Event - Nitro X Series NSW State Titles - off-road buggy
Location – Liverpool Radio Rally Cross Club – Liverpool, NSW
Date – 20th – 23rd May, 2010
Losi Attendee's – Andrew Gillott, Craig Laughton, Scott Jones, Tod Trower, Ben Panic, Jarrod Currie, Matt Iverach, Scott Kirchner
The NSW Titles (nitro off road buggy) was set to be the rematch from the Nationals held in earlier in the year in Adelaide. With names like Savoya, Lutz, McBride, Laughton, Gillott, Pain competing for the top prize, it was sure to be an awesome event. Qualifying began late on Thursday after three practice heats with racing running late into the evening under light. QLD young gun Kyle McBride took round 1 from Savoya, with Savoya and McBride trading positions for the rest of qualifying taking four of the six round wins. Andrew Gillott and Craig Laughton were the best of the rest, qualifying third and four leading into the semi finals. Savoya won Semi A ahead of Gillott and Pain. Laughton won Semi B narrowly ahead of McBride, with local hero Wayne Walker in third.
The stage was set for the final – The Liverpool track in mint condition, 12 of the country’s fastest drivers ready to battle and the weather remaining good throughout Sunday afternoon. The final was held up briefly with Craig Laughton calling a 10 minute delay after the weather cooled considerably and played havoc with his engine tune. The delay meant Laughton would start from the pits, a considerable distance back from the second position on the grid where he should have started. Savoya and McBride took control of the race early until McBride had engine trouble on lap 44, losing 40 seconds getting back to the pits and restarted. Gillott had taken control of third position for much of the race until McBride struck trouble, taking over second. Laughton managed to get from 12th to 6th on the first lap, before setting cruise control and sneaking through to 3rd by lap 45. With only 20 minutes remaining, Laughton set his sights on Savoya and Gillott ahead of him. On lap 69, Savoya suffered engine problems when his clutch nut worked loose and the clutch bell began to rub on the fuel tank, wearing through the tank to the point where he lost all fuel and was forced to retire. Gillott inherited the lead with Laughton now in a position to put pressure on the leader, closing to within a few seconds with five laps remaining. Laughton’s persistence paid off when Gillott slid wide on the step up / step down section, alloying Laughton to sneak through for the lead and holding his nerve for the remaining few laps, winning by .8 of a second. An exceptional race by Gillott who showed awesome speed all weekend but at the end of the 45 minute race was very unlucky to not come away with the top prize. McBride recovered well to finish third a lap down on the leaders.