Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

WHO GT Championship Round 3 - May 2024
#1

   

We are back at the Barn just a few days after the UK Slot Car Festival for the third round of our WHO/digital GT Championship. This will be another 500 lap team endurance race, which should last about 2 hours...

   

Our six Gold-rated drivers lead the teams, assisted by a deputy (or two) - Ash will be captaining WHAM! Racing this time in the absence of Jeremy - and Dean will be deputising for Alex at Astone Mosdell, who will be back for the championship decider in June...

   

Sidewinder are expected to race a third different sidewinder car - although we'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out which one. Astone Mosdell may run their first choice McLaren or could revert to the Vantage GT3 they raced last time out.

The track this time is Simon's superb O'Connor layout...

   

There have been a few tweaks since last year, but we have the same fast & flowing circuit and lots of overtaking to look forward to.

Doors open at 6.30pm for practice, Superpole qualifying is scheduled for 7-ish and the race will start at 7.15. Race fees are £3 (£2 for under-16s), although racers must have completed at least one Nascar & Legends event to qualify as a GT driver. We have another pair of these introductory evenings coming up in July and August.
[+] 4 members Like woodcote's post
Quote
#2

Race Report

Twenty-three drivers were divided into five teams of four and one team of three to tackle 500 laps on Simon's O'Connor layout...

   

We were missing three of our team captains - Dean deputising for Alex at Astone Mosdell, Simon leading Smooth Operators - and providing the car - with Ryan at the football, and Jeremy passed on the WHAM! Racing Bentley to Ash as he headed off on holiday...

   

As always, each Pro-Am team needed at least one Bronze driver - and those Am drivers had to complete half of the six 20-minute stints. We kept to established line-ups, with a few changes - Matthew and Stephen going to bolster WHAM! and Scott joining his third team of the season...

   


After half an hour of practice, we had Super-Pole qualifying...

   

Six drivers - three of them team captains - went hell for leather over two minutes to set a fastest lap time...

   

Congratulations to Ollie on a second consecutive pole position - and for being the only driver to manage a sub-11-second lap...

   

That set us up very nicely for the race - 500 laps should be taking around 2 hours...
[+] 3 members Like woodcote's post
Quote
#3

And here are some video highlights of the race...



Three cars with serious issues and three teams finishing within 5 laps of each other in a tense battle for the win...


   

A full race recap will follow on Friday.
[+] 1 member Likes woodcote's post
Quote
#4

First things first...  and there was much relief amongst the rookies when the WHO weather dice determined the race would be run in dry conditions from start to finish. Of course, that would only remove one element of the strategy - the race might still be won and lost in the pits - but it does make for an easier driving experience. All six who qualified the cars took the first 20-minute stint, with Simon leading after ten minutes for Smooth Ops, just ahead of Ollie and Oliver driving for Sidewinder and Gearzilla respectively. Already, one car had dropped out of the running - the Astone Mosdell had looked quick, but stopped on its 32nd lap - Dean took the car off track and Mike got his soldering iron fired up for the first time of the night. Meanwhile, we saw the first tyre stops of the race, with the teams pushing hardest coming in first...

   

Astone Mosdell were back underway by the end of the stint, but had lost over 50 laps. As the new drivers got ready to drive, Simon brought in the Smooth Ops Mercedes 5 laps ahead of Oliver and Alex for Gearzilla and Écurie Escargot, with Ollie a further three laps back for Sidewinder. The WHAM! Bentley was 13 laps off the leaders and not sounding as good as it should.

Smooth Ops' Aussie star Mark took the second stint and was up against Kev (Gearzilla), Daniel (Écurie Escargot), Rob (Sidewinder), Matthew (WHAM!) and Isaac (Astone Mosdell). Isaac was making up for lost time with the patched-up McLaren, matching Rob as the fastest man on track. The WHAM! Bentley was sounding rougher and rougher - probably the gears out of mesh. Mike was busy again, getting the body off and having a good look around. Nothing obvious stood out and the car was back out - only to come in again a few laps later. More work by Mike saw the car drop to the back of the field - the Bentley could continue, but not at racing speed...

   

By the end of the stint, Smooth Ops retained the overall race lead and a 5-lap gap - but the second-placed car was now Sidewinder, Rob having jumped both Gearzilla and Écurie Escargot. Gearzilla were now nine laps off the lead and the Escargots twelve laps. Despite the best score of the stint for Isaac, Astone Mosdell were 53 laps off the lead and 2 laps ahead of WHAM!

However, 5 minutes into the third stint and Astone Mosdell had retired from the race. Steve had completed just two laps when the McLaren stopped out on circuit. It was the same issue as before - a broken wire to the guide. Mike and Dean looked closely - and then decided it was not worth another repair attempt. The McLaren was out - although Race Control allowed the team to circulate with another car, but their laps wouldn't count. The WHAM! Bentley continued, Mike McCann starting a long double-stint at not much more than half-speed - that seemed to keep pinion and spur gear in contact, although creating a mobile chicane for the other drivers. If nothing else, the Bentley certainly gave our newer drivers some overtaking practice!

   

Scott was driving the lead Smooth Ops car and probably didn't enjoy having to negotiate the Bentley in his way - similarly for Ethan with the other Mercedes. However, for WHO digital veterans like Mike (Sidewinder) and John (Écurie Escargot), they remained fully-focussed. The Aston Martin was the quickest car on track, eating up the ground to the cars in front and John finished the stint on the same lap as the new leaders, Sidewinder. Smooth Ops were just a lap back, but Gearzilla were now 12 laps off the lead as the cars came in for their third driver change of the race - probably a smidgeon over halfway.

Écurie Escargot took no fuel or tyres on their driver change, so came out leading the race. Andy quickly settled into a rhythm, ahead of Ollie (Sidewinder), Nathan (Smooth Ops) and Terry (Gearzilla). The lead reverted back to Sidewinder when the Aston Martin pitted, but it looked like we were in for a cracking four-way race for the win. Sadly for Écurie Escargot, four became three. The Aston Martin stopped with yet another broken guide wire - the third race in a row for the team. Surely time for a complete re-wire before next month.

   

The Aston would return - thanks to Mike's soldering iron - just before the end of the stint, having lost around 35 laps. At the front, Ollie stretched Sidewinder's lead to eight laps over Smooth Ops, with Terry having moved Gearzilla to just two laps off second place. That left the top three covered by ten laps. Would they all last to the end, or join the other three on the scrapheap?

The fifth stint saw the race develop further. Sidewinder's lead was in Rob's usually solid hands, but he couldn't match the pace of either Oliver (Gearzilla) or Simon (Smooth Ops). In a fabulous 20-minutes of racing, the gaps closed right down. Drivers still had a slow WHAM! Racing Bentley to get round, but Alex for the Escargots and Isaac in the Astone Mosdell Aston Martin were right up on the pace of the leaders...

   

As we approached the final driver change of the race, Rob handed a one-lap lead to Mike, Oliver having a stellar stint to put Gearzilla second and Simon giving the Smooth Ops Mercedes to Mark five laps off the lead. And it looked like the dash to the line wouldn't be too far short of a full 20-minutes...

   

The first business of the final stint was for Sidewinder to serve their third success penalty stop. Twenty seconds seemed like an age for Mike, Ollie and Rob - and their Gulf Mercedes would exit the pits in third place. It was crazy close at the front - the win was anyone's and it would come down to driver skill, pit stops and a bit of luck. With fifty laps to go, Mark had Smooth Ops in the lead - not quite a lap ahead of Mike. Kev was two laps back in the second Mercedes, but had more fuel and much fresher tyres than his two rivals...

   

Behind, the Bentley was still circulating after more time in the pits and the Écurie Escargot Aston needed a final patch-up to get it to the end - they would finish fourth and fifth. Thirty laps to go and the battle up front was intensifying - Mark had stretched the lead to a lap and Mike was nearly out of fuel and tyres. Kev still sat in third and with the advantage of being able to pit very late, if at all. Mike's final pit stop dropped him nearly four laps behind Mark as he changed to soft tyres and splashed in some fuel - but had he cut it too fine? Mike certainly drove hard out of the pits, keeping just ahead of Kev - and then all eyes were on the race screen when the Smooth Ops Mercedes made its final stop of the race with ten laps to go...

   

Mark exited the pits on the same lap as Mike, but importantly he had the lead and a 10-second gap. Kev was not much further behind. Mark was under huge pressure on that ten-lap run to the line, but he kept his cool. An error by Mike gave Mark the cushion of a lap lead - and also gave Kev the sniff of runner-up spot. That chance for Gearzilla was thwarted, but the three drivers still gave us probably the closest finish we've seen in a WHO GT race at the Barn...

   

Huge congratulations to a delighted Smooth Ops team of Simon, Mark, Nathan and Scott...

       

       

       

Thank you to Marc and Ric for giving us a Slot Car Magazine for each of the drivers.

Sidewinder and Gearzilla will be a little disappointed to miss out on the win, but do still sit first and second in the championship table...

   

There's double points in June for the longer 4 hour Suzuka 1000. The other three teams have wounds to lick and cars to mend, but you'd reckon that all three will be back on form and contending for the win next month.

Here are all the stint stats for the May race...

   
*I've included the Astone Mosdell data, even though they had retired their race car and were just running for fun.

And that's it for another cracking WHO GT race. A big thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a fun and competitive evening. Special thanks goes to the set-up crew and everyone who stayed behind to pack away, plus the race control team and to Mike's solder shop.

   

We're back on Saturday 22 June with our 2024 Suzuka Spectacular. We have changed the format slightly, so please take note...
  • Out goes the GT club car rotation and in comes the DiSCA GT4 pairs race.
  • For 2024, cars should be prepared to WHO GT Championship regs and should not be the cars running in the main race. Some loaners are available.
  • The race will be run to the St Mary's Trophy format - each driver of the pair runs a 10-minute race and the scores are added.
  • Doors open at 10am for practice. The GT pairs race begins at 10.45. Super-pole for the Suzuka 1000 is scheduled for 12.15, followed immediately by the race.
An updated 2024 WHO Guide pdf is available here.
[+] 3 members Like woodcote's post
Quote


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread / Author Replies Views Last Post
Last Post by BARacer
21st-Apr-24, 06:50 AM

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)