18/08/22: Sideways Group 5 – Lee On Top

Lee On Top.

A grid of eleven drivers lined up for this week’s Group 5 race, bolstered by Vince who’d finally found his way back to Molesey, and returning guest Will Stemman, limbering up with a low-key event before he and Josh travel to Latvia for a crack at the 2022 International Slot Racing Association World Championship.

In a race littered with multi-car pile-ups and numerous track calls, Lee emerged victorious despite winning only one heat. Josh took three heat wins, set several lane records and the fastest overall lap, but could only manage second place overall. Simon finished third without winning a heat, and Will, who won two heats, could do no better than fourth overall, let down by a dreadful start that saw him languishing in ninth place after Heat 2.

The evening’s closest battles were between Terry and David running in Group 2, and Graham, Alex, Neil and the Tomster in Group 1.

Terry and David were barely separable, their fastest laps identical, the pair frequently racing side by side. Both lost a lap late on, David after being caught in a mass pile-up and Terry to some slow marshalling, which allowed Will back into contention and to overtake them both. Terry, this week driving Team Bryant’s Ferrari 512 BB LM, was on excellent form and put in his most consistent race of the year to finish fifth, a couple of seconds clear of David.

Group 1 honours went deservedly to the Tomster, who’s at last realised that consistency and concentration pay dividends. In almost every heat his start was excellent, quickly gaining him a buffer of a metre or so over his chasers and allowing him to settle into a rhythm. Neil and Graham repeatedly chased him down, Neil catching and passing him in three heats, Graham doing the same in two, but neither was as consistent as the Tomster and both paid the price.

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