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

2017 Tasmanian Sand Enduro Wrap Up
PDF
Print
E-mail
Thursday, 16 November 2017
3761a_sm
Source: Corey Aldridge, Show 'n' Go Photography

Held at the Peron Dunes in St Helens, competitors were greeted with near perfect conditions for racing with the sun shining and a slight breeze. The field, although small in size with 10 entries, made up for it in quality, with many past winners including Michael Donohoe, Scott Rockliff and Chris (Tiny) Boon taking to the starting grid.

With five heats consisting of 20 laps of the five kilometre course being run over the two days, it was to be a busy weekend for competitors. The first heat started Saturday morning with a mass rolling start along the beach; it was a sprint race to the first corner with Michael Donohoe in his Nissan SR20 Evo Tech Pro Buggy taking the lead closely followed by Tiny in his Suzuki GSX1340R powered Frontline MS Tinybuilt Prolite.

3761b_sm
Hot on his heels was Scott Rockliff in his Subaru STI powered Rocka A Arm 02 Pro Buggy; slow to start was Peter Holman in his Nissan VK56 powered Titan Trophy Truck, however he soon started passing cars in the rougher sections of the track. Unfortunately for Chris Shepheard in his Pulsar Turbo powered Southern Cross it wasn’t to be his day having engine troubles which eventually saw him retire from the event completely after only completing two laps. Crossing the start/finish area after completing his first lap Geoff Lowry completed a slow motion roll after aqua planning in his Homebuilt Super 1650 Buggy.

The close racing continued at the front with Rockliff overtaking Donohoe to take the lead. Lap 10 was to see the demise of Chris Branch in his VQDE powered Hornet, succumbing to a slipping clutch and having to sit on the sidelines for the rest of the heat. The two Can Am SuperLites were having a battle of their own with Michael Stalker eventually coming out on top in the first heat. The only person to have trouble was front running Peter Holman breaking an axle in his Trophy Truck on Lap 14 and having to be towed back into the pits. Scott Rockliff opened up a substantial lead and held it to the checkered flag, winning the heat in a time of 56.39 followed by Michael Donohoe with a time of 58.56. Rounding out the top three and a Lap down was Chris Boon closely followed by Justin Tatnell in his Holden V6 powered Cox Chassis Pro Buggy.

3761c_sm
At the service break it was action aplenty with all competitors giving their cars the once over ready for heat two. For Chris Branch, the slipping clutch prevented him from taking to the start line, along with Peter Holman frantically trying to replace the broken axle. The sprint to the first corner had Scott Rockliff closely followed by Michael Donohoe, Chris Boon, Justin Tatnell and Michael Stalker in his Can Am all bunched together and Geoff Lowry slightly back from there; the fast pace of the race meant everyone was pushing. For second placed Michael Donohoe the pace was a little too much with his Pro Buggy being sidelined with suspension troubles on lap 11. Eventually after a lengthy time in the pits, Peter Holman got going to complete two laps of the heat.

Rockliff took the lead, only for it to be short lived, coming to a stop with fuel concerns allowing Chris (Tiny) Boon to pass and take the lead; greeting the checkered flag first in a time of 1.03. Luckily for Rockliff he was able to get going and cross the finish line in second with a time of 1.06 with third placed Justin Tatnell one lap down. Michael Stalker was another lap down in fourth with a 2 second lead over fellow Can Am racer Mike Males. Geoff Lowry overcame his roll in the first heat to round out the finishers for the day. At the completion of the first days racing it was Scott Rockliff in his Pro Buggy was leading Chris Boon in his Prolite and rounding out the top three overnight was Justin Tatnell in his Pro Buggy.

3761d_sm
Sunshine and a slight breeze again greeted competitors for the final days 300km of racing. Unfortunately for Michael Donohoe in his homebuilt Evo Tech he was unable to repair the damaged sustained with his front suspension from Saturdays racing. Chris Shepheard was also unable to repair his engine damage, however one person to take advantage of the overnight break was Chris Branch who had spent the evening at his accommodation removing the engine and replacing the clutch to take his position on the start line on Sunday.

Once again with the mass rolling start the racing was on from the drop of the green flag. Leading the charge to the first corner was Peter Holman in his V8 Titan Trophy Truck, keen to make up for lost time due to the broken axle. You could have thrown a blanket over the next four cars with Scott Rockliff, Chris Boon, Justin Tatnell and Chris Branch all in the first corner nose to tail closely followed by Geoff Lowry and the two Can Ams of Michael Stalker and Mike Males were side by side down the beach and into the first corner.

Once into the rougher side of the track the field settled down with Holman continuing his lead over Rockliff and Boon. The only competitor to have trouble was Mike Males in his Can Am. Late in the heat Rockliff passed Holman to take the lead and it stayed that way till the end of the heat with a time of 1.04:51 closely followed by Holman on 1.05:15. In third place Chris Boon a lap down with 19 laps followed by Chris Branch after his overnight repairs and Justin Tatnell both on 18 laps a further lap down was Geoff Lowry then Michael Stalker and last across the line was Mike Males.

3761e_sm
The fourth heat was almost identical to the third with a couple of changes at the front. After leading for most of the heat Scott Rockliff slowed with a fuel pickup problem, eventually stopping for a minute or so. This allowed Chris Boon to step up the pace and cross the line first with a time of 1.08:07. After his problems Rockliff was only 31 seconds behind in second place with Peter Holman rounding out the top three. The only other car to have trouble in the heat was Chris Branch who lost bolts in his steering - briefly blocking the track. After being towed back into the pits his crew quickly had him back on track to finish the heat.

3761g_sm
During the final service break it was all hands on deck for Scott Rockliff with his crew and fellow competitor Michael Donohoe chasing the fuel starvation concern. After removing the fuel line from the bottom of the tank they found the cause - a very thin film of plastic blocking the fuel pickup. With the plastic firmly in the bin and the fuel tank topped up it was onto the beach for the final time for the weekend.

The final heat was a repeat of the fourth heat, however Rockliff greeted the checkered flag first ahead of Chris Boon, Peter Holman and Chris Branch,

After two days and 500km of racing it was Scott Rockliff in his Subaru powered Rocka A Arm Pro Buggy taking the win with a time of 5.25:31. In second was Chris Boon in his Suzuki GSX1340 Frontline MS Tinybuilt Prolite, Justin Tatnell rounded out the podium in is Holden V6 powered Cox Chassis Pro Buggy after a consistent weekend.

3761f_sm
Fourth was Michael Stalker in his freshly finished Can Am, after a few issues for the weekend Peter Holman finished fifth in his VK56 Powered Nissan Titan Trophy Truck, sixth was Geoff Lowry in his Toyota 20 Valve powered homebuilt car - good to see Geoff still racing at 66 years of age and mixing it with the younger guys. After all his clutch problems Chris Branch in his VQ35DE powered Hornet came home in seventh and to round out the finishers for the weekend was Mike males in his Can Am.

I would personally like to thank Michael Donohoe, Greg, Scott Rockliff and everyone else involved in the weekend for their hospitality and a fantastic weekend of racing. I will defiantly be back in the future and I would say to anyone thinking about a trip to Tassie for off road racing, it’s worth it.