Friday 27th April
With the first 5 five rounds of qualifying sessions now completed, and with one session left tonight before the Finals commence. Weve seen all the highs and lows of motorsport, with one of the favourites Marc Christianson, dropping out in the first round with a clutch failure. Weve also seen some very hard and fast quality racing with the drivers all battling to retain or gain a spot in the 1 hour A Main final. Top qualifier so far Tony Knauth on 73 laps (HN X1CR - RB - Proline) has been on fire throughout qualifying, winning 4 of the 5 races, setting the fastest lap at 29.022 secs, fellow Team OCR driver Shannon Thissen (HN X1CR - RB - Proline) on 70 laps his fastest lap set at 29.985 sec and Gary Bui (Xray - Maxpower - Proline) on 68 laps and setting his best lap at 29.218 sec, which rounds out the top 3 qualifiers in the Pro Buggy class, Nathan Tampe (Hyper 8) and Skip Jackson (HN X1CR) both sitting on 67 laps in 4th and 5th place are pretty much assured a spot in the A Main, but as we all know anything can happen in motorsport, Neil Ingram (MBX5R), Phillip Ciccone (MBX5R), Henry Bui (Xray), Jamie Fava ( HN X1CR) and Gary Clark (HN X1CR) round out the top ten with one qualifier left to complete. The RTR Buggy class sees young Tom Jones (Caster ZX1) ahead of Brett McNair (Sacker Pro) with Andrew Hutton (Sacker Pro) close behind. The Junior Buggy class has Henry Bui a mile in front, the only junior driver within the Top Ten, a champion effort from young Henry has him a great position, for not only the junior title but also a chance at the outright Pro Buggy title, Tom Jones is holding his own in second with his STS powered Caster Zx1, while Aaron Snowball taking control of his fathers HN X1CR for this event is putting on great show in third. The race action again heats up tonight at 6.00pm with the final round of qualifiers giving the drivers one last chance to get into the A main.
Saturday 28th April
After a huge night of Nitro Buggy action friday night, all the drivers were back with a vengence, for the last round of qualifying. This being the last chance to gain a spot in the A main Final it was always going to be a fierce race with positions 9 to 13 still pretty much open. Going into the final round the top spots were fairly well secured, with Team OCR driver Tony Knauth 3 laps ahead it was supposed to be a steady race for the front runners just to retain positions, but as we all know with motorsport anything can happen and usually does, with Tony crashing coming off the crossover bridge about halfway through the race, he had an unusual drama with the fuel cap opener being pulled open dumping all the fuel from the tank, with just over 2 minutes remaining he was able to get back out after refuelling, but dropped 4 laps in the process allowing fellow Team OCR driver Shannon Thissen (HN X1CR - RB - Proline) to take the TQ on 85 laps showing some talent to take the win with a broken upper front shock mount bolt, which has been a bit of an issue with the X1CR's on this track with Tony breaking an upper mounting bolt in Round 5 (see here). The number 2 spot went to Team OCR driver Tony Knauth (HN X1CR - RB - Proline) on 84 laps and Gary Bui (Xray - Max Power - Proline) took out the number 3 spot. 11th and 12th going into this round Shaun Rawlings and Tam Bui both pushed very hard to knock out Jamie Fava and Gary Clark from the final 2 spots in the A Main, the final qualifying positions (see here). The Bui family putting in a champion effort to have all 3 members in the A Main with 15 year old Gary in 3rd, 12 year old junior buggy driver Henry in 8th the only junior driver in the A Main and father Tam in the number 10 spot.
The B Final, was an 11 car race held over 30 minutes, Gary Clark (HN X1CR - RB - Proline) got the holeshot on the start and from there pretty much held the lead for the majority of the race, but with the fast pack of X1CR drivers of Jason Jenko (HN X1CR - OS), Aaron Snowball (HN X1CR - RB) and Jamie Fava (HN X1CR - RB) and young Jack Fuge driving Gary's spare car in what was his first ever Nitro Buggy event, hot on his tail there was no room for error. All the drivers put on an awesome display of talent warming up the big crowd of spectators for the 1 hour A Main, but in the end it was Gary Clark who took the win on 47 laps, with Jason Jenko in second on 43 laps and Junior driver Aaron Snowball in third on 41 laps. Full results here
The 10 car 1 hour A Main Final, was set to be a fantastic race with any of the drivers in it quite able to take the 2007 Title, with the Top 3 qualifiers being the favourites, TQ Shannon Thissen was very consistent throughout qualifying winning 2 of the 6 rounds, Tony Knauth in the number 2 spot had been flying winning the other 4 rounds, taking out the FTD and the fastest lap of 29.022 secs, and Gary Bui running consistently throughout was always going to be right on it. The A Final started at aprox 9.00pm on what was a very hard packed but very rough track with a perfect amont of moisture, the rougher sections were going to make for some interesting race lines, but the track had not slowed down at all throughout in fact the laps times had gotten faster. The start saw a nice clean sprint to the first couple of corners with the whole field making it through , until the pack came around to the crossover bridge where a few cars got caught up in the rough section leading up to it causing some carnage, most of the drivers coming out unscathed except for Tony Knauth whose front wheel became wedged in the bridge dropping back to last almost a lap behind by the time the marshall was able to get it unstuck, with the rest of the field gone and Gary Bui out to a flying start ahead of them. A nice clean but still very aggressive race ensued, with the drivers settling in their groove. With Gary out in front and TQ Shannon running a close second, Tony was clawing his way back up the field into third spot coming up to the first fuel stop, both Gary and Tony running 10 minute stints. With Shannon coming in at 8 minutes on lap 14 and having a flameout on his first stop meant Tony moved into second behind Gary. The number 4 qualifier Nathan Tampe (Hyper 8 - Nosram) had some car issues on lap 7 and dropping 400 secs took him out of contention, Phillip Cicccone (MBX5R - RB) also succumbing to car problems early on lap 5, was able to get back out but also way down the pack by the time his car was repaired. On lap 21 Gary Bui (Xray - Maxpower) broke into the 28 second bracket with a 28.92, the fastest lap of the event so far, but he didnt stop there this talented young driver, just kept on going faster breaking that again on lap 51 with a 28.58 and then again on lap 81 with the fastest lap overall a 28.498, awesome effort on such a rough surface and at such a late stage of the race. Tony Knauth was running nice and consistent a close second, until around the 30 minute mark when Shaun Rawlings Boss powered Xray flamed out coming out of the pits right in the middle of the front straight chicane leaving Tony nowhere to go he plowed into Shauns car breaking the left front shock shaft off, but in what was a stroke of luck the spring somehow got caught up on the front driveshaft, and was still holding the car off the ground to a degree, showing a great deal of car control in a bad situation with no left front shock Tony was able to keep the car on the track and still average in the low 30 second laps, and hold onto second place, third place Shannon Thissen also had front shock problems again breaking the top shock mounting bolt, having to come into the pits and repair it on lap 54 dropped him 4 laps behind Tony. Team OCR driver Neil Ingram driving his Gotech powered MBX5R drove a very consistent calculated race behind Shannon to come within 1 lap of the Top qualifier. Tam Bui (Xray - Maxpower) had some issues late in the race on 65 and again on lap 73. Anthony Jackson (X1CR - RB) in what was his first ever A Main race drove a good race with a few dramas to finish in 6th with Shaun Rawlings (Xray - Boss) 7th, the youngest driver in the A Main, 8th placed 12 year old Henry Bui had quite a few hassles throughout but drove beautifully to finish ahead of Nathan Tampe 9th and Phillip Ciccone 10th. To round off the A Main it was a spectacular drive from Gary Bui driving an Xray in first on 111 laps, with Tony Knauth X1CR in second on 105 laps and in third on 101 laps Shannon Thissen driving his RB powered X1CR. Full results here
Outright Pro Buggy
1. Gary Bui - 111 laps - Xray - Max Power - Proline
2. Tony Knauth - 105 laps - X1CR - RB - Proline
3. Shannon Thissen - 101 laps - X1CR - RB - Proline
1. Brett McNair - 40 laps - Sacker Pro - STS
2. Bradley Jackson - 32 laps - X1CR - STS
3. Tim Nicol - 32 laps - HSP - HSP
1. Henry Bui - 70 laps - Xray - Maxpower
2. Aaron Snowball - 41 laps - X1CR - RB
3. Jack Fuge - 41 laps - Sacker Pro - STS
To all the drivers, congratulations on what was an awesome event, everyone did themselves proud, and we also need to thank Neil Ingram for his assistance throughout, Marc Christianson, Gary Clark, Steve Hodges, Tony and Rhonda Knauth, Jim Bowden and to all the other people who made this great event happen, we all thank you, and of course to all the spectators that came to watch the spectacle that is NITRO BUGGY RACING
We must also thank our much valued sponsors of this the 2007 Top End Nitro Buggy Championships
Darwin Auto Electrics
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Click the links below for all the results so far