Coates Hire Rally Australia welcomed the Australian Off Road Championship to its star studded line up of motorsport this afternoon, inviting 10 of Australia’s leading teams to take part in the Armor All Super Special Stage held at Brelsford Park in the heart of Coffs Harbour alongside the WRC and ARC Rally cars. The specially designed course incorporated a huge man made jump in front of the grandstand, before it threaded its way under the Red Bull sign and looped around the outside of the arena and onto the bitumen runway to regroup.
The buggies and trucks of Mowles, Rentsch, Robinson, Geddes, Gallard and company launched high off the jump, showcasing the huge suspension travel and acceleration of the specialised machinery. Clayton Chapman and Adam McGuire were the only casualties of the evening, after they clipped a concrete pipe and rolled their Triton. The team are now putting in a huge effort in an attempt to make Saturdays startline.
“We were really happy to be here tonight and it was a great opportunity to showcase offroad racing in front of a pretty big crowd. It was a huge turnout, the weather was fantastic and it should be a great weekend.” Said Matt Hanson, pilot of the Aus1 SMU Jimco.
Thirty two teams have entered the event including Shannon Rentsch and Hayden Bentley who are primed to pick up where they left off at the Flinders 450 in their battle at the top of the leaderboard. Reigning AORC champs Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells have burnt the midnight oil to prepare their SMU Jimco for the race after destroying an engine at the Pines Enduro in SA last weekend. While Scott Gould has put in a huge effort to make the event after a major roll in his V8 Rodeo at the Flinders 450 threatened his Performance 2WD championship aspitations. Keeping the solid line up of buggies honest will be the Extreme 2WD Trophy Trucks of Gallard, Geddes and Robinson.
The event, which is Round 4 of the Australian Off Road Championship will kick off on Friday afternoon with scrutineering at the Coffs Harbour TAFE between 4pm and 9pm. The offroaders then head 38km north of Coffs Harbour to Frank’s Place, for the first of two days of action on Saturday for the prologue and the first two laps of the long course. The track is brand new to the AORC in 2013 and the course through the forestry rekindles memories of the famous Bridgestone International held just down the road at Kempsey for many years.