2018 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship
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2018 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
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Hoffmann Racing Australia Secure NSW #1
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Thursday, 30 November 2017
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Source: Toby Cooper

After years of competing on two wheels Hoffmann Racing Australia, boasting an unparalleled record in off road competition, opened a new chapter on four wheels in 2012. During the change, GHR (Glenn Hoffmann Racing) became Hoffman Racing Australia (HRA), “It was a natural progression as all my girls had started to race also with Emily and Angela both having won at club level as drivers and state level as navigators by age 15”, stated a proud Hoffmann.

The evolution of HRA has come with a mountain of success including the addition of a second CAMS New South Wales Outright Championship secured at the recent Nabiac Airport Challenge. Fresh from 14 years of experience leading the GHR Honda team into battle with nine wins at the Condo 750, seven titles at the Australian Safari, four Finke Desert Race victories and a stage win and seventh outright at the Dakar Rally, renowned off road identity, larger than life character Glenn Hoffmann, entered his maiden off road race at Colo Park, looking to uphold a winning heritage.

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Campaigning the team’s diminutive Weber 750cc powered dirt buggy for the full 4500km of the Australian Safari at its first event in 2012 and securing a maiden NSW Off Road Championship on debut as a rookie in 2013, Hoffmann has never looked back – revelling in every challenge. A narrow second place finish last season behind his greatest rival Derek Rose and a fourth consecutive Pro buggy class victory, Hoffmann rolled into 2017 eager to continue on with his distinguishable patient approach which he had engineered so successfully.

3770c_smAn opening double up club round triumph on the Sunday at Colo Park in February was made even sweeter by the introduction of 15 year old daughter Angela into buggy #18 for the khanacross event on the Saturday. Stepping up from a 1995 Toyota Rav4, Angela excelled in every facet displaying skills beyond her years finishing fourth in a race won by Glenn himself who runs the khanacross events in a Yamaha YXZ1000R.

Angela also competed in the back half of 2017 as a navigator for Justin Chisholm who also campaigned a Yamaha YXZ1000R, with the pair claiming the superlight class victory and third outright in the NSW Championship.

Hoffmann Racing Australia embarked on a fifth consecutive NSW title assault in April at Colo; the weekend that followed showcased a persistent, spirited Hoffmann – one that would hold him in good stead in his championship quest. After a blistering second place prologue, Hoffmann had positioned himself nicely for a run at the event title he claimed in 2013 - though knew his local Colo Park track needed to be treated with respect.

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Saturday’s racing began smoothly until a clutch issue and a loss of brakes due to a broken calliper pin during heat 2 caused Hoffmann to slip outside the top 10. Two trips to Bob Mowbray’s overnight for a new calliper and a master cylinder, heavy downpours and a 5am finish – Hoffmann’s season was well underway! On a slippery Sunday working his way into race contention via quick lap times, Hoffmann’s chances were dealt a huge blow when a thermo switch issue shut down the #18 during heat 2. In a fighting effort Hoffmann completed full distance, a result made sweeter for the team as they crossed 7th outright and 2nd in class.

Dondingalong was up next for HRA, and after experiencing an issue in the prologue Hoffmann barely put a foot wrong for the remainder of Round 2 in treacherous conditions. Lining up beside pro buggy rival Justin Guy in a V8 Jimco on the front row of the Kempsey Short course event in driving rain on Sunday was one of the challenges of the season for HRA. With almost zero vision, Hoffmann dragged Guy down the main straight before being blasted by a wave of water created by the towering V8 ensuring the #18 would cross for a well deserved 2nd outright. The 2nd Guy/ Hoffmann finish at Dondingalong continued HRA’s strong results at the event.

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Fresh from posting a 2nd outright at Round 3 of the SORRA Club championship, Hoffmann and crew set sail for the Milbrodale Mountain Classic where they would confront a large, high quality field. Prologuing in 8th was the perfect start; until Hoffmann took the first jump in heat 1 to almost forward roll the dirt buggy – he would continue on with suspension setbacks finishing day 1 just outside the top 10. Subsequent to a clean run throughout Sunday morning’s medium and short course heats, Hoffmann entered the daring mountain confident of making some inroads knowing the importance of track position and clean air. Unfortunately for Hoffmann the shock dramas resurfaced, a lengthy stopover in the pits looking for a problem (was later diagnosed as broken shims inside a right hand shock absorber) reducing the #18’s capabilities of being aggressive in and out of corners. Hoffmann returned to the track in his chase for valuable championship points, completing the full 251km’s 10th outright, and 6th in class.

Hoffmann would cruise into the second half of the season satisfied with his championship status, and as the defending Kempsey 250 champion confidence was high heading into the August event. 10th placing in the prologue was as low as Hoffmann got all weekend, rounding off day 1 in 6th position before closing out the 12 gruelling, dusty Wittitrin laps on Sunday 3rd outright and 1st in class and in doing so progressed to the top of the NSW standings.

3770f_smWarialda was the penultimate round of the championship, and due to its trying conditions and large field finishing was the main priority. An easy prologue left Hoffmann in 24th before Saturday afternoon’s two short course heats were both accomplished without any damage. Electrifying wheel to wheel racing with Scott Muma who alongside Scott Brown and Justin Chisholm rose as Hoffmann’s greatest threats, was the highlight of the weekend.

Hoffmann has had a knack of picking off cars in front of him in the tight Warialda long course terrain as his speed through the corners and across the bumps leaves onlookers dazzled. As Hoffmann returned to the arena to complete lap 1 of the final heat, an attempt at an outside move on a car into a slippery corner resulted in contact with an object hidden in the grass flipping the #18. A quick push onto its wheels and a quick stop over in the pits was made before Hoffmann launched into the Warialda wilderness. A sticking throttle forced Hoffmann to control the CVT driven machine by turning off and on the kill switch which caused a lack of power steering. It was a courageous effort by the team finishing full distance in 28th outright after losing valuable time, as they fell behind by a solitary point in the title race.

Trailing Scott Brown by 1 point heading into the NSW finale decider at Nabiac, Hoffmann was under no illusion that the rollover could have ended his title aspirations. On a track more suited for the larger cars, Hoffmann completed day 1 in 14th position with both Brown and Muma ahead- the race was on! In a professional Sunday display, Hoffmann’s perseverance paid off for the ultimate prize, as he clinically saluted the chequered flag in 7th position, enough to adequately secure a 2nd NSW outright Championship and a 5th Pro buggy class win in a row.

An incredible feat for Hoffmann to complete every kilometre in the championship considering he has also ran two club rounds at the pointy end of the field along with Angela piloting the #18 at khanacross events all with the same set of tyres!

With plenty of fight remaining in Hoffmann to further his experience, buggy and skills in the off –road arena, his record over the past 5 seasons has been nothing short of outstanding. With a focus on Angela’s progression through the driving ranks, Hoffmann has plans to continue on into 2018 with a possibility of a two car attack at a championship which has been a feature of HRA’S evolution. Glenn Hoffmann has highlighted his ambitions of one day returning to the Dakar Rally in the side by side category with his daughter; though for the moment 100kms of the formidable Colo layout can be just as harsh.

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For now, Car #18 has one more Khanacross round with Angela at the wheel before Glenn will drive it at the Ray Vesty Memorial at Colo Park the following day, which will take the tally to 13 events in 2017 for the spirited machine. From the record books there could be a strong case built for the smallest car ever with the smallest engine ever to being the toughest ever? For season 18, Car #18 is up for lease or possibly sale, contact Glenn for more details on 0407 447 337.

Like all race teams, it is impossible to produce results and enjoy the best kept secret in motorsport without sponsors and continued support. Hoffmann Racing Australia would like to thank Paul Kilpinen Hughes for his dedicated work prepping the car in the shed and on race days, to the SORRA Club and members for supporting such a strong Junior development program, plus a huge thank you to Dirtbike, RPM Gearbox and Yamaha for their ongoing commitment.

Stay tuned for more HRA updates!