2019 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship
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2019 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
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Rhodes Hat Trick and AORC Crown at Waikerie
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Sunday, 24 July 2016
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As the sunsets over 2016 Waikerie Riverland Enduro, we can reflect on the achievements of the weekend. Jack Rhodes and David Pullino penned their names in the record books today, securing a hat trick of Waikerie victories as well as wrapping up their first Australian Off Road Championship title.

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Rhodes and Pullino have been knocking on the championship door for the last two seasons, placing second in 2014 and third in 2015, and this weekend secured enough points to take out the 2016 title, earning the right to call themselves Australian Champions.

Rhodes’ journey today wasn’t without its dramas; they prologued first yesterday but were relegated to third on the start grid after the Top 10 ShootOut. After the early demise of Glenn Owen, Rhodes was on a mission to pull in the time gap to Shannon Rentsch. With Rhodes pulling 11 seconds on Rentsch as they headed into the fourth lap, all the #91 Jimco needed to do was stay within striking distance of Rentsch, without the need to pass, to take the victory.

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Unfortunately, a delaminating tyre saw Rhodes and Pullino use the 60km pit return option for a quick tyre change, losing over 3 minutes and the lead to Rentsch. On the sunny side they returned to the track and did not lose track position to the chasing pack.

Lady luck played into the hands of Rhodes when, about 15km from the finish line, they passed the Rentsch duo stopped trackside. All that was needed was to successfully navigate the final 15km of Waikerie track to salute the checkered flag and claim the grandest prize that Australian off road racing has to offer, the right to don the AUS#1 plate.

As Rhodes and Pullino celebrated their victory, former Waikerie local and now a Western Australian Scott Schiller and Nathan Schultz drove their #971 machine into second place. While taking out the event awards, Schiller was not registered for the AORC, and therefore not eligible for points.

Beau Robinson with navigator Shane Hutt #413 slotted into third outright after clocking in consistent lap times over the course of the five lap event. The New Zealand team of Raana Horan and Klem Christiansen were third on the road to finish, however, once Robinson crossed the line, were relegated to fourth outright by just over 30 seconds on adjusted time; Horan happy to mark up a finish after an disappointing race season in Australia.

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Aaron and Liz Haby were one of the seven possible candidates to be crowned Australian champions this weekend and were on target until power steering failure saw the husband and wife in the pit during lap three and wrestling with the Element Prodigy #57 for the remainder of the event. They can take some solace in the knowledge that they can wear the #2 plate for the 2017 season.

Steve Sanderson and Tahlia O’Cass, while finishing sixth outright behind Chris Wilson and Anthony Beven #99 in fifth, accrued enough points to take third on the AORC point score to round out the AORC outright podium.

The Australian off road racing community can now celebrate their Champions for the 2016 as they plan for the rest of this year and the 2017 season ahead.

Please note that AORC point calculations are unofficial.