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

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
The premier Electric Class in Australia looked once again set, to be an Epic battle between the main protagonists. Defending Champ Andrew Abbott was back, as was the man who has one virtually everything before and since Darrin Campbell. These two seemed to be the logical favourites although you could throw any number of other drivers into the mix such as second placed man from 2002 Simon Nicholson, World traveller Andy Cooke, hard charger Michael Clark or the returning like Larry Perkins, Justin Vergunst. Anyway everyone looked forward to some exciting and competitive racing, especially after the close times in practice.

click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)
Qualifying Rounds 1-4

Andy Cooke set the speed in Round 1 with a 24 lap run in 310 seconds. Andrew Abbott came out in Round 2 and lowered this mark to a 24/308 only .7 of a second in front of a hard charging Darrin Campbell. In round three, Nicholson came from the clouds with a 24/307 to snatch the top spot. Campbell came out firing in Round 4, the final round for Saturday, and set a new benchmark of 24/306, which included having to be marshalled, to hold the top spot with two rounds remaining on Sunday. The unlucky drivers to be just outside the top ten were Luke Swinkels, Jason Dodds and Craig Laughton.

Top Ten after 4 Rounds.

1. D Campbell Xray
2. S Nicholson Xray

3. A Abbott Asso
4. A Cooke Corally
5. M Clark Losi
6. S Cox Asso
7. J Zarb Xray
8. M Griffin Asso
9. S Awizen Tamiya
10. S Grant Losi

Qualifying Rounds 5-6

So into the last two rounds of qualifying and the desperates were out. In these last two rounds over 50% of the 38 competitors set their best time. So hopefully this gives you some idea of the intensity of the racing. Of course the greatest battle was taking place for the bottom spots in the A-Final.

In round 5 Campbell lowered the TQ time even further with a dominant 24/303, Simon Nicholson went 306 and Clark went 307 to move into the top three dumping Abbott back to fourth. Cox went 309 while Zarb improved to a 24/312.

So into the final round Campbell looked set to do a sensational time perhaps even a 25 lap run until disaster struck and he was out with a stripped spur at the time he had completed 18 laps in 224 sec oh well what do you do!
Abbott moved back into second with a 305 while Cooke, Grant, Dodds, Griffin, Awizen, Swinkels and Vercoe all went faster. The unlucky drivers to just miss the A final this time were Stephen Awizen and Luke Swinkels.

It must be said however that the B-Final did look to be an all star cast including such names as Vercoe, Laughton, Vergunst, Liu and of course Scott Pettet with his Hobby Express Corally, just scraping in, in tenth.

Top Ten after 6 rounds

1. D Campbell Xray
2. A Abbott Associated
3. S Nicholson Xray
4. M Clark Losi
5. A Cooke Corally
6. S Cox
7. S Grant Losi
8. J Dodds Xray
9. J Zarb Xray

10. M Griffin


So after an extensive rain delay that started just as the first 1/12th final was finishing and included severe dust storms, heavy rain and hail, the finals were ready to be run. Unfortunately no one was quite sure how good the track conditions would be, and the racing would take place at night. One really needed to question whether this was the fairest way of determining the National Champion considering that the Monday was set aside as a rain day, and very few people had night running experience at this venue in the different conditions.

Final Leg 1

Campbell was away well followed by a fast starting Clark and Abbott. Nicholson was at the back after contact. Campbell lead the whole way followed a few feet back by Clark and Abbott. Cooke was best of the rest followed closely by the rest of the field.

Final Leg 2

Campbell again got the jump this time followed by Abbott and Nicholson. On lap 6 Abbott made a rather optimistic manoeuvre on Campbell where there was simple no gap taking him out and allowing Nicholson through into the lead. Campbell chased hard and nearly caught Nicholson before losing a little time near the end. So leg 2 Nicholson ran out the winner followed by Campbell, Cooke and Clark.

Final Leg 3

Campbell got the initial jump but a half spin near the basketball pole corner saw Abbott through into the lead followed by Cookie and Campbell. Nicholson at this stage was down in 6th spot after some contact.
Abbott opened up a small lead while Nicholson charged through the pack eventually joining the battling Cook and Campbell. Cooke seemed to be doing everything to keep Campbell at bay while Nicholson simply swept past both drivers with ease. Nicholson then caught and passed Abbott with ease while the hard charging Campbell after finally freeing himself from the wide Corally then also caught Abbott who eventually let him past. This allowed Nicholson to have a length of the straight lead, which Campbell desperately attempted to close down, but Nicholson was simply to fast in this one and went on too become a deserved Australian Champion, winning from Campbell and Abbott.

Final Positions Touring Car Modified

1. S Nicholson Xray
2. D Campbell Xray

3. M Clark Losi
4. A Abbott Asso
5. A Cooke Corally
6. S Grant Losi
7. S Cox Assoc
8. J Zarb Xray
9. M Griffin
10. J Dodds Xray