finished the day at 5pm -  just 15 minutes behind schedule. Not bad. Thanks also goes to the set-up crew and to all those who stayed to help pack away.

We were already looking at reducing the amount of racing at a Tin Top Saturday by making the rotation a pairs race. However, on reflection, we've made the decision to drop the club car rotation from the November and December events, extend the practice session and start with the Group A team race. That loosens up the day, keeps the really cool stuff and gives us a slot for the Carrera Classic Nascars.

This is Mike & Andy's proposed schedule for 16 December and - if it works - to be tweaked for the 2024 Tin Top Saturdays...


Another postscript is that the shorted-out foogadgets Car ID Programmer wasn't damaged, just rather deranged by over-enthusiastic use! It has now been successfully returned to factory settings and is ready for action. However, we will go back to restricting its use solely to Mike and Andy on the Race Control table.
[+] 4 members Like woodcote's post

I meant to say at the time, but got distracted. Ollie Bean's speed during the MCM heat we raced in together was incredible. Looking at the lap times shows just how fast Ollie was. Very impressive.

[+] 2 members Like eToad's post


And I have spent the evening in the workshop trying to find 3 seconds a lap improvement in my car in order to try and get a bit closer to you guys!

I love puttering with gears
[+] 2 members Like BARacer's post

I really want to get a European car sorted for MCM… I have an XJ-S and a Capri, but the new Rover might have more potential. However, that Javelin - which was almost undriveable out of the box - has been so much fun to develop into a consistent runner-up, I’m not sure I want to give up on it just yet.

Having said that, it was the second slowest car in the heat - Alex, Gareth and Ollie all quicker over a lap. It’s laps completed that count though - and only Alex’s Camaro was better than the Javelin across all three heats and the shoot-out. I think it’ll have one last shot at glory next month.
[+] 2 members Like woodcote's post

Having seen the Bastos Camero at Goodwood, I reckon that counts as an honoury European car. 

But a competative XJS would be a great addition to the grid...

I love puttering with gears
[+] 1 member Likes BARacer's post

Think I have sorted it out...roll on December 16th!


I love puttering with gears

IROC Camaro looks great...shame it's inline

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers

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