Over the weekend of 3rd & 4th May, of a field of 48 entries for the above event, 10 were crews from GRKCC, with one lucky navigator – Rhys Duke, gaining a seat with #60 David Hall. What a stellar effort from our members.
Fantastic weather was in store at Parilla, giving the spectators around the stadium arena section of the track a better than birds eye view of the competitiveness of the off roaders in their vehicles.
Prologue gets the blood pumping before the main event, with the drivers giving it their all to place well, sometimes to the detriment of their vehicles. At the end of this section of competition, #28 Tanner James/Aaron James was in 2nd place, #80 Toby Reimann/Paul Goddard – 9th, #81 James Madden/Paul Frank – 14th, Rhys Duke in with #60 David Hall – 17th,#176 Sam Daniele – 23rd, #158 Trevor Snow/Darrin Jocey-Prior – 34th, #36 Gary Curtis/Matthew Curtis – 37th, #253 Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone – 38th, #271 Danny Cousins/Nicky Cousins – 39th, #222 Jamie Simpson/Geoffrey Benko – 40th (in their first pairing together and Jamies return to racing), with #45 Blake Smith/Aaron Johnson suffering terminal gear box problems and taking no further part in competition – commiserations to them.
The next section of racing was to be the completion of two laps Saturday afternoon. The now 47 crews were all eager to get going, with vehicles lined up and ready early. Starting two at a time proves popular to the spectators, and gives an indication of the capabilities of each driver as they take off. Some great wheel to wheel action was seen in the first section of the track, with some very different driving lines used. The fastest times for each lap were in the 16-17 minutes, and the slowest nearly half and hour. At the end of this section, #80 Toby Reimann/Paul Goddard were in 8th position, followed closely by #81 James Madden/Paul Frank in 9th, #176 Sam Daniele 18th, #158 Trevor Snow/Darrin Jocey-Prior 25th, #271 Danny Cousins/Nick Cousins 32nd, #253 Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone 34th. #36 Gary Curtis/Matthew Curtis were having overheating problems, completing only one lap, #28 Tanner James/Aaron James had blown a motor, and #222 Jamie Simpson/Geoffrey Benko had electrical problems, not completing a lap. Rhys Duke in the #60 David Hall vehicle, only completed one lap, but would start next day.
The evening was quite cold, and after some banter around campfires, the competitors retired, to ready themselves for the long haul of Sunday’s racing.
In the morning, the sun was out, although there was a cold wind blowing, making for pretty good race conditions. Eight laps was the goal to reach and 40 crews were still in contention for a result, of which 5 were GRKCC’s, after #158 Trevor Snow/Darrin Jocey-Prior did not start due to alternator issues, and neither did #222 Jamie Simpson/Geoffrey Benko, still with electrical issues.
The restart was just as awesome as yesterday’s start, with vehicles blasting past spectators, dirt being thrown up by rotating tyres, and no inch given by drivers. Vehicles could be heard in the distance, in amongst the trees, sounding like a swarm of angry bees. Unfortunately for #176 Sam Daniele, electrical gremlins reared their head again, and he retired after 7 laps. The other competitors kept going, gaining some ground, losing a little, gaining some more. At the end of the final lap, as each competitor was given the chequered flag, our club had a good result with finishers. #81 James Madden/Paul Frank were 3rd o/r, 3rd in Pro class, #80 Toby Reimann/Paul Goddard – 8th o/r, 7th in Pro class, #253 Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone were 17th o/r, 2nd in class, and #271 Danny Cousins/Nicky Cousins were the last vehicle to finish all laps, and were 3rd in class.
Bad luck story goes to Rhys Duke, in the #60 David Hall vehicle. They started rear of field Sunday, passed 17 vehicles, completed 8 laps, and finished in 20th position, but were out of contention Saturday owing to a miss fire in the engine, which saw them complete only 1 of the 2 laps. I am sure he had a wonderful time regardless.
Well done to all our competitors.