2018 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship
St George - May 4-6    |    Finke - June 8-11    |    Rainbow - August 10-12                  

2018 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
Griffith - March 16-18     |     Mildura - April 20-22     |     Sea Lake - June 08-10     |     Waikerie - July 13-15     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 17-19     |     Millicent - Sept 21-23

Polaris Tops QORC Round 1
Tuesday, 03 July 2012
The first round of the Queensland Off Road Championship held at the Retreat Station 65km west of Mackay was a resounding success with 23 cars enjoying fine sunny days, cool nights and the best 27km track the venue has offered yet. Brian Moohin and Jarrod Marson stormed home to victory at the Opposite Lock Mackay Retreat 200, chalking another victory for the new UTV class and the perfect 68th birthday present for Brian.

Snatching second podium from the clutches of the eight strong Polaris field was Michael Marson in the Pro buggy Grasshopper #11.

Jeffrey Marson and Michael Durso rounded out the podium in the #160 Kadco ProLite, making it a cross the broad Marson whitewash, with Jeffrey’s eldest son Jarrod taking up the offer of navigating for Brian Moohin in the #608 machine.

Extensive track work carried out by property owners Brian and Kate Moohin to make the track more user friendly paid off, with teams rapt with the racing on offer.

Overnight repairs saw David Jobe in the #914 Pro buggy and Brock and Adele Sievers in the #827 Hilux line up with the rest of the field for Sunday’s racing. Conditions were once again perfect as the 20 strong field set out for heat four.

Unfortunately this lap was to be the last for four teams with Clayton Chapman and Adam McGuire in the #803 Pajero the first to come to grief with a collapsed rear end, second to bite the dust was David Jobe in the #914 Pro buggy breaking an axle, disappointingly after completing other repairs the night before to get out on the track.

1437b_sm Keeping recovery crews busy were Greg Moohin and Jamie Whitworth in the #631 Polaris out with a suspension issue and lastly Brock and Adele Sievers making it only a stones throw further down the track from the #803 Pajero, with what was suspected to be an engine bearing fault, but has since been found to be damage caused to the clutch fork caused by a seized throw out bearing.

With the attrition rate rising, and some of the strongest competitors now out of contention, race positions and trophy opportunities were now back up for grabs. Pushing hard in what was a huge field of eight racers in the UTV class, but now down to six, were debuting racers Michael Brice and Dan McMahon #677 and Dave Nielsen and Shane Muma in the #633 800 Polaris who now realised that just circulating can make the difference.

Pushing hard to try and pip Andrew and Reece North #671 for third in the class were Mark Edmonds and Jay Morrison in the #688 Polaris, but the real battle was at the front of the field with brothers Brian Moohin and Graham Moohin in the #608 and #625 going head to head with Brian managing to keep his younger brother at bay by a few seconds each lap.

Extreme 4WD class was also blown wide open with Phil Dunn and Matt Foot #808 stepping up to take the number one position after the exit of Clayton Chapman. In second position and holding off Leila and Larissa Chapman in the #835 Pajero, were Paul Jeffries and Jason Lloyd in their #855 Patrol all the way from Brisbane. Unfortunately their race position was short lived after receiving a DNF after running out of fuel in heat 5. This cemented a second place position for Leila and Larissa, with consistency finally paying off.

Consistency also paid off at the last minute in ProLite class when Chris Colbourne and Rob Stieber #169 sitting in third position due to having to change a tyre mid lap on day 1, were catapulted to second after Chris Sollitt in #163 suffered a throw out bearing problem and was unable to start the last lap. Having a great time and watching his times reflect the drying track in number one position were Jeffery Marson and Mike Durso in the #160 Kadco.

1437d_sm Competition in Pro Buggy class was at its best with Mick Marson in #11 and Talbot Cox and Steve Gates in #32, and Rob Turner and Steve Ousten in #67 exchanging fastest times and knocking off the seconds, until Talbot had a fault with his alternator over charging and sending his computer into failsafe in heat 6 and opening the door for Marson to take the first position by mere seconds over Turner. Pushing hard for first place on the final lap caused Turner to make an error and end up off the track, allowing Talbot who was now back on the road back into second position.

Overall the times were tight over all categories, proving the track had the right mix of elements to give everyone their own advantages. Proving the home track advantage the outright winner for the weekend was birthday boy Brian Moohin and navigator Jarod Marson, finishing only one minute and 5 seconds faster than Mick Marson in 11 after 200 kms of racing after Marson completed the fastest lap of the meet in the final heat. Also completing his fastest lap and just edging out Graham Moohin and Ernie Sievers in the Polaris by a mere 11 seconds were Jeffery Marson and Mike Durso in the 160 Kadco.

A weekend of great weather, great racing and great company was had by all, and the Mackay Off Road Racing Club would like to thank their sponsor Opposite Lock Mackay for helping them to make this, their first Queensland Off Road Championship, a success. The club would also like to thank land owners Brain and Kate Moohin and all their workers who help with track prep and recoveries, the Pioneer Valley Enduro Club for use of their facilities and the track sweeps, members of the Land Rover club for manning checkpoints, and all the officials and stewards for their time and commitment.

The club would also like thank fellow North Queensland clubs, North Queensland Racing Association and the Burdekin Off Roaders and their dedicated members with their help and support with this event.

The next North Queensland Super Series round will be the Rocks Burdekin Long course on August 18-19. 1437c_sm

Source: Adele Sievers
Photographer: Wendy Moohin