Written and submitted by John Watkins
This past weekend racers from all over Victoria gathered together at the Melbourne’s newest Indoor racing facility, Adrenalin Arena (AA) for the first ever off-road indoor Carpet state titles.
On a chilly, winter Saturday Morning drivers were greeted with a brand new track designed by off road driver Simon Healy, the fresh layout was super tight and ultra technical and included a cross over section and never seen before in Victoria, a Wall climb! The new layout was completely different to anything racers have seen before at AA all previous layouts were flowing, high speed and quite easy to drive. This fresh look at the hand of Simon had a lot of fast changes of direction, hair pin corners and a large jump section that was enticing enough for a few of the mod guys to try and clear the 16 meter jump section!
Qualifying was intense through all classes and consistency rewarded. In 2wd modified 1 mistake was the difference between TQ and 5th. Ex UK driver Simon McHugh took the prestigious TQ honours with a flawless 5 min run nudging the un heard of 18 lapper! The Finals were incredibly fast paced in the high grip carpet conditions, the motor of choice in Modified classes ranged from a 5.5 to 7.5 most driver running a small amount of boost in order to get out of the corners as quick as possible.
A1 : Simon McHugh Jumped out to an early lead over John Watkins as P2 on the grid was left vacant with Andy Bishop not making the start with a wheel nut issue. Watkins went on to take the win after a mistake by Simon McHugh at the 3 min mark. A2: at the tone drivers jumped to a frantic pace and on lap 2 leaders Simon and Andy Bishop came together and with Watkins finding a way through the carnage he laid down a lawless 5 min run to take the title with Paul Sims driving a Prototype 2wd finishing 2nd ahead of the fast paced Andy Bishop in 3rd. John Watkins sat out the 3rd final and watched as Andy Bishop set a new lap record with a 16.7! 1st John Watkins , 2nd Simon Mc Hugh, 3rd Paul Sims
All eyes were on the stock classes, as in the lead up month’s stock was by far the more popular class with almost 30 entries qualifying was going to be tight. Local Hero and Carpet Specialist Andrew adamic driving a Schumacher KF was left with some serious work to do after round 1 of 2wd, from out of nowhere Richard Dyer took A1 from newly signed AE junior Development driver Cameron Zammit by .2 of a second , Round 2 and both Andrew and Cameron knew what they had to do, both shaved considerable time off their previous best with Cameron going almost 10 seconds quicker and with a time that would of put him 6th in the Modified A Main, Cameron took TQ with this run and Andrew was a close 2 seconds behind.
2wd Finals were close Richard Dyer took A1 by .2 of a second over Cameron and Andrew only a couple of second’s further back. A2 and A3 was a extremely close race with Cameron getting the job done closely followed by Andrew and Richard. Overall, 1st Cameron Zammit, 2nd Richard Dyer, 3rd Andrew Adamic
4wd Stock saw the same epic battle between Cameron, Andrew and fresh prince Neil Kovacs, the battle royal was set with an AE, LOSI and XRAY showdown, Cameron Zammit took his 2nd TQ honours of the day . A1 was epic and the lead changed multiple times with Adamic getting the win by less the half a second, A2 saw the early retirement of Cameron with a broken front arm on his B44.2, Kovaks stepping his game up and taking it Andrew but a last lap roll over handed the overall win to Adamic and his Xray XB4 , this was the first time Andrew had run his new 4wd ever!
SCT was a great spectacle to watch as these big heavy brutes tried to cope with the mega grip of the carpet. TQ went to Hayden Palmer with a brilliant display in all qualifiers. With 1 win a piece in the finals Hayden in A1 and with a stellar drive in A2 David Varricchio the show was set for fun A3 with a couple of forced errors Hayden Palmer took the overall win. Hayden Palmer 1st , David Varricchino 2nd , David Shilton 3rd
Stadium truck: Numbers were low on race day but drivers were as keen as they could be to hit the track. Truck King Andre Morton came out swinging with a dominant performance in all 3 Qualifiers taking TQ easily, Finals were close with Kyosho driver Glenn Wilson taking the win in A1 closely followed by John Watkins after a retirement by the master Andre. John Watkins Took A2 over the fast finishing Andre. A3 was lingering Andre had to win to force a count back, and win in a better time to take the title, he did this comfortably with almost all of his laps being a full second quicker the Watkins and Wilson. Results , 1st Andre Morton, 2nd John Watkins, 3rd Glenn Wilson.
Vintage classes were also offered and number were huge with almost 20 entries over 3 classes, but as you can imagine retirements were plenty from these dinosaurs with the shining stars Andy bishop and Simon Healy putting on a display with their mid mount RC10 worlds cars, in most cases with times that would of giving them a podium in the stock classes. Vintage Competition results: 1st Andy Bishop, 2nd Simon Healy, 3rd Craig Jenner. 2wd Vintage kit Competition results: 1st Simon Mc Hugh, 2nd Andre Morton, 3rd Brent Jefferies.
Thanks to Adrenalin Arena for hosting what hopefully becomes a long tradition of indoor winter off road racing. The great atmosphere was heightened by race by race commentary by AA owner and vintage guru Damien Andrews.
I look forward to see you all again next year!