The 2016 Duke of York Hotel Narrogin Chase was held in Cuballing over the Anzac Day long weekend, hosted by the Western Australian Off-Road Racing Association (WAORRA).
Day one was a real crowd pleaser with two at a time starts at the foot of the spectator hill. The first heat was led by #971 Scott Schiller and navigator Reece Burgess with a lead of 1 minute and 20 seconds on prolite #161 Brett Smith and navigator Corey Smith, followed by #22 Grant Payne and Michael Gullotto. This heat unfortunately saw a casualty with race organiser Dave Cowan and navigator Alex Cowan breaking their steering arm in their super 1650, forcing them out of Section 1. Section 1 Heat B was led by Harleigh Uren in his new #477 pro truck with a lap time of 11 minutes and 25 seconds followed by #932 Mark and Sam Cramer and #39 Darren Agrela and Ryan Barton. This heat was plagued with trouble with brother team Shane and Kerry Yaxley unable to start due to engine belt failure and three others unable to finish. Danielle Joyce had overheating issues in the #21 pro buggy, Peter Doney was towed in after breaking a crank shaft in his #406 extreme 2WD and George Metaxas and navigator Bruce Taylor Mathews in the Ruger Racing best presented #195 buggy were forced out of the race in the first lap with clutch issues.
After a spectacular sunset over the hill, Section 2 started after the sun went down for one lap of tight racing. The section saw leader Scott Schiller taking advantage of the dust free run with a lap time of nearly a minute quicker than those eating his dust. #52 Adam Trewhella and navigator Luke Candy, and #932 Mark and Sam Cramer finished second and third for this section with a difference of only a hundredth of a second between them. Although Harleigh Uren had a noisy run with fuel pump gremlins, all 22 competitors managed to finish the section without any major incidents.
Sunday morning saw even more dust lingering for the nine starters of Section 3 Heat B competing first. There was some fierce competition on the line between competitors, namely Jade Armstrong, navigator for #814 Lee Cooper in the green Pajero, getting the holeshot on her dad Ben Armstrong and Dave Turner of #764 Bottlefed Racing Team. Danielle Joyce and navigator Jake Pugh were beaten by the engine troubles that almost saw them not starting the event. The tight competition continued in the top of the field in Heat A with Scott Schiller holding the top spot, followed by Grant Payne and Brett Smith. #98 Marcus Wells and Justin Wells fought hard but couldn’t quite make the top three in their Chevy powered pro buggy.
The two heats of Section 3 saw some friendly family competition between Adam Trewhella and father Craig, who double-entered their number 52 pro buggy, competing in separate heats with only 18 seconds between their fastest laps.
Section 4 was underway just before midday with Grant Payne and Adam Trewhella beating Scott Schiller on section time, but it wasn’t enough to bump him off the podium – outright results came in with Scott Schiller first, Grant Payne second, and Harleigh Uren third. The slippery gravel track with its off cambered corners got the best of a couple of competitors, and the dust came as a surprise given the recent rain in the area, but overall it was a very entertaining race, especially for the spectators.
WAORRA would like to thank event sponsors:
• The Duke of York Hotel Narrogin
• Westside Insurance Specialists
• Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisors
• Racegear WA
• Elders Narrogin
The next event on the WA off-‐road racing calendar is the WAORRA Marsue Transport Bencubbin 330. Held in the town of Bencubbin, the high-‐speed track starts at the town sporting oval and covers land across three farming properties. It is round three of the 2016 CAMS PGS Industries Western Australian Off-‐Road Racing Championship. Full results and details about upcoming events can be found on the WAORRA website: www.waorra.com.
Written by Shelley Howe, WAORRA. Photos by Emma Scott.