BOAC 500

"Probably the best days racing you will ever have"

If you are reading this for the first time, then you have missed the first BOAC 500, but dont panic, another will be along soon! Thank you everyone who attended the event from all at the BOAC 500. We aimed to raise £500 and we easily more than tripled that target, so thank you all.   

Despite Covid and holidays the event was well attended and those who came all went home with various goodies all donated by our sponsors in one way or another. The good news is that we will be running another sometime in 2023 and you will hear about it here first, so keep watching!

So what is the BOAC 500? Well its a charity fund raising event that will be held on the Bletchingly Or Alternatively Coulsdon model car club track in 2023, date to be confirmed. 

The idea came about after we ran a race day for one of our club members Mike Thomas (more commonly known as Birdseed) who is suffering from PSP (google it, its too complex to explain here!). This rare disease is slowly taking away his ability to race or walk, so we organised a race day whereby he would still be able to drive (we made a special "grandstand" for him) and meet up with the many friends he has made during the years he has raced at clubs in the south east.

The day was based around our 1/24 club cars, so all anyone had to do was turn up with a controller and race. The result was a great days racing and enjoyed by all, with Mike going home a very happy man. And from this idea the BOAC 500 Charity race was born.

The Charity you will be raising money for is the PSPA which is a charity offering support to people living with PSP and CBD, whilst supporting research into treatments and ultimately a cure. They rely entirely on voluntary donations. PSPA is a registered charity in England and Wales (1037087) and in Scotland (SC041199). Click here for a direct link to their website.

We are most grateful to both and who have very kindly agreed to cover the full cost of the event including the days racing and maintenance of the cars, so 100% of the entry fees and any money raised on the day via raffles etc will go to the Charity that is providing the supporting care for Mike.

"Just bring yourself and your controller for an exciting full days racing and some great prizes"

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The BOAC 500

The date was confirmed as Sunday 3rd July 2022 with doors opening at 9am and racing starting at 10am with a planned finish no later then 6pm and we almost achieved it!. This was a PRE ENTRY race only as this allowed us to arrange the qualifying and some of the racing before the event so saving time on the day. We managed more the 36 entries for the day, but due to some covid issues and holidays we started with 28 drivers. 100% of the entry fees plus any monies raised on the day went to charity and this amounted (as of 10/7/22) to over £2000. Drivers only needed bring a controller as we provided the cars and all servicing and maintenance throughout the day. There was practice (away drivers only) qualifying, plus heats, semi finals and a final plus 3 consolation races with many and varied prizes for as many places as possible.

  • Date: 12/07/2022 12:00 AM
  • Location: Coulsdon MCRC. Bletchingly. RH1 4PE (Map)
  • More Info: Please note that the Coulson club is not in Coulsdon but in Bletchingly. The Grange Meadow playing fields are located directly opposite the Bletchingly Arms Pub on the A25, Junction 6 of the M25. Our club is at the end of the drive on the left hand side, parking is right outside. What three words are Organ.Cheese.Crust and that will take you right to our door.

The Prizes! image
We were able to get some fabulous prizes for the event, and every entrant went away with something of real value. One of our members very kindly donated some trophies too so there were a good number of these given out plus a further 12 medals. The fabulous trophy plus a bottle of fiz went to the overall winner Dave Stevenson and we hope that we will get it back for next year as its only only on loan!

We would like to say a huge thank you to all those companies that offered prizes, money or time, all of which helped to make the day that much better for every entrant.

We received various items including gift vouchers and prizes from Richard Mack, Won-O-Won, Missile, K-Slotcar, Betta Bodies, Knutz Lubricants, Model World, CatVacs, Sprays by Mac, Pete Wedlake and Mike Speight (two of our club members who dabble with 3D printing) and not forgetting Farmview Butchers of Rochester who supplied the sausages and bacon!

The Ferrari Passenger ride in a 488 Evo was won on the day in the raffle, but the winner could not stomach the thought of being driven at race speed on a circuit, so has given it back ! This is a passenger ride in a Ferrari 488 at either Brands or Silverstone (subject to weather etc etc) and will give the winner 3 laps at race speed in the car. You have to be physically fit and be able to get into and out of the car with assistance. You will be given race overalls and a helmet with intercom to the driver. The car is full race prepared and is not a road car, so its slicks, carbon brakes etc and we are sure you will never have travelled at these speeds before! This is for one person although you can bring a friend/wife etc along for the day.
The cars that we used were the same cars we use on our monthly "Club Car" night. These are a 1/24 scale steel chassis which were designed and made by Ian Barker, and we race these on the first Thursday of every month (your first night is free if you want to pay us a visit and get some extra practice!). Its always a good evenings close racing, and with no car prep to worry about there is always more time for a chat or gossip. Lap times are normally around the 5.5 to 6 second mark which is very competitive, and compares very well with a very good Genesis 1/32 car.

Motors are Pro Slot Euros with Puppy Dog arms, and maintenance is taken care of during racing by our resident expert mechanic Mike Read. We have six of these cars available so there are no real issues regarding reliabilty on a race night.

Bodies for the BOAC 500 were supplied by Trevor Crout at CAT and painted and lettered by Eddie McDonald (Sprays by Mac). We are of course very grateful for the help and assistance these two have given us for this event.

Our 4 lane track with a separate variable power supply to each lane was built and assembled by Lars Harrysson around 15 years ago. It has undergone a couple of changes in that time with a couple of new sections added around 5 years ago, one was again made by Lars, and a new section to smooth out a corner going under the bridge was designed and fitted by that well known track maestro Lee Parsons. These minor but worthwhile changes made the track a little easier to both drive and marshal.

As with so many club tracks we are limited by space so we have tried to get as much track into the space we have. Lap length is 123 feet fully braided and colour coded all the way round.

We have recently spent time adding new carpet to the floor and have re painted the entire clubroom. We also have a kitchen for tea/coffee etc and we even have toilets for both ladies and gents too! Hot and cold food and drinks will be available on the day although you are welcome to bring your own.

Parking is not an issue as we have free parking on the grass outside for more than enough cars at any meeting, although the grass can get a bit damp during the rainy season! There is also a pub a short walk across the main road.
The Track imageThe Track imageThe Track image
After many months of build up, the BOAC 500, billed as “Probably the best days racing you will ever have” finally got under way.

The racing was based around the Coulsdon club race cars, so drivers only had to turn up with their controller and race, and by using the club cars it provides very close racing, and you only need to look at the times within each heat etc to see how close they were.

Away drivers only were allowed free practice with spare club cars to learn the track. Some drivers failed to make the event due to Covid, holidays etc, so it meant that 28 drivers lined up for the start of qualifying, with every driver getting two minutes on each lane with their best single result counting towards the next stage.

It was intended that if the correct number of drivers had turned up, then the best home drivers would not race, so giving the away drivers a better chance of taking home the spoils. But as this did not happen some of the home drivers had to fill the gaps left, rather than concentrate on running the event, and anyone who has held an event will know that running an event and driving in it will always cause some issues, and so it did here. However, almost every possible issue was built into the plan, with the result being only being a slight loss of time on the day.

Starting half an hour late, the qualifying rounds were a run on all 4 lanes with the best single run to position you in the heats. With each heat being based on your qualifying run, there was some very close racing indeed, each one consisting of 2 x 3 minute runs on an inner and an outer lane. The heats then sorted you even further into semi finals with the racing getting closer as when got nearer the final.

But before the final, the 12 slowest from the heats were then given more racing in 3 consolation races with a single lane run, with each person in the consolation races receiving a medal.

The final turned out to be the original 4 fastest qualifiers Dave Stevenson, Tony Mills, Peter Kerr and Garry King, who all managed to stay ahead of the rest through the semis which was also a great testament to the reliability and equal performance of the club cars put together by Mike Read. The 4 segments were a very close run thing with every driver getting down to a lap time of between 5.5 and 5.7 seconds per lap. The racing really came down to how quick a marshal was in replacing a car, so if you came off a couple of times the chances are that you went from first to last!

Mr Consistent, Dave Stevenson eventually took the lead and never lost it, although the other 3 were biting at his heels all the time, with Garry King getting down to 5.512 to set the fastest single lap of the day and all this was after the same cars had been running almost non stop since 10.30 in the morning. The final places were Dave, Tony Mills, with Peter Kerr just losing out to Garry by a few parts.

All of the cars survived the day without any issues at all, and were very ably managed by Mike Read and Tony Mills who ensured that the cars were changed and maintained on a regular basis to ensure all were of equal performance. Interestingly (or maybe not!) each car was on the track for an average of 1113.62 laps (not including warm ups) and they travelled a total of 155 actual miles during the day and never even needed a change of tires!

The event team would like to say a big thanks to the team on the day including Nick Lake who stepped in at the last minute on race control, and to our sponsors who both made the race possible and provided all the prizes, they were Simply Famous, Autografica, Won-O-Won, Betta Bodies, K-Slotcar, Richard Mack, Missile, Knutz Lubricants, Model World of Sittingbourne, CatVacs and Sprays by Mac. and not forgetting Farmview Butchers of Rochester who provided all the bacon and sausages eaten during the day. Various other people also chipped in with help and support in many ways, they know who they are and we are very thankful for their help. All of these helped us to raise a total of over £2000 for the charity, not bad for a one day event!

We hope to run another BOAC 500 next year which hopefully will not clash with so many other events, and with luck we will see you there, so keep watching the BOAC 500 website for details.

Garry King

Event Organiser

Garry has been racing since he was 14 and for many years ran One-O-One with Dave Harvey. He has organised many events and charity functions, has been an International judge for the F1 in Schools events supported by Ross Brawn and F1 teams, and also maintains this website.

Keith Wale

Event director

Keith is directing the event and has a lifetime of experience in model cars both slot and R/C. Both Garry and Keith raced at Eltham and other clubs in the late 60's early 70's and Keith's enthusiasm for slot racing is undiminished. Keith will be Dave's back up on Race Control.

Mike Read

Car Maintenance

Mike (now a National Champion!) is the lead man at Coulsdon and runs the club almost single handedly. He is the chief mechanic for our club cars which will be used for the BOAC 500. Mike runs every club night and will be keeping a very close eye on the cars on the day.

Les May

Graphics & Social Media

Les has been a member at Coulsdon for the last ten years after starting his slot race with a tinplate Scalex set! Les is our graphics man having trained at the same art college as Ian Barker. Les will also be seen on Race Control on the day.

Dave Stevenson

Race Director.

Dave is well known to many within slot racing and is a past National Champion. Dave has spent many hours with MIke Read working on the best way to run the racing to ensure it runs as smooth as silk on the day.

Tony Mills

Car Maintenance

Tony has been racing for many years and is a past national Constructors Champion. Now well known for building retro and classic cars, Tony will be assisting MIke Read in the maintenance and repair of the cars.

Peter Kerr

Clerk of the Course

Pete is another club stalwart and will be our Clerk of the Course for the day. His job is to ensure that cars, drivers and marshals are all in the right place at the right time and that everyone knows what they are doing!.

Mike Speight

Chief Marshal

Because we aim to ensure that you all have a full days racing, its important that marshals and cars are all in the right place at the right time, so Mikes job is to make that all happen!

Do i need to bring anything other than my controller?

in short no, all that you will need will be your your controller and maybe your lunch so a carrier bag or similar should do the trick and will keep your cakes sandwiches and controller away from others. Please note that no boxes (other than a possible controller box) will be allowed in the club house as you will not need them! Pit space will be allocated to sponsors only and if we had 36 driver pit boxes in the clubhouse, there would be no room for drivers! 

How much racing will we get on the day?

A full race schedule is now being prepared for the day, and our aim will be to give everyone as much racing as possible within the time limits. There will be qualifying, plus heats and finals and if all goes to plan we may also run some consolation races as well, but our aim is to give everyone as much race time as is possible. 

How much is the entry fee for the day?

Entry fee for the day is £20 and 100% of this money will go directly to the charity. We have added a link to the GoFundMe charity page for payment, so that if you are a tax payer then the charity will receive the tax you would have paid on that amount via Gift Aid, so helping to push the amount up even  further.

What times are start and finish?

Doors will open on the day at 9am for driver entry with a driver briefing at 9.50. Racing will start at 10am and finish by 6pm at the latest. Final timings will all depend on numbers on the day, but our timetable will be planned around fitting as much racing into that schedule as possible. We will also have a half hour lunch as well. By having only advance booking it allows us arrange much of the racing before the event starts. 

Is my place guaranteed on the day?

If you have paid your entry fee either via the site or direct to us, then your race place on the day is guaranteed. If you have requested a 'reserve' place, then your entry is not guaranteed on the day, although we have made provision for those 'reserve' places to take any place for any driver that does not arrive by 9.30pm. Because we have taken advance bookings for places months in advance we do expect that some drivers will not be able to attend as they may well have booked a holiday etc, that is why have the 'reserve' places.

Will you be serving food on the day?

Yes. We have a kitchen and will be offering a hot and cold drinks, plus the usual snacks, crisps, sweets and cakes etc, and will also be offering a limited range of hot items as well. Bacon and Sausages have very kindly been donated by Farmview Butchers of Rochester to help with the fundraising, so thank you all those at Farmview and to Dave Stevenson for arranging this.
But if you want to bring your own food, then that is fine. There is a pub across the road, but in all honesty by the time you have walked there, ordered food or drink and returned, you will will have probably missed some racing as our experience tells us they are very slow!

I have not pre booked, will i be able to attend and race on the day?

Unless you have pre booked then we cannot guarantee any race place on the day. However, there will always be some drivers who have paid but may not be able to attend, and those places will be offered to those drivers who turn up on the day. There will only be a limited number of these places available as some club members have agreed to give up their own place, so we suggest that if you have any intention of attending then please contact us now and we will do our best to confirm a place for you.

We will do our best to accept any late entries on the day, but this cannot be guaranteed, priority will be given to those who have already pain in full. So if you have any interest in driving on the day, then please get your name on the list now! Just call Garry on 01634 830062

I have a question, can i call someone?

Yes of course. You can call Garry on 01634 830062 during office hours if you have any questions regarding the event.

Can i attend before the day and get some practice?

You are welcome to attend any of our club nights (Thursdays) at any time up to race day. 

What prizes do you have for winners?

At the BOAC 500 all drivers will be winners! We are being supported by a number of companies, firstly by the two that are providing the funds to cover the cost of the the days racing,  and

Then we have support from Richard Mack who has very kindly agreed to supply some chassis as prizes. Dave Harvey at Won-O-Won and Ian at Betta Bodies plus K-Slotcar have offered a nice bundle of gift vouchers as prizes, and Missile have made a direct contribution to the charity. Eddie Macdonald is also painting the 8 bodies (4 spare!) for the race and has donated 2 ready painted 1/32 bodies as prizes too. The best model shop in the country Modelworld has given us a nice stack of various tools etc as prizes too.

In addition we have a number of family tickets for various attractions in the south east, plus some slot related products donated by some of our tech minded club members. And of course we have the two Ferrari related prizes as well.

Do you have car parking?

Yes, we have plenty of free car parking right outside the clubroom. It is on grass, which can get a little muddy at times but only when it has been very wet. There are a few steps up to the clubroom.

Are you easy to find?

Our club is situated within the Grange Meadow sports area with other club buildings. To locate ours simply use the What Three Words app to find our front door, and those What Three Words are  organ.cheese.crust
  • Coulsdon Club. Bletchingly. RH1 4PE
  • Club house is opposite the Bletchingley Arms, with ample free parking. What three words! organ.cheese.crust

The race date is Sunday 3rd July 2022. If you wish to attend this exciting charity event please phone or email to request a place on the reserve list as the entry is now full.