|Australia 2012: Australian Off Road Championship" rolls into Lockyer Valley.|
The "Australian Off Road Championship" (AORC) rolls into the Lockyer Valley, just an hour out of Brisbane for the final round of the season on November 9th-11th.
The championship to date has seen three different outright winners on the East Coast flavoured journey from round one at SeaLake in Victoria, through to Goondiwindi in Queensland and then the tall South Australian pines forests at Millicent.
Ensuring the seasons grand finale, the inaugural Mitsubishi Electric Lockyer Valley 300 will be one of the most hotly contested deciders on record with over 60 entries filling the starting grid.
Sitting atop the AORC leaderboard on 35 points is Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells who lead the charge in their #7 SMU Racing Jimco. Fresh from their win at round 3, the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro, Hanson will be aiming to continue his good form in the twin turbo V6 Jimco.
Snapping hard at his heels will be MBL Sea Lake Mallee Rally victor, Brad Prout in the #9 Unicap Racing Jimco and a new comer to ProClass this season, Gerald Reid in the #39 Later Engineering V8. Both Prout and Reid are currently neck to neck on 20 points and will open the taps on their V8’s in a bid to hunt down the championship leader.
Matt Coleman and Shawn Teagle who were runners up at the Pines in the #55 Coleman Motorsport Alpha sit on 15 points. They lead a fleet of other teams mathematically in with a chance of grasping the AORC Crown with the 30 points that are on offer for the outright win.
The field of over 60 cars will include some exciting class battles. The 3500cc naturally aspirated Prolites have provided some of the most entertaining racing of the season and have once again threatened to bump some their more powerful siblings, the ProClass buggies off the podium. Watching the class leader Matt Owen go toe to toe with McClelland, Marshall, Fehlaber and company will be one of the highlights of the weekends racing.
Local offroad identity Laurie Svenson will be making his debut in the Prolite class when he shares the driving of the recently repowered Stealth A-Arm with his son Tait. Reigning Super 1650 champ, Darryl Smith will be aiming to add another class title to the mantelpiece in his Alumicraft when he locks horns with fellow Victorian Brett Price and local ace Russell Hartnett.
The event will also see entries on the national stage in the new side by side class for the first time, with the Polaris RZR’s of Andrew North and the two car Snake Racing Team of Murphy and Smith taking the plunge into the category.
The Performance 2WD honours will be played out between the two Victorian teams of Bernie Clohesy and Scott Gould, with Queensland driver Paul Youman aiming to put a cat amongst the pidgeons for the round win. With a huge lead in the Production 4WD Class, Rob Chapman will focus on claiming another coveted #701 number plate for the family in the red Triton, to back up his son, Clayton’s win in the same racecar in 2010.
While the Extreme 4WD Class championship will see Sandy Bowman duke it out with New Zealands Raana Horan for the years AORC Class honours. Clayton Chapman, Luke Hall and Colin Hunter will be others to watch in the category, after showing blistering bursts of speed during the 2012 season.
Based out of the small hamlet of Mulgowie in the foothills of the Darling Downs, the Mitsubishi Electric Lockyer Valley 300 is a new addition to the AORC calendar for 2012.
The new 80km track which has been a collaboration between the Brisbane Sporting Car Club and the 12 property owners, combines fire trails, logging and farm tracks with a climb up and along the range, creek crossings and fast flowing paddock sections to produce a traditional offroad course which will test man and machine alike. At the conclusion of which, a new Australian Off Road Champion will be crowned.
Leading up to the event Laurie Svenson in the 3500cc Toyota Aurion V6 powered Stealth A-Arm and Chris Western in the big Mickey Thompson Rush truck will be taking time out to visit schools in the region including the Thorton State School and Faith Lutheran College.
The Mitsubishi Electric Lockyer Valley 300 will launch on Friday night at Schultz’s Meat Tavern on the Warrego Hwy at Plainlands from 5pm, with scrutineering and a show and shine until 8pm. Held in a festival atmosphere, it will be a great opportunity to meet the drivers and grab an autograph before they hit the dirt.
Racing commences on Saturday morning with the Prologue, Top Ten Shoot Out and section one of the long course just 11 km from Laidley at Mulgowie. With live commentary and refreshments on sale, spectators will be able to sit back and watch the big desert racers stetch their legs. Racing kicks off again at 8:30am on Sunday morning, which will see the race cars tackle another 3 laps of the 80km course. Entry to the Mulgowie start/finishline complex with be $10 per adult per day or $15 for the weekend, while children under 14 are free.
2012/11/01 | 12:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/KILNER