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New slot car circuit opened by Norwich racing driver

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:21 02 July 2010

Greg Nairn, the club organiser, with Ben Devlin.

Greg Nairn, the club organiser, with Ben Devlin.

Peter Walsh

He is more at home racing cars at up to 200mph, but Norwich-born race ace Ben Devlin has been trying his hand at something a little slower - and a little smaller.

He is more at home racing cars at up to 200mph, but Norwich-born race ace Ben Devlin has been trying his hand at something a little slower - and a little smaller.

Devlin, who drives for the Dyson Team in the American Le Mans Series, was back in Norwich to have the first run on Norfolk's biggest purpose-built wooden slot racing track.

At 138ft long it is considerably smaller than Norfolk's main racing circuit in Snetterton, which is 1.952 miles long, but in the world of model car racing it is a giant.

And despite having never driven the track before, Devlin, who has almost 20 years of racing experience under his belt including the famous Le Mans 24 hour endurance event, showed he was quickly able to adapt to the twists and turns of the circuit, which belongs to Norwich Slot Racing.

The group, which started three years ago in Salhouse and currently has 25 members, moved to Norwich in October last year and has been working on the track ever since.

Devlin, who was invited by the club to officially open the track at its open day on Saturday at Berisford Motors, Hurricane Way, off Fifer's Lane, Norwich, said: “It's very nice to be invited to open it up. It's a great way of starting off racing as I did as a youngster - it gives you the bug.

“It's an excuse for us men to be boys again. I remember my dad buying me my first Scalextric set when I was young - it was excellent.

“It's good for kids to get used to the cars. Hopefully everyone can get down here, enjoy some racing and have some fun.”

Greig Nairn, who runs the group, said he was delighted that Devlin could open the track, and hoped it would prove popular with its members.

Mr Nairn said they started planning the track in October last year, but only just put the finishing touches to it a couple of weeks ago.

He said: “In October last year we started making the new track, which is the largest in Norfolk with four lanes and racing timing. All the members seem proud to have the biggest track in the area.”

Mr Nairn, 28, who lives in Costessey and runs his own air charter business, said he hoped the track would help attract more members to the group, which holds race nights for adults and children aged over 10 on Monday and Wednesdays and open practice on Sundays.

Mr Nairn added: “I always wanted to do motorsport but it's so expensive. This is just a fun and cheap way to get into racing.”

Jason Graver, 39, from Brooke and his six-year-old son Rupert, are two who look set to join the new club. Mr Graver said: “He's got a track at home - he's car mad. When I was his age, I used to do it. It's something to do - keeps you off the streets.”

For more details about the club contact Greg Nairn on 07725514170 or Daniel Ellis on 07730553517 or email norwichslotracing@googlemail.com

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