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Nabiac Success for Runamuk
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Source: Toby Cooper

In the wake of claiming Round 5 of the New South Wales Off Road Championship at the Hunter Rivmaster Warialda 200, Runamuk Racing’s Bryce Chapman and chief navigator Mitch Warren had their eyes on back to back victories at last weekend’s Nabiac Airport Challenge.

Heading into the event with no prior track experience created a fresh challenge for Chapman who crossed the range Friday morning with an exuberant crew on board eager to continue their end of season momentum.

Prologue got underway on Saturday morning as all 45 crews completed qualifying on the fast, calm 8km circuit, hallmarked by the famous Nabiac Airstrip. Chapman in the team’s Jimco Champion #58 laid down his mark, clocking in the fourth fastest time – a satisfying result considering the extreme nature of the track unlike anything Bryce had raced on previously.

There was action aplenty Saturday afternoon as Chappo and Warren looked to fancy their liking to the Nabiac sand, the two – three lap heats a perfect taste of the 121kms of long course racing awaiting them on Sunday. At the completion of day one, the dusty conditions held Chapman to third outright behind a flying Justin Guy #19 and Peter Skaza #83, who were showcasing their class – it was game on!

As the sun rose over the Central North Coast Car Club complex for the final day of the 2017 season, the Runamuk crew began their final check over of the Jimco before it was unleashed on a brutally rough track, which ended up breaking the heart of many competitors on day two.

Chapman launched off the line alongside Scott McNeill, and with dust going to play a major factor, winning the jump from the start line would become a pivotal moment. A clean opening five laps allowed Chapman to find his groove, by moving up into second outright, in the process it set the backdrop for a thrilling finish as Guy had extended his lead at the service break – the chase was on.

Chapman made his move during lap seven subsequent to a Guy flat tyre, following a quick pit stop though he was back on track still ahead on time. As the sun continued to beam down on what was a warm October afternoon, the Jimco began overheating and occasionally going into limp mode causing some concerns in the Runamuk crew who remained the on track leader going into the final lap.

A couple of run offs for Chapman were the only close calls as he greeted the chequered flag first car home. With an unfortunate broken axle for Guy in the dying stages ending their campaign – Runamuk were officially the champions of Nabiac for 2017, finishing 12 minutes clear of their nearest rivals; a great achievement for their maiden Nabiac outing.

“We are stoked; to be honest we had no expectations heading into the weekend – to come away with another win is awesome. It’s perfect to finish our year on a high,” exclaimed a jubilant Chapman. In commending the Nabiac hospitality, event organisation and enjoyment he had for the track, he too made note of his supportive crew and sponsors who make weekends away possible.

“A massive shout out to Greg Campbell, Racetrans, Springwood Care Care and BFG Tyres for an unbelievable, unbreakable car and to Runamuk’s loyal sponsors – TPE Earthmoving & Civil, BC Earthmoving, Rabbit Electrical, Off Road Cartel, Nepean Earthmoving and BeNutts – we cannot do this without you!”

Runamuk would also like to thank the racing community for a fantastic 2017, and look forward to catching up at a race throughout 2018.