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2006 racing season review by Jon Hazlewood click to enlarge
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Wow, 2006 really flew by, I can't think of a year when I have raced more. I probably raced to much leaving virtually no time to do testing, which has always been something I've done lots of.

Our last minute change to Xray certainly put us under pressure and we turned up to the traditional season opener in Holland with only a small amount of time with the car. Luckily for us the XB8 was great straight away and we ended up on pole position for the main final. A few to many mistakes in the final but we still came away with 5th overall. I was delighted with the result for our first go, and was looking forward to the rest of the season.

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In the UK we have a crazy amount of National rounds, 10 in total! Add into that pre National meetings, various "special" 2 day meetings which I have to attend, Euro's warm up, Euro's and lastly the World Championships and what you have is a completely full race calender. In fact since Round 1 of the UK Championship, till the last round which was a few weeks ago, there was only one weekend that I didn't race!

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Some bad tyre choices and average set up meant the first two Nationals at Sandy and Mold where a bit of a struggle, but by Round 3 we were getting into the swing of things and won at Great Yarmouth. This marked the first UK National win for the XB8.

We followed Yarmouth up with a win at our only two day meeting in the National championship, Holbeach and then a win at the Astro turf track, Southend.

So five rounds gone and three wins in a row I was leading the Championship. Round 6 took us to Pendal, where I simply tried to hard and drove an average final. I ended up 3rd. Immediately after we were off to the Euro's in Spain where I had a torrid time. Marred by issues all week, if was one to forget. I hoped I had used up all my bad luck there and that at the Worlds we would have a trouble free week.

So fresh from retuning from Spain, the following weekend we were at round 7 of the UK championship which was held at a new venue, East Sherwsbury. I managed to get a second overall. Round 8 at Preston saw me finish second again and with only two rounds left the Championship was very close but I was still leading.

Swindon hosted Round 9, another new track and one of my favorites. The XB8 TQ was stunning round there and I took the win. This set me up nicely for the World's which we left for a few days later.

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The world's was a good event for me. I managed to qualify into the semi's. I won my side and made it into the main final. | was very happy to achieve this. Unfortunately my motor eat half the track and stopped working, ending my final. I was still very pleased with the result. Making the main at a Worlds is so hard.

So that left just round 10 of the UK championship to go. Unfortunately for me during the time I was at the World's two warm up meetings were held at the track. Not being able to get any track time before the National was going to make the race hard as my direct competitors had.

David Crompton and I were close in the championship, basically who ever beat the other person would win. After qualifying I ended up tied on points for TQ with David and Grahame Alsop, on count back David took the TQ and pole for the main. The final turned into a great race between David and I. Towards the end we were very close but I just could not quite catch up to challenge for the win. So David took the 2006 title and I ended the year second. It had been amazingly close, especially considering how many rounds we race.

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With the exception of the Neo race in December the big races have come to a end until next year. I am looking forward to continuing to work with Xray in 2007, there are some exciting things going on and for sure the XB8 will continue to evolve and win races around the World.

Jon Hazlewood

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from Indoor Holland 2006.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 1.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from Proline Indoor Challenge UK.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 3.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 4.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from EFRA Spain GP.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 5.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from EURO Championship 2006.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 8.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 9.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from WORLD Championship 2006.

Jon Hazlewood Set-up from BRCA UK National Round 10.