Gawler Road Knights Car Club held the first Off Road event for 2014, with 11 of the 26 teams belonging to GRKCC , (a total of 23 members in competition.)
A new format for racing was trialed at this event, and at the end of the weekend, feedback was received, most of it positive. Vehicles undertook a prologue, and were then divided into heats for each race. Starting a minute apart gave the opportunity of vehicles actually having clean air for each heat, although in some spots this was not possible, as they either drove into dust from the competitor in front, or they caught their own dust on the tight sections of the track.
The first three placing’s in prologue were all GRKCC members -#80 Toby Reimann/Paul Goddard (in his first foray as navigator) first,#81 James Madden/Paul Frank second, and youngster #128 Tanner James/Brett Plant/Aaron James third. Then, #45 Blake Smith/Dustin Hoschler (also in his first foray as navigator) 5th, #37 Richard Andrews/Jamie & Lauren Andrews 6th, #178 Sam Daniele 9th, #36 Gary Curtis/Matthew Curtis/Clive Randall 10th, #412 Brett Reimann/Steve Hutchinson 11th, #253 Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone 13th, #271 Daniel Cousins/Peter & Nick Cousins 15th, and #186 Lloyd Afford 17th.
#81 James Madden/Paul Frank drove well Saturday, although losing time in race 2 when the buggy threw a serpentine belt, and was followed closely in time by #80 Toby Reimann/Paul Goddard. Unfortunately the Cousins family in #271 had the VW engine expire on them in race 1, and they took no further part in the weekend’s competition. #128 Tanner James/Brett Plant continued to impress with his driving prowess, finishing the day’s racing second overall. #45 Blake Smith/Dustin Hoschler had a flat battery in race 2, #186 Lloyd Afford lost a wheel, with #412 Brett Reimann/Steve Hutchinson having a drive line fail on them, and #253 Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone also had an expired engine, with a very bent valve shaft.
On Sunday, a unique concept was trialed, where each competitors fastest lap from the previous days four laps was used to determine their starting position. #81 James Madden/Paul Frank recorded the fastest lap time Saturday, so started on pole for the three races Sunday. #80 Toby Reimann/Paul Goddard started 2nd for the day, only to have a flat tyre half way through lap one, then suffering CV failure, which saw them out of competition. #128 Tanner James/Brett Plant had their engine expire, and #178 Sam Daniele suffered electrical issues, but fixed them and continued racing.
At the end of the days racing, #81James Madden/Paul Frank secured 2nd outright. #36 Gary Curtis/Matthew Curtis/Clive Randall finished in 9th place, followed by #178 Sam Daniele in 10th, and #45 Blake Smith/Dustin Hoschler in 13th place, and the last of the official 13 finishers.
Congratulations goes to all the finishers, and commiserations to those that didn’t. The track was very physically demanding on drivers, and quite rough. A big thanks to all volunteers who helped make the event a success. The next event is the Richard Bennett Memorial Enduro, to be held at Parilla, 03/04 May, 2014, hosted by Onkaparinga Ramblers Car Club.