Wednesday April 18th was the final day of the 2007 USRA Nats, the day everyone had been waiting for 24th Eurosport.
Before the 24th Euro race it was time for the C-12 Euro cars to hit the track. This became a pretty one side race with Jason Greene dominating qualifying and the race, running away from nats host Lou Cicconi by over 50 laps.
After the C-12 race there was a couple of hours of final practice for 24th Eurosport. As practice went along the track really started to rubber up, with thick berms building up on the corners. I had pretty much settled on running one of the 26g BOW armature motors in the new small Camen setups with thin magnets, but right at the end of practice the 26g motors were struggling to get through the heavy rubber build up.
Late in practice Fred Hood offered me a 22T 25G motor that he could not get into his car. I had already run plenty of low 3.4 second laps with the 26G motors, but I was down to about 3 feet of choke, so felt I really did need more horsepower. The car was handling fantastically on all lanes, so I tried Fred’s motor and immediately ran a 3.40 with 12 feet of choke, so put the car away and decided to run Fred’s motor.
I qualified 6th to secure a berth in the A main. Brian Saunders and Gugu were the only ones to go into the 2.3’s, while Greg Gilbert, Thomas Burnside, William Burnside and myself all qualified with 2.43 laps and James Grinstead was 7th with a 2.44.
Through having 25 racers the A main became a 9 man round robin, and I selected the sit out to start, so got to watch the first heat. As soon as I got on the track in the 2nd heat I knew I really had a car to contend for the win. I drove as hard as I could and on average after my first heat was leading, and maintained that lead all the way through to the end of my 7th heat. Brian Saunders was right there with Greg Gilbert and myself for the early part of the race, but lost time when his motor came out in an accident. The final heat had me on white lane, and 2nd placed Greg Gilbert was on the very fast orange lane. I had 8 laps on Greg and thought my lead would hold up, however white was very very slippery. Brian ran on it before me and warned me how slippery it was, especially at the end of the main straight. It was so slippery the car was actually locking up and sliding into the corner. it was like someone had split something on the track, but there was nothing there. All I could do was back off, add a lot of choke and cruise around, hoping that Greg did not run me down, but with Greg flying on the Orange lane I soon knew I was in trouble. With a couple of minutes to go, Greg drew level with me, then put a lap on me, then just drove to keep ahead of me through to the end of the race.
So close, yet so far, but I have to congratulate Greg on a great race. he has been trying to win that one for a lot longer than me, hopefully my time will come in the future.
So that concluded the 2007 USRA Nats. Having the nats in a hotel was a fantastic setting, and the hosts Mark Greene and Lou Cicconi did a fantastic job in putting the race together. Everything ran smoothly throughout the week.