The fourth running of the Worksop ‘Players’ race took place this past weekend at the hugely popular Worksop indoor venue. The race uses a very similar format to the famous ‘Reedy’ race – where every heat is a race in itself and there are no finals.
The top 24 drivers in 2WD and 4WD would qualify into a seperate ‘Elite’ class – where they would only battle against each other for the titles.
In timed practice on the first day of racing, Chris Doughty put in the fastest lap out of all the drivers and was the second quickest on overall time. Three rounds of qualifying would use the fastest three consecutive laps to determine those who’d go onto the elite class and race against the best – so the drivers had three runs to put in their three laps.
In Chris’s own words:
For the first of the 3 rounds of qualifying I changed to a newer set of tires. I found I was lacking a bit of general pace and found myself getting caught up in other peoples mistakes. It was a similar story for the second round – always managing to find a crashed car to get stuck under on my 3rd consecutive fastest lap. I eventually got 3 reasonable laps in, and this put me 7th overall.
For the final round of qually, I thought I was pretty safe inside the top 24 to get me through to the elite class, so I put on my old tires from practise and my car just came alive again. Instantly I was much faster – starting near the back on the stagger start I could see I was catching everyone. Half way through the race it was announced I had gone fastest counting my 3 consecutive laps - I continued this pace until the end of the run and set the fastest 5 minute run of qualifying along with the best 3 consecutive laps to sit at the front of the Elite class qualifiers.
When the starts were good and my tires were working I was able to convert them into wins, but some bad tire ‘set’ selections in some races and some bad starts meant that I didn’t capitalise on races where it could have been a good win.
I found myself sitting in 5th position going into the last 2WD race, I needed to win the race and set a faster time that the current 3rd place guy.
I had my tire selection right for the last race, instantly on the warm-up lap the car felt completely switched on. I lined up for the start – front row this time and I was able to get the holeshot and put in 2 fast out laps. I made a careless mistake at the end of the straight, luckily it went back onto its wheels and I only lost one position. I fought back up to the lead and didn’t look back – putting in some fast laps all the way to the end of the race. I took the win, and in a time that was quick enough to take 3rd overall. If it hadn’t been for the silly mistake near the start, I could have taken the fastest time of the meeting – as it was, I wasn’t far off.
I went to the 2012 Players intending to enjoy a bit of 10th scale 2WD as a break from racing 8th Nitro outdoors in the cold and wet winter. I found myself fastest after qualifying and on a pace that was fast enough to race for the win. Even after a couple of bad races where I was hampered with poor tire selection and bad starts, and still having to count a 4th in my overall scores of 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 4th - I was still able to finish 3rd overall.
What’s more impressive is that Chris’s car is virtually box-stock – with kit springs. The only change from standard is the new DEX210 gear differential that Chris used all weekend – ending up with 7,000 cst oil.
In the 2WD open class – Paul Crawford took his DEX210 to an impressive victory – racking up a perfect score with 6 race wins running his DEX210.