Kiwi’s fly on day 1 of the 2018 KDR

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After a spectacular opening of the 2018 Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race in heart of Kalgoorlie with the Friday night Street Party, Saturday morning brought a much more serious tone to the event. Overnight rains had dampened the track, however it wouldn’t take long to see that under the top sail lay that typical goldfields red dirt which with it has the potential to bring dust. With the 2018 CAMS, Carnarvon Motel WAORC on the line, the crews stepped it up a notch in their pursuit of pole position.

First vehicle on road, Sean Beck and Russell Cullen in the WA Off Road Junior Development Program Kingswood had an eventful run as the youngster had a few moments on his way to the quickest Performance 2wd time. The times continued to tumble as Peter Barrett laid down an early marker with the quickest Sportslite time which would also be good enough for 13th once all times were in. Dean Terry went quickest of the SXS Turbo class and was closely followed by fellow Kalgoorlie local Brad Close. Another local competitor putting on a good show was Jeremy Lia who was fastest in Super 1650, whilst in the Extreme 4wd class, Mitchell and Owen Davies set a competitive time despite blowing up 3rd gear less than 1 km into the prologue. Things were taken up a notch as the prolites hit the track and Stephen Ketteridge-Hall punched in a monster time which would eventually be good enough for 6th outright. Beau Robinson was the next competitor to better that mark, putting himself up into what would be 2nd outright once the Pro buggies had their run. With 2 x V8 and 2 x Turbo powered buggies in the class, it was a fast affair, John and David Morgan coming out on top with the quickest prologue time.

Section 1 would see 1 lap of the 130km track and again a full tilt attack right from the start. John Morgan blasted his #54 Jimco off the line, hoping to build a gap over the rest of the field. With a clean and quick run Morgan would clock in quickest and holds a lead of just over 1 minute. Whilst many expected Beau Robinson to return in the 2nd place he started, he and navigator Jonny French went for a ride on the wild side, rolling the OBR Geiser Truck. Raana Horan who started out of 4th took advantage of the misfortune and charged his way to 2nd on corrected time, making it a kiwi 1-2. Shane and Curt Elphinstone ran 2nd on the road but dropped to 3rd outright on corrected time. Drive of the day has to go to Brad Close, who pushed his CanAm X3 to the limit and charged from 11th on the grid up to 5th outrigh. Jared Percival struck the first blow in the WAORC title race as he slotted into 1st prolite and 6th outright, his main title rival Colin Doney leads Extreme 2wd in 8th outright. Mitchell Davies nursed his Navara to 13th outright and the overnight Extreme 4wd lead and is hoping to find and replace the gearbox in the #848 machine tonight. Jeremy Lia and Peter Barrett are seperated by just 14 seconds as they Super 1650 and Sportslite competitors slug it out, but both are leading their respective classes with 2 laps left to run. Mark Wainwright was the quickest SXS Sport in 16th with Sean Beck continuing his solid drive in the ‘Kinga’ in 22nd outright

There were some hard luck stories out there, Ben Hodge rolled his Polaris Turbo S whilst driveline issues put paid to Jake Clucas run whilst he was sitting in the prolite lead. Deon Visagie failed to finish the first lap, whilst Scott Schiller’s Sportslite debut ended within the first 20kms of the start line. 22 competitors completed the Saturday’s racing and we look set for another awesome day with 2 more laps on Sunday

Section 1 results –