Post by David Mitcham on Apr 10, 2019 15:30:45 GMT -5
Nearly all the cars have arrived for the first meeting of the ITP championship series and have been carrying out some preliminary exploration of the track at Rockwell Park. There are one or two late arrivals expected from: South Africa - Clive Armstrong's Alfa 12c is stuck in customs; Germany - Thomas Deitrich's Mercedes Team are late catching the ferry; and the USA - Andi Rowland's Miller is likely to turn up on race day and, subject to the Clerk of the Course's ruling, may have to miss practice which is due to take place this coming weekend to determine the race running order. In anticipation of a closely fought first round, which will take place on 19 April, here are some pictures of the cars getting feel for the track.
Here are the Voiturettes which will form the supporting race prior to the Grand Prix cars.
Post by David Mitcham on Apr 13, 2019 12:02:44 GMT -5
Today was practice day for setting times for the starting order for next Friday's racing. The Voiturettes ran first and its turned out to be a very close battle at the top between three Italian cars: the Alfa Alfetta 158 of Mac Pinches; the Alfa Romeo 512 of David Mitcham; and the Maserati 4CL of John Warren. The 158 achieved th fastest lap by just under 1/10th of a second from the 512 with the Maserati a mere 7 thousandths of a second behind that. In fact the whole field was only covered by only 1.4 seconds and the first 6 by just under half a second. Its going to be a very close race.
Here are the detailed results.
The Voiturettes lined up in running order by number.
The top three.
The Grand Prix cars will practice tomorrow - I did start today but decided my consistency had deteriorated and its wasn't fair to the later running cars to carry on.
Post by David Mitcham on Apr 14, 2019 11:21:42 GMT -5
On sunny afternoon in Wiltshire the Grand Prix car practice session was held to set times for the running order of cars in next Friday's race. As with the Voiturettes yesterday the times were very close. Mac Pinches' Maserati 8CTF set the fastest time of the afternoon of 6.560 seconds, this was just 0.002 of a second faster than the Delahaye 155 of David Mitcham, with Dave Capelen in third with a time of 6.726. The top six cars were covered by just under 0.4 of a second. The times to cover 5 laps are probably a better indication of race pace and consistency with the Maserati again the quickest car by a 1.2 second margin over Mike Dove's Auto Union with the Delahaye third, 0.1 of a second behind. All the cars were a pleasure to drive albeit some more demanding than others.
Overall the times were not much different to the Voiturettes despite the extra power of the GP cars but this is mainly due to Rockwell Park not having any long straights and the sinuous nature of the track.
Here are the top three with the other Grand Prix cars lined up in order in the pits.
Post by Andrew Rowland on Apr 19, 2019 0:13:38 GMT -5
Well after a long trip across the pond the Miller racing team will finally make it to Rockwell Park this morning just in time for the inaugural race. The trip has been eventful but now the real fun starts!!
Very soon we will know what the form looks like over a race distance for the whole field....
Post by David Mitcham on Apr 19, 2019 14:15:02 GMT -5
Andi Rowland and I have had a great day driving the ITP cars but its been a long one so here are the results; photographs and comments on the 'race' and cars will follow over the next few days. All the cars ran well without problems other than a bearing detaching itself from Dave Capelen's Maserati chassis towards the end of its run which it nevertheless completed.
Hello Andi, hello David, Thank you for the quick report from the first race. Good to hear that all the cars made it to the first race. Personally I‘m not over excited by the results of my cars but at least there is still some room to improve at the next stages. Best regards Thomas
Post by David Mitcham on Apr 21, 2019 3:33:22 GMT -5
The race format for both classes of cars was two heats of 20 laps of Rockwell Park with each car driven once by Andi and once by David. As the circuit is difficult to marshal in some places, and anyway there were only two of us, we decided that any de-slots out of immediate reach would result in restarting a 20 lap run but ‘offs’ that could be immediately resolved would not. The cars ran in practice time order in both 20 lap heats with late arrivals which hadn’t taken part in practice being the last to run.
The Voiturettes were first to race in the morning. All the cars were quite closely matched but it soon became apparent that the front runners were going to be Mac’s Alfetta, Keith’s Mercedes, and Steve’s Maserati with John’s Maserati and David’s Alfa a little way behind. The five cars traded fastest laps but it was consistent laps that told in the end with Mac just coming out the winner by 0.01 seconds and with fastest lap of the heat; less than 2 seconds covered the first three finishers. Other notable performances came from Mike Buss’s Maserati which ran very well in the first heat but faded in the second, and John Warren’s Maserati which made a four place improvement in the second heat to finish in second place and moving him up to fourth overall.
Here is a picture of the Voiturette podium and some pictures of the cars on the circuit.
The GP cars ran in the afternoon and confirmed the impression of practice that they were rather handful on this tight and twisty circuit with only a small performance advantage over the Voiturettes. As a consequence there were a few more off track excursions than in the morning with several re-started races (this wasn’t the result of any lunchtime excess, we only drank water). The front runners in the first heat were Mac’s Maserati, Mike Dove’s long tail Auto Union, and Mike Buss’ Auto Union with the Auto Unions of Steve Morrow and Dave Capelen a little way behind. The Delahaye might have been challenging the top three too but a minor off towards the end of its first heat run caused in a tyre to partially leave the rim which resulted in an imbalance its remaining laps. The result of the first heat was a win for Mac by 0.002 seconds and fastest lap of the heat and of the day, with the two Mikes very close behind. The second heat saw another good run by Mike Buss whilst Mac and Mike Dove recorded slower runs but their first heat results ensured they salvaged third and second respectively. The surprise performance of the second heat was by Dan Crowley’s HO motor-powered Auto Union which moved from seventh to fourth which resulted in a fourth overall. The other big improvements in the second heat were for Monte Saager’s Mercedes, up to second, Max Rossmasler’s Auto Union, up to sixth, and the Delahaye up to third with fastest lap of the heat.
A special mention should be made of Andi’s Miller. It is not only a superb piece of innovative engineering and craftsmanship it is also a pleasure to drive and has great acceleration out of the corners. However Andi and I felt it needs a bit more development and track time to get the most out of it. It could be the surprise of the proxy once it loosens up a little.
Here is a picture of the GP podium and some general shots of the cars on the circuit and in the pits.
Unfortunately we forgot to take any pictures of the Miller.
Andi may be posting some comments on the cars in the next few days.
All the cars have been packed away in their transporters and have already reached the next venue at Manor Park. The races will be run at a date to be confirmed by Andi but it will be in the next couple of weeks.
The period mechanic figures in the pits and most of the trackside advertising banners are from Marlon at Shadowfax.
Post by Andrew Rowland on Apr 21, 2019 14:34:37 GMT -5
Well, what a fantastic event David put on....
First i'd like to say, on behalf of everyone, that David has really managed to steer this series to a strong start. He has been helpful and diplomatic in ensuring all the entered cars made it to the start line which is aligned with John's spirit of an inclusive atmosphere. Long before I arrived on race day he had practiced and prepared all the cars.
I would also like to thank David and Margaret for looking after me on race day, feeding me and ensuring I was well looked after for the racing.
I think it is fair to say that most proxy races are held by drivers on circuits that they are familiar with so for me to arrive, never having even seen David's lovely circuit, and race the cars with only a few warm up laps may have added a 'wildcard' element to the result. I apologise in advance for anyone who, on seeing the result, feels they lost out in 'heat 2'. I was heat 2 and the occasional 'off' may have slightly biased things.
On the other hand, David, ever the gentleman, was almost relieved when an off of his own car while he was driving meant he arrived well down the order. I'd watch that Delahaye in future rounds if I were you!!
I took quite a lot of notes during the racing on the cars. However, i've decided I should withhold my comments until I practice the cars on my own circuit over the next week or so.
One thing David and I discussed a lot was how sound is very important in slotracing. It is something that i've seen very little talked about but for me is important in proxy racing where you are not familiar with the cars and one driver races a succession of cars. When a car sounds solid and quiet it gives one a sense of calm and confidence so that you can concentrate and push the car to its limit. Maybe its also about hearing the tyres on the track itself to understand where the limits are. When instead the car is rattling about making screeching and scraping noises it is not conducive to a feeling of security. In my case this definitely affected how I raced the cars. It would be interesting to hear from others on this subject.
Anyway, congratulations to everyone for getting a car to the start line. Clearly lots of people expressed an interest and i'm always in awe of those that actually follow through. Next, congratulations to the winners and top cars of each group. It seems that making a good handling scratchbuilt car is not as easy as it sometimes looks on the fora! Then, there are clearly a handful of really beautiful looking cars that will compete for the concourse result in Tyneside! Some really special scratchbuilidng has gone into these cars. All sorts of materials, techniques and technology have been employed for the chassis and the bodies alike.
My final comment is that despite the huge range of cars the results feel quite close to me. Just seconds separate the competitors which is quite extraordinary given how different they all are!