Australian Nationals 2017 began on the Thursday with practice, straight away my cars felt really great and easy to drive. All we did was very minor changes. The track was a “natural” surface and was really starting to groove up by the end of the day. Unfortunately this would all change overnight, with storms and hail. There would be appox 35mm of rain overnight.
2WD Day: The start of the meeting would be delayed due to the overnight rain. A huge thank you to the Maitland club for the effort in saving the racing surface. Juniors were the first heat up when racing got underway. The grip that was present the previous day had gone and the track was super slippery. I had a good run and was leading at the 5min mark and unfortunately was taken out by a backmarker on the “complete your lap” lap. I still managed to take the win in this heat even with a broken car. The second heat went the same as the first except I made some silly errors and finished 2nd… After 2 rounds they regraded the heats and I was placed 2nd. I would hold onto this position into the finals. My car was the fastest in the field but, I just couldn’t put together a clean run.
In the 1st final I tried too hard and couldn’t settle down, I finished 3rd. In the 2nd final I tried everything to settle down but every time I got near 1st place I would crash then have to do it all over again. With this I finished 2nd. The winner of the event had been decided after the 2 finals, so now it was time to put my head down and run for 2nd. In the 3rd final I dove the best I had all day and finished 2nd. I ended up in 3rd place on a count back. This was very exciting but also disappointing. Looking back I think that being my first Australian Titles the scale of the event got to me. This was also to be my last meeting running as a junior, as next racing season I will be stepping up to 2WD Stock. I will learn from this experience and grow as a driver.
4WD Day: Started with a dry track. The thing I was focusing on today was just having fun and enjoying the atmosphere. My car was very fast and I was seeded into the “B” group which included some very quick and experienced drivers. At the end of qualifying I would be in 8th place in the B final.
For the first final I was able to get up to 4th place, but unfortunately a screw was pulled from the rear arm and I lost a shock which dropped me back to 9th. We repaired the car for the second final. I had a good run and finished in 6th place. This result would enable me to finish in 7th place in the B group and 17th overall. Which I was very happy with.
This completed my 1st Australian Nationals. I would like to thank Ari Barkla and all the XRAY Team for all their help and support over the meeting. I would also like to thank all my sponsors XRAY, Proline, MuchMore, KO PROPO and HEI for their support. And the biggest Thankyou goes out to Dad, Mum and Miranda for allowing me to follow my dreams.
I am looking forward to running as many major events that I can next year. Bring on the 2018 Nationals.
Placings for the 2017 Australian Nationals
2WD Junior Stock (17.5)
- Jack Grey – XRAY XB2
- Andrew McGee – Associated
- ADEN YOUNG – XRAY XB2
- Ethan Kelland – Associated
- Cameron Couper – Associated
- Angus De Dear – Losi
- Jack Stennett – Associated
- Issac Matthews – Associated
- Cooper Richardson – Associated
- Connor Laughton – XRAY XB2
- Dominic Pitt – Associated