Herts Model Car Club hosted what was unofficially a warm up race for the upcoming first round of the Nationals this weekend, and with the sudden appearance of the sunshine a huge entry was received. 156 drivers competed and it was touch and go for finishing in the daylight…
The NEMO Racing team was out in force, with the our team guys all making use of the track time to get ready for the National. Darren and Jon and been testing on the Saturday to try and get up to speed with the competition who had been at the track most of the week proceeding.
The track was in decent condition, although it was rock hard and a few bumps had started to appear, which coupled with the high traction and high speed nature of the track combined to make a clear run tricky to accomplish.
In qualifying Darren was caught out a little by the higher temps than the previous day, and found his car harder work than he expected. Still he was able to negotiate the first two rounds well enough to ensure a place in the top 3 on the grid. He would undertake a few changes to bring his set up more in line with Jon's for the final to see if this would be better. Jon Himself was more than happy with his car, and was running very quickly on old tyres in qualifying, with only an odd mistake in each run costing him dear. Still he would line up 6th and ready for the fight. Ollie Currie was playing himself back into Nitro racing having been rained out for the best part of 6 weeks, and despite this he would place his car straight in to the main final, along with Tony Truman who was also short of a bit of track time and he too played himself in slowly as he got used to the frenetic pace up the front. Both Leon Goode and Jonny Skidmore were also performing well, with Leon having taken a break from racing over the winter also building himself back up to his top level. Richard Barton not to be forgotten was also running strongly, yet he was suffering from an a transponder not counting correctly which would mean that he would qualify lowly, despite an impressive 6th overall in the last round of qualifying showing that the speed was still there for him.
With the meeting running a little behind schedule, the decision was taken to reduce the length of the finals in order to get them all completed in the daylight.
Young Jonny Skidmore produced two great finals to bump up from the C final, all the way to the A final and with it gain some more valuable track time and put himself in contention for a great result.
The main final got underway and Darren was much happier with the diff set up that mirrored what Jon has been using, and was immediately in the fight. Equally Jon had an excellent start, and he too was right in the mix with Elliott Boots, Darren and Jack Embling. The lead four drivers were pulling away from the pack very quickly, and the positions swapped about a bit as the guys had small errors. Darren made a mistake over the back of the track which cost him a heap of time and left him chasing the others. With the race being a 10 minute dash, mistakes would be punished heavily and it left him with a lot to do. The guys all pitted on different laps and after the final one of the leading four came in it was left with Darren chasing down Elliott for the win. Darren said his car was getting better and better as the race went on, and he was reeling the leader in with a series of fast laps, including the races fastest lap. Sadly he was to run out of time due to the shortened final and had to settle for second. Jon came home a good fourth after battling with the leaders all the way.
The performance of the cars suggests we should be right in the mix when the National comes round at the beginning of April...