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Mission Statement

“to promote a safe, fair and enjoyable family friendly series
with a focus on a transparent, open and professional
attitude to competitors”

New format and partner for Stackpoole
Friday, 03 February 2017
Not a club to shy away from a challenge, the Griffith Off Road Club have reached deep into their bag of tricks to get this year’s event off the ground. As the opening round of the 2017 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series, the club had their doubts towards the end of last year that the popular event would go ahead.

However, after securing Town and Country Tyres to join ARB as co-naming sponsors for the 2017 event – the ARB Town And Country Tyres Stackpoole 400 - and locking in assistance from the Carrathool Shire Council, the Club members then turned their attention to the event format.

An early wet summer season and the resulting summer grass which covered the Stackpoole property left Club with a headache… it would be too much of a fire safety risk to run the traditional track through the hills.

After careful consideration, working bees and much deliberation, the members decided to reduce the course length from 100km back to 60km, bypassing the hills and rocky sections where the undergrowth and fire risk was more prevalent.

Left with a 60km course, the next question was the event format. Armed with a new vigour following their alignment with AASA as the events sanctioning body, the club have put forward a unique idea of dealing with the shortened track and potential associated dust.

“We’ve done the sums and we have enough time in the schedule to run the event as two separate individual races; one on Saturday and one on Sunday” explained Mat Ryan, Griffith Off Road Club representative. “The field will be divided into two groups; Classes 2, 3, 5, 6, 66, 7, 8 and 10 will do their seven laps on Saturday after the prologue with the rest of the field - Unlimited, 1 and 4 classes racing on Sunday.”

“The big plus behind the two race format is that the lower horsepower cars that run on Saturday will get to race on the track before it gets chopped up by the bigger horsepower teams. The two race results will be combined to allocate outright positions for the weekend.”

The new race format has necessitated that reconnaissance be moved to Friday … “We thought long and hard about having reconnaissance on Friday afternoon as we didn’t want to disadvantage any competitors. However, history told us that a large percentage of the competitors arrive at Stackpoole on Friday lunchtime to get their campsites set up and to make the most of the family friendly camping. And, as we won’t be doing regional scrutiny this year, teams will need to be at Stackpoole for Friday night scrutiny.”

Prologue is slated for first thing Saturday morning before the first group of competitors greet the starter for their 420km attack of Stackpoole. The race format itself will be three continuous laps of the 60km course, a service break, a further three continuous laps, a service break and one final lap, giving a total of 7 laps and 420km of off road racing through the Stackpoole farmlands.

“The two race format will also give us more officials on the ground as our club members will be don the high-vis vests on the day they’re not racing. It will also be a great opportunity for drivers, navigators and pit crew to give back to the sport by being line up marshals or doing recovery; there will be plenty of jobs for those willing to pitch in.”

“From our initial calculations, we don’t envisage that the two race format will disadvantage any teams. Safety will be increased as the field will be grouped into classes of related speed and less cars on the track at one time may allow for a greater start interval” explained Mat Ryan. “Saturday’s cars will also get to race on the track before it gets chopped up by the bigger horsepower teams. The data shows that the race on Sunday should finish earlier than in previous years, meaning we can get presentations done and teams on the road home at a reasonable hour”.

Full catering, bar, shower and toilet amenities will be available across the weekend at Stackpoole with camping available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Event regulations are in production and will be available soon. “Please understand that we are the first event under the new AASA sanctioning body regime; so the documentation may take a bit longer to come out. We are using the OnLine Event entry system again this year, so keep an eye out as we’ll put out a release when entries open.”


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