xrayxrayHome XRAY homeXRAY X-shopXRAY X-forumRCAmerica
supportsearchcontactguestbooksite map
newsproductsaboutusworldwide headlines

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

The 2009 Racing Lines International was hosted by the North Harbour Radio Control Car Club. Their purpose built on-road circuit is situated in Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.

The track is small and technical with some very unique corners and sections. Most of the track is covered in 1st gear with the NT1 apart from the main straight and a small straight on the infield. The infield has a large mixture of high speed and low speed corners which makes car setup frustrating as you’re always having to compromise on overall corner speed in one section, to make sure your car is working OK in another. Once you have that sorted, you then need to focus on getting the power down smoothly and this is where a good clutch setup comes in handy. With the track only getting used once a month, grip is generally low but with a decent number of cars practicing before the event, grip levels had improved substantially.

The track is approximately 1.5hrs drive from my home so I took some time off work and headed to the track for a setup session a few days before the event. Some of the changes I made to my NT1 were swapping out the spool for an 80k front differential and installing extra soft springs off my T2 electric car. The softer springs made the biggest improvement in grip levels and after a few practice runs I found I had to dial out steering to compensate for the extra grip.

The International is a combined electric and gas meeting where the gas cars get three 5 minute qualifiers and a 30 minute final. There were a total of two Xray NT1’s in the field with Australian Team Xray driver Leigh Daytor flying over for the 2nd year to run in the event.


Round 1
A quick cup of coffee and the first round of qualifying for gas was next. I was lucky enough to be first off the grid so when the horn sounded I pushed hard right from the start. The first few laps took a while for the nerves to settle but when they did, I found the NT1 was handling beautifully. The grip levels my UFRA tyres were providing was fantastic, letting me maintain a large amount of throttle through the high speed 180 degree sweeper off the main straight. I made sure I stayed out of trouble and tried to focus on keeping the car flowing nicely around the track. I showed a clean pair of heals in the race and clocked 15 laps in 5min 8sec to take provisional TQ position after round 1. The only car to do a sub 20 second lap with a 19.860

Unfortunately celebrations were short lived because the after-race scrutineers found my car to be underweight and my result was disqualified. I was surprised as it has only just passed scrutineering during the registration process earlier on. I checked the car over and found the weight which I had attached to the car had fallen off. I was very disappointed and decided to put my head down in round 2 to see if I could repeat the result.

Round 2
got underway and I decided to leave the car unchanged but fitted a new pair of tyres. I got to the stand early to make sure I had plenty of time for the tyres to bed in properly but the engine required a re-tune and this left me with only 2 warm-up laps. It wasn’t enough to completely scrub the tyres and for the first 3 or 4 laps of the qualifier the car was rather difficult to drive.

On about lap 5 the car started to feel normal again and from that point on I started to push. Unfortunately the push was not to last… on about the 10th lap a car spun in front of me. I had no room or time to get out of its way and I hit it. This spun me into the path of another car. It was a huge hit and for the first 2 or 3 corners I did a quick check to see if the car was still driving OK. It was but the engine had lost a considerable amount of power. I continued to circulate and when the 5 minute qualifier was over, I checked the car over and found the impact had completely crushed my RB pipe.

A quick check of my times and it was, as expected, uncompetitive. I finished the qualifier only 5th fastest. The overall result wasn’t there but there was some good news, my car passed scrutineering and I had cracked a sub 20 second lap again.

Local driver Andy Ando, managed 15 laps in 5min 9seconds and took provisional TQ honours. After checking over my NT1 for any additional damage, I found only a slightly bent rear camber link. The rest of the car was undamaged which was fantastic as it was a rather hard collision.

Round 3
I fitted a new camber link and pipe for qualifier number 3 and continued on the same tyres I ran in round 2. It was a gamble but there was not enough time during the pre-race warm up to scrub in another brand new setup of tyres. Once again I focused on trying to set a good time by driving smoothly. Not worrying about lap-times or trying to blitz the track record. My UFRA tyres lasted easily and I stayed clear of traffic to complete my 3rd qualifier in 15 laps, 5mins 10secs. Just one second off TQ!

My fastest lap was a 19.906 so it was good to know that even without pushing, my car had excellent pace… it was just a matter of staying consistent throughout the 30 minute final; which was up next.

Leigh completed qualifying in 5th position even though he was continuing to struggle with a lack of grip. The Albany track, which is probably a good reflection of most tracks in NZ, are rather unique when it comes to grip levels. It would be very difficult finding a setup you like when you are used to the opposite extreme.
We talked about my setup and he decided to change springs opting to go with the Dark Blue spring’s front and rear (nothing softer was available). He crossed his fingers hoping that they would improve things in the final.


Onto the final, and with freshly fitted, but scrubbed tyres (thanks to an extended warm-up period) bolted on the car, I was heading towards the starting box. The hooter sounded to signal the start and after getting through the initial tight section of corners, I managed to hold on to my 2nd spot, right behind Andy Ando.
I immediately felt that I had pace so I decided to try a move up the inside to take 1st position. Unfortunately we touched resulting in me spinning and dropping me back to 4th position. It was a racing incident but I had to wave Ivan Ho and Mike van dar Haas past as they grabbed 2nd and 3rd respectively.

I closed the gap quickly on Mike and tried for a pass in the second of the high speed sweepers. It was a risky move and I paid for it… the car lost grip in a dusty part of the track causing me to spin. Fortunately the gap between my 4th position and 5th was large enough for me not to lose another spot.

Within a few laps I was right behind Mike’s Mugen again. I made a pass and it stuck. I’d moved into what I thought was 3rd position but found out shortly afterwards that the earlier leader, Andy Ando, was in the pits with a faulty two speed. This meant Ivan Ho was now the race leader and I had inherited 2nd place. The NT1 continued to show awesome pace and within a few laps I was right behind Ivan (now in 1st). He made a small mistake through the quick S section which opened the door for a pass and just like that, I was in the lead. From there I just settled into a rhythm and slowly pulled away from the rest of the competitors. After 24 minutes of the 30 minute final, I came around to lap Chris Trotman who was now in 2nd place. From there I saved my tyres and crossed the line to take the win with 89laps in total. A full lap up on the entire field.

Final Results:
1st Andrew Webber XRAY NT1

2nd Chris Trotman
4th Mike van der Haas
3rd Ivan Ho
5th Leigh Daytor XRAY NT1

The NT1 never faulted and handled perfectly all day. I’d like to say thanks to the North Harbour R/C Car Club for putting on a great days racing. I’d also like to thank both Team Xray and Zoom Resources for their continued support, as well as UFRA tyres and RB engines.

Andrew Weber's Set-up sheet.