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

Four Sporties 12 Hour Titles in a Row For Hicks & Weir
Thursday, 10 August 2017
This year’s Sporties 12 Hour Enduro has been run and won by multiple defending 12 Hour champions "Team 4X" consisting of the #123 Prolite of Greg Hicks/Tania Webb/Angus McKay and #155 Prolite of Locky and Paddy Weir that came up trumps at the iconic Mt Ooramina circuit completing 18 laps of the 58 km circuit in 11 hours 53 minutes and 42 seconds.

The team stayed to their set plan of speed throughout the day, finishing only minutes before the 12 hour cut off. It is the fifth time that Greg Hooker Hicks has piloted his machine to a win at the Sporties 12 Hour and the fourth in a row.

With $20 000 prizemoney up for grabs (making it the second richest race in the country) the excitement was evident in Todd Mall when over 130 racing machines consisting of cars, trucks, buggies, quads and bikes met for scrutiny and a public display on the Friday night. This event growing in popularity with locals was well attended and a certain air of excitement began in lead to a full weekends worth of racing.

Prologue for the auto division was held Saturday afternoon with a total of 12 teams trying their best for a good grid position for race proper that would start at 7am Sunday morning. Times would be added of both cars per team to give starting position a with the fastest time giving them a clear dust free run come Sunday morning , if only for a bit in the obvious dusty conditions that would prevail.

For the first time in the history of the event, the auto division would be split into two classes, Pro and Clubman. The Pro class was where the big bucks were and Team 4X were racing in Pro class chasing the winner takes all $5,000 cheque.

Sunday morning and a 7am start broke the desert silence with Team 4X racing off to take the first lap of the 58 kilometre course, chased by eleven other teams, all wanting a piece of the $20,000 prize pool.

First casualty would be the #516 Ford Falcon ute of Dennis De Brenni/Joshua Redman with an engine bay fire in the first hour forcing team mates William Willis/James cook in the #321 Hayabusa on track to carry the baton. This team named "Last Minute Racing" had a testing 12 hour with the #321 Hayabusa having to do most of the work as the #516 ute tried several times to rejoin the race but a transmission issue saw the tin top on the trailer early.

Despite this, the little Madbro buggy continued throughout the day completing the 12 hour in 11 place outright with 10 laps completed.

In the testing conditions, the next to fall short of a desired result was team Panky Bird, consisting of #278 Super 1650 of Luke Pankhurst/Corey Muller/Nick Tregae and the #433 trophy truck of David Bird/Jessica Fry with the later exiting with a crunch, realising that a desert oak tree is tougher than even the strongest of Trophy Trucks. This left Luke Pankhurst and crew flying the flag, but also retiring just before the nine hour mark with drive issues; ultimately placing them in 12 place at days end. #433 David Bird and Jessica Frys’ bad luck had a shining light, the team ending up with the Hard Luck Award of the weekend.

Team Wylie Coyota consisting of #286 Super 1650 of Josh Wiles/Jake Kovumaki and #860 Extreme 4WD of Ken Callanan/Phill Kerr worked hard for their 10th outright, 8th in class result. The screaming Suzuki 4WD would exit early with valve train issues leaving the team to share drives with the #286 buggy.

Team The Battlers were aptly named as they fought mechanical woes, a rollover and flat tyres. Consisting of #440 Trophy Truck of Leighton Surr and the #217 Super 1650 of Peter and Michelle Baulch showing great spirit as they were able to complete 11 laps finishing 9th outright and 7th in class.

Finishing in 8th outright and 6th in class the Pedders Plumbers made up of the #681 Can Am of Jason/Liam/Chloe Flavell and #6615 Polaris of Sogan Pannui/Jesse Hunter with a total of 14 laps in a time that placed them 8th outright and 6th in class. The #681 CanAm of Flavell was its first run and proving the potential of the Superlite racers in off-road racing.

More Superlite teams of the #687 Can Am of Rex Spencer/Braith Mayeke and #6627 Polaris of Donald Du Toit/Kevin Marits remained consistent for 12 hours bringing the enthusiastic team home 7th outright and 5th in class with a total of 14 laps.

A great result was had by team Water Rats consisting of two brand new Yamaha SXS finishing 6th outright and 4th in class. Recently converting from quad racing #6669 steered by Rick Chambers/Pat Geraghty and #6609 of Brad and Courtney Geraghty remained ever consistent for the twelve hours completing 14 laps of the gruelling track.

Team Loose Cannons was arguably the most entertaining team of the event. Made up of the #431 Jimco Trophy Truck piloted by Brett Taylor and Peter Treis and the #450 Trophy Truck of Dylan Blake and David Gillies held the foot to the boards to finish second in Pro class.

Always entertaining with their dirt throwing machines, it was transmission issues that sidelined
#450 in the afternoon with #431 left to scream around Mount Ooramina until lighting issues forced Taylor and Treis to watch the final hour from the sidelines.

Finishing third in class and fourth outright was team Rif Raf. Neil Hinds and his team stayed out of trouble all day to finish with a more than pleasing result. The baby blue livery of #544 Holden Premier ute stood out from the red desert sand and was certainly noticed when prologued well on the Saturday with Neil Hinds and his son Michael Goulden with cab duties.

Ben Oliver and Nina Kells took the reins for Sunday’s race and were a great pairing with teammates Lincoln and Mark Sheedy in the #587 earth shaking F150, shaking all the dust from the desert oaks for 16 laps with their thundering V8s. One Ford and one Chevy this team quickly became a crowd favourite.

The pairing of the #135 Prolite buggy wrestled by Andrew Mowles/Michael Zacka/Matt Morgan and the father and daughter combo of Scott and Courtney Raven in their #225 Super 1650 met all challenges to finish second in the Clubman class and third on track. Named Mowles Minions they screamed around 17 laps in a time of 11 hours 21 minutes and 44 seconds. This team went toe to toe for speed over the twelve hours putting up a great fight to eventual winners of Clubman and second on track team Wild Cards.

This pairing of #125 Prolite Alex/Paul/Debbie Heinzel and #281 Super 1650 of Darren/Donna/Chelsea Wright drove fast all day and were deserving of the their win in the Clubman class. The team pulled together in time of trouble with team members having to run to town for more parts but it was all worth it at race's end. Alex Heinzel, a second-generation racer, showing the sport has a great future with such talent shown, demonstrating a mature approach to the race whilst still throwing his Southern Cross buggy around like a Sprintcar in front of the appreciative crowd.

THe Alice Springs Off-road club would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support in making this event a success.
Sporties Restaurant
Home Timber and Hardware
Todd River Pastoral Co.
KC Auto Electrics
Motorsports NT
Bobs Mob

Source: Rod Berry