Round 1 of the 2016 CAMS PGS Industries has started the series with a bang! Day 1 of the Rod Hatter Memorial, Duel in the Dirt, Perenjori 360 is in the books and not without a few surprises. Even before the green flag flew we had already lost the 158 Prolite machine due to engine dramas which were found inbetween backing the car off the trailer and driving to the scrutineering shed.
During Prologue Shane Elphinstone hit a tree which unfortunately for the #44 crew meant they would be seeded for section 1. Darren Agrela set a blistering time on his prologue run, which was only good enough for 3rd place. Justin Steadman was the quickest of the Pro Buggies, but was still 2 seconds shy of surprise pole sitter Harleigh Uren who was debuting his awesome One Speed Racing Pro 2 Extreme 2wd Truck. During section 1, Uren looked to have extended his lead during lap 1, but required a fuel stop between laps which dropped him back through the pack before some niggling teething issues halted his progress. Uren would get back out for the night lap to comfortably set the quickest tin top lap at night.
Brett Smith has shown a consistent and steady approach to his WAORC title defence, moving up to 4th outright and 1st in Pro Lite. Brad Cooper has been getting quicker and quicker all weekend and sits in 3rd outright, just over a minute off 2nd place. Shane Elphinstone proved that his prologue issues were long behind them, moving up to 2nd outright. But the man who they have all been trying to catch is Darren Agrela in his #39 Undecided Racing Jimco. Agrela led the first 2 laps of the event, but dram struck the team as their lights failed whilst the vehicle was being gridded up for the night race. After some frantic work by the crew, Agrela managed to set the fastest night lap and hold just over a 3 minute lead with 2 more sections of 2 laps to come on Sunday
Justin Steadman proved throughout the day that he was on the pace, however an altercation with a tree at the start of lap 2 stopped the Bat Buggy dead in its tracks. The much hyped Extreme 4wd Battle has turned into a massive race of attrition. Garry Povah leads from Leigh Cooper and Russell Cullen. Daniel Smith and Brad Krepp were both out with engine dramas, whilst Scott Bryce can count himself lucky to still be in the race after the #888 machine caught fire as it crossed the finish line of prologue. Dirk Van Geest holds the lead in the Production 4wd class from Ted Schultz, whilst Graeme Bentink was a DNF today due to gearbox issues. The man of the moment in Super 1650 is Nathaniel Edwards, punching above his weight to lead the class from Aaron Dark
The somewhat reduced field will have 200kms spread over 4 laps to sort out the final positions tomorrow in what should continue to be a fiercely fought battle. Results can be found here
Please pick up your official event program from event headquarters any time in the afternoon Friday 04/06/16 onwards. The program is full of stories, pictures, entry list, spectator guides and other information.
In the mean time keep up to date with the designated spectator areas, timeline and spectator do’s and don’ts at the link below
At the inaugural race at Perenjori in 2014 Brad Cooper was battling with Shane Elphinstone at the front of the field when disaster struck in the form of a clutch failure. Last year despite an inspired drive in the last section, Cooper narrowly missed out on overhauling eventual race winner Dave McShane, but managed to take out the class victory. In 2016 the question is, can Cooper go one better? There is a large Pro Buggy field for the Rod Hatter Memorial, Duel in the Dirt, Perenjori 360 which will all be hoping to deny the multiple times Outright WAORC champion and current Pro Buggy class WAORC champion. Lets have a look through the field of competitors:
15 -Hugh Piercy and Kiera Mann-Piercy will be sharing the driving of the PRT Pro Buggy. The team have made massive changes over the off season, turning to a strong aerodynamic package to look to gain an advantage. The vehicle is already a favorite with the kids, looking more like something from a hot wheels collection, but don’t let the looks fool you, come race end the #15 will be fancying themselves to upset a few of the more seasoned Pro Buggy Competitors
39 – Darren Agrela and his team have at their disposal an absolute weapon of a buggy! Having debuted the new machine at the CCR Hoses & Fittings Mogumber 240 in 2015, the crew have since worked tirelessly to get the Undecided Racing Buggy to driver Darrens liking. On their day this team has the potential to be unstoppable!
42 – Peter Barrett comes into the Perenjori event as a bit of an unknown quantity. Having competed in the ex Eric Phillips “Wedge” Prolite Buggy for the past few years, Barrett has taken the step up with a new A-Arm Bullet Buggy. If Barrett and navigator Craig Carson can have a clean run the Carnarvon duo have all of the tools at their disposal to surprise us all with a top 10 outright result
44 – The Elphinstone Racing duo of Shane and Curt Elphinstone didn’t take to the track much in Western Australia in 2015, but don’t think they have been sitting around doing nothing! Always fast and with one of the hottest looking buggies in Australia the #44 Pro Buggy are a red hot tip for the outright podium!
52 – Former drift prodigy and now off road gun Adam Trewhella has been slowly but steadily getting to grips with the immaculately presented Rimco Buggy. With a few solid runs to end the 2015 season Trewhella has the pace and the skills to match it with any other Pro Buggy competitors. You will know when the #52 Pro Buggy is coming, because you will hear this V8 screaming from a mile away!!!
54 – Keith Rance is another competitor with massive potential. Having prologued and run in the top 3 outright on numerous occasions, Rance and his team just need a little luck to go their way and they will surely collect a hard earned result which has been a long time coming. Be sure to have a good look at this unique buggy too, one of the talking points ius the impressive 8 into 1 collector on the exhaust which produces a wicked note!
68 – Justin Steadman has been out of the seat for a while, but in his last run out at Mogumber in 2015 he proved that it hasn’t slowed him down at all. The #68 Bat Buggy is a race winning package and with Steadman at the wheel is most certainly capable of taking the battle up to anyone.
98 – Marcus Wells is one of the young guns of the sport. After his first drive at the short course Narrogin Chase in 2015, it left no doubt that this son of a gun has all the skills to compete with the more seasoned competitors. The only question mark will be on how Wells keeps pace in the night section as night racing has the potential to expose any shortcomings in an inexperienced crew
932 – Mark Cramer has been steadily improving over the past 12 months, gaining a lot of experience in racing AORC rounds 2 & 3 last year, before coming back to the WAORC and showing impressive pace. With SS Racetech making improvements and prepping the buggy over the off season, Cramer is looking good for a top 5 finish come races end
968 – We have already mentioned Brad Coopers impressive pace at Perenjori in the past, the question will still remain about whether or not the Bat Buggy will go all the way this year. You don’t become a multiple times WAORC champion by resting on your laurels and there is no doubt that Cooper will be looking to use Perenjori as a launchpad for another successful title tilt
996 – Steven Phillips has matured as a driver immensely in the past few seasons and if his impressive run at Three Springs last year is anything to go by, he most certainly has the pace to break this race wide open. The twin turbo V8 buggy is not shy of ponies and Phillips knows how to peddle it. Keep an eye on the #996 buggy all weekend!
The Super Lite Class (previously known as UTV) and Super 1650 Buggy Class may only have small entry numbers, but what they lack in depth they more then make up for in quality
Neville Yeatman in the 606 Desert & Dust Racing UTV is the only Super Lite class competitor entered at Perenjori which means Yeatman is free from the shackles of a class battle. This will allow him to throw caution to the wind and attack the course and the much bigger vehicles with freedom. Spectators should keep an eye on the #606 machine as the Super Lite class is a great way to get into the sport as a competitor
Aaron Dark in the 293 Super 1650 Buggy will have his hands full with Nathaniel Edwards in the 297 Buggy. Edwards has put in a massive amount of work on his buggy in the off season and if pre-season testing is anything to go by watch for young gun Nathaniel to come out of the blocks swinging! But don’t discount Dark, the ex Rob Galloway Bullet Super 1650 has some very good pedigree and if its on song will be very tough to beat
Production 4wd is a class where the vehicle you see on the racetrack is almost identical to one you could buy off the showroom floor on Monday! There are 3 Production 4wds lined up at Perenjori and this is one class where it will be very difficult to pick a winner!
Ted Schultz in the 736 is a former state champion of the class and a seasoned competitor in his Ray White sponsored Jeep Grand Cherokee. After tackling the gruelling Finke Desert Race last year, Schultz is expected to be very hard to beat at Perenjori.
Dirk Van Geest driving a 4.8L GU Nissan Patrol for Old Fart Racing is one of the veterans of the sport. Having competed for many years in various different categories Dirk made the move to Production 4wd in 2014. His #777 Nissan Patrol is a seriously quick package and one to keep an eye on
Graeme Bentink is only very new to the sport, but in a very short time has captured a lot of attention. With a Diesel Powered VDJ79 Series Landcruiser as his weapon of choice Bentink enters his second race as a serious contender. Rumor has it that this G Turbo sponsored Sootchucker has some serious torque under the bonnet and could well give a few of the Extreme 4wds a run for their money
If there is one class which has experienced massive growth in the past few years in Western Australia it is the Extreme 4wd class. With a whopping 11 entries for Round 1 of the CAMS, PGS Industries WAORC at Perenjori this trend looks set to continue. Not only that, but it is an extremely competitive class with almost every vehicle in class having a shot at class honours. Lets have a run through each of the competitors and how they are shaping up heading into the season opener;
814 – Leigh Cooper has over the past few events been coming to grips with his Pajero. The pace and results from the last few rounds are quite impressive despite a little lay down last run out. Watch out for the green rocket which will be pushing hard against some of the bigger vehicles in the class.
819 – Chris May has made the step up from Production 4wd where he has had great success in the past few years, a trend he will be looking to continue. Followers of Off Road Racing will recall on his last outing Chris launched his old 766 Nissan Patrol sky high over Lochies Knob. All eyes will be watching to see what the 819 Patrol will do at Perenjori
823 – Brad Krepp is one of the fastest and most consistent drivers in the series and last year was very unlucky not to take out the Extreme 4wd class title. The Orange GQ Patrol will quietly smoothly go about its business, but you can guarantee will be in the mix come race end
834 – Daniel Smith – When the turbo winds up on Danny Smiths RB powered patrol look out, because the GQ ute starts to resemble a gravel machine gun! There is no doubting the potential of this combination and Smith will be looking to pilot it all the way to the front of the Extreme 4wd field
848 – Owen Davies big red truck over the past few seasons has proven to be a massively consistent competitor and very fast. You would be marking down the 848 machine as a strong tip for the class podium come Sunday night
850 – Garry Povah’s Holden Colorado is one machine that has some impressive pedigree previously competing in the Australasian Safari. Povah showed off a little of the machines potential at Three Springs in 2015, but our spys tell us that it has been at SS Racetech over the off season and will be one to watch
866 – Mark Murray – Keep your eyes on the turbo diesel powered Nissan Patrol as this thing is an excitement machine! If Mark can hold the vehicle together with a clean run you can expect the G Turbo sponsored patrol to be fighting it out for the class victory
875 – Ash Ryan – To say that the Team Outlaws 4×4 crew have had a hard run in the past year would be an understatement. But with a massive effort over the off season who knows where the big black truck could end up
881 – Dave Fong in the iconic red Land Rover is one of the most experienced drivers in the class. Powered by a thumping V8 and with a strong suspension setup looks can be deceiving and this is one hell of a machine
883 – Russell ‘The Peoples Champ’ Cullen heads into Perenjori with a bit of a dark horse package. After some recent engine developments and off season prep this Nissan Patrol is ready to do some work! Russ will be looking to use his experience in off road racing and 4wding at night to his advantage during Saturday nights section.
888 – Scott Bryce pilots one of the most technologically advanced 4wd vehicles in Australia. This constantly evolving engineering masterpiece is capable of running right at the front of the field. Time will tell if this IFS ans IRS rocket can deliver on its potential???
With such a top notch field of competitors including 11 Pro Buggies you would expect the Pro Lite field to struggle to crack the top 10. However history has shown that these 3.5L naturally aspirated rockets are more than capable of punching above their weight. In 2014 the WAORC outright champion was Jared Percival in an SS Racetech built Pro Lite and 2015 was taken out by Brett Smith in a Southern Cross Pro Lite.
Heading the 8 strong field of Pro Lites is Brett Smith with several hungry competitors looking to knock Brett off his perch. The Goose Racing team has entered 2 vehicles, Bernard Holt and the ex Sollitt Racing Buggy of Wayne Holt. George Metaxas and Mark Jarret are both entering new buggies, whilst Stevan Knowles is making the step from his Extreme 4wd Jeep into the ex Brian Uren Raptor Buggy. Andrew Sawyer has been hard at work making changes to his Subaru powered buggy in the off season and along with the 158 buggy of David Hickey will be looking to push their way to the front of the field.
Known as one of the most exciting drivers on the grid One Speed Off Road Racings Harleigh Urens new Pro2 truck will be making its highly anticipated debut at Perenjori. After a short display run at the Camp Quality Ride Day over the weekend, all eyes will be on the big black Extreme 2wd truck as it tackles the Perenjori course!
Taking the battle up to Uren will be current WAORC Extreme 2wd Champion Greg Pickersgill who was in red hot form at the end of 2015 with podiums at Mogumber and the Gascoyne Dash. Luke Worthington will be pushing his Toyota Truck to the max with his usual all or nothing style and Peter Doney in the coolest Baja Bug in Australia will be sure to make this one hell of a hotly contested class
The final entry list for Round 1 of the 2016 CAMS, PGS Industries Western Australian Off Road Racing Championship has now been finalized! Despite 2 competitors suffering mechanical failures at the Camp Quality Ride Day over the weekend and having to withdraw, a field of 40 will tackle the challenging Perenjori Course.
The Nissan Car Club have been hard at work preparing the track which will taken a lot of new and interesting sections. The pits and start line areas have been relocated and should provide good access for competitors and allow spectators to see the crews launch off the line off into the course via a spectator point. The Prologue will be a 21km blast to sort out the start order for section 1. The regular laps are 51kms long, with the night section a slightly shortened 42km lap.
With such a red hot field of entries and new exciting sections of track the Perenjori Event is shaping as one not to be missed!!!
Click here to see the full entry list
The Carnarvon 360 is coming up FAST!
The Easter long weekend will see competitors head north to Carnarvon for the newest addition to the calendar. Last years club event proved immensely popular with everyone who made the trek to Carnarvon
Supplementary Regulations and Entry will be available shortly