And now for something completely different......

AUTUMN SPECIAL - 27th September 2016

Four times during the year the Southend Slot Club suspends its regular Tuesday race evenings and holds a different night of racing. The Autumn event in 2016 featured two separate competitions, both of which involved the use of cars that rarely if ever feature on normal club nights.

In the first half of the evening we were indebted to our member Ian Wells who brought along four almost identical Mirage sports cars for us to destroy. Each one of the four was placed on a lane and stayed there for the duration of the event. Thus, all eleven drivers drove all four cars so nobody was able to complain about anything. Well, almost nobody.

There is no doubt that one of the cars was much more difficult to drive than the other three but as we all had to drive it things were perfectly fair.

We ran three minute heats and our European member, JoŽl Thura, came out the comfortable winner by almost three clear laps from an on-form Tony Avis. JoŽl's usual sparring partner, Alan Shawe, found the cars not at all to his liking and finished further down the results than he has probably ever been before.

But overall, I think the idea was very successful and may well be repeated at some point in the future.

Here is the result of the Mirage Grand Prix:

Mirage Grand Prix

3 minute endurance

1st
JoŽl Thura
75.00
2nd
Tony Avis
72.02
3rd
Barry Boor
71.17
4th
Ian Castleton
70.19
5th
Vic Bettell
70.00
6th
Ian Wells
69.26
7th
Colin Spark
69.24
8th
Alan Shawe
67.09
9th
Graham Robinson
67.05
10th
Mark Nicholson
67.00
11th
Colin Nial
65.05
F.L.
Alan Shawe
9.164 secs

A Formula Libre event graced the second half of the evening. This means that members were allowed to race absolutely anything, as long as it was 1/32nd scale and looked at least vaguely like a proper racing, sports or saloon car - (sorry Richard, no rocket ships!) One or two members who only possess cars from our regular classes simply picked their best car but others were able to roll out vehicles that did not comply with any of our usual eleven classes. The true definition of Formula Libre.

And so it came to pass that the one known as Biscuit - Ian Castleton - was a resounding winner driving the pinkest G.T. car anyone has ever seen but boy, does it fly! To his eternal credit, Alan, who no doubt could have produced something even quicker than Ian's car, ran various unusual vehicles none of which had a hope of competing with the front runners.

So here is how the event ended:

Formula Libre

4 x 12 lap heats

1st
Ian Castleton
2nd
Mark Nicholson
3rd
Graham Robinson
4th
Barry Boor
5th
Ian Wells
6th
JoŽl Thura
7th
Alan Shawe
8th
Colin Spark
9th
Tony Avis
10th
Vic Bettell
11th
Colin Nial
F.L.
JoŽl Thura
9.103 secs

On our normal club nights we get points towards an unofficial and non-prize award club championship. These points are awarded on the basis of 30-23-18-15-13-11-10-9 etc etc etc. Just for fun I decided to produce an overall points result based on the evening's two sessions.

Here is how it all turned out:

1st
Ian Castleton
45
2nd
JoŽl Thura
41
3rd
Tony Avis
&
Barry Boor
33
5th
Mark Nicholson
32
6th
Graham Robinson
&
Ian Wells
26
8th
Vic Bettell
20
9th
Alan Shawe
&
Colin Spark
19
11th
Colin Nial
12

Please note that where two drivers had equal points they are listed purely on an alphabetical basis of surnames.

Another rousingly successful night all round and the next special event is awaited with breath suitably baited.