Race report by Mark Wallin:
The 2017 AARCMCC EP On Road State Titles were held at the Sydney Model Autosports track in the west of Sydney. The SMA track is a flowing technical track with a challenging layout to really test drivers abilities. The lead up to the meeting was dogged with bad weather which ultimately caused the meeting to be abandoned after the completion of qualifying.
I chose to race 1/12th Modified pan cars and Modified Touring Cars. Friday practice allowed me to dial in both cars and myself to the SMA track. Heading back to the hotel on Friday night I felt I had both cars well sorted for the racing to come. Saturday kicked off with a seeding run, each class was given a 5 minute session on the track, a drivers quickest 3 consecutive laps would then be counted for a total time that would seed the first three rounds of qualifying.
I chose to run my 1/12th Mod car on brand new tyres, not cut down at all, or treated with the control Volante additive. I was a little unsure about this but felt that I could take the risk in the seeding round. My decision proved to be a good one as I set a seed time of 52.068 seconds placing me at the top of the order for round one. With a time of 50.524 seconds I seeded 8th in Modified Touring Cars within a cluster of four other drivers all with in a second of each other.
The first round of 1/12th qualifying confirmed that I was going to have to work hard today. After missing the seeding round fellow XRAY driver Ed Clark came out strong posting several quickest laps to take second behind me in the round. The pace in Modified was fast, I slipped to 4th in my group after a race long battle with Beth Cullen. Disaster struck in round two as I was forced to retire on lap 8 with a stripped spur gear. Ed was able to take the win after a race long duel with Chris Peet. Again I finished 4th again in my group in Modified, this time around 5 seconds behind Beth.
With a fresh rear axle in the car I was able to take another round win in 1/12th, I only needed another round win to secure TQ for the finals. Remaining consistent in Modified I again finished 4th on my group not really making any time on Beth this time round.
Everything was going to plan to take TQ in round 4 of qualifying… until I pushed a little to hard on lap 17 and having a big moment. This allowed Ed to take the round win. We were now tied on points going into the last round that would be held under lights on a cold track. Ed would have the home track advantage as I have never raced on the SMA track in these conditions, round 5 would be challenging! In modified I noticed some anomalies with my batteries after round 3 and decided to switch to my spare batteries for the next qualifying run. The car felt much faster, while I did not improve my times significantly I did mange to beat Beth for the first time and finish 2nd to Scott Rawlings in a regraded Modified group.
TQ was on the line for the 5th round of qualifying between Ed and I. I was able to catch Ed at the start and take advantage of a rare error on Ed’s behalf to sneak into the lead. From there I settled into the lead, determined not to make the same mistake I had made in the previous round. When Andrew Shapland caught me I let him go as he was clearly faster at that stage of the race. I was able to take back the lead and then win the round after Andrew had an off on the front sweeper. TQ was mine! Modified was a carbon copy of leg 4 with me finishing 2nd to Scott and Beth finishing 3rd. I was told during the lead up to the start of the Mod run that if I finished 8th or higher overall, I would qualify in the A Finals. As luck would have it I finished 7th overall and secured 10th place on the grid for the A finals.
We did not get to run the finals as Sunday was rainy so the 2017 AARCMCC NSW Titles were declared using the qualifying results. A TQ and Win in 1/12th Scale Modified and 10th place in Modified Touring cars were satisfying results for me. A big thanks to Sydney Model Autosports for running and excellent event.
Top 9 results:
- Mark Wallin – XRAY X12
- Ed Clark – XRAY X12
- Andrew Shapland – Roche
- Gerard Elias – CRC
- Chris Peet – TOP
- Dean Jones – Serpent
- Rodney Degens – Associated
- Dean Paraskevas – Associated
- Christian Searl – Yokomo