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Slot-Racing 2014

The track brakes at 'Comrades' had been turned on ahead of the 2014 season and whilst the hand controller I was using for Slotstox meant this shouldn't affect my style of Slotstox racing, the handcontroller I was using for Parmastox meant that it would affect my style of Parmastox racing - the difference in performance of my Parmastox took a little getting used to.

I also took a break from Slot-Racing in the middle of the year and raced less regularly (Gold Top and Open meetings only) in the final few months of the year following the arrival of twin boys towards the end of May!

 

 

Slotstox

11th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - having had a season of starting from Gold I was now starting from Red.  Heats 38 points (heat 1 20 and heat 2 18) and third highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final 1st (21 - with 2nd also scoring 21 but I had 2 race wins from the first 2 races - the first races of the regular season at the Arena Slotstox Club - compared with their no race wins whilst 3rd scored 20 courtesy of race wins in the other 4 races) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 44 points chart points.  I missed Arena Points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' on 18th February due to a family funeral.  25th February - Arena points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' - heats 43 points (heat 1 19 and heat 2 24) and highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final 2nd (21 - with 3rd also scoring 21 - the same driver I tied with at round 1 also with 21 points although that was for 1st and 2nd - but I had 3 race wins compared with their no race wins - compared with 2 and 0 at round 1!) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 48 points chart points.  4th March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'Comrades' - heats 43 points for the second meeting running (heat 1 23 and heat 2 20) and third highest points scorer of eleven drivers.  Final 2nd for the second meeting running (15 - 1st also scoring 15 although they had 1 race win compared with my points coming from 5 3rd place finishes!  It was very close with 2 drivers tied for 3rd on 14 points whilst 5th scored 13 and 6th 11!  This was a seven driver final with 7th scoring 6) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 48 points chart points.

During the first points chart cycle I scored a total of 140 points and had the highest average of 46.7 points to be silver stripe for the next points cycle.  Having missed round 2 all three meetings in points cycle 1 counted to the points and I was 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 140 points but it was close at the top with 1st on 149 and 2nd on 147.

 

18th March - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'St Mary's' - with green lane not working heats were over 5 races scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. rather than 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd etc. to ensure a heat maximum remained as 30 points.  Heats 48 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 27 - using my main Slotstox and not finishing lower than 2nd place in the 9 out of 10 races I finished - the 1 race I didn't finish my Slotstox fell into another drivers slot and ended up on the floor!) and highest points scorer of thirteen drivers.  Final (from grades over 6 laps) - joint 3rd with one other driver (15 and identical records of 1 win, 1 2nd and 1 3rd whilst 2nd scored 16) to add 4 points chart points.  I scored a total of 52 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Having missed Gold Top Qualifying round 1, I was 6th (which is the last qualifying position) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 52 points.  25th March - Arena points chart round 6 at 'St Mary's' with all lanes working.  Heats 16 points (heat 1 7 and heat 2 9 - using my main Slotstox in the first heat but then deciding as that was low scoring to use my spare and usual 'St Mary's' Slotstox for my second heat) and 4th highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 4th (9 same as 3rd but whereas they had a win and second, I had three third place finishes.  2nd scored 10 with 2 race wins - the first of which they were the only finisher although that doesn't tell the full story...in the first running of that race I was the only driver left running and was 'just' getting past a crash each lap..that particular driver then drove another drivers Slotstox within that crash to completely block my lane - rather than awarding me the win bizarrely a full re-run was called - if I'd have got the win and all other results had been the same I would have finished 2nd on the same points as 1st but with less race wins) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 19 points chart points.  1st April - Arena points chart round 7 at 'Comrades'.  Heats 42 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 21) and highest points scorer of twelve drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 1st (24) to add 6 points chart points.  I scored a total of 48 points chart points.  15th April - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades'.  Heats 28 points (heat 1 10 and heat 2 18) and 5th highest points scorer of fourteen drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 4th (13 - same points as 3rd but I had no race wins compared with their 1 race win) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 31 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was 6th (which is the last qualifying position) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 83 points. 

During the second points chart cycle I scored a total of 150 points and had the 3rd highest average of 37.5 points.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I was joint top with one other driver in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 271 points and so would race from silver for the next points cycle.

 

22nd April - Arena points chart round 9 at 'Comrades'.  I was planning to use my current Slotstox for the heats and then give my brand new 2014 Slotstox (built by Jim Glading, painted by Steve Rixon and set up by Mark West) in the final if I qualified.   I then noticed a snapped straight through on my current Slotstox so decided to use my new Slotstox only for this to have some teething problems and so a quick repair to my current Slotstox was required for the Heats - 49 points (heat 1 22 and heat 2 27) and highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps with my new Slotstox now up and running) - 2nd (17 - starting with two 2nd places before my new Slotstox achieved a first race win in its third race!  1st scored 18) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 54 points chart points.  29th April - Arena points chart round 10 at 'St Mary's' racing my now third but still preferred 'St Mary's' Slotstox.  Heats 29 points (heat 1 12 and heat 2 17) and 3rd highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 6 laps and with drivers having to leave due to time it was contested by the six that remained!) - 2nd (19) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 34 points chart points.  13th May - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Comrades' still racing my existing Slotstox as my new Slotstox was still having teething problems.  Heats 50 points (heat 1 23 and heat 2 27) and highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 2nd (22) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 55 points chart points. 20th May - Arena points chart round 12 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Comrades' still racing my existing Slotstox as my new Slotstox was still having teething problems.  Heats 31 points (heat 1 15 and heat 2 16) and seventh highest points scorer of thirteen drivers missing out on the final by 2 points.  31 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 6th (which is the last qualifying position) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 114 points. 

During the third points chart cycle I scored a total of 174 points and had the 2nd highest average of 43.5 points.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I was first in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 414 points and so would race from silver for the next points cycle.

 

Following the arrival of twin boys, I didn't race for a while and when I did return focused for the remainder of the Arena season on the Gold Top meetings.

Note: as I prepared the Arena Slotstox points charts, these were a bit hit or miss over the remainder of the season due to the points from each meeting not always being sent through to me in a timely manner.  The points for the meeting on 8th July, which should have been the 16th round and the final round of the fourth points chart cycle, never materialised and in early 2015 this meeting was officially declared null and void as a points chart round.  Due to this interim grades were issued on two occasions during the remainder of the season.

 

Having not raced during the fourth Arena Points Championship points chart cycle (rounds 13 to 16 on 27 May, 10 June, 17 June and 15 July), I was down to third in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 414 points but would remain having to race from silver for the next points cycle having been top of the points after points chart cycle 3 and then not racing during points chart cycle 4.  I was also down to 8th and out of the top 6 qualifying places for the Arena Gold Top Championship final.

 

During the fifth Arena Points Championship points chart cycle I missed rounds 17 and 18 on 22 July and 29 July respectively before returning to racing on 12th August - Arena points chart round 19 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'Comrades'.  Heats - 40 points (heat 1 23 - soon got back into it after a crash in my first race when well placed for a win with 2nd in my second race before a win in my 3rd - and heat 2 17) ) and 3rd highest points scorer of fourteen drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps with my new Slotstox) - 6th (3) to add 1 points chart point.  I scored a total of 41 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was up to 7th (top six qualify) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 155 points. 

Also missing round 20 on 26 August meant that I only raced once during the fifth points chart cycle and my score of 41 was the 2nd highest average.  Along with being down to fourth in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 455 points - I was now red grade.

16th September - Arena points chart round 23 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'Comrades'.  Heats - 42 points (heat 1 22 and heat 2 20 along with two other drivers) and highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 1st (19) to add 6 points chart point.  I scored a total of 48 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  With the driver that was sixth missing this meeting, I was up to 6th (and in the qualifying places) for the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 203 points.

Due to missing rounds 21, 22 and 24 on 2, 9 and 30 September respectively, I only raced once during the fifth points chart cycle and my score of 48 was the highest average and so was silver for the next points cycle.  I was up to third in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 503 points.

Originally with some points still to backfill for a full points chart, grades were updated on an interim basis based on the meetings held on 26 August and 2, 9 and 16 September.  These meetings were originally the sixth points chart cycle until the meeting on 8 July was officially declared null and void as a points chart round.  Having only raced at the meeting on 16 September, my total and average of 48 points was the highest average and so I would race from silver for the next points cycle.

 

21st October - 9th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'St Mary's'.  Due to the number of drivers racing Parmastox there was only time for each driver to have one Slotstox heat and therefore this meeting was not classed as a points chart round - 13 Gold Top Qualifying points.  I finished 6th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) and so qualified for the Arena Gold Top final with 216 points.

Originally with some points still to backfill for a full points chart, grades were again updated on an interim basis based on the meetings held on 30 September and 7, 28 October.  These meetings along with the meeting on 21st October were originally the seventh points chart cycle until the meeting on 8 July was officially declared null and void as a points chart round.  With the meeting on 21st October being the only one of these I attended and this being classed as not a points chart round, I had no average for these meetings and would race from silver grade for the next points cycle.

 

18th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 6th of the six drivers (having missed 3 of the 9 rounds) who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. My preferred Slotstox hand controller had stopped working a few weeks previous and had gone for repairs.  Unfortunately the person who took it wasn’t at this meeting and I thought neither was my hand controller so I used my preferred Parmastox hand controller – which wasn’t quite performing as it should (see Parmastox Gold Top report for more on that!) I managed the situation throughout the Slotstox final as best I could only to find out after it had finished that someone else had brought the handcontroller with them and I hadn’t heard them tell me where it was!  As in 2013, I started in white lane (lane 4) with drivers having two races in each lane over 10 laps all starting from the yellow grade line. I finished 3rd in each of my two races in white lane, 2nd and 1st in black lane, 4th and 3rd in green lane, two 2nd’s in blue lane, 2 wins in yellow lane and finally 3rd and 4th in red lane. At the end of the final I had finished all 12 races and scored 43 points and finished 2nd with the winner also finishing all 12 races and scoring 52 points.  It was high scoring considering that 38 points had won in each of the previous two seasons (including me in 2012!)

 

With the meeting on 21st October being classed as a non-points chart round, the seventh points chart cycle eventually consisted of five meetings (7 and 28 October, 4 and 25 November and 2 December) with the best four of these counting to the points chart.  I didn't race at any these meetings and so would race from silver grade for the first points chart cycle of the 2015 season (retained from having the highest average during points chart cycle 5). 

I finished 5th in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with a total of 503 points.  The official points chart being based on 3 out of 4 meeting cycles counting to the points chart (except the final points cycle where 4 out of 5 meetings counted).  Based on total points I was also the 5th highest points scorer (566 points from 14 points meetings out of 30 - 29 of which were points chart rounds) with the second highest season average of 40.4 points.  The total points were also used to determine informal track championship points charts for each of ‘Comrades’ and ‘St Mary’s’.  I finished 4th in the ‘Comrades’ track championship (448 from 10 of 21 meetings) with the second highest average of 44.8 points and finished 4th in the ‘St Mary’s’ track championship (118 from 4 of 9 meetings) by 1 point with joint 1st highest average with one other driver of 29.5 points.  I won three finals during the season all at ‘Comrades’.

 

At the 32nd Slotstox World Championship on 7th December hosted by the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club there were 30 drivers racing - 10 representing the host club, 15 representing the Foxhall Foxes and 5 representing Arena including me and my wife Clare making her racing debut as we made this another family day out with the boys again getting their fair share of attention!  I qualified joint 10th with two other drivers from the heats with 62 points: 18 points in my first heat (2nd in lanes 4 and 5, 3rd in lanes 1 and 6), 25 points in my second heat (1st in lanes 1 and 3, 2nd in lanes 2 and 4 and 3rd in lane 6) and 19 points in my third heat (1st in lanes 1 and 3, 2nd in lane 2 and 6th in lanes 5 and 6).  With 24 drivers qualifying to the quarter-finals, Clare (racing as number 54) unfortunately finished 26th with 15 points (0 points in heat 1 using my new Slotstox which was a bit too fast and loose before borrowing a slower more stable Slotstox from a fellow driver to score 9 in heat 2 and 6 in heat 3).  I was consistent through-out my quarter-final starting with 3rd in lane 4 before 4th in lane 5, 2nd in lane 6 before a non-finish in lane 1 and 3rd in each of lanes 2 and 3.  I finished 2nd in my quarter-final with 20 points but it was close - just 1 point ahead of 3rd and 4th who required a run-off to determine the third qualifier and 3 points ahead of 5th.  My semi-final started badly with a non-finish in my first race in lane 1 before a 3rd from my second race in lane 1, 4th and 3rd in each of my two races in lane 2 was followed by two non-finishes in my two races in lane 3 which meant it would be an uphill struggle to finish in the top 3 places.  A 2nd in my first race in lane 4 renewed hope but it was soon dashed with a 5th from my second race in lane 4 and a non-finish from my first race in lane 5.  My semi-final concluded with 4th in each of my second race in lane 5 and my first race in lane 6 followed by a 6th from my second race in lane 6 and I finished 5th with 25 points to be eliminated from the Slotstox World Championship and I’d race in the B-final.  I had been hopeful of making the final as all five of my Slotstox World Championship finals had been at different venues - 1996: Foxhall Stadium, 2000 Rushmere Village Hall, 2001 Bucklesham and Foxhall Village Hall, 2006 Emneth Village Hall and 2012 Cheshunt Comrades Club – and with the 2014 event taking place at the Emneth Church Hall this would have been another different venue!  It was not to be and in the B-final I started with 4th from each of my two races in lane 3 before non-finishes in each of my races in lanes 4, 5 and 6.  2nd and 1st in lane 1 were followed by 2nd and a non-finish in lane 2.  I scored 22 points the same as the other driver representing Arena that had reached this stage (although they were actually from Wisbech and previously raced at the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club – only representing Arena as they only currently race Plastics at Arena alongside Metals at several clubs including the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club!) and we finished joint 4th.  There should have been a run-off to determine 4th and 5th but we agreed to decide the places based on best finishes – we both had one win whilst I had two 2nd’s compared with their one so I finished 4th (10th overall).

 

 

Parmastox

11th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - using the shale wing - heat 1 4th of five drivers - top 2 qualified for the final - (17) and consolation 4th of five drivers - top 2 qualified for the final - (12 - including livening things up by deliberately de-slotting my Race of Champions team mate when it became clear I wasn't going to qualify for the final!) - 4 (heat 2 + consolation 2) points chart points.  I missed Arena Points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' on 18th February due to a family funeral.  25th February - Arena points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' Club - heat 1 (shale) 1st of six drivers (20) and heat 2 (having won my 1st heat and therefore qualified for the final, I decided to give my spare Parmastox it's first run of the 2014 season and also to practice it with brakes.  Although other drivers questioned why I was racing my spare, especially when I needed to loosen the back axle before it would go anywhere - another reason to test it, I won the first two races on the inside two lanes!) 2nd of six drivers (15 - 3rd also scored 15 but I had those 2 race wins compared to their 1 race win).  Final 2nd of six drivers (23 - very close as 3rd and 4th each scored 22) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  4th March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'Comrades' Club (shale) - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (19 - 2nd scored 20 - top 2 qualifying for the final) and consolation 2nd of six drivers (40 - incredibly 3rd also scored 40 but I had 5 race wins compared to their 4 race wins whilst 1st scored 41 - knowing it was close and that only the top 2 would qualify for the final it was win or bust in my final race on the tricky inside lane which I managed to do).  Final 4th of six drivers (25 - 5th also scored 25 but I had 2 race wins compared to their 1 race win) - 9 (best heat/consolation 4 + final 5) points chart points.

During the first 4 rounds (although I missed round 2) I was 5th highest points scorer with 25 points, the 7th highest average of 8.3 points and was down to blue grade.

 

On 15th March, I raced at Metal Mania #3 at the Wellgate Slotstox Club which doubled up as the first round of five (the others being at Pinewood, Rockingham (new addition), Arena and Wisbech) in the 2014 Parmastox British Championship (the new name for the series in 2013 titled the Parmastox English Championship) with a record 46 drivers in attendance from all the above clubs plus the MSRA. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four-lane track) over 8 laps and the meeting featured marshalling to Wellgate rules. The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best eleven drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals. The remaining drivers would then race in seven consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals. Heat 1 (tarmac to start with and then after the wing became detached I realised that my Parmastox handled better with no wing so I continued that way!) 2nd of five drivers (23 - 1st scored 25 and 3rd 21) and heat 2 (shale) 5th of five drivers (10 - shale to start with and then when I realised that this stopped my Parmastox from rolling back onto its wheels and therefore being marshalled under the Wellgate rules I again decided to race with no wing but it was too late at that stage!).  As this was not enough to qualify directly for the semi-finals - consolation (no wing) 1st of five drivers (28 - including six wins in my eight races - all 4 on the inside 2 lanes plus the 2 races in the outside lane) to qualify for the semi-finals.  Semi-final (no wing) 4th of six drivers in one of three semi-finals top two from each qualifying for the final (19) for 10 points (originally 9 before a re-work of the points system) towards the 2014 Parmastox British Championship - and was joint 11th with two other drivers.  Having scored 5 points at the Wellgate round in 2013 I was happy to be 5 points better off in 2014 on a track that I've never really relished racing on!  At the end of the main meeting those drivers that didn't qualify for the event final could race in a series of four Grand Nationals - in my Grand National I finished 3rd of six drivers (21) and scored 4 points towards the 2014 Parmastox British Grand National Championship series to be joint 9th with the four other drivers that had finished 3rd in a Grand National.

 

18th March - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'St Mary's' with green lane not working and heats consisting of 1 race per 5 lanes - heat 1 (tarmac) - 1st of five drivers (19), heat 2 (spare) - 2nd of four drivers (10 - 2 wins) and final - 2 races per 5 lanes - (tarmac) 4th of six drivers (18) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  25th March - Arena points chart round 6 at 'St Mary's' with all lanes working and heats and final over 1 race per lane - heat (tarmac) - 1st of five drivers (22) and final - 1st of six drivers (19) - maximum 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  1st April - Arena points chart round 7 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat - 1st of six drivers (25) and final - 1st of six drivers (40) - maximum 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart points for the second meeting in a row.  Combined with being top scorer and final winner in Slotstox this was a successful evening's racing!  15th April - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades' heat - with the winner qualifying direct to the final (shale) - 2nd of five drivers (31), consolation (1 of 2 each 1 race per lane with each winner and best runner-up qualifying for the final (shale) - 1st of six drivers (15 - 3 wins in a low scoring consolation as 2nd scored 4 from one 2nd place finish and the other 4 drivers each scored 0!) and final - (spare having broken the chassis on my main Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (37 - despite scoring 0 points in my first four races in the outside two lanes - and mainly due to a run of six wins in a row later in the final) - maximum 13 (consolation 5 + final 8) points chart (for the third meeting in a row having made the most of my blue grade during this grading cycle!) and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Having missed Gold Top Qualifying round 1, I was 5th (top 6 qualify) in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 23 points.

During the 5th to 8th rounds I was highest points scorer with 49 points, 2nd highest average of 12.3 points and was up to red grade.  Following 8 rounds (I'd attended 7) I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 74 points (1 point ahead of 3rd) with the 2nd highest season average of 10.6 points.

 

On 18th April (Good Friday) I raced for the first time at the Three Counties Oval Slot Club (formerly Rockingham Slotstox Club who after a disagreement with their previous location had moved to the Northampton International Raceway - a Slotstox club based once more at a Stock Car stadium!) in their 'Racin for eggs' meeting.  The meeting was attended by 18 drivers many of which had attended the Good Friday 'real' Stock Car meeting at the track that afternoon.  I raced with a mixture of Tarmac and no wing - heats 50 points (heat 1 26 and heat 2 24) and finished joint 6th highest scorer with one other driver as the top 8 qualified direct to the semi-finals.  In my semi-final I finished 5th and outside the top 3 final qualifying places with 13 points having been targeted by a host club driver a few times...although I did show them twice that it's possible to de-slot their Parmastox without de-slotting my Parmastox!  That's not all...my dad borrowed my spare Parmastox to race Parmastox for the first time (his first Slot-Racing action since the victorious Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club Open Team meeting in 2005!) and achieved exactly the same result - 5th in his semi-final with 13 points although in slightly different style - 18th and last scorer in the heats before 2nd in his consolation to qualify for the semi-finals!  We both won a Cadbury Creme Egg!

 

22nd April - Arena points chart round 9 at 'Comrades' heat (shale) - with 1st and 2nd qualifying direct to the final - 1st of five drivers (39) and final - 2nd of six drivers bringing to an end my run of final wins (28 - 3rd scored 27 and 4th 26) - 12 (heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  29th April - Arena points chart round 10 at 'St Mary's' (spare) - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (25), heat 2 1st of four drivers (33) and with all four heat winners qualifying for the final - 1st of four drivers (29) - maximum (for the fourth meeting out of five) 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  13th May - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat with 1st and 2nd qualifying direct to the final - 2nd of four drivers (35) and final - 2nd of six drivers (28 - 1st scored 30) - 11 (heat 4 + final 7) points chart points.  20th May - Arena points chart round 12 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat with the top 3 qualifying direct to the final - 1st of seven drivers (32 - 2nd 30) and final - 2nd of six drivers (28 - with two other drivers joint 3rd also with 28 points and identical results although I had 1 race win whilst they both had none) - 12 (heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint 3rd with one other driver (top 6 qualify) in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 35 points.

During the 9th to 12th rounds I was highest points scorer with 48 points, joint highest average of 12.0 points with one other driver and remained red grade.  Following 12 rounds (I'd attended 11) I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 122 points (2 point behind 1st) with the 2nd highest season average of 11.1 points.

 

Following the arrival of twin boys, I didn't race during the 13th to 16th Arena points rounds so retained red grade and remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart (122 points) and still with the 2nd highest season average (11.1 points).  I missed round 5 of the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying on 17th June and was down to 5th in the points (top 6 qualify) with 35 points.

I also missed round 2 of the the 2014 Parmastox British Championship at Pinewood on 31st May and was outside the top 20 in the points chart.  I also missed round 3 at the Three Counties Oval Slot Club on 28th June.

In addition, I missed round 6 of the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying on 15th July and remained 5th in the points (top 6 qualify) with 35 points but only 1 point above 6th, 2 points above 7th and 3 points above 8th.

My position in the Parmastox Gold Top Qualifying prompted a return to racing on 12th August - Arena points chart round 20 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat 1 2nd of seven drivers (32) and heat 2 - one race per lane due to time - 2nd of seven drivers (20 - 1st scored 21).  Two 2nd's was good enough to qualify for the final - one race per lane due to time - 3rd of six drivers (11) - 10 (heat 4 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 5th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) with 45 points, 2 point ahead of 6th and 3 points ahead of 7th.

During July/August I raced at only 1 of 5 rounds and was 13th highest points scorer with 10 points, joint 4th highest average of 10.0 points with one other driver and remained red grade.  I was down to 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 132 points with the 2nd highest season average of 11.0 points.

 

16th September - Arena points chart round 24 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat 1 1st of seven drivers (38) and heat 2 - planned to race my spare Parmastox as a heat win was enough to qualify for the final only to find a detached engine wire (at least I found out when I didn't need to use it!) - 2nd of seven drivers (26).  Final - 3rd of six drivers (33 - close as 1st scored 36, 2nd 35 and 4th 30) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was up to 4th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) with 56 points needing only 1 point to guarantee qualification.

During September I raced at only 1 of 4 rounds and was 9th highest points scorer with 11 points, 3rd highest average of 11.0 points and remained red grade.  I was down to 5th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 143 points with the joint highest season average of 11.0 points.

 

On 4th October, I raced at the Hertfordshire ‘Open’ Championship, hosted by Arena at 'Comrades' - which doubled up as the fourth round (of five) in the 2014 Parmastox British Championship with 28 drivers in attendance.  We made this a family day out and so the first Slot-Racing meeting attended by our new twin boys - they got a fair amount of attention!  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane over 8 laps and racing with the shale wing.  The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best eight drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals. The remaining 20 would race in four consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals. Heat 1 1st of five drivers (36) and heat 2 1st of six drivers (37).  This was enough to qualify directly to the semi-finals as one of only two drivers to win both heats with the top 3 in each qualifying to the final.  Semi-final 4th of six drivers in one of two sem-finals top three from each qualifying for the final (22 - my Parmastox had been having braid issues throughout the meeting but I was reluctant to change them due to it going so well...eventually performance became affected and I switched to my spare Parmastox braids during the semi-final - in hindsight I probably should have done this sooner but with helping to look after the boys thoughts of maintenance hadn't been prominent before it was too late!) for joint 7th in the meeting and 12 2014 Parmastox British Championship points - my total of 22 meant that I was joint 20th with one other driver in the overall series points (not too bad considering I missed rounds 2 and 3!)  I chose not to race in the Grand Nationals so that we could get the boys home.

 

21st October - Arena points chart round 27 and 9th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'St Mary's' (spare and not taking it too seriously due to only needing to race to guarantee a top 6 place and qualification for the Gold Top final) - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (14 - same points as 3rd but I had 2 wins compared to their none) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (16 - 3rd scored 15).  My two second places were good enough to qualify for the final - 4th of six drivers (11) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 4th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) and so qualified for the Arena Gold Top final with 65 points.

 

On 1st November, I raced at the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club to defend the King of the Fens (Open) Championship which doubled up as the fifth and final double points round in the 2014 Parmastox British Championship with 37 drivers in attendance.  As for round four hosted by Arena, we made this a family day out and again our twin boys got a fair amount of attention!  The heats and semi-finals were two races per lane over 8 laps and any driver that won a heat would qualify directly to the semi-finals. Racing my Parmastox with the shale wing (the combination that I won with in 2013); I struggled in practice but not as much as in 2013 so this didn’t concern me too greatly.  Heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (53) to qualify directly to the semi-finals and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (39).  Over the fourteen heats there had been thirteen separate heat winners (including me) who each qualified directly to the semi-finals.  Those drivers were joined in the semi-finals by five drivers from four consolations - the winner of each plus the best runner-up.  This formed two eight driver semi-finals with the top 3 in each qualifying to the final – in mine 1st (57 – winning by 20 points) and I had qualified once again for the King of the Fens (Open) Championship final.  Final (two races per lane over 10 laps and all drivers starting from the start line) 5th of six drivers (31 – 4th scored 32).  5th in the final scored 14 points – doubled to 28 - towards the 2014 Parmastox British Championship series and I finished 8th of the 69 (up from 51 in 2013) that had raced in the series with 50 points.  Despite only racing at 3 of the 5 rounds, I matched my 8th place finish (with 47 points) from the 2013 Parmastox English Championship Series although that was in rather different circumstances having been 2nd overall prior to the 4th and final double points round at Pinewood Raceway which I missed due to my mother-in-laws 60th birthday!  Having qualified for the event final at this round I did not race in the Grand Nationals and with only 4 points from 2nd in my Grand National at round 1 (Wellgate on 15th March) I finished joint 31st with six other drivers – 47 (up from 44 in 2013) drivers scored Grand National points during the series.

 

19th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 4th of the six drivers (having missed 3 of the 9 rounds) who drew their starting lane in qualifying order.  Using the shale wing, as for the Slotstox final I started in the white lane (lane 4) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the yellow grade line.  It was immediately clear that something wasn’t right as I was really struggling to keep my Parmastox under control and in the lane and finished neither race in white lane – frustrating considering it had gone so well at my previous meeting - the Wisbech hosted King of the Fens meeting!  I scored only 5 points and finished 6th of the 6 drivers – my only points (and finishes) as follows – 1 point from my first race in black lane (lane 5), 1 point from my first race in green lane (lane 6), 2 points for 4th in my first race in yellow lane (lane 2) and 1 point from 5th in my first race in red lane (lane 3).  Unfortunately crashing in the last race - my second race in red lane - resulted in another driver being stopped and if they had finished that race they would have won the championship rather than losing out on fewer race wins.

Having not qualified for the meeting final from the Gold Top final, I raced in a consolation heat with 1st and 2nd qualifying.  I again struggled and finished 6th of the seven drivers (15 – same as 5th but they had 3 wins to my 1 whilst 3rd and 4th each scored 17).  During the consolation it became clear that the problem was with my hand controller and I then remembered that I’d had minor problems at the end of the King of the Fens meeting but with everything else I’d not looked properly.  On closer inspection by a fellow driver it was noticed that one of the wires around the resistor had snapped!  I scored 2 (Gold top final 1 + consolation 1) points chart points.

During October and November I raced at only 2 of 6 rounds and was 13th highest points scorer with 11 points and 11th highest average of 5.5 points.

 

I finished 6th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 154 points after racing at 15 of the 31 rounds.  I remained red grade due to having the third highest season average of 10.3 points.  I won four finals during the season - two at ‘Comrades’ and two at 'St Mary's'.

 

 

Slot-Classic Hot Rods

For the 2014 season Arena Slotstox Club ran a Classic Hot Rod formula based on those raced at the Rockingham Slotstox Club being scalextric cars from a defined list of cars befitting of what would qualify as a Classic Hot Rod style.  I raced them for the first time at the multi-formula Race of Champions pairs event at the start of the 2014 season.  

11th March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Comades' on the four lane track - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (22) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (13).  With only heat winners qualifying for the final I didn't qualify - 4 (best heat) Classic Hot Rod points chart points.

 

 

Parma-Minis

11th March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Comades' on the four lane track - heat 2nd of four drivers (17) - 4 Parma-Mini points chart points.

 

 

Multi-formula

The 2014 season started on 1 February with a Race of Champions pairs fun event - combined with a meeting of representatives from each participating club to discuss the 2014 Parmastox British (renamed from the 2013 English) Championship Series.  The draw paired me with Wellgate and former Arena Multi-Champion 13 Ken Holmes.  There were 11 teams and each would race in six heats against six of those 11 teams in a mixture of Slot-Cars: Classic Hot Rods, Parmastox and Go-Karts - the places to be decided by cumulative scores.  First up were Classic Hot Rods on the four lane track with, for fairness, a set Classic Hot Rod allocated to each lane.  This was the first time I'd raced Classic Hot Rods being scalextric cars from a defined list of cars befitting of what would qualify as a Classic Hot Rod style and Ken (3) and I (8) scored 11 points to our opponents 7.  Our second Classic Hot Rods heat was delayed due to a driver arriving late so next up was our first heat of Parmastox on the six lane track - racing our own Parmastox and using Red lane outwards - Ken (13) and I (11) scored 24 to our opponents 12.  In our second Classic Hot Rods heat Ken (2) and I (6) scored 8 to our opponents 17.  In our second Parmastox heat Ken (11) and I (5) scored 16 to our opponents 14 which included a Wisbech driver getting some revenge on me for their teams 0 score against my team at the 2013 season ending Rockingham Parmastox team event!  To finish were two heats of Go-Karts on the four lane track with, for fairness, a set Go-Kart allocated to each lane.  In our first heat Ken (5) and I (7) scored 12 to our opponents 13 and in our second heat Ken (4) and I (7) scored 11 to our opponents 8.  Overall we scored 82 points and finished 4th.

 

 

Other

On 3rd July, I attended the Summer Party of the International Underwriting Association (IUA) entitled 'Whacky races' - the biggest draw for me being that there was going to be a scalextric competition!  Having not raced since the end of May this was too good to miss so twins bed time help was arranged with the Mother-in-law and off we went.  Knowing that I would have to leave early (night feeding duties), I arrived for the start of the party and watched patiently as the scalextric - organised by Giant Scalextric Hire - was set up with a set car in each of the four lanes.  I took the earliest opportunity to practice all lanes and conscious of my time deadline I asked one of the two organisers for the format - the fastest driver to do 10 laps - so I immediately asked if I could have a go?  Yes came the reply so 1st go of anybody - racing the blue lane/blue car with just me on track I set a time of approx. 51 seconds – to which one of the organisers said that would probably win…result!  I followed this up with a few more races with others on track but I was either delayed or on one go I stopped just before the line on the 10th lap so didn’t  cut the power and record a time … schoolboy error!  I then chatted with the organisers and mentioned that I raced and discovered that they race at clubs in Watford and Hillingdon…I think the idea was meant to be network with other party attendees rather than the scalextric organisers!  Anyway, one of the organisers then challenged me to see how quick I could really go and this time I used the green lane/green car whilst they used the blue lane/blue car and although I marginally lost (acceptable due to comparative track experience)…I used chasing him around for 10 laps to help me record a time of approx. 46 seconds!  The last go before I left I challenged the other organiser – we both crashed early on so with the time irrelevant it was a straight race almost side by side until he crashed with just over a lap to go and I cruised around the last lap to win!  I found out the following Monday from the IUA that my time remained the quickest and I'd won.  I collected my prize - a bottle of champagne - although a little disappointed as I'd understood it to be a trophy!

 

SLOTSTOX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: B-FINAL 4TH (10th overall)

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH 503 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'COMRADES' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH - 448 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'ST MARY'S' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH - 118 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP

SLOTSTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 3 final wins – all at Comrades

 

PARMASTOX BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 8TH - 50 points

PARMASTOX KING OF THE FENS (OPEN) CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH - 154 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 3 final wins – 2 at Comrades and 2 at St Mary's

 

THE INTERNATIONAL UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION (IUA) SUMMER PARTY CHAMPION

 

RACE OF CHAMPIONS 'OPEN': 4TH ('Gumbies' with Ken Holmes)

Slot-Racing 2010's

Copyright Mark Banham Racing