Off road racers were faced with quite warm, windy, and very dusty conditions for the Kalbarrie 202. A pretty good field of twenty-eight competitors had made their way Nundubbermere, just outside Stanthorpe to take on the challenging course.
The event, organised by the South East Queensland Off-Road Association, had made some good changes this year; both to re-routing and widening the track, and also with the inclusion of a two car at a time shootout to the event itself.
The event got underway with a Prologue and it was #812 Steve Kildey who was showing the early pace, finishing ahead of #632 Peter Moohin with #676 Darren Barker back in third place. The weekend looked set for an epic battle between the Class 8’s and the Superlites. Section One ran on a longer track and Rick Norris was an early casualty in the #482 trophy truck, after making heavy contact with a tree stump. Matt Gardiner (Carnage Racing) suffered some power steering problems in his Class 8 entry, but managed to repair it to make the start on Sunday. Kildey was out on Lap 3 and handed the lead over to Moohin, who finished Day 1 just over a minute quicker than Barker with Ian Paltridge in the Class 8 Hilux only six seconds behind Barker.
The shootout was run with two cars at a time on track, with the winner of each heat progressed in a ‘last man standing’ event. The final was between the Class 8 Toyota Hilux of Ian Paltridge and the Superlite of Darren Barker, with Paltridge receiving the honours.
If anyone thought Sunday’s racing was going to be any easier, they were in for a rude awakening. Emma Chapman had a fire after fuel spilt from a faulty valve onto the exhaust. The whole episode could have been much worse, but luckily for Emma, she was only about fifty metres or so from the pits and plenty of help was quickly on hand. Numerous people scurried madly from the pits with extra fire extinguishers, whilst a couple of other competitors pulled up, to put out a small grass fire that had started further back along the track in an impressive display of camaraderie.
Paltridge was having a good run early on Sunday, taking the lead from away Moohin, but later in the day had a rather unfortunate incident with a tree, prematurely ending his weekend. The team was in a good position for an outright win and now face a hefty repair bill.
When the dust finally settled (and there was heaps of it), it was Peter Moohin and Joe Bugeja from Mackay who had claimed victory, making the long trip down worth it. Two more Superlite competitors filled the remaining podium positions. Brayden Mifsud, second in the Rightfoot Racing Polaris from David Loughnan in the Can Am. The first of the Class 8 cars was #831 Brett Morgan in fourth overall followed closely by #879 Travis Rosewarne in the RAEMUS Land Rover.
The next race on the calendar will be the Powertech Industries Short Course at Federal on the 3rd and 4th December. This event had been earlier postponed due to wet weather and will be the last race for the year. Hopefully all the competitors will get a chance to enjoy Christmas and then start to prepare for another year.
Article and photographs by Alan McIntosh