Thrilling Finish to Kalgoorlie Desert Race

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The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race has come to a thrilling conclusion with the victory being decided by a tiny margin after a tough 390km slog through the Goldfields desert. Day 2 started with fine conditions and 2 x 130km laps ahead of the competitors who had survived day 1 of the event. With the 2018 CAMS, Carnarvon Motel WAORC on the line, the scene was set for a terrific days racing

Section 2 would see John Morgan blast away from the line in his #54 Jimco a lead he would never relinquish on road. However the man starting in second place, Raana Horan pushed hard and set the fastest time for the section, meaning that he would start the final lap of the day from 1st. 3rd on road, Shane Elphinstone, like Horan had managed a blisteringly quick time, good enough for second in the section and with just over 50 seconds covering the top 3 it was only a matter of who would blink first. 4th placed Richard Crabb unfortunately had gearbox issues which whilst he would finish, would be troublesome enough to take him out of the event. There was plenty of drama elsewhere during this 130km lap, title contenders Colin and Peter Doney had a flat tyre early in the lap and cut back to the pits to change the tyre, however after leaving the course to do so, they would be unable to finish the section. Mitchell Davies who had changed his gearbox overnight, broke the front diff on his Extreme 4wd, leaving him to finish the race in rear wheel drive but he still finished in a strong position. Jeremy Lia was punching on in his Super 1650, slowed by a flat tyre, but still sitting in a strong position. The SXS contingent were revelling in the tough Kalgoorlie conditions, Brad Close extending his lead and continuing to move forward in the field. Mark Wainwright again brought his Yamaha home as the quickest SXS Sport, mixing it with some of the SXS Turbo competitors

The final section would turn out the be an absolute belter, Raana Horan left the line first and was hard on the gas! The Big Black Motorsport Jimco would strike trouble early with a flat tyre dropping him back through the field. Shane and Curt Elphinstone now had clear air and drove the wheels off the #44 machine to set the quickest time of the section. As they say and waited for John Morgan to finish it became clear that this was going to be a very close race to the line. Ultimately the Kiwi fans would have the last line as the #54 Kaiser Baas Jimco stopped the clocks and recorded the win by just 23 seconds. Horan was left to rue the flat tyre as he crossed the line in 3rd outright. Brad Close again flew the flag for CanAm, piloting his X3 into 4th outright and 1st in SXS Turbo. Jared Percival struck engine issues early in the lap, leaving him running with limited revs and limping to the finish line. As he dropped down the order it appeared as if his hopes of a back to back WAORC title may have been slipping, however he crossed the line in 8th outright and 1st in Prolite to secure his 3rd WAORC crown. Mitchell Davies put in an excellent drive to claim 9th outright and 1st in Extreme 4wd whilst Jeremy Lia clocked in 12th outright and 1st Super 1650. Peter Barrett showed the off road never say die attitude, bringing his Sportslite home on 3 wheels, but still quick enough for 1st in class and good enough to wrap up the Sportslite class title for the WAORC. The 15th and final competitor to finish the full race distance was Russell Cullen and Sean Beck who brought Kinga home as Performance 2wd winners. In doing so, they created a little bit of history, with the WA Off Road Junior Development Car being the only car to finish every km of every race of the season

The crews will now enjoy a hard earned break over the off season after a fantastic finish to a great season of off road racing in Western Australia. A huge thank you must go to the competitors; especially our new Kiwi friends who have added some international flavor to the last race of the year, all of the volunteers, officials as well as all those who come to spectate and follow the racing, the sponsors, Black Diamond Drilling who have been on board with Kalgoorlie Desert Race for a few years now and a massive thanks to Carnarvon Motel for being the naming rights sponsor for of the 2018 CAMS, Carnarvon Motel WAORC

Results are available here