2017 CAMS Australian Off Road Championship
St George - Apr 29-30    |    Finke - June 9-11    |    Rainbow - August 4-6                  

2017 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series
Griffith - March 17-19     |     Mildura - April 21-23     |     Sea Lake - June 9-11     |     Waikerie - July 21-23     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 18-20     |     Millicent - Sept 22-23

Massive Season for Limited Options Racing
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Monday, 16 October 2017
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Source: Toby Cooper

As the Australian off road racing calendar winds to its conclusion, few have competed in more races than Declan Cummins and his Limited Options Racing crew in 2017; and what a year it has been.

Highlighted by securing the CAMS Australian Off Road Championship Super 1650 title at the final round, the inaugural Rainbow Desert Enduro in August and a spirited class win at the brutal ARB Sunraysia 400 in April, no stone has been left unturned for Cummins in a season that was aimed at entering events not seen previously.

Relatively new to the off road racing scene, Cummins with good friend Patrick Philp liked what they saw in their early involvement and in July 2015 the seed was planted, purchasing the ex Troy Duff #219 hornet. After an unsuccessful first outing at the Gympie short course, Cummins and Philp quickly made amends at the Goondiwindi 400, crossing fifth in class. 2016 was the first full season for Cummins, campaigning the Queensland series to first in Super 1650 class, though a fourth in class at the iconic Finke Desert Race a major highlight for the team.

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As the love for the sport prospered, races were more frequent, therefore came a need for greater comfort and reliability. Cummins found this in mid 2016 when he purchased the ex CnC Racing #210 Lothringer. Cummins settled nicely, debuting his new A-arm machine at Goondiwindi where he finished fourth in class. Then onto a dusty Lockyer Enduro – without expectations, a class win and second outright the perfect launch pad for what would be a frantic 2017.

From their Adelaide base, Cummins and crew went into the new calendar year with a fresh slate. Approaching the season with a ‘look and see’ mentality for both the AORC and ARB Series, it was all about placing themselves in good stead moving forward with track conditions, car set up and overall logistics, the success that followed an added bonus!

The season began at a rough n rocky ARB Stackpoole 400 in March; a clean consistent run saw Declan and Patrick complete their New South Wales debut fifth in class. Mildura, Round 2 of the ARB Series was next in a string of closely ran events. Prologuing eighth in class there was 400km of gruelling, muddy racing to contend with on race day. Consistency shone through for Cummins who stormed through the field to claim an impressive 15th outright, and the class win, though celebrations were short lived as attentions turned to the upcoming St George 399, AORC Round 1 just a week later.

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Arriving in country Queensland, Cummins quickly found his groove – getting his CAMS Australian Off Road Championship campaign off to a scintillating start; back to back class wins and 13th outright the reward. With all rounds to date completed in full, the Limited Options Racing crew set eyes for the red centre and Australia’s Greatest Desert Race for Round 2 of the AORC. Handling the rough terrain brilliantly on a dusted out run from Alice to Finke, the Lothringer came to a halt at the 205km mark with gearbox failure, prematurely ending their weekend, a disappointment after prologuing first in class.

It was time for a change of pace, as Cummins and son Ollie brought the team’s Can Am #624 out of the shed for the Port Germein Auto Challenge; a blown turbo, broken drive belt and a cab of smiles was topped off by a second in class. Onwards and upwards for the team as they moved into the Riverland town of Waikerie for the next instalment of the ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series. Unfortunately an electrical issue reared its ugly head, and after a fantastic run in the prologue, it placed them at the back of the field. Once resolved, trying to make up for lost time, Declan clipped a tree ending their weekend on lap one; luckily a Rainbow was just around the corner.

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Arriving at the final round of the CAMS AORC in Rainbow, Victoria for the Hindmarsh Desert Enduro an Australian Super 1650 class title was well within reach. As the rain began to fall, Declan prologued sixth in class and by Saturday’s end their championship chase was well on track after climbing to 12th outright, with the class lead. Maybe the most intense day of racing for the year took place on Sunday at Rainbow as five gruelling wet laps were completed in just under 5 hours. In doing so Cummins claimed a spirited sixth outright and another class win for the books – enough to seal the AORC Super 1650 title and sixth outright for 2017.

No rest for the wicked, as it was only two weekends later and Cummins, guided by Sam Phillips, were battling the brutal Albins ARB Goondiwindi 400 for ARB AORRS Round 5. Improving on their sixth in class prologue they brought the #210 home at one of the toughest tracks in Australia; third in class and 19th outright.

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An ARB class podium was on the line when Cummins lined up at the prestigious Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro in September. Day 1 was a success, prologuing fifth in class, which he boosted to fourth after the short course dash. Sunday was super challenging, the electrical issue once again putting them to the rear of the field. Once back on track a fired up Cummins and Philp cruised their way to a second in class and 24th outright after finishing all laps. The ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series had come to a close at a cold and damp Millicent, although it was not the podium finish they were after, fourth place was a pleasing result after a demanding latter end to the season.

A year of challenges was taken front on by Declan and his team, though reaping the rewards could not be possible without the fantastic support by sponsors, Speciality Services QLD, Pats Diesel Services and Jacksons Parts & Industrial Supplies.

As most off roaders put up their tools heading into summer, Cummins is not done with yet, locked and loaded for next weekend’s Can-Am Move Yourself Hire Loveday 350.

Stay tuned for another action packed 2018 for Limited Options off road racing!