2017 CAMS Australian Off Road Championship
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2017 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series
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High Attrition at Burdekin Day 1
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Saturday, 12 May 2012
1342a_sm
The adrenalin rush as the transporters entered the front gate to the Burdekin venue and the unforgettable smell of race fuel as the pits roared into life became a reality today for the 17 North Queensland off road racer who have been desperate for the first event on the 2012 calendar to come to fruition.

The Burdekin 150 Short Course got off to a great start this morning with the reconnaissance lap underway and Mother Nature turning on a fine, yet mild day. The overcast skies kept the sunrays at bay, making comfortable conditions for competitors, crews and the masses of spectators coming out for look.

1342c_sm But that is where the good luck ended for a good portion of the 17 strong field. The look lap saw Steve Gates in #457 have some teething issues; crankcase oil pressure added to some electrical gremlins saw him scrambling for the tools.

Lap one of the seven on today’s schedule saw Chris Colborne #169 also having electrical dramas in his ProLite resulting in a tow back to the pits by Rob Stieber, his ex-navigator, in his Production Class Feroza.

Lap one was also very unlucky for fellow ProLite driver Jeffery Marson in his Kadco #160 with a gearbox issue causing his weekend to end very early after he hit reverse instead of first gear when downshifting out of a corner. Also suffering gearbox issues was Rob Turner in #67 Predator; the team scrambling back to Townsville to pick up a spare, hoping to get back out on the track as quickly as possible.

Lap two saw the drama continue with Brock and Adele Sievers having trouble in their newly converted Extreme 4WD Hilux #827 with a turbo flange failure causing a fire at the back of the engine at the finish line. This forced them out of the race for the rest of the day as major repairs were undertaken.

As the work in the pits amped up, some competitors were having more luck on the track with Talbot Cox leading the field in the ex Michael Marson V8 powered Kadco #32, followed by Kev Ballment who was debuting his new Lexus powered Pro buggy #13.

1342b_sm Rounding out the top five at the end of lap two was last year’s championship winner Michael Marson in his Pro buggy Matrix Grasshopper #11, followed by Andrew Sollitt in the Subaru powered Sollittico #164 and the first of the UTV class Peter Moohin in and the 900 Polaris 82 #682.

By all accounts the track was fast and, as the lap times fell, Chris Colborne started to find his groove in his VQ35 powered ProLite #169 and quickly moved up in the time tables.

The UTV class was well supported as expected, and the times were close as five competitors’ debuted new Polaris 900 buggies. There was a mere 30 seconds separating the first to the last of the 900's with Dave Nielsen’s Polaris 800 lagging behind another 30 seconds, but ready to strike when least expected.

On top of the UTV class Peter Moohin #682, followed by brothers Brian Moohin in #608 and Graham Moohin #625 who were only seconds apart. Rounding out the Polaris’s were Greg Moohin #631 and Mark Edmonds #688, also debuting new machines.

Drama soon struck for the debuting #671 Polaris 900 of Andrew North with a broken fan belt causing him to record the first DNF for that class on lap thee. Lap four saw the next Polaris to fall, with Dave Nielsen and the Polaris 800 having hub issues, ending his weekend.

1342d_sm Electrical issues struck again on lap four with Rob Stieber towed to the pits in his Production 4WD Feroza #712 with charging system issues. After lunch there were only 10 vehicles to start laps five and six, with lap 6 seeing Andrew North in #671 recording his second DNF with a second broken drive belt. Also out was Kev Ballmet in the #13 Pro buggy with engine management issues needing attention.

Only nine of the 17 cars completed the final lap for Saturday with Michael Marson also succumbing to gearbox issues while running in second outright. Marson unsure if the #11 Matrix will take to the track tomorrow.

This secured Talbot Cox #32 the number one spot followed by Andrew Sollitt #164 and Peter Moohin #682.

With many vehicles being worked on overnight, the weather and the competition is expected to be excellent for Sunday final five laps.

Source: Adele Sievers