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Kempsey racers target Wittitrin 300 success
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Wednesday, 23 May 2012
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The Wittitrin Off Road race has proven in the past to be a happy hunting ground for members of the Kempsey Macleay Off Road Club. Club members will be hoping that trend continues in 2012, when they contest the Scotts Hydraulic Services Wittitrin 300 this coming weekend.

1359b_sm Doug McMillan won the inaugural race in 2005, when the distance was just 100 kilometres and took less than 2 hours to complete. The race has grown since then, and last year saw Gary Hyde, with son Joshua navigating, take almost six hours to cover the 300 kilometres.

Hyde is back for more in 2012, this time with Gary Sullivan in the passenger seat. Whether Hyde can make it back to back victories remains to be seen, but he will certainly be trying.

McMillan and Hyde both represented the Kempsey Macleay Off Road Club, and in between the years of their respective race wins there has been plenty of success for fellow club members.

In 2006 David Spokes took out the first 200 kilometre version of the race, and finished second the following year to Phil Page. Spokes is back this year, after missing last years race, and keen to once again top the podium.

1359c_sm Another Kempsey racer hoping for a strong result in this year’s race is Darren Perrin. As President of the Kempsey Macleay Off Road Club Perrin is kept busy on several fronts, but he has found the time to upgrade his Super 1650 Buggy, and after a strong showing at Warialda in March, where he finished 10th outright, is expected to do well this weekend.

Tim Baker has been out of luck in recent Wittitrin races. With a 4th place finish in 2007 his best result. Baker is another club member keen to do well in 2012.

Port Macquarie racers Chris Browning and Chris Levi can be considered contenders for outright victory at Wittitrin; both are members of the Kempsey Macleay Off Road Club, and have the experience, and equipment, to get the job done.

Browning, a former Kempsey resident, campaigns a Sportsman buggy powered by a 1300cc engine. If awards were handed out for presentation Browning would be the victor hands down, but he backs up the professional appearance of his machine with talent at the wheel, and only needs an ounce of ‘lady luck’ to be on his side to achieve a major result.

Levi is a hard charger, who certainly knows how to steer his Super 1650 buggy. Watch out for the number 210 this weekend.

Other Kempsey Macleay Off Road Club members competing is this year’s race include Conrad Bignell and Scott McNeil, while Matthew Morgan and Shane Sussman are both expected to enter prior to the close of entries.

1359d_sm Bignell has jumped behind the wheel of the car usually campaigned by his father Murray while McNeil is campaigning a brand new ProLite buggy that has performed well at its starts so far this year. McNeil hasn’t competed at Wittitrin for a few years, but has two third outright placings in the race to his credit, which may be an ominous warning to the opposition.

Other local racers in this year’s race include Troy Campbell in his Super 1650 and Adam Evans in Pro buggy.

Kempsey Scrutineering for the race will be held Friday May 25 between 5pm and 8pm in the Edinburg Lane Car Park in West Kempsey, with the public welcome to attend.

Racing commences 10am both days, with the event being held on the Kemp family property at Dungay Creek 20 kilometres west of Kempsey.

Source: Rod Thurgood