The second day of the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race has been a dramatic one and has seen some fantastic racing action. The battle for the outright championship in the 2017 CAMS Carnarvon Motel WAORC has also been a dramatic one.
There were changes before the days racing even started after Troy Schoen pulled out of the event due to some CV damage at the end of Section 1. With the 3rd placed overnight competitor out of the event, this opened up what was already a wide open race for the podium. Section 2 of the race started at 5:30am this morning as the crews blasted off for a single lap of the course. The event leader Scott Schiller was also out early after succumbing to motion sickness. This meant Beau Robinson took over the lead and the OBR pilot did not waste this opportunity, forging a big gap back to the chasing field. Mal Yeardley sensed that his championship title fight was on the line and drove the wheels off his Westside Insurance Specialists Bat Prolite to take 2nd for the section. Adam Flanagan showed massive pace in his trophy truck to sit 3rd during section 2. Yeardley’s title rival Jared Percival was 4th quickest with Colin Doney rounding out the top 5
During the gap between sections 2 and 3, the pits were a hive of activity as crews worked frantically to get their vehicles in fighting condition for the final section. Greg Pickersgill undertook massive work to the rear diff of his truck after some trackside bush mechanics helped them finish section 2. Graeme Bentink replaced his rear leaf springs after breaking them during section 2 and Chris Unstead replaced a bolt which had sheered in the rear suspension. The biggest story was event leader Beau Robinson performing open heart surgery on the #413 OBR truck after developing engine issues in section 2
As Section 3 got underway Robinson used the advantage of the trophy truck around this Kalgoorlie track to again clear out from the field. Robinson would lap some 10 minutes quicker than any other rival to win the event by over 30 minutes! Mal Yeardley continued his strong pace from section 2 before disaster struck, with a jamming and sticking throttle costing him lots of time. With Yeardley dropping back through the pack, Percival seized the initiative to move up to 2nd outright in the event, a result which would see him take out the outright WAORC championship. Adam Flanagan broke a rear hub whilst running in a podium position, an absolute disaster for the Kalgoorlie local. Mark Cramer in the #932 Pro buggy would take the class win and 3rd outright after a measured drive all weekend. Troy Higgins running in an invitational only class sat 6th, whilst mark Wainwright was the quickest Superlite A in 8th outright. New Zealander Richard Crabb had a disastrous section 2, but made his way back to 9th outright, Jason Johnson rounded out the top 10 and was the fastest Superlite B
Throughout the field there were many hard luck stories, with so many competitors completing 2 of the 3 laps and only 13 successfully going the full race distance. Jeremy Lia won Super 1650 class despite failing to finish the final section, whilst Grant Butter took out the Production 4wd class after Graeme Bentink end for ended his Toyota Landcruiser at high speed. Mark Murray won the Extreme 4wd class in his diesel powered patrol
Whilst it ended in heartbreak for Mal Yeardley, Jared Percivals outright championship win means that he is now a 2 time WAORC champion, a massive and impressive feat for this close family team. The Kalgoorlie Desert Race event whilst incredibly tough for the crews, has certainly made an impression on the field, with the general consensus from competitors being that there is massive potential in this event once all the kinks are ironed out. It has been a fitting finale to the 2017 CAMS Carnarvon Motel WAORC and one which looks to have a big future
Thanks must go to the Carnarvon Motel for their support in 2017 as well as Oricom UHF CB and Intense Industries who have been great supporters of the series.