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All drivers
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Fifty five buggy and thirty truggy drivers entered the 2006 New Zealand gas off road Nationals hosted by the Harewood Radio Control car club based in Christchurch. 1/8 buggy racing began in Christchurch in early 1990 with the first track and races being organised by Trev & Bev Winter who distribute Xray products through their business “Zoom Resources”.

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New Zealand XRAY Team
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During the weeks prior to the New Zealand nationals local XB8 drivers were testing many setups on the clay and dirt based track surface and eventually found a setup all were comfortable with. Ten XB8 cars were entered in the event.

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Local wildlife checking out the track minutes after the final
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The style and location of the jumps were a challenge to many drivers, with a large jump at the end of the back straight, requiring careful driving skills to ensure a flat landing but not over shooting the hairpin corner immediately after it. The most difficult section of the track is the “quad ripple jumps”and these were located on a very short straight, preceded by a tight corner with a tight hairpin immediately afterwards. Fastest way over the quad ripple is to jump two pair but get the throttle timing wrong & the car would end upon it’s roof, a problem every driver had at some stage! The ripples and most of the jumps were covered with high grip Astroturf artificial grass. As the track became much bumpier throughout the meeting only minor changes were made to the XB8 setup. In most cases we moved the upper shock mounting position out one hole to slightly increase spring and shock stiffness and also assist pack.

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Buggy A Finalists
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After 6 rounds of qualifying and numerous sub finals with bump up’s we managed to get two XB8TQ cars into the A final, Chris Russell and Ron Maya both from Australia. I was the highest placed New Zealand XB8 driver, finishing 14th overall. A slightly rich engine setting, held me back, particularly over the quad ripple’s where I didn’t quite have the acceleration to get a reliable double pair launch.

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Ron Maya XB8 TQ and Zoom Resources Buggy trophy
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Starting grid positions marked on the track for the finals were very close however all cars had a reasonably clean start for the 1 hour main. Within 2 laps of the start Ron Maya driving his XB8 TQ was in the lead which he held for 3 laps but a few minor collisions quickly pushed him back to 7th position. Fellow XB8 TQ driver Chris Russell was now in 5th and showing good form. At around 6 ? minutes the first cars started to pit for fuel, this was a good sign for the XB8 TQ drivers as we planned to refuel them every 9 minutes which even included a safety margin, presumably the XB8 cars were applying the power to the ground more efficiently and over a 1 hour race that would mean two less pit stops. By now the clouds had opened and rain fell over most of the track, the back straight section was sheltered by trees so didn’t receive quite as much water. Small puddles started to form leaving some cars to slide off the track. However Ron maintained his cool driving his XB8 TQ very consistently, in fact his lap times were same even near the end of the race when the track was extremely wet as he drove at the start when the track was damp! This enabled him to claw his way back to the lead and comfortably win the 1 hour final by 4 laps.

2006 New Zealand Nationals 1/8 Buggy results:

1 Ron Maya XRAY XB8TQ
2 Daniel Thompson
3 Shane OConnor
4 Graeme McDougal
5 Chris Russell XRAY XB8TQ
6 Jerry Davis
7 Ryan OConnor
8 Martin Wolhuter
9 Chris Banham
10 Zac Ryan

14 Trev Winter XRAY XB8TQ
35 Kevin Dench Xray XB8
37 Greg Mawson XRAY XB8TQ
38 Stephen Gunther XRAY XB8
39 Bev Winter XRAY XB8
41 Don Collins XRAY
43 Neil White XRAY XB8TQ
44 Marc McSkimming XRAY XB8TQ

Ron Maya Set-up sheet.

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Ron Maya with Trev Winter pit crew
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Ron with Zoom Resources staff car
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