September 23 2014 Latest news:
Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Souped-up cars screamed around a circuit watched by roaring crowds, competitors from all over the world vied to win a holiday in Dubai and a mini Murray Walker kept up a fast commentary throughout a succession of tense races.
Yes, a “mini” Murray Walker, because these particular races, taking place in an anonymous hut behind a Norfolk farm, were for slot-car enthusiasts.
Murray and the crowds were painted plaster, but the Dubai holiday prize was real, as was a Forumla One enthusiast’s raffle-to-die-for with hats, shirts, model helmets and cars authentically signed by driving legends including Vettel, Schumacher, Barrichello, Button, Hamilton, Coulthard, Alonso, and Rosberg.
The event, Presto Park Slot Club’s first Mega Slot Weekend, saw 24 drivers make their way to the club’s base on The Street, Hevingham, from all over the UK,
France and Dubai to take part in vintage car racing, a Goodwood Cup, and Can-Am races, finishing with a Formula One event.
Competitors included former world slot-car champion and multiple British title holder Brian Saunders, 42, from Milton Keynes, who, like most others there, began his passion for the hobby as a boy, playing with a Scalextric set.
Another driver, Russell Sheldon, was visiting from Dubai where he is vice president network sales for Emirates Airline, which was sponsoring today’s event.
Mr Sheldon, 59, is an old slot-car racing friend of Presto Park member and fellow South African, Alan Seymour, from Badersfield, formerly RAF Coltishall.
Mr Sheldon donated the prize of a return flight and three nights bed and breakfast in a five-star Dubai Hotel, won by overall champion Jim Kelly, from Long Stratton.
And Mr Sheldon, who has strong connections in the world of Formula One, also brought along the signed raffle prizes.
During the weekend he was messaging friend Ross Brawn, team principal of Mercedes, from the Hevingham hut, following the team’s progress in the Korean Grand Prix. Mr Brawn replied this afternoon by congratulating Mr Sheldon on his win in the slot-car vintage race.
Presto Park owner and event organiser Mike Harvey said the weekend had involved a lot of hard work but had been worthwhile and given people a great deal of fun.
He added: “A lot of people envisage, when they hear of adults taking part in slot-car racing, sitting on the ground cross-legged around a figure-of-eight track. But it’s not like that. Some cars here cost hundreds of pounds and are very precisely designed to scale.”
During the event one of Mr Seymour’s cars set a new club record, circuiting the 100ft track, including bends, in 6.093 seconds.