The weekend could not have had better weather for the event. Friday night was a bit cool for scrutineering in Waikerie, but there was a good turnout by the locals to look at the vehicles lined up on the oval. Trying to get back to the campground after woods looked like a peak hour backlog, especially as all returning vehicles had their lights on, and these could be seen way back.The camp site was again quite full, with a few noisy young people after curfew.
A bit of sunshine early Saturday morning put everyone in good spirits for the day, and the event proper was starting to take shape. Drivers briefing was had, vehicles lined up, and Prologue was under way. Unfortunately the first vehicle to start got caught out in the stutter jumps and had a gentle roll in front of the crowd. Would have been righted quicker if the recovery vehicle driver had realised that he did not have his vehicle in 4wd, poor vehicle was struggling to get traction till he got out and put hubs in. Once the track was clear, Prologue resumed. Most competitors put in good efforts, but were cautious over the stutters, with the trucks and Pro Class vehicles just blitzing them.
Once Prologue was completed, our competing crews were placed thus:
9th Tanner James, 10th James Madden/Paul Frank, 35th Toby Reimann/Craig Reeding, 37th Matthew Curtis/Gary Curtis & Jason Lloyd, 40th Blake Smith/Aaron Johnson, 44th, Brett Reimann/Steve Hutchinson, 46th Richard Andrews/Jamie & Lauren Andrews, 54th Graham Tickner/Samuel & Bodie Tickner, 55th Robbie Ward/Daniel Ramm, 57th Sam Daniele, 61st John Smith/Frank Caruosso, 64th Trevor Snow/Grant Manion, 77th Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone, 81st Kaine Reid/Tyson Read, 83rd Kim Reid/Kurt Reid, 84th Patrick Garnaut/Peter Garnaut, and 87th Clive Randall/Curtis Randall.
A last minute entry to the event was Brad Milburn/Travis Milburn in the #75 Chenowth Millenium buggy, only entering the 3 Laps Non registered SAORRA section.
After putting on a breathtaking manouvre at the hairpin after the stutter jumps in front of the crowd, Tanner James succumbed to mechanical failure, and only got to complete 1 lap of the Waikerie track in his attempt at the National Section of the event.
At the end of race day 2, 6 crews finish all 3 laps. Some tough competition was had, with some rough conditions on sections of the track.
#981 James Madden/Paul Frank put in consistent times of 39:49.08, 40:45.75 and 40:33.95 to end up 5th o/r and 4th in Pro class with #45 Blake Smith/Aaron Johnson – 42:45.92, 42:54.80 and 43:25.48, putting them 8 minutes behind James and Paul, placing them in 9th o/r and 6th in Pro class. #86 Toby Reimann/Craig Reeding had a small hiccup on lap 3 – 42:11.54, 42:53.64 and 45:31.60, putting them 9 minutes behind James and Paul, and only 1.5 minutes behind Blake and Aaron, placing them 11th o/r and 7th in Pro class.
#158 Trevor Snow/Grant Manion (putting on a great impersonation as Julie Burridge) were driving like they stole it whilst still looking after the gearbox, with times of 47:51.33, 47:37.65 and 50:46.74 placing them 18th o/r and 3rd in Pro Lite class. Unfortunately #1126 Robbie Ward/Daniel Ramm had an issue on lap 2, 46:57.73, 01:16:16.34 and 50:32.38, but still got to bring the buggy home in 21st o/r and 5th in Pro Lite class.
#253 Sam Vanstone/Steven Vanstone also had a good run, despite being a very small vehicle compared to the rest. With lap times of 54:43.68, 54:23.74 and 57:29.78, they brought the little VW powered buggy home in 20th o/r and 3rd in Super 1650 class.
#176 Sam Daniele got in two good laps times – 46:31.59 and 47:12.19, as did #233 Graham Tickner/Sam & Bodie Tickner – 47:39.84 and 47:53.77, before both succumbed to issues on their 3rd lap, failing to finish.
#611 Kim Reid/Kurt Reid, #445 John Smith/Frank Caruosso , #412 Brett Reimann/Steve Hutchinson, #529 Kaine Reid/Tyson Read, #212 Clive Randall/Curtis Randall, #37 Richard Andrews/Jamie & Lauren Andrews, #36 Matthew Curtis/Gary Curtis & Jason Lloyd, all failed to finish lap 1, showing just how much effort each competing crew is putting in how quickly the carnage can occur.
#75 Brad Milburn/Travis Milburn did not start the event proper, neither did #510 Patrick Garnaut/Peter Garnaut.
Congratulations to the finishers, commiserations to those that didn’t. Another great event for competitors and spectators alike.