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2013 Area Championship - Round 1 (Luton Slot Car Club)
Sunday 9th December saw the start of this seasons Area 6 Championship to determine who would qualify for the 1/32nd National Championships 2013.

Concours got us underway and it was judged by Mrs Clements, who had brought her two sons along (Chris and Nick) for the first time to an Area 6 qualifier, and very welcome they were to.
This was won by Richard Hills from the Luton Club with a very well presented and turned out Shadow DN6 Can Am car.

You can see the pictures here.

Production
Production was the first racing class and with just the 4 competitors, it was a straight segmented final to determine who would take the spoils.
Chris Clements from The Rockingham club with his ex Harwood Racing prepared Falcon Production car, took the lead from the start and never really looked back, taking victory by 4 laps from Richard Hills, who in turn was 4 ahead of David Hackforth and trailing a little, due to earlier problems, Nick Clements.

Saloon
Next up Saloon, and after some impressive lappery in practice by James , it was all about who could stay with him and give him a run for his money.
The heats started and good wins from Paul H, Greg H and James set the tone of the day and these 3, along with Stan Alton, made the A final comfortably. The rest of the chasing pack were put into their respective segmented finals (in Area 6, it's win or lose segmented finals, so it was still game on for those who had not quite got to grips with the track).

D Final first up, and this featured just 3 drivers, Richard Hills, Dave Hackforth and running a Falcon Production car with a saloon body on it, Nick Clements. Close racing between Richard and Dave ended up with Richard taking the spoils.

C Final next , and this saw the first of our Area 10 friends in the form of Paul Austin, who took an easy win from John Ovens, Chris Clements (in his first saloon car final) and Franz.

B Final with Mark H, Gavin Wills (the Rockingham Rocket and new BOC winner), Ian Fisher and Richard Mack. Mark taking the spoils in this one in what was a very good race between him and Ian, Gavin and Richard not really getting on the front running pace in this one allowing the front two to be over 5 laps clear.

A Final , now the big one. After stripping a set of gears in the warm up, James set off with a good turn of pace to lead the first section by 1 lap from the other 3, but towards the end of the 2nd section, trouble was afoot with gears sounding a tad on the rough side and sure enough letting go at the end of section 2. This allowed Paul H to take over the lead from Greg and Stan and left James 4 laps down, but Red lane beckoned for Paul with Greg finishing on Yellow, and finishing very strongly as well. James had another gear change at the end of segment 3, so it was Greg who took a well deserved ,if not fortunate win, from Stan, Paul H and James. These four uncatchable to take top 4 places overall.

Formula One
F1 next and the big question, after his defeat in saloon was, how was James going to respond? Answer was by posting a 36.07 laps around Green lane to take TQ, but behind him Paul H and Greg H were having a good battle for 2nd place. This in the end falling to Paul H with a new lane record on Red of 34.48 ahead of Greg's Yellow lane run of 33.89. Beyond that Ian, Mark and Stan all with 33 laps. The surprise was Gavin down on a lowly 31.94 with the same car that romped home at the recent BOC a week earlier.

The semi's and both James and Paul had a good run in semi 1 to top the sheets and bag a place in the 75 lap final. James’ one minute average lap score in the 5 minute semi would have been good enough to beat the overall 3 minute lap record. What happened in semi 2, and the following rerun of that race, started a chain reaction and led to both Mark and Greg not making the final. Semi 3 was a straightforward run for both Ian and Stan on the middle lanes from Gavin and David Hackforth.

So the Final of F1, James taking the lead from the off and with his gears staying in one piece took his first win off the day. A good battle between Paul H and Ian, saw Ian take the place after Paul made one too many mistakes. Stan came home a happy but distant 4th.

Sports 1/32
This was the fastest class of the day (and sometimes the most stressful), and had the added pressure of 1 minute fastest lap qualifying to get into a segmented final, where once again, just like saloon, it was win or lose from any final.
One person who would not take part in any of the proceedings was Greg, who decided enough was enough after the F1 Semi's and packed his box up and left for the day.
James took top spot with 4.002 seconds (over a tenth faster than last year), this followed by Gavin on a 4.290 (much faster than last year), then Paul H who dragged his aging Mossetti around in 4.435 and Paul Austin on a 4.478. these 4 making up the A final. Beyond this Ian, Stan, Mark and John Ovens all made the B final, with Franz, Chris Clements (in his first drive of a strap powered sportscar), Richard Hills, David Hackforth and Nick Clements (the last 3 all using Group 12 powered cars).

So Richard Hills won the bottom final, in what was a good scrap with David Hackforth and young Nick.

Next up, Richard Mack took the spoils after Chris Clements’ borrowed car left most of it's motor internals splayed all over the Luton track after suffering a monster motor failure, and Franz, who in fairness had struggled all day, found his car not performing or indeed handling.

The B final, some good kit here, and it was good to see John Ovens mixing in. Stan got a flyer and settled into a very good pace to see off the challenge from Ian and Mark with John a little bit outgunned but happy to be in it.

Stan's pace indeed gave the A finalists something to think about, and from the Green light James took up the challenge and started pumping in the laps. Behind him Paul H and Gavin were trading places with Paul H getting the upper hand to take that second spot in the race, but would it be enough to topple Stan overall? The answer was no, only James doing enough to beat Stan and take his second win of the day with Paul H taking a well deserved 3rd and Gavin taking 4th.


So all in all a good days racing and competition, and a surprise in James not taking all 3. Next stop, North London where the local stars will be wanting to prove their worth by taking victory. I look forward to seeing you all there.

Paul Harwood (Area 6 Coordinator)
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