25/08/22: NSR Formula 86/89 – The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare.

Despite a meagre grid of just six drivers, this week’s NSR F1 event served up some excellent racing throughout the field and very nearly a shock win for David, courtesy of Josh doing his usual trick of trying to break the lap record far too often. It was a classic case of tortoise and hare, Josh balls out and bouncing off the barriers while David cruised round four tenths a lap slower, happy to benefit each time Josh fell off.

Nobody can ever accuse Molesey of running its racing with military precision or of starting on time, but even by its own relaxed standards, there was a lot of hanging about waiting this week. David was late to arrive, which delayed the start, Simon seems to have cars that require a fifteen-minute rebuild after every heat, which doesn’t help, and everyone enjoys a laugh and a joke, which invariably adds more delays. All in all an almost perfect recipe for a damned good club night! If six drivers can make a race last this long, God help the club if it ever gets back to the glory days of over-subscribed grids and multiple heats to fit everyone in.

Heat 1 set the tone in both groups, Josh losing time to a crash and finishing a mere tenth ahead of David. In group 2, Neil was tidiest and took an early lead, but behind him, Alex, driving a Team Bryant car which allowed him to properly display his talents, put it to good use and battled hard with Graham, the pair almost dead-heating, Graham just one hundredth ahead.

Heat 2 was won by Simon, but overall it was David at the head of the race, four seconds ahead of Josh who’d again whacked the barriers and lost time. Alex put in his best heat of the evening to move up to third overall.

The middle heats saw Graham lose any chance of a decent result when his car shed a rear tyre and lost a handful of laps, Alex and Neil swapped places several times, Simon continued to painstakingly rebuild his car between heats, and Josh pulled out a lead of just over a second at the head of the race.

It should have been plain sailing for Josh from there, but in Heat 5 he tried to amuse himself by lapping David, failed and instead came off a couple of times, reducing his lead to just eight tenths going into the final heat. Was a shock win for David really on the cards?

So to the final heat, and even before it had started Josh had smashed his car into the wall during his warm-up laps. In a desperate attempt to win, David goaded Josh with a suggestion that he should again try to lap him. Josh could and should have said “Up yours, mate” but instead gallantly accepted the challenge and was flat out immediately. This time though, his driving was spot on. Not only did he not crash, he recorded the fastest heat of the night and lapped David too, proving that when he puts his mind to it and it all comes together, he’s mighty quick. It was a good end to a great night.

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