Race Report: V8 Supercars 2017
21 December 2017
Our traditional season-ending v8 Supercars round provided the usual thrills and spills, though this year the racing took place on a new track. Club founder, Lee, worked tirelessly to create a new layout before the pre-Christmas race night, and the results were fantastic. A gruelling series of straights, hairpins and chicanes, gave the new track the feel of a street circuit. A feeling compounded by the fact the track was constructed using some modern Scalextric Sport track interspersed with sections consisting of some rather old Classic track. This resulted in varying grip levels and more than a few bumps. An added challenge for our racers!
We were joined on the night by a guest racer from Viking Slot Car Club, Trevor. Trevor last raced with us on the big Falcon Raceway GT track at September’s NASCAR Challenge, so the new track would give him something else to deal with other than re-learning the RCS64 pit routines!
Bash n’ Crash
Predictably, the first race saw plenty of cars ending up in the Armco as drivers continued to get to grips (or not) with the challenging new circuit. Steve started this race from pole in the Supercheap liveried Holden Commodore, and the opening laps saw a close fight between him and Lee in the Betta Electrical Ford Falcon. Both drivers attempted to build a lead, but each time their efforts were undone by crashes and spins.
The race, arguably, turned in Lee’s favour when, on lap 12, Steve had a huge crash going into the Dodge Hairpin. Entangled with two back markers, he lost the better part of a lap, leaving Lee on his own out front.
Steve was able to close the gap, but used up a lot of tires and fuel in doing so. Lee therefore was able to conserve and, once the dust had settled after the pit stops, had restored his lead of almost a lap.
There the racers remains to the chequered flag. Lee took the win, with Steve second. Trevor, on a fairly steep learning curve, came home a fair way back in third, but gained good knowledge to take into his next race.
Race One Result:
1 Lee – Ford Falcon (40 laps)
2 Steve – Holden Commodore (39 laps)
3 Trevor – Ford Falcon (32 laps)
Race two was almost a carbon copy of the first race. Once again, Steve took advantage of his front row starting position and charged into an early lead. Once again, his lead was to be short-lived, crashing heavily early on and handing the lead to Lee. Allowing frustration to get the better of him, Steve was to suffer crash after crash in his desperate attempts to catch up with first Lee, and then Anthony as he dropped further and further back. He was to finish a distant third at the flag.
Anthony makes his move
Anthony, meanwhile, was doing what Anthony does best: Driving a smooth and cautious race, and hoping to do his passing in the pit lane. It was almost to pay off too. After the stops, he was to find himself leading – albeit with Lee not as far back as he would have liked. With the race entering its closing stages, Lee was to put in a succession of rapid laps to close the gap and, with but a handful of laps remaining, took the lead and, subsequently, the win.
Race Two Results
1 Lee (Holden Commodore) – 40 laps
2 Anthony (Ford Falcon) – 40 laps
3 Steve (Ford Falcon) – 39 laps
Race Three was to be Lee’s final race of the evening. It was also George’s first, and he was keen to get going. Too keen, some might say, as he was to fall into the same trap as Steve had earlier in the evening. Taking an early lead, a spin was to drop him back behind Lee. If George was finding his first racing laps around the Basildon Street Course a tad frustrating, it was a lot worse for Anthony. Two big accidents in the opening laps dropped him behind both Lee and George and, to his dismay, he was a lap down after just seven laps!
The race settled down with the field fairly spread out. Lee was happily managing the gap back to George, while Anthony nursed his wounded pride back in third. It was all to change at the pit stops, however.
George had a terrible stop, the first of what ended up being two visits. This dropped him way back. Anthony had again worked his magic with his fuel and tyres and, by the time the three racers had made their stops, he’d worked his way back into the lead!
Street Fighting Man
Once again, Anthony, although impressing with his pit strategy and taking the race lead, his lead was a slender one. Lee was to close rapidly over the final ten laps or so, and pounced on the penultimate lap, muscling his way past at the end of the start finish straight. His lead lasted a single corner, clipping a back-marker at the Dodge Hairpin and hitting the barrier. Anthony powered past into the lead but he too was to crash, this time hitting a pace car as it was being re-slotted going into the Kangaroo Chicane. Once again, Lee swept by to take the lead and the race win.
Anthony was to follow Lee over the line in second, while George endured a torrid time back in third, six laps down.
Race Three Results
1 Lee – Ford Falcon (40 laps)
2 Anthony – Holden Commodore (40 laps)
3 George – Ford Falcon (34 laps)
With his three races complete, and a hat-trick of wins to his name, Lee was now unbeatable. Race four would go ahead with George on pole in the Holden, followed by Anthony and Trevor. With no mathematical possibility of anyone matching Lee’s score, the race would be for pride alone. And fun, of course!
Anthony launched himself into the lead from second on the grid when the lights went out, and set about trying to build a gap. Caught out on a tricky bump on the entry of the Hay Bale Loop, Anthony crashed heavily, allowing George to take the lead.
Early Stop for Anthony
Anthony was to make an uncharacteristically early stop for fuel and tyres on lap 18, seven laps before race leader George. Also somewhat uncharacteristic was the fact that when the stops were over and done with, Anthony was still second. George emerged from his stop on lap 25 still in the lead – a lead he would hold on to until the chequered flag.
Back in third, Trevor again made steady progress, getting to grips with the pit software, and the car and track. His lap times were now to within a second of those of Anthony.
Race Four Results
1 George – Holden Commodore (40 laps)
2 Anthony – Ford Falcon (39 laps)
3 Trevor – Ford Falcon (34 laps)
Steve Dominates Final Race
Trevor lined up on the front row for the final race of the evening, alongside Anthony. If he was keen to improve on his previous performances, Steve – back on the second row – was desperate to. A fairly indifferent first race performance had been followed by a crash-strewn disaster of a second race. It was time to raise his game in his third race.
And raise it he did. From lights to flag, Steve ran a smooth, swift and economical race (stopping once whilst everyone else stopped twice) and he went unchallenged for the lead throughout the 40 lap race. George had no answer back in second, whilst Trevor, still building on his earlier races was again third.
Race Five Results
1 Steve – Ford Falcon (40 laps)
2 George – Ford Falcon (37 laps)
3 Trevor – Holden Commodore (32 laps)
Final Championship Positions:
Fastest Race Lap