Battle Damage

Race Report: Trucks 2019.
Round 3 – Bristol Road Course.

24 October 2019.

Darren dominated the opening round of this year’s Fly Super Trucks championship, with George – second in the standings going into the final round – having a night to forget. The roles reversed in round two, with George’s aging Sisu truck – revitalised with a JS Flex chassis – the class of the field. When our racers gathered at the Bristol Road Circuit for the third, and final, round of the season, there was a notable absence; championship leader Darren would not be taking part due to illness. With the next closest challengers, Lee, Steve and Anthony too far behind on points, a good night’s racing for George would seal him the title. Mechanical issues after a rough and ready season were to play a deciding role in where the winner’s laurels would fall, however.

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

The mechanical woes set in early on, with both George and Steve suffering big impacts in free practice, and both crashes resulting in damage which would change the complexion of each driver’s racing. George was particularly hard hit, with his Sisu – so fast in the preceding round – splitting a gear. With no time to repair it, George was forced to drive his new, but un-tested Buggyra, fitted with an old motor and a Rev G chip. he was to quickly discover his Buggyra was some way off the pace of his preferred mount for the evening.

Under Pressure

George was to make a reasonable start from pole in race one, but had both Lee and Scott breathing down his neck for many of the opening dozen laps. A mistake under pressure dropped the title hopeful down the order, and – despite climbing back up to third, he could not get back on terms with the leaders. At the back, Steve learned early on the damage suffered in practice meant that his rear axle popped out of its mounting at the slighted provocation. He quickly faded from an early scrap with Cliff and limped home in fifth, some seven laps down on the leaders.

Race One Result:
1st Lee – Sisu SL250
Laps: 50; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.685
2nd Scott – Sisu SL250
Laps: 50; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.633
3rd George – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 49; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.571
4th Cliff – Sisu SL250
Laps: 46; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.428
5th Steve – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 43; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.918

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

Race two saw Scott get away in the lead from pole, with fellow front-row starter, Norman, making a slow start. Steve, with his rear axle now sitting where it should be, was enjoying a good turn of speed, and by the end of the opening lap had overtaken Scott for the race lead. His lead was to last for the opening five laps, before a crash dropped him to last. Lee, who had also muscled his way passed Scott on his charge from fourth on the grid was now leading the race.

Defensive

Anthony had made a poor start from the back of the grid, held up for a number of laps by slower trucks. He was to fight his way up to second by half-distance however, and for a while looked like challenging Lee for the lead. A couple of crashes – one the result of some over-enthusiastic defensive driving from Lee – saw Anthony fall away from the battle at the front and into the clutches of the resurgent Steve. Also fighting his way back into contention after a crash, Steve passed Anthony for second with ten laps to go. For a while it looked like he might be able to go the distance without pitting, but a late pit stop, and a spin in the final few laps saw him drop to third.

Race Two Result:
1st Lee – Sisu SL250
Laps: 50; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 0
Fastest lap: 5.587
2nd Anthony – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 50; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.580
3rd Steve – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 50; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.650
4th Scott – Sisu SL250
Laps: 48; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.706
5th Norman – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 40; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 6.658

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

Starting from pole in race three, Steve was to convert his starting position into the race lead; a position he was to hold for the opening ten laps. George, who had also started from the front row, made an overtake stick and took the lead, but remained under pressure – not only from Steve, but also from Anthony. Having already passed early leader, Steve, Anthony was perfectly placed to capitalise on an error from George, taking the lead when the green Buggyra hit the barriers on lap 16.

Mistake

George had resumed in third, behind Steve, and soon caught up with the white Buggyra Mk08, and again made a pass to retake the runner-up spot. While this battle raged, Anthony made now mistake and pulled away at the front. A late, second pit stop for George after short-fuelling earlier in the race dropped him back behind Steve at the chequered flag. Behind them, Cliff again showed a good turn of speed to come home fourth, on the same lap as the second and third placed runners.

Race Three Result:
1st Anthony – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 50; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 0
Fastest lap: n/a
2nd Steve – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 47; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.767
3rd George – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 47; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.412
4th Cliff – Sisu SL250
Laps: 47; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.810
5th Norman – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 38; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 6.721

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

After two third places, the pressure was definitely on George to start winning if he was to have any hope of beating Darren to the championship. Race four looked – for a while – like things were about to start going George’s way. Anthony might have started from pole, but a crash early on dropped him back, and George and Lee – who had started fourth and fifth respectively, and had made short work of passing Scott and Cliff – quickly found themselves fighting over the lead.

Non-stopping Strategy

The battle at the front raged for the whole race, but – while George appeared to be able to match Lee on pace, his Buggyra’s older motor was much thirstier. And, when both Anthony and Lee went for non-stopping strategies, he dropped to third place. There was one final twist in the tale, however, when Lee’s non-stopping plans back-fired on him, running out of fuel with five laps to go, promoting George back up to second. Welcome extra points, for sure, but would they be enough?

Race Four Result:
1st Anthony – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 50; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 0
Fastest lap: 5.717
2nd George – Buggyra MK002
Laps: 47; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: n/a
3rd Lee – Sisu SL250
Laps: 45; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 0
Fastest Lap: 5.514
4th Scott – Sisu SL250
Laps: 41; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.924
5th Cliff – Sisu SL250
Laps: 40; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.647

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

The curse of the loose axle once again struck for Steve. He’d got the jump on pole man Cliff at the start, but a knock from behind while leading dislodged his rear axle again, and he dropped from first to last in space of a lap. Cliff inherited the race lead, but immediately found himself under pressure from Lee. Cliff was to hold on valiantly at the front for a half-dozen laps, but a crash dropped him back, and Lee was able to pull away at the front.

Wayward

Having limped round until his first pit stop, Steve was able to attend to his wayward axle, and set off in pursuit of the rest of the field. His first target was Scott, who had been running third, until a crash dropped him back to fourth. Steve was finally able to catch and pass Cliff to take second, but could do nothing to catch race winner Lee.

Race Five Result:
1st Lee – Sisu SL250
Laps: 50; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.978
2nd Steve – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 49; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.758
3rd Cliff – Sisu SL250
Laps: 48; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.738
4th Scott – Sisu SL250
Laps: 47; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.917
5th Norman – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 40; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 6.548

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

Race six was closely contested by the front four runners in the early stages, with Anthony snatching the lead from Lee into the first corner, and Steve fighting his way up to second by the end of the first lap. Lee and George were never far behind, however, although neither would get ahead of either of the leading duo until the end of the race, when it mattered most.

Trouble

George had once again struggled with fuel consumption, and had dropped back to fourth, while Lee was running third, a little way behind the leaders, Anthony and Steve. Steve had kept the pressure on Anthony throughout the race, but was to run into trouble in the closing stages. Held up by a slower truck for two laps, he then was delayed in the pits by a someone taking a long stop with nine laps to go. The delay cost him dearly, losing two laps on the leader, and ultimately second place. More high-scoring results for Anthony and Lee, meanwhile, meant George’s runner-up spot in the championship was now under serious threat.

Race Six Result:
1st Anthony – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 50; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.609
2nd Lee – Sisu SL250
Laps: 50; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.648
3rd Steve – Buggyra MK08
Laps: 48; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 5.696
4th George – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 47; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.587
5th Norman – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 41; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 1
Fastest lap: 6.290

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

With any hopes of taking the championship now all but gone, George was determined to end the season with a race win. This was – given the results secured by Lee and Anthony in this round – all the more essential if he was to hold on to second in the championship. It was Cliff who took the lead early on, sweeping past pole sitter Norman at the start. Cliff’s lead was to slip away when he ran into traffic on the seventh lap; delayed and unable to pass the slower car, George was able to motor by in the adjacent lane.

Spin

Anthony, meanwhile, had started fourth on the grid, and had enjoyed a brief battle with Scott before pulling away when the latter spun off. He was now piling the pressure on second-placed Cliff, which eventually proved too much, and the resulting spin enabled Anthony to take second place. As the race wore on, George was looking like taking his first win of the evening, until once again, his fuel consumption proved his undoing. Forced into a late, second stop, he dropped to second and handing yet another race win to Anthony.

Race Seven Result:
1st Anthony – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 50; Grid: 4; Pit stops: 1
Fastest Lap: 5.534
2nd George – Buggyra Mk002
Laps: 49; Grid: 3; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.477
3rd Cliff – Sisu SL250
Laps: 48; Grid: 2; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.763
4th Scott – Sisu SL250
Laps: 45; Grid: 5; Pit stops: 2
Fastest lap: 5.880
5th Norman – Buggyra Mk08
Laps: 40; Grid: 1; Pit stops: 3
Fastest lap: 6.151

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway

Round Three Result:

1st Anthony – 95
2nd Lee – 87
3rd George – 64
4th Steve – 62
5th Scott – 55
6th Cliff – 52
7th Norman – 40

Fastest Race Lap:
George – 5.412

With George unable to better either the points tally from either of Darren’s previous rounds, it’s Darren who had retained his 2018 Trucks championship title. In an unexpected twist, both Lee and Anthony put in great performances to take second and third in the final points table, dropping George to fourth.

Final Championship Positions:

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

100

77

XX

177
2
Lee

77.5

65

87

164.5
3
Anthony

67.5

57

95

162.5
4
George

57.5

95

64

159
5
Steve

75

70

62

145
6
Scott

XX

46

55

101
7
Cliff

XX

48

52

100
8
Norman

50

XX

40

90
9
Tom

XX

62

XX

62

Fly Trucks Sisu Man Buggyra Scalextric Digital Slot Car Racing Club Essex Falcon Raceway