Make your own free website on Tripod.com

webaddress.jpg

Home | Brief History | Honours | Slot-Racing | StoxKarts | Associates | Photos | Video | Messages | Links

Slot-Racing 2017

The 2017 season saw the Arena Slotstox Club continue at its main venue of the Waltham Abbey Community Centre ('WACC') on Wednesday evenings except  the first meeting of each month.  With my main Parmastox and spare Parmastox now being interchangeable these are now referred to as Red and Blue respectively.

The Parmastox British Championship Series was replaced by a series of individual Open Championship meetings with non-Championship National Points running in the background.

 

Slotstox

A work trip to Ipswich presented the opportunity to visit the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club on 20 October and to make up the numbers I raced in the Slotstox Foxhall Team Championship – my first Slotstox meeting of 2017!  Being the current Arena Slotstox Points Champion, I was in the first group of seeded drivers and was teamed up with Owen Earrey and Carl Brett.  There were four teams of three and each team raced against each other in a heat of six drivers with team members in alternate lanes.  All points would be added with the top two scoring teams competing in the main final and the other two team racing in a 3rd/4th place race-off.  We lost our first heat we lost 41-45 (I finished one race and scored 5 points).  We won our second heat 46-39 (I finished two races and scored 10 points – including a first Slotstox race win of the season).  We lost our third heat 38-50 (I finished three races and scored 11 points).  Our total of 125 points just missed out on the final as the second team scored 128 points.  We won the 3rd/4th place race off 44-22 (to be consistent in race finishes I finished four races and scored 20 points).


The 35th Slotstox World Championship on 3rd December was hosted by the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club and was only my second Slotstox meeting of the season but following the Arena Parmastox Team Championship the preceding Wednesday and the Parmastox Winternationals Championship the previous day was my third Slot-Racing meeting in five days! I arrived in good time to ensure I was able to run my Slotstox in and also sufficiently tape the tyres for grip. There were 28 drivers racing - 15 representing the host club, 11 representing the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club, 1 representing the Three Counties Slotstox Club and only me representing Arena! 24 of those drivers would qualify from the heats to the quarter finals and racing from Champions grade (being Arena Gold Top and Points Champion from 2016) I qualified joint 10th with one other driver with 64 points: 19 points in my first heat (2nd in lanes 2 and 3, 3rd in lane 4, 4th in lane 1 and 5th in lane 5), 22 points in my second heat (2nd in lanes 4 and 5, 3rd in lane 3, 4th in lanes 1 and 2 and 5th in lane 6) and 23 points in my third heat (1st in lane 1 - my only win of the day, 2nd in lanes 2 and 3, 3rd in lane 4 and 4th in lane 5).  My quarter-final did not start well with a 5th in lane 4, a self-inflicted crash in lane 5 and 6th in lane 6. 2nd in each of lanes 1 and 2 gave hope but being in a crash which de-slotted my Slotstox (on to the centre green!) early on in lane 3 ended my chances.  I finished 5th with 13 points (4th scored 13 whilst the 3rd and final qualifier scored 22) to be eliminated from the Slotstox World Championship. From looking at the scores after the quarter-final I needed to win the last race and hope that the driver that finished 3rd didn't finish... their 3rd place finish in the final race made my crashing out less decisive! My lack of Slotstox racing probably counted against me with my best hope of making the final probably being the venue as all five of my Slotstox World Championship finals have 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 2017 event taking place at the Emneth Church Hall this would have been another different venue... but it wasn't to be!


 

Parmastox

8 February - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' - using my blue Parmastox with a deteriorating cog meaning it was a little noisy - heat 1 1st of five drivers (31 - a scrappy first heat of the season only achieving 7 finishes and same points as 2nd but I had 4 race wins compared with their 3) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (46). My heat win ensured I qualified for the final - 1st of six drivers (42) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart pointsGrand National - starting a lap down - 3rd of six drivers (9) - 4 Arena Grand National points chart points.  I missed Arena points rounds 2 and 3 on 15 and 22 February respectively due to holiday. 8 March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'WACC' - using my blue Parmastox - heat 1 1st of four drivers (45) and heat 2 1st of four drivers (41).  Final - being targeted 2nd of six drivers (21) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.

With points/grades now being updated after four meetings (recent seasons three) and having missed round 2 and 3, during the first 4 rounds I was 6th highest points scorer on 25 points with the joint highest average with one other driver of 12.5 points.  Being the Arena Gold Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was 6th in the Arena Grand National points chart with 4 points.

 

19 April - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'WACC' - using my red Parmastox - heat 1 1st of six drivers (38), heat 2 2nd of six drivers (30 - 1st scored 31) and heat 3 3rd of six drivers (27 - 1st scored 29 and 2nd scored 28). Final - 2nd of seven drivers (37 - 1st scored 40.  With the final leader having finished their races, I needed 9 points from the final two races, where I was in the inside lane, to win the final.  I won and scored 5 points in the penultimate race and was well placed in the final race before being stopped by a deslotted Parmastox!) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points and 2nd in the Gold Top Qualifying points 1 point behind the driver that won the final who scored a maximum 13.

 

On 6th May, I raced at the Three Counties Club in the Best in Britain. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. Being on my own with the twins (Clare having something else on) I did not practice.  I decided to race my blue Parmastox and after a quick fix to reinsert the rear hook, the front wheels fell off during the first race (I clearly hadn't reinstated the front axle sufficiently tightly!) - it mattered little - heat 1 1st (6 points) of six drivers (36). The highlight race for me being when another car fell in my lane and I used this to help de-slot the leading Parmastox and leave me as the only finisher. I was surprised to initially be scored 1st in my second heat but two race scores had been missed and once these were added - heat 2 2nd (5) of five drivers (29).  Heat 3 1st (6) of five drivers (41). My heat points score of 17 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 6th of six drivers (13 - two wins in the first two races in lane 1 were followed by just one further race finish in 3rd and a succession of crashes and not all of my own doing!)

 

10 May - Arena points chart round 6 at 'WACC' - using my blue Parmastox - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (35 - 3rd scored 34) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (35).  My two second places were sufficient to qualify direct to the final - 2nd of six drivers (39 - 1st scored 42 with crashing on my own when in second place and chasing first in the first race ultimately proving decisive) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points.  24 May - Arena points chart round 7 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of seven drivers (45). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 - 1st of seven drivers (35) and heat 3 - 3rd of seven drivers (25). I switched back to my blue Parmastox for the final - 1st of five drivers (51 finishing all 12 races) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint first in the Gold Top Qualifying points with 25 points.

 

On 27th May, I raced at the Wellgate Slotstox Club in Metal Mania XI which doubled up as the National Championship. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals.  I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 1st (6 points) of six drivers (27), heat 2 1st (6) of six drivers (16 - four no finishes in lanes 3 and 4 followed by four wins in lanes 1 and 2!) and heat 3 2nd (5) of six drivers (16 - 3rd scored 15 and 4th 14). My heat points score of 17 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 4th of six drivers (15 - 3rd scored 17 with one self-inflicted crash plus two non-finishes when well-placed proving costly). Clare borrowed my red Parmastox to make her Wellgate debut and failed to finish a race and thus scored 0 points and finished 6th of six drivers in each her three heats! Plus a large impact by another Parmastox caused some serious damage to my red Parmastox during her first heat!

 

On 3rd June, I raced at the Three Counties Slotstox Club at the Talbot Tribute meeting in remembrance of Aaron Talbot who passed away at a young age in 2016 with meeting proceeds being donated to the Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy charity (SUDEP). This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance plus, after taking an interest the day before and after some logistical arrangements, our nephew Dougie.  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 4th (3 points) of five drivers (9 a little distracted plus I got involved in some crashes with another driver), heat 2 3rd (4) of five drivers (33 - 1st and 2nd each scored 34 with a non-finish in my final race being the difference) and heat 3 3rd (4) of five drivers (26). My heat points score of 11 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Not my finest race meeting but that was secondary to a fantastic amount of money made for SUDEP. Clare borrowed my red Parmastox to make her Three Counties debut - heat 1 5th (2) of five drivers (9), heat 2 3rd (4) of five drivers (16 - 4th scored 15) and heat 3 5th of five drivers (1) - total 7 points. Dougie made his racing debut at this meeting - his debut heat was my first heat hence why I was a little distracted - 5th of five drivers in each of his three heats (5 (a race win!), 6 and 1 respectively) - total 6 (3x2) points.  I used my red Parmastox to race in a hard hitting Silver/Gold Top Grand National - 5th of six drivers (10 - with some revenge given from heat 1!)

 

On 10th June, I raced at the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) at the Ipswich Open Championship. With Clare having something else on I was accompanied by our twins but did have my mum and dad in attendance to help entertain them!  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 8, 4th 5, 5th 4, 6th 2 and 7th 1.  The highest points scoring ten drivers would qualify direct to the semi-finals with the remaining drivers racing in two consolations and the winner of each also qualifying to the semi-finals with the top three in each semi-final qualifying to the final. I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 2nd (10 points) of seven drivers (32), heat 2 5th (4) of seven drivers (21 – 4th scored 22) and heat 3 3rd (8) of six drivers (24 – 4th scored 23 and 5th 22). My heat points score of 22 was enough to qualify direct to the semi-finals.  After a side iron was fixed on my blue Parmastox - semi-final – 3rd of six drivers (24 – 4th and 5th both scored 22) and I therefore qualified for the final – 4th of six drivers (25).  Having at times been way off the pace during the meeting consistent finishing and scoring had proved an effective approach!  Having collected my 2016 Arena Open winning trophy holding Harry, this time I was holding Seb. I passed him the trophy and he immediately claimed it as his own for earlier touching the ceiling when I lifted him up!  He proceeded to carry it around most of the evening, slept with it at the end of his bed and was still carrying it around early the next morning!

My dad borrowed my red Parmastox with new tyres to make his ARC debut and at times was going well - heat 1 6th (2) of seven drivers (13), heat 2 5th (4) of seven drivers and heat 3 7th (1) of seven drivers (10).  His total of 7 points was not enough to qualify direct to the semi-finals and so he raced in one of the two consolations – 5th of five drivers (7).

 

14 June - Arena points chart round 8 at 'WACC' with black lane not working so heats consisting of 10 races rather than the usual 12 - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (32). I switched to my red Parmastox heat 2 running in new tyres and newish braids - 2nd of six drivers (23). I switched back to my blue Parmastox for the final - 1st of six drivers (35 - only non-finishing in the first race) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

During rounds 5 to 8, I was joint highest points scorer with one other driver on 49 points with the joint highest average with one other driver of 12.3 points.  Being the Arena Gold Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was second in the Arena Points Chart with 74 points and the highest average of 12.3 points.  I was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 10 points.

 

30 June - I made a Friday evening trip to the Three Counties Club to race in the Midland Championship. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring eleven drivers would qualify direct to the semi-finals with the remaining drivers racing in a consolation with the winner also qualifying for the semi-finals. Following practice I decided to race my red Parmastox to run in the new tyres and braids - heat 1 3rd (4 points) of five drivers (24), heat 2 4th (3) of six drivers (20) and heat 3 2nd (5) of six drivers (29).  My heat points score of 12 was enough to qualify direct for the semi-finals in 10th. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 5th of six drivers (21 - some good results with help of bumper work towards the end were too little too late).

 

12 July - Arena points chart round 9 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of five drivers (39). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - 3rd of five drivers (17 - 4th scored 16). With my heat win I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 2nd of six drivers (30) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 37 points.  26 July - Arena points chart round 10 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (44). I switched to my red Parmastox for heats 2 and 3 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (30 - same as 1st but their points had come from 6 wins whereas I had only 2 wins. Two non-finishes in my last lane - red - proved decisive with the winner getting 2 wins) and heat 3 - run over one race per lane - 1st of six drivers (13). I switched back to my blue Parmastox for the final (which ended up being run over 13 races due to an erroneous extra race somewhere!) - 1st of six drivers (40) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  23 August - Arena points chart round 11 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (47 - finishing 10 of the 12 races). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids although the cogs started to slip towards the end of the heat - 1st of six drivers (47 again - this time finishing 11 of the 12 races). I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 2nd of six drivers (28) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 49 points.  13 September - Arena points chart round 12 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of five drivers (44 - finishing 11 of the 12 races). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - 3rd of five drivers (25). My heat win meant I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (19 - run over one race per lane due to time) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

During rounds 9 to 12, I was highest points scorer on 50 points with the second highest average of 12.5 points.  Being the Arena Gold Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was first in the Arena Points Chart with 124 points and the highest average of 12.4 points.  With no Grand National run during rounds 9 to 12 I remained joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 10 points.

 

29 September - I made a debut appearance at the Luton Slot Car Club (albeit currently based in Kempston) for their Gold Top qualifying round 1. All heats were one race per lane (six lanes) over 10 laps with points scored based on a combination of laps completed in each race plus finishing positions in each race. The finishing position in each heat determined points chart points and with all 10 drivers racing in each qualifying heat - 10 for 1st, 9 for 2nd etc. I was using my Blue Parmastox and also my 3ohm hand controller which with Luton running on 14 volts (rather than the 11 I am used to) meant it was a challenge just to keep my Parmastox in its lane without any thoughts of actually racing! With the power to each lane cutting off once you crossed the line after the winner had finished, I didn't actually manage to finish a full 10 laps in any race! A Luton member did lend me their hand controller for a few races but it was easier to continue with one hand controller rather than keep switching especially as no practice was available between races.  Heat 1 - 10th (I believe 15 points - a baptism of fire!) and 1 points chart point. Heat 2 - 5th (90 - starting to adapt and was leading at one point although I had raced more races than most of the other 9 drivers at that point!) and 6 points chart points. Heat 3 - 8th (64) and 3 points chart points. My 10 points chart points were unsurprisingly not enough to qualify in the top 4 to the final so I raced in the consolation - top 2 to qualify for the final. Consolation - 5th of 6 drivers (76) and so failed to qualify for the final. Grand National - joint 7th of 10 drivers with one other driver (71).  Overall it was an enjoyable evening and a good trial run and learning curve in terms of finding the location, knowing what to expect and where improvement required.

Being the only meeting I raced at during 2017 at Luton Slot Car club I finished 17th in the Luton Slotstox Points with 10 points.

 

11 October - Arena points chart round 13 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (37).  I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - 4th of six drivers (27 - 3rd scored 28 and 5th 25).  My heat win meant I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (44) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

 

On 14th October, I raced at the 2017 Arena Open Championship hosted by the Arena Slotstox Club which was run as the European Championship with 21 drivers in attendance. The meeting also doubled up as the fourth round in the unofficial 2017 Parmastox British Slotstox Association National Points Championship. The day was a family day out as I aimed to defend the Arena Open Championship I won in 2016 having on that day won all my 3 heats, my semi-final and the final despite having a what I thought was a slight cold that subsequently turned into a serious chest infection during the following week!  All heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with points scored based on finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats would qualify to the semi-finals. Heat 1 - 2nd (5 points) of seven drivers (50 - 1st scored 54 with a crash on my own in my first race in black lane costing me the win)! Heat 2 5th (2 points) of seven drivers (28 - 4th scored 29 with only 1 finish and 5 points from red, white and black lanes not helping my points score!) and heat 3 3rd (4 points) of seven drivers (39 - with only 1 finish and 5 points from blue and yellow lanes). My 11 heat points were sufficient to qualify for the semi-finals as 9th highest scorer (whilst I was joint 5th with one other driver on actual raw heat points scored). I started my semi-final well with 26 points from the first five races and was leading before non-finishes in my second race in white lane and two crashes on my own in black lane proved costly even before I ended the semi-final with two non-finishes in blue lane! I ended up finishing 5th with 32 points missing the top 3 qualifying places by 13 points. A disappointing way to end the defence of my Arena Open title and ultimately too many complacent errors proved costly on the day even without non-finishes due to other de-slotted Parmastox. Running the meeting was no excuse as this was the same in 2016!  Not my day but one to learn from and had I made the final I believe I would have stood a chance to win it. 5th in the semi-final equated to 4 British Slotstox Association National Championship Series points and added to my heats score meant a total of 15 points on the day.  Prior to this round the unofficial 2017 British Slotstox Association National Championship Series points had been published which showed I was 6th with 42 points - round 1 at RS Promotions on 25 February: 0 points (missed due to holiday), round 2 at Three Counties on 6 May (Best in Britain): 20 points (heats 17 plus 3 from finishing 6th in my semi-final) and round 3 at Wellgate 27 May (National Championship): 22 points (heats 17 plus 5 from finishing 4th in my semi-final). Following this round I now had 57 points.

 

8 November - 14th and penultimate Arena points chart round and 5th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'WACC' (blue Parmastox) knowing that with a heat and final maximum I would win the 2017 Arena Points Championship (or simply beating the driver second in the points by 1 point)!  Heat 1 4th of six drivers (23 - too many non-finishes caused by de-slotted Parmastox although there was one moment of good fortune which saw my Parmastox de-slot after clipping another Parmastox only to be knocked back in by a combination of that Parmastox and another Parmastox and then all the other drivers crash leaving me as the only finisher!  I think my luck in this heat ran out at that point!) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (32 - scrappy but ultimately effective). I qualified direct to the final knowing that, having ground out a heat win, a win in the final and I would win me the 2017 Arena Points Championship... that was the plan anyway - 3rd of six drivers (27 - 2nd scored 28 and never really in the running for the win) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  With the driver second in the points winning the final and scoring 12 points I would need to wait until the final round (needing 2 points) to try and win the 2017 Arena Points Championship.  I finished 1st in the Gold Top Qualifying points with 60 points.

 

On 17th November, I raced at the 2017 British Championship (now a one-off single meeting) at the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) in Ipswich with 26 drivers in attendance. The meeting also doubled up as the fifth round in the unofficial 2017 Parmastox British Slotstox Association National Points Championship. The day was a family day out.  My intention was to race my red Parmastox so as to protect my blue Parmastox for Arena Gold Top final the following Wednesday but at scruitineering the rear bumper height was on the limit and after not being happy during some practice I decided to practice with my blue Parmastox after all.  My blue Parmastox was better but was getting stuck at certain points of the track and the ride height was too low at scruitineering.  I swapped the newer tyres from my red Parmastox to increase its height, which the ARC track necessitates, whilst fellow drivers helped improve with getting stuck and also shape the tyres to assist cornering… all the time whilst hoping it would still race well around Arena!  All heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with points scored based on finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats would qualify to the semi-finals. Heat 1 - 2nd (5 points) of six drivers (27 – 3rd scored 25 – a competitive heat of red and above drivers), Heat 2 - 2nd (5 points) of seven drivers (32 – 3rd scored 31) and heat 3 - 6th (1 point) of seven drivers (13 - 7th scored 11 as I had too many non-finishes!)  My 11 heat points were sufficient to qualify for the semi-finals as 11th highest scorer.  Although I finished consistently throughout my semi-final they were in too low places with lower grade drivers proving difficult to catch – 5th of six drivers (24 – 4th also scored 24 but they had 1 race win to whereas I had none and 3rd (final qualifier) scored 27).  5th in the semi-final equated to 4 British Slotstox Association National Points Championship Seriess and added to my heats score meant a total of 15 points on the day and now 72 points in total to finish 5th in the unofficial 2017 British Slotstox Association National Points Championship Series.


22nd November – 15th and final Arena points round incorporating the Arena Gold Top Championship Final at WACC attempting to defend my Arena Gold Top Championship and needing 2 points to defend the Arena Points Championship.  Having finished top of the Arena Parmastox Gold Top qualifying points I had first pick of the six drivers in drawing starting lane in qualifying order. Using my blue Parmastox (after switching back the rear wheels/tyres then making some other quick adjustments after struggling in practice which was my concern in making changes at the British), I started in the green lane (lane 6) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the start/finish line. I finished 3rd in my first race in green lane before not finishing the second. I finished 3rd in my first race in blue lane and 2nd in my second race in blue lane.  I matched the results from blue lane in yellow lane. At the half way stage I was 2nd on 17 points but 13 points behind 1st who had won all six races. I won my first race in red lane and a non-finish for 1st narrowed the gap but a 4th in my second race in red lane followed by a non-finish in my first race in white lane (being stopped by a de-slotted Parmastox on the last lap when leading) had the sense of ending my chances (even though scores are kept secret during the final). I won my second race in white lane and finished 2nd in my first race in black lane (de-slotting 1st in the process). I again de-slotted 1st in my second race in black lane but was de-slotted by a de-slotted Parmastox on the final bend to non-finish.  I finished runner-up in the Arena Gold Top Championship.

Needing 5th or better my Gold Top runner-up finish meant I won the Arena Points Championship.  With a wire detaching on my blue Parmastox I raced my red Parmastox for the rest of the meeting - heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (23) and for the first time in 2017 I failed to qualify direct to the final.  Consolation (one race per lane) - needing to finish in the top 3 to qualify for the final - 2nd of six drivers (11).  Final (also one race per lane) - 2nd of six drivers (14 - 1st scored 15 and 3rd scored 13) - 11 (best heat/consolation 4 + Final 11) points chart points.

During the 13th to 15th rounds, I was the highest scorer with 35 points and the highest average of 11.7 points. I defended the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 159 points and the highest season average of 12.2 points and would hold the Silver Roof for the 2018 season. All rounds were raced on the 'WACC' track.  I was joint winner (with one other driver) to 'defend' the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship with 10 points.  Having raced at 14 of the 15 rounds I won six finals.


29 November - Arena Team Championship with 3 teams of 3 drawn at random plus a team of 2 (with one other driver drawn at random to join them).  I was drawn to team up with 2017 Arena Gold Top Champion Christopher Isham and Arena yellow grade driver Dale Russell (Team B).  Each team would race against each other in qualifying heats with the top 2 points scorers racing in the final.  Each heat consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes.  In all heats Chris raced in the two inside lanes, Dale the two middle lanes and me the two outside lanes.  In our first heat against Team D we scored 46 points (to 27) - me 22, Chris 10 and Dale 5.  In our second heat against Team A we scored 33 (to 28) - me 12, Dale 15 and Chris 8 although I did a bit of team racing during the second set of three races to disrupt the other team!  In our third heat against Team C we scored 32 (to 26) - me 13, Chris 10, and Dale 9.  We finished as top scorers (113) to qualify for the final against Team A (93).  At the half way stage of the final we were losing 13-12 but after a second half turn around (including, as in our heat, some racing by me to disrupt the other team!) we won by 40 points to 20 - me 11, Dale 15 and Chris 14 and I won my first Arena Team Championship.


On 2nd December, I raced at the 2017 Winternationals Championship the Cheylsmore Social Club in Coventry making my debut at a meeting hosted by RS Promotions with 16 drivers in attendance.  With Clare working I was on my own with the boys and was a little late arriving having watched England narrowly lose to Australia in the Rugby League World Cup final first (being so close I didn't want to leave before the match had finished!) All heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with points scored based on finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring four drivers in the heats would qualify to the final with the remaining 12 racing in two consolations and the winner of each also qualifying. For heat 1 I raced my blue Parmastox 3rd (4 points) of seven drivers (24). With the track being a contact track I felt that my blue Parmastox was too light so decided to switch to my red Parmastox. Heat 2 - 4th (3 points) of seven drivers (30) and heat 3 - 6th (1 point) of seven drivers (16). My 8 heat points were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final so I raced in a consolation persevering with my red Parmastox which proved a good decision - 1st of six drivers (49) to qualify for the final. Final - continuing with my red Parmastox - 6th of six drivers (18 - some good pace but too many non-finishes). A good day out even if a bit challenging / distracting at times being on my own with the boys.



Parma-Saloons

30 August - whilst in general not racing Parma-Saloons (as a way of limiting racing commitments) I made a debut appearance at I believe Arena points chart round 11 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC'.  This was partly due to not working in London this day and also to enable my nephew Dougie to race at a further meeting following his Parmastox debut at the Talbot Tribute meeting hosted by the Three Counties Slotstox Club in June. Using a borrowed Parma-Saloon and starting from my most recent Slot-Saloon grade at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club of yellow - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (36) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (39). With my heat win I qualified direct to the final - 4th of six drivers (14 - same points as 3rd but they had 2 race wins to my 1) - 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

As for Dougie, starting from white grade - heat 1 6th of six drivers (14) and heat 2 6th of six drivers (3). Having not qualified direct to the final - consolation 6th of six drivers (4) with only the first three qualifying to the final - 2 (best two heat / consolation 1 + 1) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.



Alternative formulae

With limited time access to the Waltham Abbey Community Centre, there was no time for heats of the Alternative formulae e.g. Bangers, Minis at the end of the main formulae meeting. For 2017 Alternative formulae were given dedicated meetings with a dedicated Arena points championship with the points chart based on finishing positions in each heat 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc.

 

I missed points round 1 on 29 March due to being delayed at work.

 

On 28th June at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 2 which doubled up as the Arena Midsummer Madness Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats one race per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Midsummer Madness Championship: Minis – 18 points, 2nd highest points scorer and 2 points behind 1st; Little Van Bangers – 12 points, 4th highest Little Van Bangers points scorer and joint 3rd overall with two other drivers with 30 points, 2 points behind 2nd and 3 points behind 1st; and Bangers/Saloons and caravans (I raced my Parma Banger with a borrowed caravan) 8 points, 4th highest Bangers/Saloons points scorer and 4th overall with 38 points, 1 point behind 3rd, 2 points behind 2nd but 17 points behind 1st!  The final formula was Reliants with a dedicated car provided by the club allocated to each of the inside two lanes, the middle two lanes and the outside two lanes - 23 points and joint highest Reliants points scorer with one other driver. I finished 2nd overall of nine drivers with 61 points and 9 points behind the winner.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Minis heat - 2nd of five drivers (5); Little Van Bangers heat - 3rd of four drivers (4); Bangers/Saloons and caravans heat - 3rd of five drivers (4); and Reliants heat 1st of three drivers (6) - a total of 19 points. Having missed round 1, I was 7th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with the joint 4th highest, with one other driver, heat score average of 4.8 points.


I missed points round 3 on 16 August due to holiday and was down to joint 9th with two other drivers in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart but now with the 2nd highest heat score average of 4.8 points.

 

I missed points round 4 on 27 September due to childcare arrangements and was down to joint 10th with one other driver

in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with the joint 2nd, with two other drivers, highest heat score average of 4.8 points.

 

On 18th October at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 5 which doubled up as the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats two races per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Halloween Havoc Championship: Classic Hot Rods (borrowing a Classic Hot Rod) – 36 points, 3rd highest points scorer and 7 points behind 1st.  Bangers and Caravans (with a borrowed caravan) – 50 points (2 non-finishes followed by 10 race wins!), highest Bangers and Caravans points scorer and 1st overall with 86 points, 25 points ahead of 2nd.  The final formula was Reliants with a dedicated car provided by the club allocated to each lane - 30 points and highest Reliants points scorer. I finished 1st overall of ten drivers with 116 points and 40 points ahead of 2nd.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat - 2nd of five drivers (5); Bangers/Saloons and caravans heat - 1st of five drivers (6); and Reliants heat 1st of nine drivers (6) - a total of 17 points. I was 9th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 36 points and the highest heat score average of 5.1 points.


On 13th December at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Xmas Fun meeting and the 6th and final round of the Alternative formulae points Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats two races per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Xmas Fun Meeting: Libre (racing my Parma-Banger) – 43 points and highest points scorer and Parmastox and Sledge (with a club provided sledge) – 14 points (from my first 3 races in the outside lanes followed by 9 non-finishes!).  I finished 2nd overall just 1 point behind 1st.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Libre heat - 1st of five drivers (6) and Parmastox and Sledge heat - 3rd of four drivers (4) - a total of 10 points.


I finished 8th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 46 points and the highest heat score average of 5.1 points (having raced in 9 of the total 19 heats).

SLOTSTOX FOXHALL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD


PARMASTOX UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 5TH - 72 points

PARMASTOX IPSWICH 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH
PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 159 POINTS
PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP
PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION (joint): 10 points

PARMASTOX ARENA TEAM CHAMPION (with Christopher Isham and Dale Russell)

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 6 final wins

ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP 8TH: 46 POINTS 

ARENA MID-SUMMER MADNESS CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP
ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPION

ARENA XMAS FUN NIGHT RUNNER-UP

Slot-Racing 2010's

Copyright Mark Banham Racing