Friend of the site, Andy Jones reports… Last weekend the Micro community headed off to the ever popular Hereford club at their excellent Leominster venue for another record breaking weekend in the Micro Section. However despite it being a new day there was an all too familiar result as once more Phil Sleigh took both the 4wd and 2wd from the front of the grid as well as adding the concourse trophy to his 4wd trophy cabinet. The Micro community were as always treated to a well-designed track by the Hereford club, it was very fast and very flowing which meant that clean races were the order for the day if the drivers wanted to achieve the best possible result.
10 drivers took to the track at Round 2 in the battle for the 2wd win and all eyes were on Adam McBride who won the previous round at Silverstone. Adam led them off in round 1 but after a couple of early errors it was left to Phil Sleigh to take the round ahead of Craig Harris and local driver Steve ‘Tank’ Davies. Phil continued to dominate the next couple of rounds to cement his place at the front of the grid so much so that he was the only driver to achieve 20 laps and Adam who was running in 3rd was only on 18 laps. Phil was also the only 2wd driver to achieve sub-15 seconds laps.
Phil was looking the perfect qualifying score as the drivers entered Round 4 but a couple of early errors allowed Craig to open up a lead. It was important for Craig to hold on to the lead as 2nd place on the grid was up for grabs Steve or Adam could win the race. Steve was trying his hardest to get past Craig but a big error mid-way through the race allowed Dan Osborne to come through for 2nd in the heat and line up 3rd on the grid ahead of Steve.
It was important for Phil to get a good start from the front of the grid and he did this by opening up a 2 second lead, Dan made an error at the start of lap 2 allowing Steve through to challenge Craig for 2nd. In truth the final became a procession with only small errors from the top 3, there were no more positional changes and Phil romped home on 20 laps, Craig and Steve finished on 19 laps but with 12 seconds between them. Round 1 winner Adam came through in a creditable 4th position to regain his championship lead ahead of Steve, Craig and Phil. It promises to be an exciting event at Dudley next time around and can the drivers improve to keep Phil at bay.
A Final Results:
- Phil Sleigh – 20/307.32
- Craig Harris – 19/302.68
- Steve Davies – 19/314.80
A new section record of 68 drivers took to the track at Hereford and with so many new faces it was great to see that the class was as popular as it has ever been. It became evident at the sharp end during practice that Phil Sleigh, Tony Bishop, Craig Harris, Andy Jones and Steve Davies were going to be the drivers to catch. There were also promising showings from young Morgan Rham and 1/10th veteran Andy Griffiths (Griff) who was making his Micro National debut.
Phil would dominate 4wd qualifying and taking all rounds but unlike Silverstone the 2nd place in each round would get to within 5 seconds of Phil’s time. Tony started off the day strongly by going second in round 1 after a faultless drive in heat 8, Steve put in a very creditable time to go 3rd just ahead of the battling Craig and Andy. Returning Micro National legend Chris Bottle (who has only missed 1 event since the Micro Nationals started) put in a very good run to go 6th while Griff starting his Micro life in 9th.
Round 2 saw mechanical problems for Tony early on during his heat which gave an opportunity for Craig and Steve to improve on their times. Kevin Taylor put in a strong showing in the heat but it was down to the drivers in Heat 9 to affect the round. Andy was putting in a good run until an accidental clash while being lapped by Phil which allowed Morgan to close in on him. Luckily it didn’t affect Phil’s run but it cost Andy the chance to go 3rd. Morgan picked up a 5th as he looked for his first Micro National A Final. Kevin started his push by picking up 6th in the Round.
Round 3 saw a third different driver go 2nd in the round with Andy driving a clean run to claim the spot behind Phil who confirmed his position as top qualifier. Tony Bishop backed his earlier 2nd in round 1 up with an error filled 9th, this was to be good enough for Tony to make the A Final. Chris Bottle, Craig, Steve and Morgan all confirmed their A Final places which meant there was only a couple of places to be filled. Dan Osborne did his claim no harm by picking up a 6th while Griff was able to manage an 8th from a lower heat.
Round 4 saw the remaining place in the A Final decided with Kevin picking up a 9th which meant once again the A Final was locked out on 15 points with Steve Biscoe (also on 15 points) the unfortunate driver to miss out. Andy managed to secure 2nd place on the grid with a run that got him within a second of Phil Sleigh giving brief hope that there may be a challenge at the top end. Craig picked up a 3rd to qualify in 3rd whereas young Morgan Rham excelled by qualifying his Carisma in 5th place. Once again like Silverstone there was a 50/50 split in the top 10 between Carisma and Losi cars.
The finals were all generally clean and tidy, probably due to the track that was being used. It must have been a difficult day for some of the drivers. In the G Final Liam Toole was victorious and also lapped his dad, John, who finished 2nd. Trevor Hale was successful in the F Final and was also a lap up on 4th place. Paul Knight, owner of the official Micro National Shop Trackside spares had a torrid qualification but made up for it by dominating the E Final. The closest final was the D Final which saw David Jackson just about victorious ahead of Simon Osborne and Chris Muirhead. Ian Ford and Cris Oxley battled it out for C Final honours in what will be a day to forget for them both whereas Steve Biscoe led from the front and won the B Final.
As we moved on to the final race of the day, the 4wd A Final, everyone was hoping for fireworks but other than a small opportunity for Andy Jones to pass Phil Sleigh on lap 1 it was very processional and Phil eased to victory by 7 seconds. Andy meanwhile ran a comfortable 2nd after early pressure from Craig Harris who came home 3rd.
Full A Final Result
- Phil Sleigh – 21/303.63
- Andy Jones – 21/310.82
- Craig Harris – 21/314.11
- Steve Davies – 20/306.20
- Tony Bishop – 20/308.67
- Chris Bottle – 20/312.10
- Kevin Taylor – 19/301.32
- Morgan Rham – 19/302.24
- Andy Griffiths – 19/304.34
- Dan Osborne – 19/307.25
The Section committee would like to thanks Hereford for their continued support of the Micro National Series and for hosting what proved as always to be a great event
Words – Andy Jones. Photos – John Howe.