17/08/23: Formula 1 – Quantity Over Quality

Quantity Over Quality.

Molesey’s been enjoying record attendances this year and it’s been rare for numbers to fall below ten, but with club stalwart and chief timing system operator Neil unwell this week, just nine drivers lined up. However, as the old saying goes, it’s not the quantity that matters, but the quality. And boy, given the colossal number of crashes and track calls this week, the quality can only be described as sh*te. Rarely have so many track calls been needed in one evening’s racing.

Heat 1, Group 1: Graham, Alex, Mario and Joss. For fifteen laps it was a great race, the lead changing hands several times and Mario delighted to be battling for the lead with Graham for most of the fifteen laps. Graham crossed the line first… and that was it. Everything else stopped. Yes, everything. With the power to the track now cut, Mario couldn’t finish, nor could Alex or Joss. With Neil absent and nobody else entirely sure how to program the timing system, it had been incorrectly programmed. Damn. There was only one solution; reprogram it and start all over again.

So, Heat 1, Group 1, take two, and unlike take one, this one was carnage. Cars were crashing everywhere. Some were airborne, others vaulted the barriers and hit the floor, and this was just the first heat. It went downhill from there.

Heat 1, Group 2: Lee, Simon, Chris, David and Terry. “Three. Two. One. Go!” and no sooner had they started than they were stopped again, Terry having crashed at the first corner and wiped out the entire field. Quantity over quality. Nice.

When the heat eventually concluded, Simon was 1.3 seconds ahead of Lee, Chris was 0.36 ahead of David after a brilliantly close battle that would continue all evening, and Terry, whose driving this week is best described as bonkers, was already half a lap down after another crash.

And that’s pretty much the story of the rest of the race; endless crashes and track calls interrupted by some excellent racing and an old geezer named Terry, whose driving was so sideways that the rear of his car spent as much time in its adjacent lanes as it did its own, wildly flailing around like some sort of gladiator trying to maim or kill all of his opponents.

Lee overtook Simon in Heat 2 to take the lead and didn’t look back, finishing the evening a lap ahead of Simon. Chris achieved his second podium by beating David to third place after the pair had spent most of the evening desperately trying not to be taken out by Terry, and Mario continued his steady improvement by winning Group 1’s second heat. Terry just crashed a lot. Still, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, so maybe quantity over quality might not be such a bad idea after all.