Prologue for the 10th Anniversary Gascoyne Dash ran like clockwork this morning, and all entrants are now traversing east towards Gascoyne Junction for the main race over the next two days.
Today’s racing was held on what is revered as the longest prologue track in Australia – a 20km course set amongst Carnarvon’s horse racing track and golf course. Prologue commenced at 8am with the two-wheeled bikes hitting the course sending plumes of fine dust into the morning breeze.
The money was on Ben Grabham riding the #111 KTM to win the prologue. However, he was upset by #49 Brodie Black, who smashed Grabham’s time by over six seconds with #378 Gavin Russell coming over the Prologue line +17.08 seconds after Black.
The quad riders were well and truly on the pace with the spoke riders during the day. The fastest quad of #229 Logan Trigg attained 8th place overall, 1min 30sec behind the quickest two wheeled counterparts. #412 Matt Sivwright slipped into second for the 4-wheelers, followed closely by #971 Dale Harris.
The auto section was well represented with nearly every offroad racing class competing. The prologue gods turned their favour to #44 Shane Elphinstone in his mid-engined V8 Holeshot, who will be first off the grid for Saturday’s racing. 2012 winner #968 Brad Cooper was an obvious favourite for this years pole position but was relegated to second position on the grid in the skatey and dusty conditions. David McShane #811 was the first Extreme 4WD vehicle over the line, piloting his cross country inspired vehicle to third outright
The production class 7 was packed full of Suzuki’s, Nissans and Landcruisers, all of which put on an amazing show. Leaf sprung Suzuki Sierras were seen hucking off the jumps down the fast power line straight harder and higher then their many of their counterparts. Topping off a strong field, the offroad racers put in an amazing show for the crowd.
While quite a few cars returned with flat tyres, Wayne Panomarenko was one of the few DNF’s this morning after blowing the clutch in the #706 Hilux. Showing some great spirit the team has arranged for a clutch to be flown up from Perth this afternoon and will fit it overnight so they can start the main event tomorrow.
With Thursday’s scrutiny and CBD event wrapped up and Friday’s prologue in the bag, all entrants, officials and spectators have packed their gear up and headed east to Gascoyne Junction and the home of the Gas Dash for the next two days.