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Full Polaris Podium at the Retreat
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Monday, 24 September 2012
Clear skies and light winds provided perfect racing conditions for campers and racers at the Opposite Lock Mackay Retreat 200 last weekend.

17 teams were scrutineered and ready to race and with prologue done and dusted by 11, the first lap of the 25km track was away by 12.

Lap 1 saw drama straight away as Paul Jefferies, who had prologued 1st in his class 8 Wizard Performance Patrol, had a roll over mid track. Minimal damage saw the machine back on the rubber and out for the next lap. Setting a blistering first lap and 10 seconds in front of the field was NQ Super Series leader Talbot Cox and navigator Jayson Roberts, coming in second was Graham Moohin and NQ series navigator leader Ernie Sievers in their Polaris 900, only one second ahead of brother and property owner Brian Moohin and his navigator Neil Forrest in their Polaris 900.

Lap two saw the times tumble with most competitors taking up to 30 seconds off their times, and by lap 3 competitors were pushing hard.

Class 8 was hit hard with casualties with the 808 Triton of Phil Dunn and navigator Daniel Fea having steering arm issues ending their weekend early, and newcomer Tony Hellyer with navigator Luke Gill in their 805 Hilux having clutch issues. Lap 3 was also a first and a last for the day for other class 8 debuts Brent Taylor and Wayne Bradley, who after sorting out electrical issues which had kept them out of the race so far, went out on their first lap only to have a radiator failure in their Holden V8 powered 80 Series. Lap 4 was the final of the day, and the end of the weekend for Paul Jefferies in 855 after a manifold failure seeing the Patrol put back in the truck.

Graham Moohin and Ernie Sievers suffered a blow to their podium campaign with a flat tyre, losing 5 mins after repairs on track.

Also in the wars were Luke Buckingham and navigator Tony Buckingham in their modified cobra super 1650 having a gearbox failure, Michael Marson having issues with an ignition module in his Pro Buggy grasshopper, and Steve Willits weekend was ended in his no.99 Pro Buggy after losing his exhaust system.

By the end of day one with only 10 teams still running Talbot Cox and Jayson Roberts were at the head of the pack in the Kadco Pro buggy for an outright win, with 1 minute and 40 seconds to spare over Brian Moohin and Neil Forrest in the Polaris 900.

Day 2 saw two of extreme 4WD’s repaired overnight; Brent Taylor and Wayne Bradley fitted a new radiator to get their V8 powered 80 series back on track and Tony Hellyer and Luke Gill repaired their power steering and rejoined the field with prevailing clutch problems.

Lap 5 saw a major upset with leaders Talbot Cox and Jayson Roberts having a suspension failure and limping back to the pits for urgent repairs. This left the door wide open for the Polaris’ with Brian Moohin and Neil Forrest leading the charge. Also having drama on this lap were Brock and Adele Sievers, in their last race in their extreme 4WD Hilux with a new car on the way, with gearbox troubles, and Tony Hellyer and Luke Gill suffering a blown radiator in their extreme 4WD Hilux. With both teams only completing 4 laps this left the door open for Brent Taylor and Wayne Bradley to move up the podium if they could complete the remaining laps.

Ongoing repairs to the Kadco of Talbot Cox and Jayson Roberts saw them miss lap 6, but make it back in for 7 & 8, while the rest of the field geared up to grab podium positions and points. Brian Moohin and Neil Forrest were setting consistent fast laps, but the Momentum construction Polaris of Andrew and Rhys North was knocking off a few precious seconds per lap. Close behind were father-daughter combo Peter and Jodi Moohin in their 900 Polaris and Mark Edmonds and Joe Bugeja in their 900 Polaris. Also knocking the times down and achieving personal bests in the final laps were Greg Moohin and Jamie Whitworth in their Polaris 900 and Chris Colbourne invited veteran navigator Steve Gates in for the last few laps and benefited from the expertise, knocking an average of 2 minutes off his lap times.

In the end it was a Polaris 1,2,3 for outright positions with property owner Brian Moohin and navigator Neil Forrest taking out the honours for the second time this year. Following by only 19 seconds was the Momentum Constructions Polaris of Father-son team Andrew and Rhys North, just beating father –daughter team Peter and Jodi Moohin by 16 seconds.

In the classes Talbot Cox took out Pro Buggy with the most laps completed in his Kadco, followed by Steve Willet in 99 and Michael Marson in no.11 grasshopper.

In Pro Lite Chris Colbourne and Rob Stieber took out number one, and father-son team of Luke and Tony Buckingham were first in Super 1650.

Out of the 5 contenders in Extreme 4WD, Brock and Adele Sievers finished the most laps in the best time in their SR20 powered Hilux – just beating Brent Taylor and Wayne Bradley in their first event and securing an Opposite Lock Mackay sponsored 1,2. Taking out third were Tony Hellyer and Luke Gill in their Hilux.

In UTV class Brian Moohin was number 1, followed by Andrew and Rhys North and Peter and Jodi Moohin.

In the North Queensland Super Series Drivers Championship Talbot Cox has pulled out to a 7 point lead, with Brian Moohin now moving into second on, and Graham Moohin in third.

In the Navigators Championship Ernie Sievers is out in front, with Jayson Roberts moving up the field to second and Rob Stieber in third.

With one round left in the series at Talbot Park on the 27th and 28th of October, the points in both the Drivers and Navigators Championship are still close enough for an upset.

The Mackay Off Road Racing Club would like to thank the property owners Kate and Brian Moohin for the venue, all the workers, stewards, time keepers, and officials for their help with running the event. They would also like to thank their sponsors Opposite Lock Mackay, Fire and Safety Industries, Harts Transport and Mackay First Aid Supplies for their ongoing support of the club and the event.

Results can be found here.

Source: Adele Sievers