As usual, we’re at the track bright and early for what was shaping out to be a scorcher of a day.
With the first track round of Nugget Nationals upon us, it was also a prime opportunity to size up the competition.
But before doing that, I may have had a slight mishap on the way from the Benalla accommodation to the track with the sudden ejection of my sweet new race numbers (thanks Jurrel).
It turns out that my DIY magnetic sheeting doesn’t really hold well above 80kms.
After a sheepish U-Turn to retrieve my livery, a bit of borrowed masking tape did the job and we’re ready to rock and/or roll again!
When two become one.
50% Perry and 50% me = 100% NUGBOT.
The Nakama boys were out in full force with their aptly renamed team “Nugkama.”
These two K11’s were shared between several drivers on the day and bought a distinct Mexican flavour to the event.
Why don’t we have both?
I’m not sure which one of the Nugkama Nuggets this was but 1:53 was their time to beat.
Cain laying down a 1:56.
2:08 for Andrew in the crowd favourite Mira.
Tom interrupted my thoughts as he caught me gazing out to the dummy grid with a massive grin on my face.
So is this what you had in mind when you started it?
Yes. Yes it was.
A feeling of immense pride and happiness had descended upon me but there was no time to take it all in.
It was now time for me to step up to the tarmac and see if Perry was going to live up to the hype.
Packing a hefty 52 kw’s, he was ear marked as one of the power houses of the Nugget field.
Thanks to Brendan for this great action shot.
As any one who runs Race Crono will tell you, it’s equal parts useful and detrimental. As good as it can be to have a live feed of your sector times while driving, it can also be some what distracting.
Knowing that I’d just hit a 1:51.09 and knocked 3 seconds off my PB, I was too busy rejoicing to notice that turn 1 was approaching a lot faster than I had anticipated.
With a dab (OK… maybe a heavy application) of the brakes, little Perry wiggled his butt and stepped out of line.
My instinct after driving the MX5 was to attempt to save it by keeping on the throttle and trying to hold the slide before remembering that no, Perry was not an MX5.
The result was my first ever excursion into a gravel trap.
Sideways and backwards.
My sincere and humble apologies to group B for red flagging the session!
Thankfully Perry escaped unscathed and we pushed onwards to continue with a slew of 1:51’s while slowly piecing together an optimal lap time of 1:49.
This is the new target to aim for when I can figure out how to string all my best sectors together.
Some video footage of my lap for your perusal:
As the day wore on and the on track temperatures soared, the higher power cars slowly decreased in numbers as they went into preservation mode.
The only constant was the unwavering onslaught of Nuggets that were seemingly unaffected by the 32 degree heat.
1:54 for the Neverlift Civic.
Unfortunately Viv and Millsy were plagued with quite a few teething problems (like losing an entire brake pad on the track) however, I suspect this is the team to watch out for once they have their car sorted out.
1:52 for the GTVI.
Pulled out of retirement at the eleventh hour, Silas was back with Ahiru who had been sitting unloved on a lawn for the last few years.
After an early morning wheel bearing change, it was still good for a 1:52.
I suspect it would’ve gone a bit faster had he had time to clean the layer of mold that had grown over parts of the car. 😛
Leading the nugget charge was Chris with a very respectable time of 1:46.
As I was out driving or flagging for most of the day, I didn’t manage to get photos of all the entrants, but here are the results for the Nugget Nationals competitors as taken from Natsoft.
All I wanted was to share my love of little cars with people and hoped that others would see how much fun it would be to track cheap micro machines.
On Sunday when I looked out onto the track and saw Micra’s chasing Echo’s it felt as though someone had taken the picture out of my head and projected it in real life in front of me.
From the first joking conversations I had with Henry and the Nakama guys at 100mm…
To the dinner with my Roadster mates where I scribbled some notes down on the back of a plane ticket…
Followed by a swift recruitment of Thomas and Michael on a drive to Winton…
And then having Adam, Dan and Jally come on board to help, it’s a been a whirl wind ride.