The Absima Summer Championship returned to the slopes of Coastal Model Car Racing Club in Ipswich, along with the sunshine which bathed the tracks and gave them awesome grip. It was 4WD up first in qualifying and it was Stuart Collard who headed up the field from HB Racing team mate Chris Pennington and the third HB of Graham Kisby dominating qualifying, from Jason Burroughs with his Schumacher in 4. In 2WD it was again Stuart Collard who would take the pole this time with his Team Associated car, from the Yokomo of George Fairweather and the Schumacher of Kristian Gibbs. In the Tamiyas it was Steven Vanhisbergh who had a clear grid ahead of him from a hard charging Matthew Gant and the M05 of Les woods in 3rd. A bumper grid of Touring Cars saw the return of winter champion Byron Russell line up on the pole, from another returnee Simon Lovett, and current championship leader Jason Scott.
Into the 4WD finals and disaster struck for Chris Pennington at the warm up as his speed controller failed meaning he would have to sit out the first leg. Stuart started from pole but soon had attention from teammate graham. Graham made a pass for the lead and made it stick, only to throw it away 3 laps latter by going to hot into turn 1. That’s the way it would stay to the flag, with the HB Racing pair managing to keep an ever improving Jason Burroughs and Matthew at arm’s length. In leg 2 Chris returned to hound Stuart, but Stuart also had the better of Chris in leg 2, and Chris had a fast Matthew Deeks to keep at bay. In leg 3 Stuart had a much tougher time keeping Chris behind as he got up beside Stuart a number of times but just couldn’t quite make a pass stick, not for the want of trying, until Chris Pennington made an error on the entry into the alpine section, gifting Stuart with enough breathing space to control the pace for the final minute to pick up the win.
In 2WD it was a real bun fight in the first leg, with five cars fighting it out in a some what scrappy race, with Chris Pennington keeping out of trouble to come from 6th on the grid to pick up the win. Some great driving from Matthew Deeks saw him lead for a while in one of his best ever days racing. Leg 2 saw a much cleaner display of driving in a very fast and clean final from the first 3 Stuart, George and Kristian. All keeping line astern and tucked up behind each other in a cycling pursuit style. Around the final minute mark though Stuart caught a grip roll coming into the alpine section which was just enough to let George through but not Kristian. Stuart dropped into the pursuit but George held it to take the leg 2 win, with it all to play for between 4 drivers for the overall. In the 3 and final leg it was Stuart who got a small gap ahead of George and Kristian after a couple of laps, then a grip roll for George saw Kristian Gibbs slip through into second. Kristian then pulled up to the rear of Stuart and took George with him. At the 3 minute mark Kristian was all over the rear of Stuart and looked to make the pass in the first sequence of corners, this just baulked there pace ever so slightly, allowing George to get the best of the runs at the pair of them, he then sent it big over the table top clearing the leading pair to take the lead in spectacular fashion. He didn’t look back from there to pick up the leg win and the overall with it.
In the Tamiyas the fight for the win was between Steve and Matthew, with Steve taking the first leg win, and Matthew getting one back in leg 2 after a good scrap and a bold move from Matthew in turn one. Race three would see Steve pick up tone to tone win from Matthew and Les in third.
In the Touring Cars it was great to see a busy grid with the VBC of Byron Russell lining up on pile from a pair of Xray in the shape of Simon Lovett and Jason Scott. Byron took the overall win although Simon Lovett made him work hard for it and lead for most of the final leg until a wayward servo horn coat him dear pace wise allowing Byron back through and ultimately Jason aswell.
The driver of the day gets shared over the tracks this time, Matthew Deeks for some great performances on the astro and Jamie Lee on the on-road track racing his venerable Team Associated TC3 in amongst much more modern equipment. The fourth round of the Absima Summer Championship will take place in just two week’s time.
Thanks to George Fairweather for the report.
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