A slightly better than expected, 12 racers, turned out on a very snowy and icy morning at LSCC. We welcomed Lucy Cleave to her very first Area Round, whilst Nick Thrower was attending his first area round of the 2009 season. Unfortunately the Wellingborough racers were unable to attend due to previous Retro Racing commitments. The snow left ideal opportunities for messages to be left for fellow racers on arrival. Greg’s witty message to James, questioned his preferences, insulting Yvonne in the process!
With the attendance of Lucy, we would now have a race for the production points at this round. A 4x2 minute segmented race would decide the winner. With concentration age and recent experience behind him, Stephen was victorious, taking a maximum score once again. Interestingly he drove a JK production, Falcon 7 car and Lucy drove a PARMA production car with a Falcon 5 motor, which usually serves as an LSCC club car.
With the production race over, Lucy departed and we awaited the arrival of David Austin, Franz having arrived in the nick of time to marshal the production event. The heats were arranged with David in the last 2 to allow proceedings to get underway with the usual format, similar to the 1/32 BOC series, of 2 heats, best to count, into segmented, win from any final, 4x3 minutes.
The LSCC computer made sure that Paul Harwood received the best possible combination of heats and fellow drivers, including a 3 man race. Great things were promised from Paul H, on his visit to the club at the last club night before the area round! We waited to see what would happen. In the heats, the outside lanes proved to be very slippery. This was probably caused by a combination of happenings, including the cancellation of the previous club night, low temperatures and lack of fresh rubber being applied in practice.
After the heats, it was no surprise that club regulars, James, Ian and Paul H topped the field. 4th to 7th positions were covered by only 25/100ths of a lap. This left Mark Harwood in the A and relegated Nick, Paul Austin and Greg to the B final. They would be joined by Franz, to make an interesting race of it. With no practice and no chance to get into the racing, David A ended up in the C final with Tony Ryder and Stephen.
In the first segment of the C final, David A blitzed the rest, by moving 3 laps clear. Stephen had gear trouble after only 3 laps and was going to retire, but was persuaded to fix the problem and attempt to return, as anything could happen in this format of racing. He would fix his car in time to return for the 3rd segment and nursed it to the end. Meanwhile, in the second segment, Tony Ryder made his move and held David Austin, to keep the gap at 3 laps. During the 3rd segment David Austin slowed, experiencing strange happenings with the handling of his car and handed Tony a sizable lead, which he was never to loose. David retired in the 4th segment. The cause of his retirement can be seen in the photo gallery. He still managed to complete more laps than Stephen, but would anyone else suffer problems later on?
The B final started out with a much faster pace. All drivers were on course to beat Tony’s time. Greg lead the field by a lap but the race behind was very close. At half distance Greg had slipped back and the first 3 drivers were all together with Franz only 2 laps behind. Greg now made his move and started to get quicker, dragging Nick along with him. Going into the final segment, the top 3 were within a lap of each other on the track. A hard fought final 3 minutes would see Greg get faster again, and Nick Thrower loose time in an attempt to catch him. Paul Austin would come home half a lap behind Nick, with Franz having a bad last lane run and ending up 11 laps down on Greg.
With promises made and great expectations, the A Final got underway. James got a lead on the field, but threw it away with a few offs, allowing Ian to catch up, but the first 3 were on course to match, or beat, Greg’s score. Only Paul H would be struggling at this stage. Mark H managed 9 laps in the second segment, a stripped gear had to be fixed before he could continue. The curse of Blue lane also struck Ian and he dropped back with numerous excursions to the barrier and copious amounts of time in marshal’s hands. All of this resulted in a 3 lap lead for James, over a recovering Paul H. Going into the last segment, only James and Paul could beat Greg. Paul was equal to Greg’s score, but Greg had set his fasted segment at the end, so would Paul be able to match him, or would Greg end up victorious once again over Paul. Paul put up a good fight, but as the power went off, he was still 29 parts behind Greg’s score. Greg’s LSCC BOC winning car would prove to be Paul’s nemesis once again! James also set the fasted run of the day in his last section, with 35 laps, to run out as the winner, using the same car he used at Wellingborough.
With a couple of 3 minute heats each to decide on lane choice for 3, 5 minute semi-finals, with only the top 4 getting to the overall final, this class always gets the pulses racing.
With the best single run counting. It was no surprise that the World Champion and the National Champion topped the qualification order. Ian Fisher and Mark Harwood were just behind. Paul H was in 5th, nearly a lap down on “saloon slow bro”. Tony had put in a good performance to qualify 7th of the area 6 runners.
As Paul Austin was the only area 10 racer present, it was decided to give him last choice for the area 6 semis, rather than a 5 minute race on his own! This left Franz with the choice of a middle lane, which would prove to serve him very well. James set the pace in the first semi with Mark not too far behind. David A was improving all the time in 3rd and Paul A retired after 15 laps having gained the area 10 win! In the second semi final, Greg chose to run a Brian Church blag and later reported the car as the worst F1 he had ever driven! This left Franz to cruise round to a win, but only half a lap up on David’s score. Could anyone in the 3rd semi go any better? Ian, Paul, Nick and Stephen would hope so. It wasn’t long before the drama unfolded. Only 9 laps in, Paul H’s gear stripped and he quickly dashed off to his box to fix it. Meanwhile, Ian was pulling clear of Nick. Paul returned with a car that sounded quite whizzy, compared to when it started the race. It was even commented by Greg that it sounded like a new car. Paul would not want to be beaten once again by Nationals Bro. At the end of the 5 minutes, the qualifying positions were very close. Paul admitted to changing car and would therefore receive the lap score he attained with the original car (9 laps). Even after a disastrous semi, Greg would beat Paul for the second time in as many classes. So, the finalists would be James (55.94), Ian (53.80), Mark (53.76) and Franz (48.60). 4th, 5th and 6th place were only covered by half a lap and Nick managed to beat David by 2/100ths. Paul H would finish last, just behind Greg.
The final was all about the battle between Mark and Ian. Ian was quicker, but was falling off, Mark was lapping very consistently from Red lane. James built up a 4 lap lead, but could see Ian catching Mark again. James slowed his pace to allow Ian to catch Mark (Mark finishing 3rd would open up the F1 area championship), but the race controller stopped the race before James had crossed the line at 75 laps. Ian and Mark were separated by 1/100th in Ian’s favour. The race controller turned the power back on to allow James to finish the race, but Ian de-slotted at the next corner, allowing mark to re-pass! After a brief protest by Ian, all racers involved, agreed to give Ian second place on the grounds of dodgy race controlling! Franz seemed slightly overawed by his first Formula One final and struggled on Blue lane, but took 4th place overall, none the less.
Nick Thrower would not race in this class, which left the field depleted to 10 drivers. With a Southern 32 style format, it was decided that no matter how fast Paul Austin would go, he would have top choice in the C Final, so as not to affect the area 6 results and give the 9th place driver an extra run.
After a little setup advice from James, Mark Harwood would put 2 laps on his previous best time and end up second behind James. Greg, Paul and Ian were next up and were well clear of David, Franz and Paul Austin, who were quite close together. Tony and Stephen made up the rest of the places, but a 9th spot was all Stephen could now attain. Franz, Ian, David and Tony would fight it out for 5th place overall. True to qualifying form, Ian would take the win comfortably, but David and Franz were battling all the way. As the power went off, David just rolled past Franz to take 6th place by 1/100th of a lap! What an A Final line up? James verses the 3 Harwoods. Harwood pride was at stake and Paul would not want to be beaten again! Before the race, threats were made about face re-arranging and falls being induced, so we were in for a good fight! Early on in the race, Mark kept James very honest and they both pulled clear of Paul and Greg on the outside lanes. Which Harwood would finish 3rd? After 5 hard fought minutes, It was hard to believe, but Greg held off the challenge from Paul to beat him in every class! It is a shame that Paul always suffers some form of illness whenever he races at LSCC, otherwise he would beat us all!
Saloon A - Final
cars on the grid
Saloon C - Final
Cars on the grid
Franz was happy to
qualify for the Final
Formula One Final
Spot the Harwood!
After 2 rounds, the Saloon title has been decided. The Win goes to the current National Champion, James. He cannot be beaten now with 2 wins out of 2.
The Formula one title is still up for grabs, with Mark, Ian and James, all potential candidates. Franz currently lies in equal 4th with the National Champion. Who will win at NLSME? Ian must win to improve his score. James and Mark must both go for the win, depending on where Ian finishes. Greg or Paul could influence the championship by finishing in the top places. Can Franz upset the Harwoods and remain in the top 4?
Sports is also a close battle between Mark and James, but Greg has been setting the pace at NLSME recently, so could get a look in if he gets the win.
The final round is at NLSME on 8th March. Hope to see you all there. The BOC will be good practice for the area round for all the LSCC members if they are eligible to race!
James Cleave (Area 6 Coordinator)
Sports A - Final
cars on the grid
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Sports A - Final