21 Oct 2021: NSR Classic – Cheese, Cake & Eighty-Six Hundredths

Cheese, Cake & Eighty-Six Hundredths.

After five years as a Molesey regular, Stephen is returning home to New Zealand, so this week’s meeting was his last chance for a bit of glory. And boy, did he make the most of it. Six heats, six wins and fifth overall.

Enticed by free cheese, free cake and NSR Classics, eleven drivers arrived for Stephen’s farewell. Some ate cheese, some ate cake, some even managed to eat both without dribbling. Molesey SCC. Slot car racing for discerning adults.

Drivers were seeded into two groups this week, a success if the measure of success is close on-track racing, although as if to prove Sod’s Law, the closest finish was actually between Terry at the bottom of Group 1 and Stephen at the top of Group 2, their battle played out on the timesheet rather than side by side on track.

Whilst Stephen and Terry’s fight was a non-event as a spectacle, it did at least justify the astonishing three hours that Neil spent after the race, crunching 2300 lines of raw data from the timing program so that he could work out the end-of-heat leaderboards. That’s slot car dedication for you. Or a crappy race program. Or both.

Never more than a few seconds apart, Stephen and Terry’s race-long duel ended with Stephen a mere 0.86 seconds in front. A fitting climax to Stephen’s time at Molesey.

Overall victory went to Lee, with Josh second and Ed, who’s driving better than ever recently, third. Off track, the cheese and cake hyped everyone up so much that marshalling was at times chaotic, track-calls disputed and the atmosphere boisterous but good-natured, just like all the best children’s parties are. All in all it was a great evening’s racing.

Enjoy your retirement in New Zealand, Stephen. From everyone at Molesey, it’s been a pleasure racing with you.

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