2010

A move by the Arena-Essex (or Arena) Slotstox Club to Cheshunt and closer to Stevenage (although later in the season I moved to Hitchin) saw me become a regular at this club combined with the odd appearance at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club. 

 

Parmastox

A non-points meeting on 23rd March at the Arena Slotstox Club was my first of the season. Having not raced Parmastox for just over two years and on a six lane track on which I had not previously raced I approached the first heat with the intention of gaining experience and consistent finishes. Starting towards the rear in red grade this worked well - I won the heat scoring 31 points (heats consist of two races in each lane) despite failing to finish the first two races in the inside lane! Heat 2 did not go quite so well and I finished 6th (out of 6!) with 14 points. Heat 3 I was able to combine more speed with more finishes scoring 26 points to finish 2nd.  On 30th March I again raced in a non-points meeting at the Arena Slotstox Club, this time on a four lane track on which I had not previously raced Parmastox (although it was the track on which I won the Arena Slotstox Driver of the day at the Brentwood show in 2004 racing Parma-Bangers). Due to train delays leaving London I missed the first heat but finished 2nd in my next two heats scoring 21 points in each - this was despite recording no races wins in my first heat and only one race win in my second heat. I qualified for the final based on finishing positions. Using a different 'quicker' borrowed hand-controller in my second heat I was more on the pace and this continued into the final. My Parmastox still needed work to correct some handling issues but my racing strategy helped me score 41 points (final consisted of three races in each lane) and win the final. 

I raced in the first points meeting of the season at the Arena Slotstox Club on 6th April on the six lane track. Heat 1 I finished 4th (out of 4!) and heat 2 3rd (17 points in each). I did not qualify for the final and so raced in the Grand National which I won (17 points again!) Qualification for finals and points for the points chart are based on finishing positions in the best heat plus best final or grand national / consolation whilst Grand National points are based on finishing positions in the Grand National and if not held consolation or worst heat. For the points chart I scored 8 points (best heat 3 + Grand National 5) including 5 Grand National points. My remaining results in April were: 13th April - four lane track - 3rd in each heat (10 and 16 points) and won the Grand National for the second week running (22) on count back of number of race wins. For the points chart I scored 8 points (best heat 3 + Grand National 5) including 5 Grand National points. 20th April - six lane track - heats 4th (14) and 3rd (26 - winner 29) and consolation 4th (15). For the points chart I scored 5 points (best heat 3 + consolation 2) including 2 Grand National points from the consolation. 27th April with my Parmastox fully repainted into the John Gray replica paint scheme - six lane track - heats 2nd (22) and 3rd (16). All five drivers racing qualified for the final: 4th (19). For the points chart I scored 9 points (best heat 4 + final 5) plus 3 Grand National points from my worst heat.  During April I scored 30 points and was 6th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart. With the 9th highest average of 7.5 points I was in yellow grade. I was top of the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship points chart with 15 points. 

4th May (Gold Top Qualifying round 1) - six-lane track - heats 5th (9) and 5th (18)plus final 1st (28). For the points chart and the Gold Top Qualifying chart I scored 9 points (best heat 1 + final 8) plus 1 Grand National point from my worst heat. 11th May - four-lane track and my Parmastox suffering from severe handling problems - heats 2nd (13) and 1st (23) plus Final 2nd (20). For the points chart I scored 12 points (best heat 5 + final 7). 18th May - six-lane track - heats 4th (19) and 4th (16) plus final 1st (47 won by 15 points despite deliberately crashing on the last bend of the final race otherwise it would have been 50 points!) For the points chart I scored 10 points (best heat 2 + final 8) plus 2 Grand National points from my worst heat.  During May I was 5th highest points scorer with 31 points, the 3rd highest average of 10.3 points and was up to red grade. I was 5th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 61 points and the 7th highest season average of 8.7 points. I remained top of the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship points chart with 18 points. I was joint 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart. 

1st June (Gold Top Qualifying round 2) - six-lane track and my Parmastox having a few handling issues - heats 4th (15) and 4th (16) plus consolation 4th (14). For the points chart and the Gold Top Qualifying chart I scored 4 points (best heat 2 + consolation 2) including 2 Grand National points from the consolation. On 8th June - six-lane track - heats 1st (25) and 3rd (31) plus final 2nd (23). For the points chart I scored 12 points (best heat 5 + final 7). 15th June - six-lane track - heats 2nd (25 - 1 points behind 1st) and 3rd (20 - same points as 2nd but fewer race wins) plus final 3rd (21). For the points chart I scored 10 points (best heat 4 + final 6) plus 3 Grand National points from my worst heat. 22nd June - four-lane track - heats 2nd (17) and 2nd (32 - same points as 1st but fewer race wins and with the Parmastox raced the other way around the track!) plus final 1st (28). For the points chart I scored 12 points (best heat 4 + final 8) plus 4 Grand National points from my worst heat.  During June I scored was the 3rd highest points scorer with 38 points, the 3rd highest average of 11.0 points and retained red grade. I was up to 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 99 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.0 points. I remained top of the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship points chart with 27 points. I was down to 5th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 13 points. 

6th July (Gold Top Qualifying round 3) - six-lane track - heats 4th (14) and 1st (25) plus final 5th (19). For the points chart and the Gold Top Qualifying chart I scored 9 points (best heat 5 + final 4). 13th July - six-lane track - heats 2nd of five drivers (23 - 1st 24 and 3rd 22) and 2nd of four drivers (18 - 1st 19), consolation 2nd of four drivers and last qualifying place (25 and same as 1st but fewer race wins) plus final 1st of five drivers (26 with all drivers separated by only 6 points and all with a chance of winning going into the final race!) For the points chart I scored 12 points (best heat/consolation 4 + final 8). 20th July - six-lane track and with my Parmastox going much better following some helpful tweeking by a fellow driver - heats 4th of five drivers (16 same as 3rd but fewer race wins) and 3rd of four drivers (11), consolation 1st of five drivers (33) plus final 4th of five drivers (15). For the points chart I scored 10 points (best heat/consolation 5 + final 5). 27th July - four-lane track - heats 2nd (30 same as 1st but fewer race wins) and 1st (26 - with the Parmastox raced the other way around the track) plus final 1st for the second four-lane track meeting in-a-row (39 with three races in each lane). For the points chart I scored a maximum 13 points (best heat 5 + final 8) plus 4 Grand National points from my worst heat.  During July I was the 2nd highest points scorer with 44 points, the joint 2nd highest average of 11.0 points and retained red grade. I was up to 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 143 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.5 points. I remained top of the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship points chart with 31 points. I remained 5th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 22 points. 

3rd August (Gold Top Qualifying round 4) - six-lane track - heats 1st of six drivers (37) and 3rd of five drivers (25) plus final 4th of five drivers (22). For the points chart and the Gold Top Qualifying chart I scored 10 points (best heat 5 + final 5). 10th August - six-lane track - first heat missed due to arriving late following a prior appointment and 1st of five drivers (26 ahead of 2nd 24 and 3rd and 4th 23 each!) plus final 3rd of five drivers (23 1 point behind 2nd) and Grand National 2nd of five drivers with the final winner starting with their back bumper on the white grade line a lap down (30 same as 1st but fewer race wins i.e. the winner either won or crashed!) For the points chart I scored 11 points (best heat 5 + final 6) plus 4 Grand National points. 17th August - six-lane track - heats 2nd of five drivers (24) and 1st of five drivers (26 by 1 point) plus final 3rd of six drivers (27). For the points chart, again for the second week running, I scored 11 points (best heat 5 + final 6). 31st August - six-lane track - heats 2nd of five drivers (32) and 4th of four drivers (15 - same as 3rd but fewer race wins including my Parmastox crashing onto the floor during and then not running well after this or during the early part of the consolation), consolation 2nd of five drivers as top three qualiied for the final and came down to the last race (25 - 1st 26, 3rd 23 and 4th 21) plus final final 3rd of five drivers (23). For the points chart I scored 10 points (best heat/consolation 4 + final 6).  During August I was the 2nd highest points scorer with 42 points, the 4th highest average of 10.5 points and retained red grade. I remained 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 185 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.7 points. I remained top of the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship points chart with 35 points. I remained 5th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 32 points. 

8th September (Gold Top Qualifying round 5) the Arena Slotstox Club began what would be alternate weeks racing between two venues 'Comrades' and 'St Mary's' in the Cheshunt area. This week on a Wednesday at a new venue 'St Mary's' before the following week on a Tuesday at the 'Comrades' venue. The six-lane track at 'St Mary's' was new to all drivers with long straights and tight bends and had been recently relaid. Heat 1 1st of five drivers (30) and heat 2 1st of four drivers (23) plus final featuring several big high speed crashes 4th of five drivers (18 1 point behind 3rd). For the points chart and the Gold Top Qualifying chart I scored 10 points (best heat 5 + final 5). 14th September - six lane track at the 'Comrades' with my Parmastox not running particularly well due to worn tyres - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (19) and heat 2 joint 2nd of four drivers (10 and the same record), consolation 1st of five drivers (33) plus final 3rd of five drivers (17). For the points chart I scored 11 points (best heat / consolation 5 + final 6). 22nd September - six-lane track at 'St Mary's' suffering from a heavy cold I could have done without my Parmastox needing to run in new tyres and then the rear bumper falling off my Parmastox a few times during the meeting which saw a switch to a club Parmastox (including most of heat 1 - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (16), consolation joint 2nd of six drivers (10 including numerous track blockages, my Parmastox racing at times without a rear bumper and on the end of some erratic driving but I did manage to two race wins!) plus final (extended to seven drivers due to the tie in the consolation) 5th (9 1 point behind 4th - low scoring with again numerous track blockages). For the points chart I scored 8 points (best heat / consolation 4 + final 4). 28th September - six-lane track at 'Comrades' with my Parmastox running much better with a fully fixed rear bumper - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (29 2 points behind 1st and might have been better without a crash in my last race) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (31 - same as third but more race wins) plus final 1st (36). For the points chart I scored 12 points (best heat 4 + final 8).  During September I was 2nd highest points scorer with 41 points, the 3rd highest average of 10.3 points and retained red grade. I remained 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 226 points, just 10 points behind joint 1st, and the joint 4th highest season average of 9.8 points. I remained top of the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship points chart with 35 points. I was up to joint 4th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 42 points as 3 points separated joint 2nd and joint 4th. 

6th October (final Gold Top Qualifying round) - six-lane track at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (15 1 point behind 2nd) and heat 2 3rd of six drivers (15) plus final (final qualifier as best non 1st or 2nd place heat finisher) 5th (14 - same points as 4th but fewer race wins). For the points chart and the Gold Top Qualifying chart I scored 7 points (best heat 3 + final 4). 12th October - six-lane track at 'Comrades' borrowing a Parmastox for the heats as another driver who had taken my Parmastox the previous week to do some repairs was running late - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (26) and 2nd of four drivers (17 - same points as 3rd but more race wins) plus final with my Parmastox but not running well with a twisted chassis 4th of six drivers (19 - 1 point behind 3rd). For the points chart I scored 9 points (best heat 4 + final 5). 20th October - six-lane track at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 6th of six drivers (10) and heat 2 6th of six drivers (6) plus final, partly raced with no front bumper after this fell off and strangely my Parmastox went better and this was the only time I was able to hit other Parmastox without my Parmastox de-slotting, with all six drivers 6th (6). For the points chart I scored 4 points (heat 1 + final 3). 26th October - six-lane track at 'Comrades' and with my Parmastox was running much better with a fully fixed front bumper - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (24) and heat 2 4th of five drivers (12), consolation 1st (27 1 point ahead of 2nd) plus final 5th of six drivers (18). For the points chart I scored 9 points (best heat/consolation 5 + final 4).  During October I was 5th highest points scorer with 29 points, the 6th highest average of 7.3 points and was down to blue grade. 

17th November - Arena Slotstox Club Team Race Open - six-lane track at St Mary's. There were four teams of two with each team facing each other twice over the four middle lanes with three races in each lane scored 4 points, 3, 2,1. The two teams with the most heat match wins qualified for the final with any tie being settled by raw points. I was teamed with 33 Jack Branch. First match (close and were leading going into the final race) lost 12-15 (racing tactically I scored 2 points), second match won 11-0 (7), third match lost 13-23 (4), fourth match won 19-11 (12) and fifth match lost 3-12 (0). We then needed to win our last match with a big score to qualify for the final but we lost 11-18 (3). On match wins we finished joint 3rd but with 69 raw points (28) taken into consideration we finished 4th. We qualified for the 3rd/4th place play-off which we lost 4-15 (4). 

I finished 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with a total of 255 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.4 points. I won the Parmastox Arena Grand National Points Championship with 35 points. I finished 5th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 49 points and qualified for the six driver Gold Top Championship final.

23rd November - six-lane track at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 5th of the six drivers and the starting lanes for each driver were drawn in qualifying order. I started in the Black lane (lane 5) with drivers having three races in each lane all starting from the Blue grade. I scored 31 points and finished 4th. 

 

Slotstox

The Arena Slotstox Club's four lane track used for racing on 30th March proved ideal for Slotstox racing - albeit the wrong way due to the alignment of the track. With all four drivers starting from White grade and using four of my Slotstox (including my Aldershot Knights Slotstox Club rules Slotstox) and for fairness a set Slotstox allocated in each lane I scored 26 points and finished runner-up 2 points behind the heat winner. The winner of the heat was due to also line-up in the second heat but as they were required to leave I took their place having been runner-up. This time I won five of the eight races to score 32 points and win the heat. 

I raced in the Slotstox Suffolk Championship at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club on 16th July. Starting from red grade on the six lane small track, I scored 9 points in my first heat, 10 points in my second heat and 4 points in my third heat. Overall in the heats I scored 23 points, finished as 18th highest points scorer and did not qualify for the semi-finals.

With the Arena Slotstox Club's four lane track corrected to be used for Slotstox racing the correct way round and the six lane tracks at both it's venues being good for Slotstox, a Winter Series Championship was introduced for Slotstox. Round 1 was on 7th December and all drivers started from White grade except for me starting from my Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club grade of Red. I scored 52 points in my four heats - heat 1, 15 points; heat 2, 11 points, heat 3, 14 points and heat 4, 12 points. I finished as 4th highest points scorer in the heats and qualified for the final. I scored 12 points and finished as runner-up (only beaten by a driver borrowing another of my Slotstox!) adding another 4 points to my points chart total of 56 points. I was third in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship points chart. I missed round 2 on 21st December and was down to fifth in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship points chart. 

 

Parma-Saloons

My debut meeting of the season at the Arena Slotstox Club on 23rd March also featured non-points Parma-Saloons (although in reality this was a mixture of Parma-Saloons and Parma-Bangers).  These use the inter-changeable chassis of the Parmastox with a Saloon bodyshell.  I borrowed a bodyshell and with an Arena driver already using my current Slot-Saloons number of 515 I reverted back to my previous Slot-Saloons number of 39.  I was more on the pace straight away in these helped by starting in my Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club Slot-Saloons grade of Blue and 3rd in the heat (20 points - two races in each lane). 

 

Parma-Bangers (including Parma-Bangers and caravans, Parma-Big Van Bangers and Parma-Small Van Bangers)

The 6th April meeting at the Arena Slotstox Club also featured the first points meeting of the season for the Parma-Bangers (although for April and as for the Parma-Saloons on 23rd March this was a mixture of Parma-Saloons and Parma-Bangers). As for the Parma-Saloons these use the inter-changeable chassis of the Parmastox. Parma-Bangers also include a plastic insert to the metal chassis and for the early meetings I borrowed bodyshells. Starting from my Parmastox grade of red I won each of my two heats (consisting of two races in each lane) scoring 22 points and 19 points respectively. With the points chart based on finishing positions in the heats/finals I scored 10 points (5+5). 13th April heat 1st (26) plus final 3rd (10) - 11 (5+6) points chart points. 20th April heat 1 3rd (14) and heat 2 2nd (22) - 7 (3+4) points chart points. 27th April heat 1 1st (32) and heat 2 2nd (18) - 9 (5+4) points chart points. During April I scored 37 points and was top of the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart. With the highest average of 9.3 points I was in red grade.

 

4th May heat 1 4th (12) and heat 2 3rd (19) plus final 3rd (12) - 9 (best heat 3 + final 6) points chart points. 18th May I raced Parma-Bangers and caravans with my own Parma-Banger and borrowing a caravan. I had finished painting the Parma-Banger the previous day and as had become traditional for my Slot-Bangers it was painted as a replica of 'The Warriors' Carl Gallagher. With the points counting towards the Parma-Bangers points chart. Heat 1 joint 1st (14 and idential record) and heat 2 2nd (12) - 9 (5+4) points chart points. During May I was 2nd highest points scorer with 18 points, the 3rd highest average of 9 points and remained red grade. I remained top of the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 55 points and the 2nd highest season average of 9.2 points. 

1st June I raced my own Parma-Banger for the first time without a caravan - heat 1 2nd (16) and heat 2 2nd (27) - 8 (4+4) points chart points. 8th June I again borrowed a caravan and raced Parma-Bangers and caravans - heat 1 3rd (9 - joint winners each scoring 10) - 3 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 15th June I made my Parma-Big Van Bangers debut having completed it on 10th May painted in the colours of 'The Warriors' Carl Gallagher - heat 1 3rd (26) and heat 2 3rd (20) - 6 (3+3) Parma-Bangers points chart points. During June I was joint 2nd highest points scorer with 17 points, the joint 2nd highest average of 5.7 points and remained red grade. I remained top of the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 72 points and the joint 2nd highest season average of 8.0 points. 

6th July the Parma-Bangers were non-points due to fellow drivers needing to leave early on Club business - heat 3rd (13). 13th July I made my debut racing Parma-Small Van Bangers with the points counting towards the Parma-Bangers points chart. For this meeting they were provided by the Club and for fairness a set Parma-Small Van Banger allocated in each lane - heat 1st (34) and for the points chart scored 5 points. 27th July - four-lane track - heat 1 joint 2nd (21 and same record) and heat 2 3rd (7 raced with the Parma-bangers going the other way around the track). I started well in the final but this was abandoned due to a problem with the track - 7 (4+3) points chart points. During July I was the joint highest points scorer with 12 points, the joint highest average of 6.0 points and remained red grade. I remained top of the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 84 points and the 3rd highest season average of 7.6 points. 

3rd August - Parma-Big Van Bangers - heat 2nd of four drivers (15) plus final 1st of five drivers (33) - 12 (heat 4 + final 8) Parma-Bangers points chart points. 17th August - Parma-Bangers and caravans - I debuted my caravan in which was finished being painted on 5th July and then had the floor and wheels fitted before the meeting. Due to time the races were reduced to four laps - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (15 edging out 3rd by 1 point) and heat 2 1st of four drivers (13) - 9 (4+5) Parma-Bangers points chart points. During August I was the highest points scorer with 21 points, the 2nd highest average of 10.5 points and remained red grade. I remained top of the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 105 points and the 2nd highest season average of 8.1 points. 

14th September - heat 1 4th of seven drivers (24) and heat 2 3rd (25 competitive - same points as 2nd but less race wins whilst 4th scored 24) - 5 (2+3) Parma-Bangers points chart points. 22nd September - Parma-Bangers and caravans for the first time at 'St Mary's' on the six-lane track with long straights and tight bends. Heat 2nd of four drivers (11 - 4 Parma-Bangers points chart points. During September I was the 2nd highest points scorer with 9 points, the 3rd highest average of 4.5 points and remained red grade. I remained top of the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 114 points and the 3rd highest season average of 7.6 points.

6th October the drivers were split into two heats of metal base Parma-Bangers and plastic base Parma-Bangers. Plastic base heat 1st of five drivers (9) - 5 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 12th October - Parma-Big Van Bangers - heat 1st of four drivers (23) - 5 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 20th October - Parma-Bangers and caravans - heat 2nd of three drivers (37) plus final 5th of all six drivers racing (6) - 8 (heat 4 + final 4) Parma-Bangers points chart points. During October I was the joint 3rd highest points scorer with 18 points, the joint 3rd highest average of 6.0 points and remained red grade.

I won the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship with a total of 132 points and the 3rd highest season average of 7.3 points. 

 

Parma-Minis

The 11th May meeting at the Arena Slotstox Club also featured round 1 of the non-contact Parma-Minis.  These use the inter-changeable chassis / plastic insert combination of the Parma-Bangers.  My mini was painted in the Parmastox / Slotstox style John Gray paint scheme which was only finished three days before what was my debut meeting in this formula!  With all drivers starting from White grade - heat 1st (23 consisting of two races in each lane and my first ever heat in this formula!) plus final 2nd (24) - 12 (heat 5 + final 7) points chart points and was joint top of the Parma-Minis Arena Points Championship chart.

20th July I debuted my Parma-Mini on the six-lane track on which all drivers all starting from blue grade - heat 1 3rd of seven drivers (28) and heat 2 1st of seven drivers (31) - 8 (3+5) points chart points (3+5) and was down to 2nd in the Parma-Minis Arena Points Championship chart with 20 points.

31st August - six-lane track - heat 2nd of seven drivers (29) - 4 points chart points and was top of the Parma-Minis Arena Points Championship chart with 24 points.

28th September - six-lane track - heat 4th of five drivers (11) - 2 points chart points and down to second in the Parma-Minis Arena Points Championship chart with 26 points.

26th October - six-lane track with all seven drivers in one heat 4th (20 with 3rd scoring 21 and 2nd 22) - 2 points chart points.

I finished as runner-up in the Parma-Minis Arena Points Championship with 28 points. 

 

 

Parma-Libre

The 22nd June meeting at the Arena Slotstox Club also featured round 2 of the Parma-Libre.  These are basically anything goes other than what is raced in another formula and use the inter-changeable chassis / plastic insert combination of the Parma-Bangers.  I missed round 1 on 25th May so this was my first Parma-Libre meeting.  My Parma-Libre was a stretch Jag replica of our wedding car but no extendable chassis was available so I was given special dispensation to race my Parma-Big Van Banger - heat 5th (8 with all drivers starting from White grade and two races in each lane) - 1 Parma-Libre Arena Points Championship points and 6th.  10th August - extendable chassis again not available for my stretch Jag so given special dispensation to race a borrowed Mark 3 cortina banger - heat 2nd of five drivers (23) 4 points chart points.

I finished 5th in the Parma-Libre Arena Points Championship with 5 points. 

 

Multi-formula

The 29th June meeting at the Arena Slotstox Club was the traditional Mid-Summer Madness Championship meeting which takes place on the nearest race date to Mid-Summer but this season was postponed for one week.  The championship format consists of a multi-formula event with total points from all races (two in each lane) in each formula counting.  Racing on the six-lane track - Parma-Minis (31 points) joint 2nd - 5 points behind 1st, debut racing Parma-Legends provided by the Club and for fairness a set Parma-Legend allocated in each lane (19) 2nd overall with 50 points - 8 points behind 1st, Parma-Libre debuting my wedding car replica stretch Jag which had been completed since 24th May but I had to date been unable to race which although struggling around the tight lane one it was very quick but was easily de-sloted when hit or hitting (21) remained 2nd overall with 71 points - 29 points behind 1st, debut racing Parma-Robin Reliants provided by the Club and for fairness a set Parma-Robin Reliant allocated in each lane (29 and won the heat but due to time races were cut from the usual 8 laps to 4 laps) remained 2nd overall with 100 points - 23 points behind 1st and finally Bangers and caravans over 4 laps per race (4 and borrowing a caravan and deciding that it was all or nothing to try and win - I led several races but was undone by getting stuck or de-slotting by a few too many crashes).  Overall I finished as runner-up in the Arena Mid-Summer Madness Championship with 104 points - 34 points behind 1st. 

The 3rd November meeting at Arena 'St Mary's' was the traditional Halloween Havoc Championship meeting which takes place on the nearest race date to Halloween.  Total points from all races (two in each lane) count towards this multi-formula championship format with all drivers starting from the start/finish line.  Racing on the six-lane track - Parma-Bangers and caravans over 4 laps per race (15), Parma-Minis (11) - I was 5th out of six drivers and way behind the lead, Parma-Libre (25 even though I spent most of the races trying to stop the overall leader who was way ahead in an attempt to make a contest of the championship) up to 4th overall with 51 points, finally Parma-Big Van Bangers (3).  Overall I finished 6th out of six drivers in the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship with 54 points. 

On 23rd November I raced in the Arena Firecracker meeting.  Traditionally this meeting has required drivers to race something never raced before or at least something in a different paint scheme.  An exception was made this year for a few drivers including me and I was able to raise my formula Libre stretch Jag - heat 5th of five drivers (5 points - although it was quick I got involved in a few too many crashes...especially when I knew I could not qualify for the final) and consolation 4th of six drivers (12).  I did not qualify for the final.

 

Slot-Saloons

I raced at round 4 of the Slot-Saloons Foxhall Points Championship at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club on 28th May.  I scored 37 points in my three heats - heat 1 20 points and top scorer in the first set of heats with four race wins (including my first race) and one non-finish, heat 2 2 points having got involved in a few too many crashes and heat 3 15 points with races wins in lanes 1,2 and 3 being my only finishes. I finished as 8th highest points scorer in the heats and qualified for the semi-finals.  I scored 15 points in my semi-final and finished in a three-way tie for 2nd.  In the run-off, with two qualifying for the final, I finished 1st with 11 points.  In the final I scored 6 points and finished 5th.

I was 28th (and White grade status - although retaining Yellow grade status) in the Slot-Saloons Foxhall Points Championship chart with 42 points.  Having not raced again, I finished the season in 31st.

 

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD - 255 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPION - 35 points

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH

 

PARMA-BANGERS ARENA POINTS CHAMPION - 132 POINTS

 

PARMA-MINIS ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP - 28 POINTS

 

PARMA-LIBRE ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH - 5 POINTS

 

ARENA MID-SUMMER MADNESS CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP

ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH

 

SLOT-SALOONS FOXHALL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 31ST - 42 points

 

2011

For 2011, the Arena Slotstox Club effectively became two clubs - one for each of it's venues: Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club with the primary formula classed as being Metal Slotstox (Parmastox) and Arena Slotstox 'St. Mary's' Club with the primary formula classed as being Plastic Slotstox (National Slotstox Association specification).  With several new drivers Parmastox remained the main formula and this also restricted time for a second formula at a lot of the meetings. 

 

Slotstox

On 11th January, I raced in round 3 of the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club. I was still starting from Red grade whilst all other drivers started from White grade. I scored 35 points in my first two heats - heat 1, 18 points and heat 2, 17 points. Heat 3 doubled up as a semi-final and I won this scoring 23 points to qualify for the final. This gave me a total of 58 points from my three heat plus 5 points for winning the semi-final. I won the final (racing the Slotstox that someone borrowed to win the final ahead of me at round 1!) scoring 20 points for 5 points chart points and a total of 68 points. I followed this up by winning the Grand National, despite starting a lap down, scoring 22 points. I was up to second in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship points chart with 124 points. I also had the highest average of 62 points and remained Red grade. I was joint top of the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Grand National Championship with 5 points.

18th January -  Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship round 4 at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's' Club. I scored 57 points in my three heats - heat 1, 19 points; heat 2, 18 points and heat 3, 20 points. I finished as 2nd highest points scorer in the heats. In a low scoring semi-final I finished 2nd scoring 10 points with two wins in the last two races with no other drivers finishing for 4 points chart points. In the final I scored 16 points and finished 3rd for 3 points chart points and a total of 64 points.

26th January - Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship round 5 at 'St Mary's'. I started by racing my spare Slotstox which went better on this track before an engine break saw me switch to my main Slotstox. I scored 38 points in my three heats - heat 1, 15 points; heat 2, 12 points and heat 3, 11 points. I finished as 2nd highest points scorer in the heats. I scored 12 points and finished 2nd in the semi-final to qualify for the final and add 4 points chart points. I won the final scoring 16 points for 5 points chart points and a total of 47 points. Having won the final, I started a lap down in the Grand National, scored 11 points and finished 2nd to score 4 points in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Grand National Championship.

1st February - Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship round 6 at 'Comrades'. I scored 39 points in my first two heats - heat 1, 16 points and heat 2, 23 points. Heat 3 doubled up as a semi-final and I won this scoring 24 points to qualify for the final. This gave me a total of 63 points from my three heats plus 5 points for winning the semi-final. I finished as runner-up in the final scoring 17 points for 4 points chart points and a total of 72 points. I remained second in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship points chart with 307 points. I also had the highest overall average of 61.4 points and the second highest average over the past three rounds of 61.0 points and remained Red grade. I was top of the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Grand National Championship with 9 points.

8th February - Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship round 7 at 'Comrades'. I scored 54 points in my three heats - heat 1, 22 points; heat 2, 14 points and heat 3, 18 points. I finished as 2nd highest points scorer in the heats. I scored 20 points and won my semi-final to qualify for the final and add 5 points chart points. I scored 20 points and finished runner-up in the final for 4 points chart points and a total of 63 points.

8th March - Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship round 9 at 'Comrades'. I scored 41 points in my first two heats - heat 1, 20 points and heat 2, 21 points. Heat 3 doubled up as a semi-final and I won this scoring 28 points to qualify for the final. This gave me a total of 69 points from my three heat plus 5 points for winning the semi-final. I won the final scoring 22 points for 5 points chart points and a total of 79 points. Having won the final, I started a lap down in the Grand National, scored 22 points and won this to score 5 points in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Grand National Championship.

15th March - Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship 10th and final round at 'St Mary's'. Using my second Slotstox on a track I do not like racing plastic's I scored 22 points in my three heats and was 5th highest points scorer in the heats. I scored 3 points and finished 6th in the semi-final for 1 points chart point and scored 12 points and finished as runner-up in the final for 4 points chart points and a total of 27 points. In the Grand National, I scored 5 points and finished 6th to score 1 point in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Grand National Championship. 

I finished as runner-up in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Championship Points with 476 points. I also had the highest overall average of 59.5 points and the second highest average over the final four rounds of 56.3 points and remained Red grade. I finished 4th in the Arena Slotstox 2010/2011 Winter Series Grand National Championship with 15 points. 

On 26th February, I raced at the Slotstox and Parmastox Hertfordshire 'Open' Championships held at the 'Comrades' - the first Slotstox and Parmastox meeting held by the Arena Slotstox Club. This was a relauch of the Arena 'Open' Championship - previously for Parmastox only - last held in 2008. In the Slotstox Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship I qualified for the semi-finals as the highest points scorer in the heats with 66 points having scored in every race of the heats: 20 points in my first heat (1st in red and white lanes, 2nd in yellow lane, 3rd in blue lane, 4th in black lane and 5th in green lane), 21 points in my second heat (1st in blue lane, 2nd in yellow, red and white lanes, and 4th in black and green lanes) and 25 points in my third heat (1st in yellow, red and black lanes, 2nd in blue and white lanes and 4th in green lane). I finished as joint runner-up in my semi-final with 19 points (I started in black lane and finished 2nd, 4th in green lane, 2nd in blue lane and 3rd in yellow, red and white lanes) and qualified for the final of the inaugural Slotstox Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship. I started the final with a non-finish in my first race in red lane (my first and only non-finish in the Championship!), I finished 2nd in my second race in red lane and my first race in white lane, 3rd in my second race in white lane, 4th in my first race in each of black and green lanes respectively and 3rd in my second race in each of black green lanes respectively, 3rd in my first race in blue lane, 1st in my second race in blue lane, 4th in my first race in yellow lane and 1st in my second race in yellow lane). At the end of the finaI I had scored 36 points and finished 3rd. 

Following on from the Winter Series and the Hertfordshire 'Open', the Arena Slotstox Club introduced a series to race Plastic Slotstox once a month - however with new members joining it was decided to focus mainly on Parmastox for the remainder of 2011. On 8th June, I raced in round 1 of the Arena Slotstox Points Championship at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's' Club. With my Slotstox struggling with a low power setting I scored 29 points in my two heats - heat 1, 13 points and heat 2, 16. Of seven drivers I finished as 5th highest points scorer in the heats. In my semi-final of four drivers, I scored 10 points and finished 3rd on race wins with 2nd having two whilst I had none to add 3 points chart points. In the final of seven drivers I scored 5 points and finished 5th for 1 points chart point. I scored a total of 33 points. 

On 26th August, I raced at the 12th points meeting of the season at the at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club.  My first meeting at this club since the 2010 Slotstox Suffolk Championship the previous 16th July. Starting from red grade on the six lane small track, my Slotstox needed a lot of work on the tyres during pre meeting practice for it to handle but the work paid off with a win in my second race following a non-finish in my first. I scored 47 points in my three heats - heat 1 19, heat 2 12, heat 3 16 and qualified for the semi-finals as the 6th highest points scorer. In my semi-final I scored 12 points - I was well placed in two races only on the last lap of each to be stopped in one and delayed in the other by de-slotted Slotstox - the lost places probably meant I missed out on finishing in the top 3 to qualify for the final as I finished 4th for 3 points chart points and a total of 50 points. I was 21st in the points on the third Slotstox Foxhall Points Championship chart of the season.  With the 8th highest average of the season (50) I was top of the Red grade.

14th October 2011 was the 10th anniversary of winning the 2001 Slotstox World Championship whilst chairman of the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club and not only did this fall on a Friday (the club night of the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club) but a late meeting arrangement meant that I would be working at my employers Ipswich office that day!  It was also a Slotstox meeting (14th points meeting of the season) and it seemed an ideal opportunity to attend.  Unfortunately this meeting did not go as well as 10 years previous and in three difficult heats on the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club's six lane big track (a track on which I had raced very little if at all) I scored 27 points - heat 1 11, heat 2 8, heat 3 8 and finished 14th highest points scorer to miss out on semi-final qualification.

I finished 20th in the Foxhall Slotstox Points Championship with 77 points and with my season average of 38.50 points I remained red grade. 

With the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club not hosting a Slotstox ‘Open’ Team Championship since 2007, on 12th November the Arena 'Comrades' Slotstox Club, alongside its usual Parmastox 'Open' Team Championship, hosted a Slotstox version also.  I teamed up with Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club members Sharon Brett and Charlotte Feek to form team 'Gumbies'. In our group of four teams we won two of our three matches 39-28 (I scored 24 points - all my Slotstox races were on the inside two lanes - 3 in blue lane and 3 in yellow lane), 39-36 (22) and lost the other 55-39 (13) to finish as runner-up in the group and qualify for the semi-finals. In the semi-final we lost 51-37 (20) to the eventual winners O.M.B. Racing consisting of Mark West plus father and son Jim and Paul Glading who won the Parmastox version too! 

 

Parmastox

At the Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship on 26th February I borrowed the spare Parmastox of Rob Porter due to mine being unavailable. I won each of my two heats of six drivers and qualified for the semi-finals as a heat winner. In my first heat I scored 50 points winning 10 of the 12 races only failing to finish in my first race in red lane and my first race in green lane. In my second heat I scored 30 points finishing seven of the twelve races (1st in my first race in white lane and my two races in black lane, 2nd in my first race in blue lane, my first race in red lane and my second race in white lane and 3rd in my first race in yellow lane). I finished as runner-up in my semi-final with 37 points (I started in white lane and won the first race in that lane, a non-finish in my second race in white lane, 2nd in my first race in black lane and a non-finish in my second race in black lane and my first race in green lane, 2nd in my second race in green lane and my first race in blue lane, 1st in my second race in blue lane and my first race in yellow lane, a non-finish in my second race in yellow lane and 1st in each of my two races in red lane) and qualified for the final of the Parmastox Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship for a third time following 2005 (6th) and 2008 (5th) - when previously called the Arena 'Open' Championship. I only finished five races of the final but won all those that I did - I started the final with a win in each of my two races in red lane and led the final before a series of six non-finishes before winning my first race in blue lane and each of my two races in yellow lane. At the end of the final I had scored 25 points and finished as runner-up as 1st scored 27 points (this being Rob who had lent me the spare Parmastox for the day!) and 3rd scored 24 points. The scores are kept secret during the final but subsequent review reveals that three drivers were in with a chance of winning going into the final race and that despite all my non-finishes only a 2nd place finish in the final race by Rob denied me the win whilst a non-finish by the driver that finished 3rd in the final helped me to finish 2nd. Having just raced in the Slotstox Hertfordshire 'Open' final, I was one of two drivers to reach both finals and complete 24 races back to back! Switching between Slotstox and Parmastox together with respective handcontrollers had been interesting and led to a few mistakes in the Parmastox final when leading races which probably ultimately cost me this particular championship. 

I raced in the first points meeting of the season at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's' Club on 29th March - heat 1 finished 4th of seven drivers (11 points) and heat 2 finished 1st of seven drivers (24 despite my Parmastox suffering handling issues - I had not seen it let alone raced it since November!)  I qualified for the final as a heat winner and finished 5th of six drivers (16) - 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart points.  5th April - second points meeting at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club and with my Parmastox still suffering handling issues - heat 1 2nd of seven drivers (23) and heat 2 2nd of seven drivers (31 and only missing out on 1st with a non-finish in my final race) plus final 5th of five drivers (13) - 8 (best heat 4 + final 4) points chart points.  19th April - fourth points meeting of season at 'Comrades' and with my Parmastox still suffering handling issues - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (25) and heat 2 3rd of six drivers (19) plus final 4th of six drivers (22) - 8 (best heat 3 + final 5) points chart points.  Following March and April I was 7th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 25 points, the 8th highest average of 8.3 points and was down to blue grade. I was 8th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 8 points but as no one had realised the meeting on 5th April was a Gold Top Qualifier this was void. 

3rd May - sixth points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of six drivers (22 with 2nd 21 and 3rd and 4th 19) and heat 2 3rd of six drivers (19) plus final 6th of six drivers (0) - 8 (best heat 5 + final 3) points chart points. 10th May - seventh points meeting at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (21) and heat 2 3rd of five drivers (10). I qualified for the final in the final qualification place this being decided by points scored (31 compared with 29)! Final 1st of five drivers (16 - with no driver finishing more than four races and only by virtue of a second place finish as I had two races wins, a second and a fourth whereas 2nd also scored 16 but with a record of two race wins and two thirds whilst 3rd finished with 15). 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points. 17th May - eighth points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 2nd of seven drivers (25) and heat 2 1st of five drivers (31) plus final 6th of seven drivers (15) - 8 (best heat 5 + final 3) points chart points. During May I was 8th highest points scorer with 28 points, the 5th highest average of 9.3 points and retained blue grade. I was 8th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 53 points and the joint 8th highest season average of 8.8 points. 

14th June - eleventh points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 3rd of seven drivers (27 - five wins and one third) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (33) plus final 2nd of six drivers (32) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points. 

On 17th June, I raced for the first time at the Wellgate Slotstox Club. The Wellgate Slotstox Club has close links with the Arena Slotstox Club and race on a four-lane track with long straights and tight bends not too dissimilar to the six-lane track at the Arena Slotstox ‘St Mary’s’ Club. Wellgate use brakes on their Parmastox and also has marshalling so that if your car falls out of its slot it is replaced provided it is on four wheels, not hooked to another car and not hooked to the fence. You also had to stay alert as if your car was on hooked up or on its roof and then knocked and unhooked or put back on to four wheels then it would be put back into it’s slot. With three races in each lane and starting from my Arena Slotstox Club grade of blue, in my first heat I finished 4th of five drivers (16 points and someway adrift as 4th scored 27 points) but did obtain my first race win. In my second heat, I finished 4th of four drivers (20 points and this time was a bit closer as 3rd scored 25 points). I did not qualify for the final and was offered an alternative Parmastox, more suited to the Wellgate track, for the Grand National but decided to use my own again. I finished 5th of five drivers (13 points). For the Wellgate Parmastox Points Championship I scored 4 points (best heat 2 + Grand National 2). Not good results but good to further my Parmastox racing experience. 

21st June - twelvth points meeting at 'St Mary’s' - heat 1 1st of six drivers (23) and heat 2 4th of six drivers (13) plus final 4th of six drivers (16) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points. 28th June - thirteenth points meeting and Arena Gold Top Qualfiying round 2 at 'Comrades' having missed Gold Top Qualifying round 1 and needing a good score at this round I borrowed a Parmastox as mine was still damaged from the previous week - heat 1 1st of seven drivers (41) and heat 2 2nd of eight drivers (25 with five wins and seven non-finishes!) plus final 3rd of seven drivers (26) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. During June I was 3rd highest points scorer with 32 points, the 3rd highest average of 10.7 points and was back up to red grade. I was 7th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 85 points and the 7th highest season average of 9.4 points. I was 8th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 11 points. 

5th July - fourteenth points meeting at 'St Mary’s' - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (25 and came down to the last race between me and the driver on my inside. I tried to de-slot their parmastox on the first bend only to knock their parmastox sideways and block my path. I was then de-slotted whilst the other driver just managed to get their parmastox going straight again to finish the race!) and heat 2 4th of six drivers (16).  I qualified for the final as the sixth and final qualifier although this was only on raw points.  Final 5th (12 - same as 4th but fewer race wins). 8 (best heat 4 + final 4) points chart points. 12th July - fifteenth points meeting at 'Comrades' with my Parmastox not running well - heat 1 4th of five drivers (16) and heat 2 3rd of five drivers (18) plus Grand National 1st (32 - won comfortably with 2nd scoring 10) - 8 (best heat 3 + grand national 5) points chart points plus 5 points for the Arena Parmastox Grand National Championship. 26th July - seventeenth points meeting and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades' with my Parmastox running much better following some repair work by a fellow racer - heat 1 1st of seven drivers (26) and heat 2 2nd of seven drivers (26) plus final 3rd (32) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. During July I was 7th highest points scorer with 27 points, the 6th highest average of 10.0 points and retained red grade. I remained 7th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 112 points and the 6th highest season average of 9.3 points. Whereas in 2010 I seemed to save my worst form for the Gold Top Qualifying rounds, in 2011 I seemed to save my best form and despite missing round 1 I was 5th (and in the top 6 qualifying places) in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 22 points. I was joint 13th in the Arena Grand National Championship chart with 5 points. 

2nd August - eighteenth points meeting at 'St Mary’s' - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (19) and heat 2 1st of five drivers (26) plus final 2nd of five drivers (22 - 3rd 21) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points. 16th August - nineteenth points meeting at 'St Mary’s' (the previous weeks meeting, that I was on holiday for and due to miss, ended up being cancelled due to riots affecting members and in the local area) - heat 1 1st of six drivers (28 with three drivers scoring 0) and heat 2 3rd of six drivers (19) plus final 4th of six drivers (19 - 3rd also scoring 19 points but having three races wins compared with my no race wins!) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points. 23rd August - twentieth points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (22) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (28). With three drivers qualifying direct to the final before the consolation, there were only two different heat winners and so the third qualifier would be based on the next best record. I was one of two drivers with a 2nd and 3rd place finish but my 50 points outscored the other drivers 44 points and so I qualified for the final. Final 2nd of six drivers (30).  11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points. 30th August - twenty-first points meeting and Gold Top Qualfiying round 4 at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (25 - 1st 27 and 3rd 24) and heat 2 3rd of four drivers (22 - 1st 27, 2nd 25, 4th 20 and in two races I did an extra lap and in the final race a wheel fell off my Parmastox causing it to de-slot when the last one running!) plus Grand National 2nd of four drivers (17 - 1st 19 and 3rd 15) - 8 (best heat 4 + Grand National 4) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points plus 4 Grand National points. During August I was 2nd highest points scorer with 41 points, the 5th highest average of 10.3 points and remained red grade. I was 5th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 153 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.6 points. I was 5th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 30 points and joint 12th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 9 points. 

6th September - twenty-second points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 5th of seven drivers (20) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (32) plus final 1st of six drivers (32 - 2nd 31 and 3rd 30 - originally declared 3rd with 30 and fewer races wins but corrected on re-count!) - 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points. 13th August - twenty-third points meeting at 'St Mary’s' and having changed room for the previous 'St Mary's' meeting the track was now fitted into its new position at about a 15 degree angle - heat 1 1st of four drivers (40) and heat 2 2nd of four drivers (34) plus final 6th of six drivers (7) - 8 (best heat 5 + final 3) points chart points. 20th September - twenty-fourth points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of seven drivers (37) and heat 2 3rd of six drivers (24) plus final 3rd of six drivers (31) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points. 27th September - twenty-fifth points meeting and Gold Top Qualfiying round 5 at 'Comrades' (should have been at 'St Mary's' but due to access issues there was a last minute switch) - heat 1 1st of five drivers (31) and heat 2 4th of five drivers (12) plus final 1st of five drivers (36 - same points as 2nd but with more race wins 4 compared with 1) - 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. During September I was 2nd highest points scorer with 44 points, the joint 2nd highest average of 11 points and remained red grade. I was 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 197 points and the 4th highest season average of 9.9 points. I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 43 points and remained joint 12th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 9 points. 

On 1st October, I raced for the first time at the Pinewood Raceway Slotstox Club in an 'Open' event. The Pinewood Raceway Slotstox Club was set up as a separate club to the Aldershot Knights Slotstox Club.  The meeting was on a six-lane track with one contact chicane going into one of the bends. With two races in each lane and starting from my Arena Slotstox Club grade of red, in my first heat I finished 4th of five drivers (23 points) and in my second heat I finished 3rd of five drivers (22 points). Having been told at the start of the meeting that qualification to the semi-finals would be based on the highest points scorers in the two heats and thinking I had done ok I was surprised to learn after the heats that qualification would be based on finishing positions. I raced in one of two consolation heats with only the winner qualifying from each for the semi-finals and finished 2nd of five drivers (13 points as 1st scored 20 points).  I therefore failed to qualify beyond the heats but good to further my Parmastox racing experience. 

I finished 5th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with a total of 222 points and the 4th highest season average of 9.7 points. I finished joint 13th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship with 9 points.  I finished 4th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 50 points and qualified for the six driver Gold Top Championship final. 

4th October - twenty-third points meeting at 'Comrades' - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (21) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (40 - winner scored 58!) plus final 6th of six drivers (12) - 7 (best heat 4 + final 3) points chart points.  11th October - twenty-fourth points meeting at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 1st of four drivers (26 - very close with 2nd also scoring 26 but I had two race wins compared with their one whilst 3rd and 4th each scored 25!) and heat 2 4th of four drivers (16) plus final 3rd of six drivers (18 although I crashed whilst comfortably leading the final race which would have meant finishing 2nd as 2nd had already crashed and scored 20) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points. I missed the the twenty-fifth points meeting at 'Comrades' on 18 October due to being delayed at work which realisticly ended a slim chance of finishing 3rd in the Arena Parmastox Points Championship. 25th October - twenty-sixth points meeting and 6th and final Gold Top Qualfiying round at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (32 - 1st 33) plus final 6th of six drivers (18) - 7 (heat 4 + final 3) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. During October joint 6th highest points scorer with 25 points (having missed one round), the joint 5th highest average of 8.3 points and was down to blue grade. 

8th November - at 'St Mary's' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 4th of the six drivers who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. I started in the Yellow lane (lane 2) with drivers having two races in each lane all starting from the finish line. With my Parmastox not running that well I was always up against it and was going to need a little bit of good luck but instead I seemed to get hooked up in the aftermath of others crashes and always on about lap 7 or 8! In one of these early on I tried to get past a de-slotted Parmastox only to damage the gearing and tyres which did not help. With a rather poorly sounding Parmastox I kept plugging away, scored 14 points and finished 5th. 

On 12th November, for the Parmastox ‘Open’ Team Championship at the Arena 'Comrades' Slotstox Club, I also teamed up with Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club members Sharon Brett and Charlotte Feek to form team 'Gumbies'. In our group of five teams we lost our first two matches 59-12 (I scored 6 points racing my six races in the middle two lanes - 3 in red lane and 3 in white lane) and 66-20 (11 racing from now on in the inside two lanes - 3 in blue lane and 3 in yellow lane).  We then won our final two matches 33-28 (10) and 37-17 (19) to finish 3rd in the group with only the group winners qualifying for the final. 

29th November fun night on the four lane track at 'Comrades' - with my Parmastox showing the signs of a long season I raced it to start with before borrowing the Parmastox of Mark West who was not at the meeting but had left it for its own lesser handling issues to be resolved!  Heat 1 4th of four drivers (4) and heat 2 3rd of the four drivers with the worst finishing positions from heat 1 (16 racing the 'other' way round the track).  From my finishing positions in the two heats I raced in the 'C' final and finished 2nd of four drivers (8 same points as 3rd but better race positions record and again racing the 'other' way round the track). 

 

Parma-Saloons

The 17th June meeting at Wellgate also featured Parma-Saloons and being my first Parma-Saloons points meeting I started from white grade! Heat 1 2nd of four drivers (35 – 2nd 33) and heat 2nd (27 – close same points as third but more race wins and 1st 29) – 9 (5+4) Wellgate Parma-Saloons points championship points.

 

Parma-Bangers

10th May - Parma-Big Van Banger at 'St Mary's' - heat 1st of four drivers (23) - 5 Parma-Bangers points chart 5 points.  During May and for the season, I had the joint highest average of 5 points although I retained Silver grade for the season by virtue of being defending Arena Parma-Bangers Points Champion. I was joint 8th in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart. 

7th June - Parma-Banger and Caravan at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (9) and heat 2 5th of five drivers (0) -  5 (4+1) Parma-Bangers points chart points. 21st June - Parma-Banger at 'St Mary's' - eventful heat 5th of seven drivers (9) - 1 Parma-Bangers points chart point.  During June, I was the 6th highest points scorer with 6 points and the joint 7th highest average of 3 points. I was 7th in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 11 points and the 7th highest season average of 3.7 points. 

5th July - Parma-Big Van Banger at 'St Mary's' - heat 3rd of five drivers (17 with a mixture of racing and wrecking) - 3 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 26th July - Parma-Banger and Caravan at 'Comrades' - heat 3rd of four drivers (18) - 3 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  During July, I was the joint 6th highest points scorer with 6 points and the 6th highest average of 3 points. I remained 7th in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 17 points and the joint 6th highest season average of 3.7 points. 

23rd August - Parma-Banger at 'Comrades' - heat 4th of seven drivers (19) - 2 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  With only one meeting during August the average for July and August was used, I was the joint 5th highest points scorer with 8 points and the joint 7th highest average of 2.7 points. I remained 7th in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 19 points and the 9th highest season average of 3.2 points. 

20th September - Parma-Banger and caravans at 'Comrades' with 4 lap races - heat 5th of five drivers (5 - one win and lots of crashes!) - 1 Parma-Bangers points chart point. With only one meeting during September the average from July to September was used, I was the joint 7th highest points scorer with 9 points and the 11th highest average of 2.3 points. I remained 7th in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 20 points and the 11th highest season average of 2.9 points. 

25th October - Parma-Big Van Banger at 'St Mary's' - heat 4th of five drivers (9 - a bit of a wrecking session!) - 2 Parma-Bangers points chart points. During October and November I was the joint 10th highest points scorer with 2 points (having missed one round) and as no longer the reigning points champion with the Silver roof, I would start the 2012 season from yellow grade. 

I finished 7th in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 22 points and the 12th highest season average of 2.8 points.

29th November fun night on the four lane track at 'Comrades' - Parma-Banger and caravans - 4th of four drivers with 4 points racing the 'other' way round the track. 

 

Parma-Minis

19th April - 'Comrades' - heat 1st of four drivers (25 - five wins and three non-finishes) - 5 Parma-Mini points chart points. I was joint 1st in the Parma-Minis Arena Points Championship chart.

14th June - 'Comrades' - heat 3rd of five drivers (8) - 3 Parma-Mini points chart points. I was 3rd in the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship chart with 8 points.

During August I won a Parma-Mini heat of three drivers - 5 Parma-Mini points chart points. 

I won the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship with 13 points. 

 

Parma-Libre

12th July - 'Comrades' - heat 4th of six drivers (8) - 2 Parma-Libre points chart points. I was joint 6th in the Parma-Libre Arena Points Championship chart.

I finished 7th in the Parma-Libre Points Championship with 2 points. 

 

Multi-formula

The 1st November meeting at Arena 'Comrades' was the traditional Halloween Havoc Championship meeting which takes place on the nearest race date to Halloween.  Total points from all races (two in each lane over 8 laps) count towards this multi-formula championship format with all drivers starting from the start/finish line.  Parma-Legends provided by the Club and for fairness a set Parma-Legend allocated in each lane (20) 1st overall - 1 point ahead of 2nd, Parma-Libre non-contact borrowing a Porsche sports car due to my wedding car replica stretch Jag not having an appropriate chassis available (27) 2nd overall with 47 points - 3 points behind 1st, Parma-Robin Reliants over 4 laps provided by the Club and for fairness a set Parma-Robin Reliant allocated in each lane (13) joint 2nd overall with 60 points - 3 points behind 1st and finally Parma-Libre again but this time with contact allowed (16).  Overall I finished 3rd= of 13 drivers in the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship with 76 points - 24 points behind 1st who scored a maximum in the Parma-Libre with contact! 

On 8th November I raced in the Arena Firecracker meeting.  Traditionally this meeting has required drivers to race something never raced before or at least something in a different paint scheme.  As in 2010, an exception was made due to a few new drivers but the cars were still generally something not raced on a normal basis.  I borrowed a limo - heat 2nd of five drivers (22 points) and final 5th of five drivers (4 - racing mainly to entertain as some of the new young members took to the limo and I managed to help the driver who lent it to me win!)

 

Slot-Nascars

The meeting at Pinewood Raceway on 1st October also featured a Team 'Open' event racing 1/32 scale Slot-Nascars on the Pinewood circuit track.  Borrowing a Slot-Nascar I teamed up with Jack and Chris Branch to form Team 'Gumbies' with each of the six teams racing in each of the six lanes for 10 minutes (1 hour in total) with a driver change required every five minutes.  At the start of the event we were running in one of the worst lanes and were last of the six teams but as each lane passed and with a couple of teams suffering mechanical problems at one point we had moved up to 2nd.  Over the closing lanes it was a two-way battle for 2nd and at the end we were just edged out by just over two laps and finished 3rd which was not too bad considering none of the team had raced this car or on this track previously.  Result: Team Difficult 509.18, Team Lite 486.91, Gumbies 484.72, Quidder 475.05, WTF 455.29 and B&B 378.19.

 

SLOTSTOX HERTFORDSHIRE 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

SLOTSTOX 2010/2011 ARENA WINTER SERIES: RUNNER-UP - 476 points

SLOTSTOX 2010/2011 ARENA WINTER SERIES GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH - 15 points

SLOTSTOX FOXHALL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 20TH - 77 points

 

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH - 222 POINTS

PARMASTOX HERTFORDSHIRE 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP - RUNNER-UP

PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 13TH= - 9 points

 

PARMA-BANGERS ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 7TH - 22 POINTS

 

PARMA-MINIS ARENA POINTS CHAMPION - 13 POINTS

 

PARMA-LIBRE ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 7TH= - 2 POINTS

ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD=

ARENA FIRECRACKER CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH

 

SLOT-NASCAR PINEWOOD TEAM 'OPEN': 3RD ('Gumbies' with Jack Branch and Chris Branch)

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH

 

2012

For 2012, the Arena Slotstox Club split the racing at its 'Comrades' and 'St Mary's' venues between Metal Slotstox (Parmastox) and Plastic Slotstox (National Slotstox Association specification) at separate meetings to the support formulaes i.e. Bangers (including Vans, Small Vans, + Caravans), Minis and Libre. 

 

Slotstox 

On 17th January, I raced at the non-points season opening meeting at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club. I scored 20 points in my heat and was third highest points scorer in the heats.  I won the final with 22 points. 

24th January - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - heats 51 points (heat 1 27 and heat 2 24) and second highest points scorer of six drivers.  Final 1st (26) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 57 points chart points.  21st February - Arena points chart round 3 and Gold Top Qualifying (now being run by the Arena Slotstox Club for Slotstox as well as for Parmastox) round 1 at 'Comrades' - heats 26 points (heat 1 14 and heat 2 12) and joint 5th highest points scorer of twelve drivers.  Run-off of three drivers for the 5th and 6th places in the final - 2nd 9 points and final 1st (24) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 32 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  28th February - Arena points chart round 4 and my first meeting of the season at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's' Club racing my second Slotstox - heats 32 points (heat 1 16 and heat 2 16) and 2nd highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final 5th (4) to add 2 points chart points. I scored a total of 34 points chart points. 

During the first points chart cycle I scored a total of 123 points and had the third highest average of 41.0 points and I remained red grade.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - although as I had missed round 2 all three meetings I attended counted - I was 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 123 points.  I was joint 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 32 points. 

On 3rd March I raced at the Slotstox British Championship hosted by the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club.  I was racing the Slotstox that I won in the raffle at the 2004 British 'Open' Championship and that won the same Championship in 2008 - both hosted by the Great Blakenham Slotstox Club.  This Slotstox when raced at Arena so far during the 2012 season had a habit of handling badly at the start of the meeting before improving dramatically as the meeting went on and so it proved again at this meeting.  I qualified from the heats as 11th highest points scorer with 39 points: 12 points in my first heat, 7 points in my second heat and 20 points in my third heat knowing that a good score was needed to hopefully qualify.  I finished 3rd in my semi-final as my Slotstox continued to improve and qualified for my second British 'Open' Championship final (the other being when I won in 2008) by 1 point as 4th had 15 points.  In the final I was leading the first race before being deliberately taken out by a back marker - despite being the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club website administrator I was classed as a visitor - although I had also had a few run-ins with this particular driver when we raced together during the early 1990's so it came as no real surprise!  In the second race I was taken out properly by the eventual winner and congratulated this driver on 'doing it properly'!  I continued to give as good as I got throughout the final with the driver that took me out in the first race which whilst good fun was not so good for my chances of winning!  In the end the two of us finished joint 5th with 9 points requiring a run-off.  I won the first race of the run-off on the inside before missing whilst attempting to de-slot both cars on the outside meaning that I had to settle for 6th and last in the final - although this was no disgrace as five of the six drivers in the final had previously won this championship including each of the past five seasons - the exception being the driver I had my individual battle with. 

20th March - Arena points chart round 5 at 'Comrades' - heats 42 points (heat 1 26 and heat 2 16) and second highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final 2nd (17 - 3rd also scoring 17 but having no race wins compared with my one - although I should have won two but I mis-counted my laps in the final race and did an extra one when running a clear first - and only beaten by someone borrowing my second Slotstox and without my error in the final race it would have been by only 1 point instead of 7!) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 47 points chart points.  Having been on holiday for round 2 and including the season opening non-points meeting this was my first non-final win out of eight in Slotstox or Parmastox at 'Comrades'!  27th March - Arena points chart round 6 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'St Mary's' - heats 34 points (heat 1 16 and heat 2 18) and fourth highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final 6th (5 - 5th also scoring 5 but with more fourth place finishes - one compared with my none!) to add 1 points chart point. I scored a total of 35 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  17th April - Arena points chart round 7 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades' - heats 36 points (heat 1 13 and heat 2 23) and second highest points scorer of thirteen drivers.  Final 3rd (18 - 2nd scoring 19) to add 4 points chart point. I scored a total of 40 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  24th April - Arena points chart round 8 at 'St Mary's' - heats 43 points (heat 1 16 and heat 2 27) and third highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final 1st (15 - 2nd scoring 14 and 3rd and 4th 13) to add 6 points chart point. I scored a total of 49 points chart points. 

During the second points chart cycle I scored a total of 171 points and had the third highest average of 42.8 points and I remained red grade.  Following the second points chart cycle of four meetings (highest three out of four meetings counting to the points) I was 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 259 points. I was 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 107 points. 

On 9th June, I raced at the Slotstox and Parmastox Hertfordshire 'Open' Championships held at the 'Comrades'. In the Slotstox Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship I qualified for the semi-finals as the second highest points scorer in the heats with 42 points and the only driver to finish every race of the heats: 24 points in my first heat (1st in white, blue and yellow lanes, 3rd in black lane and 4th in green lane) and 18 points in my second heat (2nd in yellow and white lanes, 3rd in green and blue lanes and 4th in black and red lanes). I started well in my semi-final (3rd in white lane, 4th in black lane, 3rd in green lane 2nd in blue lane) but two non-finishes in the last two races (yellow and red lanes) – yellow lane, my first non-finish of the meeting, being deslotted by on the last lap by a deslotted Slotstox whilst leading - meant that I finished 5th and missed out on qualification for the final (12 points - 4th scored 13 whilst 2nd and 3rd each scored 14). 

12th June - Arena points chart round 11 (missed rounds 9 and 10 plus Gold Top Qualifying round 4 due to holiday) at 'Comrades' - heats 47 points (heat 1 27 and heat 2 20) and highest points scorer of seven drivers.  Final (being run with all driver starting from yellow grade at 'Comrades' until further notice) 2nd (21) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 52 points chart points.  26th June - Arena points chart round 12 and Gold Top Qualifying round 5 at 'Comrades' - each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 heats counting - heats 33 points (heat 1 19 and heat 2 14 - heat 3 score dropped 11 including my Slotstox crashing on to floor during heat 2 and finishing the heat with no inside weight and a broken straight through!) and fifth highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final 1st (22) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 39 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. 

During the third points chart cycle I scored a total of 91 points and had the highest average of 45.5 points and so became the silver stripe holder (first time ever at any club!) for the fourth points chart cycle.  Following the third points chart cycle of four meetings (highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - although I had only raced at two meetings during the third cycle and so both these counted) I was 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 350 points and just 1 point ahead of 3rd.  Having missed round 4 I was down to 6th in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 146 points. 

3rd July - Arena points chart round 13 at 'St Mary's' borrowing a handcontroller due to problems with mine during my second heat of the Parmastox and starting for the first time ever from Silver grade - heats 30 points (heat 1 16 and heat 2 14) and fourth highest points scorer of seven drivers.  Final 4th (9) to add 3 points chart points. I scored a total of 33 points chart points. 

On 6th July I raced at the Slotstox Suffolk Championship hosted by the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club.  This meeting was moved to coincide with the eve of the Ipswich Speedweekend and for 2012 it was open to anybody to race as a one-off.  This enabled me to race and the meeting attracted 36 drivers including several visitors and debutants.  Starting from Silver grade I was happy to have qualified from the heats as 5th highest points scorer with 53 points: 18 points in my first heat, 17 points in my second heat and 18 points in my third heat.  I finished joint 5th in my semi-final with 8 points and was eliminated - a non-finish in lane 3, 3rd in lane 4, 4th in lane 5, a non-finish in lane 1 (which ended my chances of progressing) and 3rd in lane 2. 

24th July - Arena points chart round 14 and Gold Top Qualifying round 6 at 'Comrades' - heats 32 points (heat 1 15 and heat 2 17) and third highest points scorer of six drivers.  Final - all drivers starting from yellow grade over 10 laps - 5th (7) to add 2 points chart points. I scored a total of 34 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  28th August following a break for the Olympics - Arena points chart round 15 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'Comrades' - each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 heats counting - heats 48 points (heat 1 23 and heat 2 25 - heat 3 score dropped 16) and second highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final - all drivers starting from yellow grade - 2nd (20) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 53 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

I was up to 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 233 points. 

25th September - Arena points chart round 16 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'St Mary's' - heats 34 points (heat 1 22 and heat 2 12) and top points scorer of four drivers.  Final 2nd (17) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 39 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. 

During the fourth points chart cycle I scored a total of 159 points and had the second highest average of 39.8 points and was back down to red grade for the fifth points chart cycle.  Following the fourth points chart cycle of four meetings (highest three out of four meetings counting to the points) I remained 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 476 points.  I finished 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 272 points and qualified for the six driver Gold Top Championship final. 

2nd October - Arena points chart round 17 at 'Comrades' - heats 45 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 24) and second highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final - all drivers starting from yellow grade - 1st (28) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 51 points chart points.  23rd October - Arena points chart round 18 at 'St Mary's' - heats 52 points (heat 1 27 - 5 wins and 1 4th and heat 2 25 - 5 wins and 1 non-finish) and highest points scorer of four drivers.  Final 1st (18 - although this was only due to being the only finisher in the final race on the outside lane as 2nd scored 16) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 58 points chart points.  During the fifth and final points chart cycle (2 of 2 meetings counting) I scored a total of 109 points and had the highest average of 54.5 points. 

I won the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with a total of 255 points - although this was helped with the 2nd placed driver missing the final round...all this meant was that over the course of the full season we both had the same number of meetings count towards the points chart as I had missed two rounds during points cycle 3. 

6th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 2nd of the six drivers who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. I started in the inside Blue lane (lane 1) with drivers having two races in each lane over 10 laps all starting from the yellow grade line.  I won my first race in blue lane and 2nd in my second race in blue lane, won my two races in yellow lane, I began being targeted by another driver but finished 2nd in my first race in red lane and 1st in my second race in red lane, did not finish my first race in white lane and 3rd in my second race in white lane, did not finish my first race in black lane and 2nd in my second race in black lane having backed out of a coming together going into the chicane whilst leading knowing that 2nd at this stage of the final was still a good result, 4th my first race in green lane and 6th in my second race in green lane.  At the end of the final I had scored 38 points and had won the Arena Gold Top Championship – my winning margin was 4 points and so effectively accepting 2nd place (and 4 points) in my second race in black lane had proven to be a good decision! 

At the 30th Slotstox World Championship on 2nd December at ‘Comrades’ - the first to be hosted by the Arena Slotstox Club – and despite a wire needing to be soldered on my Slotstox before the meeting began, I qualified 14th of 36 drivers from the heats with 45 points: 20 points in my first heat (1st in lane 1, 2nd in lane 5, 3rd in lanes 2, 4 and 6 and 4th in lane 3), 17 points in my second heat (1st in lane 4 and 2nd in lanes 1, 2 and 5) and 8 points in my third heat when I already knew I’d more than likely done enough to qualify (3rd in lanes 2 and 6 and 4th in lane 3).  I was consistent through-out my quarter-final starting with 3rd in lane 6 before 2nd in lane 1, 1st in lane 2, 2nd in each of lanes 3 and 4 before a non-finish in lane 5.  I finished joint 2nd with one other driver in my quarter-final with 20 points just 1 point behind 1st and I had qualified for the semi-finals.  I was also consistent through-out my semi-final starting with a 3rd and 2nd from each of my two races in lane 4, 4th in each of my two races in lane 5, my only non-finish in the semi-final was my first race in lane 6 followed by 3rd in my second race in lane 6, 2nd and 3rd from each of my two races in lane 1, 2nd and 4th from each of my two races in lane 2 and 2nd in each of my two races in lane 3.  Although I did not win a race throughout my semi-final sufficient 2nd and 3rd place finishes together with only one non-finish were enough to finish as runner-up with 35 points to qualify for my fifth Slotstox World Championship final and first since 2006.  This fifth final followed 4th in 1996 and 2000, 1st in 2001 and 5th in 2006.  I had also now reached a Slotstox World Championship final across three different Slotstox Clubs as 1996, 2000 and 2001 were hosted by Foxhall Foxes, 2006 by Wisbech Fen Tigers and now 2012 by Arena.  All five of my Slotstox World Championship finals had also come at different venues - 1996: Foxhall Stadium, 2000 Rushmere Village Hall, 2001 Bucklesham and Foxhall Village Hall, 2006 Emneth Village Hall and now 2012 Cheshunt Comrades Club!  I was confident ahead of the final following my recent Arena Gold Top Championship win and whilst the final started ok with 4th in each of my two races in lane 5 it then never really got going with a non-finish and non-scoring 6th from each of my two races in lane 6, non-finishes in each of my two races in lane 1, 4th in each of my two races in lane 2, 5th and 4th from each of my two races in lane 3 and a non-finish and 5th in each of my two races in lane 4.  Overall I finished 6th and last with 12 points (10 points adrift of 5th) which meant that this was the second time my Slotstox had finished last (although on the previous occasion it was 5th) in the Slotstox World Championship final following 2004 at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club (although on that occasion, I had loaned my Slotstox to Arena-Essex Slotstox Club member Dan I'Anson for the meeting!)  It was also the Slotstox I used when finishing 5th in 2006. 

 

Parmastox 

On 17th January, I raced at the non-points season opening meeting at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - borrowing a Parmastox - from blue grade finished 1st in each heat of six drivers (36 and 41 points respectively).  I qualified for the final of six drivers as a heat winner and won this too (39). 

24th January - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (24 with 3rd scoring 23) and final 1st of six drivers (41) plus Grand National 2nd of six drivers (17 starting a lap down with one race per lane and only being denied 1st by a de-slotted Parmastox when I would have finished 2nd in the outside lane as the Grand National's leaders Parmastox had stopped in the inside lane!) - 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points and 4 Grand National points.  21st February - points chart round 3 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of six drivers (29) and final 1st of six drivers (45) - 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Having been on holiday for round 2 and including the season opening non-points meeting this was three final wins in a row!  28th February - points chart round 4 and my first meeting of the season at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's' Club - heat 1 4th of four drivers (14 and Parmastox not handling well), consolation 1st of four drivers (34 and Parmastox handling much better) and final 5th of five drivers (5) - 9 (heat 5 + final 4) points chart points. 

During January and February I was joint 3rd highest points scorer with 34 points, the 2nd highest average of 11.3 points and was up to red grade. I was 1st in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 13 points and joint 7th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 4 points. 

20th March - points chart round 5 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (32), heat 2 1st of five drivers (36) and final 1st of six drivers (38) - 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  Having been on holiday for round 2 and including the season opening non-points meeting this was four final wins in a row - all the meetings at 'Comrades' (and combined with Slotstox: 7 final wins out of 8 raced in during 2012 at 'Comrades')!  27th March - points chart round 6 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (13 - same points as 2nd and one win each but the other driver had two 2nd places compared with my none), heat 2 3rd of five drivers (21) and grand national 2nd of five drivers (13 - 1st scored 14) - 7 (best heat 3 + grand national 4) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points plus 4 Arena Grand National Championship points. 

After March I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 54 points. I was 4th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 20 points (although it was very close with 1st having 22 and two drivers joint 2nd with 21) and joint 4th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 8 points. 

On 31st March, I raced for the second time at the Wellgate Slotstox Club - the first being a normal club night in June 2011 - at the inaugural 'Metal Mania' Open meeting. The meeting featured marshalling to Wellgate rules. Heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with finishing positions in those heats deciding which drivers qualified to the A, B, C or D final with the other drivers racing in consolations and the winner of each of those going into the E final. The winner of the E final was added to the D final etc. Heat 1 3rd of four drivers (18) and heat 2 3rd= of five drivers (16 and identical records). This was not enough to qualify for the finals and so I raced in a consolation and finished 2nd of four drivers (24) to be eliminated. At the end of the main meeting there was a Grand National finale with drivers each racing in a heat and the winners qualifying for the final.  I finished 4th of four drivers (9 – having had an eventful few races with another driver!) in my Grand National. 

17th April - points chart round 7 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (28), heat 2 3rd of eight drivers (30 - same points as 2nd but they had four race wins compared with my two) and final 2nd of six drivers (35 - same points as 1st but they had five race wins compared with my four - although I also failed to finish one race due to a wire becoming detached. 3rd scored 33) - 10 (best heat 3 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Having been on holiday for round 2 and including the season opening non-points meeting this was my first non-final win in all the meetings at 'Comrades'!  24th April - points chart round 8 at 'St Mary's' - heat 1st of four drivers (39 - high scoring as 2nd scored 35 and 3rd 31) and final 3rd of five drivers (25) - 11 (heat 5 + final 6) points chart points. 

During March and April I was joint 2nd highest points scorer with 41 points, the joint 3rd highest average of 10.3 points and remained red grade.  Following April I remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 75 points. I was joint 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 30 points (although it was very close with 1st having 32, 4th 29 and 5th 27) and joint 6th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 8 points. 

At the Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship on 9th June I finished 2nd in my first heat of six drivers (29) which was good enough to qualify for the semi-finals finishing eight of the twelve races (I started in red lane – first race won, second race 2nd, white lane – first race 3rd, second race non-finish, black lane – both races non-finish, green lane - first race 3rd, second race 2nd, blue lane – first race non-finish, second race 3rd and yellow lane – first race 3rd and second race 2nd).  In my second heat I finished 4th of six drivers (25 - 2nd scored 26 whilst 1st was Charlotte Feek a team mate from the 2011 Team 'Open and who I helped in this heat knowing that I had already qualified for the semi-finals).  Again I finished eight of the twelve races (again I started in red lane – first race non-finish, second race won, white lane – first race 2nd, second race non-finish, black lane – first race non-finish, second race 3rd, green lane – both races 4th, blue lane – first race 3rd, second race non-finish and yellow lane – first race 4th and second race 2nd).  In my semi-final I was on course to qualify but failed to finish each of the last two races and missed out on qualification finishing 4th of six drivers (33 - 3rd also scored 33 and qualified with 4 races wins compared with my 2 although it was all very close as 2nd scored 35 and 1st 36).  I finished nine of the twelve races (I started in black lane – first race 2nd, second race won, green lane – first race 4th, second race non-finish, blue lane – both races 3rd, yellow lane – first race 2nd, second race 3rd, red lane first race won, second race 2nd and white lane - both races non-finish). 

12th June - points chart round 11 (missed rounds 9 and 10 plus Gold Top Qualifying round 4 due to holiday) at 'Comrades' - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (27), heat 2 2nd of five drivers (40 - same points as 1st but they had six race wins compared with my five) and final 3rd of six drivers (18) - 10 (best heat 4 + final 6) points chart points.  26th June - points chart round 12 and Gold Top Qualifying round 5 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of four drivers (50) and final 4th of six drivers (26 - 3rd scored 27) - 10 (heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. 

During May and June I raced at two of the four rounds and was joint 6th highest points scorer with 20 points, the joint 4th highest average of 10.0 points and remained red grade.  Following May and June I was 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 95 points. I was 4th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 40 points and joint 8th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 8 points. 

3rd July - points chart round 13 at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (18), heat 2 1st of five drivers (27 including suffering from handcontroller problems) and final 6th of six drivers (10 - borrowing a handcontroller and same points as 5th but they had two race wins compared with my none) - 8 (best heat 5 + final 3) points chart points.  24th July - points chart round 14 and Gold Top Qualifying round 6 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of five drivers (45), heat 2 3rd of four drivers (20 - taking it a bit easier having won my first heat!) and final 3rd of six drivers (28 - same points as 2nd but they had four race wins compared with my three and 4th scored 27) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  28th August following a break for the Olympics - points chart round 15 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'Comrades' - heat 1st of four drivers (47) and final 1st of six drivers (32) - 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. 

During July and August I was 2nd highest points scorer with 32 points, the 3rd highest average of 10.7 points and remained red grade.  Following July and August I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 127 points. I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 64 points and remained joint 8th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 8 points. 

25th September - points chart round 16 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'St Mary's' - heat 1st of four drivers (39) and final 2nd of four drivers (19 - 3rd scored 18 with a win for me a non-finish for 3rd proving decisive in the last race) - 12 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. 

During July to September I was 2nd highest points scorer with 44 points, the 3rd highest average of 11.0 points and remained red grade.  Following July to September I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 139 points and only 2 points behind 2nd. I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 76 points and remained joint 8th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 8 points. 

2nd October - points chart round 17 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (30) and heat 2 3rd of five drivers (17 - 4th scored 16) - time did not allow for a final - 7 (4 + 3) points chart points.  23rd October - points chart round 18 at 'St Mary's' - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (21 - came down to the final race with 1st scoring 24 and winning by virtue of being the only finisher of the final race and 3rd scoring 19), heat 2 1st of four drivers (45 - 9 wins and 3 non-finishes) and final 1st of four drivers (32 - I won by 10 points even though the body of my Parmastox broke lose at the front and was only connected by the rear hook for about half of the final costing me two race finishes!) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  

During October I was highest points scorer with 20 points, joint highest average of 10.0 points (although there was no final at round 17) and remained red grade. 

I finished 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 159 points - only 1 point ahead of 3rd - and the 2nd highest season average of 10.6 points.  I finished joint 8th in the Parmastox Arena Grand National Championship chart with 8 points.  

I finished 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying chart with 76 points and qualified for the six driver Gold Top Championship final. 

6th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 2nd of the six drivers who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. I started in the Red lane (lane 3) with drivers having two races in each lane all starting from the yellow grade line. I started the final well and was always there or thereabouts but my chances of winning effectively ended when I crashed during the early stages of the penultimate race - my first race in the Yellow lane (lane 2).  I scored 31 points and finished 3rd just 2 points behind 1st and 2nd - each scored 33 points. 

 

Parma-Bangers 

6th March - Arena points chart round 2 - Parma-Bangers and Parma-Banger and caravans at 'Comrades'.  Parma-Bangers starting from yellow grade - heat 2nd of four drivers (5 - one race per lane), consolation 1st of five drivers (14 - one race per lane) and final 3rd of five drivers (19 - two races per lane and 2nd scored 20) - 11 (best heat/consolation 5 + final 6) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Banger and Caravans - heat 3rd of four drivers (16 - two races per lane over 4 laps with all drivers starting from blue grade and 2nd scored 17) - 3 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 14 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  13th March - Arena points chart round 3 - Parma-Big Van Bangers and Parma-Small Van Bangers at 'St Mary's' all one race per lane.  Parma-Big Van Bangers heat 1 3rd of four drivers (8), heat 2 2nd of four drivers (12), consolation 1st of four drivers (18 - only the winner qualifying for the final) and final joint 1st of four drivers (5 - lots of crashes and three drivers with one finish/race win each!) - 13 (best heat/consolation 5 + final 8) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Small Van Banger debut having completed painting in 113 Carl Gallagher 'Warriors' paint scheme on 31st January when a meeting was cancelled and the only driver racing with my own painted Parma-Small Van Banger.  Races over 6 laps - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (10) and heat 2 1st of five drivers (19) - 9 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 22 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  3rd April - Arena points chart round 4 - Parma-Big Van Bangers and Parma-Small Van Bangers at 'Comrades' all one race per lane.  Parma-Big Van Bangers heat 1st of four drivers (20) and final 1st of four drivers (18) - 13 (heat 5 + final 8) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Small Van Bangers heat 1st of four drivers (23) and final 1st of four drivers (29 - one points away from a maximum!) - 13 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a maximum total of 26 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  10th April - Arena points chart round 5 - Parma-Bangers and Parma-Banger and Caravans at 'St Mary's' all one race per lane.  Parma-Bangers heat 1 1st= of five drivers (10 - me and one other driver with two race wins each), heat 2 3rd of five drivers (5) and final 3rd of five drivers (9 - 4th scored 8) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Banger and Caravans heat over 4 laps one race per lane 3rd of six drivers (4 - low scoring as 2nd scored 5 and three drivers scored 0!) - 3 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 14 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 

Following March/April I was 1st in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 76 points and the highest average of 19.0 points. I was up to red grade. 

1st May - Arena points chart round 6 - Parma-Bangers and Parma-Banger and Caravans at 'Comrades' all one race per lane.  Parma-Bangers heat 1 2nd of six drivers (10 - same points as 3rd but I had two wins compared with the other driver having no wins), heat 2 2nd of six drivers (13) and final 2nd of six drivers (14 - 3rd scored 13) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Banger and Caravans over 4 laps - heat 5th of five drivers (5 - 4th scored 6) and consolation with winner qualifying for the final 4th of five drivers (10 - 3rd scored 11) - 3 (heat 1 + consolation 2) Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 14 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  29th May - Arena points chart round 7 - Parma-Big Van Bangers and Parma-Small Van Banger at 'Comrades' all one race per lane and Small Vans five races over 6 laps.  Parma-Big Van Bangers heat 1 2nd of four drivers (13), heat 2 1st of five drivers (20) and final 1st of four drivers (23) - 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Small Van Bangers - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (15) and heat 2 1st of five drivers (19) - 9 (4 + 5) Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 22 Parma-Bangers points chart points.

 

During May I was 2nd highest points scorer with 36 points, the joint 3rd highest average of 18.0 points and remained red grade.  Following May I remained 1st in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 112 points and the 3rd highest average of 18.7 points. 

10th July - Arena points chart round 8 - Parma-Bangers and Parma-Banger and Caravans at 'Comrades' all one race per lane.  Parma-Bangers heat 1 3rd of six drivers (11), heat 2 2nd of six drivers (16) and final 3rd of six drivers (12) - 10 (best heat 4 + final 6) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Banger and Caravans over 4 laps - heat 3rd of five drivers (11 - 4th scored 10 and 2nd scored 12) - 3 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 13 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 

During May to July I was 2nd highest points scorer with 49 points, the 4th highest average of 16.3 points and remained red grade.  Following May to July I remained 1st in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 125 points and the 3rd highest average of 17.9 points. 

11th September - Arena points chart round 9 - Parma-Bangers and Parma-Banger and Caravans at 'St Mary's' all one race per lane.  Parma-Bangers - not helped by my Parma-Banger not running well - heat 1 3rd of three drivers (4), heat 2 2nd of three drivers (8) and heat 3 3rd of three drivers (0) - 10 (4 + 3 + 4) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Banger and Caravans over 4 laps - heat 1st of five drivers (10 - two finishes both race wins and the only driver to finish more than one race!) - 5 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 15 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 18th September - Arena points chart round 10 - Parma-Big Van Bangers and Parma-Small Van Banger at 'Comrades' all one race per lane.  Parma-Big Van Bangers heat 1 2nd of four drivers (12), heat 2 2nd of five drivers (15) and final 3rd of five drivers (15 - 2nd scored 16) - 10 (best heat 4 + final 6) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Small Van Bangers - racing with new braids that took heat 1 to bed in - heat 1 4th of five drivers (4) and heat 2 1st of five drivers (21) - 7 (2 + 5) Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 17 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 

During May to September I was 2nd highest points scorer with 81 points, the 4th highest average of 16.2 points and remained red grade.  Following May to September I remained 1st in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 157 points (only 1 points ahead of 2nd) and the 3rd highest average of 17.4 points. 

16 October - Arena points chart round 11 (having missed round 10 being a VIP guest at a book launch!) - Parma-Banger and Caravans and Parma-Bangers at 'Comrades' all one race per lane.  Parma-Banger and Caravans over 6 laps - heat 1 4th of seven drivers (10 - 2 wins and no other finishes) and heat 2 1st of seven drivers (15 - 3 wins and no other finishes!) - 7 (2 + 5) Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Parma-Bangers heat 1 3rd of seven drivers (14 - 2nd scored 15) and heat 2 1st of seven drivers (22 - 2nd scored 20 and 3rd 19 and level with 2nd going in the final race on 20 points as they had four wins and I had five 2nd places so I had to out score them in the final race.  2nd was on the inside lane to me and raced ahead before de-slotting across my lane but I managed to push them into my lane and finish the race 4th which was enough to win the heat!) - 8 (3 + 5) Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 15 Parma-Bangers points chart points.  Along with Parma-Minis on the same night I won the second heat of each formula!  During October and November I was 4th highest points scorer with 16 points (having missed one round) and the highest average of 16 points and remained red grade. 

Having missed round 10, I finished as runner-up in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 173 points and the 2nd highest average of 17.3 points. 

 

Parma-Minis 

6th March - Arena points chart round 2 at 'Comrades' - heat 1st of four drivers (15 - one race per lane all drivers starting from blue grade) and final 1st of five drivers (34 - two races per lane and again all drivers starting from blud grade - 2nd scored 18!) - 13 (heat 5 + final 8) Parma-Mini points chart points.  10th April - Arena points chart round 3 at 'St Mary's' one race per lane and all drivers starting from the start/finish line - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (13 - 1st scored 15 and 3rd 12), heat 2 2nd of five drivers (9 - 1st scored 10) and final 4th of five drivers (2) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) Parma-Mini points chart points.  I was 2nd in the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship chart with 22 points.

1st May - Arena points round 4 at 'Comrades' one race per lane and all drivers starting from the start/finish line - heat 1 1st of six drivers (15) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (10) - 9 (5 + 4) Parma-Mini points chart points.  I was 1st in the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship chart with 31 points. 

10th July - Arena points round 5 at 'Comrades' one race per lane and all drivers starting from the yellow grade line - heat 1st of five drivers (23) and final 5th of seven drivers (11) - 9 (5 + 4) Parma-Mini points chart points.  I remained 1st in the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship chart with 40 points. 

11th September - Arena points round 6 at 'St Mary's' one race per lane and all drivers starting from the chequered finish line - not helped by my Parma-mini not running well - heat 1 4th= of five drivers (0) and heat 2 5th of five drivers (0) - 3 (2 + 1) Parma-Mini points chart points.  I remained 1st in the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship chart with 43 points but it was close at the top (2nd 42, 3rd 41 and 4th 39). 

16th October - Arena points round 7 at 'Comrades' one race per lane and all drivers starting from the yellow grade line - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (11) and heat 2 1st of six drivers (26 - 2nd scored 25 and we had an identical record going into the last race which I won in yellow lane (lane 2) whilst 2nd finished 2nd in the green lane (lane 6 / outside lane)) - 8 (3 + 5) Parma-Mini points chart points. 

I won the Parma-Mini Arena Points Championship chart with 51 points but it was close at the top (2nd 50 and 3rd 49). 

 

Parma-Libre 

13th March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'St Mary's' - borrowing a Parma-Libre (chevrolet sports car) heat 4th of five drivers (5) - 2 Parma-Libre points chart points.  3rd April - Arena points chart round 2 at 'Comrades' all one race per lane - borrowing a Parma-Libre (dodge pick-up truck) heat 2nd of four drivers (21) and final 2nd of four drivers (13) - 11 Parma-Libre points chart points.  I was joint 2nd with two other drivers in the Parma-Libre Arena Points Championship chart with 13 points. 

29th May - Arena points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' all one race per lane - racing my stretch limo jaguar heat 1 6= of seven drivers (0 - went crashing!) and heat 2 4th of seven drivers (8 including one win - 3rd 9 and 2nd 10) - 3 Parma-Libre points chart points.  I was 4th in the Parma-Libre Arena Points Championship chart with 16 points. 

18th September - Arena points chart round 4 at 'Comrades' all one race per lane with all drivers starting from white grade - borrowing a Parma-Libre (dodge pick-up truck which I raced for the first 5 races with the bodyshell on back to front!) heat joint 6th of seven drivers (0 - not taking it too seriously!) - 1 Libre points chart point.

I finished outside the top four in the Parma-Libre Arena Points Championship with 17 points. 

 

Multi-formula 

The 30th October meeting at Arena 'Comrades' was the traditional Halloween Havoc Championship meeting which takes place on the nearest race date to Halloween.  Total points from all races count towards this multi-formula championship format.  Parma-Robin Reliants provided by the Club, three drivers in each heat, one race per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line.  For fairness a set Parma-Robin Reliant allocated to each of the two inside lanes, two middle lanes and two outside lanes.  Heat 1 – 18 points and 4th overall 6 points behind 1st and 1 point behind joint 2nd and 3rd.  Heat 2 – 28 points and the only driver to finish all races in one of the Parma-Robin Reliants heats!  2nd overall with 46 points and 3 points behind 1st.  Parma-Libre borrowing a sports car due to my wedding car replica stretch Jag not being available – one heat of six drivers, two races per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line – 31 points - 1st overall with 77 points and 9 ahead of 2nd and 15 ahead of 3rd.  Finally Parma-Legends provided by the Club, three drivers in each heat, one race per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line.  For fairness a set Parma-Legend allocated to each of the two inside lanes, two middle lanes and two outside lanes.  Heat 1 – 21 points and going into heat 2 I needed 13 points to win the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship – 2nd in each of my two races in the middle lanes and a win in my first race in one of the outside lanes was enough and I ended up with 26 points – 124 overall to win the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship – 14 points ahead of 2nd.

 

SLOTSTOX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH

SLOTSTOX BRITISH 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 159 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: 8TH= - 8 POINTS 

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

 

PARMA-MINIS ARENA POINTS CHAMPION - 51 POINTS

 

PARMA-LIBRE POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP - 7 POINTS

 

ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPION

PARMA-BANGERS ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 173 POINTS

 

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 585 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPION

 

2013

 

Slotstox

I missed the non-points season opening meeting at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's Club on 12th February. 

19th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - heats 46 points (heat 1 16 and heat 2 maximum 30) and joint highest points scorer of ten drivers (although my maximum 30 in heat 2 meant that I was deemed 1st with the highest best heat score).  Final 3rd (14 - with 2nd scoring 15 and 4th scoring 14 and I was leading several races before being delayed or stopped de-slotted Slotstox) to add 4 points chart points. I scored a total of 50 points chart points.  5th March - Arena points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' - heats 52 points (heat 1 21 - a very close heat as I finished 3rd with 1st scoring 23 and 2nd 22; and heat 2 26) and second top points scorer of seven drivers.  Final 2nd (19) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 52 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  12th March - Arena points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' - heats 27 points (heat 1 14 and heat 2 13) and fourth top points scorer of six drivers.  Final 4th (11) to add 3 points chart points. I scored a total of 30 points chart points on a night when my Slotstox never seemed to find that smooth spot.  26th March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'St Mary's' - heats 25 points (heat 1 20 and heat 2 5 too many crashes!) and fourth top points scorer of six drivers.  Final (all from the blue grade line) 3rd (10 - 4th also scored 10 but I had more 3rd places finishes: 2 to 1 whilst 2nd scored 11) to add 4 points chart points. I scored a total of 29 points chart points.

During the first points chart cycle I scored a total of 161 points and had the third highest average of 40.3 points - I would have been red grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  With the highest three out of four meetings again counting to the points - I was 4th in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 132 points.  I was 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 52 points. 

2nd April - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'Comrades' - struggling a bit from the back of the field - heats 25 points (heat 1 11 and heat 2 14) and fourth top points scorer of six drivers (the top 3 each scored 41 points).  Final - all drivers starting from yellow grade for finals at Comrades helped - 1st (21) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 31 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  9th April - Arena points chart round 6 at 'Comrades' - heats 43 points (heat 1 18 and heat 2 25) and top points scorer of nine drivers.  Final 3rd (18) to add 4 points chart points. I scored a total of 47 points chart points.  23rd April - Arena points chart round 8 at 'St Mary's' having now decided to race a spare Slotstox at the St Mary's meetings - heats 26 points (heat 1 20 and heat 2 6) and joint third highest points scorer with one other driver of nine drivers.  Final (all from the blue grade line) 5th= with one other driver (0) - to add 2 points chart points. I scored a total of 28 points chart points.

During the second points chart cycle I scored a total of 106 points and had the fourth highest average of 35.3 points - I would have been red grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  I missed round 7 at 'Comrades' on 16th April due to illness so all three meetings in points cycle 2 counted to the points - I was 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 238 points.  I was 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 83 points.

 

7th May - Arena points chart round 10 at 'Comrades' - heats 38 points (heat 1 14 and heat 2 24) and second highest scorer of six drivers.  Final (all from the yellow grade line) 1st (22) - to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 44 points chart points.  14th May - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Comrades' - heats 36 points (heat 1 17 and heat 2 19) and third highest scorer of eight drivers.  Final (all from the yellow grade line) 3rd (11) - to add 4 points chart points. I scored a total of 40 points chart points.  21st May - Arena points chart round 12 at 'St Mary's' - heats 15 points (heat 1 12 and heat 2 39) and fifth highest scorer of six drivers.  Final (from grades) 5th (9) - to add 2 points chart points. I scored a total of 15 points chart points.

During the third points chart cycle I scored a total of 101 points and had the third highest average of 33.7 points - I would have been red grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  I missed round 9 at 'Comrades' on 30th April due to holiday so all three meetings in points cycle 3 counted to the points - I was 4th in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 339 points with two drivers tied for second on 340 points.  Round 9 was also Gold Top Qualifying round 3 and I was down to 4th in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 83 points. 

28th May - Arena points chart round 13 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Comrades' - struggling in the heats with what was subsequently found to be a loose wire - 3 heats with best 2 counting for the points chart - 26 points (heat 2 14 and heat 3 12 - my heat 1 score of 7 was dropped) and sixth top points scorer of eight drivers.  Final (all from the yellow grade line) - 4th (13) to add 3 points chart points. I scored a total of 29 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

I remained 4th in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 112 points.

11th June - Arena points chart round 15 at 'Comrades' - heats 40 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 19) and top points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps rather than 6) - 1st (19 - 2nd scored 18 and 3rd 17) to add 6 points chart points.  I scored a total of 46 points chart points.  Also another 'Comrades' Slotstox and Parmastox same night final win double!  25th June - Arena points chart round 16 and Gold Top Qualifying round 5 at 'Comrades' - heats 24 points (heat 1 10 and heat 2 14) and 6th highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps rather than 6) - 1st (22 - having finished all six races and 2nd scored 21) to add 6 points chart points.  I scored a total of 30 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

During the fourth points chart cycle I scored a total of 105 points and had the fourth highest average of 35.0 points - I would have been red grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  I missed round 14 at 'Comrades' on 4th June due to holiday so all three meetings in points cycle 3 counted to the points - I was up to 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 444 points just 3 points ahead of 3rd.  I was up to 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 142 points. 

2nd July - Arena points chart round 17 at 'Comrades' - heats 37 points (heat 1 20 and heat 2 17) and 3rd highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps rather than 6) - 1st (18 - 2nd scored 17) to add 6 points chart points.  I scored a total of 43 points chart points.  9th July - Arena points chart round 18 at 'Comrades' - 3 heats with best 2 counting for the points chart - 50 points (heat 2 27 and heat 3 23 - my heat 1 score of 21 was dropped) and top points scorer of eight drivers.  With no time for a final each drivers dropped heat score was taken to determine the allocation of the final points and my 21 was highest to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 56 points chart points.  16th July - Arena points chart round 19 at 'Comrades' - heats 35 points (heat 1 17 and heat 2 18) and 4th highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 4th (11 - 3rd scored 12 and 4th scored 11) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 38 points chart points.  23rd July - Arena points chart round 20 and Gold Top Qualifying round 6 at 'St Mary's' - with different tyres on my spare slotstox of choice for this venue - heats 26 points (heat 1 14 and heat 2 12) and joint 3rd highest points scorer with one other driver of seven drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps with all seven drivers) - 7th (6 - same points as 6th but they had 3 4th places to my 2) to add 1 points chart point.  I scored a total of 27 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

During the fifth points chart cycle I scored a total of 164 points and had the third highest average of 41.0 points - I would have been red grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I remained 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 581 points.  I remained 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 169 points. 

After a two week mini-summer break: 13th August - Arena points chart round 21 at 'Comrades' - heats 28 points (heat 1 18 and heat 2 10) and 3rd highest points scorer of seven drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps rather than 6) - 1st (20 - 2nd also scored 20 and we each had 2 race wins but I had 2 2nd places compared with their 1) to add 6 points chart points.  I was determined to win a final on this evening as it was the 20th anniversary of my Nanna passing away and the win was dedicated to her.  I scored a total of 34 points chart points.  20th August - Arena points chart round 22 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'St Mary's' - with green lane not working heats were over 5 races scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. rather than 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd etc. to ensure a heat maximum remained as 30 points.  Heats 20 points (heat 1 5 and heat 2 15 - with a combination of handcontroller and car issues - diagnosed as a loose wire on each which meant I used my main Slotstox for my race in the outside lane in the second heat!) and 4th highest points scorer of six drivers.  Final (from grades over 6 laps due to time) - 5th (5 - 1 2nd place!) to add 2 points chart points.  I scored a total of 22 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 191 points.  27th August - Arena points chart round 23 at 'Comrades' - heats 34 points (heat 1 16 and heat 2 18 and 4th highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 3rd (14 - 2nd scored 15 and 4th scored 13) to add 4 points chart points.  I scored a total of 38 points chart points.   3rd September - Arena points chart round 24 at 'Comrades' and a broken wire on my main Slotstox early on meant that I had to use my spare for most of the racing - heats 16 points (heat 1 8 and heat 2 8 and 6th highest points scorer of seven drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps with all seven drivers) - 6th (4 - 7th scored 3) to add 1 points chart point.  I scored a total of 17 points chart points.

During the sixth points chart cycle I scored a total of 111 points and had the seventh highest average of 27.8 points - I would have been blue grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I remained 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 675 points. 

10th September - Arena points chart round 25 at 'Comrades' with my main Slotstox now fixed - heats 31 points (heat 1 17 and heat 2 14 and joint 2nd highest points scorer with one other driver of seven drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 4th (14 - same as 3rd but they had 2 race wins compared with my none) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 34 points chart points.  17th September - Arena points chart round 26 at 'St Mary's' - with green lane not working heats were over 5 races scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. rather than 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd etc. to ensure a heat maximum remained as 30 points.  Heats 28 points (heat 1 15 and heat 2 13) and 3rd highest points scorer of six drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 3rd (9 - same points as 4th but I had 1 race win compared with their none) to add 4 points chart points.  I scored a total of 32 points chart points.  24th September - Arena points chart round 27 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'Comrades' - heats 24 points (heat 1 12 and heat 2 12) and 5th highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 2nd (16) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 29 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 220 points.  1st October - Arena points chart round 28 at 'Comrades' - heats 33 points (heat 1 19 and heat 2 14) and 2nd highest points scorer (by virtue of being tied 2nd but having a better highest heat score 19-18) of eight drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 3rd (15) to add 4 points chart points.  I scored a total of 37 points chart points.

During the seventh points chart cycle I scored a total of 132 points and had the fourth highest average of 33.0 points - I would have been red grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I remained 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 778 points. 

Meeting 8th October cancelled due to driver illnesses.  15th October - Arena points chart round 29 at 'St Mary's' - with green lane not working heats were over 5 races scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. rather than 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd etc. to ensure a heat maximum remained as 30 points.  Heats 26 points (heat 1 12 and heat 2 14) and 4th highest points scorer of six drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 3rd (11 - although it could have been so much better as in one of the races only two Slotstox were left in their correct lanes - mine and one other plus I had another Slotstox in my lane...I de-slotted that into the path of the other driver and whilst being distracted to see if that had stopped them, which it did, my Slotstox de-slotted too!  Had I have scored those 6 points I'd have finished 2nd just 1 point behind 1st...that's racing!) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 29 points chart points.  22nd October - Arena points chart round 30 and 9th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'Comrades' - heats 32 points (heat 1 17 and heat 2 15) and 4th highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 2nd (20) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 37 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I finished 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 257 points.  5th November - Arena points chart round 31 at 'Comrades' - heats 31 points (heat 1 20 and heat 2 11) and 2nd highest points scorer of seven drivers - 1 point behind 1st.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 3rd (14) to add 4 points chart points.  I scored a total of 35 points chart points. 

On 8th November, I raced at the Ron Ellis Memorial meeting at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club on the five lane straight chicane track.  Ron was a driver I’d raced against in the 1980’s.  My intention, along with several other drivers – both current and returning, was to compete with a retro Slotstox and I prepared my 1989 Foxhall Novice Championship Slotstox for action – this included having the engines fixed which were only delivered at 8.15pm the previous evening before driving up to Suffolk straight after ready for the following day!  Unfortunately this plan only last two races – a snapped bumper in practice was repaired but my Slotstox sustained too much damage taking a couple of big heats in the first two races and a trip over the fence onto the floor!  Although it was intended to have separate heats for the retro and current Slotstox this did not happen due to those with each type not being noted when drivers booked in!  I then switched to my current spare Slotstox that I normally race at Arena ‘St Mary’s’ and one 3rd place finish resulted in 3 points for heat 1.  I then switched to my main Slotstox, thinking that if I couldn’t race a retro Slotstox in memory of Ron then I’d try to win the meeting in his memory instead.  I scored 22 points in heat 2 and 19 points in heat 3 for a total of 44 points and 4th highest point scorer of 30 drivers.  With time pressing on and this not being a normal meeting the top six competed straight in a final.  I was never really in contention and ended the final more concerned that an old time driver that raced with Ron should win the final (which ended up being the case) and finished 5th with 7 points.   All in all it was a great occasion in memory of Ron – in addition to those racing several other former members returned to spectate. 

12th November - Arena points chart round 32 at 'St Mary's' - with green lane not working heats were over 5 races scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. rather than 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd etc. to ensure a heat maximum remained as 30 points.  Heats 13 points with only 3 finishes (heat 1 9 - one 2nd and one 3rd and heat 2 4 - 1 3rd) and 4th highest points scorer of six drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 2nd (11 - although that was only 2 finishes - 1 1st and 1 2nd) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 18 points chart points.

During the eighth points chart cycle I scored a total of 119 points and had the sixth highest average of 29.8 points - I would have been blue grade had I not been defending Gold/Silver top.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I remained 2nd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 879 points. 

19th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 3rd of the six drivers who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. I started the defence of this championship in the White lane (lane 4) with drivers having two races in each lane over 10 laps all starting from the yellow grade line. It started well as I won my first race in white lane and 2nd in my second race in white lane (the same results I’d managed in my first two races in 2012 – although they were in blue lane), two 4th’s in black lane, a non-finish in my first race in green lane and 1 point from my second race in green lane, the only finisher to win both my races in blue lane, followed by two 3rd place finishes in yellow lane, 2nd in my first race in red lane was followed by a non-finish in my second race in red lane. At the end of the final I had scored 34 points and finished 2nd to concede the Gold Top championship.  1st scored 38 meaning that 1st and 2nd scored the same points as in 2012 – just a shame I had the 34 this time!  A review of the scores after the final showed that I was always in with a chance (particularly after my two wins in blue lane closed me to within 1 point of 1st) but my non-finish in the final race had proven crucial – 1st also non-finished and had I won this race I’d have defended the Gold Top but that’s racing! 

26th November - Arena points chart round 33 at 'Comrades' - heats 37 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 16) and 2nd highest points scorer of seven drivers. Final (all drivers starting from yellow grade over 8 laps) - 3rd (13 - 4th scored 12) to add 4 points chart points. I scored a total of 41 points chart points.  I missed the 34th and final points round at 'Comrades' on 3rd December (the meeting on 10th December at 'St Mary's' was meant to be the final round but ended up being Parmastox only...I missed it anyway due to work commitments!)

 

During the ninth and final points chart cycle (2 of 2 meetings counting although I missed one) I scored a total of 41 points and had the third highest average of 41 points and would start the 2014 season in red grade.  

I finished as runner-up in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with a total of 920 points.  The official points chart being based on 3 out of 4 meeting cycles counting to the points chart (except the final points cycle where both meetings counted).  Based on total points I was also the 2nd highest points scorer (1040 points from 30 meetings) with the third highest season average of 34.7 points.  The total points were also used to determine informal track championship points charts for each of ‘Comrades’ and ‘St Mary’s’.  I finished runner-up in the ‘Comrades’ track championship (838 from 22 of 26 meetings) by 1 point with the fourth highest average of 38.1 points and finished 4th in the ‘St Mary’s’ track championship (202 from all 8 meetings) with the 7th highest average of 25.3 points.  I also won seven finals during the season all at ‘Comrades’. 

Having not retained the Arena Gold Top Championship on 19th November and remaining the Arena Points Champion until the end of the season, I painted my roof all Silver ahead of the Slotstox World Championship hosted by the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club on 8th December - the first time I'd raced a Slotstox with a full Silver roof!  Representing Arena, the meeting did not go well and in my first two heats I finished only five of twelve races including un-characteristically crashing myself in several races (particularly heat 2) and scored points in only four of those: 3 points in my first heat (5th in lane 2 and 4th in lane 5 plus a non-scoring 6th in lane 6 having started in lane 3) and 5 points in my second heat (3rd in lane 2 and 4th in lane 5 having started in lane 1).  The third heat went better finishing all six races in the points and a total of 15 points (my only win of the day in lane 3, 4th in lane 4, 5th in lane 5, 4th in lane 6, 4th in lane 1 and 3rd in lane 2) but it was too little too late and with 23 points I failed to qualify for the quarter-finals finishing 26th of 36 drivers with the 24th and final qualifier for the quarter-finals scoring 27 points. 

 

Parmastox

I missed the non-points season opening meeting at the Arena Slotstox 'St Mary's Club on 12th February. 

19th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - heat 1 joint 3rd with the same record as one other driver of six drivers (12) and final 2nd of six drivers (26 - although I was doing well in several races before being delayed or stopped by de-slotted Parmastox) - 10 (heat 3 + final 7) points chart points.  5th March - points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of five drivers (47 including only 2 wins but finishing all races with 7 2nds and 3 3rds), heat 2 4th of five drivers (21 - over only 10 races as the second races in two lanes were missed in error!) and final 4th of seven drivers (27) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  12th March - points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' with heats 1 race per lane - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (16 but very close with 2nd also scoring 16 but having 1 race win compared with my none and 1st scoring 17), heat 2 4th of six drivers (12) and final 1st of six drivers (32 - it all came together on the night when it mattered most!) - 11 (best heat 3 + final 8) points chart points.

During the first 3 rounds I was 2nd highest points scorer with 32 points, the 2nd highest average of 10.7 points and remained red grade. 

On 23rd March, I raced at Metal Mania #2 at the Wellgate Slotstox Club which doubled up as the first round of four (the others being at Arena, Wisbech and Pinewood) in the 2013 Parmastox English Championship and with 30 drivers in attendance. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four-lane track) over 8 laps and the meeting featured marshalling to Wellgate rules.  The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best seven drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals.  The next best 15 would race in three consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals.  Heat 1 3rd of five drivers (23) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (19 - same points as 3rd but I had 2 races wins to their 1 and 4th scored 18).  This was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals but it was to qualify for one of the consolations in which I enjoyed a bit too much crashing and finished 3rd of five drivers (17) and was eliminated.  By not finishing in the top 12 at this meeting I scored 5 points towards the 2013 Parmastox English Championship series and was joint 13th with the other 18 drivers of the 30 in attendance.  At the end of the main meeting those drivers that didn't qualify for the event final raced in a series of five Grand Nationals - in my Grand National 1st, despite one big launch on a fellow driver in the final race which saw my Parmastox end up burried in the fence, of five drivers (24 - 2nd scored 23) and scored a maximum 6 points to go joint top towards the 2013 Parmastox English Grand National Championship series with the five other drivers that had won a Grand National. 

26th March - points chart round 4 at 'St Mary's' with heats and final 1 race per lane - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (17), heat 2 1st of four drivers (18) and final 4th of six drivers (4 - a real crashfest with only four of the six drivers finishing a race and no driver finishing more than 1 race - 1st, 2nd and 3rd each scored 5 from one race win each whilst 5th and 6th scored 0 - getting hooked up with another crashed car when on the inside lane during the final race knowing that just a finish would have been enough to win the final summed up my nights luck!) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.  2nd April - points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'Comrades' with heats one race per lane - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (10), heat 2 1st of six drivers (16) and final (2 races per lane) 1st of six drivers (41) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Also another 'Comrades' Slotstox and Parmastox same night final win double!  9th April - points chart round 6 at 'Comrades' with heats and consolation one race per lane - heat 1 5th= of six drivers (0), heat 2 5th of six drivers (8) and consolation 2nd of four drivers (14) - a disappointing night when for one reason or another I struggled to finish races - 5 (best heat 1 + consolation 4) points chart points.

During the 4th to 7th rounds (I missed round 7 at 'Comrades' on 16th April due to illness) I was 5th highest points scorer with 28 points, the 5th highest average of 9.3 points and was down to blue grade.  Following 7 rounds I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 60 points with the second highest season average of 10.0 points. 

23rd April - points chart round 8 at 'St Mary's' with heat and consolation one race per lane - heat 1 3rd of four drivers (8), consolation 2nd (top 2 qualifying for the final) of four drivers (14 - same points as 1st but they had 2 races wins and I had 1) and final 5th of six drivers (12 - 4th scored 13 and 3rd 15) - 8 (best heat/consolation 4 + final 4) points chart points.  7th May - points chart round 10 at 'Comrades' borrowing a Parmastox and with heat and final two races per lane - heat 1 1st of six drivers (44), heat 2 3rd of six drivers (28) and final 1st of six drivers (42) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  14th May - points chart round 11 at 'Comrades' borrowing a Parmastox and with heat and final two races per lane - heat 1 1st of six drivers (33), heat 2 2nd of five drivers (24) and final 4th of six drivers (19) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.

During the 8th to 11th rounds (I missed round 9 at 'Comrades' on 30th April due to holiday) I was joint 3rd highest points scorer with 31 points, the joint 3rd highest average of 10.3 points and was back up to red grade.  Following 11 rounds I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 91 points with the second highest season average of 10.1 points.  Round 9 was also Gold Top Qualifying round 3 and I was 4th in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 23 points. 

21st May - points chart round 12 at 'St Mary's' with heats and final two races per lane - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (31), heat 2 2nd of four drivers (31) and final 4th of six drivers (14 - 3rd scored 14) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) points chart points. 

On 25th May, I raced at the Hertfordshire ‘Open’ Championship which doubled up as the second round (of four) in the 2013 Parmastox English Championship with 31 drivers in attendance.  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane over 8 laps.  The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best eight drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals. The remaining 23 would race in four consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals. Heat 1 1st of six drivers (42) and heat 2 1st of six drivers (38 – close as 2nd scored 36 and third scored 35).  This was enough to qualify directly to the semi-finals with the top 3 in each qualifying to the final.  Semi-final 2nd of six drivers (37 – 1st scored 39) and I had qualified for my second Hertfordshire ‘Open’ Championship final following finishing as runner-up in 2011 (although this time it was with my own Parmastox whereas in 2011 I had borrowed a Parmastox).  Final 3rd of six drivers (33 – same points as 2nd but they had four wins to my two wins whilst 4th scored 32).  By finishing 3rd I scored 17 points towards the 2013 Parmastox English Championship series and was up to joint 6th with one other of the 38 drivers that had raced in the first 2 rounds of the series (although it looked likely at this stage that I would miss the 4th and final (double points) round at Pinewood on 16th November.  Having qualified for the event final I did not race in the Grand Nationals and was down to joint 7th with four other drivers in the 2013 Parmastox English Grand National Championship series – 31 drivers had scored Grand National points in the first 2 rounds of the series. 

28th May - points chart round 13 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Comrades' debuting a new Parmastox built by Jack Branch complete with interchangeable 'tarmac' and 'shale' style aerofoils..this meeting I was using the 'shale' version.  Heats and final were two races per lane - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (32 and getting used to my new Parmastox), heat 2 1st of six drivers (36) and final 1st of six drivers (37 - 2nd scored 36) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  My second (of three rounds attended) maximum at a Gold Top Qualifying round in 2013.

Following 13 rounds I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 113 points and following 4 rounds I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 36 points.

11th June - points chart round 15 at 'Comrades' again racing my new Parmastox.  Heats and final were two races per lane - heat 1 (using/blaming(!) 'tarmac' wing) 5th of five drivers (11), consolation (using 'shale' wing so psychologically happier) 2nd of six drivers with top 2 qualifying for the final (32) and final (using 'tarmac' wing thinking and proving it should really made no difference) 1st of six drivers (32 - 2nd scored 31) - 12 (best heat/consolation 4 + final 8) points chart points.  2 final wins out of 2 for my new Parmastox!

During the 12th to 15th rounds (even with missing round 14 at 'Comrades' on 4th June due to holiday) I was 3rd highest points scorer with 34 points, the 3rd highest average of 11.3 points and remained red grade. Following 15 rounds (I'd raced at 12) I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 125 points with the third highest season average of 10.4 points. 

25th June - points chart round 16 and Gold Top Qualifying round 5 at 'Comrades' - using the 'shale' wing.  Heat - 2nd of five drivers (34 - 1st scored 35) and final 4th of six drivers (31 - same as 3rd but they 5 races wins to my none and 2nd scored 32) and ending my run of final wins with my new Parmastox - 9 (heat 4 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  2nd July - points chart round 17 at 'Comrades'.  Heat 1 (tarmac wing) 4th of six drivers (18 - 5th also scored 18 but I had 3 race wins compared to their none), heat 2 (shale wing) - 1st of six drivers (28 - 2nd scored 27) and final 3rd of six drivers (22 - 4th scored 21) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.  9th July - points chart round 18 at 'Comrades' (all shale wing).  Heat 1 3rd of six drivers (24 - 2nd scored 25), heat 2 1st of six drivers (30) and final 5th of six drivers (16) - 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart points.  16th July - points chart round 19 at 'Comrades' (all tarmac wing but having no luck and my Parmastox seemingly falling off by its own accord at times!).  Heat 1 - 5th of six drivers (14 - 6th scored 13) and heat 2 - 5th of six drivers (again 14) and I failed to qualify for the final - 2 (1+1) points chart points.

During the 16th to 19th rounds I was joint 4th highest points scorer with 31 points, the joint 5th highest average of 7.8 points and was down to blue grade. Following 19 rounds (I'd raced at 16) I was down to 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 156 points with the joint third highest season average of 9.8 points.  I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 45 points. 

23rd July - points chart round 20 and Gold Top Qualifying round 6 at 'St Mary's' - using the 'tarmac' wing having had my new 'debut making at this venue' Parmastox worked on by a fellow driver since the previous meeting - heat 1 5th of five drivers (17), heat 2 1st of five drivers (35 - 7 wins and 5 non-finishes) and final - 3rd of seven drivers (23 - four wins in my final four races moving me up the places whilst 1st and 2nd each scored 25) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 56 points.  After a two week mini-summer break: 13th August - points chart round 21 at 'Comrades' - using the 'tarmac' wing - heat 1 1st of five drivers (34), heat 2 2nd of five drivers (21 - 3rd also scored 21 but I had 3 wins compared with their 2) and final - 3rd of six drivers (23) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.  I was joint 3rd with one other driver in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 178 points.  20th August - points chart round 22 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'St Mary's' with green lane not working heats consisted of 2 races per 5 lanes - heat 1 (tarmac wing) - 1st of four drivers (38 - I finished 8 races whilst the other three drivers finished 3 between them!), heat 2 (giving my previous - now spare - Parmastox a run) - 4th of four drivers (21) and final (shale wing) 4th of six drivers (9) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 66 points.  27th August - points chart round 23 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 (shale wing) - 1st of six drivers (43), heat 2 (spare) - 1st of six drivers (33) and final (shale wing) - 3rd of six drivers (24 - same as 2nd but they had 2 wins compared with my 1 win) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.

During the 20th to 23rd rounds I was 2nd highest points scorer with 43 points, the 2nd highest average of 10.8 points and was back up to red grade. Following 23 rounds (I'd raced at 20) I was up to 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 199 points - 1 point ahead of 3rd and 2 points ahead of 4th - with the second highest season average of 10.0 points. 

3rd September - points chart round 24 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 (tarmac wing) - 1st of five drivers (44 - 2nd scored 23), heat 2 (spare) - 1st of four drivers (44 - 2nd scored 18) and final (tarmac wing) 4th of six drivers (19 - 3rd scored 20 as I seemed to have used up any luck I had in the heats!) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.  10th September - points chart round 25 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 (shale wing) 1st of six drivers (44 - 3rd heat in a row won with a score of 44!), heat 2 (spare) 1st of seven drivers (30) and final (shale wing) 4th of six drivers (17 - again seemingly used up any luck I had in the heats!) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.  17th September - points chart round 26 at 'St Mary's' with green lane not working heats consisted of 2 races per 5 lanes - using shale wing and only time for 1 heat - 5th of six drivers (16) and final - 2nd of six drivers (23 - finally having a bit of luck in a final - 1st scored 25) - 8 (heat 1 + final 7) points chart points.  24th September - points chart round 27 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 (tarmac) - 1st of six drivers (32 - 2nd scored 30 and 3rd 29), heat 2 (spare) - 1st of six drivers (31 - 2nd score 29 and 3rd 28) and final (tarmac) - 1st of six drivers (32 - 2nd scored 30) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 79 points. 

On 28th September, I raced at the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club (my first time racing at Wisbech since the 2006 Slotstox World Championship) for the King of the Fens (Open) Championship which doubled up as the third round (of four) in the 2013 Parmastox English Championship with 31 drivers in attendance. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane over 8 laps. The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best eight drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals. The remaining 23 would race in four consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals. I struggled in practice so much so that I was unsure whether to race my current Parmastox or my spare Parmastox (I was even thinking of using my spare Parmastox on the three inside lanes and my current Parmastox on the three outside lanes had this been allowed!)  In the end I opted to race my current Parmastox with the shale wing...and I'm glad I did!  Heat 1 3rd of six drivers (31 - 2nd scored 32) and heat 2 1st of six drivers (54 – with only one non-finish and that being my final race in the outside lane). Over the ten heats there had been eight separate heat winners (including me) who each qualified directly to the semi-finals with the top 3 in each qualifying to the final. Semi-final 3rd of six drivers (36 – settling for a 2nd place finish in my final race on the difficult inside lane when had I not finished or the driver that won that race taken me out then they would have finished 3rd and I'd have finished 4th and been eliminated) and I had qualified for the King of the Fens (Open) Championship final.  Final with all drivers starting from the start line - 1st of six drivers (42 - very close as 2nd and 3rd each scored 40) to become the 2013 Parmastox King of the Fens (Open) Champion. By winning the final I scored the maximum 25 points towards the 2013 Parmastox English Championship series and was up to 2nd of the 48 drivers that had raced in the first 3 rounds of the series with 47 points only 7 points behind 1st (although it looked likely at this stage that I would miss the 4th and final (double points) round at Pinewood Raceway on 16th November.  The irony was perhaps that this meeting was originally scheduled to be the previous weekend to coincide with the Brisca F1 World Championship meeting nearby at Kings Lynn but was moved due to concerns over time - had it taken place on the original date then I would have missed the meeting due to a family wedding!  Having qualified for the event final I did not race in the Grand Nationals and was down to joint 13 with five other drivers in the 2013 Parmastox English Grand National Championship series with 6 points – 40 drivers had scored Grand National points in the first 3 rounds of the series.

Meeting report including the headline 'Mark Banham crowned King of the Fens' plus four photos (three including my Parmastox and one of me being presented with the 1st place trophy) featured in the January/February edition of Slot magazine. 

1st October - points chart round 28 at 'Comrades' (shale wing) - heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (30), heat 2 - 2nd of five drivers (38) and final 1st of six drivers (37) - 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points.

I remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 252 points - 5 points ahead of 3rd - with the second highest season average of 10.1 points and remained red grade. 

Meeting 8th October cancelled due to driver illnesses.  15th October - points chart round 29 at 'St Mary's' with green lane not working heats consisted of 2 races per 5 lanes - heat 1 (tarmac) - 1st of six drivers (19), heat 2 (spare) - 4th of six drivers (13 - mainly trying but not always succeeding in trying to de-slot the driver 3rd in the points chart!) and final (tarmac) 3rd of six drivers (18) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.   22nd October - points chart round 30 and 9th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (26 - with only 1 non-finish by all drivers in the first 5 races and that was due to their Parmastox stopping in lane with a technical problem rather than de-slotting...before I was the only finisher in race 6!), heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (30) and final - 4th of six drivers (23 - as drivers finished in the order they qualified for the final!) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I finished 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 88 points.  5th November - points chart round 31 at 'Comrades' - heat 1 (shale) - 1st of five drivers (42 and high scoring as 2nd scored 39 and 3rd 35 - a non-finish by 2nd in the final race helped me to the win), heat 2 (spare) - 3rd of four drivers (20) and final (shale) - 2nd of six drivers (28) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.

During the 28th to 31st rounds I was highest points scorer with 44 points, the 3rd highest average of 11.0 points and remained red grade. Following 31 rounds (I'd raced at 28) I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 284 points with the second highest season average of 10.1 points. 

12th November - points chart round 32 at 'St Mary's' with green lane not working heats consisted of 2 races per 5 lanes (tarmac) - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (14 - 4th scored 13), heat 2 - 6th of six drivers (7 - 5th scored 8) and final 4th of six drivers (16) - 8 (best heat 3 + final 5) points chart points. 

I missed the 4th and final double points round of the 2013 Parmastox English Championship Series at Pinewood Raceway on 16th November due to my mother-in-laws 60th birthday!  Prior to this I was 2nd overall helped by my 3rd place at round 2 (Arena on 25th May) and my win in round 3 (Wisbech on 28th September).  With the final round being double points I inevitably slipped down the order but it was still some achievement to finish 8th of the 51 drivers that had raced in the series - had the final round not been double points I’d have finished 4th and had the final round not been double points and drivers best 3 out of 4 meetings counted then I'd have finished 2nd...a case of if, but and maybe!  Having qualified for the final at rounds 2 and 3 my only points in the Parmastox English Grand National Championship series were 6 points from winning my Grand National at round 1 (Wellgate on 23rd March) to finish joint 23rd with four other drivers – 44 drivers scored Grand National points during the series. 

19th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 2nd of the six drivers who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. My Parmastox failed scruitineering due to it being too low resulting new tyres being hurriedly fitted. Using the shale wing, I started in the Green lane (lane 5) with drivers having three races in each lane all starting from the yellow grade line. With very limited time to run the new tyres in it was always going to be a bit of a struggle as my Parmastox was a little unstable and I wasn’t able to go as quick as I had been in the previous weeks.  I scored 39 points and finished 3rd, 4 points ahead of 4th, 2 behind 2nd but 17 behind 1st.

Following the Gold Top final, I raced in a fun heat for all drivers that wanted to race.  Whilst it's noted here under Parmastox, the emphasis was very much on fun as one driver raced their Parma-Mini whilst another raced their Parma-Banger...and those that did race Parmastox mostly swapped with other drivers throughout the heat!  I swapped Parmastox with another driver for most of the heat before using mine for the final few races.  With all drivers starting from the yellow grade line, I failed to finish the first five races before a run of three wins in the final seven races helped me to 20 points and 3rd of six drivers 1 point behind 2nd.  

26th November - points chart round 33 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat (1 race per lane) - 3rd of seven drivers (12 - 2nd scored 13) and final 4th of seven drivers (26 - 3rd scored 27 and 2nd 28 and included my Parmastox clipping another coming out of the fourth bend in yellow lane and rolling fully over the inside track fencing on to the floor!) - 8 (best heat 3 + final 5) points chart points.  I missed round 34 at 'Comrades' on 3rd December due my works department xmas do on the same evening and the 34th and final points round on 10th December at 'St Mary's' due to work commitments. 

I finished 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with a total of 300 and as in 2012 only 1 point ahead of 3rd. 

The season ended on 15th December as I raced for the first time at the Rockingham Slotstox Club in the Parmastox 'Open' team championship – the Rockingham Slotstox Club was formerly the Wellingborough Slotstox Club.  The meeting was on a six-lane track with one contact chicane going down half of one the straights into the bend...which saw a lot of action throughout the day!  I teamed up with fellow Arena drivers Jack and Chris Branch to re-form the team that finished 3rd when racing borrowed 1/32 scale Slot-Nascars in the Team ‘Open’ event on the Pinewood circuit track in 2011.  Whereas in 2011 we were called Team 'Gumbies' this time we called ourselves ‘The Gants Hill Mob’ (based on Jack living at ‘Gants Hill’) and was aimed to cause confusion with a team from the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club containing 3 members from the same family with the surname ‘Gant’ and called ‘The Ganthill Mob’!  As a side note, I also caused confusion in the raffle when one of my tickets was drawn towards the end...I'd asked for tickets around number 546 when all other tickets previously called were below 300!  With six teams racing, each team would race against each other with 2 points awarded for a win and 1 for a draw with the top 4 teams qualifying for the semi-finals.  Each heat again consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes.  With my Parmastox not running perfectly in practice and realising that we were not going to win with speed we decided to go on a crashing offensive - Jack raced all races in the two inside lanes; I raced in the two middle lanes with the aim of de-slotting other Parmastox and Chris in the two outside lanes.  Our first two matches were against host club teams – we lost the first 34-16 against ‘Twisted Metal’ (I scored 10 points) before winning the second 42-22 against ‘Bentley Boys’ - a team that improved throughout the meeting and were eventual runners-up (9).  I was involved in a lot of contact in our third heat against Wellgate team ‘The Forty-Somethings’ and scored 0 points as we lost 39-21.  In the next heat against host club team ‘Norfolk ‘ N’ Chance’ we were 18-0 down after the first 3 races and could only fight back to lose 18-17 (5 – de-slotting on my own in the second race when running 2nd ended up costing us the heat!).  Somewhat inevitably perhaps, this meant we had to win our final match against ‘The Ganthill Mob’ in order to qualify for the semi-finals and we did by inflicting the only 0 score of the heats winning 34-0 (22).  We qualified for the semi-finals in 4th with 4 points which put us up against the top qualifiers (and eventual champions) ‘The Forty-Somethings’ who had won all their heat matches.  As in the heat I was involved in a lot of contact and again scored 0 points as we lost 34-15 and were eliminated. 

 

Parma-Bangers 

26th February - Arena points chart round 1 - Parma-Bangers and Parma-Banger and caravans at 'St Mary's'. Parma-Bangers starting from red grade - heat 4th of four drivers (5 - one race per lane over 6 laps and deciding to concentrate on a mixed style of crashing and racing with one win, one race leading until the final straight and a few good crashes!) - 2 Parma-Bangers points chart points. Parma-Banger and Caravans - heat 1st of three drivers (13 - one race per lane over 4 laps) - 5 Parma-Bangers points chart points for a total of 7 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 

2nd April - Arena points chart round 2 - Parma-Bangers at 'Comrades' - heat 1 1st of six drivers (14 with a mixture of wrecking first and rodding second) and heat 2 3rd= with one other driver of six drivers (5 - one race win each and 5th scored 4) - 8 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 9th April - Arena points chart round 3 - Parma-Bangers and caravans at 'Comrades' - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (11) and top 3 in first heat qualified for heat 2 2nd= with two other drivers of six drivers (8) - 4 (best heat) Parma-Bangers points chart points.

I was 3rd in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 19 points (only 2 points behind 2nd and 3 points behind 1st). 

11th June - Arena points chart round 4 - Parma-Big Van Bangers at 'Comrades' one race per lane over 8 laps - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (10 - 4th and 5th each scored 9) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (9 - 1st scored 10 and 3rd 8 and I'd have won if I had finished whilst running 3rd in the final race rather than crashing via racer error!) - 7 Parma-Bangers points chart points.

I was 2nd in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 26 points (only 2 points behind 1st). 

9th July - Arena points chart round 5 - Parma-Banger and caravans heat at 'Comrades' - one race per lane over 4 laps with all drivers starting from the start/finish line and deciding to concentrate on a mixed style of crashing and racing - 5th of six drivers (2) - 1 Parma-Bangers points chart point. 16th July - Arena points chart round 6 - Parma-Big Van Bangers heat at 'Comrades' - one race per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start/finish line - 1st of six drivers (21 - 4 2nds followed by a win before being targeted when in the outside lane having already won the heat!) - 5 Parma-Bangers points chart points. 

I finished 2nd in the Parma-Bangers Arena Points Championship chart with 32 points (only 1 point behind 1st but only 2 points ahead of 3rd). 

I raced in my first Arena Firecracker Championship on 26th November - the idea being to race a more unusual Parma-Banger bodyshell to replicate the real National Bangers Arena Firecracker meeting. The championship consisted of 2 races per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the yellow grade line. I borrowed a Yank style bodyshell and decided to entertain mainly targeted at a driver racing a bodyshell more Nascar than National Banger in style! This worked well and I still managed to score 13 points and finished 6th of seven drivers - the same points as 5th but they had 2 wins to my none. 

 

Parma-Minis 

26th February at 'St Mary's' - heat 3rd of four drivers (10 - one race per lane over 6 laps and all drivers starting from the start/finish line) - 3 Parma-Mini points chart points.

25th June at 'Comrades' - heat 2nd of six drivers (13 - one race per lane over 8 laps and all drivers starting from the start/finish line) - 3 Parma-Mini points chart points.

 

Parma-Libre 

2nd July at 'Comrades' - borrowing a Parma-Libre (sports car) heat 3rd= with one other driver of six drivers (5 - 1 win each) - 3 Parma-Libre points chart points.

 

Multi-formula

The 18th June meeting at 'St Mary's' was the traditional Mid-Summer Madness Championship meeting which takes place on the nearest race date to Mid-Summer and with five drivers racing. This was the first time the championship had been held since I finished as runner-up when I first raced in this championship in 2010. Total points from all races count towards this multi-formula championship format. For Parma-Minis, a maximum of four drivers were racing at any one time (for some reason the final race only included me and 1 other driver!) in one heat, one race per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line - 3rd (10 - 5 behind 2nd and 9 behind 1st). Small-Van Bangers and Bangers featured all five drivers in one heat, one race per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line. Small-Van Bangers (11) - 3rd overall with 21 points - 8 behind 2nd and 11 behind 1st. Bangers - (12 and top scorer) - 3rd overall with 33 points but now just 4 behind 2nd and 6 behind 1st (as 1st and 2nd swapped places). Parma-Legends provided by the Club, all five drivers in one heat, one race per lane using only five lanes (not the inside blue lane) over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line. For fairness a set Parma-Legend allocated to each lane (5 - joint top scorer with 2 other drivers as 1st and 2nd overall each scored 0) - 2nd overall with 38 points - 1 behind 1st and 1 ahead of 3rd. Finally, Parma-Robin Reliants with for fairness a set Parma-Robin Reliant allocated to each of three lanes only. Three drivers were racing at a time in one heat and in total each having three (non-consecutive) races per lane over 4 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line. I needed to beat 1st overall by 2 points to win the championship but also at least match the score of 3rd overall. In the end we all scored the same points! (29) although in a few races my Parma-Robin Reliant did seemingly de-slot on the straights for no reason whilst leading! Overall I finished as runner-up in the Arena Mid-Summer Madness Championship with 67 points - 1 point behind 1st and 1 point ahead of 3rd. I had now finished runner-up both times I had raced in the Arena Mid-Summer Madness Championship.

I missed the defence of my Halloween Havoc Championship, which takes place on the nearest race date to Halloween, on 29 October due to Holiday.

 

Slot-Saloons 

With work taking me to the Ipswich area, on 30th August I raced at round 7 of the Slot-Saloons Foxhall Points Championship and Thunderdrome Series round 4 - my first Slot-Saloons outing at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club since 28th May 2010. Although a white grade I started from yellow grade having twice been Slot-Saloons Foxhall Points Champion (1997 and 2004). I scored 28 points in my three heats - heat 1 12 points starting with 2 non-finishes in the outside lanes before I scored my first points with a win in my third race (on the inside lane), heat 2 9 points (including another win on the inside lane) and heat 3 7 points (although it did at least start well with another win on the inside lane!). I finished as 12th highest points scorer in the heats of 21 drivers and did not qualify for the semi-finals by 2 points as 10th scored 30 points.

I was 28th (and White grade status - although retaining Yellow grade status) in the Slot-Saloons Foxhall Points Championship chart with 28 points which is where I finished.

 

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP 920 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'COMRADES' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 838 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'ST MARY'S' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH - 202 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP 

SLOTSTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 7 final wins – all at Comrades 

SLOTSTOX 'RON ELLIS MEMORIAL MEETING': 5TH

 

PARMASTOX ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 8TH - 47 points

PARMASTOX ENGLISH GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 23RD= - 6 points

PARMASTOX KING OF THE FENS (OPEN) CHAMPION

PARMASTOX ROCKINGHAM 'OPEN' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: SEMI-FINALISTS ('The Gants Hill Mob’ with Jack Branch and Chris Branch) 

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 300 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

PARMASTOX HERTFORDSHIRE 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

 

PARMA-BANGERS ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 32 POINTS

PARMA-BANGERS ARENA FIRECRACKER CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH

 

ARENA MID-SUMMER MADNESS CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP

 

SLOT-SALOONS FOXHALL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 28TH - 28 points

 

 

2014

The track brakes at 'Comrades' had been turned on ahead of the 2014 season and whilst the hand controller I was using for Slotstox meant this shouldn't affect my style of Slotstox racing, the handcontroller I was using for Parmastox meant that it would affect my style of Parmastox racing - the difference in performance of my Parmastox took a little getting used to. 

I also took a break from Slot-Racing in the middle of the year and raced less regularly (Gold Top and Open meetings only) in the final few months of the year following the arrival of twin boys towards the end of May! 

 

Slotstox 

11th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - having had a season of starting from Gold I was now starting from Red.  Heats 38 points (heat 1 20 and heat 2 18) and third highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final 1st (21 - with 2nd also scoring 21 but I had 2 race wins from the first 2 races - the first races of the regular season at the Arena Slotstox Club - compared with their no race wins whilst 3rd scored 20 courtesy of race wins in the other 4 races) to add 6 points chart points. I scored a total of 44 points chart points.  I missed Arena Points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' on 18th February due to a family funeral.  25th February - Arena points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' - heats 43 points (heat 1 19 and heat 2 24) and highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final 2nd (21 - with 3rd also scoring 21 - the same driver I tied with at round 1 also with 21 points although that was for 1st and 2nd - but I had 3 race wins compared with their no race wins - compared with 2 and 0 at round 1!) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 48 points chart points.  4th March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'Comrades' - heats 43 points for the second meeting running (heat 1 23 and heat 2 20) and third highest points scorer of eleven drivers.  Final 2nd for the second meeting running (15 - 1st also scoring 15 although they had 1 race win compared with my points coming from 5 3rd place finishes!  It was very close with 2 drivers tied for 3rd on 14 points whilst 5th scored 13 and 6th 11!  This was a seven driver final with 7th scoring 6) to add 5 points chart points. I scored a total of 48 points chart points.  

During the first points chart cycle I scored a total of 140 points and had the highest average of 46.7 points to be silver stripe for the next points cycle.  Having missed round 2 all three meetings in points cycle 1 counted to the points and I was 3rd in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 140 points but it was close at the top with 1st on 149 and 2nd on 147.  

18th March - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'St Mary's' - with green lane not working heats were over 5 races scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. rather than 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd etc. to ensure a heat maximum remained as 30 points.  Heats 48 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 27 - using my main Slotstox and not finishing lower than 2nd place in the 9 out of 10 races I finished - the 1 race I didn't finish my Slotstox fell into another drivers slot and ended up on the floor!) and highest points scorer of thirteen drivers.  Final (from grades over 6 laps) - joint 3rd with one other driver (15 and identical records of 1 win, 1 2nd and 1 3rd whilst 2nd scored 16) to add 4 points chart points.  I scored a total of 52 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Having missed Gold Top Qualifying round 1, I was 6th (which is the last qualifying position) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 52 points.  25th March - Arena points chart round 6 at 'St Mary's' with all lanes working.  Heats 16 points (heat 1 7 and heat 2 9 - using my main Slotstox in the first heat but then deciding as that was low scoring to use my spare and usual 'St Mary's' Slotstox for my second heat) and 4th highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 4th (9 same as 3rd but whereas they had a win and second, I had three third place finishes.  2nd scored 10 with 2 race wins - the first of which they were the only finisher although that doesn't tell the full story...in the first running of that race I was the only driver left running and was 'just' getting past a crash each lap..that particular driver then drove another drivers Slotstox within that crash to completely block my lane - rather than awarding me the win bizarrely a full re-run was called - if I'd have got the win and all other results had been the same I would have finished 2nd on the same points as 1st but with less race wins) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 19 points chart points.  1st April - Arena points chart round 7 at 'Comrades'.  Heats 42 points (heat 1 21 and heat 2 21) and highest points scorer of twelve drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 1st (24) to add 6 points chart points.  I scored a total of 48 points chart points.  15th April - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades'.  Heats 28 points (heat 1 10 and heat 2 18) and 5th highest points scorer of fourteen drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 4th (13 - same points as 3rd but I had no race wins compared with their 1 race win) to add 3 points chart points.  I scored a total of 31 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was 6th (which is the last qualifying position) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 83 points. 

During the second points chart cycle I scored a total of 150 points and had the 3rd highest average of 37.5 points.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I was joint top with one other driver in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 271 points and so would race from silver for the next points cycle.  

22nd April - Arena points chart round 9 at 'Comrades'.  I was planning to use my current Slotstox for the heats and then give my brand new 2014 Slotstox (built by Jim Glading, painted by Steve Rixon and set up by Mark West) in the final if I qualified.   I then noticed a snapped straight through on my current Slotstox so decided to use my new Slotstox only for this to have some teething problems and so a quick repair to my current Slotstox was required for the Heats - 49 points (heat 1 22 and heat 2 27) and highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps with my new Slotstox now up and running) - 2nd (17 - starting with two 2nd places before my new Slotstox achieved a first race win in its third race!  1st scored 18) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 54 points chart points.  29th April - Arena points chart round 10 at 'St Mary's' racing my now third but still preferred 'St Mary's' Slotstox.  Heats 29 points (heat 1 12 and heat 2 17) and 3rd highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final (from grades over 6 laps and with drivers having to leave due to time it was contested by the six that remained!) - 2nd (19) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 34 points chart points.  13th May - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Comrades' still racing my existing Slotstox as my new Slotstox was still having teething problems.  Heats 50 points (heat 1 23 and heat 2 27) and highest points scorer of eight drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 2nd (22) to add 5 points chart points.  I scored a total of 55 points chart points. 20th May - Arena points chart round 12 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Comrades' still racing my existing Slotstox as my new Slotstox was still having teething problems.  Heats 31 points (heat 1 15 and heat 2 16) and seventh highest points scorer of thirteen drivers missing out on the final by 2 points.  31 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 6th (which is the last qualifying position) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 114 points.  

During the third points chart cycle I scored a total of 174 points and had the 2nd highest average of 43.5 points.  With the highest three out of four meetings counting to the points - I was first in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 414 points and so would race from silver for the next points cycle.  

Following the arrival of twin boys, I didn't race for a while and when I did return focused for the remainder of the Arena season on the Gold Top meetings.

Note: as I prepared the Arena Slotstox points charts, these were a bit hit or miss over the remainder of the season due to the points from each meeting not always being sent through to me in a timely manner.  The points for the meeting on 8th July, which should have been the 16th round and the final round of the fourth points chart cycle, never materialised and in early 2015 this meeting was officially declared null and void as a points chart round.  Due to this interim grades were issued on two occasions during the remainder of the season.  

Having not raced during the fourth Arena Points Championship points chart cycle (rounds 13 to 16 on 27 May, 10 June, 17 June and 15 July), I was down to third in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 414 points but would remain having to race from silver for the next points cycle having been top of the points after points chart cycle 3 and then not racing during points chart cycle 4.  I was also down to 8th and out of the top 6 qualifying places for the Arena Gold Top Championship final.  

During the fifth Arena Points Championship points chart cycle I missed rounds 17 and 18 on 22 July and 29 July respectively before returning to racing on 12th August - Arena points chart round 19 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'Comrades'.  Heats - 40 points (heat 1 23 - soon got back into it after a crash in my first race when well placed for a win with 2nd in my second race before a win in my 3rd - and heat 2 17) ) and 3rd highest points scorer of fourteen drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps with my new Slotstox) - 6th (3) to add 1 points chart point.  I scored a total of 41 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was up to 7th (top six qualify) in the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 155 points.  

Also missing round 20 on 26 August meant that I only raced once during the fifth points chart cycle and my score of 41 was the 2nd highest average.  Along with being down to fourth in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 455 points - I was now red grade.  

16th September - Arena points chart round 23 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'Comrades'.  Heats - 42 points (heat 1 22 and heat 2 20 along with two other drivers) and highest points scorer of ten drivers.  Final (from grades over 8 laps) - 1st (19) to add 6 points chart point.  I scored a total of 48 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  With the driver that was sixth missing this meeting, I was up to 6th (and in the qualifying places) for the Slotstox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 203 points.

Due to missing rounds 21, 22 and 24 on 2, 9 and 30 September respectively, I only raced once during the fifth points chart cycle and my score of 48 was the highest average and so was silver for the next points cycle.  I was up to third in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 503 points.

Originally with some points still to backfill for a full points chart, grades were updated on an interim basis based on the meetings held on 26 August and 2, 9 and 16 September.  These meetings were originally the sixth points chart cycle until the meeting on 8 July was officially declared null and void as a points chart round.  Having only raced at the meeting on 16 September, my total and average of 48 points was the highest average and so I would race from silver for the next points cycle. 

21st October - 9th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'St Mary's'.  Due to the number of drivers racing Parmastox there was only time for each driver to have one Slotstox heat and therefore this meeting was not classed as a points chart round - 13 Gold Top Qualifying points.  I finished 6th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) and so qualified for the Arena Gold Top final with 216 points. 

Originally with some points still to backfill for a full points chart, grades were again updated on an interim basis based on the meetings held on 30 September and 7, 28 October.  These meetings along with the meeting on 21st October were originally the seventh points chart cycle until the meeting on 8 July was officially declared null and void as a points chart round.  With the meeting on 21st October being the only one of these I attended and this being classed as not a points chart round, I had no average for these meetings and would race from silver grade for the next points cycle.  

18th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 6th of the six drivers (having missed 3 of the 9 rounds) who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. My preferred Slotstox hand controller had stopped working a few weeks previous and had gone for repairs.  Unfortunately the person who took it wasn’t at this meeting and I thought neither was my hand controller so I used my preferred Parmastox hand controller – which wasn’t quite performing as it should (see Parmastox Gold Top report for more on that!) I managed the situation throughout the Slotstox final as best I could only to find out after it had finished that someone else had brought the handcontroller with them and I hadn’t heard them tell me where it was!  As in 2013, I started in white lane (lane 4) with drivers having two races in each lane over 10 laps all starting from the yellow grade line. I finished 3rd in each of my two races in white lane, 2nd and 1st in black lane, 4th and 3rd in green lane, two 2nd’s in blue lane, 2 wins in yellow lane and finally 3rd and 4th in red lane. At the end of the final I had finished all 12 races and scored 43 points and finished 2nd with the winner also finishing all 12 races and scoring 52 points.  It was high scoring considering that 38 points had won in each of the previous two seasons (including me in 2012!) 

With the meeting on 21st October being classed as a non-points chart round, the seventh points chart cycle eventually consisted of five meetings (7 and 28 October, 4 and 25 November and 2 December) with the best four of these counting to the points chart.  I didn't race at any these meetings and so would race from silver grade for the first points chart cycle of the 2015 season (retained from having the highest average during points chart cycle 5). 

I finished 5th in the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with a total of 503 points.  The official points chart being based on 3 out of 4 meeting cycles counting to the points chart (except the final points cycle where 4 out of 5 meetings counted).  Based on total points I was also the 5th highest points scorer (566 points from 14 points meetings out of 30 - 29 of which were points chart rounds) with the second highest season average of 40.4 points.  The total points were also used to determine informal track championship points charts for each of ‘Comrades’ and ‘St Mary’s’.  I finished 4th in the ‘Comrades’ track championship (448 from 10 of 21 meetings) with the second highest average of 44.8 points and finished 4th in the ‘St Mary’s’ track championship (118 from 4 of 9 meetings) by 1 point with joint 1st highest average with one other driver of 29.5 points.  I won three finals during the season all at ‘Comrades’.  

At the 32nd Slotstox World Championship on 7th December hosted by the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club there were 30 drivers racing - 10 representing the host club, 15 representing the Foxhall Foxes and 5 representing Arena including me and my wife Clare making her racing debut as we made this another family day out with the boys again getting their fair share of attention!  I qualified joint 10th with two other drivers from the heats with 62 points: 18 points in my first heat (2nd in lanes 4 and 5, 3rd in lanes 1 and 6), 25 points in my second heat (1st in lanes 1 and 3, 2nd in lanes 2 and 4 and 3rd in lane 6) and 19 points in my third heat (1st in lanes 1 and 3, 2nd in lane 2 and 6th in lanes 5 and 6).  With 24 drivers qualifying to the quarter-finals, Clare (racing as number 54) unfortunately finished 26th with 15 points (0 points in heat 1 using my new Slotstox which was a bit too fast and loose before borrowing a slower more stable Slotstox from a fellow driver to score 9 in heat 2 and 6 in heat 3).  I was consistent through-out my quarter-final starting with 3rd in lane 4 before 4th in lane 5, 2nd in lane 6 before a non-finish in lane 1 and 3rd in each of lanes 2 and 3.  I finished 2nd in my quarter-final with 20 points but it was close - just 1 point ahead of 3rd and 4th who required a run-off to determine the third qualifier and 3 points ahead of 5th.  My semi-final started badly with a non-finish in my first race in lane 1 before a 3rd from my second race in lane 1, 4th and 3rd in each of my two races in lane 2 was followed by two non-finishes in my two races in lane 3 which meant it would be an uphill struggle to finish in the top 3 places.  A 2nd in my first race in lane 4 renewed hope but it was soon dashed with a 5th from my second race in lane 4 and a non-finish from my first race in lane 5.  My semi-final concluded with 4th in each of my second race in lane 5 and my first race in lane 6 followed by a 6th from my second race in lane 6 and I finished 5th with 25 points to be eliminated from the Slotstox World Championship and I’d race in the B-final.  I had been hopeful of making the final as all five of my Slotstox World Championship finals had been at different venues - 1996: Foxhall Stadium, 2000 Rushmere Village Hall, 2001 Bucklesham and Foxhall Village Hall, 2006 Emneth Village Hall and 2012 Cheshunt Comrades Club – and with the 2014 event taking place at the Emneth Church Hall this would have been another different venue!  It was not to be and in the B-final I started with 4th from each of my two races in lane 3 before non-finishes in each of my races in lanes 4, 5 and 6.  2nd and 1st in lane 1 were followed by 2nd and a non-finish in lane 2.  I scored 22 points the same as the other driver representing Arena that had reached this stage (although they were actually from Wisbech and previously raced at the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club – only representing Arena as they only currently race Plastics at Arena alongside Metals at several clubs including the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club!) and we finished joint 4th.  There should have been a run-off to determine 4th and 5th but we agreed to decide the places based on best finishes – we both had one win whilst I had two 2nd’s compared with their one so I finished 4th (10th overall). 

 

Parmastox 

11th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - using the shale wing - heat 1 4th of five drivers - top 2 qualified for the final - (17) and consolation 4th of five drivers - top 2 qualified for the final - (12 - including livening things up by deliberately de-slotting my Race of Champions team mate when it became clear I wasn't going to qualify for the final!) - 4 (heat 2 + consolation 2) points chart points.  I missed Arena Points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Comrades' on 18th February due to a family funeral.  25th February - Arena points chart round 3 at 'Comrades' Club - heat 1 (shale) 1st of six drivers (20) and heat 2 (having won my 1st heat and therefore qualified for the final, I decided to give my spare Parmastox it's first run of the 2014 season and also to practice it with brakes.  Although other drivers questioned why I was racing my spare, especially when I needed to loosen the back axle before it would go anywhere - another reason to test it, I won the first two races on the inside two lanes!) 2nd of six drivers (15 - 3rd also scored 15 but I had those 2 race wins compared to their 1 race win).  Final 2nd of six drivers (23 - very close as 3rd and 4th each scored 22) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  4th March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'Comrades' Club (shale) - heat 1 3rd of five drivers (19 - 2nd scored 20 - top 2 qualifying for the final) and consolation 2nd of six drivers (40 - incredibly 3rd also scored 40 but I had 5 race wins compared to their 4 race wins whilst 1st scored 41 - knowing it was close and that only the top 2 would qualify for the final it was win or bust in my final race on the tricky inside lane which I managed to do).  Final 4th of six drivers (25 - 5th also scored 25 but I had 2 race wins compared to their 1 race win) - 9 (best heat/consolation 4 + final 5) points chart points. 

During the first 4 rounds (although I missed round 2) I was 5th highest points scorer with 25 points, the 7th highest average of 8.3 points and was down to blue grade. 

On 15th March, I raced at Metal Mania #3 at the Wellgate Slotstox Club which doubled up as the first round of five (the others being at Pinewood, Rockingham (new addition), Arena and Wisbech) in the 2014 Parmastox British Championship (the new name for the series in 2013 titled the Parmastox English Championship) with a record 46 drivers in attendance from all the above clubs plus the MSRA. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four-lane track) over 8 laps and the meeting featured marshalling to Wellgate rules. The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best eleven drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals. The remaining drivers would then race in seven consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals. Heat 1 (tarmac to start with and then after the wing became detached I realised that my Parmastox handled better with no wing so I continued that way!) 2nd of five drivers (23 - 1st scored 25 and 3rd 21) and heat 2 (shale) 5th of five drivers (10 - shale to start with and then when I realised that this stopped my Parmastox from rolling back onto its wheels and therefore being marshalled under the Wellgate rules I again decided to race with no wing but it was too late at that stage!).  As this was not enough to qualify directly for the semi-finals - consolation (no wing) 1st of five drivers (28 - including six wins in my eight races - all 4 on the inside 2 lanes plus the 2 races in the outside lane) to qualify for the semi-finals.  Semi-final (no wing) 4th of six drivers in one of three semi-finals top two from each qualifying for the final (19) for 10 points (originally 9 before a re-work of the points system) towards the 2014 Parmastox British Championship - and was joint 11th with two other drivers.  Having scored 5 points at the Wellgate round in 2013 I was happy to be 5 points better off in 2014 on a track that I've never really relished racing on!  At the end of the main meeting those drivers that didn't qualify for the event final could race in a series of four Grand Nationals - in my Grand National I finished 3rd of six drivers (21) and scored 4 points towards the 2014 Parmastox British Grand National Championship series to be joint 9th with the four other drivers that had finished 3rd in a Grand National. 

18th March - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'St Mary's' with green lane not working and heats consisting of 1 race per 5 lanes - heat 1 (tarmac) - 1st of five drivers (19), heat 2 (spare) - 2nd of four drivers (10 - 2 wins) and final - 2 races per 5 lanes - (tarmac) 4th of six drivers (18) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  25th March - Arena points chart round 6 at 'St Mary's' with all lanes working and heats and final over 1 race per lane - heat (tarmac) - 1st of five drivers (22) and final - 1st of six drivers (19) - maximum 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  1st April - Arena points chart round 7 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat - 1st of six drivers (25) and final - 1st of six drivers (40) - maximum 13 (heat 5 + final 8) points chart points for the second meeting in a row.  Combined with being top scorer and final winner in Slotstox this was a successful evening's racing!  15th April - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Comrades' heat - with the winner qualifying direct to the final (shale) - 2nd of five drivers (31), consolation (1 of 2 each 1 race per lane with each winner and best runner-up qualifying for the final (shale) - 1st of six drivers (15 - 3 wins in a low scoring consolation as 2nd scored 4 from one 2nd place finish and the other 4 drivers each scored 0!) and final - (spare having broken the chassis on my main Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (37 - despite scoring 0 points in my first four races in the outside two lanes - and mainly due to a run of six wins in a row later in the final) - maximum 13 (consolation 5 + final 8) points chart (for the third meeting in a row having made the most of my blue grade during this grading cycle!) and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Having missed Gold Top Qualifying round 1, I was 5th (top 6 qualify) in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 23 points. 

During the 5th to 8th rounds I was highest points scorer with 49 points, 2nd highest average of 12.3 points and was up to red grade.  Following 8 rounds (I'd attended 7) I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 74 points (1 point ahead of 3rd) with the 2nd highest season average of 10.6 points. 

On 18th April (Good Friday) I raced for the first time at the Three Counties Oval Slot Club (formerly Rockingham Slotstox Club who after a disagreement with their previous location had moved to the Northampton International Raceway - a Slotstox club based once more at a Stock Car stadium!) in their 'Racin for eggs' meeting.  The meeting was attended by 18 drivers many of which had attended the Good Friday 'real' Stock Car meeting at the track that afternoon.  I raced with a mixture of Tarmac and no wing - heats 50 points (heat 1 26 and heat 2 24) and finished joint 6th highest scorer with one other driver as the top 8 qualified direct to the semi-finals.  In my semi-final I finished 5th and outside the top 3 final qualifying places with 13 points having been targeted by a host club driver a few times...although I did show them twice that it's possible to de-slot their Parmastox without de-slotting my Parmastox!  That's not all...my dad borrowed my spare Parmastox to race Parmastox for the first time (his first Slot-Racing action since the victorious Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club Open Team meeting in 2005!) and achieved exactly the same result - 5th in his semi-final with 13 points although in slightly different style - 18th and last scorer in the heats before 2nd in his consolation to qualify for the semi-finals!  We both won a Cadbury Creme Egg!  

22nd April - Arena points chart round 9 at 'Comrades' heat (shale) - with 1st and 2nd qualifying direct to the final - 1st of five drivers (39) and final - 2nd of six drivers bringing to an end my run of final wins (28 - 3rd scored 27 and 4th 26) - 12 (heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  29th April - Arena points chart round 10 at 'St Mary's' (spare) - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (25), heat 2 1st of four drivers (33) and with all four heat winners qualifying for the final - 1st of four drivers (29) - maximum (for the fourth meeting out of five) 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  13th May - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat with 1st and 2nd qualifying direct to the final - 2nd of four drivers (35) and final - 2nd of six drivers (28 - 1st scored 30) - 11 (heat 4 + final 7) points chart points.  20th May - Arena points chart round 12 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat with the top 3 qualifying direct to the final - 1st of seven drivers (32 - 2nd 30) and final - 2nd of six drivers (28 - with two other drivers joint 3rd also with 28 points and identical results although I had 1 race win whilst they both had none) - 12 (heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint 3rd with one other driver (top 6 qualify) in the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 35 points.

During the 9th to 12th rounds I was highest points scorer with 48 points, joint highest average of 12.0 points with one other driver and remained red grade.  Following 12 rounds (I'd attended 11) I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 122 points (2 point behind 1st) with the 2nd highest season average of 11.1 points.

Following the arrival of twin boys, I didn't race during the 13th to 16th Arena points rounds so retained red grade and remained 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart (122 points) and still with the 2nd highest season average (11.1 points).  I missed round 5 of the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying on 17th June and was down to 5th in the points (top 6 qualify) with 35 points.  

I also missed round 2 of the the 2014 Parmastox British Championship at Pinewood on 31st May and was outside the top 20 in the points chart.  I also missed round 3 at the Three Counties Oval Slot Club on 28th June.  

In addition, I missed round 6 of the Parmastox Arena Gold Top Qualifying on 15th July and remained 5th in the points (top 6 qualify) with 35 points but only 1 point above 6th, 2 points above 7th and 3 points above 8th.

My position in the Parmastox Gold Top Qualifying prompted a return to racing on 12th August - Arena points chart round 20 and Gold Top Qualifying round 7 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat 1 2nd of seven drivers (32) and heat 2 - one race per lane due to time - 2nd of seven drivers (20 - 1st scored 21).  Two 2nd's was good enough to qualify for the final - one race per lane due to time - 3rd of six drivers (11) - 10 (heat 4 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 5th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) with 45 points, 2 point ahead of 6th and 3 points ahead of 7th.  

During July/August I raced at only 1 of 5 rounds and was 13th highest points scorer with 10 points, joint 4th highest average of 10.0 points with one other driver and remained red grade.  I was down to 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 132 points with the 2nd highest season average of 11.0 points.  

16th September - Arena points chart round 24 and Gold Top Qualifying round 8 at 'Comrades' (shale) - heat 1 1st of seven drivers (38) and heat 2 - planned to race my spare Parmastox as a heat win was enough to qualify for the final only to find a detached engine wire (at least I found out when I didn't need to use it!) - 2nd of seven drivers (26).  Final - 3rd of six drivers (33 - close as 1st scored 36, 2nd 35 and 4th 30) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was up to 4th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) with 56 points needing only 1 point to guarantee qualification. 

During September I raced at only 1 of 4 rounds and was 9th highest points scorer with 11 points, 3rd highest average of 11.0 points and remained red grade.  I was down to 5th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 143 points with the joint highest season average of 11.0 points.  

On 4th October, I raced at the Hertfordshire ‘Open’ Championship, hosted by Arena at 'Comrades' - which doubled up as the fourth round (of five) in the 2014 Parmastox British Championship with 28 drivers in attendance.  We made this a family day out and so the first Slot-Racing meeting attended by our new twin boys - they got a fair amount of attention!  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane over 8 laps and racing with the shale wing.  The finishing positions in the qualifying heats decided the best eight drivers that would qualify directly to the semi-finals. The remaining 20 would race in four consolations with the winner of each also qualifying for the semi-finals. Heat 1 1st of five drivers (36) and heat 2 1st of six drivers (37).  This was enough to qualify directly to the semi-finals as one of only two drivers to win both heats with the top 3 in each qualifying to the final.  Semi-final 4th of six drivers in one of two sem-finals top three from each qualifying for the final (22 - my Parmastox had been having braid issues throughout the meeting but I was reluctant to change them due to it going so well...eventually performance became affected and I switched to my spare Parmastox braids during the semi-final - in hindsight I probably should have done this sooner but with helping to look after the boys thoughts of maintenance hadn't been prominent before it was too late!) for joint 7th in the meeting and 12 2014 Parmastox British Championship points - my total of 22 meant that I was joint 20th with one other driver in the overall series points (not too bad considering I missed rounds 2 and 3!)  I chose not to race in the Grand Nationals so that we could get the boys home.  

21st October - Arena points chart round 27 and 9th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'St Mary's' (spare and not taking it too seriously due to only needing to race to guarantee a top 6 place and qualification for the Gold Top final) - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (14 - same points as 3rd but I had 2 wins compared to their none) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (16 - 3rd scored 15).  My two second places were good enough to qualify for the final - 4th of six drivers (11) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I remained 4th in the Gold Top Qualifying points (top 6 qualify) and so qualified for the Arena Gold Top final with 65 points.  

On 1st November, I raced at the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club to defend the King of the Fens (Open) Championship which doubled up as the fifth and final double points round in the 2014 Parmastox British Championship with 37 drivers in attendance.  As for round four hosted by Arena, we made this a family day out and again our twin boys got a fair amount of attention!  The heats and semi-finals were two races per lane over 8 laps and any driver that won a heat would qualify directly to the semi-finals. Racing my Parmastox with the shale wing (the combination that I won with in 2013); I struggled in practice but not as much as in 2013 so this didn’t concern me too greatly.  Heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (53) to qualify directly to the semi-finals and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (39).  Over the fourteen heats there had been thirteen separate heat winners (including me) who each qualified directly to the semi-finals.  Those drivers were joined in the semi-finals by five drivers from four consolations - the winner of each plus the best runner-up.  This formed two eight driver semi-finals with the top 3 in each qualifying to the final – in mine 1st (57 – winning by 20 points) and I had qualified once again for the King of the Fens (Open) Championship final.  Final (two races per lane over 10 laps and all drivers starting from the start line) 5th of six drivers (31 – 4th scored 32).  5th in the final scored 14 points – doubled to 28 - towards the 2014 Parmastox British Championship series and I finished 8th of the 69 (up from 51 in 2013) that had raced in the series with 50 points.  Despite only racing at 3 of the 5 rounds, I matched my 8th place finish (with 47 points) from the 2013 Parmastox English Championship Series although that was in rather different circumstances having been 2nd overall prior to the 4th and final double points round at Pinewood Raceway which I missed due to my mother-in-laws 60th birthday!  Having qualified for the event final at this round I did not race in the Grand Nationals and with only 4 points from 2nd in my Grand National at round 1 (Wellgate on 15th March) I finished joint 31st with six other drivers – 47 (up from 44 in 2013) drivers scored Grand National points during the series.  

19th November - at 'Comrades' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 4th of the six drivers (having missed 3 of the 9 rounds) who drew their starting lane in qualifying order.  Using the shale wing, as for the Slotstox final I started in the white lane (lane 4) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the yellow grade line.  It was immediately clear that something wasn’t right as I was really struggling to keep my Parmastox under control and in the lane and finished neither race in white lane – frustrating considering it had gone so well at my previous meeting - the Wisbech hosted King of the Fens meeting!  I scored only 5 points and finished 6th of the 6 drivers – my only points (and finishes) as follows – 1 point from my first race in black lane (lane 5), 1 point from my first race in green lane (lane 6), 2 points for 4th in my first race in yellow lane (lane 2) and 1 point from 5th in my first race in red lane (lane 3).  Unfortunately crashing in the last race - my second race in red lane - resulted in another driver being stopped and if they had finished that race they would have won the championship rather than losing out on fewer race wins.  

Having not qualified for the meeting final from the Gold Top final, I raced in a consolation heat with 1st and 2nd qualifying.  I again struggled and finished 6th of the seven drivers (15 – same as 5th but they had 3 wins to my 1 whilst 3rd and 4th each scored 17).  During the consolation it became clear that the problem was with my hand controller and I then remembered that I’d had minor problems at the end of the King of the Fens meeting but with everything else I’d not looked properly.  On closer inspection by a fellow driver it was noticed that one of the wires around the resistor had snapped!  I scored 2 (Gold top final 1 + consolation 1) points chart points.

During October and November I raced at only 2 of 6 rounds and was 13th highest points scorer with 11 points and 11th highest average of 5.5 points. 

I finished 6th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship chart with 154 points after racing at 15 of the 31 rounds.  I remained red grade due to having the third highest season average of 10.3 points.  I won four finals during the season - two at ‘Comrades’ and two at 'St Mary's'. 

 

Slot-Classic Hot Rods 

For the 2014 season Arena Slotstox Club ran a Classic Hot Rod formula based on those raced at the Rockingham Slotstox Club being scalextric cars from a defined list of cars befitting of what would qualify as a Classic Hot Rod style.  I raced them for the first time at the multi-formula Race of Champions pairs event at the start of the 2014 season. 

11th March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Comades' on the four lane track - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (22) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (13).  With only heat winners qualifying for the final I didn't qualify - 4 (best heat) Classic Hot Rod points chart points.  

 

Parma-Minis 

11th March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Comades' on the four lane track - heat 2nd of four drivers (17) - 4 Parma-Mini points chart points. 

 

Multi-formula 

The 2014 season started on 1 February with a Race of Champions pairs fun event - combined with a meeting of representatives from each participating club to discuss the 2014 Parmastox British (renamed from the 2013 English) Championship Series.  The draw paired me with Wellgate and former Arena Multi-Champion 13 Ken Holmes.  There were 11 teams and each would race in six heats against six of those 11 teams in a mixture of Slot-Cars: Classic Hot Rods, Parmastox and Go-Karts - the places to be decided by cumulative scores.  First up were Classic Hot Rods on the four lane track with, for fairness, a set Classic Hot Rod allocated to each lane.  This was the first time I'd raced Classic Hot Rods being scalextric cars from a defined list of cars befitting of what would qualify as a Classic Hot Rod style and Ken (3) and I (8) scored 11 points to our opponents 7.  Our second Classic Hot Rods heat was delayed due to a driver arriving late so next up was our first heat of Parmastox on the six lane track - racing our own Parmastox and using Red lane outwards - Ken (13) and I (11) scored 24 to our opponents 12.  In our second Classic Hot Rods heat Ken (2) and I (6) scored 8 to our opponents 17.  In our second Parmastox heat Ken (11) and I (5) scored 16 to our opponents 14 which included a Wisbech driver getting some revenge on me for their teams 0 score against my team at the 2013 season ending Rockingham Parmastox team event!  To finish were two heats of Go-Karts on the four lane track with, for fairness, a set Go-Kart allocated to each lane.  In our first heat Ken (5) and I (7) scored 12 to our opponents 13 and in our second heat Ken (4) and I (7) scored 11 to our opponents 8.  Overall we scored 82 points and finished 4th.  

 

Other 

On 3rd July, I attended the Summer Party of the International Underwriting Association (IUA) entitled 'Whacky races' - the biggest draw for me being that there was going to be a scalextric competition!  Having not raced since the end of May this was too good to miss so twins bed time help was arranged with the Mother-in-law and off we went.  Knowing that I would have to leave early (night feeding duties), I arrived for the start of the party and watched patiently as the scalextric - organised by Giant Scalextric Hire - was set up with a set car in each of the four lanes.  I took the earliest opportunity to practice all lanes and conscious of my time deadline I asked one of the two organisers for the format - the fastest driver to do 10 laps - so I immediately asked if I could have a go?  Yes came the reply so 1st go of anybody - racing the blue lane/blue car with just me on track I set a time of approx. 51 seconds – to which one of the organisers said that would probably win…result!  I followed this up with a few more races with others on track but I was either delayed or on one go I stopped just before the line on the 10th lap so didn’t  cut the power and record a time … schoolboy error!  I then chatted with the organisers and mentioned that I raced and discovered that they race at clubs in Watford and Hillingdon…I think the idea was meant to be network with other party attendees rather than the scalextric organisers!  Anyway, one of the organisers then challenged me to see how quick I could really go and this time I used the green lane/green car whilst they used the blue lane/blue car and although I marginally lost (acceptable due to comparative track experience)…I used chasing him around for 10 laps to help me record a time of approx. 46 seconds!  The last go before I left I challenged the other organiser – we both crashed early on so with the time irrelevant it was a straight race almost side by side until he crashed with just over a lap to go and I cruised around the last lap to win!  I found out the following Monday from the IUA that my time remained the quickest and I'd won.  I collected my prize - a bottle of champagne - although a little disappointed as I'd understood it to be a trophy! 

 

SLOTSTOX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: B-FINAL 4TH (10th overall)

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH 503 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'COMRADES' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH - 448 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'ST MARY'S' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH - 118 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP

SLOTSTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 3 final wins – all at Comrades

 

PARMASTOX BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 8TH - 50 points

PARMASTOX KING OF THE FENS (OPEN) CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH - 154 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 6TH

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 3 final wins – 2 at Comrades and 2 at St Mary's

 

THE INTERNATIONAL UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION (IUA) SUMMER PARTY CHAMPION

 

RACE OF CHAMPIONS 'OPEN': 4TH ('Gumbies' with Ken Holmes)

 

2015

The closure of the Comrades Club in Cheshunt early in the season, followed by a short lived move to the Goff's Oak Comrades Club, meant that for much of the first half of the season all Arena Slotstox Club meetings were based at St Mary's Church House, Cheshunt on the track at this venue. In between the moves the tracks from the Comrades venues were stored in our garage!  A main venue move to the Waltham Abbey Community Centre meant that Arena Slotstox Club meetings switched from Tuesday evenings to Wednesday evenings with the first meeting of each month being based at St Mary's initially on a Wednesday before a switch back to Tuesday for that venue.



Slotstox 

A change of format for the 2015 season with fewer planned Slotstox rounds (11) and all counting to the points chart.  Grade averages would work over a three meeting rotation.  Final bonus points were also changed to 10 for 1st, 8 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd and then 3, 2, 1 for 4th, 5th and 6th. 

10th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club racing on the four-lane track.  I started the season as silver grade having had the highest average during points chart cycle 5 in 2014 and then not racing at a points chart round during cycles 6 and 7.  With the four-lane track in use races were scored 5 for 1st down to 2 for 4th with heat points then being multiplied by 1.5 to give a maximum heat score of 30 (as per the six-lane track).  Drivers also raced in 3 heats with the best 2 counting towards the points chart.  Heats 30 points (best 2 of 3 heats - heat 1 13, heat 2 20 and dropped heat 3 12) and second highest points scorer of nine drivers.  Final, giving my new Slotstox a run, 1st (19) to add 10 points chart points to my heat score multiplied by 1.5 (45) - a total of 55 points chart points and I was the early points chart leader after round 1.  Having won the final I qualified for the Grand National starting one lap down against the three drivers that didn’t qualify for the final who all started from the white grade line.  Even so and still using my new Slotstox, I managed to win all four races to score a maximum 20 heat points and 6 Arena Grand National Points Chart points.  The original round 2 due to take place on 10th March was replaced by a visit for members to check the Goff's Oak Comrades Club.  7th April - Arena points chart round 2 at the new 'Comrades' racing on the six-lane track. Heats 43 points (heat 1 18 and heat 2 25) and highest points scorer of eleven drivers.  Final - 3rd (19 just 2 points behind 1st and same points as 2nd but they had 3 race wins compared with my none) to add 6 points chart points - a total of 49 points chart points.  5th May - Arena points chart round 3 at 'St Mary's' racing my third and preferred St Mary's Slotstox. Heats 39 points (heat 1 13 and heat 2 26) and highest points scorer of ten drivers. Final - 2nd (13 just 2 points behind 1st) to add 8 points chart points - a total of 47 points chart points.

After the first 3 rounds I was top of the Arena Slotstox Points Championship with 151 points and therefore would remain as silver grade.  I had the second highest average of 50.3 points and was top of the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship points chart with 6 points. 

2nd June - Arena points chart round 4 at 'St Mary's' racing my third and preferred St Mary's Slotstox. Heats 34 points (heat 1 10 and heat 2 24) and second highest points scorer of eleven drivers. Final with all drivers starting from the yellow grade line over 8 laps - 6th (2 - having a bit of fun with another driver having knocked their Slotstox over the fence in race 1 as 'revenge' for not getting a mention during a radio interview they recently gave!) to add 1 points chart point - a total of 35 points chart points.  1st July - Arena points chart round 5 at 'St Mary's' racing my third and preferred St Mary's Slotstox.  Due to numbers racing, each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 counting towards the points chart. Heats 25 points (best 2 of 3 heats - heat 1 14, heat 2 11 and dropped heat 3 6) and fifth highest points scorer of eight drivers. Final 6th trying a different inside rear tyre that didn't have the desired effect (2 - with one 4th place finish in the final race whilst 5th scored 3 and 4th 4!) to add 1 points chart point - a total of 26 points chart points.  A main venue move to the Waltham Abbey Community Centre ('WACC') meant that Arena Slotstox Club meetings switched from Tuesday evenings to Wednesday evenings with the first meeting of each month being at 'St Mary's' and whatever fixture fell on those dates.  29th July - Arena points chart round 6 'WACC' on the six lane track - heats 43 points (heat 1 20, heat 2 23) and highest points scorer of twelve drivers. Final over 10 laps with all drivers starting from yellow grade - 1st (24) to add 10 points chart points - a total of 53 points chart points.

During rounds 4 to 6 of the Arena Slotstox Points Championship I was the second highest points scorer with 114 and the 4th highest average of 38 points.  I remained top of Arena Slotstox Points Championship with 265 points and therefore would remain as silver grade. I had the third highest season average of 44.2 points.  Having not raced in a Grand National during rounds 4 to 6, I was down to joint 3rd with one other driver in the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship points chart with 6 points. 

26th August - Arena points chart round 7 at 'WACC'.  Each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 counting towards the points chart. Heats 41 points (best 2 of 3 heats - heat 2 18, heat 3 23 and dropped heat 1 13) and fourth highest points scorer of eleven drivers. Final 2nd (17) to add 8 points chart points - a total of 49 points chart points.  23rd September - Arena points chart round 8 at 'WACC'. Each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 counting towards the points chart. Heats 55 points (best 2 of 3 heats - heat 2 28, heat 3 27 and dropped heat 1 15) and joint first highest points scorer with one other driver of twelve drivers although the other driver was given first based on highest heat score - a heat maximum 30 in their second heat.  This driver well known for their win or bust style won 3 races in their first heat and crashed in 3, won all 6 in their second heat and won the first 3 of their third heat before in race 4 of the third heat I beat them into second place...to much amusement!  Following this, they crossed the line 1st in race 5 but went over the stop line eventually finishing 4th and enabling me to finish 1st and again finished 2nd in race 5 which I also won.  Final 2nd (19) to add 8 points chart points - a total of 63 points chart points.  The original Arena points chart round 9 planned for 21 October was replaced by a track maintenance evening on the main six lane track ahead of the forthcoming hosting of the Parmastox British Championship round 5 and the Slotstox World Championship.  18 November - 9th and final Arena points chart round at 'WACC'. Each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 counting towards the points chart and mostly racing my new Slotstox (save for a couple of races when I used my current Slotstox due to a wire issue on my new Slotstox). Heats 35 points (best 2 of 3 heats - heat 1 20, heat 3 16 and dropped heat 1 12) and joint fourth highest points scorer with one other driver of ten drivers although the other driver was given first based on highest heat score - 20 in their second heat.  Final 2nd (22) to add 8 points chart points - a total of 43 points chart points.  The top three in the final also raced a lap down in the Grand National - 1st (21) to add 6 Arena Grand National points chart points.

During rounds 7 to 9 of the Arena Slotstox Points Championship I was the second highest points scorer with 155 and the 3rd highest average of 51.7 points. 

I won the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 420 points with the second highest season average of 46.7 points and would hold the Silver Roof for the 2016 season. Having attended all rounds, in the informal track championship points charts for each of ‘Comrades/WACC’, ‘St Mary’s’ and 'Brentwood Show', I finished 2nd in the ‘Comrades/WACC’ track championship (257 from 5 meetings) by 1 point with the second highest average of 51.4 points, 2nd in the ‘St Mary’s’ track championship (108 from 3 meetings) with the joint third highest average with two other drivers of 36.0 points and was the 'Brentwood Show' track champion (55 from 1 meeting).  I won two finals during the season - the first round on the 'Brentwood Show' track and one on the six-lane track at 'WACC'.  I only raced in two Grand Nationals during the season at the first round and the 9th and last round... and won both!  I finished joint 4th with one other driver in the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship points chart with 12 points. 

9th December - at 'WACC' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. The qualifiers were based on the 2015 seasons points chart with the top five drivers automatically qualifying and the next six (although this ended up being four drivers) taking part in a last chance qualifier. Having won the points, I qualified 1st for the final and drew white lane (lane 4) - the same starting lane as for both 2013 and 2014 with drivers having two races per lane over 8 laps. As part of the ongoing track maintenance the jack plugs for my preferred Slotstox hand controller had not been fitted as yet and I had to borrow a Parmastox handcontroller as mine was still not working correctly following the Hertfordshire Open - later diagnosed as one of the wires around the resistor had snapped - the same problem that occurred at the end of 2014! Racing my new Slotstox to see how it would go before World Championship, I recorded a non-finish and 5th in white lane, 2nd and 1st in black lane (lane 5), a non-finish and 3rd in green lane (lane 6), two 3rd's in each of blue lane (lane 1) and yellow lane (lane 2) and 2nd and 3rd in red lane (lane 3). At the end of the final I scored 31 points and finished 3rd. 

There then followed a fun team heat made of two teams of four based on Gold Top (and last chance qualifier) finishing positions. Finishing positions in the heat determined the winners and I finished 5th as my team of Christopher Isham, Ritchie Russell and Barbara Skee lost 20-16.

At the 33rd Slotstox World Championship on 13th December at ‘WACC’ - the second to be hosted by the Arena Slotstox Club after 2012 although this time at a new member with 2012 being at the Cheshunt ‘Comrades’. Starting from Silver grade and racing my new not fully tested Slotstox, which was a bit of gamble, it looked a good choice as I qualified 3rd of 30 drivers from the heats with 66 points (the same as I scored in the heats when I won the World Championship in 2001 although on that occasion it was good enough for top points scorer!): 11 points in my first heat (1st in lane 5, 2nd in lane 1, 4th in lane 3 and non-finishes in each of lanes 2, 3 and 6), 28 points in my second heat (1st in lanes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 only missing out on a win in lane 5 with 3rd) and 27 points in my third heat when I already knew I’d more than likely done enough to qualify (1st in lanes 1, 3, 4 and 5, 2nd in lane 6 and 3rd in lane 2). The 24th highest point’s scorer in the heats scored 22 so my points in each of heats 2 and 3 would have been sufficient to qualify on their own! I was consistent through-out my quarter-final starting with 3rd in lane 2 before 1st in lane 3, 2nd in lane 4, 1st in lane 5, a non-finish in lane 6 and 3rd in each of lane 1. I finished 1st in my quarter-final with 20 points to qualify for the semi-finals. I was less consistent through-out my semi-final starting with a 2nd and 5th in each of my two races in lane 5, 4th and a non-finish in each of my two races in lane 6, 2nd and 3rd in each of my two races in lane 1, 5th and a non-finish in each of my two races in lane 2, 4th a non-finish in each of my two races in lane 3 and 2nd and a non-finish in each of my two races in lane 4. The non-finishes proved crucial as I finished 4th in my quarter-final with 21 points and 5 points behind 3rd and the final qualifying place for the final. In the B-final I started with 2nd and 3rd in each of my two races in lane 2, a non-finish and 2nd in each of my races in lane 3, 2nd and 1st (my only win in the final) in each of my two races in lane 4, 3rd in each of my races in lane 5, non-finishes in each of my races in each of my two races in lane 6 and 2nd and 3rd in each of my two races in lane 1. Overall I finished as runner-up (8th overall) with 33 points.



Parmastox

The 2015 Arena season started with a track preparation / practice / non-points chart meeting on 21st January at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club.  In the non-points racing - using the shale wing and borrowing a handcontroller more suitable for Parmastox whilst mine's away being fixed - heat 1 1st of six drivers (40) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (24).  The final was all in for the eight drivers who stayed and one race per lane - 7th (4) using my handcontroller more suitable for Slotstox (the handcontroller I'd borrowed belonged to a driver that had left early). 

My competitive racing season started on 24 January with an Open individual event and an Open team event at the Arena Comrades Club - combined with a meeting of representatives from each participating club to discuss the 2015 Parmastox British Championship Series.  The Open individual event of 14 drivers coincided with the meeting of representatives and using my tarmac wing I won my heat of seven drivers with 51 points (heats scored 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc.).  I qualified straight to the final of six drivers (scored 5 for 1st, 4 for 2nd and then 3,2,1,1) in which I finished 4th with 18 points (3rd scored 19).  My wife Clare made her Parmastox debut - racing as number 54 as she had at the 2014 Slotstox World Championship - using my spare Parmastox and in her heat finished 7th of seven drivers (6 points - same as 6th but they had one win to Clare's none).  In her consolation Clare finished 5th of 5 drivers (7 - scored 5,4,3,2,1,1). 

The team event featured 23 drivers in 7 teams of 3 plus a team of 2 (although a racer that attended the meeting of representatives and needed to leave early did race with the 2 for their first two heats...thankfully not the third though...)  Clare (continuing to use my spare) and I (tarmac) teamed up with Arena white grade driver Colin Woollaston and on paper with a debut driver and a white grade driver were probably the 8th favourites out of the 8 teams!  The 8 teams were split into two groups of four and each team would race against each other in their group -  1 point for a win and 1/2 for a draw - with the top 2 teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals.  Each heat consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes.  In the first heat against a team consisting of three racers from the Three Counties Club (previously Rockingham) Clare raced in the two inside lanes (2 points); I raced in the two middle lanes (20) and Colin in the two outside lanes (7) as we lost 37-29.  For our next heat (and for the rest of the meeting) Colin raced in the two inside lanes and Clare the outside lanes - I scored 21, Clare 13 and although Colin scored 0 he managed to stop our opposing teams star driver (reigning British Champion) in two races - most significantly the final race as we overturned a 26-28 deficit to edge a close contest 34-32.  Our third and final heat was against the team of 2 who had won both their heats (with the additional driver stepping in) and with our second opponents (who we'd beaten) beating our first opponents (who'd beaten us) I noticed that our final opponents had already qualified for the semi-finals. I suggested that they might want us win our match and qualify for the semi-finals (and their potential finalists) rather than the other two teams in our group!  This suggestion worked and with a little help from our opponents I scored 20 (winning the first four races before complacency set in), Clare 7 and Colin 4 as we won 31-0 to qualify for the semi-finals with 2 wins and not only that we won the group on raw points!   In our semi-final we raced against the runners-up from the other group - a team of three drivers from the Pinewood Club which was nip and tuck stuff.  I used all my know how to race and de-slot opponents as I scored 19 points which along with Clare 15 and Colin 0 saw us win by 1 point 34-33 and against the odds qualify for the final!  In the final I was targeted and couldn't affect the races as I would have liked as I only scored 8 points which along with Clare 14 and Colin 1 was not enough as we lost 50-23 to a team of 3 fellow Arena drivers.  A disappointing end but overall a fantastic achievement to finish 2nd as 8th favourites!

17th February - Arena points chart round 1 at the Arena Slotstox 'Comrades' Club - using the tarmac wing - heat 1 1st of five drivers (36) and heat 2 5th of seven drivers (10 - only finishing two of the twelve races but winning both).  My heat win ensured I qualified for the final - 3rd of seven drivers (24) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.  3rd March - Arena points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'St Mary's' (the first meeting to be moved following the closure of the Cheshunt 'Comrades' venue) - heat 1 (tarmac to start with until the wing fell off during one of the early races and so I continued without) - 4th of four drivers (17) and heat 2 (spare which seemed more suited to the 'St Mary's' track) - 3rd of four drivers (19).  My places were not sufficient to qualify for the final and so I raced in the Grand National (spare) - 2nd of of six drivers (officially 16 and unofficially 21 as a race was called as no finishers even though I was still moving and did eventually move a de-slotted Parmastox to be the only finisher and race winner - either way, no change to Grand National finishing position) - 5 (heats 2+3) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points plus 4 Arena Grand National points. 

On 14th March, I raced at Metal Mania #4 at the Wellgate Slotstox Club which doubled up as the first round of five (the others being at Wisbech, Pinewood, Three Counties and Arena) in the 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 41 drivers in attendance from all the above clubs plus the MSRA. When not racing, I spent most of the meeting sitting down as I was running my first Half Marathon – the North London through Wembley Stadium - the following day!  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four-lane track) over 8 laps and in a change to previous years (and to be consistent with the other British Championship Series rounds) the meeting was run to non-marshalling rules. Each driver would have three heats at each round and score points based on their finishing positions in each – 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 7, 4th 5, 5th 3 and 6th 1 – the highest points scoring twelve drivers would then qualify to the semi-finals.  Racing with my shale wing - heat 1 3rd (7 points) of six drivers (19 – 3 wins, 4th also scored 19 with 2 wins whilst 2nd scored 20 and 5th 19 and no wins – all very close!), heat 2 1st (12) of six drivers (33 – with a Wellgate driver set for the win until crashing in their final two races) and heat 3 2nd (10) of six drivers (24).  My heat points score of 29 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals.  Semi-final – top three qualifying for the final - 3rd of six drivers (19 – beating 4th by 2 points) to qualify for my first Metal Mania final.  The significance of beating 4th by 2 points is that this driver was the Wellgate Silver roof who up to this point was looking the favourite.  It doesn’t end there in that they’d already de-slotted in one race having clipped my defensive back bumper before in the penultimate race, when I was in the inside lane, they de-slotted my Parmastox with a front bumper hit.  Thinking that my chances were gone, in the final race again when I was in the inside lane, I set about revenge letting this driver go past at the start before launching a big front bumper attack from way back on the narrow lanes part of the track.  I connected perfectly sending their Parmastox fence bound, staying in lane and going on to win the race!  It was only after the race that I found out this driver hadn’t scored as well as I thought and that this move had proved decisive.  Final 4th of six drivers (19 – 1 win and 2 2nd’s, 3rd and 5th also scored 19 – 2nd with 2 wins and 5th with 1 win and 1 2nd whilst 6th scored 18 – like my first heat all very close!)  It could have been better as I led several races before de-slotting a few times in an all-out effort but with this meeting not proving my best in previous years, 4th was a good result on the basis that I’d really only gone for British Championship Series attendance points (5)!  Unfortunately there were only trophies for the top 3.  4th equated to 16 British Championship Series points plus (new for 2015) the top 3 in each heat would also score points to the Series – 1st 3, 2nd 2 and 3rd 1. My heat results of 2nd (2), 1st (3) and 2nd (2) added a further 6 points and after this round I was 5th in 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 22 points. 

17th March - Arena points chart round 3 at 'St Mary's' racing my Spare Parmastox - heat 1 - joint 3rd with one other driver of five drivers (4 and identical records - one 2nd place finish although my Parmastox did finish in its lane for several races just stuck behind or hooked up with de-slotted Parmastox!) and heat 2 - 4th of five drivers (16 - again not having much good fortune along the way...).  My places were not sufficient to qualify for the final and so I raced in the Grand National - 2nd of of four drivers (26) - 5 (heats 3+2) points chart points plus 4 Arena Grand National points.

During the first 3 rounds I was joint 4th highest points scorer with two other drivers on 21 points, the joint 7th highest average with the same two other drivers of 7.0 points and was down to blue grade. I was joint 9th with two other drivers in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 5 points and was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 8 points. 

31st March - Arena points chart round 4 at the Arena Slotstox Club's new 'Comades' venue in Goff's Oak racing my main Parmastox with Shale wing and undertaking a bit of work on the braid set up.  Heat 1 - 1st of six drivers drivers (38) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (32).  I qualified first for the final and conscious not to win a heat and final double to be upgraded ahead of the British Championship Series round at Wisbech finished 2nd of six drivers (35) - 12 (best heat 5 + Final 7) points chart points. 

On 11th April, I raced at the 2015 Kings of the Fens Championship at the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club which doubled up as the second round in the 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 34 drivers in attendance.  We made this a family day out and again our twin boys got a fair amount of attention!  My Parmastox required a bit of attention before the meeting with the rear bumper riding too high but it eventually passed scruitineering at the third attempt!  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (six-lane track) over 8 laps. As for round 1 at Wellgate, each driver would have three heats and score points based on their finishing positions in each – 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 7, 4th 5, 5th 3 and 6th 1 – the highest points scoring twelve drivers would then qualify to the semi-finals. Racing with my shale wing - heat 1 3rd (7 points) of seven drivers (23 – 1st scored 25, 2nd 24 and 4th 22 – all very close!), heat 2 3rd (7) of six drivers (28 - 2nd scored 30) and heat 3 4th (5) of seven drivers (22). My heat points score of 19 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals as the final qualifier scored 20.  I was up against the final qualifier in my final heat and knowing I needed a good result was up against it going into the final race.  Only the two of us were left and I de-slotted their Parmastox on the last lap only for it to bounce back off the fence and stop mine...had it not done so I would have finished above them as 3rd in the heat instead of 2 points behind and beat them to the final semi-final qualifying place.  All the more key as they went on to finish as runner-up in the meeting and were one place above me in the overall standings after round 1.  To be fair it shouldn't have come down to that as I crashed in a few races on my own all day and miss-counted my laps in one race during the final heat when leading which also cost me...all in all a bit frustrating to not do better at a round where I've previously finished 1st and 5th .  Not qualifying for the semi-finals equated to 5 British Championship Series points (attendance points) plus (new for 2015 with the top 3 in each heat also scoring points to the Series – 1st 3, 2nd 2 and 3rd 1) my first two heat results of 3rd added a further 2 points for a total of 7 points from this round.  After this round I was 4th in 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 29 points overtaking a driver that missed this round due to a pre-arranged holiday. 

14th April - Arena points chart round 5 at 'Comrades' (shale wing) - heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (18) and heat 2 - 5th of six drivers (12). My places were not sufficient to qualify for the final and so with new braids in place I raced in the Grand National - 2nd of of six drivers (35) - 5 (heats 4+1) points chart points plus 4 Arena Grand National points.  28th April - a late change saw Arena points chart round 6 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 moved from 'Comrades' to 'St Mary's' with only the four middle of the six lanes working and so all heats and final consisted of 8 races (2 per lane).  Although my spare Parmastox had received a makeover courtesy of Rob Porter of Rob's Repairs I decided after a quick practice to race my main Parmastox with shale wing - heat 1 - 2nd of four drivers (19) and heat 2 - 1st of four drivers (24). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 1st of of six drivers (29) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

During the 4th to 6th rounds I was highest points scorer with 30 points, the joint 4th highest average with one other driver of 10.0 points and was up to red grade. Following 6 rounds I was 2nd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 51 points, 1 point ahead of 3rd and 2 ahead of 4th and the 5th highest season average of 8.5 points.  I was joint 3rd (and up into the top 6 qualifying places) with one other drivers in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 18 points and was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 12 points just 1 point ahead of 3rd.

 

On 2nd May, I raced at the first meeting held by the Pinewood Rebels Slotstox Club (previously Pinewood Slotstox Club but renamed after leaving the Pinewood Raceway) for the third round of the 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 28 drivers in attendance.  Having missed the Pinewood round in each of 2013 and 2014, this was my first appearance at a Pinewood hosted round of the British Championship series and as becoming traditional for the British Championship rounds, we made this a family day out and again our twin boys got a fair amount of attention!  After an initial delay whilst issues were resolved with the Pinewood Rebels brand new track, my first decision during practice was which Parmastox to race – I practiced my main Parmastox with shale wing and my spare Parmastox which had been given a makeover by Rob Porter of ‘Rob’s Repairs’.  It was a difficult decision as my spare Parmastox seemed better suited to the inside three lanes and my main Parmastox the outside three lanes.  In the end I decided to start with my main Parmastox with tarmac wing – my main Parmastox being slightly quicker and my spare Parmastox having body tape issues.  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (six-lane track) over 8 laps.  Each driver would have three heats and score points based on their finishing positions in each – 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 7, 4th 5, 5th 3 and 6th 1 – the highest points scoring twelve drivers would then qualify to the semi-finals. Racing my main Parmastox with Tarmac wing - heat 1 1st (12 points) of five drivers (38) and heat 2 5th (3) of six drivers (17).  After a difficult second heat, I decided to race my spare Parmastox for heat 3 (although reverted to my main Parmastox with tarmac wing for the outside lane as the body tape on my spare again came loose - also later found that one of the rear bumper solder joints had broken) 1st (12) of six drivers (34 – 2nd scoring 33, 3rd 31 and 4th 29 – all very close!).  My heat points score of 27 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals.  Semi-final – top three qualifying for the final – 6th of six drivers (17 – getting but also giving a bit of contact with an MRSA driver who missed out on the semi-finals in 4th by 2 points!)  6th in a semi-final equated to 8 British Championship Series points plus (new for 2015) the top 3 in each heat would also score points to the Series – 1st 3, 2nd 2 and 3rd 1. My heat results of 1st (3), 5th (0) and 1st (3) added a further 6 points for a total of 14 points from this round.  After this round I was down to 7th in the 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 43 points but with two drivers equal 2nd on 54 points and 10th on 39, apart from 1st on 81, the rest of the top 10 was very close.  The British Championship Series then took a break until October. 

12th May - Arena points chart round 7 at 'St Mary's' with all lanes working after a major track repair exercise and racing my main Parmastox with shale wing.  Heat 1 - 3rd of five drivers (26) and heat 2 - 1st of four drivers (30 - 2nd scored 29). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 2nd of six drivers (14 - 3rd scored 13 and was the same driver I beat by 1 point in heat 2!) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  26th May - Arena points chart round 8 at 'St Mary's' - Heat 1 (tarmac) - 1st of four drivers (33) and heat 2 (spare) - 2nd of four drivers (23). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 4th of six drivers (14 - 3rd scored 15) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.  9th June - I missed Arena points chart round 9 at 'St Mary's' due to holiday.

During the 7th to 9th rounds I was joint 5th highest points scorer with two other drivers with 22 points, the joint 2nd highest average with one other driver of 11.0 points and remained red grade. Following 9 rounds I was down to 4th in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 73 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.1 points.  No Grand National appearances during rounds 7 to 9 meant I remained on 12 points and was down to joint 4th with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart. 

A main venue move to the Waltham Abbey Community Centre ('WACC') meant that Arena Slotstox Club meetings switched from Tuesday evenings to Wednesday evenings with the first meeting of each month being at 'St Mary's' and whatever fixture fell on those dates. 

24th June - Arena points chart round 10 at 'WACC' on the six lane track with blue lane not working (probably due to not having been used for a while whilst being stored in my garage!) (tarmac) - Heat 1 - 3rd of five drivers (27) and heat 2 - 2nd of five drivers (35). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 4th of seven drivers (17) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) points chart points.  8th July - Arena points chart round 11 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'WACC' racing my refurbed spare Parmastox - heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (38) and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (36). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 3rd of seven drivers (35) - 10 (best heat 4 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  Although I was down to 4th in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 28 points I had a larger points gap for staying in the top 6 qualifying places.  22nd July - Arena points chart round 12 at 'WACC' (tarmac) - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (29) and heat 2 - joint 2nd with one other driver of six drivers (24). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 4th of six drivers (26) - 9 (best heat 4 + final 5) points chart points.

During the 10th to 12th rounds I was joint 3rd highest points scorer with one other driver with 28 points, the joint 5th highest average with the same other driver of 9.3 points and remained red grade. Following 12 rounds I was up to 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 101 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.2 points. No Grand National appearances during rounds 10 to 12 meant I remained on 12 points and was down to joint 6th with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart. 

5th August - Arena points chart round 13 at 'St Mary's' (tarmac) - heat 1 - 3rd of five drivers (21) and heat 2 - 2nd of five drivers (25). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 2nd of six drivers (25) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points. 

On 10th August as part of a social / work related trip to Ipswich, I attended my debut meeting at the Anglian Racewall (Metal Slotstox) Club (ARC) based at Whitton United Football Club on the outskirts of Ipswich.  ARC was formed in 2014 by members of the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club as a Metal Slotstox alternative following their regular visits to firstly Arena Slotstox and then the other Metal Slotstox clubs that host the British Championship rounds.  ARC follow the same rules as these clubs and have no-marshalling.  On a six lane track with a chicane along virtually the full one side of the track I tried both my Parmastox in practice with the intention to use one in my first heat and the other in my second heat.  Each driver usually has two heats of one race per lane over 8 laps with points awarded 6 for 1st down to 1 for 6th depending on where a driver finishes in the heat.  The top points scorers from the heats qualify straight for the final with the rest competing in consolations of two races per lane over 8 laps and each winner also qualifying for the final.  Due to a lower than usual number of drivers at this meeting (holidays), the format was changed to heats being two races per lane over 8 laps and the consolations being one race per lane over 8 laps.  Following a coin toss I used my spare Parmastox in my first heat and finished 1st of six drivers (39) and using my main Parmastox with tarmac wing in my second heat finished 6th of seven drivers (20 - 5th scored 21).  My heat points of 7 (6 + 1) were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final as one of the top four points scorers and so I raced in the third of three consolations.  Using my better suited spare Parmastox again, I finished 2nd of five drivers (16 - 3rd scored 15 and 1st 20 as it all come down to the last race in which for me being on the outside lane a de-slotted Parmastox resulted in a non-finish).  A thoroughly enjoyable evening nonetheless and good practice for the Best in Britain 'Open' Championship at ARC later in August.  I was Blue grade on the ARC grading chart for September. 

19th August - Arena points chart round 14 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC' (tarmac) - heat 1 - 1st of five drivers (43 and featuring some great races with the driver who finished 2nd with 42 - race of the night saw the other driver just pip me to the line after a close battle whilst another race saw the other driver held up by a de-slotted Parmastox on the last lap, allowing me to pass them on the final bend and beat them to the line - a result that ultimately proved decisive!) and heat 2 - 3rd of five drivers (19 - 4th also scored 19 and whilst we both had one win and two second place finishes each, I had two third place finishes compared with their one). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 5th of seven drivers (17) - 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I remained 4th in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 37 points - just 1 point behind 3rd - but with only one round remaining the gap to 7th was sufficient to assure my place in the final on 25th November. 

On 22nd August I raced in the first 'Open' Championship meeting to be hosted by the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) in Ipswich - the Best in Britain and as now traditional for daytime 'Open' meetings, we made this a family day out.  Having raced both my Parmastox during my debut meeting at ARC earlier in August, my Spare Parmastox was my preferred choice for this meeting.  Each of the 32 drivers racing would race in three heats with points awarded depending on where a driver finished in the heat - 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 8, 4th 6, 5th 3, 6th 2 and where applicable 7th 1.  The top 24 points scorers from the heats would qualify for the quarter-finals with the top 3 from each of those qualifying for the semi-finals and the top 3 from each of those qualifying for the final. Heat 1 - 1st (12) of six drivers (37), heat 2 - 3rd (8) of six drivers (27 - 2nd scored 28) and heat 3 3rd (8) of six drivers (24 - very close as 1st scored 25 whilst 2nd also scored 24 but had two race wins compared with my one). My heat points of 28 were sufficient to qualify for the quarter-finals as the 9th highest qualifier.  Quarter-final - 3rd of six drivers (26) to qualify for the semi-finals.  Semi-final - 5th of six drivers (22 and just missing out on the final as 4th scored 23 whilst 2nd and 3rd each scored 24) - initially I thought back to a race where I was stopped by a de-slotted Parmastox and I would have qualified for the final with a finish but I subsequently remembered that I crashed on my own when leading and set for a win on the inside lane and if I had finished then the outcome may (as my de-slotted Parmastox did stop others) have been more favourable...fine margins that on this day didn't go my way...  

2nd September - Arena points chart round 15 at 'St Mary's' (tarmac) and race finishes were not easy to come by - heat 1 - 3rd of four drivers (15 from 4 race finishes) and heat 2 - 2nd of four drivers (24). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 5th of six drivers (8 from 2 race finishes as 4th scored 9 and 6th scored 7) - 8 (best heat 4 + final 4) points chart points.

During the 13th to 15th rounds I was joint 2nd highest points scorer with one other driver with 28 points, the joint 6th highest average with the same other driver of 9.3 points and was down to blue grade. Following 15 rounds I was 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 129 points and the 6th highest season average of 9.2 points. No Grand National appearances during rounds 13 to 15 meant I remained on 12 points and was down to 8th in the Arena Grand National points chart. 

16th September - Arena points chart round 16 at 'WACC' (tarmac) - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (42) and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (32).  My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 3rd of seven drivers (25 - 2nd also scored 25 but had two race wins compared with my one whilst 1st scored 26. All very close as even 4th scored 21 and 5th 20!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points. 

On 3rd October, I raced at The Heart of England Championship 2015 which doubled up as the fourth round of the 2015 Parmastox British Championship hosted by Three Counties Slotstox Club with 34 drivers in attendance. Having missed the Three Counties round in 2014, this was my first appearance at a Three Counties hosted round of the British Championship series and as becoming traditional for the British Championship rounds, we made this a family day out and our twin boys entertained those in attendance going up and down the Little Harrowden Village Hall with their walker! My first decision during practice was which Parmastox to race – my intention was to race my spare Parmastox and after practice with this plus my main Parmastox with tarmac wing this intention was confirmed and I used my spare Parmastox for the whole meeting even though I noticed during the meeting that one of the side irons had broken at one end.  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five-lane track) over 8 laps. Each driver would have three heats and score points based on their finishing positions in each – 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 7, 4th 5, 5th 3 and 6th 1 – the highest points scoring twelve drivers would then qualify to the semi-finals.  All three of my heats were extremely competitive and give or take a few points here and there my results could have been very different!  Heat 1 1st (12 points) of five drivers (25 – thanks to two race wins in the last two races on the inside lane as 2nd also scored 25 but I had 4 race wins compared with their 1 whilst 3rd scored 24), heat 2 2nd (10) of six drivers (29 – 1st scored 30, 3rd 28 and 4th 27 and it could have been so much better had my Parmastox not stopped when I was running well in the second race (later diagnosed as a blown fuse on my lane - lane 3) although I did let the driver that ended up winning the heat past during a later race – the reverse result would have seen me win the heat by 1 point plus I crashed in the final race!) and heat 3 2nd (10) of five drivers (27 – 1st scored 28 and 3rd 25). My heat points score of 32 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals as third highest points scorer. Semi-final – top three qualifying for the final – 6th of six drivers (16 – 5th also scored 16 but they had 2 race wins compared to my 1 – that being the last race on the inside lane…to little too late!  Whilst starting as blue grade had helped in the heats, I was susceptible to the drivers starting behind, as had been the case at times in the heats; and with this in mind I simply made too many mistakes trying to keep ahead!)  6th in a semi-final equated to 8 British Championship Series points plus (new for 2015) the top 3 in each heat would also score points to the Series – 1st 3, 2nd 2 and 3rd 1. My heat results of 1st (3), 2nd (2) and 2nd (2) added a further 7 points for a total of 15 points from this round. After this round I was up to 4th in the 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 58 points but with 2nd on 63 points and 7th on 54, apart from 1st on 114, the rest of the top 10 was very close especially with the final round, to be hosted by Arena, being double points.  The meeting ended with a white grade heat and Clare used my Parmastox with tarmac win but unfortunately only managed to finish one race (albeit a win) to finish 6th of six drivers.

During the 16th to 18th rounds, I only attended the 16th round - missing the 17th on 30 September due to illness and the 18th on 14 October due to Clare having a clashing engagement meaning I was on babysitting duties - and was 11th highest points scorer with 11 points, the 3rd highest average of 11 points and remained blue grade due to needing to participate in at least 2 meetings to be eligible for a roof grade change. Following 18 rounds I remained 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 140 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.3 points. No Grand National appearances during rounds 16 to 18 meant I remained on 12 points and was down to 11th in the Arena Grand National points chart. Round 17 on 14 October doubled up as the 5th and final Arena Gold Top Qualifying round.  I had already qualified for the final and despite missing this round I remained 4th in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points chart with 37 points. 

28th October - Arena points chart round 19 at 'WACC' on the four lane Brentwood Show Track as the main six lane track was subject to maintenance work ahead of the forthcoming hosting of the Parmastox British Championship round 5 and the Slotstox World Championship.  With heats and final still 2 races per lane and with points scored in each race as 4 for 1st, 3 for 2nd, 2 for 3rd and 1 for 4th: helped by my blue grade status - heat 1 (spare) - 1st of four drivers (24 - the first race being re-run after the track voltage had been accidentally turned up from 10 to 14!) and heat 2 (tarmac) - 1st of four drivers (29). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final (tarmac) - 1st of five drivers (22) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  11th November - Arena points chart round 20 at 'WACC' with a later start due to completing maintenance on the six lane track which as a result was very dusty and slippery in the early races.  Due to the delayed start whilst heat 1 was two races per lane, heat 2 and the final were reduced to one race per lane.  Heat 1 (tarmac) - 3rd of five drivers (23) and heat 2 (tarmac to start with but due to a breakage of the chassis front following a crash I had to switch to my spare) - 2nd of six drivers (17).  My places were sufficient to qualify for the final (spare) - 1st of six drivers (21) - 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points. 

25th November - at 'WACC' - Arena Gold Top Championship Final. I qualified 4th of the six drivers (having missed 1 of the 5 rounds) who drew their starting lane in qualifying order. Using my spare Parmastox, I started in the yellow lane (lane 2) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the yellow grade line. I finished 4th of the six drivers with 18 points - the same as 5th but I had one race win compared with their none. I finished 3rd in each of my races in yellow lane, 5th and 4th in red lane (lane 3), a non-finish and a win in white lane (lane 4), two non-finishes in black lane (lane 5), non-finish and 3rd in green lane (lane 6) and 5th and a non-finish in blue lane (lane 1). 

The 21st and final Arena points chart round meeting itself went better - heat 1 3rd of six drivers (32) and heat 2 1st of six drivers (48). My places were sufficient to qualify for the final - 2nd of six drivers (15 - run as one race per lane due to time) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.

During the 19th to 21st rounds, I was the joint highest scorer with one other driver with 37 points, the joint highest average with the same driver of 12.3 points and was back up to red grade for the start of the 2016 season. 

I finished 3rd in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 177 points and the 5th highest season average of 9.8 points. No Grand National appearances during rounds 19 to 21 meant I remained on 12 points and was down to 12th in the Arena Grand National points chart. I won three finals during the season - two at ‘WACC’ and one at 'St Mary's'. 

On 28th November, I raced at 2015 Hertfordshire Open Championship which doubled up as the fifth and final round double points round of the 2015 Parmastox British Championship hosted by Arena Slotstox Club with 40 drivers in attendance (although being held at the Waltham Abbey Community Centre - a venue in Essex!) As becoming traditional for the British Championship rounds, we made this a family day out. The decision of which Parmastox to race was easy as my main Parmastox was still un-repaired from the meeting on 11th November but I would have raced my spare Parmastox anyway given that it started to go well towards the end of the meeting on 25th November (even though one of the side irons was still partly detached!) All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (six-lane track) over 8 laps. Each driver would have three heats and score points based on their finishing positions in each – 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 7, 4th 5, 5th 3 and 6th 1 – the highest points scoring twelve drivers would then qualify to the semi-finals. Heat 1 2nd (10 points) of six drivers (25 – 3rd also scored 25 but I had 5 second place finishes compared with their 3), heat 2 1st (12) of seven drivers (45 – 2nd scored 43) and heat 3 1st (12) of seven drivers (45). My heat points score of 34 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals as third highest points scorer. Semi-final – top three qualifying for the final – 1st of six drivers (42) despite having to borrow a handcontroller as mine started to play up early on - just as it had during the final at the final round in 2014 - meaning I qualified for my fifth Arena/Hertfordshire 'Open' final with my previous best result being runner-up in 2011 plus my second final of the 2015 British Championship series following round 1 at Wellgate. Final - 3rd of six drivers (27) which equated to 36 British Championship Series points (18 doubled) plus (new for 2015) the top 3 in each heat would also score points to the Series – 1st 3, 2nd 2 and 3rd 1 which was also be doubled at this final round. My heat results of 2nd (4), 1st (6) and 1st (6) added a further 16 points for a total of 52 points from this round. After this round I finished 3rd in the 2015 Parmastox British Championship with 110 points and showed the benefit of this season attending all the rounds - the three drivers in 4th to 6th had each missed rounds but I had been impacted by this in each of 2013 (missed the final double points round of four when 2nd overall before it) and in 2014 (missed two of the five rounds around the time when the twins were born).

 

Slot-Classic Hot Rods 

10th February - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Comades' on the four lane track (2 races per lane over 8 laps with points scored 5 for 1st down to 2 for 4th) borrowing a Slot-Classic Hot Rod - heat 2nd of four drivers (18) and with the top 2 qualifying for the final – final 2nd of four drivers (24 – beaten by the person who had lent me their spare Slot-Classic Hot Rod!). 

7th April - Arena points chart round 2 at the new 'Comades' on the six lane track borrowing the same Slot-Classic Hot Rod as at round 1 (going much better at this round following the replacement of a well worn tyre by one of my spare Slotstox tyres!) - heat 4th of five drivers (15) with the top 3 qualifying for the final. Due to time I didn't race in the non-final qualifiers heat. 

29th July - Arena points chart round 6 at the new 'WACC' venue on the six lane track borrowing a (very good) Slot-Classic Hot Rod for the heats and a different Slot-Classic Hot Rod for the final (the one I used in the heats being used by the owner!)  Heats and final being 6 laps one race per lane - heat 1 1st of six drivers, reduced to four drivers after the first race due to car problems (24) and heat 2 1st of four drivers (24).  Two wins saw me qualify first for the final of six drivers all starting from yellow grade - 5th of six drivers (8) getting used to the change of car.



Support formulas 

At Arena meetings, support forumulas would be run when time allowed on a rotation basis and count to one 'support formulae' points points chart.  In addition to only being run when time I also decided not to race these sometimes preferring to leave earlier.  They were also run at Parma-Saloon meetings which I decided to not attend in 2015 so as to have a weekly break one meeting in four.  14th April - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Comades' (Parma-Minis) - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (12 - 3rd scored 11) and heat 2 4th of six drivers (10) - 6 (4+2) Arena Support formulae points chart points.  22nd July - 'WACC' (Parma-Small Vans) - one race per lane - heat 1 joint 3rd with two other drivers of five drivers (0) and heat 2 3rd of five drivers (7 - 2nd scored 8) - 6 (3+3) Arena Support formulae points chart points.



Multi-formula 

On 16th December at 'WACC' was a new multi-formula event for an end of season fun night - the Arena Christmas Challenge Championship with twelve drivers racing. Total points from all races count towards this multi-formula championship format. All heats were one race per lane over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line. For Go-Karts, Robin Reliants and Legends a maximum of four drivers were racing at any one time in each heat with a dedicated car allocated to each lane provided by the Club. For Libre six-drivers raced in each heat using their own Libre. Go-Karts – 4 points and 9th overall 6 behind 1st. Libre was next and borrowing a Libre – 13 points and 4th highest Libre points scorer – 4th overall with 17 points and 13 points behind 1st. Robin Reliants – 9 points and joint 2nd highest Robins points scorer with four other drivers (1st scored 10!) – remained 4th overall with 26 points and 13 points behind 1st. Parma-Legends – 22 points and highest Legends points scorer. This moved me up to finish 3rd overall in the Arena Christmas Challenge Championship with 48 points - 6 points behind 2nd and 11 points behind 1st.





Other 

On 11th June, I attended a meeting at the Timaru Raceway in Broadstairs, Kent.  This was during a family holiday after Clare spotted a sign outside a building saying Slot-Racing every Thursday about a 10 minute walk from where we were staying!  A bit of research beforehand revealed this club was a member of the British Slot Car Racing Association (BSCRA) and I arrived to find this was a four lane circuit racing club which this evening was racing 1/32 scale sports cars.  I introduced myself without revealing that I had Slot-Racing experience - passing myself off as being a Stock Car/Motor Racing fan interested in giving the club a look.  During the evening I was informed of various clubs including Rockingham, Pinewood and Ipswich where I’ve raced previously and of the Brisca based Slot Car racing!  I watched for a while before asking if I could have a go and I was told that whilst I wouldn’t be able to compete (I trust they take a different approach to local newcomers!), I could have a practice.  Using a club car and handcontroller and with the power turned down (not my choice) I did a few laps nice and steady to show that I could keep a car on track in the hope that I might be able to compete.  The format of the meeting was that each of the 10 drivers had 1 track marshalled minute in the lane of their choice to set a fastest lap – the 3 with the fastest lap qualified for the A-final, the next 3 the B-final and the final 4 the C-final.  The winner of the C-final would move up to the B-final and the winner of the B-final would move up to the A-final.  Each final consisted of each driver having 3 track marshalled minutes in each lane (12 minutes in total) to do as many laps (+ ‘bits’ of laps as marked) as possible.  The idea of the qualifying was so that drivers in each final would be evenly matched but the overall places on the evening would be determined by the most laps completed during the 12 minutes so in theory the winner could be from any final (although in the end the winner was in the A-final!)  After each of the drivers had their qualifying minute, I asked if I could have one which was agreed.  Whilst the power was left turned up, my handcontroller was plugged into a resistor which I guess was again to slow the car.  My fastest lap in the minute was 5.654 seconds (the typical qualifying times were around 3.5 to 4 seconds) but again I didn’t push it still in the fruitless hope that if I could show I could keep the car in that I might be allowed to compete!  I was then told by one of the members that with this car they’d expect a lap time of around 4.8 to 4.9 seconds…other members were more sympathetic in that most new drivers crash at every corner (I still trust they take a different approach to local newcomers!)  I watched the main meeting and picked up a few tips as I’d been told I could have another go at the end.  This time I had a go with at full power and decided to push it a bit to see what laps times I could do… even with a few more crashes along the way!  I was then given a 1/24 scale sports car to try as this would be easier to handle and I wasn’t far off the pace of a few regular members that had stayed behind (which is when I revealed I do race Slot Cars just very different to these and with very different tactics that are not all about pure speed).  I even managed to de-slot one of these member’s car a couple of times but I don’t think they appreciated my comment that surely this was a good tactic to slow your opponents!  The practice with this car helped when I went back to the 1/32 car and I asked if the lap timer could be turned on.  This time I managed a 4.922 lap which from what I’d been told earlier would be about the time of the regular members with that car (and this was with a standard club handcontroller too!)  All in all it was good evening and good to gain experience of a different type of Slot-racing even if it was a little disappointing I couldn’t compete (but then they did think I was a ‘real’ beginner!)  I said to a couple of members left at the end that they’d be welcome at Arena where I’m sure they’d receive a nice ‘this is contact racing’ welcome!

 

SLOTSTOX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: B-FINAL 2ND (8th overall)

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION:  420 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH= - 12 points

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'COMRADES/WACC' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 257 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'ST MARY'S' TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP - 108 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'BRENTWOOD SHOW' TRACK CHAMPION: 55 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

SLOTSTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 2 final wins – 1 'WACC' and 1 on the Brentwood Show Track

 

PARMASTOX BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 3RD - 110 points

PARMASTOX HERTFORDSHIRE 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

PARMASTOX WELLGATE METAL MANIA IV 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH  

PARMASTOX ARENA 'OPEN' TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP (with Clare Banham and Colin Woollaston)

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD - 177 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH

PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: 12TH - 12 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 3 final wins – 2 at 'WACC' and 1 at St Mary's

 

ARENA CHRISTMAS CHALLENGE CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

 

2016

The 2016 season saw the Arena Slotstox Club continue at its main venue of the Waltham Abbey Community Centre ('WACC') on Wednesday evenings with the first meeting of each month at the start of the season being based on a Tuesday at St Mary's Church House, Cheshunt ('St Mary's') on the track at this venue. Due to refurbishment, St Mary's was vacated in early summer and there was no meeting held in the first week of each month.

Slotstox
17th February - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' and racing as Silver grade for the season as defending Arena points champion. Heats 46 points (heat 1 27 partly hampered in two races by a faltering handcontroller diagnosed as a broken wire meaning a switch to my Parmastox handcontroller and heat 2 19) and second highest points scorer of ten drivers. Final with all drivers starting from the yellow grade line over 8 laps - 3rd (24) to add 6 points chart points - a total of 52 points chart points. 30 March - Arena points chart round 2 at 'WACC' and each driver raced in 3 heats with the best 2 counting towards the points chart. Racing my new Slotstox and using my Parmastox handcontroller - heats 48 points (best 2 of 3 heats - heat 1 28, heat 3 20 and dropped heat 2 19) and highest points scorer of eight drivers (three of which were using my cars and the driver using my second Slotstox was second highest points scorer!). Final with all drivers starting from the yellow grade line over 8 laps - 1st (24) to add 10 points chart point - a total of 58 points chart points. My final win qualified me for the Grand National - 1st (25) - 6 Arena Grand National points. An evening of 30 races in which I finished 24 and of those finishes none were lower than 2nd - 20 wins and 4 2nd places! 11 May - Arena points chart round 3 at WACC racing on the four-lane track due to the number of racers, racing my new Slotstox and using my Parmastox handcontroller. With the four-lane track in use races were scored 5 for 1st down to 2 for 4th with heat points then being multiplied by 1.5 to give a maximum heat score of 30 (as per the six-lane track). Heats 22 points - heat 1 13 and heat 2 9 and second highest points scorer of six drivers. Final 2nd (15 - 1st scored 16 and 3rd scored 14 - going into the final race I knew I had 10 points whilst the driver who finished 3rd had 14 points so when I de-slotted their Slotstox and then won the race I thought I had won the final until the scores were added up revealing that another driver had scored 16! What proved crucial was that when I managed to de-slot the driver who finished 3rd Slotstox it stopped across the lane of the driver who won but they managed to push pass to finish a final winning 2nd) to add 8 points chart points to my heat score multiplied by 1.5 (33) - a total of 43 points chart points.

After the first 3 rounds I was top of the Arena Slotstox Points Championship with 151 points (the same number of points as after the first three round in 2015!). I had the second highest average of 50.3 points and was joint second with one other driver of the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship points chart with 6 points.

 

22 June - Arena points chart round 4 at WACC racing on the four-lane track due to the number of racers, racing my new Slotstox and using my Parmastox handcontroller. With drivers having three heats (rather than the usual two) there was no need for scores to be multiplied by 1.5 to give a maximum heat score of 30 (as per the six-lane track). Heats 52 points - heat 1 19, heat 2 15 and heat 3 18 and highest points scorer of seven drivers. Final 1st (maximum 20) to add 10 points chart points to my heat score - a total of 62 points chart points. 28 September - Arena points chart round 5 at WACC racing on the four-lane track due to the number of racers, racing my new Slotstox and using repaired Plastic handcontroller. Drivers each had two heats plus the final doubled up as a third heat to give a maximum heat score of 30 (as per the six-lane track). Heats 24 points - heat 1 15, heat 2 9 and second highest points scorer of seven drivers. Heat 3/Final - 19 and 1st to add 10 points chart points to my heat score - a total of 53 points chart points. 

 

During the 4th and 5th rounds, I was the highest scorer with 115 points and the highest average of 57.5 points. I defended the Slotstox Arena Points Championship with 266 points and the second highest season average of 53.2 points and retained the Silver Roof for the 2017 season. This was my third Slotstox Arena Points Championship having also won in 2012.  Having attended all rounds, in the informal track championship points charts for each of ‘WACC’ and 'Brentwood Show', I was the 'WACC’ track champion (110 from 2 meetings) with the second highest average of 55 points and the 'Brentwood Show' track champion (156 from 3 meetings) with the highest average of 52 point. I won the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship points chart with 12 points.  I won two finals during the season - one on the ‘WACC’ track and one on the 'Brentwood Show Track'. 

16th November - Arena Gold Top Championship Final at WACC and having finished top of the Arena Slotstox points I had first pick of the six drivers in drawing starting lane in qualifying order. I started in the Red lane (lane 3) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the start/finish line.  I led both races in red lane going into the final lap but failed to finish the first and finished 2nd in the second. I failed to finish my first race in white lane before winning the second plus the first race in black lane followed by a 2nd in my second race in black lane.  At the half way stage I was 2nd with 18 points whilst 1st had 20 and 3rd had 15. I finished 2nd in my first race in green lane and 1st in my second race in green lane – happy with that for the outside lane!  My Slotstox guide was getting stuck on a section of the blue lane and I finished 5th in my first race in that lane before finding a speed that mitigated the problem area and finished 3rd in my second race in blue lane.  Scores are kept secret during the final but with one lane / two races to go I was joint 1st with the leader at the half way stage with 31 points whilst 3rd had moved on to 30 points.  Winning the penultimate race and my first in yellow lane meant I went into the final race with a 1 point advantage and with no one finishing my second race in yellow lane at the end of the final I had scored 36 points and by 1 point had won the Arena Gold Top Championship for a second time – the first driver to do so - following 2012!  It was a 1-2 finish for my Slotstox with the driver that finished 2nd borrowing my spare – the Slotstox that won the 2012 Gold Top - after a wire broke on their Slotstox prior to the final!

A non-points heat followed later in the evening over one race per lane and starting from my new Gold grading position I finished 3rd with 17 points – the same as 2nd but they had 3 races wins compared with my 2 whilst the winner of the final was now borrowing my spare Slotstox! 

 

Parmastox
The 2016 Arena season started with a three round mini-Winter series. I missed round 1 on 13 January due to a Paris work trip and as I was due to miss round 3 on 27 January I wasn't intending to race at round 2 on 20 January - only attending to catch up on Arena club matters. I was eventually persuaded to race in one of the two heats as one driver left early and using the Tarmac wing finished 2nd of four drivers (31 points) in that heat and 4th of eight drivers (25) in the final. I finished 10th overall in the series.

On 24 January I raced at an Open individual event and an Open team event at the Arena Comrades Club - as was now traditional this combined with a meeting of representatives from each participating club to discuss the 2016 Parmastox British Championship Series. The Open individual event of 12 drivers coincided with the meeting of representatives (and was appropriately called the 'Thank God! I'm not in the meeting Challenge Trophy') and using my spare Parmastox I won both my heats of six drivers with 36 and 37 points respectively. I qualified with the best record - one other driver had two heat wins but I had 73 raw points compared with their 68 - to the final of six drivers and finished 2nd with 25 points (including racing the final lane (outside lane 6) with my main Parmastox with Tarmac wing due to dropping and breaking my spare!) Having made her Parmastox debut at this meeting in 2015, my wife Clare again raced as number 54 using my main Parmastox with Tarmac wing and finished 6th and 5th in her two heats of six drivers with 4 and 12 points respectively. Clare raced in the Grand National (non-final qualifiers) and finished 6th of six drivers (7). In a hastily arranged ladies race Clare finished 3rd of five drivers (20).

The team event featured 18 drivers in 6 teams of 3 and I teamed up with Cliff Bicknell and Paul Knight (often referred to as a team mate due to his race number being 547!) - Paul doing a great job in repairing my spare for me to race it. The 6 teams would race against each other 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw - with the top 2 teams qualifying for the final. Each heat consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes - I raced all my races on the tricky inside two lanes. We won our first match 40-32 thanks to a 9-0 in the final race (I scored 16), won our second match 41-25 (8), lost our third match against the eventual champions 40-25 (4 - as I mixed it with the other teams best two drivers - current and former British Champions) and won our fourth match 40-34. Going into our final match we knew that a win would see us qualify for the final but this didn't go our way as we lost 32-19 (5). The eventual winners qualified 1st having won all their five matches whilst three teams each had three wins including us. Our countback raw points score of 165 compared with 189 for second and 146 for fourth which saw us finish 3rd.

10 February - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' - using my spare Parmastox - heat 1 1st of four drivers (54) and heat 2 joint 1st of four drivers (37 - with the identical record of one other driver of 5 wins and 4 2nd's). My two heat wins ensured I qualified for the final - 4th of six drivers (20 - and close as 2nd scored 22, 3rd also 20 but they had 3 race wins compared with my two whilst 5th scored 19) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points. 24 February - Arena points chart round 2 and Gold Top qualifying round 1 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (spare) 1st of six drivers (49), heat 2 (tarmac having already qualified for the final with a heat win) 1st of six drivers (33) and heat 3 (tarmac) 1st of six drivers (39). Final (spare) - 2nd of six drivers (29) - 12 (best heat 5 + Final 7) points chart and Gold Top qualifying points. An evening of 48 races in which I finished 32 and of those finishes none were lower than 3rd - 23 wins, 8 2nd places, 1 3rd place! I was joint top with one other driver in the Gold Top qualifying points chart.
Having missed Arena points chart round 3 due to illness, during the first 3 rounds I was 5th highest points scorer on 22 points, the 2nd highest average of 11.0 points and was up to red grade.

On 19th March, I raced in the 2016 Rebels Rebellion at the Pinewood Rebels Slotstox Club which doubled up as the first round of the 2016 Parmastox British Championship with 26 drivers in attendance. Having been unwell for two weeks preceding it was a last minute decision to travel and due to other arrangements was not the usual family day out. Due to other distractions I didn't practice and in hindsight this was probably a mistake! All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (six-lane track) over 8 laps. A change to the scoring system for 2016 with no attendance points and each driver having three heats with British Championship points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats at each round would then qualify to the semi-finals. Racing my spare Parmastox and starting from my BSA grade of Superstar based on my 3rd place finish in the 2015 British Championship series. Heat 1 4th (3) (25 points) - the racing started well with four 2nd places but soon deteriorated before my Parmastox fell apart during the final races! I thought I had finished 3rd in my final race - which would have given me 3rd overall in the heat - but I had one lap left to do when my detached Parmastox chassis caught against another Parmastox that had already finished - had I have known I would have asked for this stopped Parmastox to be moved so that I could complete my final lap... this kind of summed up how my day would go! A quick repair by Rob's Repairs and my spare Parmastox was back on track for heat 2 6th (1) (18) and heat 3 6th (1) (11). My heat points score of 5 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals and as I felt worse as the day progressed I decided to head home early rather than wait to race in the Grand Nationals following the end of the main meeting. After this round I was 21st in the 2016 Parmastox British Championship with 5 points but it was better than the none I would have scored if I hadn't travelled!

23 March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (spare) 1st of six drivers (41 - 6 wins, 2 2nds and 1 3rd), heat 2 (tarmac having already qualified for the final with a heat win) 1st of six drivers (41- again 6 wins, 2 2nds and 1 3rd!) and heat 3 (tarmac) 1st of six drivers (34). Final (sticking with Tarmac) - 1st of six drivers (49 - starting with 4 straight wins and then my only non-finish) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. An evening of 48 races in which I finished 37 and of those finishes only one was lower than 3rd - 24 wins, 7 2nd places, 5 3rd places and 1 4th place! Although I qualified for it, there was no time for a Grand National. 5 April - Arena points chart round 5 at 'St Mary's' racing my Parmastox with Tarmac wing - heat 1 1st of four drivers (26 including only 1 race win: the least of all drivers in the heat - 2nd and 3rd each scored 24 with 3 and 2 race wins respectively whilst 4th had the most race wins of the drivers in the heat (4) but that was their only finishes for 20 points!) and heat 2 1st of four drivers (49 - finishing all but one race - 5 wins and 6 2nds). With two heat wins I qualified for the final (grades) - 1st of six drivers (31 - the first three races saw 11 race finishes by all the drivers whilst the following nine races saw only nine race finishes - crucially 4 of those were wins by me with no other finishers!) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. Grand National - starting a lap down - 1st of six drivers (33 and more points than the other five drivers combined (32) - 6 Arena Grand National points chart points.

On 16th April, I raced at Metal Mania #5 at the Wellgate Slotstox Club which doubled up as the second round of the 2016 Parmastox British Championship with 33 drivers in attendance. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four-lane track) over 8 laps. As at round 1, each driver having three heats with British Championship points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats at each round would then qualify to the semi-finals. Following practice at this round, I decided to race my spare Parmastox and starting from my BSA grade of Superstar - heat 1 2nd (5 points) of six drivers (24 - 1st scored 25), heat 2 1st (6) of five drivers (24) and heat 3 2nd (5) of six drivers (27). My heat points score of 16 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final - 4th of six drivers (15 - 3rd scored 16 and 5th also scored 15 but I had 1 race win compared with their none). Some non-finishes on the inside lanes proved decisive on missing out on the final! 4th in the semi-final meant I was awarded top non-final qualifying visitor, equated to 5 British Championship Series points and so a total of 21 from this round and overall I was joint 13th with one other driver with 26 points. Grand National 1st of five drivers (21 - 2nd scored 20 whilst in a bit of crash fest the other three drivers all scored 0!) - 6 Grand National points and joint 9th with six other drivers in the British Championship Grand National points chart.

20 April - Arena points chart round 6 and Gold Top qualifying round 2 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (spare) 2nd of six drivers (37), heat 2 (tarmac) 3rd of six drivers (26) and heat 3 (spare) 1st of six drivers (35). Final (started with spare before that suffered a breakage early on being hit by another Parmastox whilst stationary and they were lining up requiring a switch to Tarmac!) - 2nd of seven drivers (29 - 1st 31 and left to wonder if I would have won using the spare for the full final) - 12 (best heat 5 + Final 7) points chart and Gold Top qualifying points. Although I qualified for it, there was no time for a Grand National. I was top of the Gold Top qualifying points chart with 24 points.
During the 4th to 6th rounds I was highest points scorer with 38 points, the highest average of 12.7 points and remained red grade. Following 6 rounds I was 1st in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 60 points and the joint highest season average with one other driver of 12 points. I was joint 6th with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 6 points.

3 May - Arena points chart round 7 and the final meeting for at 'St Mary's church house' due to refurbishment (Tarmac) - heat 1 4th of four drivers (20), not the best start but a turnaround in heat 2 1st of four drivers (50 - finishing every race - a rarity at 'St Mary's'!). My heat win meant I qualified for the final 1st of six drivers (31) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. Grand National - starting a lap down - 1st of six drivers (36) - 6 Arena Grand National points chart points. This meant I won the last final and heat (Grand National) at this venue although I did crash and non-finish in the last race!

On 7th May, I raced at the Wisbech Metal Slotstox Club in the South Brink Challenge Cup (the new name for the King of the Fens Championship which doubled up as the third round in the 2016 Parmastox British Championship with 38 drivers in attendance. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane over 8 laps. As at rounds 1 and 2, each driver having three heats with British Championship points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats at each round would then qualify to the semi-finals. Following practice at this round, I decided to race my spare Parmastox although this broke during the first heat so I finished this heat with my first Parmastox with tarmac wing before racing the rest of the meeting with the bottom of my spare Parmastox plus the top of my first Parmastox with tarmac wing - this wasn't the most balanced combination so I had to manage the poor handling during the meeting. Starting from my BSA grade of Superstar - heat 1 1st (6 points) of six drivers (39), heat 2 3rd (4) of six drivers (35; 1st scored 38 and 2nd 37) and heat 3 1st (6) of six drivers (44 - 2nd scored 41 and 3rd 39 and between them 2nd and 3rd won all 12 races - 6 each but my superior overall finishes 8 2nds and 1 3rd proved decisive). My heat points score of 16 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 3rd (29 4th scored 28 having struggled with their Parmastox) and I had qualified once again for the Wisbech hosted British Championship round final after winning in 2013 and 5th in 2014. Final (all drivers starting from the start line) 6th of six drivers (16). 6th in the final equated to 6 British Championship Series points and so a total of 22 from this round and overall I had moved up to joint 6th with two other drivers with 48 points. Grand Nationals were not held at this round.

18 May - Arena points chart round 8 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (spare having been repaired and strengthened by a fellow racer since Wisbech) 1st of five drivers (36) and heat 2 (tarmac with my spare, despite being very smooth, not seeming to be fully on the pace) 1st of five drivers (44). Two heat wins meant I qualified first for final (staying with tarmac) - 1st of six drivers (38) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. Grand National - one race per lane due to time and starting a lap down; 3rd of six drivers (9 - 2nd scored 10 and 4th scored 8) - 3 Arena Grand National points chart points. 15 June - Arena points chart round 9 and Gold Top qualifying round 3 at 'WACC' - Tarmac - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (33), heat 2 1st of four drivers (39) and final - 1st of seven drivers (38) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart and Gold Top qualifying points. Although I qualified for it, it was decided not to run a Grand National. I remained top of the Gold Top qualifying points chart with 37 points.
During the 7th to 9th rounds I was highest points scorer with a maximum 39 points, the highest average of 13.0 points and remained red grade. Following 9 rounds I was 1st in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 99 points and the highest season average of 12.4 points. I was up to 3rd in the Arena Grand National points chart with 16 points.


29 June - Arena points chart round 10 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (Tarmac) 1st of six drivers (41 including some good races with the driver who finished 2nd on 38), heat 2 (started Tarmac before race damage saw a switch to spare) 4th of four drivers (13) and final (spare) - 1st (fourth final win in row) of six drivers (39) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. Grand National (spare) - one race per lane with the top four in the final starting one lap down alongside the two non-final qualifiers - 3rd of six drivers (12) - 4 Arena Grand National points chart points. 13 July - Arena points chart round 11 at 'WACC' (spare with main still damaged) - heat 1 1st of four drivers (50), heat 2 1st of four drivers (43) and final - 2nd of six drivers (28) - 12 (best heat 5 + Final 7) points chart points. Grand National - one race per lane with all six finalists starting one lap down alongside the one non-final qualifier - 2nd of seven drivers (10) - 5 Arena Grand National points chart points. 27 July - Arena points chart round 12 at 'WACC' (spare with main still damaged) - heat 1 2nd of four drivers (51 including some good races with the driver who finished 1st on 56!), heat 2 1st of four drivers (59) and final - 1st of six drivers (32) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart. Grand National - one race per lane with the six finalists starting one lap down alongside the two non-final qualifiers - 1st of eight drivers (15) - 6 Arena Grand National points chart points. An evening of 42 races in which I finished 34 and of those finishes only one was lower than 2nd - 22 wins, 11 2nd places and 1 3rd place!
During the 10th to 12th rounds I was highest points scorer with 38 points, the highest average of 12.7 points and remained red grade. Following 12 rounds I was 1st in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 137 points and the highest season average of 12.5 points. I was 1st in the Arena Grand National points chart with 31 points.

10 August - I missed Arena points chart round 13 and Gold Top qualifying round 4 at 'WACC' due to holiday. I was down to 3rd in the Gold Top qualifying points chart with 37 points - 1 point behind 2nd and 2 points behind 1st. 24 August - Arena points chart round 14 at 'WACC' (spare with main still out of action) - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (32), heat 2 1st of six drivers (34) and final - 1st of six drivers (41 - 2nd scored 39) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. Grand National the six finalists starting one lap down alongside the two non-final qualifiers - 2nd of eight drivers (20) - 5 Arena Grand National points chart points. 21 September - Arena points chart round 15 and fifth and final Gold Top qualifying round at 'WACC' (Tarmac for heats and spare for final) - heat 1 2nd of five drivers (26), heat 2 1st of five drivers (33) and final - 1st of seven drivers (42) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + Final 8) points chart points. I finished top of the Gold Top qualifying points chart with 50 points.

During the 13th to 15th rounds and despite missing round 14 I was second highest points scorer with 26 points, the highest average of 13 points and remained red grade. Following 15 rounds I was 1st in the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 163 points and the highest season average of 12.5 points. I was 1st in the Arena Grand National points chart with 36 points.

On 1st October, I raced at 2016 Arena Open Championship (titled WACCy Races as a play on Arena's Waltham Abbey Community Centre location!) which doubled up as the fourth round in the 2016 Parmastox British Championship hosted by Arena Slotstox Club with 18 drivers in attendance. For the first time in 2016 we were able to make this British Championship round a family day out. Upon arrival I wasn't sure to be racing, suffering with a slight cold and also not wanting to damage my Parmastox that could jeopardise my attempt to win the Arena Parmastox points! Whilst both my Parmastox passed scruitineering, my main Parmastox was close to the minimum clearance so I decided to race my spare... which proved to be a good decision! All heats that I competed in were two races per lane over 8 laps. As at rounds 1 to 3, each driver having three heats with British Championship points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats at each round would then qualify to the semi-finals. After no practice, my spare Parmastox immediately had braid problems lining up at my BSA grade of Superstar on the outside in heat 1 which meant a switch of braids from my main Parmastox. The initial problems didn't end there with a loose wire causing a non-finish on the first race on the inside lane. A fellow driver helped to fix and what a difference it made... my Spare was 'on it' for the rest of the day starting by winning all the remaining 9 races in heat 1 - 1st (6 points) of six drivers (48)! Heat 2 1st (6 points) of six drivers (42) and heat 3 1st (6 points) of six drivers (49 - starting and ending with 4 straight wins out of a total 9 race wins). My 18 heat points was the only maximum heat score and top scorer for the semi-finals. My semi-final draw was soon nicknamed the semi-final of death with all drivers graded superstar or above and included the Arena Gold Top, Arena Silver Top, myself as Arena Top of the Points as well as the defending British Champion and with only the top three qualifying for the final. Consistent scoring including 2 race wins - 1st (38) and I had qualified for my sixth Arena/Hertfordshire 'Open' Championship final - second year in row after 3rd in 2015 and with my previous best result being runner-up in 2011 plus my second consecutive final at a British Championship round in 2016 following 6th at Wisbech. Final (all drivers starting from the start line) - starting in lane 2 (yellow lane) and with a 'on paper' favourable lane draw I decided to go for it from the off and 5 wins plus a 2nd in my second race in lane 2 in the first 6 races proved decisive together with only one non-finish - 1st of six drivers (39 - the remaining drivers scored 29, 28, 27, 26 and 25!) to become the 2016 Arena 'Open' Champion (WACCy Races Winner) and win my second English/British Championship round following the 2013 King of the Fens Championship at Wisbech. My Parmastox ended the final with a partly broken side iron but as this was due to race damage during the final it was ok from a scruitineering perspective. 1st in the final equated to 12 British Championship Series points and added to my heats score a first maximum total of 30 points by anybody in the 2016 series (plus I won my semi-final so I was unbeaten all day!) and overall I had moved up to 5th with 78 points. Grand Nationals were nicknamed 'Abbey Nationals' at this round but I pulled out of these due to the boys needing some daddy time on a long day for them.
 

my 2016 Arena Open Championship story

 

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 266 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'WACC TRACK CHAMPION: 110 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA 'BRENTWOOD SHOW' TRACK CHAMPION: 156 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPION

SLOTSTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION: 12 points

SLOTSTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 3 final wins – 1 'WACC' and 2 on the Brentwood Show Track

 

PARMASTOX BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 7TH - 78 points

PARMASTOX ARENA 'OPEN' CHAMPION (WACCy Races Winner)
PARMASTOX SOUTH BRINK CHALLENGE CUP: 6TH
PARMASTOX THANK GOD! I'M NOT IN THE MEETING CHALLENGE TROPHY RUNNER-UP

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 200 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA 'WACC TRACK CHAMPION: 174 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA 'ST MARY'S' TRACK CHAMPION: 26 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPION

PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION: 42 points

PARMASTOX ARENA WINTER SERIES: 10TH

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 11 final wins – 9 'WACC' and 2 'St Mary's'

 

ARENA AARON TALBOT TRIBUTE MEETING WINNER

ARENA XMAS FUN NIGHT WINNER

 

 

2017

The 2017 season saw the Arena Slotstox Club continue at its main venue of the Waltham Abbey Community Centre ('WACC') on Wednesday evenings except  the first meeting of each month.  With my main Parmastox and spare Parmastox now being interchangeable these are now referred to as Red and Blue respectively.

The Parmastox British Championship Series was replaced by a series of individual Open Championship meetings with non-Championship National Points running in the background.

 

Slotstox

A work trip to Ipswich presented the opportunity to visit the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club on 20 October and to make up the numbers I raced in the Slotstox Foxhall Team Championship – my first Slotstox meeting of 2017!  Being the current Arena Slotstox Points Champion, I was in the first group of seeded drivers and was teamed up with Owen Earrey and Carl Brett.  There were four teams of three and each team raced against each other in a heat of six drivers with team members in alternate lanes.  All points would be added with the top two scoring teams competing in the main final and the other two team racing in a 3rd/4th place race-off.  We lost our first heat we lost 41-45 (I finished one race and scored 5 points).  We won our second heat 46-39 (I finished two races and scored 10 points – including a first Slotstox race win of the season).  We lost our third heat 38-50 (I finished three races and scored 11 points).  Our total of 125 points just missed out on the final as the second team scored 128 points.  We won the 3rd/4th place race off 44-22 (to be consistent in race finishes I finished four races and scored 20 points). 

The 35th Slotstox World Championship on 3rd December was hosted by the Wisbech Fen Tigers Slotstox Club and was only my second Slotstox meeting of the season but following the Arena Parmastox Team Championship the preceding Wednesday and the Parmastox Winternationals Championship the previous day was my third Slot-Racing meeting in five days! I arrived in good time to ensure I was able to run my Slotstox in and also sufficiently tape the tyres for grip. There were 28 drivers racing - 15 representing the host club, 11 representing the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club, 1 representing the Three Counties Slotstox Club and only me representing Arena! 24 of those drivers would qualify from the heats to the quarter finals and racing from Champions grade (being Arena Gold Top and Points Champion from 2016) I qualified joint 10th with one other driver with 64 points: 19 points in my first heat (2nd in lanes 2 and 3, 3rd in lane 4, 4th in lane 1 and 5th in lane 5), 22 points in my second heat (2nd in lanes 4 and 5, 3rd in lane 3, 4th in lanes 1 and 2 and 5th in lane 6) and 23 points in my third heat (1st in lane 1 - my only win of the day, 2nd in lanes 2 and 3, 3rd in lane 4 and 4th in lane 5).  My quarter-final did not start well with a 5th in lane 4, a self-inflicted crash in lane 5 and 6th in lane 6. 2nd in each of lanes 1 and 2 gave hope but being in a crash which de-slotted my Slotstox (on to the centre green!) early on in lane 3 ended my chances.  I finished 5th with 13 points (4th scored 13 whilst the 3rd and final qualifier scored 22) to be eliminated from the Slotstox World Championship. From looking at the scores after the quarter-final I needed to win the last race and hope that the driver that finished 3rd didn't finish... their 3rd place finish in the final race made my crashing out less decisive! My lack of Slotstox racing probably counted against me with my best hope of making the final probably being the venue as all five of my Slotstox World Championship finals have been at different venues - 1996: Foxhall Stadium, 2000 Rushmere Village Hall, 2001 Bucklesham and Foxhall Village Hall, 2006 Emneth Village Hall and 2012 Cheshunt Comrades Club – and with the 2017 event taking place at the Emneth Church Hall this would have been another different venue... but it wasn't to be!

 

Parmastox

8 February - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' - using my blue Parmastox with a deteriorating cog meaning it was a little noisy - heat 1 1st of five drivers (31 - a scrappy first heat of the season only achieving 7 finishes and same points as 2nd but I had 4 race wins compared with their 3) and heat 2 2nd of five drivers (46). My heat win ensured I qualified for the final - 1st of six drivers (42) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  Grand National - starting a lap down - 3rd of six drivers (9) - 4 Arena Grand National points chart points.  I missed Arena points rounds 2 and 3 on 15 and 22 February respectively due to holiday. 8 March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'WACC' - using my blue Parmastox - heat 1 1st of four drivers (45) and heat 2 1st of four drivers (41).  Final - being targeted 2nd of six drivers (21) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.

With points/grades now being updated after four meetings (recent seasons three) and having missed round 2 and 3, during the first 4 rounds I was 6th highest points scorer on 25 points with the joint highest average with one other driver of 12.5 points.  Being the Arena Gold Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was 6th in the Arena Grand National points chart with 4 points. 

19 April - Arena points chart round 5 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'WACC' - using my red Parmastox - heat 1 1st of six drivers (38), heat 2 2nd of six drivers (30 - 1st scored 31) and heat 3 3rd of six drivers (27 - 1st scored 29 and 2nd scored 28). Final - 2nd of seven drivers (37 - 1st scored 40.  With the final leader having finished their races, I needed 9 points from the final two races, where I was in the inside lane, to win the final.  I won and scored 5 points in the penultimate race and was well placed in the final race before being stopped by a deslotted Parmastox!) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points and 2nd in the Gold Top Qualifying points 1 point behind the driver that won the final who scored a maximum 13. 

On 6th May, I raced at the Three Counties Club in the Best in Britain. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. Being on my own with the twins (Clare having something else on) I did not practice.  I decided to race my blue Parmastox and after a quick fix to reinsert the rear hook, the front wheels fell off during the first race (I clearly hadn't reinstated the front axle sufficiently tightly!) - it mattered little - heat 1 1st (6 points) of six drivers (36). The highlight race for me being when another car fell in my lane and I used this to help de-slot the leading Parmastox and leave me as the only finisher. I was surprised to initially be scored 1st in my second heat but two race scores had been missed and once these were added - heat 2 2nd (5) of five drivers (29).  Heat 3 1st (6) of five drivers (41). My heat points score of 17 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 6th of six drivers (13 - two wins in the first two races in lane 1 were followed by just one further race finish in 3rd and a succession of crashes and not all of my own doing!) 

10 May - Arena points chart round 6 at 'WACC' - using my blue Parmastox - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (35 - 3rd scored 34) and heat 2 2nd of six drivers (35).  My two second places were sufficient to qualify direct to the final - 2nd of six drivers (39 - 1st scored 42 with crashing on my own when in second place and chasing first in the first race ultimately proving decisive) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points.  24 May - Arena points chart round 7 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of seven drivers (45). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 - 1st of seven drivers (35) and heat 3 - 3rd of seven drivers (25). I switched back to my blue Parmastox for the final - 1st of five drivers (51 finishing all 12 races) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint first in the Gold Top Qualifying points with 25 points. 

On 27th May, I raced at the Wellgate Slotstox Club in Metal Mania XI which doubled up as the National Championship. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (four lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals.  I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 1st (6 points) of six drivers (27), heat 2 1st (6) of six drivers (16 - four no finishes in lanes 3 and 4 followed by four wins in lanes 1 and 2!) and heat 3 2nd (5) of six drivers (16 - 3rd scored 15 and 4th 14). My heat points score of 17 was enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 4th of six drivers (15 - 3rd scored 17 with one self-inflicted crash plus two non-finishes when well-placed proving costly). Clare borrowed my red Parmastox to make her Wellgate debut and failed to finish a race and thus scored 0 points and finished 6th of six drivers in each her three heats! Plus a large impact by another Parmastox caused some serious damage to my red Parmastox during her first heat! 

On 3rd June, I raced at the Three Counties Slotstox Club at the Talbot Tribute meeting in remembrance of Aaron Talbot who passed away at a young age in 2016 with meeting proceeds being donated to the Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy charity (SUDEP). This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance plus, after taking an interest the day before and after some logistical arrangements, our nephew Dougie.  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 4th (3 points) of five drivers (9 a little distracted plus I got involved in some crashes with another driver), heat 2 3rd (4) of five drivers (33 - 1st and 2nd each scored 34 with a non-finish in my final race being the difference) and heat 3 3rd (4) of five drivers (26). My heat points score of 11 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Not my finest race meeting but that was secondary to a fantastic amount of money made for SUDEP. Clare borrowed my red Parmastox to make her Three Counties debut - heat 1 5th (2) of five drivers (9), heat 2 3rd (4) of five drivers (16 - 4th scored 15) and heat 3 5th of five drivers (1) - total 7 points. Dougie made his racing debut at this meeting - his debut heat was my first heat hence why I was a little distracted - 5th of five drivers in each of his three heats (5 (a race win!), 6 and 1 respectively) - total 6 (3x2) points.  I used my red Parmastox to race in a hard hitting Silver/Gold Top Grand National - 5th of six drivers (10 - with some revenge given from heat 1!) 

On 10th June, I raced at the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) at the Ipswich Open Championship. With Clare having something else on I was accompanied by our twins but did have my mum and dad in attendance to help entertain them!  All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 12, 2nd 10, 3rd 8, 4th 5, 5th 4, 6th 2 and 7th 1.  The highest points scoring ten drivers would qualify direct to the semi-finals with the remaining drivers racing in two consolations and the winner of each also qualifying to the semi-finals with the top three in each semi-final qualifying to the final. I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 2nd (10 points) of seven drivers (32), heat 2 5th (4) of seven drivers (21 – 4th scored 22) and heat 3 3rd (8) of six drivers (24 – 4th scored 23 and 5th 22). My heat points score of 22 was enough to qualify direct to the semi-finals.  After a side iron was fixed on my blue Parmastox - semi-final – 3rd of six drivers (24 – 4th and 5th both scored 22) and I therefore qualified for the final – 4th of six drivers (25).  Having at times been way off the pace during the meeting consistent finishing and scoring had proved an effective approach!  Having collected my 2016 Arena Open winning trophy holding Harry, this time I was holding Seb. I passed him the trophy and he immediately claimed it as his own for earlier touching the ceiling when I lifted him up!  He proceeded to carry it around most of the evening, slept with it at the end of his bed and was still carrying it around early the next morning!

My dad borrowed my red Parmastox with new tyres to make his ARC debut and at times was going well - heat 1 6th (2) of seven drivers (13), heat 2 5th (4) of seven drivers and heat 3 7th (1) of seven drivers (10).  His total of 7 points was not enough to qualify direct to the semi-finals and so he raced in one of the two consolations – 5th of five drivers (7).

14 June - Arena points chart round 8 at 'WACC' with black lane not working so heats consisting of 10 races rather than the usual 12 - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (32). I switched to my red Parmastox heat 2 running in new tyres and newish braids - 2nd of six drivers (23). I switched back to my blue Parmastox for the final - 1st of six drivers (35 - only non-finishing in the first race) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

During rounds 5 to 8, I was joint highest points scorer with one other driver on 49 points with the joint highest average with one other driver of 12.3 points.  Being the Arena Gold Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was second in the Arena Points Chart with 74 points and the highest average of 12.3 points.  I was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 10 points. 

30 June - I made a Friday evening trip to the Three Counties Club to race in the Midland Championship. All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring eleven drivers would qualify direct to the semi-finals with the remaining drivers racing in a consolation with the winner also qualifying for the semi-finals. Following practice I decided to race my red Parmastox to run in the new tyres and braids - heat 1 3rd (4 points) of five drivers (24), heat 2 4th (3) of six drivers (20) and heat 3 2nd (5) of six drivers (29).  My heat points score of 12 was enough to qualify direct for the semi-finals in 10th. Semi-final - top three qualifying for the final; 5th of six drivers (21 - some good results with help of bumper work towards the end were too little too late). 

12 July - Arena points chart round 9 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of five drivers (39). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - 3rd of five drivers (17 - 4th scored 16). With my heat win I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 2nd of six drivers (30) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 37 points.  26 July - Arena points chart round 10 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (44). I switched to my red Parmastox for heats 2 and 3 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (30 - same as 1st but their points had come from 6 wins whereas I had only 2 wins. Two non-finishes in my last lane - red - proved decisive with the winner getting 2 wins) and heat 3 - run over one race per lane - 1st of six drivers (13). I switched back to my blue Parmastox for the final (which ended up being run over 13 races due to an erroneous extra race somewhere!) - 1st of six drivers (40) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.  23 August - Arena points chart round 11 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (47 - finishing 10 of the 12 races). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids although the cogs started to slip towards the end of the heat - 1st of six drivers (47 again - this time finishing 11 of the 12 races). I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 2nd of six drivers (28) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 49 points.  13 September - Arena points chart round 12 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of five drivers (44 - finishing 11 of the 12 races). I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - 3rd of five drivers (25). My heat win meant I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (19 - run over one race per lane due to time) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

During rounds 9 to 12, I was highest points scorer on 50 points with the second highest average of 12.5 points.  Being the Arena Gold Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was first in the Arena Points Chart with 124 points and the highest average of 12.4 points.  With no Grand National run during rounds 9 to 12 I remained joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Grand National points chart with 10 points. 

29 September - I made a debut appearance at the Luton Slot Car Club (albeit currently based in Kempston) for their Gold Top qualifying round 1. All heats were one race per lane (six lanes) over 10 laps with points scored based on a combination of laps completed in each race plus finishing positions in each race. The finishing position in each heat determined points chart points and with all 10 drivers racing in each qualifying heat - 10 for 1st, 9 for 2nd etc. I was using my Blue Parmastox and also my 3ohm hand controller which with Luton running on 14 volts (rather than the 11 I am used to) meant it was a challenge just to keep my Parmastox in its lane without any thoughts of actually racing! With the power to each lane cutting off once you crossed the line after the winner had finished, I didn't actually manage to finish a full 10 laps in any race! A Luton member did lend me their hand controller for a few races but it was easier to continue with one hand controller rather than keep switching especially as no practice was available between races.  Heat 1 - 10th (I believe 15 points - a baptism of fire!) and 1 points chart point. Heat 2 - 5th (90 - starting to adapt and was leading at one point although I had raced more races than most of the other 9 drivers at that point!) and 6 points chart points. Heat 3 - 8th (64) and 3 points chart points. My 10 points chart points were unsurprisingly not enough to qualify in the top 4 to the final so I raced in the consolation - top 2 to qualify for the final. Consolation - 5th of 6 drivers (76) and so failed to qualify for the final. Grand National - joint 7th of 10 drivers with one other driver (71).  Overall it was an enjoyable evening and a good trial run and learning curve in terms of finding the location, knowing what to expect and where improvement required.

Being the only meeting I raced at during 2017 at Luton Slot Car club I finished 17th in the Luton Slotstox Points with 10 points. 

11 October - Arena points chart round 13 at 'WACC' - heat 1 (blue Parmastox) 1st of six drivers (37).  I switched to my red Parmastox for heat 2 continuing to run in new tyres and braids - 4th of six drivers (27 - 3rd scored 28 and 5th 25).  My heat win meant I qualified direct to the final and switched back to my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (44) - maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points. 

On 14th October, I raced at the 2017 Arena Open Championship hosted by the Arena Slotstox Club which was run as the European Championship with 21 drivers in attendance. The meeting also doubled up as the fourth round in the unofficial 2017 Parmastox British Slotstox Association National Points Championship. The day was a family day out as I aimed to defend the Arena Open Championship I won in 2016 having on that day won all my 3 heats, my semi-final and the final despite having a what I thought was a slight cold that subsequently turned into a serious chest infection during the following week!  All heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with points scored based on finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats would qualify to the semi-finals. Heat 1 - 2nd (5 points) of seven drivers (50 - 1st scored 54 with a crash on my own in my first race in black lane costing me the win)! Heat 2 5th (2 points) of seven drivers (28 - 4th scored 29 with only 1 finish and 5 points from red, white and black lanes not helping my points score!) and heat 3 3rd (4 points) of seven drivers (39 - with only 1 finish and 5 points from blue and yellow lanes). My 11 heat points were sufficient to qualify for the semi-finals as 9th highest scorer (whilst I was joint 5th with one other driver on actual raw heat points scored). I started my semi-final well with 26 points from the first five races and was leading before non-finishes in my second race in white lane and two crashes on my own in black lane proved costly even before I ended the semi-final with two non-finishes in blue lane! I ended up finishing 5th with 32 points missing the top 3 qualifying places by 13 points. A disappointing way to end the defence of my Arena Open title and ultimately too many complacent errors proved costly on the day even without non-finishes due to other de-slotted Parmastox. Running the meeting was no excuse as this was the same in 2016!  Not my day but one to learn from and had I made the final I believe I would have stood a chance to win it. 5th in the semi-final equated to 4 British Slotstox Association National Championship Series points and added to my heats score meant a total of 15 points on the day.  Prior to this round the unofficial 2017 British Slotstox Association National Championship Series points had been published which showed I was 6th with 42 points - round 1 at RS Promotions on 25 February: 0 points (missed due to holiday), round 2 at Three Counties on 6 May (Best in Britain): 20 points (heats 17 plus 3 from finishing 6th in my semi-final) and round 3 at Wellgate 27 May (National Championship): 22 points (heats 17 plus 5 from finishing 4th in my semi-final). Following this round I now had 57 points. 

8 November - 14th and penultimate Arena points chart round and 5th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at 'WACC' (blue Parmastox) knowing that with a heat and final maximum I would win the 2017 Arena Points Championship (or simply beating the driver second in the points by 1 point)!  Heat 1 4th of six drivers (23 - too many non-finishes caused by de-slotted Parmastox although there was one moment of good fortune which saw my Parmastox de-slot after clipping another Parmastox only to be knocked back in by a combination of that Parmastox and another Parmastox and then all the other drivers crash leaving me as the only finisher!  I think my luck in this heat ran out at that point!) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (32 - scrappy but ultimately effective). I qualified direct to the final knowing that, having ground out a heat win, a win in the final and I would win me the 2017 Arena Points Championship... that was the plan anyway - 3rd of six drivers (27 - 2nd scored 28 and never really in the running for the win) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  With the driver second in the points winning the final and scoring 12 points I would need to wait until the final round (needing 2 points) to try and win the 2017 Arena Points Championship.  I finished 1st in the Gold Top Qualifying points with 60 points. 

On 17th November, I raced at the 2017 British Championship (now a one-off single meeting) at the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) in Ipswich with 26 drivers in attendance. The meeting also doubled up as the fifth round in the unofficial 2017 Parmastox British Slotstox Association National Points Championship. The day was a family day out.  My intention was to race my red Parmastox so as to protect my blue Parmastox for Arena Gold Top final the following Wednesday but at scruitineering the rear bumper height was on the limit and after not being happy during some practice I decided to practice with my blue Parmastox after all.  My blue Parmastox was better but was getting stuck at certain points of the track and the ride height was too low at scruitineering.  I swapped the newer tyres from my red Parmastox to increase its height, which the ARC track necessitates, whilst fellow drivers helped improve with getting stuck and also shape the tyres to assist cornering… all the time whilst hoping it would still race well around Arena!  All heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with points scored based on finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers in the heats would qualify to the semi-finals. Heat 1 - 2nd (5 points) of six drivers (27 – 3rd scored 25 – a competitive heat of red and above drivers), Heat 2 - 2nd (5 points) of seven drivers (32 – 3rd scored 31) and heat 3 - 6th (1 point) of seven drivers (13 - 7th scored 11 as I had too many non-finishes!)  My 11 heat points were sufficient to qualify for the semi-finals as 11th highest scorer.  Although I finished consistently throughout my semi-final they were in too low places with lower grade drivers proving difficult to catch – 5th of six drivers (24 – 4th also scored 24 but they had 1 race win to whereas I had none and 3rd (final qualifier) scored 27).  5th in the semi-final equated to 4 British Slotstox Association National Points Championship Seriess and added to my heats score meant a total of 15 points on the day and now 72 points in total to finish 5th in the unofficial 2017 British Slotstox Association National Points Championship Series. 

22nd November – 15th and final Arena points round incorporating the Arena Gold Top Championship Final at WACC attempting to defend my Arena Gold Top Championship and needing 2 points to defend the Arena Points Championship.  Having finished top of the Arena Parmastox Gold Top qualifying points I had first pick of the six drivers in drawing starting lane in qualifying order. Using my blue Parmastox (after switching back the rear wheels/tyres then making some other quick adjustments after struggling in practice which was my concern in making changes at the British), I started in the green lane (lane 6) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the start/finish line. I finished 3rd in my first race in green lane before not finishing the second. I finished 3rd in my first race in blue lane and 2nd in my second race in blue lane.  I matched the results from blue lane in yellow lane. At the half way stage I was 2nd on 17 points but 13 points behind 1st who had won all six races. I won my first race in red lane and a non-finish for 1st narrowed the gap but a 4th in my second race in red lane followed by a non-finish in my first race in white lane (being stopped by a de-slotted Parmastox on the last lap when leading) had the sense of ending my chances (even though scores are kept secret during the final). I won my second race in white lane and finished 2nd in my first race in black lane (de-slotting 1st in the process). I again de-slotted 1st in my second race in black lane but was de-slotted by a de-slotted Parmastox on the final bend to non-finish.  I finished runner-up in the Arena Gold Top Championship.

Needing 5th or better my Gold Top runner-up finish meant I won the Arena Points Championship.  With a wire detaching on my blue Parmastox I raced my red Parmastox for the rest of the meeting - heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (23) and for the first time in 2017 I failed to qualify direct to the final.  Consolation (one race per lane) - needing to finish in the top 3 to qualify for the final - 2nd of six drivers (11).  Final (also one race per lane) - 2nd of six drivers (14 - 1st scored 15 and 3rd scored 13) - 11 (best heat/consolation 4 + Final 11) points chart points.

During the 13th to 15th rounds, I was the highest scorer with 35 points and the highest average of 11.7 points. I defended the Parmastox Arena Points Championship with 159 points and the highest season average of 12.2 points and would hold the Silver Roof for the 2018 season. All rounds were raced on the 'WACC' track.  I was joint winner (with one other driver) to 'defend' the Arena Slotstox Grand National Championship with 10 points.  Having raced at 14 of the 15 rounds I won six finals. 

29 November - Arena Team Championship with 3 teams of 3 drawn at random plus a team of 2 (with one other driver drawn at random to join them).  I was drawn to team up with 2017 Arena Gold Top Champion Christopher Isham and Arena yellow grade driver Dale Russell (Team B).  Each team would race against each other in qualifying heats with the top 2 points scorers racing in the final.  Each heat consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes.  In all heats Chris raced in the two inside lanes, Dale the two middle lanes and me the two outside lanes.  In our first heat against Team D we scored 46 points (to 27) - me 22, Chris 10 and Dale 5.  In our second heat against Team A we scored 33 (to 28) - me 12, Dale 15 and Chris 8 although I did a bit of team racing during the second set of three races to disrupt the other team!  In our third heat against Team C we scored 32 (to 26) - me 13, Chris 10, and Dale 9.  We finished as top scorers (113) to qualify for the final against Team A (93).  At the half way stage of the final we were losing 13-12 but after a second half turn around (including, as in our heat, some racing by me to disrupt the other team!) we won by 40 points to 20 - me 11, Dale 15 and Chris 14 and I won my first Arena Team Championship. 

On 2nd December, I raced at the 2017 Winternationals Championship the Cheylsmore Social Club in Coventry making my debut at a meeting hosted by RS Promotions with 16 drivers in attendance.  With Clare working I was on my own with the boys and was a little late arriving having watched England narrowly lose to Australia in the Rugby League World Cup final first (being so close I didn't want to leave before the match had finished!) All heats were two races per lane over 8 laps with points scored based on finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring four drivers in the heats would qualify to the final with the remaining 12 racing in two consolations and the winner of each also qualifying. For heat 1 I raced my blue Parmastox 3rd (4 points) of seven drivers (24). With the track being a contact track I felt that my blue Parmastox was too light so decided to switch to my red Parmastox. Heat 2 - 4th (3 points) of seven drivers (30) and heat 3 - 6th (1 point) of seven drivers (16). My 8 heat points were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final so I raced in a consolation persevering with my red Parmastox which proved a good decision - 1st of six drivers (49) to qualify for the final. Final - continuing with my red Parmastox - 6th of six drivers (18 - some good pace but too many non-finishes). A good day out even if a bit challenging / distracting at times being on my own with the boys.




Parma-Saloons

30 August - whilst in general not racing Parma-Saloons (as a way of limiting racing commitments) I made a debut appearance at I believe Arena points chart round 11 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC'.  This was partly due to not working in London this day and also to enable my nephew Dougie to race at a further meeting following his Parmastox debut at the Talbot Tribute meeting hosted by the Three Counties Slotstox Club in June. Using a borrowed Parma-Saloon and starting from my most recent Slot-Saloon grade at the Foxhall Foxes Slotstox Club of yellow - heat 1 2nd of six drivers (36) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (39). With my heat win I qualified direct to the final - 4th of six drivers (14 - same points as 3rd but they had 2 race wins to my 1) - 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.

As for Dougie, starting from white grade - heat 1 6th of six drivers (14) and heat 2 6th of six drivers (3). Having not qualified direct to the final - consolation 6th of six drivers (4) with only the first three qualifying to the final - 2 (best two heat / consolation 1 + 1) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. 

 

Alternative formulae

With limited time access to the Waltham Abbey Community Centre, there was no time for heats of the Alternative formulae e.g. Bangers, Minis at the end of the main formulae meeting. For 2017 Alternative formulae were given dedicated meetings with a dedicated Arena points championship with the points chart based on finishing positions in each heat 6 for 1st, 5 for 2nd etc. 

I missed points round 1 on 29 March due to being delayed at work. 

On 28th June at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 2 which doubled up as the Arena Midsummer Madness Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats one race per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Midsummer Madness Championship: Minis – 18 points, 2nd highest points scorer and 2 points behind 1st; Little Van Bangers – 12 points, 4th highest Little Van Bangers points scorer and joint 3rd overall with two other drivers with 30 points, 2 points behind 2nd and 3 points behind 1st; and Bangers/Saloons and caravans (I raced my Parma Banger with a borrowed caravan) 8 points, 4th highest Bangers/Saloons points scorer and 4th overall with 38 points, 1 point behind 3rd, 2 points behind 2nd but 17 points behind 1st!  The final formula was Reliants with a dedicated car provided by the club allocated to each of the inside two lanes, the middle two lanes and the outside two lanes - 23 points and joint highest Reliants points scorer with one other driver. I finished 2nd overall of nine drivers with 61 points and 9 points behind the winner.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Minis heat - 2nd of five drivers (5); Little Van Bangers heat - 3rd of four drivers (4); Bangers/Saloons and caravans heat - 3rd of five drivers (4); and Reliants heat 1st of three drivers (6) - a total of 19 points. Having missed round 1, I was 7th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with the joint 4th highest, with one other driver, heat score average of 4.8 points. 

I missed points round 3 on 16 August due to holiday and was down to joint 9th with two other drivers in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart but now with the 2nd highest heat score average of 4.8 points. 

I missed points round 4 on 27 September due to childcare arrangements and was down to joint 10th with one other driver

in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with the joint 2nd, with two other drivers, highest heat score average of 4.8 points. 

On 18th October at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 5 which doubled up as the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats two races per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Halloween Havoc Championship: Classic Hot Rods (borrowing a Classic Hot Rod) – 36 points, 3rd highest points scorer and 7 points behind 1st.  Bangers and Caravans (with a borrowed caravan) – 50 points (2 non-finishes followed by 10 race wins!), highest Bangers and Caravans points scorer and 1st overall with 86 points, 25 points ahead of 2nd.  The final formula was Reliants with a dedicated car provided by the club allocated to each lane - 30 points and highest Reliants points scorer. I finished 1st overall of ten drivers with 116 points and 40 points ahead of 2nd.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat - 2nd of five drivers (5); Bangers/Saloons and caravans heat - 1st of five drivers (6); and Reliants heat 1st of nine drivers (6) - a total of 17 points. I was 9th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 36 points and the highest heat score average of 5.1 points. 

On 13th December at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Xmas Fun meeting and the 6th and final round of the Alternative formulae points Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats two races per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Xmas Fun Meeting: Libre (racing my Parma-Banger) – 43 points and highest points scorer and Parmastox and Sledge (with a club provided sledge) – 14 points (from my first 3 races in the outside lanes followed by 9 non-finishes!).  I finished 2nd overall just 1 point behind 1st.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Libre heat - 1st of five drivers (6) and Parmastox and Sledge heat - 3rd of four drivers (4) - a total of 10 points. 

I finished 8th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 46 points and the highest heat score average of 5.1 points (having raced in 9 of the total 19 heats).

 

SLOTSTOX FOXHALL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD

 

PARMASTOX UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 5TH - 72 points

PARMASTOX IPSWICH 'OPEN' CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH
PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 159 POINTS
PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP
PARMASTOX ARENA GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION (joint): 10 points

PARMASTOX ARENA TEAM CHAMPION (with Christopher Isham and Dale Russell)

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 6 final wins

ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP 8TH: 46 POINTS 

ARENA MID-SUMMER MADNESS CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP
ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPION

ARENA XMAS FUN NIGHT RUNNER-UP

 

2018

 

Parmastox
17 January - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (44 - including 8 race wins!) My heat win ensured I qualified for the final so I raced my red Parmastox in heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (21). Final - 4th of six drivers (26 - same points as 2nd and 3rd but 1st had 3 race wins, 2nd had 1 race win and three 2nd place finishes whilst I had 1 race win and only one 2nd place finish) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points. 31 January - Arena points chart round 2 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (32) and heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (21).  My results were sufficient to qualify direct to the final - 2nd of six drivers (28 - 3rd scored 26) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart points. 7 March - Arena points chart round 3 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (28 - only finishing 6 of the 12 races with 5 of those being wins including crucially 3 of the last 4 races in a low scoring heat) and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (36).  My heat win meant I qualified direct to the final and after struggling for speed in the heats a tweak of the braids meant my Parmastox was much quicker but I then suffered from too many non-finishes - 4th of six drivers (24 - although my error meant I did miss out on 3rd by virtue of leading one race but losing track of the number of laps and by doing an extra lap finished 5th instead of 1st) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.  21 March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (25 - 2nd scored 26 and 1st 27) and heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (31). By not winning a heat I raced in the consolation (the first for a long while) - 1st of six drivers with the first four qualifying to the final (33).  Final - 2nd of six drivers (29 - same as 3rd but whilst we both had 2 race wins and 3 2nd place finishes, I had one 3rd place finish to their none.  1st scored 30!) - 12 (best heat/consolation 5 + final 7) points chart points - not a bad return given it wasn't my finest race meeting with a few too many self-inflicted non-finishes.

 

During the first 4 rounds points/grades cycle I was 2nd highest points scorer on 43 points with the 3rd highest average 10.8 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top Champion my grade for the season would not change. 

On 24th March, I raced at the Wellgate Slotstox Club in Metal Mania VII which doubled up as the Supreme Championship and BSA National Series round 1. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (four lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals.  I raced my blue Parmastox with the rear wheels and tyres switched from my red Parmastox after it failed scruitneering for being too low - heat 1 3rd (4 points) of five drivers (13), heat 2 4th (3) of five drivers (7) and heat 3 4th (3) of six drivers (11). My heat point score of 10 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals and after round 1 of the National Series Points I was joint 22nd with one other driver.  Not my finest racing day with too many non-finishes especially with heats only being 8 races and little margin for error. Clare borrowed my red Parmastox (with completely new rear tyres/wheels) for her second Wellgate appearance having failed to score a point at Metal Mania XI in 2017 when a large impact by another Parmastox caused some serious damage to my red Parmastox during her first heat!  This year she did better - heat 1 5th (2 points) of six drivers (9 including a race win as the only finisher), heat 2 5th (2) of five drivers (0) and heat 3 5th (2) of five drivers (4). With her heat point score of 6 she was joint 29th with one other driver in the National Series Points. 

11 April - Arena points chart round 5 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox on which, after recent disappointing performances, I had undertaken some maintenance work the weekend before cleaning wheel and axle points and swapping the front axle with my red Parmastox (which another driver borrowed for the evening). Heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (42) and heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (52 - with 11 finishes of which 9 were race wins including the first 8 races!) My two heat wins meant I qualified direct to the final - 1st of six drivers (38) - the weekend maintenance work paying immediate dividends with a first final win of the season and a maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points.

On 14th April, I raced at the Anglian Racewall Club (ARC) in the Best in Britain Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 2. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance helped by my mum and dad to look after them. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals.  I raced my blue Parmastox - heat 1 2nd (5 points) of seven drivers (40), heat 2 2nd (5) of seven drivers (34) and heat 3 another 2nd (5) of six drivers (32).  My heat point score of 15 was the 4th highest and I qualified for the semi-finals - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 3rd of six drivers (36 - 4th scored 33 as consistent finishes helped me to overcome the disadvantage of being the highest graded driver). I therefore qualified for the final – 6th of six drivers (23 - 5th scored 24 as that little bit of luck deserted with too many non-finishes but compared with my results at Wellgate in BSA National Series round 1 this was an improvement.  6th in the final equated to an additional 6 National Series points totalling a score of 21 at this round and after round 2 of the National Series I was 7th in the points with an overall score of 31.  Clare again borrowed my red Parmastox and we were drawn together in the first two heats so she borrowed a hand controller which appeared to suit her better - heat 1 7th (1 point) of seven drivers (16),  heat 2 4th (3) of seven drivers (25) and heat 3 7th (1) of six drivers (18). Her heat point score of 5 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals.  After round 2 of the National Series she was joint 23rd in the points with four other drivers with 11 points. 

25 April - Arena points chart round 6 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 4th of six drivers (24 - same points as 3rd but they had 1 race win to my none, 2nd scored 26 and 5th scored 23),  heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (30 - 1st scored 34 and 2nd scored 33) and heat 3 - 1st of six drivers (39).  All seven drivers remaining at the meeting raced in the final - 3rd (27 - same points as 2nd but they had 3 race wins to my 2 and 1st scored 29) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points. 

23 May - Arena points chart round 7 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 3rd of six drivers (25 - not the best of luck and only six race finishes) and heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (22 - too many errors meaning only 5 races finishes and the same points as 4th but I had 3 race wins to their none).  My heat positions were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final so I raced in the consolation with only the winner to qualify to the final - 1st of six drivers (42). Final - 4th of six drivers (24 - same as 3rd and 5th but 3rd had 1 race win and 3 2nds, I had 1 race win and 2 2nds and 5th had 1 race win and 1 2nd) - 10 (best heat/consolation 5 + final 5) points chart points - another consistent return from another scrappy meeting.   13 June - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 2nd of seven drivers (27), heat 2 - 5th of seven drivers (17 - with only 5 race finishes) and heat 3 - 4th of seven drivers (21 - with again only 5 race finishes). All remaining six drivers raced in the final - 2nd (40 - same as 1st but my 11 race finishes included just 2 race wins compared with their 7 race wins) - 11 (best heat 4 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points - another consistent return for the points chart and I was joint second with one other driver in the Gold Top Qualifying points.

During rounds 5 to 8, I was highest points scorer on 45 points with the highest average of 11.3 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 88 points and the 2nd highest average of 11.0 points. 

20 June - Arena points chart round 9 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (42), heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (34) and heat 3 - 4th of five drivers (24 - 2nd and 3rd each scored 25). All remaining five drivers raced in the final - 1st (40 - 2nd scored 39) for a 2nd final win and maximum of the season - 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points. Much more like it!  18 July - Arena points chart round 10 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (31 - 2nd scored 30), heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (32 - 2nd scored 30 and 3rd 29) and heat 3 - 2nd of six drivers (25 - same points as 3rd but I had 3 race wins to their 2).  All remaining seven drivers raced in the final - 1st (37 - 2nd scored 36) for a 3rd final win and maximum (two in a row) of the season - 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points - not on my best form but did what was needed and I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 24 points.  25 July - Arena points chart round 11 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 2nd of five drivers (43 - 1st scored 44). I switched to my red Parmastox with Shale wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 - 1st of five drivers (38) and heat 3 - 1st of five drivers (25 - 2nd scored 24 and 3rd 23). All five drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox which in hindsight may have been a mistake due to minor mechanical issues - 2nd (33 - 1st scored 34) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points - all things considered another consistent score.  15 August - Arena points chart round 12 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of five drivers (28 - 2nd scored 27). I switched to my red Parmastox for heats 2 (shale wing) and 3 (tarmac wing and having switched braids with my blue Parmastox) - heat 2 - 4th of six drivers (26 - same as 3rd but they had one win and four 2nd place finishes whereas I had one win and one 2nd place finish whilst 1st scores 27 and 2nd 26) - heat 3 - 5th of six drivers (17 - 4th scored 18). All six drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox now with braids switched from my red Parmastox. I did intend to use/test this in heat 3 but decided my more robust red Parmastox was suited to this heat. In hindsight perhaps I should have tested and sorted a few issues - 4th (18 - 5th scored 17) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points - not my best meeting another double figure score.

During rounds 9 to 12, I was highest points scorer on 48 points with the second highest average of 12 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 136 points and the 2nd highest average of 11.3 points.

22 August - Arena points chart round 13 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox on which, after the disappointing performance the previous week, I had undertaken some maintenance work the weekend before on the braids and wheel and axle points - 1st of six drivers (45 - 11 race finishes with some due to pure persistence when blocked by crashed Parmastox!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heats 2 and 3 on which I had also undertaken some maintenance work the weekend before on the wheel and axle points and wanted to see whether this had improved performance - heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (33 - a six point deficit overturned in the final two races with two wins compared to their two non-finishes) and heat 3 - 2nd of six drivers (35 - 1st scored 37 - with a crash on my own when running 2nd in the penultimate race costing me a clean sweep of heat wins!) My two heat wins were sufficient to qualify direct to the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox, after deliberation as both Parmastox were going well but I had been more dominant in heat 1. This proved to be a good choice - 1st of six drivers (43 - and as for heat 1 11 race finishes) - the weekend maintenance work paying immediate dividends with a 4th final win and maximum of the season 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I remained top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 37 points. This was a significant double figure score as a few weeks previously I had thought to myself that I had been consistently scoring double figure scores at Arena Parmastox meetings. I then looked back to the last time I had a single figure score at a meeting I attended.  I was surprised to learn that this was an ‘8’ at the meeting on 2 September 2015!  With the next Arena Parmastox meeting not until 12 September this will be 3 years of scoring double figures!   For the record: 2015 after 2 September - 5 meetings, 3 attended – 1 x 13 / 2 x 12; 2016 – 18 meetings, 16 attended – 11 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 1 x 11 / 1 x 10; 2017 – 15 meetings, 13 attended – 6 x 13 / 4 x 12 / 3 x 11; 2018 to date – 13 meetings, 13 attended – 4 x 13 / 2 x 12 / 3 x 11 / 4 x 10

45 meetings in a row!  A few nervy moments over the past few weeks when I realised 3 years was possible – see above for 15 August! 

12 September - Arena points chart round 14 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (48 - 11 race finishes after a non-finish in the first race!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 - 1st of six drivers (27 - 2nd scored 25) and heat 3 - 4th of six drivers (21 - same as 2nd and 3rd but I had one race win compared with their four and two respectively). All remaining seven drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox - 3rd (22 with several non-finishes including some self-inflicted!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I remained top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 48 points but now just 1 point ahead of 2nd.  19 September - Arena points chart round 15 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of seven drivers (48 - 12 race finishes!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 - 2nd of seven drivers (32) and heat 3 - 4th of seven drivers (22). I continued with my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing for heat 4 but had switched around the rear wheels and tyres in order to wear the tyres down evenly as one was more worn then the other - 6th of six drivers (14).  All remaining six drivers raced in the final for which I switched back to my blue Parmastox - 1st (35) - a 5th final win and maximum of the season 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points. 

On 22 September, I raced at the Luton Slot Car Club in the Best in Beds Championship – the first Parmastox Open meeting to be hosted by the Luton Slot Car Club and my second meeting following a debut visit just under a year earlier. This was a family day out but I was on my own with the twins and all the challenges that brings! Although not a BSA National Series round the meeting followed the same format as all drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. After a quick practice of both my blue and red (with no wing) Parmastox, I initially only scruitineered my blue Parmastox and raced this in heat 1 – 5th (2 points) of five drivers (11 – with too many non-finishes). At times my Parmastox felt uncontrollable (thankfully someone caught it after it came off after one crash before it hit the floor having cleared the fence!) and I subsequently found out the reason being that the voltage, although not the usual 14 run by Luton, was set at 12 rather than the 11 I am used to at Arena. Rather than risk damage to my blue Parmastox I had already decided to switch to my red Parmastox with no wing so after switching rear wheels and tyres back round from the midweek meeting at Arena, I got this scrutineered before another quick practice. Being slightly heavier and slower this was easier to control on the higher voltage – heat 2 4th (3) of six drivers (25 – bizarrely my red Parmastox was caught after it had cleared the fence by the same person that had earlier caught my blue Parmastox although this time it was at the other end of the track and a controlled crash!  I had committed to hit another drivers back bumper on the last corner but they had clipped another Parmastox down the straight, de-slotted and crashed and so their back bumper was no longer there to hit/slow me down!) I continued with my red Parmastox with no wing for heat 3 - 3rd (4) of five drivers (40 – 2nd scored 43 and 1st 45 in a close heat that swung back and forth between the first three and I just fell short of the win I likely needed to progress). My heat point score of 9 was the joint 15th highest with two other drivers and I failed to qualify for the semi-finals but I had improved as the day went along on a track style and I am less familiar with on a regular basis and a new track voltage. Heat 1 hadn’t helped and possibly a case of what might have been as far as semi-final qualification was concerned had I used my red Parmastox for all three heats.

10 October - Arena points chart round 16 and Gold Top Qualifying round 5 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (47 - 11 race finishes including 2nd place finishes in the first 6 races!) I switched to my red Parmastox with Shale wing for heats 2 and 3 - heat 2 – 2nd of five drivers (37 – 1st scored 38) and heat 3 – 2nd of five drivers (33). All remaining six drivers raced in the final and I switched back to my blue Parmastox but the metal cog failed in the seventh race and so I finished the final racing my red Parmastox with Shale wing demonstrating the benefit of consistently running two Parmastox - 3rd (32 – 2nd also scored 32 but had 4 race wins to my none!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I was joint top with one other driver of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 59 points.

During rounds 13 to 16, I was joint highest points scorer with other driver on 48 points with the joint highest average with the same driver of 12 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 184 points and a 36 point lead meaning that I needed a maximum of 17 points from the final 4 rounds to win a third consecutive Arena Points Championship. I had the 2nd highest average of 11.5 points.

On 13th October, I raced at the RS Promotions (standing in for the Pinewood Rebels Slotstox Club) hosted European Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 3 at Walcote Memorial Hall in Leicestershire. This was a family day out with Clare and the twins in attendance. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. I arrived with the intention of racing my red Parmastox more suited to a contact track but after getting the rear cog replaced on my blue Parmastox and practicing both I was undecided as both seemed to be on the limit of control. This was until someone mentioned that the voltage was set to 12 at which point I knew the reason and on that basis my heavier red Parmastox would be less on the limit even if management of that would mean it was not on the pace.  Heat 1 5th (2 points) of six drivers (29 – 4th also scored 29 but had two 2nd and three 3rd place finishes compared with my two 2nd and two 3rd place finishes whilst 6th scored 28), heat 2 3rd (4) of six drivers (36 – although I was originally declared 4th with the same points as 3rd and they had 4 wins to my none.  However whilst scoring the following heat I noticed an error in their score which ultimately proved crucial for qualification from the heats…) and heat 3 4th (3) of six drivers (33 – 3rd scored 34). My heat point score of 9 was the joint 12th highest with one other driver…hence the crucial correction of position in heat 2... and I qualified as the 12th and final qualifier for the semi-finals based on raw points 98 to 48 – my consistent finishing proving decisive. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 3rd of six drivers (33) and I therefore qualified for the final.  Final - having changed braids to those from my Plastic Slotstox this gave a little more speed but still not enough balanced against being on the limit of control – 6th of six drivers (27 - 5th also scored 27 but had 3 race wins to my none).  6th in the final equated to an additional 6 National Series points totalling a score of 15 at this round and after round 3 of the National Series I had an overall score of 46 points.  With me racing my red Parmastox which Clare normally borrows at Open meetings Clare did not race.

17 October - Arena points chart round 17 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox which was running much smoother with its new rear cog - 2nd of six drivers (38 - 1st scored 39). Having seen the increased speed my newer Slotstox braids had given my red Parmastox in the European Championship final the preceding weekend I decided to switch these to my blue Parmastox for heat 2 – 5th of six drivers (21 - same as 4th but they had one race win and three 2nd place finishes to my one race win and two 2nd place finishes). This was mixture of self-inflicted non-finishes and bad luck so continued to run/test the newer braids in heat 3 - 4th of six drivers (25). My heat positions were not sufficient to qualify direct to the final so I raced in the consolation with the first two qualifying to the final again continuing to test the newer braids - 2nd of four drivers (28) and the last qualifying place for the final! With only a heat/consolation best of 2nd, I was very concerned at this stage that I needed to finish 3rd or higher in the final to maintain my run of double figure scores and also to make a large dent in the points needed to win a third consecutive Arena Points Championship. Although I hadn’t had the best of luck I was also aware that the newer braids seemed to have made my blue Parmastox too fast causing it to de-slot several times. I therefore changed back to the original braids, retightened the front wires which had been an issue in the latter races of the consolation and also reminded myself to race consistently. All of this seemingly worked when it mattered most - final - 1st of six drivers (36 - from final qualifier to final winner!) - 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points. By winning the final to deny 2nd in the points a chance to take maximum points I now needed a maximum of 4 points from the final 3 rounds to win a third consecutive Arena Points Championship.

24 October - Arena points chart round 18 and 6th and final 2018 Gold Top Qualifying round at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox with the same braids used in the previous weeks final! Suffering with a cold and delayed/detoured on route due to an accident and congestion on the M25 I persevered knowing how close I was to winning a third consecutive Arena Points Championship!  Heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (28 and securing the 4 points chart points I needed... just... as 3rd scored 27!) With the 2018 Arena Points Championship secured the next target was to continue my run of consecutive double point scores knowing that it would be a 50th consecutive meeting. I was therefore determined to win at least one heat knowing that every point could still be crucial - heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (31) and heat 3 - 1st of six drivers (43) securing the heat win which was sufficient to qualify direct to the final and knowing I now needed to finish 4th or higher in it! This was made harder with two drivers tying for second in the consolation meaning a seven driver final and then having to borrow a handcontroller to finish the final after mine broke... and ultimately I was oh so close to falling short - 4th (25 - same as 3rd but they had two race wins and three 2nd place finishes compared to my two race wins and two 2nd place finishes whilst 5th scored 24. I was virtual for the final two races and had results gone differently I would have finished outside the top 4) - 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I finished 2nd in the Gold Top Qualifying points with 69 points and thus qualified in the top 6 for the Gold Top  Championship final on 21 November.

For the record - 50 consecutive double figures scores: 2015 after 2 September - 5 meetings, 3 attended – 1 x 13 / 2 x 12; 2016 – 18 meetings, 16 attended – 11 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 1 x 11 / 1 x 10; 2017 – 15 meetings, 13 attended – 6 x 13 / 4 x 12 / 3 x 11; 2018 to date – 18 meetings, 18 attended – 5 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 5 x 11 / 5 x 10.

On 7 November I took part in a test session on a new track available to the Arena Slotstox Club based on the Hobbs Cross Business Centre in Theydon Garnon, Essex.  Only practicing my blue and red Parmastox, my red Parmastox seemed initially to be more suited to this track.

14 November - Arena points chart round 19 at 'WACC'. Although I had already won the 2018 Arena Points Championship I was still aiming to complete double figure scores at meetings attended across three consecutive seasons. Heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 1st of six drivers (33).  Having won heat 1 I switched to my now equally competitive red Parmastox for heat 2 to keep this run-in - 1st of six drivers (42).  My two heat wins meant I qualified direct to the final and after consideration I switched back to my blue Parmastox - 3rd of six drivers (27 - including one bizarre race where my Parmastox clipped another Parmastox to de-slot at the entrance to the chicane, my de-slotted Parmastox then caused crashes which saw all the other Parmastox de-slot and somehow mine re-slot into white lane as I continued as the only finisher... this despite at one point being broadside across yellow lane - two lanes inside the one it ended up back in!) - 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points - the run of consecutive double figures scores stretched to 51 with just one round to go in 2018!

On 18th November, I raced at the Arena Slotstox Club hosted British Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 4 on the new track available to the Arena Slotstox Club based on the Hobbs Cross Business Centre in Theydon Garnon, Essex. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. During the test session I concluded that my red Parmastox was better suited to this track so decided to race this all day with Tarmac wing. Also in mind was my intention to protect my blue Parmastox from potential damage ahead of the forthcoming Arena Gold Top championship final so I didn’t even test this to see if it would change my mind! Heat 1 4th (3 points) of six drivers (30), heat 2 2nd (5) of six drivers (33) and heat 3 3rd (4) of six drivers (34). My heat point score of 12 was the joint 11th highest with three other drivers so it came down to raw heat points and my 97 was the highest albeit only just with two drivers both having 95 and the other 93 so I qualified 11th out of 30 drivers - once again my consistent finishing, with no race wins during the heats proving decisive. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 6th of six drivers (19) and I was therefore eliminated with no race wins during the entire meeting! 6th in the semi-final equated to an additional 3 National Series points totalling a score of 15 at this round and after round 4 of the National Series I had an overall score of 61 points and was 4th in the overall standings out of 54 drivers who had raced in at least one of the four rounds.

21 November 2018 - having qualified second I was due to race in the Arena Gold Top Championship final as part of Arena Points round 20 at ‘WACC’. Unfortunately my involvement in the meeting was effectively ended when the front of a lorry attempted to occupy a part of the M25 that the rear of my car was already occupying! Although I thankfully walked away without a scratch and was able to nurse my damaged car (with part way police escort) to the WACC I pulled out of the meeting with shock plus to concentrate on dealing with insurance and arranging recovery home. Not racing at this meeting ended my hopes of racing at all 20 points rounds and scoring double figures at all of them but all in all I was fortunate it was not a lot worse.

Despite missing this round, during the 17th to 20th rounds, I was the 3rd highest scorer with 33 points and 3rd highest average of 11.0 points. I defended the Parmastox Arena Points Championship and won a third in a row with 217 points and the third highest season average of 11.4 points (the highest two only raced at one meeting each) and would hold the Silver Roof for the 2019 season. All rounds were raced on the 'WACC' track.  Having raced at 19 of the 20 rounds I won six finals. 

28 November - Arena Team Championship at Hobbs Cross with 3 teams of 3 drawn at random and attempting to defend this championship having won in 2017 teamed up with Christopher Isham and Dale Russell. This season I was drawn to team up with two Arena yellow grade drivers Bradley Shirley and Barbara Skee (Team A). Each team would race against each other twice in qualifying heats with the best 2 teams racing in the final. Each heat consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes. In all heats Barbara raced in the two inside lanes, I raced the two middle lanes (knowing that with two yellow grade drivers I would have to team race as much as I could in order to disrupt the other teams!) and Bradley the two outside lanes. Due a member of Team B arriving late, we had our two heats against Team C first and won them both. Heat 1 by 22 to 19 - me 9, Barbara 13 and Bradley 0; and heat 2 by 35 to 22 - me 18, Bradley 10 and Barbara 7. Against Team B we won heat 1 43 to 28 – me 21, Barbara 14 and Bradley 8; but lost heat 2 23 to 32 – me 8, Barbara 12 and Bradley 3. Our three wins were the best of the three teams and we also finished as top scorers (123 – me 56, Barbara 46 and Bradley 21) to qualify for the final against Team C. Although Team C had less overall points than Team B (108 to 117) they had beaten them twice to have two wins compared to Team B’s one win against us. Although we had beaten Team C twice in the qualifying heats, our performance over the first half of the final cost us and at the half way stage we were losing 28-13 and although we improved over the second half we lost by 36 points to 31 - me 7 (less effective as this time I targeted by the other team), Bradley 13 and Barbara11. I finished as runner-up in an Arena Team Championship for the second time following the ‘Open’ Team Championship in 2015 teamed up with my wife Clare and Colin Woollaston. 

On 1st December, I raced at the Three Counties Slotstox Club hosted English Championship which doubled up as the fifth and final BSA National Series round. This was a family day out but I was on my own with the twins and all the challenges that brings! All heats that I competed in were two races per lane (five lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring twelve drivers would qualify to the semi-finals. Having arrived later than planned and on my own with the boys I didn’t practice but decided to race my blue Parmastox for heat 1 - 2nd (5 points) of five drivers (23 – 3rd scored 22). I did practice my red Parmastox prior to heat 2 but decided to continue with my blue Parmastox - heat 2 2nd (5) of five drivers (26) and heat 3 1st (6) of five drivers (33). With my heat point score of 16 I qualified 6th out of 32 drivers. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final - 6th of six drivers (11) and I was therefore eliminated. 6th in the semi-final equated to an additional 3 National Series points totalling a score of 19 at this round and after round 5 of the National Series I had an overall score of 80 points. I finished 4th (out of 60 drivers that raced in at least one round) in the unofficial 2018 British Slotstox Association National Points Championship Series (an improvement on 5th in 2017) and one of only three drivers to race at all five rounds.  Clare finished joint 43rd, with two other drivers, on 11 points having raced at only the first two rounds. 

 

Alternative formulae

On 9th May at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 1.  All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line.  Classic Hot Rods heat - 2 races per lane and borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - 1st (6 points) of four drivers (37 points); Parma Small Van Bangers - 1 race per lane - 2nd (5) of five drivers (16); and Parma Minis - 1 race per lane - 1st (6) of five drivers (29).  After round 1 was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Alternative formula points chart with 17 points and a heat average of 5.7 points.

On 27th June at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 2 which doubled up as the Arena Midsummer Madness Championship. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and using only yellow, red, white and black lanes. Total points from all races counted towards the Midsummer Madness Championship: Classic Hot Rods, borrowing a Classic Hot Rod (2 races per lane) - 23 points, 3rd highest points scorer and 4 points behind 1st;    Minis (2 races per lane) – 22 points, 2nd highest Minis points scorer and joint first overall with one other driver with 45 points; and finally Minis and Caravans, borrowing a caravan (1 race per lane) - 15 points, highest Minis and Caravans points scorer to win a first (having previously finished as runner-up on 3 occasions – 2010, 2013 and 2017) Arena Midsummer Madness Championship!

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat - 1st of four drivers (6), Minis heat - 2nd of four drivers (5); and Minis and Caravans heat - 1st of four drivers (6) - a total of 17 points. I was 1st in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 34 points and the highest heat score average of 5.7 points. 

On 29th August at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 3.  All heats were 2 races per lane with all races over 8 laps and all drivers starting from the start finish line.  Classic Hot Rods heat - borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - 1st (6 points) of four drivers (48 points); Parma Minis – 2nd (5) of four drivers (38); and Parma Small Van Bangers – 3rd (4) of four drivers (19 – 2nd scored 20 and 1st 22).  A total of 15 points for the Arena Alternative formula points chart and I was joint 1st with one other driver in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 49 points and the joint, with the same driver, highest heat score average of 5.4 points. 

On 31st October at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 4 which doubled up as the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship for which I was the defending champion. All races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line. Total points from all races counted towards the Halloween Havoc Championship: Classic Hot Rods, borrowing a Classic Hot Rod (2 races per lane using only red, white, black and green lanes) - heat 1 23 and heat 2 30 - 53 points, 2nd highest points scorer and 7 points behind 1st; Parmastox and Caravans (2 races per lane using all six lanes) – 22 points, 2nd highest Parmastox and Caravans points scorer and still second overall (75 points) but now 14 points behind 1st; and finally Parma-Small Van Bangers (2 races per lane using all six lanes) - 35, highest Parma-Small Van Bangers points scorer but with a few self-inflicted crashes whilst racing on the limit in an attempt to close the gap it was not enough to overhaul 1st as I finished as runner-up in the Arena Halloween Havoc Championship with 110 points - 11 points behind 1st.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat 1 - 3rd of four drivers (4) and heat 2 - 1st of four drivers (6), Parmastox and Caravans heat - 2nd of six drivers (5) and Parma-Small Van Bangers heat - 1st of five drivers (6) - a total of 21 points. I was 1st in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 70 points and the highest heat score average of 5.4 points. 

12th December at 'WACC' I raced in the fifth and final Arena Alternative formulae points round which doubled up as the season ending Arena Xmas Fun Night Championship. The meeting was held on the four lane Brentwood Show Track and all races were over 8 laps with all drivers starting from the start finish line and heats two races per lane. Total points from all races counted towards the Xmas Fun Night Championship: Classic Hot Rods year borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - 24, 2nd highest points scorer and 16 points behind 1st who had scored a maximum 40 points; Parmastox and Sledges with Sledges provided by the club - 13 points, 3rd highest Parmastox and Sledges points scorer and now joint second overall with one other driver (37 points) but now 9 points behind 1st; and finally Parma-Minis - 18, joint second highest Parma-Small Van Bangers points scorer as being targeted cost me a few finishes as I finished 3rd in the Arena Xmas Fun Night Championship with 55 points - 3 points behind 2nd and 9 points behind 1st.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Classic Hot Rods heat - 2nd of six drivers (5), Parmastox and Sledges heat - 3rd of six drivers (4) and Parma-Minis heat - 3rd of five drivers - same points as 2nd but they three race wins to my two (4) - a total of 13 points which was sufficient to win the Arena Alternative formulae points, by 2 points, with 83 points and the highest heat score average of 5.2 points (having raced in all 16 of the heats). With this 5th and final round being on the Brentwood Show Track I finished 3rd in the Alternative Formulae Brentwood Show Track Championship. Having been top of the points after the first four rounds held on the ‘WACC’ track I won the Alternative Formulae WACC Track Championship.

 

PARMASTOX UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: 4TH - 80 points

PARMASTOX BEST IN BRITAIN: 6TH
PARMASTOX EUROPEAN: 6TH

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 217 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP (with Bradley Shirley and Barbara Skee)

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 6 final wins

 

ARENA ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE POINTS CHAMPION: 83 POINTS

ARENA ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE 'WACC TRACK CHAMPION: 70 POINTS

ARENA ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE 'BRENTWOOD SHOW TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD - 13 POINTS

ARENA MID-SUMMER MADNESS CHAMPION

ARENA HALLOWEEN HAVOC CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP

ARENA XMAS FUN NIGHT: 3RD

 



2019

 

The 2019 season saw the Arena Slotstox Club have two regular venues: the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Waltham Abbey Community Centre ('WACC') and second, fourth and fifth Wednesday of each month at the new Hobbs Cross venue.

 

Slotstox 

3 April - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' – the first official Slotstox meeting at Arena since 2016 and racing as Gold grade for the season having won the Gold Stripes as well as being defending Arena points champion from 2016.  Nine Slotstox were made available - four of which were mine!  Using my new Slotstox with Parmastox handcontroller - heats 50 points (heat 1 15, heat 2 13 and heat 3 22) and fifth highest points scorer of nine drivers with new drivers to Slotstox starting from white grade despite being much higher graded in Parmastox! Final with all drivers starting from their grades over 10 laps – 4th (8) to add 3 points chart points - a total of 53 points chart points.

2 October - Arena points chart round 2 at 'WACC' – with these now running alongside Parmastox points rounds rather than as stand alone meeting there was only time for one heat - there was only time for one heat - 14 points chart points. 6 November - Arena points chart round 3 at 'WACC' - heat - 10 points chart points.  After the first 3 rounds I was 4th in the Arena Points Chart with 77 points.  Being defending Gold Stripes champion from when Slotstox were last run at Arena in 2016 my grade for the season would not change.

4 December - Arena points chart round 4 and Gold Stripes Final at 'WACC' - with my Slotstox struggling for grip - heats 25 points (heat 1 8, heat 2 17).  After the 4 rounds I finished 4th in the Arena Points Chart with 102 points.  Whilst the top six drivers in the points were due to qualify for the 2019 Gold Stripes final (so I would have qualified) - only six drivers were present at this round and so all those present qualified with 3 of my Slotstox being raced!  I had fourth pick of the six drivers in drawing starting lane in qualifying order. I started in the Green lane (lane 6) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the start/finish line. I finished 4th in both races in green lane plus the first race in blue lane.  I finished 3rd in the second race in blue lane and the first race in yellow lane before failing to finish the second race in yellow lane.  In each of red and white lanes I finished 4th in the first race and failed to finish the second race before finishing 3rd in my first race in black lane and 2nd in my second race in black lane. Overall, I finished 3rd with 23 points and my finishing positions plus non-finishes meant I wasn't close to the top 2.  Losing my Gold Stripes and Silver Roof meant I would be red grade for the start of the 2020 season. I did make some changes to my Slotstox at the end of the meeting changing the inside rear wheel/tyre after which it did handle better during a few practice laps - unfortunately it was too late by then!

 

Parmastox
6 March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'WACC' - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox - 3rd of seven drivers (24 - 2nd scored 25 whilst 4th and 5th each scored 22); heat 2 - continuing with my blue Parmastox even though this had sustained chassis damage in heat 1 - 1st of seven drivers (46) and heat 3 - switching to my red Parmastox to give this a run - 6th of six drivers (9) as my red Parmastox lacked stability. All remaining drivers qualified for the final for which I switched back to my damaged blue Parmastox - 2nd of six drivers (34) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  13 March - Arena points chart round 2 and the first points round at 'Hobbs Cross'.  With my blue Parmastox having had repair work, this wasn't available for practice so I practiced my red Parmastox which went rather well and noticing the crashing in practice I decided to use my red Parmastox rather than my more fragile blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (44) and heat 2 - 3rd of six drivers (23 - 2nd scored 25).  My heat win meant I qualified for the final - 2nd of six drivers (27) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  20 March - Arena points chart round 3 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 2nd of seven drivers (26 - all very close as 3rd scored 25, 4th 24 and 5th 23); heat 2 - 4th of seven drivers (18 - with not much going right -5th also scored 18 but I had 3 second place finishes to their none) and heat 3 - continuing with my blue Parmastox and determined to win this heat - 1st of seven drivers (44 - finishing 11 of the 12 races). All remaining six drivers qualified for the final - 2nd (37 - 1st scored 38 and I would have won the final on 2nd place finishes had another driver not done an extra lap in the penultimate race promoting 1st up a place and the crucial point although my Parmastox did have braid issues in one race in black lane which equally was possibly costly) - 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying Points.  I was 2nd in the Gold Top Qualifying points after round 1.

 

On 23rd March, I raced at the Wellgate Slotstox Club in Metal Mania VIII which doubled up as the Supreme Championship and BSA National Series round 1. As now standard for BSA Series rounds, drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (four lanes at Wellgate) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1. There was a change for 2019 in terms of semi-final qualification - the highest points scoring eleven drivers would automatically qualify to the semi-finals whilst the next six would compete in a consolation heat with the winner to also qualify. Having practiced both my blue Parmastox and red Parmastox I decided to race my blue Parmastox as my red Parmastox felt less stable. Practice was not without incident as my blue Parmastox chassis side iron and hand controller each broke and needed re-soldering prior to the meeting! Repairs were carried out by Arena Chairman Jack Branch who had previously asked if his son Chris could borrow a Parmastox as his was not working - Chris being a regular racer in the past but not currently. I agreed that I would lend whichever of my Parmastox I didn’t race so Chris borrowed my red Parmastox chassis to which he fitted his own Parmastox metal body work and shell.  Jack, Chris and I were drawn together in heat 1 but heat 2 was run first as Jack was still repairing my hand controller!  Heat 1 5th (2 points) of six drivers (17 - 4th scored 18 whilst 2nd and 3rd scored 19), heat 2 4th (3) of five drivers (14) and heat 3 5th (2) of six drivers (5 - 6th scored 4). My heat point score of 7 was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals as I finished  a lowly 28th out of 32 drivers. Three other drivers also scored 7 points but I had most raw points (36). With the scoring system as it is the driver that qualified seventh to the semi-finals only scored 2 points more (38) although the driver that qualified 8th had the second highest raw points (61)!  As for Chris... he won the Championship!  Having not originally planned to, I decided to race in a Grand National using my spare Parmastox chassis with Chris’s metal body work and shell i.e. the Parmastox as it was having come off the track after the final win. With the thought being that the lighter body was the difference, to me it still felt as it did with my red metal body work and body shell in practice and I failed to finish a race, scoring 0 points and finishing 4th of 4 drivers! Whilst not my day it did indicate that my spare Parmastox chassis was still competitive... just a case of finding what made the difference?

27 March - Arena points chart round 4 at 'Hobbs Cross'.  The intention was to race and continue to test my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell – which I had agreed to borrow – only swapping his wing for my shale wing. This was following its performance at Wellgate when used by Chris to win the championship!  Practice confirmed that intention with this Parmastox set up more suited to the Hobbs Cross track than my blue Parmastox or my red Parmastox chassis with its usual metal body work and body shell. This proved a good decision for heat 1 (including winning the first two races!) - 1st of six drivers (41).  I was also going well in heat 2 but in the third last race my Parmastox shot off the track at the end of the home straight all on its own – subsequently diagnosed as two detached engine screws which meant there was no way of it slowing down!  For the last two races I used my blue Parmastox but in the first of these a big crash broke the metal body work and I had to nurse it to a finish in the final race of the heat – 2nd of six drivers (30 – the winner scored 34 so, without the issues, it may have been a different result but that’s racing!)  My heat win meant I qualified for the final and with my red Parmastox chassis still missing an engine screw and with my blue Parmastox metal body work damaged, I raced my blue Parmastox chassis with the metal body work and shell of Chris Branch – whilst not the quickest set up, consistent finishes provided decisive - 1st of six drivers (38 – only 1 win but finishing 11 of the 12 races) – first final win and maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points of the season.

 

During the first 4 rounds points/grades cycle, I was the highest points scorer on 49 points with the highest average 12.3 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top Champion my grade for the season would not change.

 

17 April - Arena points chart round 5 at 'Hobbs Cross' postponed from 10 April.  I continued to use my now repaired red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell and my red Parmastox shale wing.  Heat 1 - 2nd of seven drivers (23 - 3rd scored 22), heat 2 - 1st of seven drivers (36 - second scored 35) and heat 3 - 1st of seven drivers (32).  All seven drivers raced in the final - 1st (45 - finishing all 12 races) – second final win and maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points in a row. 24 April - Arena points chart round 6 at 'Hobbs Cross'.  I continued to race my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell and my red Parmastox shale wing.  Heat - 1st of five drivers (46 - a heat that somehow ended up consisting of 14 races!)  This heat win was sufficient to qualify direct to the final - 2nd of six drivers (38 - finishing all 12 races) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points. I missed Arena points chart round 7 at 'WACC' due to one of my twin boys breaking his arm that evening.  8 May - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'Hobbs Cross'.  I continued to race my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell and my red Parmastox shale wing.  Heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (35), heat 2 – 1st of six drivers (36) and heat 3 – 2nd of five drivers (35).  All remaining seven drivers raced in the final - 1st (38 - finishing 11 of the 12 races) – third final win and maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points of the season plus Gold Top Qualifying points.

 

During rounds 5 to 8 and despite missing 1 round, I was third highest points scorer on 38 points with the highest average of 12.7 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was joint top of the Arena Points Chart with one other driver with 87 points and the highest average of 12.4 points. I was joint top with the same driver in the Gold Top Qualifying points after round 2 with 25 points. 

15 May - Arena points chart round 9 at 'WACC' racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 4th of six drivers (29 - same points as 3rd but they had 5 race wins whereas I had 1 whilst 2nd scored 31), heat 2 – 1st of six drivers (41) and heat 3 – 1st of six drivers (41 again including 9 2nd place finishes!)  All remaining six drivers raced in the final - 3rd (30 - 1st scored 36 and 2nd 34 but it all came down to the last 2 races and a couple of incidents here and there but luck probably balanced itself out over the evening!) – 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.  5 June - a late change of fixture meant that Slotstox Arena points chart round 2 was replaced by Parmastox Arena points chart round 10 at 'WACC' and racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 1st of six drivers (36) and heat 2 – 1st of six drivers (37).  Winning both heats despite handcontroller issues subsequently identified as being due to a loose wire. All remaining six drivers raced in the final - 4th (30 - 3rd also scored 30 and both of us had 2 race wins but they had 2 2nd place finishes to my 1 whilst 2nd scored 36 and it all came down to the last race and unfortunately I was on the outside... perhaps it wasn't so good that my handcontroller issues were fixed!) – 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart points.

7 June – I attended the Aaron Talbot Tribute meeting at 3 Counties Slotstox Club but chose not to take my Parmastox and race (arriving after the start of the meeting) due to the likely finish time.  I did manage to win an Ice Age 4 DVD in the raffle however!

12 June - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Hobbs Cross'.  I continued to race my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell and my red Parmastox shale wing.  Originally planned as four five car heats but with a driver leaving after the first two, heats 3 and 4 were redrawn as three six car heats.  Heat 1 - 3rd of five drivers (31 – 2nd scored 33), heat 2 – 1st of six drivers (35) and heat 3 – 2nd of six drivers (31 – 1st scored 33 as my Parmastox began to suffer from pinion issues). My heat win ensured I qualified for the final - 2nd of six drivers (28 – all very close with 3rd to 6th scoring 26, 25, 23 and 20… thankfully my pinion held out as best it could during the final!) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points. 19 June – at ‘WACC’ and although this date was meant to be the Midsummer Madness / Alternative formulae round 1, I had undertaken some maintenance work on both my blue Parmastox and also the red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell.  It was a good decision as a late change of fixture meant this meeting was switched with the following week and became Arena points chart round 12.  A mixture of circumstances meant a depleted number of drivers - heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox – 1st of four drivers (42) and heat 2 giving my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shell plus existing shale wing a try at WACC – 2nd of four drivers (40 – 1st scored 42).  All four drivers qualified for the final and I decided to stick with my my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and shale wing as I felt this had performed better despite suffering from pinion issues - 2nd (35 – all very close as 1st scored 39, 3rd 32 and 4th 31 – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  With an early finish post meeting I made tested a change to my blue Parmastox and this showed some improvement I was hoping for.

 

During rounds 9 to 12, I was the highest points scorer on 45 points with the highest average of 11.3 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 132 points and the highest average of 12.0 points.

 

3 July – Arena points chart round 13 at ‘WACC’.  Having both been away for maintenance I practiced both my blue Parmastox and my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work but wasn’t really happy with either of them.  My blue Parmastox had too much rear chassis movement causing too much bouncing whilst my red Parmastox chassis wasn’t on the pace.  A quick fix with blue tac to my blue Parmastox and it was much better – heat 1 racing my blue Parmastox – 1st of six drivers (38); heat 2 racing my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and existing shale wing to try and identify the problem – 6th of six drivers (14 – but I did identify the problem – new rear tyres required!) and heat 3 racing my blue Parmastox – 2nd of six drivers (35).  All remaining six drivers raced in the final and racing my blue Parmastox – 5th (18 – as things didn’t quite go my way!) – 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart points and the first time since 2 September 2015 that I finished lower than 4th in an Arena Metal Slotstox final and didn’t score double figures!  For the record - 63 consecutive double figures scores: 2015 after 2 September - 5 meetings, 3 attended – 1 x 13 / 2 x 12; 2016 – 18 meetings, 16 attended – 11 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 1 x 11 / 1 x 10; 2017 – 15 meetings, 13 attended – 6 x 13 / 4 x 12 / 3 x 11; 2018 to date – 20 meetings, 19 attended – 5 x 13 / 3 x 12 / 6 x 11 / 5 x 10; 2019 – 12 meetings, 11 attended – 3 x 13 / 6 x 12 / 1 x 11 / 1 x 10.  Both Parmastox have gone away for further maintenance!  10 July – Arena points chart round 14 at ‘Hobbs Cross’ - maintenance had only been done on my blue Parmastox and this was running well but I didn't want to risk this at Hobbs Cross and so raced my red Parmastox chassis with Chris Branch’s metal body work and existing shale wing.  It still needed new rear tyres and wasn't running as well as I would have liked but ultimately proved sufficient.  Heat – 2nd of seven drivers (38 - winner scored 40 with a non-finish in the final race due to hitting a de-slotted Parmastox preventing the win).  For various reasons it was then decided to go straight to the final with all seven drivers - 1st (26 - 2nd scored 25) – 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points.  17 July – Arena points chart round 15 at ‘WACC’ racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 - 2nd of six drivers (36); heat 2 - 2nd of six drivers (36) and heat 3 - 1st of five drivers (39). All remaining five drivers raced in the final - 2nd (35) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.  7 August – Arena points chart round 16 at ‘WACC’ racing my blue Parmastox - heat 1 – 1st of five drivers (35 – 2nd scored 34 with the heat win helped by another driving accidentally pulling out 2nd’s handcontroller in a race whilst they were leading and I had already crashed resulting in a re-run of that race!) and heat 2 - 2nd of five drivers (32). All five drivers raced in the final - 2nd (40) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.

 

During rounds 13 to 16, I was the highest points scorer on 45 points with the highest average of 11.3 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 177 points and the highest average of 11.8 points.

 

14 August – Arena points chart round 17 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at ‘Hobbs Cross’. I debuted a new red Parmastox metal work and body with existing shale wing in heat 1 which whilst fast was still a work in progress to set up right on the chassis - 4th of seven drivers (23 - 3rd scored 25). I switched back to borrowing Chris Branch’s metal body work for heat 2 – 4th of seven drivers (28 - 3rd also scored 28 but they had two race wins to my one whilst 2nd scored 29 and 1st 32 so it was all very close). I continued to borrow Chris Branch’s metal body work for the final with all seven drivers which proved a good decision - 1st (40 - finishing 11 of the 12 races – 10 (best heat 2 + final 8) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I was top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 44 points and guaranteed a top six qualifying spot for the Gold Top final on 20 November.

21 August – Arena points chart round 18 at ‘WACC’ racing my blue Parmastox and with blue lane not working all heats were 10 races (2 races per lane, 5 lanes) - heat 1 - 2nd of five drivers (33 - same as 3rd but I had 2 race wins to their none); heat 2 - 1st of five drivers (42) and heat 3 - 1st of five drivers (43). All five drivers raced in the final - 1st (39) and a first final win at 'WACC' / fourth maximum 13 (best heat 5 + final 8) points chart points this season.  11 September – Arena points chart round 19 at ‘Hobbs Cross’ racing my new red Parmastox with existing shale wing.  Heat 1 – 2nd of six drivers (34), heat 2 – 2nd of six drivers (29 – 1st scored 30) and heat 3 – 2nd of five drivers (37).  The remaining six drivers raced in the final - 1st (29 – only 3 more points than 2nd with a crucial race being when I had been stopped by a de-slotted Parmastox but I kept pushing this until another Parmastox clipped it and took out all those remaining including the driver who eventually finished 2nd!) – 12 (best heat 4 + final 8) points chart points.  18 September – Arena points chart round 20 and 5th and penultimate Gold Top Qualifying round at ‘WACC’.  I raced in 3 heats of six drivers and won all 3!  Heat 1 and 2 racing my blue Parmastox (39 and 37); and heat 3 – starting with my blue Parmastox but ending with my red Parmastox after my blue Parmastox stopped working after being involved in a crash (35).  All remaining seven drivers raced in the final – racing my blue Parmastox with the problem, a loose wire, identified and fixed – 4th (20 – 3rd scored 21 whilst 5th scored 19) – 10 (best heat 5 + final 5) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. I remained top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 54 points. I had already guaranteed a top six qualifying spot after round 4 for the Gold Top final on 20 November.

 

During rounds 17 to 20, I was the highest points scorer on 45 points with the highest average of 11.3 points.  Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 222 points and the highest average of 11.7 points.

 

25 September – I missed Arena points chart round 21 at ‘Hobbs Cross’ due to a works conference.  Despite not being far from 'Hobbs Cross' I decided not to leave on the evening.  2 October - Arena points chart round 22 at ‘WACC’ racing my blue Parmastox. Heat 1 - 1st of seven drivers (45 - finishing all 12 races); heat 2 - 4th of seven drivers (27 - 3rd scored 29 whilst 5th scored 25); and heat 3 - 3rd of six drivers (30). All remaining six drivers raced in the final – 3rd (24 - 2nd also scored 24 but had 3 wins and 2 2nds whilst I had 3 wins and 0 2nds. It was all very close as 1st scored 25, 4th 23 and 5th 20 - low scoring and a little scrappy!) – 11 (best heat 5 + final 6) points chart points.  9 October – Arena points chart round 23 at ‘Hobbs Cross’.  Heat 1 – racing my new red Parmastox with Tarmac wing - 4th of six drivers (16 - only 5 finishes whilst 5th scored 15 and 3rd scored 18); and heat 2 – racing my blue Parmastox with my red Parmastox having struggled for grip - 3rd of six drivers (25 - same as 2nd but they had 4 race wins whilst I had none). My finishing positions were sufficient to qualify as the sixth and final qualifier for the final and I switched back to my red Parmastox with Tarmac wing as this appeared to now have more grip after a couple of laps practice beforehand - 2nd (34 – with 11 finishes, 10 of which were 3rd place!) – 10 (best heat 3 + final 7) points chart points despite not winning a race all meeting!

16 October – Arena points chart round 24 at ‘WACC’ racing my blue Parmastox.  I raced in 3 heats of six drivers - heat 1 (32) which guaranteed the 5 points I needed to win the Arena Points Championship for the fourth season in a row - the first person to do so! Buoyed by this I also won heat 2 (36) before heat 3 2nd (28). All remaining seven drivers raced in the final which featured some of the most consistently quick and close racing as I've been involved in for a long time – 2nd (36 – 1st scored 37 whilst 3rd scored 33 and 4th 31 - it was certainly high scoring!) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points.

 

During rounds 21 to 24, I was the highest points scorer on 36 points despite only racing at 3 of the 4 rounds with the second highest average of 11.0 points. Being the Arena Silver Top champion my grade for the season would not change. I was top of the Arena Points Chart with 255 points - 62 points ahead of 2nd with only a maximum 52 points available from the final 4 meetings - and the highest average of 11.6 points.

 

On 20th October, I raced at the Arena Slotstox Club hosted European Championship which doubled up as the BSA National Series round 4 at Hobbs Cross. All drivers competed in three heats of two races per lane (six lanes) over 8 laps with points scored based on their finishing positions in each - 1st 6, 2nd 5, 3rd 4, 4th 3, 5th 3 and 6th onwards 1 - the highest points scoring eleven drivers would automatically qualify to the semi-finals whilst the next six would compete in a consolation heat with the winner to also qualify. I raced my preferred Hobbs Cross red Parmastox with shale wing and started from my BSA averages grade of blue - the first time I raced from a grade other than Silver at Hobbs Cross. Heat 1 2nd (5 points) of six drivers (42), heat 2 5th (2) of six drivers (29 – this was a close heat with some great close racing and at times I used all of my defensive experience - 4th also scored 29 but they had 2 wins to my none whilst 2nd and 3rd each scored 31) and heat 3 1st (6) of six drivers (51). With a heat point score of 13 I qualified as the 8th highest points scorer. Semi-final - with the top three in each qualifying to the final – 3rd of six drivers (42 – 2nd scored 44) meaning that I qualified for a 7th Arena Open Championship final following 1st in 2016, runner-up in 2011, 3rd in each of 2013 and 2015, 5th in 2008 and 6th in 2005.  Final with all drivers racing from the white grade – 5th of six drivers 28 (3rd and 4th each scored 31). 6th in the final equated to an additional 7 National Series points totalling a score of 20 at this round and after round 4 of the National Series (although I had only attended two) I had an overall score of 27 points.  My red Parmastox chassis had now made two BSA round finals in 2019 having been used by Chris Branch to win the first round at Wellgate!  I didn’t race in the Grand Nationals at the end so with my 3 points score from Wellgate I was joint 29th in the BSA Grand National Series points with four other drivers.

 

23 October – Arena points chart round 25 and 6th and final Gold Top Qualifying round at ‘Hobbs Cross' racing my red Parmastox with shale wing.  I raced in 2 heats of six drivers and won them both (36 and 41).  These were sufficient to qualify 1st of 12 drivers for the final - 2nd of six drivers (32 - 1st also scored 32 but they had five wins to my one; whilst 3rd scored 29) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points. Having already guaranteed a top six qualifying spot for the Gold Top final on 20 November after round 4 I finished top of the Gold Top Qualifying points with 66 points.  6 November – Arena points chart round 26 at ‘WACC' racing my blue Parmastox.  I raced in 2 heats of seven drivers and finished 2nd in both (34 in both!  In heat 1 the winner scored 37 and 3rd 32 whilst in heat the winner scored 36).  All seven drivers raced in the final - 1st (34 again! 2nd scored 33) – 12 (best heat 5 + final 7) points chart points. 13 November – 27th and penultimate Arena points chart round at ‘Hobbs Cross' racing my red Parmastox.  Heat 1 - 1st of eight drivers (27 - 2nd scored 25) and heat 2 - 6th of seven drivers (17 - 5th scored 18). My Parmastox hadn't been running as it had been during the heats and on checking a section of weight had come loose at the front.  I removed this and whilst it was better for the final it was still not quite right.  All remaining seven drivers raced in the final - 5th (22 - 6th scored 20) – 9 (best heat 5 + final 4) points chart points.

 

20th November – 28th and final Arena points round incorporating the Arena Gold Top Championship Final at WACC.  Having finished top of the Arena Parmastox Gold Top qualifying points I had first pick of the six drivers in drawing starting lane in qualifying order. Using my blue Parmastox (after some maintenance work over the previous weekend), I started in the green lane (lane 6) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the start/finish line. I finished 4th in my first race in green lane before no one finished the second. I failed to finish my first race in blue lane before winning the second race in blue lane and both races in yellow lane. At the half way stage I was 1st on 17 points whilst 4 drivers were tied 2nd all on 12. I finished 3rd in my first race in red lane and won the second race in red lane followed by 2nd and 3rd in white lane (even though scores are kept secret during the final I sensed I was in the lead and just needed solid points in black lane). I finished 2nd in my first race in black lane (which was the deciding result) and 3rd in my second race in black lane.  My total of 39 points proved enough to win the Arena Gold Top Championship for a second time following 2016!

In heat 2 I raced my Parmastox with Tarmac wing – 4th of six drivers (18 – 5th scored 16).  By winning the Gold Top I qualified direct to the final – 1st of six drivers (36 -2nd scored 34 and 3rd 33) – a 5th maximum 13 (best heat/consolation 5 + Final 8) points chart points of the season.

 

During the 24th to 28th rounds, I was the highest scorer with 46 points and the third highest average of 11.5 points. I had already won the Parmastox Arena Points Championship but finished the season with 301 points (161 at WACC and 140 at Hobbs Cross) and the highest season average of 11.6 points.  With winning the Gold Top I would hold the Gold Roof for the 2020 season. All rounds were raced on the 'WACC' track. Having raced at 26 (14 at WACC and 12 at Hobbs Cross) of the 28 rounds (15 at WACC and 13 at Hobbs Cross) I won nine finals – 3 at WACC and 6 at Hobbs Cross.  I also had the highest average points at each of WACC (11.5) and Hobbs Cross (11.7).

27 November - Arena Team Championship at Hobbs Cross with 3 teams of 3 drawn at random. This season I was drawn to team up with two experienced Arena drivers Ken Holmes and Cliff Bicknell (Team C). Each team would race against each other twice in qualifying heats with the best 2 teams racing in the final. Each heat consisted of 6 races with one driver from each team racing 3 consecutive races in each of either the two inside lanes, two middle lanes or two outside lanes. In all heats Ken raced in the two inside lanes, I raced the two middle lanes starting with my Red Parmastox with Tarmac wing (to try and disrupt the other team!) and Cliff the two outside lanes. We won our first heat v Team A (starting outside lanes first) - 22 to 19 - me 12, Ken 10 and Cliff 0; and our second heat v Team B (starting inside lanes first) - 38 to 17 - me 4, Ken 18 and Cliff 16. In our third heat against Team A (starting inside lanes first) we lost 23 to 36 – me 4, Ken 8 and Cliff 11; but bounced back to win our fourth heat against Team B (starting outside lanes first) 41 to 32 – me 8, Ken 17 and Cliff 16. My red Parmastox broke a wire during the fourth heat so I had to switch to my less robust blue Parmastox - less effective on the disruption I could cause! Our three wins were the best of the three teams and we also finished as top scorers (124 – me 28, Ken 53 and Cliff 43) to qualify for the final against Team B. Although Team B had less overall points than Team A (104 to 105) they had beaten them twice to have two wins compared to Team A’s one win against us. Being top qualifiers we had choice of inside or outside first for the final and chose outside first which backfired!  Although we had beaten Team B twice in the qualifying heats, our performance over the first half of the final cost us and at the half way stage we were losing 26-12 and although we improved over the second half we lost by 39 points to 27 - me 9, Ken 12 and Cliff 6. I finished as runner-up in an Arena Team Championship for a third time following the ‘Open’ Team Championship in 2015 teamed up with my wife Clare and Colin Woollaston and 2018 teamed up with Bradley Shirley and Barbara Skee.  2019 followed a similar tale to 2018 in that my team qualified first for the final (and were top points scorers in the heats) only to lose the final to the team we had beaten twice and who had been the lowest points scorers in the heats! 

I missed the fifth and final BSA round at Three Counties on 30 November.  I finished 30th of 64 drivers in the BSA series with 27 points and the 26th highest average per round of 13.50 points.  I finished joint 36th in the BSA Grand National Series points, with four other drivers, with 3 points.

4 December at WACC.  A fun five car, one race per lane (five lanes, not using the inside blue lane) heat with all drivers starting from the start/finish line but each race over 12 laps!  1st - 18 points.

 

 

Classic Hot Rods

 13 March - Arena points chart round 1 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat - 2nd of four drivers (31) - 5 points chart points.  27 March - Arena points chart round 2 and Gold Top Qualifying round 1 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat - 2nd of five drivers (40) - 5 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint 3rd with one other driver in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points.  17 April - Arena points chart round 3 postponed from 10 April at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat - 5th of seven drivers (22) - 2 points chart points.

During the first 3 rounds points/grades cycle, I was the 4th highest points scorer on 12 points with the joint 5th highest average (with two other drivers) of 4.0 points.  After this first grading period I was blue grade.

24 April - Arena points chart round 4 and Gold Top Qualifying round 2 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat - 2nd of five drivers (37 - finishing 11 of the 12 races) - 5 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint 2nd with one other driver in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points with 10 points.  8 May - Arena points chart round 5 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat reduced to 1 race per lane - 7th of seven drivers (2) - 1 points chart point. 

12 June - Arena points chart round 6 and Gold Top Qualifying round 3 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat – 3rd of five drivers (31 - finishing all 12 races – 2nd scored 33) - 4 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint 2nd with one other driver in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points on 14 points. 

During rounds 4 to 6, I was joint third highest points scorer with one other driver with 10 points with the seventh highest average of 3.3 points and remained blue grade.  I was joint 4th of the Arena Points Chart with one other driver with 22 points and the joint 6th highest average (with one other driver) of 3.7 points.

26 June - Arena points chart round 7 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat – 2nd of seven drivers (29 - 1st scored 30) - 5 points chart points.  10 July - Arena points chart round 8 and Gold Top Qualifying round 4 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat – 1st of seven drivers (39) - 6 points chart and Gold Top Qualifying points.  I was joint top with one other driver in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points on 20 points.  14 August - Arena points chart round 9 at 'Hobbs Cross' borrowing a Classic Hot Rod - heat – 2nd of six drivers (22 - 1st scored 24) - 5 points chart points. 

During rounds 7 to 9, I was the highest points scorer with 16 points and the highest average of 5.3 points and was up to red grade.  I was Top of the Arena Points Chart with 38 points and the fifth highest average of 4.7 points.



Arena points round 10 at 'Hobbs Cross' on 11 September was postponed with a few drivers delayed en route due to problems on the M25. 

25 September – I missed Arena points chart round 10 and 5th and penultimate Gold Top Qualifying round at ‘Hobbs Cross’ due to a works conference.  Despite not being far from 'Hobbs Cross' I decided not to leave on the evening.  I was down to joint 3rd in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points on 20 points but was now guaranteed a top six qualifying spot for the Gold Top final on 27 November.  9 October - Arena points chart round 11 at 'Hobbs Cross' racing my mums 'George Polley replica slot-rod' which had received some maintenance updates from another driver and was quick in a straight line but lacked weight so the bends had to be negotiated with care - 4th of four drivers (24) - 3 points chart points. I finished 3rd in the Arena Gold Top Qualifying points on 23 points having already guaranteed a top six qualifying spot after round 5 for the Gold Top final on 27 November.  23 October – 12th and penultimate Arena points chart round at 'Hobbs Cross' continuing to race my mums 'George Polley replica slot-rod' - 4th of five drivers (16 - 5th scored14) - 3 points chart points. 

During rounds 10 to 12 having missed one round, I was the 8th highest points scorer with 6 points and the joint 9th highest average (with one other driver) of 3.0 points and was down to blue grade only being able to drop one grade.  I was down to 4th in the Arena Points Chart with 44 points (but it was all very close with one round remaining as the top 5 scores were 50, 49, 45, 44 and 43) and the sixth highest average of 4.0 points.

13 November – 13th and final Arena points chart round at 'Hobbs Cross' again racing my mums 'George Polley replica slot-rod' - 3rd of four drivers (21) - 4 points chart points. 

Having raced in 12 of the 13 rounds, I finished 4th in the 2019 Arena Classic Hot Rods Points Championship with 48 points (it remained all very close as the top 5 scores were 52, 50, 50, 48 and 47) and the joint joint 6th ,with one other driver, season average of 4.0 points.

27th November – Arena Gold Top Championship Final at Hobbs Cross.  Although I finished 3rd in the Arena Classic Hot Rod qualifying points, the top qualifier was absent so I had second pick of the six drivers in drawing starting lane in qualifying order. Racing my mum's 'George Polley replica slot-rod', I started in the white lane (lane 4) with drivers having two races in each lane over 8 laps all starting from the blue grade line. I finished 4th in my first race in white lane and 5th in the second. I finished 3rd in my first race in purple lane but failed to finish the second as well as both races in green lane. At the half way stage I was well off the pace in 5th with 6 points - 1st at this stage having won 5 of the 6 races!  I finished 2nd in my first race in blue lane but failed to finish the second race. 4th in the first race in yellow lane was followed by a non-finish in the second as well as the first race in red lane. I finished with a 3rd in the second race in red lane for a total of 15 points and I finished 5th in the Arena Gold Top Championship.

 

Alternative formulae

On 26th June at 'WACC' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 1 which doubled up as the Arena Midsummer Madness Championship deferred from the previous week. Total points from all races counted towards the Midsummer Madness Championship: 1/24 scale Nascar provided by the club with a set Nascar in each lane (2 races per lane – four lanes, two to five - over 8 laps) – 16, joint 3rd highest points scorer with one other driver and 3 points behind 1st; followed by two heats of Go Karts provided by the club (2 races per lane – four lanes, one to four – over 4 laps) – 13 points and 30 points, 2nd highest Go Karts points scorer and finished 4th in the Arena Midsummer Madness Championship with 59 points (10 points behind 1st whilst 2nd and 3rd scored 62 and 61 points respectively.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Nascar – joint 3rd of seven drivers (4), Go Karts heat 1 – 4th of four drivers (3); and Go Karts heat 2 – 2nd of four drivers (5 having scored 30 – 1st scored 32) - a total of 12 points. I was 4th in the Arena Alternative formulae points chart with 12 points and the 4th highest heat score average of 4 points. 

On 31st July at 'Hobbs Cross' I raced in the Arena Alternative formulae points round 1 which doubled up as Arena Big Banger Bash Championship deferred from the previous week. Total points from all races counted towards the Big Banger Bash Championship: Bangers – 21, 2nd highest points scorer 13 points behind 1st; Small Van Bangers – 25 points, joint highest points scorer and still 2nd overall but now 7 points behind 1st; finally Big Van Bangers – 27, 3rd highest points scorer and finished 2nd overall with 73 points only 3 points behind 1st.  The decisive race was probably the third last when I was leading comfortably late in the race, from one other driver, only for them to crash on their own across my lane causing me to non-finish and miss out on 5 points for the race win.

For the Arena Alternative formula points chart: Bangers – 2nd of seven drivers (5), Small Van Bangers – 1st of seven drivers (6 having scored 25 the same as 2nd but I had 2 race wins to their 1 whilst 3rd scored 23); and Big Van Bangers – 3rd of seven drivers (5 having scored 27 – 2nd scored 28) - a total of 15 points and the highest Alternative Formulae points scorer. I was top of in the Arena Alternative Formulae points chart after round 2 with 27 points and the 3rd highest heat score average of 4.5 points.

I missed Arena Alternative formulae points round 3 on 28 August (brought forward from 4 September) due to a family holiday and slipped down to joint 3rd with one other driver in the Arena Alternative Formulae points chart maintaining the 3rd highest heat score average.  I missed Arena Alternative formulae points round 4 which doubled up as the Halloween Havoc on 30 October due to a family holiday and slipped down to joint 5th with two other drivers in the Arena Alternative Formulae points chart with the joint 3rd, with one other driver, highest heat score average.

Arena Alternative points round 5 which was due to double up as the Xmas Fun Night on 11 December was postponed to 2020.  Subsequent attempts to run at the start of the 2020 season were also postponed and it was eventually cancelled with the Arena Alternative Points Championship declared as the result after round 4. I therefore finished joint 5th, with two other drivers, with 27 points and the joint 3rd, with one other driver, highest heat score average of 4.5 points.

 

Arena Winter Series

The 2019 season started with a mixed formula six round Winter Series with points from all races counting.  The aim of the Series being to give new drivers a chance to race formulas they hadn't raced before and all drivers to race formulas at the new Hobbs Cross (HC) venue prior to the AGM and setting the 2019 fixture list.  Round 1 on 16 January was due to feature two heats for Parmastox and two heats for Slotstox but due to a delayed start and availability (I lent out two), the Slotstox ended up being a single 'test' heat for those that hadn't raced or hadn't regularly raced Slotstox and so didn't count to the points.  In the Parmastox for heat 1 I raced my blue Parmastox and scored 51 points and for heat 2 I raced my red Parmastox and scored 23 points - each heat consisting of four drivers.  With 74 points I was top of the Arena Winter Series after round 1 by a 1 point. I missed rounds 2 and 3 at HC on 23 January and 30 January respectively due to illness plus round 4 at WACC as I was on a work training seminar in France.  Round 5 on 13 February at HC featured Classic Hot Rods and Plastic Slotstox plus a bonus heat of Parma-Saloons.  In the Classic Hot Rods heat I borrowed a Classic Hot Rod and scored 28 points; in the Plastic Slotstox I scored 17 points and in the Parma-Saloons I scored 11 points.  A total at this round of 56 points meant an overall total of 130 points and I was down to 9th in the Arena Winter Series points.  I missed the 6th and final round on 20 February at WACC due to holiday and finished 9th in the Arena Winter Series points with 130 points.

 

SLOTSTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH 102 POINTS

SLOTSTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 3RD 



PARMASTOX BSA NATIONAL POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: JOINT 30TH – 27 points

PARMASTOX ARENA OPEN/EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH

PARMASTOX ARENA POINTS CHAMPION: 301 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA 'WACC TRACK CHAMPION: 161 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA 'HOBBS CROSS' TRACK CHAMPION: 140 POINTS

PARMASTOX ARENA GOLD TOP CHAMPION

PARMASTOX ARENA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: RUNNER-UP (with Ken Holmes and Cliff Bicknell)

PARMASTOX ARENA STATISTICS: 9 final wins – 3 'WACC' and 6 'Hobbs Cross'

 

ALTERNATIVE FORMULAE POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP JOINT 5TH: 46 POINTS

ARENA BIG BANGER BASH CHAMPIONSHIP RUNNER-UP


ARENA CLASSIC HOT RODS POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP: 4TH - 48 POINTS

ARENA CLASSIC HOT RODS GOLD TOP CHAMPIONSHIP: 5TH

ARENA WINTER SERIES: 9TH - 130 POINTS