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With lots of WHO regulars on holiday, working to cover colleagues' holidays or just
out enjoying our lovely south coast beaches, the mid-
This year, we had seventeen racers on the grid. We welcomed Grace, Ewan, Rachel and Graham for their first visit to the Barn. Joe and Mike returned for their second Micro race and Oscar, Andrew and Lucie joined us from Hastings.
There was a nice family vibe to the evening, with only Duncan and Andy not en famille.
There were no problems finding six junior team captains -
Next were the team names. As we were in the final week of the Olympics, most had
an Olympic theme. We had Double Trap (shooting), Omnium Racers and The Cycle Medal
Machine (both cycling), Team Hulk (soccer -
After a half hour of practice on the big and fast Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, we were ready to race.
The six teams were divided into two groups to race, each group having their own set
of cars, one for each lane. The practice session had suggested that red was a very
tasty lane, with the other three a little tricky and white trickiest of all. The
plan would be to go for a huge score in red and then go steady on the other lanes,
trying not to crash and mess up those pesky braids or get the tyres dirty. In the
first fifteen minutes, the two teams on red lane -
Ewan's Team Hulk and Alex's Whitlock's Wheels were next up red lane. Alex was paired with Duncan and Neil and theirs was certainly the strongest team on paper. They lived up to their potential, comfortably winning the segment with the biggest score of the night and jumped into the lead. Team Hulk climbed to second overall with a score just ten laps short of the favourites. Ewan drove really well, keeping the car on track, and was backed up well by Lucie and Andy. Up to third were the Cycle Medal Machine who had discovered how tricky white lane would be, but they made a decent fist of it.
There's nothing quite like seeing three cars racing hard on the same lap, minute
after minute. That's what Corey, Oscar and Neil served up for us in yellow, red and
white lanes. It was crashy -
With such a tiny margin between the top two and only ten laps back to third the tension was massive for the second group of teams. But first was the battle for fourth. John launched the Omnium racers into an early ten lap lead as Ewan and Grace got used to yellow and white lanes. Ewan got into an excellently steady groove and handed over to Lucie with a fifteen lap deficit. Team Hulk needed to get that deficit back down to under five laps to hang on to fourth place, but try as they might, Lucie and Andy couldn't crack Joe and Rachel. In the end, Rachel hung on with the gap of just five and a half laps.
After that nail-
The pace was unrelenting and the two cars were lapping very closely again. Mike moved up and passed Alex, but could not pull out any sort of advantage. With just five minutes to go, both teams were on 74 laps, with Team Boredom back on 59. Mike McCann took over for the Cycle Medal Machine and it was up to him to make something happen. Although the overall gap was too big, the gap on the track remained miniscule. This was an exceptionally exciting fifteen minutes of racing. When the chequered flag fell, the gap was 0.05 of a lap or less than a third of a second, with Whitlock's Wheels winning the segment and the race.
Huge congratulations to Alex, Duncan and Neil. Their team started the favourites,
but that doesn't always count for much in these races -
Thanks to everyone for making it such a fun summer evening at the Barn, especially to Duncan and Stephen who ran race control so well and all those who stayed behind to pack up at the end.
With just one race left of the championship on Wednesday 26 October, the championship table looks very good for John and Corey. But anything could happen...
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