Court, Chainbridge Road
Blaydon, Newcastle upon Tyne
England NE21 5ST
|Participants at the Hornby Protec Challenge|
|The Track||The Winners||Serious Team Shirts|
|The Protec Challenge went out
and the regular racers at Riverside raceway in Newcastle responded with enthusiasm.
A total of 31 entrants made up 12 teams ranging in age from just 8 to some of our more mature members and included Team Girly who were out to show the boys how to do it (with a bit of help from dad who is an old hand at slot racing).
With only an hour to assemble the cars, everyone literally ran to their workboxes and set about the task under the watchful eyes of Riverside manager Paul Harwood, who made sure that all work was above board.
First privateer to finish and take 1st practice were regular Protec racers,Team Ridley who took only 35 minutes?! to get their car running. this was a sign of what was to come although at the time most of the other teams were only concerned with their own cars, some of which were still in many pieces. With the deadline looming fast and the threat of a 30 lap penalty for any team not finished on time, activity became more frenzied and on the call of the hour only 2 teams were not running. An early display of sportsmanship ensured that help was on hand to get everyone to the line for qualifying.
Each team used their 3 minutes of qualifying to sort out their car, including TEAM CAP who quickly decided against running backwards after not paying sufficient attention to the assembly instructions. this was also a sign of things to come.
Qualifying times for the 100 ft. Riverside track ranged from 8.2 secs. to 13 secs, with the absolute worst by Team CAP who failed to get a qualifying lap. With the top 6 teams within 1 1/2 seconds, some close racing was to be expected over the following 2 hours. T.Q. were team Riverside whose Vectra gave everyone something to aim at (quite literally as it turned out during the race!)
Six drivers lined up for the first session and with over a dozen marshalls covering the track, all eyes were on turn one anticipating the usual first corner carnage. We were not to be disappointed but then this about par for the course on most days at Riverside.
Early leaders were Team Griffith with the rest in close pursuit. It quickly became apparent that standards of workmanship in assembly made a difference and those with previous Protec experience made headway while the Protec virgins visited the barriers and other parts of the raceway in search of the the required technique. After 6 ten minute sessions, numerous driver changes and a few running repairs Team Griffith emerged as session one leaders having set a target of 357 laps, closely followed by Team Girly with a very credible 321 laps.
Session 2 looked to be fiercely contested with 3 particularly well built cars from Teams Riverside, Ridley and G.I.T.S. Riverside took an early lead which they were not to loose, setting a fastest lap of 7.96 seconds on the way, although they could not afford to relax as the first non works team Ridley were only 35 laps behind the winning total of 407 at the finish.
While many cars were limping slightly at the end, only Team CAP wasnt still running having succumbed to terminal misassembley and even complete novices Team Vincent managed a heroic rookie first race total of over 100 laps after numerous visits to the pits. All of the cars went away to race another day after some more leisurely care and attention and ensured that all the participants felt they had won something.
All in all, the day was judged to have been a great success with many thanks and full credit to Riverside Raceway for the superb facilities and smooth organisation and Hornby Hobbies Ltd. for the supply of the Protec Cars. Riverside also posted two further Hornby cars as prizes for the first two teams.
In total 3292 laps were run by all teams which on the 100ft track equates to a total real mileage of 62.35 actual miles.
- Geoff Williams
|HORNBY PROTEC CHALLENGE AT RIVERSIDE|
|TEAM||RUN 1||RUN 2||RUN 3||RUN 4||RUN 5||RUN 6||TOTAL|
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