A little over a week ago, the second round of W.E. Rock Australia saw teams and spectators lining up to the entry gates of the now iconic piece of land close to MERRIWA, in the NSW Upper Hunter Valley.
The event, held over two days attracted 23 teams over three classes of vehicles and around 500 people passed through the gates to spectate and support the series. The event runs with three classes of vehicles, the first being the closest to stock and the greatest chance anyone can have of entering a vehicle that is mildly built.
The Extreme class was made up of a majority of Jap vehicles, the Suzuki Sierra’s and Toyota Hiluxes showing a force to be reckoned with. There was also a Jeep, plus a Pajero to throw in a mixed bag of manufacturers represented. As the drivers looked over the courses for the weekend, the tension rose for many of them were not only on their W.E.Rock debut but this was also the first time many of them had driven their vehicles in a sanctioned competition.
The winner of the Extreme class, Mitch Gregory (not pictured), drove flawlessly all weekend and proved to be hard to catch due to the nature of his vehicle. Mitch steam-rolled the competition as the courses progressed harder and harder throughout the weekend, some of the smaller tyred vehicles like the Suzuki LJ50 from Queensland struggled to gain momentum, even if their approach and departure angles were on par with the larger vehicles.
Matt Apps drove well all weekend in the Pro-Modified class and was looking to take the overall class win but had a misfortune on the last course of the day, flopping his red Suzuki onto it’s side just meters from the finish gates. He was set for the overall win and looked in a good position after a tyre size count-back was put into play (any Pro-Mod vehicles competing on tyres over the size of 37″ automatically get a 5-point penalty each course) his misfortune paved the way for two of his peers to overtake the lead.
Falken Tyres Australia is the “Official Tyre Sponsor” of the W.E. Rock Australia series and they had their team driver Ben Graham competing on a set of their sticky compound 38″ WildPeak Mud Terrains. These tyres are the first of their kind in Australia and Ben came away with a reasonable finish in the Unlimited class raving about the quality of the tyres and their ability to stick like glue to the Merriwa Sandstone.
Tim Scutt, was the overall Unlimited and Outright victor for the weekend, his driving ability edging him a little bit further up the season point tally. On the last few tracks of the weekend, Tim and navi Luke worked had to keep the Sierra buggy together, losing a steering joint part way through on of Sunday’s courses.
Ethan Humphries was also not without vehicle troubles for the weekend, after hard wiring a thermo fan mid event to keep the cooling system working, the rush job overheated the thin gauge wiring and proceeded to put on a smoke show as the insulation gave way. Quick work from the navigator Jimmy, saw the smoke contained before a fire broke out.
Team Jeckle & Hyde stood up to the challenge of entering the Extreme class in one of two full bodied hiluxes over the weekend.
The old Roctoy Rotary powered Pro-Mod buggy was back in the mist (literally) of the W.E. Rock events again. The buggy now renamed “Roctoy 2.0 is under new ownership and showed the crowd some love all weekend as they tested the limits of one of the smaller sets of tyres in the pro classes.
Congratulations to Tim Scutt and navi Luke for their efforts over the weekend and the 1st place in Unlimited as well as overall winner of the round. Tim extends his lead after achieving the same results at Round One – Who can reign in the formidable team at the remaining three rounds of the series?
Keep an eye on the DirtComp website over the next few days, we’ll be drip feeding you more images from the weekend as well as the overall results for all vehicles/classes.