14/03/24: Formula 1 – Crash Fest 4

Crash Fest 4 

Who doesn’t like a sequel? Fans say Matron’s Knickers was great, Matron’s Knickers 2 was better and Matron’s Knickers 3 the best of the lot, so, not to be outdone by Molesey’s celebrity porno-granny, Molesey’s driving superstars went one better and this week gave us the long-awaited Crash Fest 4 *. Your correspondent is reluctant to describe it as the pinnacle of the genre, because the bigger and better Crash Fest 5 is probably just around the corner, but this week’s F1 race was, if not quite the most crash-strewn ever, not far off. Crash after crash after crash and a lot of damaged cars.

It started early, way before the first heat, when Alex’s chassis was wrecked in a high-speed collision during practice. It went downhill from there. When the dust finally settled at the end of the evening, Lee was at the top of the podium after a brilliant drive which had been the fastest ever F1 race at Molesey and the fourth fastest on the all-time list.**

But (there’s always a but) whilst Lee’s performance was a standout, it couldn’t disguise the chaos behind, which, as always, was someone else’s fault. The Racing Driver’s Book of Excuses has never been busier.

First to fall foul of “someone else” was Group 1’s Chris, losing a lap after being taken off in a Heat 1 pile-up. Group 2 (Neil, Mario, Jim, Joss, Dexter, Mark and James) weren’t much better, the group’s early heats littered with crashes, again mostly claimed to be the fault of Mr Someone Else.

At half-distance the top three places were set, Lee way out ahead of a battling Simon and Julian. David held fourth, Neil was fifth, a whopping five laps clear of the next Group 2 runner (Joss in ninth), and Chris had recovered some of his lost ground to climb to sixth. A glance at the cars was all it took to see that many were now very second-hand indeed, several missing substantial bits of wings and bodywork.

Suitably refreshed after the tea-break, the drivers returned to racing much as they’d left it; some excellent racing interspersed with the ridiculous. Mario won this week’s You-Couldn’t-Make-It-Up award by confusing his car with someone else’s and “driving” the wrong one for two laps until several shouts by Lee alerted him to his error. One lap with the wrong car is bad enough, but two?! It’s tempting to say keep taking the tablets, Mario, but on second thoughts, perhaps avoiding them might be a better idea!

At the head of the midfield pack, Chris had made a strong recovery and was now fourth, four seconds clear of David and six in front of Neil. Nice and steady in the final heat, no heroics and he could go home satisfied. What could possibly go wrong? Mr Someone Else, that’s what, this time in the innocent form of James.

Sure enough, starting his final lap and well clear of David, Chris crashed at the first corner. Complicating things were Lee and Simon who’d already lapped the field, finished their heat and were now stationary at the first corner, so when Chris crashed with a lap still to run, James who was marshalling thought that Chris’s crashed car had finished too and didn’t reslot it immediately. If ever there was a time to shout at a marshal, now was it, but Chris took pity on James’s inexperience, waited an age before shouting and watched helplessly as David drove past to retake fourth place. He lost so much time that he lost fifth place too, Neil taking that one. Was it someone else’s fault? Not really, but it was a bitter pill for Chris to swallow. Take heart Chris. Crash Fest 5 can only be better!

*Crash Fest 3, Crash Fest 2, Crash Fest 1

**All-time fastest races:
678.00 – Julian, Molesey GT 14/07/22
685.18 – Josh, Molesey GT 24/03/22
687.49 – Lee, Super GT 09/02/23
687.87 – Lee, Formula 1 14/03/24