WHEN: Most Friday evenings. TIME:

31 March 2009

Race Report - Formula Libre - 2009-03-27

It was Friday the 27th and that meant Libre racing. The club was packed with 16 racers, Costa was busy assisting all the newbies in between race control, Mike had that mean "I'm gonna kick butt tonight" look in his eyes, Erlo was experimenting with his new car, a FLY Riley, Phil was quietly confident with his quick white GT40, Brad was hastily setting up his FLY Ferrari P4 with all the Slot-it "go faster" spares, the new recruits to the club were getting in some valuable practice and Ashwin, well he was late as usual. The scene was set for an exciting evening of racing.

Qualifying got off to a flyer with Mike and Erlo squaring up against each other for some close racing. The GT40's of Phil and Ashwin were off the pace with disappointing results. Ashwin then got up to his old tricks and started to feverishly strip and re-build his red GT40 before the second qualifying. The FLY Riley raced by Erlo looked exceptionally fast and posed a serious threat to the likes of Mike, Phil and Ashwin for the rest of the evening. Costa persisted with his FLY big block V8 Mustang and young Aryton looked good racing his trusty Opel Vectra. The GT40's were much faster in the second qualifying but could not match the pace of Mike and Erlo. Mike top qualified followed by Erlo, Ashwin, Phil, Costa and Bradley. Brad showed signs that he may be shrugging off the cobwebs and returning to his best by putting in a top six finish here.

Celeste and Brad

In the first race, the young guns Luke, Gwain and Mikheel raced against each other and there was a lot of noise, fun and excitement to be had. Mikheel is a seven year old, new to the club and is very keen and excited about his new hobby, much like a kid in a candy shop. With Luke and Ayrton, the kids do add some spark and life to the club, something that has been missing in the recent past.

Two newcomers - Aubrey and Gwain

In the middle race, we had Ayrton racing against Johannes, also new to the club. Johaness impressed with his consistency and he placed 9th overall. Ayrton, in my mind, is probably the most improved driver over the last six months or so and he had a good race to place 6th and I suspect that soon he will be racing against the big boys and that will be something to look forward to.

The top race was fast and exciting as it always is with no room for mistakes here. The lead changed several times. Erlo and Ashwin got off the line quickly and streaked away from the rest of the pack, Mike had to contend with the extra grip on black lane and Phil, Costa and Brad were well placed in the middle of the pack. Erlo took the lead when Ashwin fell off but could not hold on to it and this gave Ashwin the chance to take the lead once again and he would go on to win the race. Mike and Erlo had an intense battle for second place with Erlo winning that battle, the FLY Riley indeed looks very promising. Phil had handling problems with his very quick white GT40 and placed a disappointing forth followed by Costa in fifth. Ayrton sneaked in to pip Brad for sixth place.

Old Dog Ashwin - here seen doing his "go faster" modification.

The race results are as follows:
1. Ashwin - 105.49
2. Erlo - 103.77
3. Mike - 103.54
4. Phil - 101.47
5. Costa - 98.45
6. Ayrton - 94.45
7. Brad - 94.11
8. Jacques - 87.43
9. Johannes - 84.53
10. Kevin - 82.42
11. Celeste - 81.36
12. Luke - 74.41
13. Gwain - 68.64
14. John - 67.45
15. Aubrey - 66.53
16. Mikheel - 61.60

I chatted to Mikheel's dad and he said that his son actually counts down the nights to go to Friday Libre racing. I must admit, I do the same as well. This class has transformed the club. The class is well attended and always attracts the younger generation. Racing is always close with cars even finishing on the same lap this year. The noise and enthusiasm generated by the kids all adds to the atmosphere and sense of excitement on a Friday evening on which the Libre class is raced. Be there to experience it!


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