Action in the 2019 Coral Coast Helicopter Services Gascoyne Dash kicked off in earnest on Good Friday with the running of an 11 kilometre prologue. Held on the edge of town at the Carnarvon Speedway, a good crowd was on hand to watch competitors fight for all important track position for Saturday’s race. A field of 35 auto and 50 moto/quad competitors were on hand to greet the starters flag.
After recent rainfall had dampened the track over the past week, organisers were left with a headache when further rain overnight resulted in a short section of track being impassable for a number of the auto competitors. The decision was taken for the bikes and quads to race the original prologue track and for the auto competitors to race a modified track.
2018 moto prologue and overall winner Cody Upton led the field away on the #1 Honda, however opening the course proved to be a tough task with Upton finishing in fourth overall. Taking the coveted number 1 starting position was KTM rider James McCarthy, stopping the clock some 13 seconds ahead of fellow KTM Rider Thomas O’Connell, with the Yamaha of Alex Moore rounding out the top 3 outright.
Rob Pollard was leading the Bike Masters field after finishing in a fine 12th outright on his KTM 500EXC, while the Veterans field was led home by Michael Lough on yet another KTM.
The leading quad was the #14 Honda of Luke Gaisford with the Yamaha of Dylan Richards in second and Waldo on the Honda rounding out the top three.
In the auto section, the Racetech Hustler of Troy and Deborah Schoen took a narrow 2 second victory of the BAT Pro buggy of Justin and Archer Steadman with Darren Agrela bringing his Jimco home just 4 seconds further back. The top 8 competitors were seperated by just 30 seconds, which bodes well for an exciting race ahead.
Throughout the classes, Gavin Rodgers led the SxS Turbo class, slotting into an impressive 5th outright. Malcolm Yeardley and Alex Cowan took the Prolite honours and rounded out the top ten overall. John Purshouse and Murray Hynes led the Extreme 4WD field in their very impressive looking Ford Ranger ahead of Mitchell & Owen Davies’ Navara. Peter Barrett and Craig Carson are the sole Sportslite vehicle in the field and they had a great run into 17th outright.
Today, competitors face a gruelling 205 kilometere run to Gascoyne Junction. The action in the auto division will kick off at 8am, while the first bike will depart the start line at 11am.
Story and Images by Sean McTigue | Dirtcomp