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Mildura Awaits Southern Cross Racing
Thursday, 19 April 2018
Source: Toby Cooper

With a deep family connection to off road racing in Australia Brett Smith #161, who now commutes out of Kuala Lumpur to race, is eager to kick-start his 2018 season on Saturday at the Mildura Rural City Council ARB Sunraysia 400. Smith’s father Bob Strawbridge inaugurated Southern Cross Racing back in 1974 when he built his first buggy; 44 years on and there are still many of his frames campaigning across Australia, from the hundreds that have been built.

This weekend Smith will fly the Southern Cross flag at Round 2 of the ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship, in what will be his second appearance at Keera Station. Running the latest Southern Cross model known as the Next Gen, Smith and crew will be hoping their weekend runs smoother than their previous visit in 2014; a blown engine required the car to be placed on the trailer with a tractor.

Smith himself set foot into the off road racing scene at Sea Lake in 2012 in a Southern Cross Mark 5; going on to spend the next few years campaigning in Victorian and South Australian events before making the move west.

Favourable results followed for Smith, who went on to claim back to back outright titles at the 2015 and 2016 Western Australia Off Road Championship – a warranted reward for years of consistent performances. Sea Lake last year saw the team debut the Next Gen, car purpose built for Smith, which turned out to be a memorable weekend all round; father Bob sat in the navigator’s seat as the team brought the #161 home in 10th position.

Eagar to get his season underway in the dust of Mildura, Smith has already pencilled in the ARB rounds of Sea Lake, Waikerie and Millicent as others he will be contending in 2018, with their racing season set to conclude as spectators at the Baja 1000 qualifying in Vegas. With only minor improvements made to the car in the offseason and a change in gear ratios, Smith will be one to watch out for across 2018.

Smith and crew are proudly supported by two fantastic sponsors, Southern Cross Racing Frames and Johnson’s Performance Centre (JPC) who help immensely throughout the year. A special thank you must also go to Brett’s father Bob who maintains the car in Adelaide, and brother Heath who lends a hand when in town, their help ensures everything runs smoothly.

Keep up to date on the team’s progress on their Southern Cross Racing Team facebook page!


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