The curtains have been raised on the new look 2018 Coral Coast Helicopter Services Gascoyne Dash being held in Carnarvon, Western Australia over Easter. The event boasts an exciting new point to point off road race format for the 28 cars and 61 moto’s entered. Stretching 202km east from the coastal town of Carnarvon to the iconic Gascoyne Junction, the teams will roll out the swags overnight, before turning around and blasting back to the coast on Sunday.
“The top end of the field is very talented and pretty quick so I expect them to get out there in under the two hour mark.” Said Ted Schultz, President of the Gascoyne Off Road Racing Club.
Festivities commenced on Thursday afternoon with scrutineering and a crowd pleasing show ‘n’ shine at the Carnarvon Civic Centre, before the drivers were briefed on the race formalities. Amongst the highly polished offroad machinery was a tribute to the two time Gascoyne Dash winner, Daymon Stokie who tragically lost his life in a racing incident in January, with his 2017 race winning bike on display.
“It’s something the committee has been considering for almost 10 years. The GasDash had downsized over the last few years and we had just been doing some lap races locally. To kick it back in to gear we needed to do something different and we think the point to point format was the way to go.” Continued Ted.
“It brings the towns of Carnarvon and Gascoyne Junction together, and there are the upsides of an excellent tarmac service road between the centres and mobile communication at the Junction. It’s all come together and when you see the activity up and down the main street today the concept has been well received by the locals and competitors alike.”
The reigning Auto Champions, Troy and Deb Schoen have returned in their V8 powered #19 buggy to defend their title, with former champs Shane Elphinstone and Brett Renton also hungry to add to their tally. While second outright in the Moto’s in 2017, Cody Upton and third outright, Stephen Mitchell will lead a talented pack of bike riders on the hunt for victory in the Gascoyne.
Good Friday sees the running of the 20 kilometre prologue at the Carnarvon Speedway on the edge of town to determine the all-important starting positions for Saturday’s first 202 kilometre leg from Carnarvon to Gascoyne Junction. The bikes and quads are the first away in the prologue at 9:30am, followed by the buggies, trucks and 4wd’s at 12:30pm.