Gold City 450 2023: Cook makes history in thrilling Gold City battle

James Cook has made history this weekend after becoming the first SXS driver to ever win a Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) round.
Cook and navigator Mitch Aucote produced a remarkable effort throughout the Markwell Group Gold City 450, beating reigning champions Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd, while Travis Robinson and Andrew Pinto rounded out the podium.
In what was a considered a track suited to the nimble SXS cars, Cook took full advantage all weekend as he led the field at every section – producing a faultless nine laps.
Having charged to the lead after Saturday’s opening section, the Victorian continued on his way on Sunday morning to extend that lap by 10 seconds.
Finishing yesterday’s action in third, Taylor and Floyd managed to make up ground on Robinson in the opening section before trying to chase down the leading the SXS in the final section.
While Taylor closed the gap in section’s three first lap, Cook held off in the final laps to reach the chequered flag – creating history in the meantime.

“It’s amazing. It’s just so surreal and I am still pinching myself. I can’t believe we got it done,” Cook said. "It wasn’t easy by any means. We had to push hard all weekend and luckily some good laps on Saturday morning set the scene for the weekend and gave us a nice lead. From there we just chipped away and did what we had to do. The car’s not in great shape and it was making a lot of noises due to broken bits, but we got there and did what we had to do. The win gives us a good start to the year from an outright perspective and I’ll definitely enjoy it for the moment. It’s unreal. Obviously, our main focus is the SXS class again, as we did that in 2022. So if we can do that again this year and keep the ball rolling and then that’s great. We finished seventh outright last season after missing round one, so we’ll take it as it comes – anything is possible.”

The battle for second and third proved quite entertaining as Taylor overcame a Robinson to start his title defence on a high, in addition to winning the pro-class.
Finishing in fourth was Tom and Kate Swinglehurst, while Glen Ackroyd and Michael Price made up the top five, as well as finishing second in the SXS Pro.
A couple of more SXS buggies followed with sixth and seventh place provisionally with James and Michael Mogford edging out Glenn Brinkman and Dale Moscatt.
In eighth overall was Ally Howells and Sarah Corrigan, the Prolite winners finishing ahead of Laurence and Janelle Svenson and in ninth and Benjamin Falk and Johnny O’Connor rounding out the top 10.
Other class winners included Nicholas Commins (Extreme 2WD), Phil Lovett (Extreme 4WD), Brian Bradford (Super 1650) and Ross Newman (SXS Sport).

The next round of the Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road (AORC) will be the Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash on 21-23 April.

Source: AORC
Photos: DJH Creative

2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari march update

FROM THE EVENT DIRECTOR:

"Hi Everyone,

It's just under 6 months until we welcome you all back to Wentworth for the 2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari! Time is certainly flying, and we're not wasting any in preparations for this year's event. Regulations should be available within the next few weeks, at which point in time entries will officially open.

We are so gratified by the level of support we've received already from competitors; there are already over 60 nominations for this year's event! It's very heartening to know that so many of you are enjoying what Anne and I put together for you each year, and we certainly wouldn't do it otherwise! It does create a bit of a potential problem though, in the fact that we have to have a maximum number of entries in order to maintain our schedule, which requires daylight for our medivac helicopter to cover the competitive stages. I'm absolutely not going to reduce the competitive distance, or dilute the nature of the rally to accommodate more entries, so it is unfortunately very much a case of "first in, best dressed". Once entries are open we will no longer accept nominations, which means unless you're one of the first 20 or so (at this point, based on the number of nominations we've received) to submit your completed entry form, and pay the entry fee, it's likely that you'll miss out on being able to enter this year.

The only way to guarantee your place in the 2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari is to submit a nomination form (prior to entries opening), and pay the nomination fee, which is in fact really just a deposit on your overall entry fee. Nomination forms are still available on our website (www.sunraysiasafari.com.au) in the Event Documents section, so if you're serious about having a run this year, I wouldn't delay! Bear in mind we'll only be accepting another 20 or so nominations (as we'll reach our entry capacity) across the entire field, so please get in now to avoid disappointment! I know there's a lot of competitors who will be expecting to enter, but haven't yet, so please get yourselves organised and get a nomination in.

Anne and I are already up at Safari HQ, literally "getting the house in order" (apparently a large skip bin is being placed outside of my workshop which is expected to be filled!!) and preparing for our course surveys to commence. Unfortunately the flood situation is actually still worsening over in the Anabranch region, where we hope to run some new stages this year. As a result, we're delaying our expeditions a little to allow the water to subside, so we can see what's going to be possible to use. We're still well on track to have the course set by the end of May (ready for the official course check in June), so we're doing as much preparation work as we can now to make the surveys more efficient. If nothing else, it's just great to be up in the beautiful Wentworth region once again!

We're currently looking to finalise our sponsorship and event partners for 2023, and beyond, so if you'd like to be involved in our events and promote your brand or business, please get in touch. Sponsors help offset the cost of running the rally, and enable us to keep the entry fees as low as they are. Every entry is largely subsidised thanks to our sponsorship partners, a cost which otherwise we'd have to pass on.

As always, if you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact me. Under six months will come and go in a flash, so start getting organised!"

Troy Bennett

 

Gold City 450 2023: AORC turns to gold rush to open season

Four months after the thrilling conclusion to the 2022 season in Kalgoorlie, the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) kicks off this weekend with the Markwell Group Gold City 450.
New to the AORC, a huge entry list of 56 crews will contest the inaugural national event in Charters Towers, Queensland, with only a handful in the bumper field having been to the North Queensland Off Road Racing Association’s unique course.
Over the weekend, crews will face nine laps of the 50-kilometre course, which is made up of a variety of terrain.
With five rounds making the 2023 season, this weekend’s opening event features a star-studded line up, full of high-profile crews looking to start their seasons on a high.

JAMES COOK AND MITCH AUCOTE ARE THE DEFENDING MOTORSPORT AUSTRALIA SXS CHAMPIONS

Boasting the largest field in the entry-list are the 22-crew SXS Pro class, led by reigning champion James Cook. While fellow contenders Greg Campbell, Glenn Brinkman and Glen Ackroyd will surely act as Cook’s biggest challengers.
There are plenty of other notable names heading to the Gold City, including Ally Howells, Andrew Mowles, Joshua Wiedman, Simon Evans, Phil Lovett, Geoff Pickering and Bradley Geraghty.

With the event seeing its highest ever field, compared to its previous status as a state round, North Queensland Off Road Racing Association secretary Don Young was thrilled with the entry list.

“We are absolutely over the moon with the amount of crews who have entered the event, and we’re excited to put on a good show for all those who will be making the journey,” Young said. “The club has been working extremely hard in hot, steamy conditions to get this complex up to a level beyond expectation, as this is the biggest field we’ve had here. We’re confident crews will enjoy the event.”

Spread over three sections, the competition will commence with Prologue on Saturday morning at 8:15am AEST, before the round’s first section begins at 11:30am.

Sunday’s action will see Section Two begin at 7:30am, and the third at 1:30pm AEST.

Before the official competition gets underway though, all crews and their vehicles will be on display for locals at the town’s Mitre 10 on Friday from 2:00pm.

Fans can keep up to date with the event through the AORC’s live blog and social media channels – including on 7plus, which was recently announced as the returning broadcast partner of the championship.

The 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship season begins with the Markwell Group Gold City 450 in Charters Towers, Queensland, on 10–12 March.

 

Source: AORC
Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia

AORC 2023: Golc City to welcome massive fiedl for AORC debut

An impressive entry list has been confirmed for the Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season opener with a solid field of 57 crews entered in next month’s Markwell Group Gold City 450.

As the newest addition to the AORC calendar, the Charters Towers based event will see its highest ever field, compared to its previous status as a state round.
The crews will be battling it out over nine laps of the 50-kilometre course in order to get a strong start to the season.
A solid mix of teams across a range of classes are entered in the first round of the year, with plenty of notable names making the journey up north, including reigning champions Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd who will be looking to start their title defence on a high.
The Queenslanders headline a massive 18-car Pro-Buggy class, with plenty of intriguing entries likely to offer them a challenge in Charters Towers and the season as a whole.
Some of those notable entries include two-time AORC race winner, Josh Howells, who had a challenging second half of the 2022 season after what had been a career-best run of form.
Howells won’t be the only high-profile name making his grand return to the AORC with a point to prove – the ever-exciting Travis Robinson will be making his first AORC appearance in quite some time.
In addition to the powerful duo are title contenders from last year in Jake Swinglehurst and Garry Turnbull, and the former will be looking to move on from his Kalgoorlie heartbreak where he saw his title aspirations end in the final section.
Joining Swinglehurst in a Pro Buggy is his brother Tom, who upgrades to the buggy from a SXS Can-Am in 2023, while Trevor Chandler, Laurence Svenson and local driver Chris Sollitt are among those other notable names in the class.
There are plenty of other contenders spread throughout the entry list, with the Prolite having a handful of them, including reigning class champion Ally Howells, Andrew Mowles and Tait Svenson.
Boasting the largest field in the entry-list are the SXS Pros with 22 crews entered and led by reigning champion James Cook, while fellow contenders Greg Campbell, Glenn Brinkman and Glen Ackroyd will once again act as Cook’s biggest challengers.
Other familiar names include young gun Joshua Wiedman, Simon Evans and Edan Evans, the latter of which steps up from SXS Sport, and Luke Erceg, who sold his buggy at the end of the season.
Production 4WD veteran Geoff Pickering, Extreme 2WD driver Nicholas Commins, Bradley Geraghty in a Super 1650 buggy and Philip Lovett in a new Trophy Truck are among the other regular competitors heading to Townsville.

North Queensland Off Road Racing Association secretary Don Young was thrilled with the entry list. : “We are absolutely over the moon with the amount of crews who have entered the event and we’re excited to put on a good show for all those who will be making the journey,” Young said.
“The club has been working extremely hard in hot steamy conditions to get this complex up to a level beyond expectation as this is the biggest field we’ve had here, so we’re confident crews will enjoy the event.
The Scrutineering venue at Hollimans Rural Mitre 10 is shaping up to be a show piece for the weekend, and there are a number of locals expected to attend as the whole town is getting around it.
For us, this is just not good for Charters Towers but North Queensland as a whole and we’re really looking forward to welcoming the best in Australia to the town for the start of the AORC season.”

Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith was proud to see a healthy entry list for the first running of the Gold City 450.
“To have such a strong turnout for this new event on the calendar is a testament to the off-road community and their passion for the sport,” Smith said. “Despite some crews having to make quite the journey to Charters Towers, they have rolled up their sleeves and showed their commitment to the championship by entering and it’s just brilliant to see.
We have every confidence the North Queensland Off Road Racing Association will live up to all expectations to provide a wonderful event for all those who attend, and we’re excited for the start of a new season.”

The 2023 Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship season begins with the Markwell Group Gold City 450 in Charters Towers on 8-10 March.

Source AORC
Feature Photo: Gears and Wheels Photography

Gold City 450 2023: AORC to search for gold in Charters Towers

After an epic end to the 2022 Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), preparations for the 2023 season are well underway.
With five rounds making up this year’s favourable schedule, it all begins in March with the Markwell Group Gold City 450 in Charters Towers, Queensland.
The AORC’s newest inclusion to the calendar, the Queensland event will prove a mighty task for the country’s best off road racers with the biggest challenge being the unfamiliarity of it.
Closely located to Townsville, Charters Towers was first established in 1871 due to the discovery of a gold nugget, which in turned inspired a three-decade gold rush where more than 200 tonnes of gold were dug up.

The town’s rich foundations also proved an inspiration for the event’s namesake as crews will battle through red soil, rock, grass and sand in search of their own golden ticket and valuable points towards a championship tilt.
Standing in the way of crews and their golden reward are 450 competitive kilometres spread over three sections.
With the course itself measured at 50km, national crews will be completing nine laps throughout the weekend – with each section made up of three laps.

The competition will commence with Prologue on the Saturday morning, before the first and only section begins not long after, while the remaining two sections will run on Sunday.
Pending the numbers, the field will be split into two groups, giving each and every crew a clear chance to get a strong result both outright and in their respective classes.
Entries for the AORC season opener are now being accepted, until 5:00pm AEDT on Saturday 18 February.
Any crews who squeeze in their entry before midnight on 31 January will also be in the running for a Lorch 160 Amp Caddy Welder valued at $1000.

With just over six weeks until the season opener, North Queensland Offroad Racing Association Treasurer Don Young was looking forward to welcoming the AORC to the town.

“North Queensland has had some really good rain in the last few weeks and the track has held up great, which gives us a lot of confidence that crews will enjoy it,Young said. “The club has been putting in a lot of work to get it right and there has been lots of greenery as a result – it truly does look like God’s Country as it’s not often you see the north this green.
We understand that it’s a big trek to come out this way for many crews, but we’re confident that entries will progress nicely and that it will be an enjoyable weekend for all.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Markwell Group for getting behind the event as a major sponsor, as well as the businesses of Charters Towers who have been showing their support – we have 18 in total and that is likely to grow.”

The Markwell Group Gold City 450 takes place in Charters Towers, Queensland, on 10-12 March.

More about this race here: https://goldcity450.godaddysites.com/

Valid for: AORC 2023
Where: Australia

Source: AORC