Whickham and District Motor Club meet every Wednesday evening from around 8:00pm at the Kibblesworth Workmens Club, a local village venue offering a friendly welcome and extremely reasonable prices...........................................................................................
e: enquiries @ wdmc.org.uk
Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Pit Stop Challenge - 7 March 2018

Pit Stop Wheel

When the torque stops.

After a recent, and rather sudden spell of very inclement weather bringing with it some of the heaviest snow we have seen in a few years it was nice to be able to get out and about again and even better to get to the Club for the first Pitstop Challenge of the 2018 Championship. Expectations were high for a good bit of competition from the regular members, although this time there was a noticeable absence in those taking part as Jimmy was feeling unwell and taking it easy for a while. Withdrawals too from Jamie and Ian pleading injuries although the attendance was boosted by the inclusion of two new participants in Martin Wilks and Dean Anderson who had called at the club to meet Guy and talk about Marshalling, but were persuaded to also take part.

There was, however, a slight hiccough in the organisation when Gary and Phil realised they had brought the wrong Torque Wrench and were left with the problem of mating a 3/8" drive with a 1/2" socket. This was never going to work in practice, and so the rules were relaxed to allow Brian to be the "Torque Adjuster" and decide whether nuts were tight enough or just too loose for comfort.

Gary went first, spinning the wheel brace like a professional and looking for all the world like he was going to set an initial time that wouldn't be touched, his flying fingers getting the wheel off in no time at all and apart from the slightest of fumbles when placing it back, posting a time of 1m 22.7seconds to really set the standard. Brian followed Gary, flexing his fingers, cracking his knuckles and setting his jaw like a pro: by going early he was fresh, he was ready, and he was quick! The wheel brace spun even more rapidly than when in Gary's hands, the wheel was off in a trice and back on in seconds, the nuts back on two at a time and the brace a chromium blur in the reflection of the club lights. His time was rapid, too, a full 5.1 seconds faster than Gary, setting the bar even higher.

Visitor Martin was next, and although he had never done this before, he was as game as they come, listening carefully to the instructions and taking everything in; he had only seen two go before him, both veritable demons on the clock, but he gave it a very credible attempt. It's very easy for those of us who have been doing this for years to forget how awkward the first time must be when you have not had the benefit of honing your technique, but Martin certainly had a go and did not disgrace himself by any means. Dean had been looking very carefully at Martin while he took part, and had quickly worked out a way of shaving time off and put that into practice from the off. His strategy paid off pretty well, too, as he saw his own time eclipse Martin by almost a full 30 seconds.

Phil had been watching all this with interest, so came to the rig next, full of optimism and raring to take part. He was off like the proverbial rabbit, spinning the brace easily and making the whole thing look very easy; his time to wheel off being very quick, only suffering a small lapse in concentration due to him making a very small mistake with a wheel nut that caused a comment from the watching crowd that suddenly had him in fits of laughter: that single event causing him the tiniest of delays and leading to an eventual time of 1m24.43seconds - just short of Gary and placing him currently third.

Tosh came next, setting himself down on the floor and simultaneously setting his glasses down on the table; his focus was obviously on attack. The start was very good indeed, the wheel brace spinning freely, the nuts coming off quickly too, the wheel off and on the floor without an issue and then the wheel was back on more quickly than anyone on the night, slotting home with a resounding thud and the nuts going on two by two almost instantaneously. This was looking very good indeed! However, that was where it all went wrong; the nuts just would not spin up and the brace looked as uncomfortable as it could ever be, not spinning, stalling and catching his skin, his time an almost painful 1m 30.83 seconds: so close to begin with, so far in the end.

Mac and Gordon were next to come to the floor, each with their own inimitable styles, Gordon struggling with the wheel as it went back on wonky, causing him to take some valuable time doing up what seemed like more wheel nuts than you get on a Scania Truck, whilst Mac was seen to be peering over his glasses as he tried desperately to align the wheel holes with the studs; the wheel eventually slotting home and allowing him to do up all the nuts. Alas, his tightness was not really up to standard, with three loose nuts he would have caused much grief to any driver relying on his pit stop skills.

So final times and positions after everyone taking part had done their impression of Guy Martin at the Williams F1 team, were as follows:

1 Brian 77.8s
2 Gary 82.9s
3 Phil 84.4s
4 Tosh 90.8s
5 Dean 123.9s
6 Gordon 134.3s
7 Martin 152.4s
8 Mac 172.9s

A great win for Brian, not his fastest ever time but certainly good enough to take the victory nonetheless, with Gary breathing down his neck and only two seconds quicker than Phil in third place. Brilliant to see visitors Martin and Dean taking part in the competition with very good humour and we hope to see them again soon.

Many thanks to all who took part and in particular to Phil and Gary especially considering they had an extended journey home as they had to return the rig to the Club garage. Points in the Club Championship to all who took part, Phil takes the golden opportunity to leapfrog both Karl and Guy into fourth place and finds himself only a single point behind Jamie in third. Gary suddenly shoots into the top ten at position seven. Next event is the Quiz on March 21st so enough time to brush up on your motoring knowledge and put it all to good use on that evening!

Steering Wheel Challenge - 14 February 2018

The St. Valentines Day Massacre

Steering Wheel Nurburgring

February the 14th is a day that has for many years been associated with Romance, Love and Courtship. It is a special day for those who are in love, for those who secretly love another, and those who wish for a sign that somebody loves them. For the members of Whickham and District Motor Club, it was a day for those who love competition, and especially those who love to win.

One of the staple events we hold is a combination of a steady hand, an eye for accuracy and an understanding of physics together with an appreciation of timing: the steering wheel challenge. The game is very straightforward, two steering wheels, each fitted with a circular container and board filled with holes; one nine, one twelve, each with an equivalent number of steel balls that have to be seated in the holes in the shortest possible time. Not only that, but the steering wheels need to be sat down neatly and steadily so all the balls remain in position. Easy. The slight change this time was that both sheels would be done consecutively, the total time taken being your score.

Nobody ever wants to be first, lest they set a dreadful time and show themselves up. Tonight was different though: Karl Knox stepping up to the plate immediately and taking his turn whilst he was fresh and thinking clearly. It proved to be a wise move, as his time was a very good 2m 55seconds, setting the bar high immediately. Jamie came next, smiling as always, ready to do battle and checking Karl’s time with a look of determination. His time of 4m 06s wasn’t good enough to beat Karl, but it certainly set the following competitors something to aim at. Jamie was followed by Ian, looking at the wheels with not a little trepidation, thinking that this was only his second ever attempt at the challenge. However, Ian is a dogged man who attempts all things with his usual good humour and although he wasn’t the fastest he certainly seemed to enjoy the challenge.

Phil was next to try his hand. Although he always sets his expectations low, he has shown over the past few years that he has not only learned the art of the Steering Wheel Challenge but become quicker as time has gone on and his final time was always going to be good. And so it proved, his skill and dexterity showing he is getting better and better at mastering the skills required to eventually triumph at this game. Alastair, however, still finds completing this particular game a challenge in itself, coming so very close so many times to getting that final ball in place, only to see it knocked out of position at the eleventh hour. There is, however, no denying his tenacity: Alastair persevering long after many would have given up, determined to finish the challenge. Dad Jimmy came next, again getting tantalisingly close to finishing, only giving up when his back started to feel the strain.

Brian, however, showed all the signs of a man determined to be the victor: grasping the Nurburgring wheel within a split second of being counted down and getting all the balls in place in little over half a minute, then setting it down and grabbing the Imp wheel and playing with the balance to get all the balls in place despite the corrugated cardboard making life so difficult. His time was quick: 1m 11seconds and that was certainly a challenge for all to follow. Guy was next and showed great skill by getting all the balls in place on the Imp wheel amazingly rapidly, only falling down on the Nurburgring when a couple of rogue balls just would not go into place, costing him valuable minutes.

Tosh was last to go, eyeing up Brian's time with caution and getting ready to take the challenge to his son. Guy was on the clock and as soon as Tosh touched the first wheel it was ticking. Tosh flew on the Imp wheel, getting all the balls in place in less than thirty seconds, on to the Nurburgring and he was away at top speed and looking for all the world like a Champion once again; however, a momentary reluctance by the balls to drop into place cost him some treasured time, and although it was only mere seconds, the cost was palpable: Tosh's final time revealed as 1m 14s, those uncooperative balls making a very expensive dent in his time and handing the victory to Brian.

When all the times were sorted the result made very interesting viewing:

1 Brian 1m 11s
2 Tosh 1m 14s
3 Phil 2m 12s
4 Karl 2m 55s
5 Guy 3m 13s
6 Jamie 4m 06s
7 Matthew 4m 34s
8 Peter 6m 49s
9 Ian 8m 32s
10 Jimmy -2 balls 7m 52s
11 Alastair -4 balls 20m 00s

An excellent victory for Brian, showing he has certainly learned the correct technique to getting all the balls in place in a very respectable time and taking the crown from Tosh who has to date been unbeaten in this challenge. Maybe this is the first sign of cracks in his dominance; perhaps he has finally had his day, or maybe it was just a one-off. No matter to Brian, who claims a well-deserved victory and maximum points this week, stretching his lead in the Championship once again and claiming the title of Wheel Challenge King; at least for this week. No doubt Tosh will be thinking carefully about what went wrong this time and cost him the victory; it isn't likely to go down well with the senior Townsend. A great third place for Phil, showing that although he plays the 'I'm not very good at this' card very well, he is and always will be one to watch.

A good fourth place for Karl, getting in quick and cementing some very valuable points in the Superstars Championship and leading the Knox family charge, his single point moving him just ahead of Guy who in fifth, just starting to pull away from the chasing pack. Phil leaps up two places to sixth: could this be the start of a Championship Challenge?

Time now for a wee break for a month: next week is the Karting Challenge at TeamSport Karting at Scotswood, the following week is our Annual General Meeting and the week after is the Border Counties Meeting; the next event will therefore be in a month's time and will be a Pit Stop Challenge. Here's looking forward to the next round in the WDMC Superstars Championship!

Quiz - 24 January 2018

2018 January quiz

The end of January each year is a trying time for many people as they face the trials and tribulations of their Annual Tax Returns, Self-Assessment forms, VAT Returns and many other official forms, most filled with obscure and confusing numbers and calculations almost guaranteed to make you sweat and strain.

Then again January 24th 2018 was also just as taxing for the members of Whickham and District Motor Club as they pored over their own personal forms: bold capitalised text on sheets of white paper, some pretty obscure questions that put the strain on the brain with strange numbers and diagrams to trick the mind, and all only weeks into the New Year. Registration numbers were offered, drivers and makes were required, F1 circuits were drawn on the paper and faces were drawn too as furrowed brows were rubbed in confusion. This quiz could have been a disaster had nobody known what on earth was going on, but as it happened what at first appeared to be a really difficult quiz turned out to be much more manageable to more than one of those taking part.

Those perennial bottom of the table entrants Tosh and Brian looked at the registration numbers and then at each other; this was not going to be easy and considering they were as likely to be wrong with every answer as right they decided on the scattergun approach of answering Ford to everything they didn’t know, working on the basis that at least one answer would eventually be correct. That decision turned out to be an inspired one, as Ford turned out to be the correct answer to many of the questions asked!

The F1 circuits were as familiar to many as the layout of the local Tesco’s, but then had they been specifically asked if the cheese counter was before or after the deli most could not be absolutely certain, and so it was with the names of the circuits: just what was the Spanish GP circuit called? Was it Barcelona or something else? And what is the name of the Brazilian circuit? Sao Paulo? Rio de Janiero? And that one at top right? Where in the world was that? Suddenly all those clever minds seemed to go as blank as the current Gimp in the White House, although to be honest that might be a bit cruel to the members of WDMC. Or even amoeba.

Nevertheless, as each answer sheet came in and competitors tried their best to sneak a look at the answers, Ollie marked each one with a strict eye for detail and a requirement for accuracy that should always be shown in each and every case. Not for Ollie the woolly ambiguous answers often given in the vain hope of appealing to the question masters’ good nature. For him, only the right answer would do. Just as it should be. Luckily Gordon was not here tonight.

Once marking was complete and to his satisfaction, Ollie first read out the answers and then the final results:

1 Jamie 22.5pts
2 Guy 22pts
3 Phil 18.5pts
4 Tosh and Brian 17.5pts
5 Ian 17pts
5 Peter and Matthew 17pts
7 Jimmy and Alastair 11pts

A superb win for Guy, who although he didn’t come first was far happier to finish a strategic second once again and so sported the biggest smile seen since Christmas; an excellent first place for Jamie who despite winning looked as though he had just come second in a winner takes all competition. A good third place for Phil, netting some valuable points in the Superstars Championship Table which suddenly changes everything: Tosh leaps up to second just behind Brian, Jamie takes his advantage to move on up and snap at Tosh’s heels in third, Karl missing out on the quiz due to work and subsequently dropping from second to fourth, equal with Guy. Alastair meanwhile drops from 4th to 6th, but that might just be a temporary blip; who knows what the younger Knox can manage?

Many thanks to Ollie for putting on a great little quiz, challenging to most but with enough variety to please everyone present. There were some great questions in there too, although some were very obscure it was extremely enjoyable even for those that had no idea what the answers were. (Of which there were many).

Next event will be on St Valentine’s day - February 14th, and who knows what event we will ’Love’ that particular evening? Should I bring roses and chocolates?


Scalextric - January 17 2018

180117 Scalextric

The Northern Adult Male is not particularly renowned for being overtly enthusiastic about much, unless it involves drinking, football or being out with the lads. He has certainly never been seen to explode into rapturous excitement about his lass's new shoes or handbag (there is a particular type of man who does that) so it would be easy to dismiss the Northern Bloke as being simply uninterested in much other than the aforementioned pastimes.

However, the old adage about men being nothing other than boys with bigger toys is as true today as it ever was, but that isn't the full story. A man of course is a simple thing, and generally just as entertained, or maybe even more so, by the small or simple things in life as he would be by the more complicated or esoteric. Just watch a man throwing away a piece of paper: he can't just crumple it up and drop it in the bin because that is just too straightforward, he has to take a step back to what he considers a 'challenging' distance, then try to throw it with unnerving accuracy into the bin, just to prove it can be done. Failing to do so will often involve him going to the bin, collecting the ball of paper and then retreating back to his original position before trying once again, until he is successful. Women might shake their heads in perplexity, but men will nod their heads, because they understand it is a bloke thing.

Wednesday the 17th January was one of those nights to bring out the boy in the man, as Peter Metcalfe arrived at Kibblesworth Club with a box of track, a couple of controllers and some miniature electric cars: this of course was Scalextric night, and as if by magic all the so-called quiet and reserved Northern men present became as animated in their enthusiasm for the racing game with its tiny electric cars as Gok Wan does for fashion on 'How to look Good Naked' - although thankfully all the men present at Kibblesworth Club kept their clothes well and truly on.

Peter's format was as simple as the game itself: a figure of eight circuit, two cars, competitors race each car for ten laps and then add those times together to get a cumulative time for a twenty lap race. This would decide who was overall fastest in each heat and move them onto the next stage. Having sixteen competitors made it even simpler: a knockout competition of Round One, Quarter- and Semi-finals and a Grand Final.

Round One saw the eight fastest drivers through to the Quarter Finals, where they were matched against the next fastest driver to make it as even as possible; that way there was no possibility of the fastest driver being pitched against the slowest. Guy faced Matthew, Karl took on Tosh, Gary went up against Peter and Phil challenged Brian. The four victors then moved up to the Semi-Finals, where Peter took on Brian and Matthew raced against Tosh; the two quickest would emerge to battle it out in the final. And what a final it would be, with Semi Final victors Brian and Tosh facing up against each other over an even longer race of 40 laps for the mother of all family challenges - just who would be the overall winner?

They both started well and for a couple of laps could not have been more evenly matched, however a tiny misjudgement by Tosh saw him put just a little too much throttle on at the North curve and the Mk 2 slid off the circuit, prompting a look of anguish on the older Townsend's face as he realised that could be the single deciding factor of the final. Brian continued his steady pace, quick but by now easily ahead, always the thinking man and knowing Tosh would have to try hard to catch the Audi. Trying was to be Tosh's ultimate downfall, as the Escort once again plunged off the circuit, putting the result almost beyond doubt.

At the second half restart, Brian was well ahead and knew that all he had to do was stay ahead of his father to clinch the win. Brian raced steadily, Tosh raced strongly, and although he was clawing time back from Brian it looked as though it was an impossible task, until without warning the lovely Mk 2 Escort left the road at the South hairpin and an excruciating look of doubt crossed the younger Townsend's face: suddenly the race was on and it was anybody's to take. Tosh's Audi raced along gaining valuable seconds and looked to be about to take the lead: however the 'putter-backer-onner-er' did his job magnificently, getting Brian's Escort back on the circuit without a wasted second, and almost as soon as it happened the race was over.

Times were checked and accrued and they showed a clear victory for Brian by four seconds: his consistency winning the day once again. Final results were as follows:

1 Brian F1
2 Tosh F2
3 Peter SF1
4 Matthew SF2
5 Karl QF1
6 Gary QF2
7 Guy QF3
8 Phil QF4
9 Tony 1m 26s
10 Jamie 1m 28s
11 Gordon 1m 30s
12 Steve 1m 32s
13 Ian 1m 36s
14 Mac 1m 38s
15 Alastair 1m 44s
16 Paul 1m 58s

A thoroughly good win for Brian, showing that the trick is as always, consistency. Every 'off' brings with it a huge time penalty, and even two seconds to put a car back on the track equates to three or four by the time the driver has regained his impetus, so just a couple of offs can seriously affect the driver's final position, as Tosh found during the final as he saw his chances of victory slip away. The race-off for third and fourth places was between Peter and Matthew; Peter checking beforehand by asking Matthew 'If I beat you will you still take me home?' - a phrase not heard since last year's Sado-Masochism convention. The answer must have been positive as organiser Peter went on to take a good third place by showing the same excellent car control as he had during his previous races - causing a few competitors to modify their technique to try and emulate his progress. A sound fourth place for Matthew, showing good driving skills and also some of the more established members that the new guys can hang with the old boys and maybe show them a thing or two.

Many thanks to Peter for bringing in his Scalextric and setting everything up on the night and in particular thanks to all who took part and had a really enjoyable time doing so: it's always good to have a real laugh at the club and men playing racing games with tiny electric cars is just about the most enjoyable thing you could do on a Wednesday night. Points in the Championship to all who took part, Brian extends his lead in the Superstars Championship, Karl maintains his second place although Tosh leapfrogs up to third just a single point behind him. Peter's third place netting him a good haul of points to bring him into contention, whilst Matthew's points bring him firmly into the Top Ten.

Next week sees the first quiz of the year, an event where Guy and Peter typically excel, so the points table is due for yet another upset and it is still only the first month of the Championship year!

Happy days.

PlayStation - January 10 2018

180110 Forza


How many times has that cry been heard from the millions of fans throughout the world? Most would undoubtedly be Italian, of course, but there are still more than enough other fans to make themselves heard. Although the literal translation is 'Force' the word has become synonymous with speed and the total encouragement of it.

Forza Motorsport 7 however, is a console game that brings all the excitement of the real thing to the small screen, and it was Jamie that brought it to Kibblesworth Workmen's Club on Wednesday the 10th January for the second round of the Whickham and District Motor Club's 2018 Superstars Championship along with his X-Box One to test the gaming abilities of the assembled members present.

In what was a quiet night at the Club, there were not as many competitors as usual, prompting Tosh to exclaim that he could potentially finish reasonably well this evening. That, of course, was before he had attempted to actually drive the vehicle of choice: a Bentley GT Continental prepared by M Sport. It's fair to say that this was never going to be a gentlemanly drive in the country, wafting past thatched cottages and village greens in unadulterated luxury and virtual silence. No, this was raw, powerful and right on the edge: Jamie had all the aids on, Traction Control, ESP, ABS, Automatic Gears and to help those less capable drivers, damage was off. Tosh, of course, would need ALL of the above.

Brian started by taking the controls first; not a game he had any experience with, but always willing to give it his best shot, he first had a practice lap and then was straight into the action. The heavy Bentley was immediately skittish on its cold tyres and took almost a full lap to warm them enough to get a good feel for the car. The feel was good, Brian posting a time of 1m 36s to set the benchmark.

Jamie came next, his familiarity with the game showing evidence as he threaded the big GT through the sweeping bends and tight hairpin of Brands Hatch's Grand Prix circuit, determined to beat Brian at all costs. His first standing start lap was a fraction slower than Brian's best, which boded well for the result he was after, however on his second lap he fared not so well, posting a time a full six seconds slower, so it was all down to his final lap. Jamie went for Gold all right, getting each and every bend just about perfect and posting a time over a second faster than Brian to put him first.

Tosh followed, deciding that he might as well go now as put off the inevitable drubbing that was surely to come. Unfamiliar with the game and without the dexterity to keep the big car flowing through the bends his progress was patchy at best, poor at worst and although he had the benefit if the sighting lap it made not a jot of difference to his times and he was a full 15 seconds adrift of the younger men. Tosh was followed by Ian, who looked immediately at ease with the game, sweeping round the circuit with style and looking like he was about to challenge the two youngsters for their positions. Alas, Ian's enthusiasm soon got the better of him as he ran wide on more occasions than he will wish to remember, in particular making the same mistake on the same corner on each and every lap, much to the amusement of all who were watching. His good times were not to last, as each excursion robbed him of valuable seconds and he struggled to gain the time back so much that he eventually finished slower than Tosh, much to his dismay and Tosh's delight!

Alastair came next, with some great expectations to do well. He has shown his mettle in the past and both Brian and Jamie know that he can often be a force to be reckoned with. Known as the 'Quiet One' he could easily have upset the apple-cart with his unhurried style and rapid pace, so all eyes were on him. Although he started well, it was to be his standing start lap that was surprisingly the quickest of his times, as each of his subsequent laps couldn't match his initial pace.

However, Alastair was not to be the last player, as we had heard that Biscuit Bob was about to make a late entry having been working the Two to Ten shift at the local Hobnob Factory, and sure enough, at exactly one minute past Ten Karl strode in the door and ordered his pint before doing battle with the X-Box. This could be good. His cousin was third, his great rival was second, his target was first. Karl picked up the controller, checked the times of all concerned, adopted the stance of one who didn't care what he looked like (especially with his trouser crotch around his knees) and set off for his inaugural lap. His practice lap was good, his first competitive lap was as stylish as those jogging bottoms - a total and absolute car crash. Literally. Karl broke the car. Even with damage off, Karl broke the car. This would go down in the history of the club. Damage off, yet Karl broke the car. Whilst the reviewers of Forza Motorsport 7 might have earnestly said "This is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful racers you will ever see" they had plainly not seen the younger Knox from Kibblesworth. No matter, he now only had two laps left to make his mark, and, being fresh from a hard day's graft, he may not have been in as tip-top condition as the biscuits he helps to produce, but he certainly gave it his best shot; after all, he had a cousin, a leader and the clock to beat.

Karl gave it his all, but in the end it was all too much to manage: his best time coming on his final lap as he wrangled the huge Bentley around the GP circuit in a vain attempt to wrestle it to the fastest time of the day. Alas it was not to be, but he did at least come away with some pride: his fourth place bringing with it a valuable hoard of points in the Superstars Championship and helping him consolidate his place in the table.

So final results, after everyone had been the Derek Bell of Brands, were as follows:

1 Jamie 1m 35s
2 Brian 1m 36s
3 Alastair 1m 40s
4 Karl 1m 46s
5 Tosh 1m 50s
6 Ian 1m 59s

An excellent win for Jamie, probably surprised at just how close Brian was to his time considering all things. A great second place for Brian and one which he was patently happy with, especially as the points would help increase his lead in the Championship, a solid third for Alastair showing that you just have to watch the quiet ones.

Many thanks to Jamie for bringing in his X-Box One and setting everything up on the night, and thanks to all who took part and especially for the excellent and good-humoured nature that was so apparent on the night. Points in the Championship to all who took part, and a palpable excitement about next week: the third in our trilogy of car-related events and one that always brings out the boys in the men: Scalextric!

I can hardly wait.

Kinetic Car Race - January 3 2018

2017 Kinetic Car 1

The WDMC Superstars Championship got off to a roaring start on the very first club night of the year when Gary and Brian put on one of the most popular events - the Kinetic Car Race. The format suits men very well indeed as it is so very simple: take a toy car and send it down a long table, trying to get it to stop on a piece of paper. The further away the paper is, the more points you get, unless of course you fall off the table or stop between the sheets. How hard can it be?

The truth of the matter is the result of your efforts is often very different to your expectations of success; those gaps between the papers seem to grow each time you try, the steering seems to vary much more than you expect, and the pace of the car is often quite hard to judge. Points can be very hard to come by. No matter, each of the competitors were as keen as the cast of The Fast and The Furious and determined to show off their skills.

Tosh went first, to set a benchmark for everyone to aim at. The trouble with going first is that you have no idea how far back to pull the car before letting it go, or how wayward its journey is likely to be. But then, somebody has to be first, so why not just have a go? His attempt wasn't brilliant, with only 70 points gained from his five attempts, but then it could still be a winner depending upon how everyone else did.

That theory was shot down in flames at a stroke when second man up Guy took his turn, immediately scoring 120 points to eclipse Tosh at a stroke. It looked as though Tosh's score would be firmly at the bottom of the table as third man Gordon took up the challenge. And challenge it really turned out to be, as Gordon ended up with more zeros than the Imperial Japanese Navy had in 1945; it would be hard to finish higher than last with nothing on the table.

Mac was next, missing almost everything but a careful peer over the top of his glasses saw him sneak a nifty sixty points to place him just behind Tosh. Karl was up next, having carefully weighed up all his options and thought it all through, he scored on more runs than not, ending up currently top of the leader board with 200 points.

Gary quickly followed and his first run saw him net a cool 100 points for finishing on the optimum scoring card. This could be good, and Karl was seen gently biting his lower lip as he no doubt saw his prime position snatched away almost before he had it. Luckily for him, it was not to be, as Gary had obviously been reading the Gordon Bradford book of "How to score points and win" and managed absolutely nothing on all four of his subsequent runs.

Ollie and Phil followed next, both matching each other with a total of 50 points each, before Alastair took his turn, scoring 60 points to place him level with Mac. Father Jimmy came next, flexing his "pit stop" fingers and ready to do battle with the best, however it was nothing short of tragedy in the points stake as all his runs ended up in non-scoring positions. Perhaps his future lies in mine clearance, as he landed on absolutely everything except those places that would light up the sky.

That only left Brian to take his turn. Always competitive, always one to watch, never one to take for granted. Although his first run was not only off the pace but also off the track, he learned from that as he positioned the car for his second run. Beautifully weighted, expertly aligned, the little car drove up the track as if on rails and with a purpose that was clear to see. 100 points. Brian was immediately equal third. His third run was positioned with almost identical accuracy; the result? another 100 points. He was now equal second. Karl bit harder on his lip. Brian aligned his car for his fourth run: his concentration intense, his mind computing all the options, his eyes fixed on the ultimate prize, and when he let go, all eyes were on the car. Unbelievably, he scored yet another 100 points. He was now firmly in the driving seat; he had the pole position, he need not go any further. A call from Gary of "You have the win, don't risk the car" brought a hearty laugh from all those present, but Brian was not finished. He still had his final run, and in typical fashion, he was not only going for the win but for a crushing victory. His final run netted a very healthy 70 points, to bring his total to 370 - almost twice the score of second placed Karl, and an indictment of Brian's attitude to competition: to beat him, you really do have to win in no uncertain terms.

So final results, after everyone had played their own little Kibblesworth imitation of Brian O'Connor, Dominic Toretto or maybe even Michelle Rodriguez, were as follows:

1 Brian 370pts
2 Karl 200pts
3 Guy 120pts
4 Gary 100pts
5 Tosh 70pts
6 Alastair 60pts
6 Mac 60pts
8 Ollie 50pts
8 Phil 50pts
10 Gordon 0pts
10 Jimmy 0pts

A fantastic win for Brian, blasting himself into the lead on the very first event of the year, showing he is as intent on retaining his Championship winning status as ever, despite whatever everyone else can throw at him. However, it is of course early days, and there are plenty of opportunities during the coming year for others to take that position away: that is, of course, if they actually can. An excellent second place for Karl, showing his drive at the Christmas Stages is not his only talent; a brilliant third place for Guy, his best ever result and one that definitely proves the old adage: 'You have to watch the quiet ones'.

Points in the Championship to all who took part, and many thanks to Gary and Brian for putting on one of our favourite and well-supported Club night events. Next round is the first PlayStation round of 2018 - and depending upon the motoring discipline, Brian could potentially see his position taken away, or maybe even reinforced; we can, of course, only watch and speculate as to the outcome.

Bring it on.....

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