This years Nationals were held at Wodonga on the border between NSW and Victoria. All the usual protagonists were in evidence and the meeting had the added highlight of being the first event back on Australian soil for those drivers returning from the World Championships in Florida.
Unfortunately the weather did its best to destroy the weekend but eventually it all cleared away and the meeting was completed satisfactorily.
Touring Car Modified.
From the word go it looked like an Xray benefit as Jake Zarb, Simon Nicholson and Darrin Campbell battled over the TQ spot. Jake eventually getting the TQ spot by about six seconds after a stunning drive. Simon Nicholson was second with Campbell third. Justin Vergunst (5th) and Luke Swinkels (10th) rounded out the 5 Xrays in the final.
In some respects the finals were races of attrition. Campbell won the first leg, Zarb won the second leg, so it would all come down to the final leg with Campbell, Zarb and Nicholson all still capable of victory.
Controversy rained in this one as Nicholson crashed into Zarb on the first lap. This allowed Simon to open a gap on the chasing pack. Unfortunately Nicholson then crashed through the infield and cartwheeled quite some distance before driving the wrong way up the track and being marshalled incorrectly back onto a different part of the track. This allowed Zarb into the lead and he seemed to be cruising to a victory, however a slight clip of a curb saw Zarb retire with car damage in a very unlucky incident. This allowed Campbell back into the lead from the hard charging Nicholson, Campbell then also clipped a curb allowing Nicholson through into the lead. So at the end Nicholson was the winner or was he? after the race and quite a delay a 5 second penalty was handed to Nicholson for the first lap incident with Zarb moving Campbell into first and relegating Nicholson to second.
So the final results after countback were Darrin Campbell 1st, the unlucky Jake Zarb second and Simon Nicholson third. Xray 1,2,3.
1. D. Campbell Xray T1
2. J. Zarb Xray T1
3. S. Nicholson Xray T1
4. A. Abbott Associated 5. J. Vergunst Xray T1
6. G. Leys Schumacher
7. A. Cooke Corally
8. C. Putnam Schumacher
9. C. Laughton Schumacher 10. L. Swinkels Xray T1
Touring Car Stock
Josh Kemp set the pace in this class and was never seriously challenged. Damian Zarb won the second final to put a small amount of pressure on Josh, however Josh responded superbly to decimate the opposition in the third final and secure the title.
Pos Driver Car 1. J. Kemp Xray T1
2. P. Woodbury Xray T1
3. D. Zarb HPI 4. M. Death Xray T1
5. T. Hilyear Schumacher
6. P. Dowling Corally
7. J. Dixon Losi
8. L. Swinkels Tamiya
9. A. Webb Losi 10. M. Floro Xray T1
All in all a good event, well run by the Wodonga Club despite the, at times, trying conditions, congratulations to them. The controversy at the end of the Modified Finals was disappointing but it was handled well and fairly by the AARCMCC and I suppose, sometimes tough decisions have to be made.