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07/04/2024 – Campbelltown Hobbies Racing League Round 1 Race Report

Updated: Apr 15

Last Sunday at Hills Off Road RC was the first race meeting held on the new track layout. This was the first round of the CHRL and served as the warm-up meet for the 2024 RCRA 1/10 NSW Off-Road State Titles. With 111 entries, there was plenty of drivers getting in the much-needed laps prior to the next big event. The racing was close in many instances, with the altered format of 4-minute qualifiers (5 fastest lap average counting), and 6-minute finals (all finals counting towards the results).

With this format of only 4 minutes to set your 5-lap average. Most classes only had 2-3 laps they could afford to throw away and still come out with a good result in qualifying.

In the finals consistency was the key with the 12 car grids determined by qualifying for A1. A full reverse grid for A2, and A3 determined by your combined results from the first two finals. Add in the extra pressure of all three finals counting towards your overall result, and it was a recipe for intense battles, wild action, aggressive passing with a reward for patience which rewarding patience and consistency.

Junior 2wd Stock Buggy

With 13 junior drivers ready to face battle, the decision was made to run them as split qualifying but all together in the finals to enable all to get a run and as always the Juniors did not disappoint putting on a show. The story of the day was improvement, fun and lots of laughs.

Will Aiken came out on top in qualifying with a 5-lap average of 34.545 after two rounds. He was followed by Zac Panic (37.522), and then Ryan Kwok (37.719).

All three finals were competitive with a mix of results. In A1, the TQ man Will Aiken had trouble early eventually retiring on lap 5 after setting the hot lap of 33.085. Ryan Kwok took the lead from lap one and was never headed taking the win by over 12 seconds from Riley Lander-West with Zac Panic coming home third a further 6 seconds behind.

A2 being the reverse grid race had a hectic start. Finn Aiken took the early lead on lap 1 taking advantage of starting from 4th but was eventually hunted down by Will Aiken on lap 6, who would go on and finish the job also achieving the hot lap of 33.705 and winning by over 16 seconds from Jay Refalo with Ryan Kwok a further 5 seconds behind.

In the A3 final with grid positions determined by the finishing results of the first two finals we had a very different looking grid and Will Aiken took the lead from lap 1 and went on to dominate this final taking the win by over 10 seconds with a hot lap of 33.568 from the ever-consistent Ryan Kwok with Mya Refalo showing the boys how to do it coming in third a further 22 seconds behind.

Junior 2wd Stock Buggy Overall Results

1st – Ryan Kwok

2nd – Riley-Lander-West

3rd – Jay Refalo

4th – Will Aiken (TQ)

5th – Mya Refalo

Fastest Lap of the Day – Will Aiken – 33.085 seconds (A1 Final)

2wd Stock Buggy

With the largest field for the meeting, 27 drivers fronted for a hotly contested field. After the two rounds of qualifying, Glenn Welch top qualified with a 5-lap average of 33.822, from Dallas Gardiner (33.856), and Scott Hill (34.288).

We were in for some close racing with the quality of the field making the 12 car A-finals. A1 saw Dallas Gardiner take the early advantage and lead lap 1 with Andrew Selvaggi taking over at the front lap 3 and never relinquished it with a hot lap of 31.927. The action did not end there with plenty of overtakes for the minor placings with the first 5 cars often in the same metre of track going 3 wide. As the field settled, Dallas Gardiner finished second over 5 seconds behind from Scott Hill a further 3 seconds back for third.

In A2, Glenn Andrews starting from two took the lead on lap 1 and took advantage of the battling pack behind to open a healthy lead which he held in an exceptional run until the last lap where Andrew Selvaggi took over for the win and with the hot lap of 31.591. Selvaggi had drove a very smart race, often seen going wide and ducking early with the on-track mayhem sacrificing track position to have a consistent run and stay out of trouble. His patience paid off with a perfectly timed run, taking the win by less than half a second from Andrews. Chris Lander finished third a further 4 seconds behind.

A3 promised a lot and did not disappoint with action from turn 1. Andrew Selvaggi and Dallas Gardiner tangled turn one which started a chain reaction with almost every car in the field at some stage in the first two turns facing any direction other than the one the drivers wanted them to be. Out of the kaos, Dallas Gardiner lead across the line on lap 1 and held that lead until the final lap where Glenn Welch showed his speed from earlier in the day and took the lead on the final lap and the win by just under 2 seconds from Gardiner with Jim Koimanis 2 seconds further back. Andrew Selvaggi had the hot lap with a 32.667, whilst recovering from deep in the field for a sixth place finish.

2wd Stock Buggy Overall Results

1st – Andrew Selvaggi

2nd – Dallas Gardiner

3rd – Chris Lander

4th – Scott Hill

5th – Jim Koimanis

TQ – Glenn Welch

Fastest Lap of the Day – Andrew Selvaggi – 31-591 seconds (A2 Final)

2wd Modified Buggy

24 entries, with this class having the closest battle in qualifying. Ari Bakla came out in front with a 5-lap average of 30.806. Next was Lachlan Donnelly just 0.006 behind (30.812), and then Jarod Ment (31.287).

The finals shaped up to be an epic battle as in A1 Ari Bakla took a tone-to-tone win leading every lap with a hot lap of 30.498, from Lachlan Donnelly who didn’t let him get away finishing just over 6 tenths behind with Jarod Ment a further 4 seconds back in third.

A2 mixed it up with the inverted field, and Brad Vercoe with arguably the drive of the day, taking full advantage of his pole position to lead the first 8 laps of the final. This is where Lachlan Donnelly took over in a hard and consistent drive, finishing over 4 seconds ahead of Ari Bakla whom took second off Jarod Ment on the last lap to finish third only 7 tenths behind. Ari Bakla also had hot lap with a 29.525.

In A3, Ari Bakla lead lap 1 from pole, with Lachlan Donnelly taking the lead on lap 5 and he was then never headed from there with Bakla finishing over 3 seconds back in second with the hot lap again of 30.119. Third place was the ever-consistent Jarod Ment 13 seconds off the lead.

2wd Modified Buggy Overall Results

1st – Lachlan Donnelly

2nd – Ari Bakla (TQ)

3rd – Jarod Ment

4th – Lachlan Munday

5th – Sammuel Mufffet

Fastest Lap of the Day – Ari Bakla – 29.525 seconds (A2 Final)

4wd Stock Buggy

25 entries showed for some intense wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the day. Dallas Gardiner clearly led the way with a 5-lap average of 30.490, followed by Glenn Welch (31.040), and Jim Koimanis (31.230), with many struggling to put a whole run of consistency together.

With the top 5 drivers in this class laying down some serious lap times, it was promising to be some intense finals. In A1, Dallas Gardiner put pay to that and was the man leading all the way and finishing over 9 seconds up the road from Glenn Welch, with Scott Hill a further 13 seconds behind. Nathaniel White despite his DNF had the hot lap at 29.559.

A2 reverse grid is where the action lit up. After a very brief rain shower prior, the track was dried and with the fastest at the rear there was aggressive and sometimes desperate moves being thrown down in the attempt to gain any advantage before the faster cars moved through the field. Trent Johnston took his pole position for the race and converted in to the lead for the first few laps before Glenn Welch took over the lead. Nathaniel White was next to take the lead on lap 11 recovering from a poor A1 result and went on to win by 2.5 seconds from Welch. Dallas Gardiner was just under 2 seconds back for third after starting from the rear and setting the hot lap of the race at 30.968.

So A3 was a repeat of the first from the perspective of Dallas Gardiner, with him showing the field a clean set of heels as he led every lap from pole to take the win by over 5 seconds from the very fast Nathaniel White coming from further back in the field after his A1 DNF and getting the hot lap at 29.807. Glenn Welch was a further 6 seconds behind.

4wd Stock Buggy Overall Results

1st – Dallas Gardiner (TQ)

2nd Glenn Welch

3rd – Scott Hill

4th – Nathaniel White

5th – Jeffrey Pitt

Fastest Lap of the Day – Nathaniel White – 29.559 seconds (A1 Final)

4wd Modified Buggy

22 entries showed us all how to push the limits. Lachlan Donnelly this time showed the way with a 5-lap average of 28.120, with Ari Bakla just 0.013 behind him (28.133), and then Jarod Ment (28.395).

Now it was time for the real show. With extra grip the 4WD buggies give allowing drivers to utilise the speed, this was a hotly contested class all day. A1 saw Lachlan Donnelly take the bit between his teeth and lead every lap, setting his personal fastest lap on the last lap to win by over 7 seconds. Ari Bakla ran second with a hot lap of 27.316 from Matthew Couper a further 3 seconds adrift.

The reverse grid A2 did exactly what it was designed to do and threw a real mix-up of the results as drivers took advantage of track position in what can only be described as some awesome racing. Ben Panic was the early leader from pole position until lap 4 when Peter Seckold took over to lead to take it home and grab the win under intense pressure from those behind. Jarod Ment was second over 2 seconds behind and grabbing the hot lap in the process of 28.287 with Lachlan Donnelly back another 3 seconds after coming from the rear taking his opportunities where possible in a very tough race.

A3 saw Lachlan Donnelly from pole position, take the lead early and hold it all the way till the last lap setting the hot lap of 27.959 in the process. In what appeared to be a strategic move for points, Jarod Ment was given the lead on the last lap by Donnelly who finished just 3 tenths behind his team mate. In third was Peter Seckold whom took advantage of his strong results through all finals to capitalise on his grid 2 start with consistency being the key and finishing 9 seconds behind whilst under intense pressure from Ari Bakla to hold on for the podium place.

4wd Modified Buggy Overall Results

1st – Lachlan Donnelly (TQ)

2nd – Peter Seckold

3rd – Jarod Ment

4th - Matthew Couper

5th – Lachlan Munday

Fastest Lap of the Day – Ari Bakla – 27.316 seconds (A1 Final)

What a first round to kick off the series with! To all those who attended and competed, we thank you for supporting the event and clubs involved. It is going to be a great series with interesting results from the format and points system this year. Was great to see those who travelled from afar getting some laps prior to this weekend. Series points will be released shortly and with those hot lap bonus points for each final, it will be interesting in how the results will fall.

We would like to thank all those who assisted also on Saturday to prepare the track for practice and racing. Without you all it would not have happened after the rain we experienced in the days prior.

Our next race day is scheduled for 12th to 14thApril for the 2024 RCRA 1/10 Offroad NSW State Titles presented by Campbelltown Hobbies. We hope to see you all there.

Follow the below link for the full race results

For series point score after round 1, see below

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