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WHO Racing Modfied - April 2024
#1

   

Taking place on Wednesday 3 April, our next event falls in Easter week, so egg-spect some egg-stra prizes for the winners of all the finals and our overall race winner, top junior, top rookie and top Tuner (maybe a can of tuna?). As usual, doors open at 6.30pm for practice, heats start at 7 and we aim to finish by 9.30.

We return to one of Simon's best WHO Mod tracks, this one used previously in April 2018...

   

I think that's the first flyover since we returned after the pandemic. Hopefully Gareth retains the muscle memory - he won on that track six years ago.

WHO Mod is our fastest class - probably the fastest slot car racing on the south coast - with more standard hard-bodied cars competing for WHO Tuners honours.
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#2

Hope we get a few more Tuners competing this month.  As much as I enjoyed winning in January, it felt a little hollow! 

I might encourage Dylan to run his Mod tonight.
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#3

Race Report - Qualifying Heats

We welcomed 30 racers to the Barn for our Easter WHO Mod & WHO Tuners race...

   

Making their WHO debuts were Will and James, both racing in Tuners. We had Creme Eggs for all our finals winners (a full box of ten was required), plus a big egg for our race winner, top junior, top junior and top rookie...

   

Pete was also doing brisk business in the club shop - rookies Kevin and Ian both snapping up new cars for tonight's racing. It would be a very fast evening on one of Simon's classic WHO Mod tracks. With 19 Vipers on the grid and probably a dozen of those with the pace to challenge for pole position, it was always going to be a thrilling couple of hours of qualifying heats...

   

Andy immediately threw down the gauntlet with a 23.10 in blue, that staying the best until Keith hammered in a 25.05 in red. All four lanes were quick, but most drivers found something extra in red - and as we cycled through the drivers' first run, Isaac set an astonishing 25.30 lap score, which would no-one else would beat all night! His fastest lap of 4.252 seconds was also untouchable.

   

After two runs, Andy led Keith and Oliver - the three covered by just 0.3 of a lap. Isaac was a long way ahead of the other juniors, despite a disappointing second heat. Dexter was second running Mega-G+ club cars, ahead of Dylan's Life Like Tuner and  Ollie's Mod. Gareth was top Tuner and in amongst the tail end of the Vipers. Nathan was top rookie, just getting the better of debutants Will and James...

   

The second round of heats ramped up the excitement. After a cracking run in blue, Oliver went top by a quarter of a lap over Terry. Lurking less than a lap behind were Keith and Andy - and they had blue and red lanes to come. Terry jumped into pole after his third heat - a 23.90 on red - but that lead only lasted a few minutes as John went top by half a lap with his final heat - a 23.60 on red. Two heats later and Terry was back for his final run - a 22.45 on white put him ahead by 0.15 of a lap!

Keith and Oliver had their chance of pole in heat #28, Oliver in yellow and Keith in blue. Neither required anything special to jump ahead of Terry and John, but both blew it - Oliver stayed in third and Keith in fourth. Andy finished in the final heat. He needed 23.70 in red for pole. It was looking good, until he too failed at the final hurdle - caught up in other racers' drama. Like so many down the field, the top three at half way ended up wondering what could have been... but Terry and John had made all four lanes count.

   
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Top scorer Isaac had to make do with eleventh place - his gutter lane performance letting him down. Ollie recovered to be second-placed junior, but was faced by a daunting 3 step ups to be able to challenge Isaac for the junior medal. Gareth strolled to Tuners pole - his nearest challenger was top-rookie Will...

   

Next would be ten step-up finals, with two medals and fourteen Easter eggs awaiting the winners.
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#4

Race Report - Finals

Thirty on the grid meant ten step-up finals, with the bottom three qualifiers in the J Final...

   

Dexter (yellow) and Ray (white) kindly left Dylan with a choice of red or blue - and he happily took red. The younger Winslade also had the use of his dad's Life Like Tuners car, after his was decidedly off-colour in the heats. With the new car Dylan was unleashed - blasting off the line and leaving the two club cars in his wake...

   

After a careful first minute, Dylan found the Life Like's sweet spot and powered away - running without incident to the line. Ray held second until a lengthy off gave Dexter an opportunity... despite a first lap crash, the youngster drove a nice consistent race in yellow to grab that runner-up spot.

Dylan moved to yellow in the I Final, lining up against James in red, Kevin in blue and Russell in white...

   

And it was Dylan who thoroughly bossed his elders in this one. Another sensible start saw Dylan get to grips with the lane and gradually set some very rapid times. Behind him, Russell was left on the line and had to battle to get on terms with James and Kevin. James followed up a very consistent set of heats with a clean run in his final - you can't ask more than that on debut...

   

Meanwhile, Dylan was gone - a mid-race crash the only hiccup. James rolled in second, while Kevin and Russell had a bit of a crash-fest, Russell spending less time off-track and grabbing third place. Two finals done - that'll be two wins and two Creme Eggs for Dylan!

It was a switch to white lane for Dylan in the H Final. Nathan (red), Ozzy (blue) and Steve (yellow) knew they were up against an in-form racer...

   

It was another great start for Dylan, blasting off the line and leading the first lap. Ozzy's Mod Life Like was right behind him and Nathan had been super-consistent in the heats - so the pressure was on. Ozzy's challenge lasted two laps - an off on lap 3 dropping him to third. Steve had all sorts of issues - and he'd return a long way in arrears. So it was the rapid Dylan against a very steady Nathan and a recovering Ozzy for the win...

   

Although Ozzy's lexan-clad Life Like was quick, Dylan matched his lap times. Nathan was relying on them both getting over-excited and crashing. Ozzy would have one more crash before the end, but Dylan executed the perfect race to come home five laps ahead of Ozzy and eight ahead of Nathan. Steve did make it to the end, his car fixed.

Could Dylan make it four out of four in the G Final? He had two Mod cars to beat this time - Ollie in white and Gary in blue - plus top rookie Will in a rather unorthodox Tuners (we're always accommodating on someone's first night)...

   

Alas, Dylan binned it under the bridge on the first lap and a lengthy repair job ended his hopes of a fourth Creme Egg. Over in the other gutter, Ollie was determined to make up for an untypically awful qualifying. Banging in low 5-second laps and only one off, he led at half way. Behind was an intriguing father-son battle. Gary's car was quicker, but not that much quicker - any slip-ups and Will had a chance...

   

Gary did have more offs than Will - two to one - which wasn't enough for an upset. Gary came home a lap and a bit ahead of Will. However, nearly four laps out front was Ollie - securing a well-deserved win and a Creme Egg - but there would be no time to eat it yet...

Ollie swapped over to yellow for the F Final, where he'd again face that Life Like Porsche in red - this time in the hands of Gareth - and the Mod cars of Tracy (white) and Ash (blue)...

   

This was the first time Ash had raced his Viper and he was having an absolute blast. A bit of a wobbly start put him third behind Ollie and Gareth, but not by much. Gareth held his own against the Mods and must have fancied his chances of the win, but an off on lap 4 dashed those hopes. Ollie was the quickest car on track and he led the race at half way, Ash was second and Tracy third. An off for Ollie on lap 9 had bunched up the pack considerably, Gareth keeping touch on pace, but two laps behind...

   

Tracy had finally found a good rhythm and was closing in on Ash for second. Up front, Ollie must have been feeling some pressure too - a big crash handing the lead to Ash with five laps to go. Ash closed out the race without drama, but another off for Ollie dropped him behind Tracy and almost into the clutches of Gareth. No Creme Egg for Gareth, but he would get the big egg for top Tuner - also making it two wins from two in the Tuners championship.

Ash stepped up to white for the E Final. Rob was top qualifier and chose red, Mike blue and Daniel white...

   

Mike had the early advantage in this one, but Rob slowly reeled him in and made the pass on lap 7 - the two cars running in close formation. Ash dropped back with a lap 3 crash, Daniel inheriting third and lapping consistently, although a second or more off the pace of the leaders...

   

The battle at the front was utterly enthralling - Rob stretching his lead by a few thousandths most laps, but Mike occasionally trimming it back. It looked like a crash would decide this race, yet they were still going at it as the power was cut - Rob finishing just a tenth of a lap ahead! Ash has recovered to third, but a late off dropped him back behind Daniel.
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#5

Rob stepped up to yellow lane in a very fast-looking D Final - Deborah in red, Isaac in blue and Ryan white...

   

Keeping Isaac out of red lane was a good move, but he had the fastest Viper of the night and would be the one to beat. However, it was Rob that got round the first lap in the lead, Deborah going sub 5-seconds on lap two and going to the front. Isaac was right behind and on a very similar pace - mid 4-seconds. The front two gradually eased away from Rob and Ryan, Rob dropping back with a crash on lap 5. Isaac was a few hundredths of a second quicker each lap and eventually took the lead on lap eight...

   

Despite getting into the lead, Isaac still had a big job to do. Deborah was working hard to limit her losses, so when Isaac had the briefest of offs on lap 19, she was back through and into the lead. Could Deborah keep ahead on pace? Maybe, maybe not - we'll never know as a crash on the penultimate lap gifted the lead back to Isaac. Another off on the last lap sealed it - Isaac winning a thrilling race by just shy of two laps. Rob very nearly grabbed third after Ryan ran into some late-race issues, but finished 0.8 of a lap adrift.

Isaac stepped up to his unfavoured white lane in the C Final. He was up against Alex (blue), Pete (red) and Matthew (yellow), so had a tough task ahead...

   

A blistering first lap gave Isaac the lead of the race... but that was followed by an off - Alex now in first place, closely pursued by Pete and Matthew. This was shaping up to be another thriller, until Alex crashed out on lap 6. Nonetheless, Pete did have Matthew to worry about - just a few feet back and matching his lap times...

   

Pete's lead ebbed and flowed until Matthew binned it on lap 10 - that left Pete in firm control of the race. Not one to throw away a lead, Pete stayed focused and brought his Viper home without error. Good job too, as Alex fought back well, but that early crash cost him dear. Isaac beat Matthew to third.

Pete would have yellow lane in the B Final, a veritable roll-call of WHO champions with Keith in red, Andy in blue and Jerome in white...

   

Keith was quickest away, followed by Pete, Jerome and Andy. Whether there was damage from his last heat or not, Andy's Viper was struggling and he dropped to the back. At the front, Pete tried to keep Keith in his sights, but an off on lap 8 scuppered those plans. Jerome had a few offs himself, giving a fixed-up and recovering Andy an opportunity for third...

   

Andy would pass Jerome and then throw third place away with a late off. Meanwhile, Keith kept his nose clean and finished a lap ahead of Pete - without that early crash, it would have been much, much closer.

The top 4 qualifiers lined up in the A Final - Terry in red, John in blue, Oliver in white and Keith in yellow...

   

A cautious start saw Terry lead Keith, Oliver and John through the first lap. Keith crashed the second time round, leaving a three-way battle for the lead. John was the first driver to go sub 5-seconds, closing the gap on Terry and gradually dropping Oliver. It would be a titanic scrap between the cars in blue and red...

   

Oliver couldn't keep up the pace and a mid-race off dropped him out of contention. John kept pushing and the gap remained close - the two front-runners clocking almost identical lap times. As the finish loomed large, John made one last lunge - a few hundredths here and there wasn't going to be enough - but he overcooked it going into turn 2 and the crash wrecked his race - nearly 20-seconds lost to replace the rear axle. Terry was home and dry, Oliver second and Keith third. John limped home in fourth...

       

Huge congratulations to Terry on his second HO A Final win of the year and to Isaac on his first junior medal of 2024. Gareth won the Tuners race and - on debut - Will finished top of the rookies...

   

Here are all the stats from the finals...

   
Click the image to make it bigger.

And here are some video highlights of all the finals...




A very big thank you to everyone who came along and made our Easter race meeting so much fun. Special thanks goes to the set-up and race control teams and to everyone who stayed behind to pack away.

To make sure we finish as close to 9.30 as possible, we'll shift the start of practice to 6.15pm and aim to begin the heats at 6.45 from the next HO night on Wednesday 1 May. If that's going to be an issue for anyone, please let us know and we'll make sure you're on the race sheet.
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#6

Championship tables

At the halfway point of the WHO Mod / WHO Tuners season, these are the standings...

   

   

And we're also a third of the way through the combined HO season...

   

   

There one dropped score for the club and rookie competitions, no dropped scores for each of the classes.
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