28 Sep 2020: NSR Formula 86/89 – Aliens Vanquished

Aliens Vanquished.

When NSR announced its Formula 86/89 cars, racers everywhere stirred. At last something new and exciting to challenge the GT and sports car classes that were the staple of many clubs. Decent components covered by an attractive shell very similar to Ferrari’s F1/87 Formula One car, driven by, er, um, an alien?

Yes, an alien, and an ugly one at that. What were NSR thinking? Purists cringed and raided parts bins for a helmet that looked a bit more realistic than the Cadbury’s Smash laughing alien lookalike occupying NSR’s driver’s seat.

One F1 race way back in March was all Molesey SCC had managed before Covid stopped the world, so there was a lot of pent-up excitement as the racers arrived armed with their lovingly prepared machines, four still crewed by aliens, but two by something looking a bit more human.

Stephen easily won the best-presented-car prize, his car beautifully painted in a replica 1988 #12 Ayrton Senna Marlboro McLaren-Honda MP4/4 livery, complete with a properly shaped and painted Senna helmet. Lovely.

In group 1 – aliens Ed and Neil plus David wearing a 1990s Scalextric helmet – David took an early lead that he wasn’t to lose for the rest of the night, although Ed put up a good fight, taking top spot in heat 4.

Group 2 was a cracker, the two aliens Spencer and Alan swapping positions all evening with Stephen’s miniature Senna. Spencer started well, leading the trio by a lap and a bit going into heat 3, while Stephen pretty quickly trashed his beautiful paint job and rear wing with a couple of trips into and over the barriers. Sacrilege.

Heat 3 saw Alan overhaul Spencer, heat 4 saw Stephen’s best drive of the night to knock Spencer down to last, and heat 5 set up a brilliant showdown for group 2’s decider, Stephen and Alan dead level in fourth place overall on 147.52 laps each.

The aliens had been vanquished by David for the top spot, they’d been vanquished in the beauty pageant too, so the pressure was on Alan to uphold their honour at the back of the race.

Clearly aliens can’t take the pressure, because Alan fell to pieces. He’d driven smoothly and consistently all evening, but somehow managed to lose four laps in his last heat. Four laps!

What’s the old saying? “If you want to get ahead, get a helmet.” NSR aliens. If it were up to me, which thankfully it isn’t, I’d ban them!

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