Ups and Downs.
A grid of eight Formula 1 cars lined up for 2024’s first race at Molesey. As usual, some of those cars were rockets, notably Josh’s which had been assembled with all the meticulous care and attention to detail that Team Bryant is renowned for, and others weren’t, not least Terry’s and David’s. In Terry’s case, his car appeared to have been assembled with a hammer and chisel, and in David’s, several tubes of Super Glue. Both had tried though, bless them, but the steady march of time gets everyone in the end.
Terry, you see, is what the younger club members refer to as “proper old”, and what looks great through the ageing eyes of someone well past pension age often isn’t, sadly. David’s a bit younger, but with eyes that are equally failing, his car wasn’t much better. Still, enough of the excuses and on to the racing.
Heat 1 was a victory for Simon, five seconds ahead of the ever-improving Chris who was 0.026 seconds ahead of Josh. David, Graham and Mario weren’t far behind, but for Neil and Terry the opening heat had been a disastrous succession of crashes, both of them already a lap down.
By the half-time tea break, Josh had fought back and passed Simon for the lead, and David had climbed to third ahead of Chris and Graham. Neil had recovered well from his heat 1 disaster and was now fighting neck and neck with Mario for sixth. Terry’s race was well and truly over, his car’s bent chassis causing him to crash so often that even the most hardened of mickey-takers had started to feel sorry for him. Not sorry enough not to laugh, mind, but sorry enough not to laugh too loudly. Heartless sods.
Mario overtook Neil in heat 4, but that was as good as it was going to get, his promising drive ruined by a stripped crown gear in heat 5.
The race ended with Josh three seconds ahead of Simon, then a huge almost three-lap gap to David, then another three laps to Chris in fourth. As a season opener the race had provided a bit of everything: a close fight at the front, ups and downs in the midfield and disappointments at the back. All we need now is for a few more drivers to turn up and join the fun and games, and 2024’s racing will be as great as 2023’s was.