1.H:O scale cars are about 3 inches long and less than 1 1/2 inches wide.
|Hand painted Tyco F1 cars on display at a Mortlake meeting.|
|The winning car (and the spare for the winning team) in the 1994 Derby le Mans 24 hours. This Tomy AFX Group C Toyota was I think handpainted by Rick Burneson in the US for the UK Southern Comfort team.|
2. Chesterfield – The Chesterfield H.O. Racing Club (CHORC) recently celebrated its 25th birthday, having been founded by Doug Passell in 1991. Back in the nineties as well as their weekday club nights, CHORC used to host Saturday events as part of the HOSRA and HORACE national championships. My first ever H.O. meeting was in early 1992 when I took part in the first round of that year’s National Championship. I met a nice bunch of guys and got to the A Final so I was hooked! Chesterfield was always popular with our wives as it was close to the town centre and its Saturday market.
|Doug Passell manning the race control at one of his weekend Chsterfield meetings.|
|The first ever Derby Le Mans 24 hours in 1992. Doug Passell, Phil Rees and myself can be seen amongst those racing.|
|Gordon Fowell mans race control at Stourbridge with the Baldocks in the background.|
|The final Mortlake GP in 1995 was held on a Brands Hatch GP circuit. Jim Kelly, Phil Rees, Deane Walpole, Ian Grinham and others can be seen in this picture.|
|York in 1993 with its Buenos Aires circuit. Ian Holloway, Andy Abbott and Paul Howard can be seen racing.|
|Phil marshalls his own car at Newbury Church Hall.|
|Don Stanley enjoying himself whilst Peter Baldock and Jack Kelly concentrate in Newbury scout hall.|
|Peter Baldock racing Dave McPeake and the juniors at Exter in 1994. Andy Whorton is sitting on the stage and still races today with THORL. Tom Fowell, Dave Passel and some Newbury Junior are also in the picture.|
|Sutton with Deane Walpole, Peter Baldock, Ian Grinham and Don Stanley marshalling.|
|The USA team practising on the Derby Le Mans circuit in 1995. They won.|
12. Tomy Super G+ - The SG+ chassis was the most competitive chassis for our Group C and Sports car races. Weren’t allowed in the Formula One class in HOSRA races but we did use them in F1 at Sutton.
13. Tomy Turbo – These were the chassis used for the le Mans 24 hours and most other endurance races. Occasionally a green engined version with a Tomy Lexan body could be competitive. I remember in July 1992 a Chesterfield local beating all of our SG+ cars using one.
|Tomy Turbo cars on the grid for the 1995 Derby Le Mans 24 hours.|
15. Scalextric MR1 – These cars caused a bit of controversy when they came out because some wanted to race them or their Marchon predecessors. We came to compromise by holding an Indy Lights series with them using F1 bodies a number of us had painted up. I only won once using this chassis, at Chesterfield in February 1995.
|One of the HORACE Indy Lights cars|
|Aurora G Plus Historic Racing F1 at Mortlake|
18. Anything that goes! – This was what we allowed for our truck racing at Sutton. Any chassis, any magnets, any tyres but you had to have three axles and a truck body. I seem to remember that Tony Baldock dominated this category.
Collections. At the events many of us displayed our collections, which was also a big point of interest.
|Collection on display at the Mortlake GP with many Can-Am cars and the Indy cars practising their pit stops.|
20. Le Mans – the 200 foot eight lane Le Mans track in the sports hall at Rolls Royce was something else. I raced there three time back in the nineties and it was the only real international event as it had visitors from France, Ireland and the USA. Back in the nineties they used standard Tomy AFX track. Biggest memory apart from being part of as team who won was seeing Cliff Roythorne race the whole 24 hours on his own in 1994 - amazing.
|A marshall puts a car back on the track on the 200 foot Le Mans eight lane circuit.|
|Part of Sutton's Monte Carlo circuit including the exit of the tunnel and some elevation changes.|
|Doug Passell, Tony Stamper and Paul Howard racing on Stourbridge's Daytona Tri-Oval|
|Winning car at the Stourbridge Daytona Tri-Oval|
24. Bathurst – This was the first circuit I designed for the National Championship in 1992. It had some elevation changed due to the different heights of the tables! Nick Sismey won the F1 race and I took the Group C victory.
25. Riverside – Perhaps, my favourite circuit ever with its testing esses. This was our 1994 Mortlake circuit.
|The awesome Riverside Esses that we had for the Mortlake GP in 1994.|
27. Pembrey – Not all of our crcuits were hugely famous circuits. Pembrey, the little Welsh circuit was used as the plan for the January 1995 circuit at Newbury.
|We used the Magnasonics on occasion at Newbury as well as Mortlake, including on their pembrey circuit.|
29. Tony Baldock – one of the fastest racers around and multiple champion after HOSRA became HORACE. He also won the 24 hours on many occasions. Mustn't also forget Tony's friend Ian Grinham who also was a regular.
30. Andy Abbott – Another fast racer who hadn’t reached his peak in the early nineties when I was having my success but I remember many great dices against him and was fast at the end of a race.
|Andy Abbott and Ian Grinham marshalling at Mortlake.|
|Nick Sismey (back to camera) receives the prize on behalf of HOSRA 1 who won the first 24 hours in 1992. Dave Cutler is centre of picture.|
|Kevin Tombeur (centre0 flanked by Don Stanley and myself.|
|We had an IROC race using Tomy Turbo Ford Thunderbirds at Peter's first meeting at Mortlake in 1993.|
|Alan McPeake (second right on the podium) racing the 1995 24 hours.|
36. Don Stanley – who can forget Don and his competitive spirit and biting humour! We miss him!
|Don marshalling during the 24 hour race in 1995.|
The 1994 Le Mans Winning Team
|John Etherton, Peter Baldock, Tony Baldock, Don Stanley and Kevin Tombeur. Winners of the 1994 Derby 24 hours.|
38. Tony Stamper – it was great to meet Tony from Burton-on-Trent. He was a great modeller and amazed us with his HO scale slot car models. A nice guy as well.
|A York meeting with David Passell, Tony Stamper, Any Abbott and Deane Walpole.|
|Racing on the USA Pay Circuit at Chesterfield in 1997. I think this was the occasion of last win! Steve DeVille, Ian Grinham, Peter Baldock, Doug Passell, Gordon Fowell and Andy Abbott can all be recognized in this photo.|
41. Paul Howard – Paul was a great collector and brought any excess cars along to sell. I built up quite a lot of my collection from him. Super person as well.
42. John Todd and Phil Hector– our two London friends who I used to bring along to a number of events including Sutton. Great sense of humour the both of them.
|John Todd, Tony Baldock, Phil Hector and Peter Baldock racing at Sutton.|
44. Graham and Julia. They often used to come to events in the early nineties. Nice couple. Mustn’t forget Jim Kelly who was another regular and often bought along his son Jack.
45. Barry Johnson– Used to come along and race but also to sell us cars and spares. Again a great guy.
|Barry Johnson and Deane Walpole on the Mortlake Brands Hatch GP circuit.|
For us Weekend Racers we were very greatful that CHORC held many weekend races at Chesterlield. Always a nice venue, a nice welcome and nice crowd with some very competitive racing.
|Doug Passell's Monza circuit at Chesterfield. Steve Bryan standing on the bench and plenty of the other regulars marshalling.|
47. 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours – I remember being very emotional as I drove the last stint in the second running of Derby’s alternative Le Mans 24 hour race. We were racing a Tomy Turbo chassisied Toyota Group C car and Peter Baldock had organised us “The Car in Front is a Toyota” T shirts. It proved true and we won in record time (it even got in the Guinness Book of Records). I was nominally the captain of the team which was rather strong as it included Tony and Peter Baldock, Keven Tombeur, Don Stanley and myself.
|The 1994 24 hours. Tony is far left for our team. Mention must be made of Cliff Roythorne, third from left, who drove the whole 24 hour race solo!|
49. 1992 Mexico City F1 Chesterfield – My first win came in July 1992 when I took my Tyco Ferrari F1 car to victory against a relatively small field because of the holiday season. Gave me the confidence that led to a string of future wins.
50. 1997 Indianapolis A Final Sutton – I was always a big Graham Hill fan and by this time I had won the Le Mas 24 hours, won at Monaco, had two championships but not the Indianapolis win. Thus for the June 1997 Sutton meeting I set up an Indianapolis circuit. Luckily, Tony Baldock didn’t come to this event and I walked off with the grand slam of 4 class wins and the big final on the Indianapolis circuit. I had achieved in a very, very small way what my hero had and after that I began to lose interest before eventually hanging up my hand controller in 2001.
51. 1993 Barcelona GrpC Stourbridge – this meeting stands out in my memory because I managed to win the Group C race driving an Aurora Ford Escort Rallye bodied SG+ car. Not an ideal body as it is top heavy but it forced me to concentrate. We had fun that day and also raced jeeps and trucks.
|Very unusual Group C winner!|
53. 1992 Cadwell Park Grp C Derby – Derby was the big club at the time and had many of their fast racers contesting the HOSRA Championship that was eventually won by Nick Sismey. By August I had got by Tomy Super G+ Jaguar Group C car running well by copying the Derby boys and grinding my tyres down. I had a great race on their strange Cadwell Park circuit that included a cross over against Julian one of the local guys and recorded my second win and first in a sports car.
54. 1994 Riverside F1 Mortlake – The 1994 Mortlake GP was held on a tricky Riverside track that included an amazing esses series of bends. The final proved to be a great battle between myself and Tony Baldock. Probably one my last big wins against him. The next month we were in Derby racng together to win the 24 hours.
Big Circuits with long straights. Home racing and club racing are totally different due to the size of the circuits. Below is a fast circuit at York. The format of racing we normally used was to have everyone race in four heats, once in each of the four lanes. The laps you completed in your best three heats were used to determine the qualifying order. The slowest completed in the first final and the either the winner or the first two moved up into the next final. This continued until the fastest four fought it out for a win in the A final. This took up nearly half a day so we usually held a F1 race and a Sports Car race at each meeting.
|Doug on race control at York on a circuit with three long straights. Jim Kelly, David Passell and Tony Stamper marshalling. Deane Walpole, and the Baldocks racing.|
56. Have some great team mates – in team races you need need good team mates. I had some of the best in Peter and Tony Baldock, Don Stanley and Kevin Tombeur when we won the 24 hours. They managed to carry me to the win and the World Record.
|Peter, Kevin, Don and Tony at the 1995 24 hour race.|
58. Design a tough circuit – One of the benefits of organising races is that you can design circuits that match your talents. And have tricky sections that might catch people out. My Indianapolis and Riverside circuits stand out for this. The Riverside Esses had gradually increasing radious and stand you could accelerate through them. The Indianapolis circuit was tricky as the although a simple rectangle the opposite corners were quite different and thus needed a special rythym.
59. Make a good start – the way I won most of my sixteen National Championship races was to make a very good start and storm off into a big lead in the first few laps.
60. Exhaustive testing – for a couple of seasons I used to practice for the races and select the best chassis and tyres to race on. Soon got bored with this though!
61. Good lubricants – We used to use WD40 to lubricate the axles and gears to make the cars go faster. Alan McPeake also had some secret solution that he used to great effect and used to sell to us.
62. Good body shape – for a fast HO slot racer you don’t want much body behind the rear wheels as it encourage a pendulum effect. A low body with not too much weight is also very effective.
|My favourite GT body shape, an Aurora Datsun.|
The Concours events for modellers at Mortlake. For the 1993, 1994 and 1995 events at Mortlake we held modelling competitions judged by everyone attending. Biggest turnout was for the Volkswagen Beetle competition.
|All of the VW Beetles on display at Mortlake as a car races by.|
Apologies if I have used anybody else's pictures without permission, I tried to just use my own. Let me know and I'll make a change.