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Peter Gunn

The Good, The Bad And The Average

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I,m talking about slot car drivers , there is a lot i can say on this subject from years ago , but will need a new section so i'll be reasonably brief, well, think most of us when we started wanted to be competitive, clutching our first car , borrowing a controller and getting blown away by the regulars.

Now this went a couple of ways , The Good wanted more info and took notice of what was going on, The Bad were not really interested and gave up, and The Average was most of us.

We had a lot of the last group , didn't have the money to compete at the top but wanted to improve, so week by week our cars got a little better , we asked for advice , and most of us got it and learned from it, and slowly started catching the top 3 until one day you beat the 3rd place regular ,and what a great feeling you felt that at last you had arrived.

Now you were in The Good bracket, and you got better and better as you got more practice , picking up more tips, racingg better machinery as you went along and suddenly you were the top dog, you had beaten the number 1 driver but not regulary at first, but that day arrived when you did end up number one on a regular basis and boy was that a great feeling.

Now came the hard part , staying there , i learned being that driver you had to realize you was not always going to be number 1 , as sooner or later you would be beaten, and that is when you then knew what sort of slot car driver you really was , was you the type to throw your dummy out of the pram, was you the type to sulk, was you the type to be B obnoxious , or was you the type to realise there was actually someone in the club faster than you were, and even though you remained a very fast top 3 driver , never again would you be number 1.

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I joined WASCRG back in 2012 and was amazed at how fast some of these blokes were as I'd never raced on a timber track before.

Syd allowed me to borrow some house cars when I began and I used what cars I did have for the different classes.

There were always 3 or 4 blokes that were really fast compared to the rest of us, and usually the same 4 blokes made up the A main.

Over time I learned how to tune my car to make it faster, easier to drive, my skills improved, I now knew the track layout well and I was starting to make some A main races.

Although I was making the A main I was way off the pace, usually in a 40 lap A main I'd be at least 2 laps behind but guaranteed 4th place, but I was still improving my lap times.

I think I won my first A main about 12 months after joining WASCRG, and it was a good feeling beating the front runners.

As you have said you had beaten the number 1 driver but not on a regular basis but soon I was up there with them in most classes, better in some than others.

Over time I would regularly win the A main, have fast cars, upset the gun drivers but enjoy my racing.

I did find that 4 cold beers before racing would help me relax, enjoy it more and not bother if I won or lost, but because of this I felt I could win more easily because of the fact of was having fun going fast and stirring up the top drivers.

You even get to the point where you know you can run some of them down from behind, because most will slow a little when leading to keep the lead.

Eventually, a few years into being at WASCRG I was up there in the top 3 drivers for quite some time, could win most classes and have some great races .

I did find that the closest of races were the best, win or lose, to race 20 laps side by side and cross the line together is still the best racing.

Staying at the top also meant having good, new, trued tyres on your car, car was checked weekly and I was ready to race.

One downfall I did find from winning regularly that there were some who were getting a liitle peeved at the same person winning.

In my mind this resulted in a few changes to club rules, tyres, voltage etc to bring the racing closer and give others a chance to win.

But here's where I believe the trouble can be, there are some who will never push their cars and at least try and go faster for the win, better lap times etc, they're happy to just come racing and love it.

I'm pretty much one of these now, just bring my cars along most weeks and enjoy it, I can still win occasionally but that's not what it's about, if I'm not enjoying it why race.

Must say though, I do still like to beat some of the faster drivers in the heats, as there is always those who hate being beaten.

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Obviously you guys have never learned the subtle art of lending your faster guys "motor flush" rebottled from the Canopy glue bottle, or lube decanted from the large runny, superglue tube.... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

Actually, we have some "gentlemen" in club, who will stop their car mid-heat to reslot someone who has come off where the marshals don't stand on the driver straight area.

I am trying to get the hang of this delicate skill .......


Walks upright Unaided  *  Ties Own Shoelaces  *  Can Mispronounce Own Name In Five Languages  *  Mostly Aims Rattle Cans Away from Self
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FOUR .. Christ, I'd be slab side gazing at the ceiling or trying to get the family cat to go faster and in the right direction with a controller.

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Cheers Grant

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Only chance i ever get of racing against others now is over at my mates track , used to be the Dunton track at Ford's, been a bit modified to fit the man shed but it,s 4 lanes and wood, bit far away but the odd race day there usually a Sat is still fun.

Have trouble getting even 4 to race on it but sometimes we do, my cars now are a lot different from the old days , and a lot faster in the case of Thunderslot , but once the lights go green your back to your youth , we are still so competitive, John never beat me at Hornchurch and i still have the edge mainly in car prep , and that is where things like the proxy races have been so beneficial , improved my car building in the smooth handling department .

We both were part of the endurance team at Hornchurch in the later mid 60,s , 6-12-24 hour races were the norm monthly then and that is what honed our driving , John could drive a Mustang easily for an hour or more at near enough the same lap time, so consistent he just had that level of concentration.

Been looking back through the Hornchurch archives i kept from that period and some of the great drivers we had , from fiery Ken Holmes to calm measured Barrie Wade, erratic Steve Brown, half asleep Noddy he always looked like that, ultra competitive Mike Gamblin , and the quiet man Len Mainwaring, many others as well , names i can't quite remember now but were all part of the club , i had the great pleasure of driving with Mike Gambling , Barrie Wade, Stan Cartwright towards the end of the 60,s driving 1/24th cars in team Russkit , and that was a friendship formed from being together in a slot car club like Hornchurch that never died.

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