The UK national scene returned to the fantastic Clanfield track, but this time for the final Truggy national. Xray team driver Jon Hazlewood had a shot at winning the title, but ideally needed to TQ and win the race. The week the national before we attended the Xray challenge race at the same track. Jon was fastest in qualifying, but a radio problem in the final allowed championship rival Graham Alsop to win. At that time the track was very dusty with traction low and the result only showed that the 2 drivers where very close around the track. On arrival to the track for the national it was raining, which would completely change the track surface conditions from the previous week.
With no practice, it was straight into qualifying and for the first round, it was still raining. With FTD qualifying being used we choose to run, just in case the weather got worse. Jon was fastest in the round by 5 seconds with a time that would get him into the main final. It seemed that the rain had stopped by now and a dry line was just starting to come through. This also meant the track was getting bumpy, but the trucks could handle this easily. 2nd round, and the track was now faster. Jon didn't have the best of runs with understeer in the gripper conditions not allowing the Truggy to turn fast enough. Graham Alsop and his Hoboa had a good run to top the times with Jon recovering to 2nd. For the final round we changed tyres and rear toe-in. this got the Truggy turning better, but again a clear run was not possible. Graham gaining pole position was not good for the championship and meant Jon had to win with Graham lower than 3rd.
First lap of the main final saw Jon drop to 3rd behind young Elliot Boots as the top 3 disappeared into the distance. It stayed like this until the 7 minutes when Elliot and then Graham came in for refuelling. Jon took up the lead until he came in for fuel at the 10 minute mark. Jon now had an advantage as doing 10 minute stops would mean one less stop. As Jon rejoined the track he was just behind Graham, with Elliot now in the lead. At 15 minutes Elliot refuelled again and just got out in front of Jon. This was the real gap with both needing one stop each to make the finish. Graham was now dropping behind the leading pair and with Elliot in the mix for the championship result. After the next round of stops Jon was in the lead with Elliot catching at a steady rate. Jon was making sure he made no mistakes and used all of his experience to hold off Elliot. With time running out, Elliot just managed to cross the line before the end of time and both started their last lap. Jon safely drove the last lap to win the race and tie the championship points.
1st Jon Hazlewood XRAY XT8
2nd Elliot Boots
3rd Graham Alsop
4th Marc Knight
5th Tommy Chung
6th Simon Willetts
7th Mick Cradock
8th Matt Perry 9th Brennan Ralls XRAY XT8
10th Adrian Svensson
11th Jamie Booth
12th Ed Kerry 13th Lee Taylor XRAY XT8
14th John Holmes
The organisers then had a meeting to decide who would be the champion. As points and count back points were tied, both drivers were invited to race once more and battle out the title on the track. 2 cars on the track over 15 minutes with the other A finalists marshalling. This was going to be strange and unprecedented. Having won the toss of a coin, Graham chose to start from the inside with Jon in a line, on the outside of the main straight. The flag dropped and the faster accelerating XT8 overtook Graham to take the lead going into turn one. Graham then crashed in turn 4, handing Jon a nice lead. At this point Graham could have given up, but courageously he did not. Jon ran a pace that was consistent if not faster than Graham. Both drivers made about the same amount of mistakes and the gap remained until the finish. The atmosphere was intense around the track as the 2 cars did not make much noises and every blip of the throttle could be heard. Eventually Jon held on to win this extraordinary race by 5 seconds to become the 2007 BRCA UK National 1/8th Truggy champion.
=1. Jon Hazlewood XRAY XT8 (Champion in deciding race off)
=1. Graham Alsop
3. Elliott Boots
4. Jamie Booth
5. John Holmes
6. Simon Willetts
7. Tommy Chung 8. Brennan Ralls XRAY XT8
9. Mick Cradock
10. Matt Perry
The Xray XT8 in its very first year had preformed brilliantly. Its turn in and jumping ability was key to the success along with the high quality Xray parts. The truggy was a joy to drive in a championship that was fun and competitive. Many thanks to all of our sponsors and to the racers at the track.