Round 5 of the TJM Australian Off Road Championships was held in Mulgowie last weekend, culminating in the final round and seeing the outright winners crowned. Australian Motorsport Photography were proud to be official media representatives of the event, posting eight photographers around the track to capture the action as it unfolded.
The 300 – 400km track boasts a narrow, tree-lined dirt track that wends through rolling farmland and mountain passes, twisting across paddocks and through tight gates, with various creek crossings and man-made jumps adding an extra adrenaline-pumping rush to the action-packed event. A particularly dry season rendered the track exceptionally dusty, adding an extra dimension to the thrill of the race for drivers and spectators both.
The Lockyer 300 did not disappoint this year, with a heart-stopping end-on-end flip from Pro Buggy #32 in the prologue. Marson Racing’s driver Michael Marson walked away from the incident unharmed, while navigator Steve Gates was taken to hospital for overnight observation. Both men are already looking to repairing the buggy in anticipation of next years’ race. Several of our photographers captured the accident, with Lorne Close being only metres from the event at the time.
The rest of the weekend remained mostly accident-free, with only a few minor spills and mechanical mishaps. Shannon and Ian Rentsch took out the outright win in just four hours, thirty-two minutes and 51 seconds, almost fourteen minutes ahead of second place Jack Rhodes and David Pullino, who suffered a flat tyre on their #91 Jimco Buggy just 2km’s into the final section of the race. This win hands the Rentsch team their 7th Championship title, equalling the record of pro buggy racer Mark Burrows and was awarded on the 10th anniversary of their first Championship win.
Rhodes and Pullino didn’t make the win easy for them, however, fighting to gain the lead until the final round. “It’s been close between us all weekend.” said Rentsch, “Going into the last two laps there was only 5 sec between us and it was going to be on for young and old and an exciting finish. But unfortunately for Jack he got a flat tyre and it took the pressure off us. ”
The Australian Motorsport Photography team have captured an exciting array of images from the weekend, bringing you all the thrills, drifts, and flying off-roaders in dust-filled high-resolution.