NVR 2021 Winter Series Round 1 – 14th November
1/8th Rally x combined race report.
So some familiar faces returned for the Nene’s Winter Series Round 1, it was good to have a mixed field of Nitro and Electric Buggies. There was also an eTruggy driven by Tristan in the juniors which was fun to watch!
A nice mix of brands too, represented by Agama, Associated, Tekno and Mugen.
Some of the drivers had been up at the Nene on Saturday for practice in relatively dry conditions, so anticipation was high for some close racing the next day. Sunday morning came and the track was unexpectedly damp (it is Winter afer all); so everyone opted to run spirals. Laptimes were duly affected by the conditions with Lee Baldry and George Harrison running in the high 40’s per lap. Only Lee Baldry, George Harrison and Neil Sivins managed 8 laps for Q1, with Neil setting the fastest lap time.
The laptimes tumbled through Q2-Q4 as the track started to dry out and drivers got their setups tweaked, with all the seniors able to do 8 laps, Neil was first to get to grips with the bumpy and unpredictable track conditions, with George and Mark Wilkins snapping at his wing with 2.3 seconds separating those 3 drivers at one point.
Q3 saw George knuckle down to his usual consistent driving style to earn him top spot, Paul Drewitt found the consistency he keeps looking for to earn himself 3rd spot . Bonar Lizaitis and Dan Doleman were showing similar levels of consistency to each other; but ultimately not able to keep with the pace of the top 4 guys. Bonar’s fastest lap was on par with the top 3 drivers though.
So the stage was set for some good battles in the final, but mother nature had other ideas, a sprinkling of rain minutes before the drivers were called to the grid caused chaos and befuddlement amongst the drivers.
It was Lee and Neil who showed their experience by quickly swapping to spirals (if they weren’t already running them), leaving the rest of the grid hoping in vain that the conditions might still suit mini pins – far from it!
Ultimately it was those running spirals that triumphed, but a notable mention must go to Mark Wilkins who was still able to put in a half decent performance whilst still on mini pins. Clearly a good car setup and delicate throttle control was key.
After a torrid first lap, Dan Doleman did a one-man dash back to the pits to change his tyres; but made the wrong choice in mini spikes over spirals. They just weren’t good enough to make a significant difference. On lap 6 Bonar and did an F1 style tyre change to spirals and went out to claw back some places in the slippery conditions. He reeled in and overtook both Paul and George.
Lee Baldry was the eventual victor, with Neil and Mark in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Bonar’s late strategy helped him move up to 4th, leaving George, Paul and Dan behind.
Tristan was the only junior not to suffer any mechanical issues this weekend, the truggy suited the conditions, and unfortunately both Cal and Morgan were plagued with bad luck. It will be good to see the juniors battling it out again wheel to wheel at the next round. The final standings for the juniors were Tristan, Cal then Morgan.
For this winter series we are bringing back 1st 2nd and 3rd position Junior certificates, as it gives the younger racers something to take home at the end of each round for their efforts.
Our next Winter series round is Sunday 5th December. More importantly though is our maintenance day / work party on Saturday 4th December. We have a long list of tasks that need doing to get the track and surrounding areas back into the condition we all expect. These include smoothing out the bumps, reshaping jumps and replacing Astro turf. We can’t do this with 2 or3 people so it would be great to have a good number of people to get stuck in and help give the Nene a bit of a spruce up.
The results for this meeting are available via this link
So hopefully see you all again on Saturday 4th December!