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Nationals Race Report by Aaron Dexter
Last weekend was the Australian Nationals Round 1 held in Tasmania, Dad and I went along with Adrian Riggs (one of our club mates).

We landed in Launceston at about 2.30pm on Wednesday. Got our bags and went straight to the track in Latrobe.

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My first impressions when I first saw the track were, "Wow, its huge!" and "It looks amazing!!". The track was a different surface to what I was used to, hard packed and a little dusty. While other people were saying they didn't like the surface as they were struggling to find grip, I thought there was a lot of grip. I wasn't struggling for any grip at all.

Then we went to our apartment that we stayed at last time when I first got sponsored in 2013. We were happily reunited with 'Dale the duck' and his alpaca friends. Dropped our bags off and of course went straight to town to get our Nitro-X fuel and stopped for a drink at the beach, sat down on the beach thinking how beautiful and relaxing it was. Went to the shops for a couple of things and then went to get pizza. Got home and basically went to bed. Really nice afternoon.

Before practice started, caught up with some of our mates that I last saw in the ACT. Good weekend with the boys, Riley Searl, Mason Cameron and Caleb Noble.

At the start of practice, we used the AKA I-Beam and Impact switching between Super Soft and Soft compounds although I found that the AKA Gridiron 2 were the best tyre, once again switching between compounds. By the end of practice, I had gotten myself into the second fastest groups which I was stoked about.

The start of qualifying was awesome as I stormed out the gates to win the first round of Truggy in my group. I was so pumped! Buggy didn't go so well but I still did a solid effort finishing 2nd or 3rd. The rest of qualifying went average stringing together a couple of good runs but some runs I would like to forget. The second last round of Buggy, I stormed out of the gates again winning the last buggy race of the day beating a couple of Australia's best, Kyle Francis and Shane Hancock. I was so pumped to have beaten them in the last round of the day. I qualified 13th overall in both classes feeling extremely confident going into finals. Young Caleb Noble did a brilliant job qualifying ahead of me in both classes. New McBride coming soon...

I don't think Dad did as well as he wanted to in qualifying. I pitted him using the fuel gun. Proud of myself as it was my first time using it. I was so nervous. He started the day in the 1/8 final and he bumped into the 1/4 finals until he got pumped off. Still a good run for him.

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Truck was first on Saturday. We changed the shock setup to try get it to handle the jumps a little better. Semi warm up was on and the car felt amazing!! I was so happy with the car going into the semi. Semi started and I didn't get the start I was hoping for but I put my head down and tried to concentrate on putting good clean laps together. With about 10 minutes to go and I found myself in the bump spot. Finishing 5th, I made it into the A Main. I got a reasonable start but started to drop back and ended up 9th beating my previous result of 10th. I used the Nosram RR .21 engine in Buggy and Truggy, it made heaps of power and great runtime. Ran the Gridiron Softs in the A Main.

Although buggy finals were Sunday, the Junior Race was Saturday. In the junior race I started 13th as they did a reverse grid. I had a good first few corners until I got bumped off the track right up the back and the marshall didn't see me. Despite my bad luck, I put my head down and tried to run consistent, quick laps with no mistakes to make up the half lap I had lost. With 10 minutes to go, I found myself in the battle for the lead. I trailed until the fuel stops. Using the fuel bottle (had some problems with the gun), Dad made a really quick pit stop. They didn't make up that much time but, Mitchell Steer had a flame out when he came in for fuel. That placed me first until I clipped the rope and crashed. That put him back into the lead. I got back the time I lost and placed pressure on him. On the second last lap, he crashed twice and I managed to get a good enough gap to win. So happy to be crowned the Australian Junior National Champion. I ran the AKA Gridiron 2 Super Soft and they ran flawlessly. Super proud to be called the Australian Junior National Champion.

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Now on Sunday, we ran the same setup in the warm-up, just testing a long wear compound in Gridiron. It didn't work well, so we decided to run the super soft in the buggy semi, i had a good start. Was running 3rd for a bit until I crashed. Putting consistent and quick laps together, I managed to get in a battle for 5th until my left rear shock screw came out!! So disappointed but still overall happy with the way I ran in both classes this weekend.

Was sad to be leaving again, I'm gonna miss it. I always love going to Tassie. Next Round is Brisbane! Gonna be sick!!

Dad was an amazing mechanic repairing and building the cars, organizing tyres and packing the bags. Couldn't have done all this without him.

Used the 30% Nitro X Fuel all weekend and it ran flawlessly. Have been using it for ages and absolutely no problems. Love it.

 
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