Long Weekend; it’s no secret that Aussies love any excuse not to go to work, but what do you do on a long weekend, especially when the weather is perfect? Go boating, lay on the beach, crank up the barbie, or go bush and get dirty. Well that is my kind of weekend, especially when it involves lots of horsepower transplanted into some of the most insanely tough vehicles in Australia and men and women not afraid to let that horsepower loose over rough dusty terrain. Welcome to the world of Offroad Racing.
Thornton, in the Lockyer Valley, was again set to host these beasts of steel and rubber for Round 3 of the CAMS QLD Offroad Championships and Round 9 of the QLD Offroad Series.
Saturday morning started off with the prologue; and soon the hills were alive with the sound of octane fuelled fun and the skies filled with dust. Clayton Chapman set the fastest lap and so had road position 1. Prologue was not to go without action, however, when Nathan Duffield rolled his Chev powered Suzuki just a short way from the end of the prologue course, thus ending his weekend. All crew got out unharmed.
Section 1 Saturday afternoon saw Troy Duff on a charge taking overnight honours with a total time of 42.09 and Clayton second with a total of 43.06.
Sunday morning was an early 8 am start and soon we were all baking in the hot October sun, breathing in the dust and the smell of high octane fuel.
The field was broken into 2 groups for section 2 with the slower vehicles on track first. Stuart Chapman took out section 2 for the slower group followed by David Loughnan in the 611 Can-Am with times of 33.37 and 35.41 respectively which incidentally were both quicker than Clayton after he suffered a flat tyre.
Group 2 led by a charging Troy Duff who finished with a 30.55 and Ross Challacombe with a time of 34.34.
Section 3 saw Clayton driving like a man possessed trying to make up the lost time from the previous flat tyre, he was succeeding right up until a split oil line sprayed out onto the turbo and saw the whole front of the machine on fire. Sources say that the damage is not overly bad but it was enough to end Clayton’s weekend. In all a total of 6 teams didn’t finish section 3
Section 4 saw some of the closest racing yet Troy posted a 55.27 seconds behind Declan Cummins and a few other all within seconds.
Inevitably, Troy Duff was the winner a great weekend of close hot dusty offroad action. If you haven’t ever been to see this fantastic series of racing do yourself a favour and do it, bang for your buck there is no other motor racing in Australia as spectacular.
Article by Lorne Close