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Owen Triumphs at Mannum
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Matt Owen and Reece Jago have ruled triumphant, securing first outright and beating the South Australians on home turf at this weekend’s running of the Mannum Enduro. The Warrnambool based team crossed the border with the Alumicraft ProLite #130 in tow, heading to the South Australian Riverland and the Haby Family farm property.

Owen has been chasing reliability in the Alumicraft, something that has eluded him since debuting the new drive early last year. “We were extremely happy with the new engine; it ran faultlessly all weekend. It’s great to have done more than 20km and to get some reliability happening. Bring on the next event” commented an ecstatic Owen. 

1291b_smOwen's total time of 4:20.18 placed them over two minutes ahead of Carl and Tammy Haby on 4:22.55, who were the sole local team in the top three and flying the flag for South Australia in the Element Racing Teams Element #56 buggy. Haby had a trouble free run yesterday and his consistent run today continues his winning form from 2011.

Third on the podium and another team chasing reliability before the Tatts Finke Desert Race was the Northern Territory based Team Hosetech with Andrew Mowles behind the wheel of the #135 Razorback racing to a time of 4:23.52. Mowles commented after the race that it was the toughest and hardest track he'd ever race.  The team are now returning to their Alice Springs base are will give the Razorback a thorough going over in preparation for round 2 of the South Australian Off Road Championship in two weeks time at Baroota.

1291c_smFive of the 31 nominations went full race distance in a dusty and rocked up track. Coleman Motorsport were elated with their fourth place finish, 4:31.26, after yesterday small dramas with Wally Francombe and Leanne Walker driving the Rids Frame #42 into fifth place in 4:33.52. 

Francombe was leading the field until a flat tyre, and the long wait for a spare to be delivered, ended his podium hopes.

1291e_sm Matt Colemen commented after today's laps “we’re absolutely happy with the Alpha. We made a small ride height change during the half hour break which improved the handling of the Alpha dramatically. However, we were lucky to finish today; we were pushing the limits and the rocky track wore the rear tyres down to their steel belts, I don't think we could have gone another kilometre on those tyres”.

17 competitors took to the track for today 10 laps, however, those participating in the multiclub section only had to complete 6 laps. 

Erceg Motorsports ProLite Chemowth debut took a wrong turn today with the team ultimately out of the race with a broken suspension arm bolt, plus they can add flat tyres and a Chenowth beached on a 200L drum to their list of stoppages for today.

Lindsay Foster was pushing hard to pull in Matt Owen but decided after 6 laps to take his multiclub points and park the Jimco, due to the roughness of the course. 

1291d_smAnother to withdraw due to the conditions was the second Northern Territory entry of Axle Greening in the #268 Southern Cross.

Darryl Nissen and Rich Andrews were sitting in fifth outright at the end of yesterdays section but rear suspension failure in the Score #164 ended their Mannum experience.

More to come.

Photographer: Daniel Ziembinski (Boof)