Rocking Out.

Race Report: Club F1 2020.
Round 1 (16 January 2020).
Rockingham.

After a fiercely contested inaugural year in 2019, the Club F1 returns in 2020 and looks set to be just as closely fought. Anthony took the title in after four fast and furious rounds, with his dominant performance in round two on the open sweeps of the Falcon Raceway GT circuit ultimately being what set him apart from the rest of the field. Could he repeat this feat in the 2020 Club F1 championship? If round one was anything to go by, there are plenty of others who could claim to be in with a shout of glory this year.

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

Scott impressed on occasion in his rookie year, and he wasted no time in putting his name at the top of the Club F1 time sheets in qualifying for race one. Lee was his closest challenger, but seemed to follow trouble around the Rockingham circuit in the two minute session. Repeatedly tripping over spinning and crashing competitors, Lee was unable to better Scott’s early pace-setting time, and had to settle for second, two tenths off the pole time.

Kicking off

Lee made a great start, snatching the lead from Scott’s Mclaren into turn one Behind them, it was all kicking off. Darren S – making his Falcon Raceway debut tonight – tangled with Norman and Anthony going into the Dunlop turn, taking out all three cars. Anthony was quick to get going and by lap seven he’d fought his way up to second, but Scott wasn’t far behind.

Thirsty

At the front, Lee had pulled out a handsome lead, but the Benetton was thirsty, and he was an early stopper on lap 23. He managed to rejoin in the lead, as temporary leader Anthony spun at the worst possible time, meaning Lee lost little time through his early stop. Anthony was still a very close second, however, and managed to ease his Tyrrell in front a lap later. Lee swiftly fought back, re-taking the place from the reigning champion, and when he was forced to make his own stop for fuel late in the race, Anthony dropped too far back to challenge again.

Race One Result:
1st Lee – Benetton
Grid: 2 (10.169)
Laps: 43; Pit stops: 2
Fastest race lap: 9.661
2nd Anthony – Tyrrell
Grid: 4 (10.681)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.306
3rd Darren S – Lotus
Grid: 3 (10.429)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.053
4th Scott – McLaren
Grid: 1 (9.976)
Laps: 39; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.851
5th Norman – Ferrari
Grid: 5 (11.175)
Laps: 32; Pit stops: 0
Fastest race lap: 11.581

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

Scott took pole once again in race two, but this time it was Lee who had been at the top of the timesheets for most of the session, with Scott snatching pole with just 20 seconds remaining, and Lee’s subsequent attempt to better that time was ruined when another car spun ahead of him on his final quick lap.

Justice

Scott made no mistake at the start this time, converting pole into an early race lead. He was to maintain this position for the opening dozen laps, until a clumsy challenge from Lee going into the Adelaide hairpin took both cars out. Both got going in the same positions, but Lee again put Scott into the barrier a lap later. Lee himself balanced the scales of justice by himself crashing and dropping to the back of the field.

Carnage

Scott remained in the lead until he pitted on lap 24, handing the lead of the race to Cliff. When Cliff pitted on lap 30, the lead was passed to Anthony, until he too made his stop and Scott was reinstated as race leader. Darren S, making the most of the carnage around him, found himself up in second place in the closing stages, but a crash going into Hammerhead dropped him to last.

Race Two Result:
1st Scott – Benetton
Grid: 1 (9.651)
Laps: 41; Pit stops: 2
Fastest race lap: 9.891
2nd Lee – Lotus
Grid: 2 (9.674)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.792
3rd Anthony – McLaren
Grid: 4 (10.477)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.112
4th Cliff – Tyrrell
Grid: 3 (10.466)
Laps: 39; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.039
5th Darren S – Ferrari
Grid: 5 (10.854)
Laps: 38; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: n/a

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

After marshalling for the first two  races, Darren got in on the Club F1 action in race three and immediately stamped his authority on proceedings. Quick throughout qualifying, he saw his provisional pole time eclipsed by Lee by just eight hundredths of a second. He was quick in the race too, leaping into the lead, and charging ahead. While Lee floundered behind him, crashing early on, Darren motored away at the front. By lap ten, he was more than half a lap ahead.

Improved

Scott made a poor start in the Lotus, and ran at the back with Cliff and Anthony, who was struggling for pace with the Benetton, for much of the first half of the race. He gradually improved as the race progressed, however, and had fought his way up to third as the race entered it’s final minute. This was to become second when Lee suffered a late crash in the Ferrari.

Race Three Result:
1st Darren – Tyrrell
Grid: 2 (10.081)
Laps: 45; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.606
2nd Scott – Lotus
Grid: 5 (10.739)
Laps: 43; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.416)
3rd Lee – Ferrari
Grid: 1 (10.001)
Laps: 42; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.554
4th Anthony – Benetton
Grid: 4 (10.290)
Laps: 42; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.175
5th Cliff – McLaren
Grid: 3 (10.155)
Laps: 41; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.978

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

After also having a long stint as a marshall, Steve got his first race in race four and was immediately fast, setting a quick time early in qualifying that still stood at the end of the session. He blotted his copybook in the race, however, making a poor start in the Tyrrell, and dropping to last after an early spin. There he became embroiled in a race long battle with Cliff, and was unable to get back on terms with the leaders.

Strategy

While Steve languished at the back, Darren and Anthony pulled away at the front, leaving Scott’s Ferrari to run a relatively lonely race in third place. The race was ultimately settled on fuel strategy, with Anthony having that little extra up his sleeve to enable him to make a very late stop. Able to then rejoin in lead after a short stop, he held on to take the win.

Race Four Result:
1st Anthony – Lotus
Grid: 4 (10.129)
Laps: 45; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.698
2nd Darren – McLaren
Grid: 2 (9.951)
Laps: 45; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.645
3rd Scott – Ferrari
Grid: 3 (10.055)
Laps: 43; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.580
4th Steve – Tyrrell
Grid: 1 (9.711)
Laps: 43; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.592
5th Cliff – Benetton
Grid: 5 (10.657)
Laps: 38; Pit stops: 2
Fastest race lap: 9.728

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

Steve was once again quick in qualifying for race five, leading the session from the outset. Pole was not to be his, however, as Cliff put in a stellar lap in the Lotus at the end of the session to seal his place at the sharp end of the grid. Steve made no mistake at the start of the race, however, snatching the lead and pulling away.

Comfortable

As the race progressed, Steve had pulled out a very comfortable lead, and with Anthony and Darren busy with their own fight over second, he was able to run a measured pace to the chequered flag without coming under threat. Behind him, the battle for second was resolved – once again – in Anthony’s favour via a deft fuel strategy.

Race Five Result:
1st Steve – McLaren
Grid: 2 (9.730)
Laps: 44; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.795
2nd Anthony – Ferrari
Grid: 3 (10.092)
Laps: 43; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.904
3rd Darren – Benetton
Grid: 4 (10.611)
Laps: 41; Pit stops: 3
Fastest race lap: 9.921
4th Cliff – Lotus
Grid: 1 (9.630)
Laps: 39; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.717
5th Norman – Tyrrell
Grid: 5 (11.488)
Laps: 35; Pit stops: 0
Fastest race lap: 11.368

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

Darren got back to winning ways in race six, with a dominant performance which saw him convert a decisive pole into a race win. He’d taken pole from Cliff’s Ferrari by a good two tenths, and once the race started no-one could get close to him then either. Cliff, rather than chasing the leader, had to shift his focus to what was going on behind him.

Push

Steve had made a bad start in the Benetton, and found he had to really push to keep on the pace of Cliff’s Ferrari. The pair became locked in a battle which saw a number of collisions, but ultimately, Steve managed to pull away in the second half of the race. Second place for the Benetton was sealed when Cliff was forced to make a second pit stop late on.

Race Six Result:
1st Darren – Lotus
Grid: 1 (9.940)
Laps: 43; Pit stops: 2
Fastest race lap: 9.687
2nd Steve – Benetton
Grid: 3 (10.284)
Laps: 42; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.927
3rd Cliff – Ferrari
Grid: 2 (10.186)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 2
Fastest race lap: 9.912
4th Darren S – Tyrrell
Grid: 4 (10.356)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.021
5th Norman – McLaren
Grid: 5 (12.422)
Laps: 32; Pit stops: 0
Fastest race lap: 11.450

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

While Darren was able to lead from lights to flag in race six, Steve was able to emulate this feat in race seven, but he had some help along the way. He’d been pipped to pole by Darren’s Ferrari in qualifying, but grabbed the lead into turn one and powered away down the back straight. The rest of the field were not too far behind as Steve emerged from the Adelaide hairpin towards the end of lap one. But, as Steve accelerated out of the corner, a massive pile-up behind him took out all four of his rivals!

Helping Hand

This massive helping hand enabled Steve to pull out a huge lead – he was a lap ahead by the end of his second lap, and made sure he stayed there until the end of the race. Behind him, a battle raged between Darren, Lee and Club F1 newbie, Darren S. Darren’s Ferrari emerged from this fight at the front, while Lee faded late on and lost out to Darren S for the final podium place.

Race Seven Result:
1st Steve – Lotus
Grid: 2 (9.851)
Laps: 45; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.529
2nd Darren – Ferrari
Grid: 1 (9.722)
Laps: 42; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.773
3rd Darren S – McLaren
Grid: 4 (10.130)
Laps: 42; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.974
4th Lee – Tyrrell
Grid: 3 (10.119)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.469
5th Norman – Benetton
Grid: 5 (12.495)
Laps: 34; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 11.646

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

Qualifying for the eighth and final race of the round was dominated by Scott. Both Steve and Lee tried and failed to top the time he set midway through the session. Steve had been second on the timesheets for much of the session, until Lee pipped him for the front row slot late on.

Pace

In the race, Scott lead away, but crashed on the second lap, allowing Steve through into first place. As the race wore on, Steve found it impossible to live with the pace Lee and Scott were able to extract from the McLaren and Tyrrell respectively. Both were able to pass the Ferrari and pull away. In the later stages of the race, Steve was able to close up while the leading duo were distracted by their own battle. He managed to retake second briefly, until a spin let Scott back through. By this time, however, Lee was a lap ahead on course for his second win of the round.

Race Eight Result:
1st Lee – McLaren
Grid: 2 (9.774)
Laps: 41; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.945
2nd Scott – Tyrrell
Grid: 1 (9.740)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.614
3rd Steve – Ferrari
Grid: 3 (9.812)
Laps: 40; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 9.820
4th Darren S – Benetton
Grid: 4 (10.452)
Laps: 38; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 10.042
5th Norman – Lotus
Grid: 5 (11.228)
Laps: 31; Pit stops: 1
Fastest race lap: 11.288

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

Round One Result:

1st Darren – 34
2nd Steve – 31
= Lee – 31
4th Anthony – 28
= Scott – 28
6th Darren S – 16
7th Cliff – 14
8th Norman – 10

Club F1 Championship Standings:

Round 1: Round 2:Round 3: Round 4:Total
1
Darren

34

34
2
Steve

31

31
2
Lee

31

31
4
Anthony

28

28
4
Scott

28

28
6
Darren S

16

16
7
Cliff

14

14
8
Norman

10

10
9
George

XX

XX

Mclaren Williams Benetton Ferrari Lotus Tyrrell F1 Formula One Digital slot car racing club essex scalextric

We return to Club F1 action on 7th May. The full schedule of races can be found here.