By Mike Garrison
Race Report by Christopher Mitchell:
The past weekend saw the 2017 AARCMCC Australian 1/8 off road national titles take place at the Southern Districts Model Car Club in Morphett Vale, South Australia.
With over 220 entries made up of 136 drivers, the 4 day event would be packed with racing action, ultimately ending in 60 minute A finals for Truggy and Buggy, to decide the national title
Kyle McBride started his campaign on the front foot, by taking overall TQ over Aaron Stringer in both classes, with Zac Ryan 3rd in Buggy and Mitchell Steer in Truggy.
Following the Christmas tree finals, the Queensland pair of McBride and Stringer would win each of their respective finals in both classes, Stringer would start on P1 for the Truck final and McBride on P1 for the Buggy final.
Throughout the qualifying races and lower mains, the track surface continued to develop character, with every run being a learning experience for the drivers as they navigated the newly formed bumps and ruts. This made for some very challenging finals, that would truly show the best of drivers ability and car setup.
In the Truck A final both McBride and Stringer would break away early from Andrew Foord in 3rd, while Stringer held a small advantage early on. A mistake would put McBride back to the lead as Stringer fell behind. After 10 minutes a crash would cause a mechanical failure for McBride, ending his title defence as Aaron Stringer resumed the lead with Andrew Foord in 2nd and a battle brewing for 3rd between Alex Bernadzik and Josh Pain. Stringer would power through the next 50 minutes to bring home his maiden national title win, with a lap lead over Andrew Foord in 2nd and Josh Pain in 3rd. Young up and come Alex Bernadzik would bring home 4th from Steve Smith in 5th.
In the Junior Final, young Jaime Wooster would drive his way from 7th on the grid to win ahead of Harry Simms in 2nd and Ben Dexter in 3rd.
In the Senior Final, Dallas Gardiner would bring home a win by 30 seconds over local Scott Foster in 2nd and Stuart Smith in 3rd
The Sportsman final would also see Harry Simms bring home the win with a lap gap back to Shane Smith in 2nd and Jackson Beale in 3rd.
In the Buggy A final, much of the same procession as the Truck final in the first few laps, McBride and Stringer broke away early leaving a battle behind for 3rd, trying to stay in touch. Stringer looked to have the speed to really challenge McBride as he led the first few minutes, however a mistake dropped him to 3rd and gave a buffer to McBride, where he never looked back for the rest of the hour long race, cementing his 7th Australian National 1/8 Buggy title in a row. Stringer would be unchallenged in the end for 2nd, ahead of Craig Laughton in 3rd, Andrew Foord in 4th and Josh Pain in 5th.
A huge congratulations to all our winners and to the host club and AARCMCC for hosting such a great run and well attended nationals, which serves as round 1 of the 2017 National Series. Round 2 is coming up soon at the Melbourne Off Road Radio Car Club (MORRCC) in Sunshine, Victoria on May 4-7.