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Slot-Racing 2018

Parmastox
17 January - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (44 - including 8 race wins!) My heat win ensured I qualified for the final so I raced my red Parmastox in heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (21). Final - 4th of six drivers (26 - same points as 2nd and 3rd but 1st had 3 race wins, 2nd had 1 race win and three 2nd place finishes whilst I had 1 race win and only one 2nd place finish) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points. 31 January - Arena points chart round 2 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (32) and heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (21).  My results were sufficient to qualify direct to the final - 2nd of six drivers (28 - 3rd scored 26) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points. 7 March - Arena points chart round 3 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (28 - only finishing 6 of the 12 races with 5 of those being wins including crucially 3 of the last 4 races in a low scoring heat) and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (36).  My heat win meant I qualified direct to the final and after struggling for speed in the heats a tweak of the braids meant my Parmastox was much quicker but I then suffered from too many non-finishes - 4th of six drivers (24 - although my error meant I did miss out on 3rd by virtue of leading one race but losing track of the number of laps and by doing an extra lap finished 5th instead of 1st) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.  21 March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (25 - 2nd scored 26 and 1st 27) and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (31). By not winning a heat I raced in the consolation (the first for a long while) - 1st of six drivers with the first four qualifying to the final (33).  Final - 2nd of six drivers (29 - same as 3rd but whilst we both had 2 race wins and 3 2nd place finishes, I had one 3rd place finish to their none.  1st scored 30!) - 12 (best heat/consolation 5 + final 7) points chart points - not a bad return given it wasn't my finest race meeting with a few too many self-inflicted non-finishes.

During the first 4 rounds points/grades cycle I was 2nd highest points scorer on 43 points with the 3rd highest average 10.8 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top Champion my grade for the season would not change.

 

On 24th March, I raced at the Wellgate Slotstox Club in Metal Mania VII which doubled up as the Supreme Championship and BSA National Series round 1. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance. All drivers competed in three heats of 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 with the rear wheels and tyres switched from my red Parmastox after it failed scruitneering for being too low - heat 1 3rd (4 points) of five drivers (13), heat 2 4th (3) of five drivers (7) and heat 3 4th (3) of six drivers (11). My heat point score of 10 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals and after round 1 of the National Series Points I was joint 22nd with one other driver.  Not my finest racing day with too many non-finishes especially with heats only being 8 races and little margin for error. Clare borrowed my red Parmastox (with completely new rear tyres/wheels) for her second Wellgate appearance having failed to score a point at Metal Mania XI in 2017 when a large impact by another Parmastox caused some serious damage to my red Parmastox during her first heat!  This year she did better - heat 1 5th (2 points) of six drivers (9 including a race win as the only finisher), heat 2 5th (2) of five drivers (0) and heat 3 5th (2) of five drivers (4). With her heat point score of 6 she was joint 29th with one other driver in the National Series Points.

 

11 April - Arena points chart round 5 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox on which, after recent disappointing performances, I had undertaken some maintenance work the weekend before cleaning wheel and axle points and swapping the front axle with my red Parmastox (which another driver borrowed for the evening). Heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (42) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (52 - with 11 finishes of which 9 were race wins including the first 8 races!) My two heat wins meant I qualified direct to the final - 1st of six drivers (38) - the weekend maintenance work paying immediate dividends with a first final win of the season and a maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

On 14th April, I raced at the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) in the Best in Britain Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 2. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance helped by my mum and dad to look after them. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six 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 2nd (5 points) of seven drivers (40), heat 2 2nd (5) of seven drivers (34) and heat 3 another 2nd (5) of six drivers (32).  My heat point score of 15 was the 4th highest and I qualified for the semi-finals - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 3rd of six drivers (36 - 4th scored 33 as consistent finishes helped me to overcome the disadvantage of being the highest graded driver). I therefore qualified for the final – 6th of six drivers (23 - 5th scored 24 as that little bit of luck deserted with too many non-finishes but compared with my results at Wellgate in BSA National Series round 1 this was an improvement.  6th in the final equated to an additional 6 National Series points totalling a score of 21 at this round and after round 2 of the National Series I was 7th in the points with an overall score of 31.  Clare again borrowed my red Parmastox and we were drawn together in the first two heats so she borrowed a hand controller which appeared to suit her better - heat 1 7th (1 point) of seven drivers (16),  heat 2 4th (3) of seven drivers (25) and heat 3 7th (1) of six drivers (18). Her heat point score of 5 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals.  After round 2 of the National Series she was joint 23rd in the points with four other drivers with 11 points.

25 April - Arena points chart round 6 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 4th of six drivers (24 - same points as 3rd but they had 1 race win to my none, 2nd scored 26 and 5th scored 23),  heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (30 - 1st scored 34 and 2nd scored 33) and heat 3 - 1st of six drivers (39).  All seven drivers remaining at the meeting raced in the final - 3rd (27 - same points as 2nd but they had 3 race wins to my 2 and 1st scored 29) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points. 

23 May - Arena points chart round 7 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (25 - not the best of luck and only six race finishes) and heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (22 - too many errors meaning only 5 races finishes and the same points as 4th but I had 3 race wins to their none).  My heat positions were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final so I raced in the consolation with only the winner to qualify to the final - 1st of six drivers (42). Final - 4th of six drivers (24 - same as 3rd and 5th but 3rd had 1 race win and 3 2nds, I had 1 race win and 2 2nds and 5th had 1 race win and 1 2nd) - 10 (best heat/consolation 5 + final 5) points chart points - another consistent return from another scrappy meeting.   13 June - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 2nd of seven drivers (27), heat 2 - 5th of seven drivers (17 - with only 5 race finishes) and heat 3 - 4th of seven drivers (21 - with again only 5 race finishes). All remaining six drivers raced in the final - 2nd (40 - same as 1st but my 11 race finishes included just 2 race wins compared with their 7 race wins) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points - another consistent return for the points chart and I was joint second with one other driver in the Gold Top Qualifying points.




During rounds 5 to 8, I was highest points scorer on 45 points with the highest average of 11.3 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 88 points and the 2nd highest average of 11.0 points.


20 June - Arena points chart round 9 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (42), heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (34) and heat 3 - 4th of five drivers (24 - 2nd and 3rd each scored 25). All remaining five drivers raced in the final - 1st (40 - 2nd scored 39) for a 2nd final win and maximum of the season - 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points. Much more like it!  18 July - Arena points chart round 10 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (31 - 2nd scored 30), heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (32 - 2nd scored 30 and 3rd 29) and heat 3 - 2nd of six drivers (25 - same points as 3rd but I had 3 race wins to their 2).  All remaining seven drivers raced in the final - 1st (37 - 2nd scored 36) for a 3rd final win and maximum (two in a row) of the season - 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points - not on my best form but did what was needed and I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 24 points.  25 July - Arena points chart round 11 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 2nd of five drivers (43 - 1st scored 44). I switched to my red Parmastox with Shale wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 - 1st of five drivers (38) and heat 3 - 1st of five drivers (25 - 2nd scored 24 and 3rd 23). All five drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox which in hindsight may have been a mistake due to minor mechanical issues - 2nd (33 - 1st scored 34) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points - all things considered another consistent score.  15 August - Arena points chart round 12 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of five drivers (28 - 2nd scored 27). I switched to my red Parmastox for heats 2 (shale wing) and 3 (tarmac wing and having switched braids with my blue Parmastox) - heat 2 - 4th of six drivers (26 - same as 3rd but they had one win and four 2nd place finishes whereas I had one win and one 2nd place finish whilst 1st scores 27 and 2nd 26) - heat 3 - 5th of six drivers (17 - 4th scored 18). All six drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox now with braids switched from my red Parmastox. I did intend to use/test this in heat 3 but decided my more robust red Parmastox was suited to this heat. In hindsight perhaps I should have tested and sorted a few issues - 4th (18 - 5th scored 17) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points - not my best meeting another double figure score.

During rounds 9 to 12, I was highest points scorer on 48 points with the second highest average of 12 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 136 points and the 2nd highest average of 11.3 points.

22 August - Arena points chart round 13 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox on which, after the disappointing performance the previous week, I had undertaken some maintenance work the weekend before on the braids and wheel and axle points - 1st of six drivers (45 - 11 race finishes with some due to pure persistence when blocked by crashed Parmastox!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heats 2 and 3 on which I had also undertaken some maintenance work the weekend before on the wheel and axle points and wanted to see whether this had improved performance - heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (33 - a six point deficit overturned in the final two races with two wins compared to their two non-finishes) and heat 3 - 2nd of six drivers (35 - 1st scored 37 - with a crash on my own when running 2nd in the penultimate race costing me a clean sweep of heat wins!) My two heat wins were sufficient to qualify direct to the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox, after deliberation as both Parmastox were going well but I had been more dominant in heat 1. This proved to be a good choice - 1st of six drivers (43 - and as for heat 1 11 race finishes) the weekend maintenance work paying immediate dividends with a 4th final win and maximum of the season 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I remained top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 37 points. This was a significant double figure score as a few weeks previously I had thought to myself that I had been consistently scoring double figure scores at Arena Parmastox meetings. I then looked back to the last time I had a single figure score at a meeting I attended.  I was surprised to learn that this was an ‘8’ at the meeting on 2 September 2015!  With the next Arena Parmastox meeting not until 12 September this will be 3 years of scoring double figures!   For the record: 2015 after 2 September - 5 meetings, 3 attended – 1 x 13 / 2 x 12; 2016 – 18 meetings, 16 attended – 11 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 1 x 11 / 1 x 10; 2017 – 15 meetings, 13 attended – 6 x 13 / 4 x 12 / 3 x 11; 2018 to date – 13 meetings, 13 attended – 4 x 13 / 2 x 12 / 3 x 11 / 4 x 10

45 meetings in a row!  A few nervy moments over the past few weeks when I realised 3 years was possible – see above for 15 August!

 

12 September - Arena points chart round 14 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (48 - 11 race finishes after a non-finish in the first race!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (27 - 2nd scored 25) and heat 3 - 4th of six drivers (21 - same as 2nd and 3rd but I had one race win compared with their four and two respectively). All remaining seven drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox - 3rd (22 with several non-finishes including some self-inflicted!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I remained top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 48 points but now just 1 point ahead of 2nd.  19 September - Arena points chart round 15 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of seven drivers (48 - 12 race finishes!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 - 2nd of seven drivers (32) and heat 3 - 4th of seven drivers (22). I continued with my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heat 4 but had switched around the rear wheels and tyres in order to wear the tyres down evenly as one was more worn then the other - 6th of six drivers (14).  All remaining six drivers raced in the final for which I switched back to my blue Parmastox - 1st (35) - a 5th final win and maximum of the season 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

On 22 September, I raced at the Luton Slot Car Club in the Best in Beds Championship – the first Parmastox Open meeting to be hosted by the Luton Slot Car Club and my second meeting following a debut visit just under a year earlier. This was a family day out but I was on my own with the twins and all the challenges that brings! Although not a BSA National Series round the meeting followed the same format as all drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six 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. After a quick practice of both my blue and red (with no wing) Parmastox, I initially only scruitineered my blue Parmastox and raced this in heat 1 – 5th (2 points) of five drivers (11 – with too many non-finishes). At times my Parmastox felt uncontrollable (thankfully someone caught it after it came off after one crash before it hit the floor having cleared the fence!) and I subsequently found out the reason being that the voltage, although not the usual 14 run by Luton, was set at 12 rather than the 11 I am used to at Arena. Rather than risk damage to my blue Parmastox I had already decided to switch to my red Parmastox with no wing so after switching rear wheels and tyres back round from the midweek meeting at Arena, I got this scrutineered before another quick practice. Being slightly heavier and slower this was easier to control on the higher voltage – heat 2 4th (3) of six drivers (25 – bizarrely my red Parmastox was caught after it had cleared the fence by the same person that had earlier caught my blue Parmastox although this time it was at the other end of the track and a controlled crash!  I had committed to hit another drivers back bumper on the last corner but they had clipped another Parmastox down the straight, de-slotted and crashed and so their back bumper was no longer there to hit/slow me down!) I continued with my red Parmastox with no wing for heat 3 - 3rd (4) of five drivers (40 – 2nd scored 43 and 1st 45 in a close heat that swung back and forth between the first three and I just fell short of the win I likely needed to progress). My heat point score of 9 was the joint 15th highest with two other drivers and I failed to qualify for the semi-finals but I had improved as the day went along on a track style and I am less familiar with on a regular basis and a new track voltage. Heat 1 hadn’t helped and possibly a case of what might have been as far as semi-final qualification was concerned had I used my red Parmastox for all three heats.

10 October - Arena points chart round 16 and Gold Top Qualifying round 5 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (47 - 11 race finishes including 2nd place finishes in the first 6 races!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Shale wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 – 2nd of five drivers (37 – 1st scored 38) and heat 3 – 2nd of five drivers (33). All remaining six drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox but the metal cog failed in the seventh race and so I finished the final racing my red Parmastox with Shale wing demonstrating the benefit of consistently running two Parmastox - 3rd (32 – 2nd also scored 32 but had 4 race wins to my none!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I was joint top with one other driver of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 59 points.

During rounds 13 to 16, I was joint highest points scorer with other driver on 48 points with the joint highest average with the same driver of 12 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 184 points and a 36 point lead meaning that I needed a maximum of 17 points from the final 4 rounds to win a third consecutive Arena Points Championship. I had the 2nd highest average of 11.5 points.

On 13th October, I raced at the RS Promotions (standing in for the Pinewood Rebels Slotstox Club) hosted European Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 3 at Walcote Memorial Hall in Leicestershire. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six 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 arrived with the intention of racing my red Parmastox more suited to a contact track but after getting the rear cog replaced on my blue Parmastox and practicing both I was undecided as both seemed to be on the limit of control. This was until someone mentioned that the voltage was set to 12 at which point I knew the reason and on that basis my heavier red Parmastox would be less on the limit even if management of that would mean it was not on the pace.  Heat 1 5th (2 points) of six drivers (29 – 4th also scored 29 but had two 2nd and three 3rd place finishes compared with my two 2nd and two 3rd place finishes whilst 6th scored 28), heat 2 3rd (4) of six drivers (36 – although I was originally declared 4th with the same points as 3rd and they had 4 wins to my none.  However whilst scoring the following heat I noticed an error in their score which ultimately proved crucial for qualification from the heats…) and heat 3 4th (3) of six drivers (33 – 3rd scored 34). My heat point score of 9 was the joint 12th highest with one other driver…hence the crucial correction of position in heat 2... and I qualified as the 12th and final qualifier for the semi-finals based on raw points 98 to 48 – my consistent finishing proving decisive. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 3rd of six drivers (33) and I therefore qualified for the final.  Final - having changed braids to those from my Plastic Slotstox this gave a little more speed but still not enough balanced against being on the limit of control – 6th of six drivers (27 - 5th also scored 27 but had 3 race wins to my none).  6th in the final equated to an additional 6 National Series points totalling a score of 15 at this round and after round 3 of the National Series I had an overall score of 46 points.  With me racing my red Parmastox which Clare normally borrows at Open meetings Clare did not race.

17 October - Arena points chart round 17 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox which was running much smoother with its new rear cog - 2nd of six drivers (38 - 1st scored 39). Having seen the increased speed my newer Slotstox braids had given my red Parmastox in the European Championship final the preceding weekend I decided to switch these to my blue Parmastox for heat 2 – 5th of six drivers (21 - same as 4th but they had one race win and three 2nd place finishes to my one race win and two 2nd place finishes). This was mixture of self-inflicted non-finishes and bad luck so continued to run/test the newer braids in heat 3 - 4th of six drivers (25). My heat positions were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final so I raced in the consolation with the first two qualifying to the final again continuing to test the newer braids - 2nd of four drivers (28) and the last qualifying place for the final! With only a heat/consolation best of 2nd, I was very concerned at this stage that I needed to finish 3rd or higher in the final to maintain my run of double figure scores and also to make a large dent in the points needed to win a third consecutive Arena Points Championship. Although I hadn’t had the best of luck I was also aware that the newer braids seemed to have made my blue Parmastox too fast causing it to de-slot several times. I therefore changed back to the original braids, retightened the front wires which had been an issue in the latter races of the consolation and also reminded myself to race consistently. All of this seemingly worked when it mattered most - final - 1st of six drivers (36 - from final qualifier to final winner!) - 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points. By winning the final to deny 2nd in the points a chance to take maximum points I now needed a maximum of 4 points from the final 3 rounds to win a third consecutive Arena Points Championship.

24 October - Arena points chart round 18 and 6th and final 2018 Gold Top Qualifying round at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox with the same braids used in the previous weeks final! Suffering with a cold and delayed/detoured on route due to an accident and congestion on the M25 I persevered knowing how close I was to winning a third consecutive Arena Points Championship!  Heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (28 and securing the 4 points chart points I needed... just... as 3rd scored 27!) With the 2018 Arena Points Championship secured the next target was to continue my run of consecutive double point scores knowing that it would be a 50th consecutive meeting. I was therefore determined to win at least one heat knowing that every point could still be crucial - heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (31) and heat 3 - 1st of six drivers (43) securing the heat win which was sufficient to qualify direct to the final and knowing I now needed to finish 4th or higher in it! This was made harder with two drivers tying for second in the consolation meaning a seven driver final and then having to borrow a handcontroller to finish the final after mine broke... and ultimately I was oh so close to falling short - 4th (25 - same as 3rd but they had two race wins and three 2nd place finishes compared to my two race wins and two 2nd place finishes whilst 5th scored 24. I was virtual for the final two races and had results gone differently I would have finished outside the top 4) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I finished 2nd in the Gold Top Qualifying points with 69 points and thus qualified in the top 6 for the Gold Top  Championship final on 21 November.

For the record - 50 consecutive double figures scores: 2015 after 2 September - 5 meetings, 3 attended – 1 x 13 / 2 x 12; 2016 – 18 meetings, 16 attended – 11 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 1 x 11 / 1 x 10; 2017 – 15 meetings, 13 attended – 6 x 13 / 4 x 12 / 3 x 11; 2018 to date – 18 meetings, 18 attended – 5 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 5 x 11 / 5 x 10.

On 7 November I took part in a test session on a new track available to the Arena Slotstox Club based on the Hobbs Cross Business Centre in Theydon Garnon, Essex.  Only practicing my blue and red Parmastox, my red Parmastox seemed initially to be more suited to this track.

14 November - Arena points chart round 19 at 'WACC'. Although I had already won the 2018 Arena Points Championship I was still aiming to complete double figure scores at meetings attended across three consecutive seasons. Heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (33).  Having won heat 1 I switched to my now equally competitive red Parmastox for heat 2 to keep this run-in - 1st of six drivers (42).  My two heat wins meant I qualified direct to the final and after consideration I switched back to my blue Parmastox - 3rd of six drivers (27 - including one bizarre race where my Parmastox clipped another Parmastox to de-slot at the entrance to the chicane, my de-slotted Parmastox then caused crashes which saw all the other Parmastox de-slot and somehow mine re-slot into white lane as I continued as the only finisher... this despite at one point being broadside across yellow lane - two lanes inside the one it ended up back in!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points - the run of consecutive double figures scores stretched to 51 with just one round to go in 2018!

On 18th November, I raced at the Arena Slotstox Club hosted British Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 4 on the new track available to the Arena Slotstox Club based on the Hobbs Cross Business Centre in Theydon Garnon, Essex. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six 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. During the test session I concluded that my red Parmastox was better suited to this track so decided to race this all day with Tarmac wing. Also in mind was my intention to protect my blue Parmastox from potential damage ahead of the forthcoming Arena Gold Top championship final so I didn’t even test this to see if it would change my mind! Heat 1 4th (3 points) of six drivers (30), heat 2 2nd (5) of six drivers (33) and heat 3 3rd (4) of six drivers (34). My heat point score of 12 was the joint 11th highest with three other drivers so it came down to raw heat points and my 97 was the highest albeit only just with two drivers both having 95 and the other 93 so I qualified 11th out of 30 drivers - once again my consistent finishing, with no race wins during the heats proving decisive. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 6th of six drivers (19) and I was therefore eliminated with no race wins during the entire meeting! 6th in the semi-final equated to an additional 3 National Series points totalling a score of 15 at this round and after round 4 of the National Series I had an overall score of 61 points and was 4th in the overall standings out of 54 drivers who had raced in at least one of the four rounds.

21 November 2018 - having qualified second I was due to race in the Arena Gold Top Championship final as part of Arena Points round 20 at ‘WACC’. Unfortunately my involvement in the meeting was effectively ended when the front of a lorry attempted to occupy a part of the M25 that the rear of my car was already occupying! Although I thankfully walked away without a scratch and was able to nurse my damaged car (with part way police escort) to the WACC I pulled out of the meeting with shock plus to concentrate on dealing with insurance and arranging recovery home. Not racing at this meeting ended my hopes of racing at all 20 points rounds and scoring double figures at all of them but all in all I was fortunate it was not a lot worse.

Despite missing this round, during the 17th to 20th rounds, I was the 3rd highest scorer with 33 points and 3rd highest average of 11.0 points. I defended the Parmastox Arena Points Championship and won a third in a row with 217 points and the third highest season average of 11.4 points (the highest two only raced at one meeting each) and would hold the Silver Roof for the 2019 season. All rounds were raced on the 'WACC' track.  Having raced at 19 of the 20 rounds I won six finals.


28 November - Arena Team Championship with 3 teams of 3 drawn at random and attempting to defend this championship having won in 2017 teamed up with Christopher Isham and Dale Russell. This season I was drawn to team up with two Arena yellow grade drivers Bradley Shirley and Barbara Skee (Team A). Each team would race against each other twice in qualifying heats with the best 2 teams 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 Barbara raced in the two inside lanes, I raced the two middle lanes (knowing that with two yellow grade drivers I would have to team race as much as I could in order to disrupt the other teams!) and Bradley the two outside lanes. Due a member of Team B arriving late, we had our two heats against Team C first and won them both. Heat 1 by 22 to 19 - me 9, Barbara 13 and Bradley 0; and heat 2 by 35 to 22 - me 18, Bradley 10 and Barbara 7. Against Team B we won heat 1 43 to 28 – me 21, Barbara 14 and Bradley 8; but lost heat 2 23 to 32 – me 8, Barbara 12 and Bradley 3. Our three wins were the best of the three teams and we also finished as top scorers (123 – me 56, Barbara 46 and Bradley 21) to qualify for the final against Team C. Although Team C had less overall points than Team B (108 to 117) they had beaten them twice to have two wins compared to Team B’s one win against us. Although we had beaten Team C twice in the qualifying heats, our performance over the first half of the final cost us and at the half way stage we were losing 28-13 and although we improved over the second half we lost by 36 points to 31 - me 7 (less effective as this time I targeted by the other team), Bradley 13 and Barbara11. I finished as runner-up in an Arena Team Championship following the ‘Open’ Team Championship in 2015 teamed up with my wife Clare and Colin Woollaston.


On 1st December, I raced at the Three Counties Slotstox Club hosted English Championship which doubled up as the fifth and final BSA National Series round. This was a family day out but I was on my own with the twins and all the challenges that brings! 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. Having arrived later than planned and on my own with the boys I didn’t practice but decided to race my blue Parmastox for heat 1 - 2nd (5 points) of five drivers (23 – 3rd scored 22). I did practice my red Parmastox prior to heat 2 but decided to continue with my blue Parmastox - heat 2 2nd (5) of five drivers (26) and heat 3 1st (6) of five drivers (33). With my heat point score of 16 I qualified 6th out of 32 drivers. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 6th of six drivers (11) and I was therefore eliminated. 6th in the semi-final equated to an additional 3 National Series points totalling a score of 19 at this round and after round 5 of the National Series I had an overall score of 80 points. I finished 4th (out of 60 drivers that raced in at least one round) in the unofficial 2018 British Slotstox Association National Points Championship Series (an improvement on 5th in 2017) and one of only three drivers to race at all five rounds.  Clare finished joint 43rd, with two other drivers, on 11 points having raced at only the first two rounds.



Alternative formulae

On 9th May at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 1.  All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line.  Classic Hot Rods heat - 2 races per lane and borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - 1st (6 points) of four drivers (37 points); Parma Small Van Bangers - 1 race per lane - 2nd (5) of five drivers (16); and Parma Minis - 1 race per lane - 1st (6) of five drivers (29).  After round 1 was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Alternative formula points chart with 17 points and a heat average of 5.7 points.





On 27th 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 using only yellow, red, white and black lanes. Total points from all races counted towards the Midsummer Madness Championship: Classic Hot Rods, borrowing a Classic Hot Rod (2 races per lane) - 23 points, 3rd highest points scorer and 4 points behind 1st;    Minis (2 races per lane) – 22 points, 2nd highest Minis points scorer and joint first overall with one other driver with 45 points; and finally Minis and Caravans, borrowing a caravan (1 race per lane) - 15 points, highest Minis and Caravans points scorer to win a first (having previously finished as runner-up on 3 occasions – 2010, 2013 and 2017) Arena Midsummer Madness Championship!

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat - 1st of four drivers (6), Minis heat - 2nd of four drivers (5); and Minis and Caravans heat - 1st of four drivers (6) - a total of 17 points. I was 1st in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 34 points and the highest heat score average of 5.7 points.


On 29th August at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 3.  All heats were 2 races per lane with all races over 8 laps and all drivers starting from the start finish line.  Classic Hot Rods heat - borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - 1st (6 points) of four drivers (48 points); Parma Minis – 2nd (5) of four drivers (38); and Parma Small Van Bangers – 3rd (4) of four drivers (19 – 2nd scored 20 and 1st 22).  A total of 15 points for the Arena Alternative formula points chart and I was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 49 points and the joint, with the same driver, highest heat score average of 5.4 points.


On 31st October at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 4 which doubled up as the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship for which I was the defending champion. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line. Total points from all races counted towards the Halloween Havoc Championship: Classic Hot Rods, borrowing a Classic Hot Rod (2 races per lane using only red, white, black and green lanes) - heat 1 23 and heat 2 30 - 53 points, 2nd highest points scorer and 7 points behind 1st; Parmastox and Caravans (2 races per lane using all six lanes) – 22 points, 2nd highest Parmastox and Caravans points scorer and still second overall (75 points) but now 14 points behind 1st; and finally Parma-Small Van Bangers (2 races per lane using all six lanes) - 35, highest Parma-Small Van Bangers points scorer but with a few self-inflicted crashes whilst racing on the limit in an attempt to close the gap it was not enough to overhaul 1st as I finished as runner-up in the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship with 110 points - 11 points behind 1st.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat 1 - 3rd of four drivers (4) and heat 2 - 1st of four drivers (6), Parmastox and Caravans heat - 2nd of six drivers (5) and Parma-Small Van Bangers heat - 1st of five drivers (6) - a total of 21 points. I was 1st in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 70 points and the highest heat score average of 5.4 points.


12th December at 'WACC' I raced in the fifth and final Arena Alternative formulae points round which doubled up as the season ending Arena Xmas Fun Night Championship. The meeting was held on the four lane Brentwood Show Track and 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 Night Championship: Classic Hot Rods year borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - 24, 2nd highest points scorer and 16 points behind 1st who had scored a maximum 40 points; Parmastox and Sledges with Sledges provided by the club - 13 points, 3rd highest Parmastox and Sledges points scorer and now joint second overall with one other driver (37 points) but now 9 points behind 1st; and finally Parma-Minis - 18, joint second highest Parma-Small Van Bangers points scorer as being targeted cost me a few finishes as I finished 3rd in the Arena Xmas Fun Night Championship with 55 points - 3 points behind 2nd and 9 points behind 1st.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat - 2nd of six drivers (5), Parmastox and Sledges heat - 3rd of six drivers (4) and Parma-Minis heat - 3rd of five drivers - same points as 2nd but they three race wins to my two (4) - a total of 13 points which was sufficient to win the Arena Alternative formulae points, by 2 points, with 83 points and the highest heat score average of 5.2 points (having raced in all 16 of the heats). With this 5th and final round being on the Brentwood Show Track I finished 3rd in the Alternative Formulae Brentwood Show Track Championship. Having been top of the points after the first four rounds held on the ‘WACC’ track I won the Alternative Formulae WACC Track Championship.

PARMASTOX UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 4TH - 80 points
PARMASTOX BEST IN BRITAIN: 6TH
PARMASTOX EUROPEAN: 6TH

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 217 POINTS
PARMASTOX ARENA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP (with Bradley Shirley and Barbara Skee)
PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 6 final wins

ARENA ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE POINTS CHAMPION: 83 POINTS

ARENA ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE 'WACC TRACK CHAMPION: 70 POINTS

ARENA ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE 'BRENTWOOD SHOW TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD - 13 POINTS

ARENA MID-SUMMER MADNESS CHAMPION

ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP

ARENA XMAS FUN NIGHT: 3RD

Slot-Racing 2010's

Copyright Mark Banham Racing