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Race report by Mark Wallin
Held over the weekend of March 17th and 18th in the Australian Capital, Canberra, the 2012 Edition of the ACT Titles is one of the last major race meetings to be held at the ACT Model Car Racing Club's Kambah track before the club moves to a new track is late 2012.

The meeting attracted some of the best drivers from both New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

The weekend was going to be challenging as I had to split my time between racing my 12th scale and Touring Car and running Race control, it was going to be a busy weekend.

The race meeting was sanctioned by the AARCMCC and was to have 5 rounds of qualifying held on Saturday followed by one more round of qualifying on Sunday morning with the Finals to follow. Qualifying would be decided using the IFMAR points system with points from the best 4 rounds to count.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the official practice day on the Friday before the event so I was restricted to a few laps during the open practice session on Saturday morning. Both cars felt good and required no changes from the setup that I had developed on the previous weekend.

Working in race control it was time to go racing before I knew it. With gooped tyres I lined my 12th scale up with the rest of the 12th field for race 1. The signal as given and I quickly settled into a comfortable pace working my way to the front of the pack, unfortunately the battery I had chosen to run had not charged properly forcing me to stop on Lap 16. Following on straight after the 12th scale race was the Modified Touring Car class. My touring car suffered none of the problems that affected the 12th and I was able to slot into and hold the lead of the first qualifier to take a win.

I was able to make amends for the battery issue in my first race for 12th by taking a win in qualifier two. With the ambient temperature starting to come up the track was starting to yield more grip allowing us to set faster times. Craig McPhee took best advantage of this taking a win in round two, in Modified while I finished 2nd 6 seconds off the pace.

Round three was more of the same, I was able to pick up the pace in 12th by changing to a softer set of front tyres that allowed me to carry more speed through the longer corners of the track and take another round win. In Modified with no changes to the car I was able to match Craig’s times from the 2nd qualifier, unfortunately Craig went even faster to take another round win in qualifying.

By the time round 4 rolled around it was mid afternoon, the track was at its best. I was on a roll in 12th taking another round win; things were looking good for TQ. I felt it was time to try and take the initiative in Modified; I switched out my rear diff for one with lighter oil, changing from 1000wt to 700wt. I was looking for a little more steering and corner speed. The effect was immediate, I was able to catch and then overtake Craig and go on the set a new fastest time for the meeting and take my second round win.

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In round five the long busy day was starting to show as my concentration was starting to fade, this combined with increasing pace from all the competition resulted is a very close fought battle in 12th scale. I secured the round win, but only by around 9 tenths of a second and taking the lead on the very last lap of the race. Modified was where the pace really kicked up a gear. Making up for his bad run in the 4th round, Craig slashed a massive 6 seconds from the fastest run of the day, Matthew Stamboulis also made his potential known as one of NSW's best up and coming drivers by securing a second place in round 5. I also improved my times but was only able to hold onto 3rd place for the round.

By the time we reached the overnight break Craig McPhee was leading the race for Top Qualifier in Modified. Hiroshi Ishizaki was looking strong but I had enough points to secure TQ in 12th.

During the night I considered my performance in Modified, particularly in round 5 and made some further changes, I increased my rear roll bar thickness for even more corner speed and increased my gearing to 25mm.

I arrived at the track for Sunday at 6am (it was still dark!). During the night a rain storm and washed the surface clean. The track was opened at 0900 to allow drivers to get a handle on the now ‘green’ surface. My car felt a little lose at the rear on corner entry but was otherwise planted and much faster in a straight line.

Round 6 would be my last opportunity to see if the changes I had made had improved my position compared to Matt and Craig, but first 12th...

By the time it was 12th scales turn to run the grip was coming up, so much so that I crashed through the 34 lap barrier. I had secured TQ in 12th scale.

The touring car was very consistent, not quite as quick as Craig’s fastest run on Saturday but it was enough to take a round win and secure TQ for the finals in Modified.

It had been a while since I had been at the sharp end of the field so I was a bit nervous going in to the finals. There would be three A finals for each class with the results from the best two used to calculate the winner.

I made my first mistake all weekend in the 12th scale finals, clipping a dome and losing precious seconds to Hiroshi. I drove as fast as I could for well over 7 minutes draining the battery and pushing the car, motor and tyres to their limits. Hiroshi did much the same and held on for the Win in leg 1 of the finals while is finished 2nd.

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After losing the first 12th scale race I was determined not to make a similar mistake in Modified. After a slightly scrappy start I settled in to the race lead begun building a lead on Craig. On lap 9 Craig struck trouble and was forced to retire, Lionel Saunders took over 2nd place. I had one hand on a Win and concentrated on getting to the finish line without making any mistakes. Sticking with the rhythm that I had built up during qualifying I took the win by around 8 seconds.

Round two was coming up and it was crunch time, I had to win the next 12th scale final to keep my chances alive in 12th and I could wrap up the Modified Touring Car Title in the next round.

Once again a lapse on concentration ruined my opening laps in the second leg of 12th scale handing Hiroshi the lead. I drove as hard as I could but was not able to bridge the gap, though this time I got allot closer than in Final 1. Hirsohi took the win, locking out first place and all but guaranteeing me 2nd place.

In Modified Craig was in a similar position to me in 12th, he had to take a win to maintain his chances to a win. I had a much cleaner start, than in Final 1, and was able to avoid any opening lap incidents, unfortunately Craig dropped to 7th on Lap two. He quickly set about climbing up the order, getting as high as 3rd, but lady luck stepped in on Lap 11 and Craig again had to retire. Matt Stamboulis pretty much stayed with me for the entire race; any mistake on my behalf and Matt would have been in the lead. I stayed calm and took Final 2 by around 4 seconds.

For me, Leg three was an anti climax, with 2nd locked in for 12th and the Mod class in the bag I ran both races for fun. I had a great race with Stephen Cheung in 12th ultimately finishing in 2nd. Matt Stamboulis was again fast in Modified and he pushed me all the way to the finish line.

I was little disappointed with 12th but was wrapped with taking my first AARCMCC Title in Modified. The XRAY XII and T3 '12 Spec cars proved to be very reliable and consistent, not to mention very fast.

Thanks to All the guys who raced 12th scale and Modified. The ACT Model Car Racing Club for hosting the event and Team XRAY Australia for the XRAY XII and XRAY T3 '12 Spec.

Overall Results for 12th Scale
1. Hiroshi Ishizaki
2. Mark Wallin XRAY X12
3. Stephen Cheung
4. Carlos Quintana
5. Daniel Cotton
6. Brian Malaquin
7. Gerard Elias
8. Trevor Johnstone

Overall Results for Modified Touring Cars
1. Mark Wallin XRAY T3’12

2. Matthew Stamboulis
3. Lionel Sanders
4. Jake Motta
5. Robert Nunn
6. Brian Malaquin XRAY T3'12
7. Mil Rogic XRAY T3'12

8. Craig McPhee
9. Robbie Lloyd