2015 1/24th Nationals

This year’s event attracted a healthy field of 24 entrants from all over NZ with both islands represented. The use of the word “Nationals” unfortunately often conjures up images of scowling racers, a serious, tense atmosphere and National titles the only thing on every entrants’ mind. Fortunately this is so far from the truth as to be laughable.

For many of us, it was all about catching up with old friends and enjoying close racing with familiar rivals of similar speed. It says a lot about an event when the very top racers are happy to pit crew and help out us racers in the very slowest heats. To all of you guys thanks, and I am sure this is a sentiment shared by all of us slower racers.

I will not list all the results here, but leave that to our tireless results people, that magic collaboration of race coordinator Derek who makes the Nationals the unique experience it is, and our recent past Pres, Rob Dale, who has so kindly agreed to carry on this vital role.

Of course any Nationals would not be complete without drama and funny moments. One very fast racer, noted for his poor night vision some years ago when he “drove” his car while on the floor for 40 laps during a night session in a 12 hour enduro, this year had difficulty with his colour vision. While pitting for a team mate in our D finals he seemed to have a knack of ensuring everyone was paying attention by putting the car on the wrong lane at lane changes!

Kieran Dale finally captured that all elusive G12 Eurosport title, and Gill Andrews broke the outright qualifying record on his way to winning G12 Wing.

In Open Eurosport Neil Bidwell using Gill’s “B car” (should have been his A car!!) was leading the race and looking like a debut winner, when he suffered a burnt braid. A braid change gone wrong sadly saw the fairytale come to an end. Hot favourites Chris Dillon and Kieran Dale both had problems with their Third Eye Controller brakes, a result of such radical armature winds it transpired, to leave a surprised and no doubt jubilant Paul Belchambers the winner from the B final! I might add here Paul not so long ago started his slot racing journey with RTR cars on his a Scalextric track, attended the first NZSCA RTR Nationals and being a Wellington local discovered the exciting world of 1/24
th racing. The rest is now history as they say.

Also great to see young Adam and Andrew Bidwell joining the "open" ranks with loaner cars and doing very well. Poor Andrew suffered gear and chassis damage from crashes, no doubt disappointing after his sensational 4th place debut last year. These youngsters are the future of our hobby/sport and "young" Kieran's successors! Going to keep dad broke though!

To all winners, congratulations, and to all other racers, it was great to catch up again, talk BS and just remind me why National events remain the highlight of my involvement in the hobby/sport.