Shannon and Ian Rentsch lead the Pedders Suspension Coffs Coast 400 – Round 4 of the AORC, at the end of the first day of competition. The reigning Australian champions started in sixth after this mornings prologue and charged through the field during this afternoons first section to post the quickest time, 1hr 58min 12.563sec. Jack Rhodes and David Pullino were first on the road for most of the section in the #91 Jimco, but finished second on time, 27.315 seconds behind Rentsch. New Zealand’s Raana Horan and Klem Christiansen were also big movers and shakers in the ex-Auricht V8 Jimco, moving up to third outright after the first three laps. The prologue winner, Matt Hanson, was an early retirement just 6km into the main race with a cracked sump on the twin turbo V6 engine. The technical tree lined track, greasy from this mornings showers claimed its fair share of casualties including the buggies of Laurie Svenson and Shawn Swaffield.
After qualifying third in the prologue Matt Martin finished the first day of racing in fourth outright in the #121 Prolite, ahead of class mate Tony Fehlhaber in fifth in the #138 Karcher Chenowth. Greg Gartner was comfortably holding the Extreme 2WD Class lead in the Ford F-150, as was Colin Hunter in the Extreme 4WD Class. In the Super 1650 category #202 Chris Browning has a narrow lead over #247 Mark Cowie, while the sole UTV competitor, Andrew Crammond is running #17th outright in the #683 Polaris. In the Production 4WD Class, #777 Drew Corcoran is out in front after Geoff Pickering was sidelined in the scrub on the afternoons first lap in the #701 Pajero.
Earlier in the day Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells won the mornings prologue in the #3 SMU Snap Jimco in a time of 9min 17.338sec ahead of #91 Jack Rhodes and David Pullino and the high flying #121 Prolite of Matt & Kerri Martin. Beau Robinson in the #402 Tonka Trophy Truck and Paul Gilbert in the #7 Jimco were another two drivers to turn it on for the crowd with massive leaps off the Brown and Hurley jump in the main arena.
Racing kicks off on Sunday at 8:30am with the competitors battling it out over another 5 laps through the Bucca forests in the Coffs hinterland.