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2019 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
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8 out of 8 at Ladies and Juniors
Monday, 15 October 2018
Photographer: Brett Lehmann
Words: Julie Rogers & Mark Taylor

The Denise Gosden Memorial Ladies and Juniors has been run and won with an astonishing one hundred percent finishing rate. Although only a small field of eight competitors took to the 9km Wynarka course for 12 laps, all teams greeted the checkered flag. The annual event is open to all girls/ladies and boys aged 14, 15, 16 or 17.

14 year old Broken Hill lad Lachlan Turley with Dad Kerry guiding his young charge from navigator’ seat of the #626 turbo charged Can-Am Maverick, in their first attempt at the Ladies and Juniors, topped the time sheets with a 2m16s gap over Lynda Miller and Brendan Payne. Lachlan also took home the perpetual trophy for first junior to the checkered flag.

Lynda and Brendan travelled nearly 600km from their Warrnambool base to campaign the #299 Southern Cross, taking home second outright and the perpetual trophy for the first female home. Lauren Andrews driving Dad Richard Andrew’s WOTFAM ProLite #137 rounded out the Denise Gosden Memorial Ladies and Juniors Enduro in her first ever competitive drive of the family machine.

Mother Nature had promised a sensational 29 degree day, however, scrutineering started with a bit of drizzle and attendees wondering why they were wearing shorts. As luck would have it, the drizzle moved on to produce a lovely sunny day. As most of the Ladies and Junior drivers had have limited time in the cars, the organisers had a full track reconnaissance in race vehicles to set the scene for the racing day.

Once the 9km look around lap was completed, it was straight into the prologue. Topping the time sheets was the expected front runner Lachlan Turley closely followed just 4 seconds behind by Tanya Wales in Nev Day’s Mantiss Prolite #197. Rounding out the prologue top three was Shaydon Witmitz in Grover the Land Rover Production 4WD.

The balance of the field was the Southern Cross Super 1650 of Lynda Miller, Lauren Andrews #137, Kimberly Hille in #555 F100, Millie Vanderwoude in the #554 Holden Colorado and Jarrah Taylor in the Cobra #256 Super 1650 rounding out the prologue field.

The format for the weekend was six laps of the 9km course, a compulsory half hour service break and then a further six laps. The race start of a single car at 30 second intervals gave the spectators enough action off the line and also the drivers (thee of which this was their first competitive) enough breathing space between cars to compose themselves and get to the job at hand.

Lap one saw Jarrah Taylor get into the groove and quickly picking up a spot at the end of Wynarka Straight and starting to chase down Kimberley Hille with limited success. Lap two was the action lap at the front; Tanya Wales had settled into the car and was pushing hard from position two, looking to take the lead from Lachlan Turley. This was achieved at the start of lap thee with Tanya leading the race and chasing down the backmarkers. Unfortunately, lap four saw Tanya bust a CV cage 5km from home and need to be towed to the pits for repairs.

Lachlan took back the lead and led into the service break after six laps. A hard charging Lynda Miller made up time on the track and moved into second outright at the break. Third outright at the break was Jarrah Taylor making up five spots from the start of the race, taking a 48 second chomp out of Kimberley Hille’s lead.

Lachlan Turley headed out first for the final six laps followed by Lynda Miller, who learnt fairly quickly why you don’t run the right hand side of Whoopdedo Straight, getting all crossed up, when lapping slower cars.

Kimberley Hille started 12 seconds in front of Jarrah Taylor (which was like a rabbit to a greyhound) after the service break and was the making of a good battle. Lauren Andrews, after a slow start, was starting to feel more comfortable behind the wheel and the Prolite power was really coming out. Lauren was the fast mover for the sescond half of the race, picking up Jarrah and Kimberley in the next four laps to cement her spot in third on the road.

Kimberley Hille also found some form, giving the Production 2WD F100 a great run; extending her 12 second lead on Jarrah Taylor to 1m21s by race end. Millie Vanderwoude had a great run for a first timer, putting down consistent laps all day with her fastest being lap seven straight after the service break.

Shaydon Witmitz also improved after lunch after some issues on lap five and six, which held him back, with his second half of the race quite consistent. Tanya Wales after spending just under an hour in the pits making CV repairs, came back out with a renewed vigour, putting down some great lap times putting the best time of the day in on lap nine.

Results can be found here.