Sunraysia Safari Rally 2023: 2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari nominations now open!

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Hi Everyone,

I'm very excited to announce that Nominations for the 2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari are now open! After the success of this year's event (in very trying circumstances!), popularity and enthusiasm is at an all-time high, to the point where it expected that we will have an oversubscribed field for the 2023 edition. We have a limit on the number of entries we can run, due to scheduling demands, and the requirement of daylight for our Medivac Helicopter to provide coverage of the competitive stages. I won't compromise or dilute the overall distance, or the nature of the event, to accommodate extra entries, so it very much will be a case of first in, best dressed!

The 2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari will be held from September 6-9 and based as always in the beautiful Wentworth Shire. We aim to have at least 1200 competitive kms over the 4 days, and as many long stages as we can piece together! Entry fees will only be $200 higher than this year; we're doing our best to keep them as low as possible, but the increasing costs we're incurring (particularly in Diesel fuel!) are proving challenging! So the Moto fee will be $2500 (inc. GST) and the Auto and Rally Divisions will be $3500 (inc. GST). We've already opened nominations to this year's competitors, and as a result, we're already over 30% subscribed! If you want to be a part of the 2023 edition, I wouldn't delay in getting the nomination form filled in and sent back to us, and pay your deposit to guarantee your place. The nomination form is available on our website on the "Event Documents" page.

You'll notice on the nomination form there's the usual Moto and Auto Divisions, but new for 2023 is a new "Rally" Division. We're running the "Sunraysia Rally" as part of the Sunraysia Safari, and the Rally is for PRC/Classic type "conventional" rally cars. There's a myth that the Sunraysia Safari is too hard for normal rally cars (which is totally untrue, as seen by the success of the PRC cars this year and in previous years), but to address it, the Sunraysia Rally will run most of the main "Safari" stages, but it may also run unique stages specifically for the Rally division if we think the main course might be a bit tricky in places. Either way the Rally cars will 100% be able to complete the course we set for them. Note that the Rally Division falls under the same overall Entry limits we have for the Sunraysia Safari, so if you want to have a crack at a "proper" Marathon style Outback endurance Rally, get your nominations in now.

One change for 2023 which isn't so positive is the unfortunate news that we are no longer able to run the A4 class in the Auto Division (for Buggies and Trophy Truck style vehicles), and vehicles in the A3 class need to be very much based on a production chassis (with VIN number). This is as a result of policy changes within the NSW Roads and Maritime Service (RMS), who provide Unregistered Vehicle Permits, and the advice issued by the Regional Police Command, that indicate these types of vehicles are no longer eligible to run on the permit required to participate in the event. We very much feel for the competitors that have run these types of vehicles in previous Sunraysia Safaris, but we're simply not allowed to run them anymore. We were the only rally in Australia that was allowed to run Off Road class vehicles, and regulations and requirements have now made that no longer possible. If you have any query as to the eligibility of your vehicle following this announcement, please contact me so we can work through the particulars of your situation.

Work also continues on our second event, which will be run in May of 2024, in the same style and format as the Local Legends Sunraysia Safari. I'd hoped to be able to confirm some details and make a formal announcement before Christmas, but the current flood crisis in the Wentworth Shire has required a slight change in priorities. Rest assured it's still on track, and I'll be working away on the new event right through Christmas and January, whilst we manage the flooding and resulting issues around the Wentworth Shire, and the impact on the properties we are looking to use for the 2023 Local Legends Sunraysia Safari.

Speaking of Christmas, on behalf of Anne and myself, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and prosperous 2023, from all of us at RMA, and the wider Sunraysia Safari family. 2022 was a very challenging year, particularly for me personally, and whilst the rally did literally almost kill me this year, we've bounced back, and whilst my recovery continues at a positive but frustratingly slow pace, we're in an excellent position to deliver the very best Local Legends Sunraysia Safari in 2023! I can't wait to see you all in Wentworth once again next September!


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AORC 2023: Five rounds locked in for 2023 AORC season

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After a thrilling conclusion to the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season in Kalgoorlie earlier this month, next year’s calendar has been confirmed.
Five rounds across multiple states and territories will make up the 2023 schedule, which will see crews head to many of the same events featured in this year’s epic season.
Starting in March, the AORC will head north for the newest event on the calendar, the Gold City 450.
Taking place just south of Townsville in the regional town of Charters Towers, the Gold City 450 will get the season underway in style, with crews to complete three sections of the challenging course.
Six weeks after the new season opener will be an event that debuted in 2022, the Pooncarie Desert Dash.
Held just north of the New South Wales and Victorian border, the Sunraysia Motorsport Club’s event was a major success amongst crews as eventual 2022 champions Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd secured their first win for the year.
Following April’s second round will be the big one, with the Tatts Finke Desert Race to again take place in its traditional slot of the King’s Birthday long weekend in the middle of June.
A six-week break awaits crews after the iconic event, allowing them to rest, recharge and get their cars back into shape ahead of one of the most challenging events on the calendar, the Loveday 400.
With the fourth round occurring at the end of July, crews will enjoy another lengthy recovery spell before making their way out west in October for the season finale, the Kalgoorlie Desert Race.
One of three rounds to make a successful national debut in 2022, the Western Australia event was a hit amongst crews and created the perfect backdrop for what ended up an exciting end to the championship title fight.

Motorsport Australia Managing Director of Motorsport and Commercial Michael Smith was pleased with the 2023 calendar: “We are extremely happy as to how the calendar turned out with five rounds, as it covers five different states and territories,” Smith said. “Having Loveday, Pooncarie and Kalgoorlie receive such positive feedback following their first year on the calendar was a major boost for the AORC and I am sure crews are keen to get back out there and have another crack at these event now that they are familiar with them.
The success of each new event should give crews the confidence that Charters Towers will be able to achieve a similar outcome and provide an event that will meet the high standards of the rest of the championship.
We’re also pleased that there is a good amount of rest between each event, giving crews plenty of time to recover between each round and I am hopeful that this will allow for more crews to attend each round.
Obviously it’s disappointing to have lost the Rainbow Desert Enduro for the 2023 season, however it is completely understandable as to why the Victorian Off Road Racing Association chose to withdraw and we support its decision and hope to see them again soon.”

The 2023 AORC season will kick off with the Gold City 450 in Charters Towers on 10-12 March.

2023 AORC Calendar
Round 1: 10-12 March – Gold City 450 – Charters Towers, Queensland
Round 2: 21-23 April – Pooncarie Desert Dash – Pooncarie, New South Wales
Round 3: 10-12 June – Finke Desert Race – Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Round 4: 28-30 July – Loveday 400 – Loveday, South Australia
Round 5: 19-22 October – Kalgoorlie Desert Race – Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

Source AORC
Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia

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AORC 2022: Taylor and Floyw champions of Australia

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Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd are the champions of Australia after a thrilling finish to the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season, while Beau Robinson claimed his fourth Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race victory.

In what was an incredibly close fight for the title, Taylor and Floyd ended up taking out the Championship after finishing the 323-km race in second place behind Robinson and Clucas, while title rivals Jake and Kate Swinglehurst were unable to finish after engine issues midway through section three causing them to retire.

The DNF prematurely ended what had been an entertaining title fight for much of the season as only eight and half points separated Taylor and Swinglehurst heading into the final round.

Ending the year in second on the outright AORC standings were West Australians Brent Smoothy and Reese Burgess after the duo overcame some mechanical dramas on Sunday morning to finish their home race in fifth place, while Trophy Truck rivals Brett Comiskey finished the year in third place.

The West Australian also claimed the Extreme 2WD class in the process, while Comiskey just missed out in second.

Taking out fourth place on the 2022 standings was Garry Turnbull, who alongside daughter Tamara finished on a AORC podium for the second consecutive round in a row – the South Australians just edging out 2021 Kalgoorlie Desert Race winners Nock Hicks and Mark Gater by just one and a half seconds.

In the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Austria Championship, first-year driver James Cook and navigator Mitch Aucote sealed the title after a dominant performance in Kalgoorlie having won all three sections.

It was another first year driver in Glenn Brinkmann, who took out second place for the championship after Glen Ackroyd had mechanical issues on Saturday, while Greg Campbell rounded out the podium.


Source: AORC

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AORC 2022: 2022 Kalgoorlie entries open

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 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) crews wanting to contest October’s season finale in Western Australia can now do so.

Entries for the 2022 Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race have been opened with AORC crews encouraged to get in early before they miss out.
Taking place on the final weekend in October, the AORC season finale will see crews tackling a total of 363 kilometres over three sections.
Starting with Prologue on the Friday afternoon, crews will complete the first lap of the challenging 121-kilometre course on Saturday morning before completing laps two and three on Sunday morning and afternoon.
The event is also hosting the final round Motorsport Australia WA Off Road Championship, which will see state level crews contesting the first two sections.
There will also be a special Cash for Dash optional activation where 10 crews will battle it out for $5000 on Friday evening on a special course.
AORC crews have until Friday 30 September to enter the event and can do so here.
Already a number of high-profile crews have entered the event, including AORC title contenders Ryan Taylor and Jake Swinglehurst, WA star Beau Robinson and Prolite driver Mel Brandle.
The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race takes place on 21-23 October.

Source AORC
Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia

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AORC 2022: Gartner on top in rough Rainbow opening day

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  • Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings have started the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro in style, finishing the opening day with a healthy lead at almost one minute.
  • Sitting in second place are Shane Elphinstone and Luke Candy, while the returning Aaron James made up the top three a further 10 seconds behind the West Australians.

More than 60 crews featured in today’s prologue session and first section, however Gartner and Jennings proved too strong across the day, winning Prologue and the Top 10 shootout before steering their trophy truck to the section one win.
In what was a day of high attrition, with 16 cars unable to finish both laps, Gartner had a few issues of his own, but was able to navigate his way through the challenging 75km course.

“We’re really happy it hasn’t played up so that’s a big bonus for us,” Gartner said. “The car is good, but I think the mud is playing havoc on the back panels, so we probably won’t run those tomorrow just because of all the mud. We sort of backed it off in the second lap because we’ve got another five laps tomorrow. We’ll probably give it a fair crack tomorrow, but just have to see how these ruts go. We really need to just try to get to the finish. It’s a fine line because Shane’s caught up a little bit on the last lap. We’ve still a minute up, but we just have to see what tomorrow brings.”

While Gartner came away holding a solid one-minute lead, a similar amount of time separated the rest of the top five with the fourth placed Jake and Kate Swinglehurst 25 seconds off James.
A further 36 seconds behind Swinglehurst was his BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) title rivals in Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd – the duo rounding out the top five.
Three minutes behind Taylor was Craig Martin, the pro buggy pilot comfortably in sixth as Prolite leaders Mel and Liam Brandle finished the section two minutes slower. Behind them were class rivals Matt Burrows and Jay Mitchell with the Victorians just half a second behind after two laps.
Making up the rest of the top ten was Brent Smoothy and Reese Burgess in ninth and fellow Trophy Truck pilot Damien Nicol and Cameron Percy.
Taking out top honours for the day in the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship was Lachlan Bailey and Nathen Sracek.
Bailey, who was victorious at the Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash, enjoyed a stellar first section, beating James Cook and Mitch Aucote by more than two minutes.

“I’m pretty happy with that, considering we just went out there and did our thing and just tried to finish,Bailey added. “We know it’s a long race, so just to be here at the end will be a good achievement. It’s so rough. I have had a few bumps out there that really jarred my back, so I’m trying not to hit them too hard and break the car because at this stage I am just trying to finish.”

Other class leaders at the end of the section include the 11th placed Steven Graham who leads the Sportslite, Chris Pickert and Geoff Pickert in Performance 2WD, Geoff Pickering and Dylan Watson in Production 4WD and Eden Evans and Ryan Preston in SXS Sport.
The action resumes tomorrow from 8:30am AEST with the remaining five laps to take place over the course of the day.


Source AORC
Photo: Tony Donoghue Photografy

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2022 Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro: Healthy entry list growing for Rainbow

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Entries for the penultimate round of the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season are rolling in with more than a week to go until entries close.
More than 30 crews have registered their place for the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro, which takes place early next month.
Entries for the fifth round of the season close on 19 August and crews can enter Rainbow here.
Headlining the current crop of crews entered list is 2022 title contender Ryan Taylor, with the Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank race winner needing a big result in Victoria.
Taylor is one of many crews yet to attend Rainbow before – a common theme among this year’s regular crews.
With the title fight shaping up as one of the most exciting in recent times, Extreme 2WD class leader Brett Comiskey and Can-Am Loveday 400 podium getter Garry Turnbull have both entered early and will be hoping to build on their top five placings.
Brent Smoothy will also be present at Rainbow, despite selling his trophy truck after Loveday – the West Australian is instead entered in a SXS buggy, giving Comiskey an significant boost towards the Extreme 2WD class title.
Joining Comiskey in the class so far at Rainbow will be popular AORC driver Greg Gartner, who makes his first appearance in the championship since the Tatts Finke Desert Race, and his son Ben Gartner.
Ben isn’t the only junior representing the next generation of off road drivers– son of eight-time champion Mark Burrows, Matt, returns to the same event he was crowned Australian champion alongside his father in 2019.
Burrows will once again be running in a Prolite car hoping to improve on his DNF at Finke, and will be joined in the class by the likes of Luke Erceg, Glenn Collis and class leader Mel Brandle.
Brandle and Erceg had contrasting rounds at Loveday with the former coming fourth outright and the latter failing to make it past the first day after an engine fire – although an outright second place in the popular Wynarka Enduro earlier this month has giving him good confidence for Rainbow.
Other notable entries include Production 4WD veteran Geoff Pickering, SXS Sport leader John Wisse and many KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship drivers including Josh Wiedman, Greg Campbell, Glen Akroyd, Lachlan Bailey and Glenn Brinkman.
The Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro takes place in Rainbow, Victoria on 2-4 September.

Source AORC

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2022 Can-Am Loveday 400: Haby claims victory in dramatic Loveday  

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Aaron and Chelsea Haby have won the 2022 Can-Am Loveday 400 after another brilliant day behind the wheel. The South Australians produced a faultless performance throughout the fourth round of the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season, eventually charging out to a victory of almost 12 minutes.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Haby said. “It’s a very proud moment for the team. The car was built in Australia and it’s absolutely brilliant. I am actually feeling pretty good physically, I could go out and do a few more laps to be honest. Being my home track would have been an advantage in the early stages, however once you do that first lap, you pretty much know where to go. Overall though, it’s fantastic. I am absolutely stoked and doing it with my daughter was fantastic.”

While the Habys were in a league of their own and cruised their home course, behind them there was plenty of attrition that saw the podium change multiple times.
Finishing the event in second place was another South Australian crew in Brad and Paris Gallard, while Garry and Tamara Turnbull rounded out the podium – the latter’s first AORC podium in more than 30 years.
Both the Gallards and Turnbull were handed the unexpected podium in the final section of the race after Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd suffered electrical issues, while Shannon and Ian Rentsch’s Pro Buggy eventually fell victim to overheating.
It was a cruel blow to both of AORC title campaigns, although Taylor was able to get his car back in motion and finish the event. Rentsch on the other hand was towed back to the paddock.
With the rain causing plenty of drama across Sunday, there were a handful of drivers able to navigate their way through the fast degrading course to bank solid points.
Just missing out on the podium were Mel and Liam Brandle, who crossed the chequered flag in fourth place outright and with the Pro Lite class win – marking a dominant day for South Australian crews.
West Australians Brent Smoothy and Reece Burgess ended up taking out fifth outright, along with the Extreme 2WD runner-up placing, despite receiving a five-minute penalty for a false start in section five.
Many crews struggled throughout the weekend, but some managed to recover to get a good finish, including 2019 AORC runner-up Roydn Bailey, who alongside Tyson Warner, found himself in sixth after overcoming a rough start to the event.
It was a similar story for AORC championship leaders Jake and Kate Swinglehurst, who had looked down and out after problems in Prologue and sections one and two, but recovered nicely for a trouble free run on Sunday to finish seventh outright.
Making up the rest of the outright top 10 was Performance 2WD winners Chris Pickert and Byron Brown, Ally Howells and Sarah Corrigan in ninth and Pooncarie Desert Dash winners Taylor and Floyd.
Like Swinglehurst, Taylor’s finish was a decent recovery after his campaign looked over on the ninth lap – however the duo’s quick fix on the car helped them finish and secure some important points.

Just missing out on a top 10 finish was Josh Wiedman and Steven Walten, however the youngster didn’t walk away empty handed, finishing with KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship honours.

“I feel good. It’s been a long time coming and it was nice to finally have a run where we didn’t break down and actually finished for once,” Wiedman said. "I am pretty thieved. That last lap was the slowest I have ever done so I just babying home so I could finish.”

Behind him on the championship podium was Glen Akroyd and Michael Price, while James Cook and Mitch Aucote managed to secure third place after a difficult Saturday.
Other class winners included Rod and Kodi Visser in Sportslites and Connor Corrigan, who was the fastest Super 1650 buggy alongside Ryder Taylor.
Walkinshaw Performance’s Warren Luff and Anthony Ramunno also secured their first Production 4WD drive class after finishing nine of the 10 laps.

The next round on the AORC calendar is the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro on 2-4 September.

Source: AORC 
Photos: Rob Taylor

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Can-Am Loveday 400 2022: Bumper schedule confirmed for Loveday

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The event schedule and Prologue starting order for the Can-Am Loveday 400 have been released with bumper schedule planned for the event.

Acting as the fourth round of the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), up to 78 crews are officially locked in to compete another new event.

Taking place over the last weekend of July, the event will officially get underway on the Friday afternoon with crews to take on the 7km Prologue course.

Saturday and Sunday will then see the three sections take place on each day, with the first two sections to be made up of two laps apiece and the final section to be one lap.

The start order for each section will then be based purely on the results of the previous section, with the winner to be determined by the lowest accumulated time across all six sections.

As for the Prologue starting order, Loveday will stick to the traditional qualifying process, with the slower classes to go first and the faster cars and trucks to finish up the session.

Prologue will start at 2pm ACST with local driver Connor Corrigan to kicks things off in his Super 1650 buggy, while New South Welshman Paul Tuck-Lee will be the last driver to complete Prologue.

The Can-Am Loveday 400 takes place at the Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park in South Australia on 29-31 July.

Click here to view the latest schedule.
Click here to view the Prologue Starting Order.

Source: AORC
Photos: Bob Taylor


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Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Conducts Endurance Tests of the Triton Rally Car

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (hereafter, Mitsubishi Motors) announced that Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, which will compete in the Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) 2022 with Mitsubishi Motors' technical support, has conducted endurance tests of the Triton rally car on an off-road course in Thailand on June 27th and 28th, confirming that preparations for the rally are proceeding smoothly.

The endurance tests subjected the car to high loads comparable to those expected in the rally and focused mainly on the reliability and durability of the chassis and engine. To test the performance of the rally car in an environment similar to that of the actual course, the Team used a 10-kilometer course that combines a high-speed range, rough gravel road and a narrow, winding forest course.

"Since the Triton has a robust chassis frame and an excellent handling performance, we decided to reduce the vehicle weight at a minimum for the rally modification while leveraging its original strength as much as possible," said Hiroshi Masuoka, team director of Team Mitsubishi Ralliart. "Having covered more than 800 kilometers in two days, the rally car showed its great performance throughout the tough endurance tests as we expected, and now we are confident that our preparation is on the right track."

AXCR is a gruelling, week-long, 2,000-kilometer cross-country rally that races through the unique natural terrain of Southeast Asia. Normally held in August of each year, the rally was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the dates for the rally were pushed back to November 21st to 26th, and the course will be about 1,700 kilometres long, beginning in Buriram in the northeast of Thailand before crossing into Cambodia and ending at the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat.

Triton rally car overview

The Triton rally car is classified as a Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Group T1 rally car (prototype cross-country vehicle). Based on the Thailand-specification double-cab model, the car’s hood, front and rear doors, interior and other parts have been lightened, while the body has been strengthened with a roll cage and under guards. The dedicated rally car suspension provides superb handling characteristics, while the front and rear limited-slip differential (LSD), large-diameter off-road tires and lightweight alloy wheels dramatically improve handling on rough road surfaces. Tuning of the 2.4 L diesel turbo engine has focused on reducing friction loss and weight, and improving responsiveness in the mid-speed ranges frequently used in rallies. Some AXCR stages include river crossings, so water-proofing modifications have also been added, such as stronger sealing and an air-intake snorkel.

“The Triton rally car is ruggedly styled and able to perform in an extreme rally endurance environment. The car’s reliability and durability complement our brands long and successful motorsport history and goes hand in hand with our adventurous lifestyle focus,” explains Jeffrey Allison, General Manager: Marketing at Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA).



Source Mitsubishi Motors

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2022 Can-Am Loveday 400: Entries for Loveday are open

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With the dust from the Tatts Finke Desert Race now settled, BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) crews can now start official preparations for the next stop – Loveday.
It’s been a long time coming for event organisers of the 2022 Can-Am Loveday 400, with the event having been announced on the AORC calendar at the end of the 2019.
Two COVID-19 stricken years forced the event to run as the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Central Cup with not every national crew able to make it down due to border restrictions
However now the event will finally get its chance to enjoy the national spotlight and crews can submit their entry into the event.
Taking place at the end of July at Loveday Adventure 4×4 Park, the round will run as a three-day event with crews to tackle 10 laps of the 40 kilometres throughout the weekend.
However, before official business gets underway on Saturday, crews can get their first look at the course on Friday morning with multiple reconnaissance opportunities, before Prologue runs on a shortened seven-kilometre course in the afternoon.
Saturday and Sunday’s action will then see the 10 laps split into five or six sections. With a maximum of two laps per section, the exact order of sections is yet to be announced.
Interested crews looking to compete in the AORC’s fourth round of the 2022 season have until 11:59pm on Friday 15 July and can enter via the link above.
Event organiser Tony Whateley was looking forward to finally welcoming the nation’s best crews.

“We have had a couple of false starts in the past two years but have still been lucky enough to have a number of very talented crews compete in each year,” Whateley said. “However, we’re excited by the prospect of having all the very best in the country come to our neck of the woods and experience the course that the team has worked very hard in putting together. This is truly a race for the spectators as fans will have fantastic vantage points of most of the track from the comfort of the Tavern – the course even goes right past it, so there should be some loud and loose moments. We have had two successful years of practice as part of the AORC Cups, but I am just really keen to have the rest of Australia experience the event and we’re expecting quite the spectacle.”

In addition to the AORC and the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, the round will also be hosting the opening round of the Motorsport Australia South Australian Off Road Championship.
Competitors and fans will be able to stay updated with all the major updates via the AORC website or the Loveday Facebook page.
The Can-Am Loveday 400 takes place at Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park in South Australia on 29-31 July.

Source AORC

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2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race: Back-to-back finke wins for Price

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Toby Price has won the 2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race, claiming outright victory in Monday’s run to Alice Springs.

The third round of the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship, Price completed the iconic event in record time.
Alongside co-driver Jason Duncan, Price made the return journey in a combined time of 3 hours, 21 minutes and 46 seconds, two minutes ahead of second place finisher Aaron James who made the voyage solo again in 2022, competing without a navigator.
Brent Martin and Ben Dawson ended the race in third rounding out the podium.

Price, who now has eight Finke wins to his name across cars and bikes, was understandably thrilled with the victory. "We’re stoked and it was a good run back,” Price said. “We didn’t push, we didn’t do anything crazy, I just can’t thank my crew enough for all their efforts. We had a really good run yesterday, and the hardest part is that you don’t know what’s going on behind you. You push really hard, and the boys have done a great job with the truck… everything has turned out really good.”

In the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, Peter Carr and Matthew Wyndham claimed honours in class, edging out James Cook and Mitch Aucote, with Jeff McNiven and Jake Nicholson third in class.

While Carr won the SXS Turbo class, it was another strong showing from SXS Sport winners John Wisse and Emily Brandle.

Price understandably saluted in Extreme 2WD, while in Extreme 4WD it was an epic outing for Hayden Bentley and Hannah Bentley took class honours.

Pro buggy class honours went to Aaron James with his second outright, while Shannon Rentsch and Ian Rentsch enjoyed a welcome return to Finke with second in class, ahead of Tyler Owen and Max Owen.

It was a big weekend in the Prolite class, Martin’s outright podium saw him secure a hard earned class win.

For Production 4WD, Jodie Allen was the only classified finisher of the three entrants.

While in Production 2WD, Chris Pickert was the fastest of all in class.

Sportslite honours belonged to Rodney Visser, while S1650 saw Simon Tucker the only entrant to finish and secure a class victory.

In the end, only 82 entrants would finish the endurance race, highlighting the difficult nature of the historic desert race.

The next round of the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship takes place in South Australia, with the Can-Am Loveday 400 taking place on 30-31 July.

Source AORC
Photo: Tatts Finke Desert Race

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2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race: Destination Finke next on AORC Calendar

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After an exciting start to the 2022 season, the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) heads to Australia’s red centre for the biggest off road event on the calendar. 
It’s been a whirlwind two years for the Tatts Finke Desert Race, however with borders well and truly open, the off road community will be itching to get back to Alice Springs once again.
As usual, a full entry list is locked in to compete in the third round of the AORC season with 165 crews ready to lock horns in a bid to claim the famous King/Queen of the Desert honour.

Leading the AORC charge for the four-day event is current championship leader Ryan Taylor. The Queenslander has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2022 season having claimed a maiden podium and victory in the opening two rounds, which has resulted in him now leading the championship – another first for him. His next “first” to tick off the bucket list will be to win the prestigious event and Taylor was excited to get there.

“Finke is one of our favourites,Taylor said. “We’re looking forward to getting back out there. This car is awesome at Finke. In the past we’ve been let down by qualifying so just copping that early dust. So we are working on our qualifying and hopefully a better result than previous.” 

Of course there are plenty of obstacles standing between Taylor and a dream run of winning the famous race with the most obvious being the large pool of talented drivers also entered in the event. From those fortunate enough to have won in the past, to those still searching for their first victory- the list of potential winners is endless. Headlining the field of previous winners is reigning champion Toby Price, the New South Welshman broke the duck last year after years of coming ever so close. In addition to the ever-popular Price is six-time winner Shannon Rentsch, five-time winner David Fellows, Glenn Owen and Greg Gartner. All have tasted victory in Alice Springs before; all would be keen to experience it again. 

Outside of the previous victors, the drivers searching for their maiden win are just as strong. Josh Howells, Matt Hanson, Shane Elphinstone, Paul Weel, Garry Turnbull, Toby Whateley and Beau Robinson make up the pool – the latter of which has stood on the podium in four of the past six events, yet never on the top step.  The KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship is also looking stronger than ever with a massive field of 69 crews entered in the event, including championship leader Greg Campbell and the returning Jeff McNiven.

As for the schedule, event organisers have chosen to stick with the winning formula that has proved successful in recent years.  The event kicks off on Thursday with the famous Street Party and Night Markets taking over Todd Mall, before the official business begins on Friday with Scrutineering at the Start/Finish line. On Saturday morning, the on track action gets underway with the Method Race Wheels Prologue, which sets up the start order for Sunday morning’s Race Day 1 at 8am local time. The first leg of the race sees crews travel 224 competitive kilometres down the challenging multi-terrain desert course to arrive at Aputula (Finke) later on Sunday morning. On Monday morning at 7:45am ACST, they do it all over again, this time back towards Alice Springs where a King or Queen will once again be crowned at the Start/Finish Line. 

Fans unable to attend the race will be able to tune into the Finke Live Stream via YouTube on both Sunday and Monday, while a special extended highlights package will screen on the Seven Network in the weeks following on both 7mate and 7plus.

The 2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race takes place in Alice Springs and Aputula on 10-13 June.

Source: AORC
Photo: Terry Hill Photography

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