I decided to fly over to Australia from New Zealand again to race in the Australian Electric On Road Nationals in the ISTC Stock class. This year it was held in Adelaide, South Australia in very hot, dry conditions.
Nat and I got there on Thursday and spent the day sightseeing before heading out to the track on Friday. The track was reasonably big and set on a hill which made it interesting. The grip was what I would call medium/ average. After a couple of runs I was feeling fairly comfortable and felt I had a good set up. It started to get hotter throughout the and reached a top of 37 degrees. I was running a spool all the time in practice but felt I would like to try a one way just to see how it would compare. I gave it a go admittedly fairly late in the day on Friday when it was cooling just a touch. Suddenly my lap times did drop to being consistently 19 sec laps instead of slow 19s, fast 20s laps. I thought I would leave the one way in and take the gamble.
Qualifying started on Saturday. The Aussies used the IFMAR system for the first time this year. There were six rounds of qualifying and I think there was something like four different winners out of the six rounds!!!! It was extremely competitive and I believe five different people set 16 laps 14s in qualifying. When the results were all added up I found myself to be 2nd on the grid for the finals. Luc Botton of NSW was on pole for the finals. Local racer Rhys Marshall was 3rd on the grid.
We had the finals on Sunday. The first final was going well with Luc leading, and myself 2nd. Unfortunately for us the race was to be abandoned after timing issues. Rhys got a “stop and go” for blocking excessively in this race as well.
The second final was fairly smooth with Luc taking out the win again and Justin Summerill second. I got a 5th in this final after being run into the back of by Rhys and finding that the extreme heat was affecting my cars handling seriously. I decided to make the change back to the spool for the next race
Final 3 was very rough with several cars going out after being damaged. Luc and Rhys had a collision on the first lap allowing myself to take the lead. When I got to the tightest hairpin on the track I spun up immediately. It turns out that in my rush to rebuild the car for this race (to install the spool), I left the 3 bolts out that hold the front pulley to the spool. Due to the high attrition in this race, I still managed a 4th place with only 2WD!!!!
The last race of the day was the re run Final 1. Once again I was punted by Rhys at the start but worked my way back up to 2nd after many passing manoeuvres. NSW racer Damien Zarb showed how fast he can be by winning this race, with myself next in 2nd.
After all this action the final results were: 1st Luc Botton, 2nd Justin Summerill and myself in 3rd (tied for points with Justin). A big thank you to the friendly people at Zoom Resources (NZ XRAY
Distributors) for the Xray T2 007 and support.
The next major event I will be racing at will be the TITC happening on the 22-24th of February 2008