19/10/23: Sideways Group 5 – A Slipping Crown?

A Slipping Crown? 

Another outing for Group 5 this week and again it was victory for Julian and his pink pig, but not in the dominant style we’ve become used to. This time he had to work hard to beat Lee.

With fourteen drivers turning up and consequently each group spread across seven heats rather than its usual six, every driver had to sit out one heat, which meant that Lee and Julian only raced head to head five times. Despite Lee winning three of those head to heads and Julian just two, Lee’s tiny winning margins of 0.12, 0.65 and 0.26 seconds weren’t quite enough to take the overall win. Would it have been different had the pair raced every heat together? Who knows, but it’s telling that both of them raced their slowest heats when they were apart, so there’s no doubt that when they’re side by side, both up their game.

Elsewhere the racing was notable for some dramatic rises and falls, none more so than Alex who had a disastrous night, dropping from third place overall after his first heat to a lowly twelfth at the finish. Mark’s race wasn’t much better, falling from seventh to eleventh.

Going in the opposite direction was Neil, who after a slow start climbed from eleventh place to fifth and very nearly grabbed fourth from David, missing out by just eight tenths.

Group 5 is still very much the preserve of Julian and, barring a disaster or DNS in the final two rounds, the championship looks to be  his, but perhaps things are beginning to change. He wasn’t beaten at all in the class in 2022, but Lee’s beaten him twice this year already – by very small margins, admittedly – and came close to doing so this week too, so Julian’s crown might, just might, be starting to slip. We’ll see.