Back on top.

Race Report:
LMP/GT Endurance 2019
Round 3 (21 November 2019)
Benfleet City Circuit.

There’s one racer who has dominated the LMP/GT Endurance championship in recent years. With four championship wins in the last five years, it would be a bold gambler who would bet against Anthony adding to his already crowded trophy cabinet in 2019’s title race. Yet, going into the final round, it was Lee who lead by the narrowest of margins – 0.7 of a point, to be precise – and with George not far behind in third, the 2019 title race was going down to the wire.

Ford LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

The evening’s racing got under way with Steve starting from pole with the Lola-Aston Martin in the LMP class. He was to pull away quick enough, but behind him Darren had made a fantastic start from fourth, and by the end of the first lap the Peugeot had passed both Scott and Norman. By the second lap, he was putting race leader, Steve, under serious pressure, and by the third lap, Steve had made a mistake and was off in the Armco.

Like a stone

At this stage Steve noticed something amiss with his car – a problem with his guide was causing his car to jump out of the slot on the start/finish straight, resulting in either him missing the lap counting sensor, or causing him to crash out in the first turn. The solution was to slow down half-way down the straight. With two laps already not counted, Steve dropped down the order like a stone, before running out of fuel with a minute to go. Back at the front, Darren motored to victory. As the race went on, the main challenge for the lead came from George. His Peugeot, now wing-less after a long, hard season’s racing, was quick, but a few too many spins meant he got no closer than a lap behind race-winner Darren.

Race One Result: 
1st Darren – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 40.1; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 13.073
2nd George – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 39.2; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 3
Fastest lap: 12.956
3rd Scott – Ford GT GTE (GT)
Laps: 36.0; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 13.434
4th Norman – Ford DP (LMP)
Laps: 31.2; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 15.587
5th Steve – Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 (LMP)
Laps: 30.6; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1*
Fastest lap: 13.955

McLaren LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

Race two saw George start from the second row as the only LMP runner, and he gave his title challenge a boost with an unchallenged run to victory. Behind him, Scott was the pick of the GT runners; his Ford GT proving swift, and ultimately finishing just two laps shy of George’s Peugeot.

Battle

The GT battle had become split quite early in the race. Scott had been able to pull away with the race still quite young, with his main rivals embroiled in an intriguing battle. Darren, Anthony and Steve all battled each other a stages during the race. Steve found the going much better with his GT car, and found he could run at a similar pace to both Darren and Anthony, but Darren had been able to edge away after a while. Anthony, meanwhile had a big crash early on, and had fought back from last place. Delayed by a battle with Steve once back up and running, this gave Darren the breathing room to secure third.

Race Two Result: 
1st George – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 40.2; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.794
2nd Scott – Ford GT GTE (GT)
Laps: 38.3; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 3
Fastest lap: 13.121
3rd Darren – Ford GT GTE (GT)
Laps: 36.9; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 14.302
4th Anthony – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 36.7; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 3
Fastest lap: 14.101
5th Steve – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 36.3; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 14.104

Peugeot LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

After completing his marshalling duties in the first two races, our championship leader, Lee, finally got some racing under his belt in race three. Both he and Steve running GT machinery, while series newcomer Scott, and the two other championship leaders – George and Anthony opted for LMP cars. The race got underway, but half the field crashed on the opening lap, and it was George who emerged from the wreckage in the lead. It was exactly the break he needed, and he was able to remain at the front til the end of the race.

Blocked

Behind George, the other LMP runners had varying fortunes. Scott was fast in the Ginetta, but somewhat accident-prone, a couple of crashes in the opening few minutes dropped him behind the GT runners; a scrap with Steve early on saw him fall away from Anthony and George. This battle was a moot point, anyway. Blocked by traffic when trying to enter the pits in the fourth minute, Steve tried to complete another lap to get back round to the pit entry, but ran out of fuel half-way round. Meanwhile, Anthony was to drop back by a lap from leader George at the first stops, and this gap was maintained to the chequered flag. George might have won again, but he wasn’t taking enough out of the gap between him and Anthony and Lee.

Race Three Result: 
1st George – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 42.2; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 12.653
2nd Anthony – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 41.3; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 12.970
3rd Lee – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 40.8; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.892
4th Scott – Ginetta G60 (LMP)
Laps: 38.6; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 12.941
5th Steve – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 16.5; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 0*
Fastest lap: 14.330

Porsche Lola Ford LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

Race four began in chaotic fashion, with most of the field crashing out, off and into each other at some point in the first few laps. In these early laps, the only driver to keep it on the island was Scott, and he gratefully accepted the race lead. As the race progressed, Scott too came a cropper, spinning off at end of the flyover, and allowing Lee to take the lead.

Trouble

Anthony, running GT machinery, grabbed third when Steve once again ran into car trouble with his Lola failing to register laps. Back at the front, Lee was to keep the lead for the rest of the race, giving his championship challenge with a solid 42 laps.

Race Four Result: 
1st Lee – Porsche RS Sypder (LMP)
Laps: 42.6; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.955
2nd Scott – Ginetta G60 (LMP)
Laps: 42.0; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.832
3rd Anthony – Ford GT GTE (GT)
Laps: 38.5; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 13.963
4th Steve – Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 (LMP)
Laps: 37.3; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 13.166
5th Norman – Ford DP (LMP)
Laps: 33.8; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 14.630

Peugeot Audi LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

Steve got the jump on Darren at the start of race five; the pair had started from the front row in LMP machinery, but pole man Darren slotted into second when the Lola swept past into turn one. It was a short-lived lead, however; Darren’s Peugeot was much faster in a straight line, and was able to breeze past into the lead coming down the back straight on the second lap. Things went from bad to worse for Steve as – once again – his car started missing laps due to his guide issue.

Neat

Darren held on at the front for the rest of the race, but the headline news was what was happening behind him in the fight for second place. Anthony again put in the kind of performance we’d expect from him in this class, executing a neat race strategy and clocking a respectable 40 points. His performance was matched by Lee in a GT car, however – this would prove crucial in the final championship points.

Race Five Result: 
1st Darren – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 41.4; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.741
2nd Anthony – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 40.5; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 13.213
3rd Lee – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 40.4; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.798
4th Steve – Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 (LMP)
Laps: 33.0; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.919
5th Norman – Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (GT)
Laps: 31.5; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 15.503

Mclaren LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

As the end of the round and, indeed, the championship loomed closer, the racing became more intense, and once again the scheduling pitched the main protagonists against each other. As the lights went out to signal the start of race six, it was Anthony, who got into an early lead, ahead of Lee; the pair of them muscling by George by the end of the second lap. The race for the championship was on!

Setback

Five laps into the race, George was to suffer another setback when he was caught and passed by Darren. Third became second for Darren when – during the first round of pit stops – Lee made his stop only to find George making a long stop. This delay, although not the worst we’ve ever seen at Falcon Raceway, was enough to drop him behind the Peugeot and back by a lap. Anthony continued to pull away at the front, clocking up 43 laps on his way to the race win. Would it be enough to seal the championship?

Race Six Result: 
1st Anthony – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 43.1; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 12.791
2nd Darren – Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP)
Laps: 42.5; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.997
3rd Lee – Porsche RS Spyder (LMP)
Laps: 41.7; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.815
4th George – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 39.2; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 12.706
5th Norman – Aston Martin Vantage GT3 (GT)
Laps: 31.7; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 15.884

Ginetta Audi LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

With Anthony’s racing done for the night, it was looking like Lee’s championship to lose. Only disaster could, seemingly, deprive him of his first LMP/GT Endurance championship since 2013. As it was, he took his second race win of the evening, clocking up 41 laps on his way to a narrow victory over George’s McLaren.

Quick

Lee didn’t have it all his way, however. Scott was once again very quick with his new Ginetta, and he lead in the early stages of the race until he arrived at the scene of someone else’s accident and was delayed. This allowed both Lee and George to pass him and ultimately to pull away. Scott still put in another solid performance though, coming home third barely a lap behind the leaders.

Race Seven Result: 
1st Lee – Porsche RS Spyder (LMP)
Laps: 41.0; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.647
2nd George – McLaren MP4-12C (GT)
Laps: 40.9; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 12.530
3rd Scott – Ginetta G60 (LMP)
Laps: 40.8; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 12.977
4th Darren – Ford GT GTE (GT)
Laps: 36.9; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 13.847
5th Norman – Ford DP (LMP)
Laps: 35.2; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 14.296

Porsche McLaren LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

Round Three Result: 

1st Lee – 206.5
2nd George – 202.7
3rd Anthony – 200.1
4th Darren – 197.5
5th Scott – 195.7
6th Norman – 163.4
7th Steve – 153.7

Fastest Race Lap:
George – 12.530 (McLaren MP4-12C)

Aston Martin LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

So, a decisive victory in round three ensures Lee holds on at the top to take his second LMP/GT Endurance championship. George – despite taking second place on the night – was too far back to take the runner-up spot from Anthony. An abysmal night for Steve means Darren’s fourth place was untroubled, while Scott’s performance suggests some extra competition for places in 2020!

Ginetta Audi Lola LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club

 

Championship Standings:

Round 1: Round 2: Round 3: Total
1
Lee

195.3

184.1

206.5

401.8
2
Anthony

194.6

188.4

200.1

394.7
3
George

188.6

183.4

202.7

391.3
4
Darren

182.9

180.3

197.5

380.4
5
Steve

180.2

181.4

153.7

361.6
6
Norman

140.9

130.2

163.4

304.3
7
Alex

150

138.1

XXX

288.1
8
Scott

XXX

XXX

195.7

195.7

Ford LMP GT Endurance Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway Digital Slot Car Club