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AOC Round #2 – Melbourne, Australia

July 8, 2013 1 comment

It was a HUGE weekend of racing this weekend with the inaugural AOC event in Melbourne. This was the first time an international event like this had come to Australia so the entry list was impressive. All the top locals from all over the country were there and we were joined by international drivers Ronald Volker, Keven Hebert, and JJ Wang. The event was also the first time an Australian event was being held on CRC race carpet, so apart from the 3 internationals very few of us had ever run on the rug before.

The first day groove, no filter #aoc2013

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Having only ever heard Scotty Ernst commentating on videos, it was a bit surreal to have him there in person. He runs an AMAZING event, it’s definitely the slickest show I’ve ever seen with top notch organisation helped by the assistance of a hoard of volunteers from the SERCCC club and other clubs from the Melbourne area.

I put my car down on day 1 with a guessed setup and it was actually surprisingly good first run, the carpet was green and there was no groove but I was able to lap cleanly from the outset. As the grip came up the car kept getting better and better so I focussed mainly on getting my power right and learning the track.

The pits half full on day 1 #aoc2013

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Day 2 was 4 rounds of controlled practice with the best 3 consecutive laps to determine the seeding order for qualifying. My car was still really nice to drive and I was able to seed 6th for qualifying. As the grip came up the only changes I made were to harden up the diff from 2k to 3k, increase the rear droop slightly, and lower the height of the front camber link to get the car to react quicker.

Fist pump! #aoc2013

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In round 1 of qualifying I put in a decent run to 7th on the grid, but not making 25 laps in the cold early conditions I knew the time would not stand. The next run I tried a softer spring and was on pace for a good time but I had a roll costing 1.5 seconds so even with a 25 lap run I dropped ¬†down to 11th overall – rocket round is dangerous like that. My next run was better but not perfect, I was able to make 25 laps and bump back into the top 10 but only 9th which meant the 4th round was going to be tense! As the lower heats ran many of the people who could knock me out faltered, but my time was slightly bettered so I was dropped to 10th on the grid before my last run. It wasn’t to matter because I delivered in the last run, bettering my previous time by over 3 seconds and jumping up the order to start 6th for the amains, behind Ronald, Keven, Tim, Simon, Ryan and in front of Ari, Ben, JJ, and Sandy. Not bad for a privateer!

The TC Mod A Main boys hard at work along with Scotty's great calling…. #aoc2013

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I was so happy to make top 10 I really didn’t care how the mains turned out, I just wanted to drive the best I could and not take anyone out and I mostly succeeded. A1 my car was AWESOME, I followed Ryan around for a few laps while he was being held up by Simon who had lost pace by running on a fresher set of tyres. Ryan went for a pass on Simon but it didn’t come off, which let me sweep around into 5th and gave me a better line coming onto the straight to pass Simon for 4th. Simon dropped back into a 3 way battle with Ryan and JJ which let me pull a gap and cruise to the finish. The next final was no so good, my driving was not as clean and after having a close battle with Ari I dropped back to 8th and that’s how I finished. A3 again was not so great, there was a crash at the start which I got caught up in and my body tucked. I was able to come back to 7th, which meant I finished 7th overall, JJ taking 6th from 8th on the grid with a 4th and a 5th. A great result for and a real pleasure to race wheel-to-wheel with a field of world class drivers.

Chuffed! #aoc2013

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Here is the setup I ran

TRF417 setup – craig mcphee – AOC Melbourne 20130707

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