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2019 ARB Season Fast Approaching
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Friday, 07 June 2019
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Source: Toby Cooper for offroadracing.com.au

After a highly successful 2018 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship, which saw Brent Martin #120 reign supreme, the 2019 Championship is set to kick off with the opening of entries for the upcoming ARB Town and Country Tyres Stackpoole 500.

With Martin Motorsport’s, Brent, Dale and Craig all scheduled to contend the 2019 rounds kicking off at Griffith, they will first compete at this weekend’s Finke Desert Race alongside Danny Brown #42 and many other ARB Championship regulars after the unfortunate cancellation of the ARB Sea Lake Mallee Rally event. With it now a three race Championship with Griffith, Goondiwindi and Millicent due to the cancellations of Mildura, Sea Lake and the withdrawal of Waikerie of this years Championship, it opens up the chances for a new ARB Australian Off Road Racing Champion.

Other big names to have registered for the 2019 ARB season include multiple Griffith victor Jack Rhodes #91, last year’s Stackpoole champion Talbot Cox #16, New Zealand’s John Morgan #54, the ever consistent Aaron James #93 and a flamboyant Aaron Haby #57 all capable of stringing together outright victories.

As the chequered dropped at the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro last September, it signalled the crowning of the ARB Off Road Racing Champions for the 2018 season. Although a broken gearbox ended their Pines assault early, it was Victorian’s Brent Martin and James Boyle #120 in their Martin Motorsports Jimco Aussie Spec 2000 who claimed a maiden outright ARB Championship through consistency and perseverance amassing 293 points over the 6 round series.

A near flawless first 5 rounds of the championship for Martin featuring a second outright at Mildura and Waikerie, a third at Goondiwindi and top 10 finishes at Griffith and Sea Lake had secured the ARB #1 and Class 1 titles for 2019 prior to the season finale.

Experienced campaigners Brett and Deanna Smith #161 started their 2018 Pines Enduro 4th place in the championship, a 6th outright at one of their local events launched them into second outright and second in Class 1 only 10 points adrift of Martin. Smith’s effort in his Southern Cross Next Gen machine looked even more impressive considering he only competed in 4 rounds, leaving no room for a slip up – a tremendous 4th outright at Sea Lake and a 9th at Waikerie the highlights. New South Welshman Dean Meginley and Dean Demarco #1087 clocked in a solid 9th outright at Millicent to round out the championship podium whilst taking home the Class 10 title in the teams Tatum. Highlighted by a 5th outright at Mildura, Meginley finished 2 points clear of a spirited Bernie Clohesy #570 in 4th and John Smith #445 a further 4 points adrift in 5th.

There were many closely fought class battles across the 2018 season with many coming down to the season finale, North Queenslander Talbot Cox #16 took the Unlimited class silverware in his Racer, largely thanks to an outright victory at the Stackpoole 400 and a 5th outright at Goondiwindi. Martin Motorsports Craig Martin #25 claimed second falling 3 points short after missing the Pines Enduro, likewise Cox and New Zealand’s John Morgan #54 who finished third. Martin’s highlights included a 6th outright at Stackpoole and a third outright at Waikerie, whilst Morgan in his first Aussie assault was impressive in a 4th place finish at Stackpoole and a 7th at Goondiwindi.

Class 1 was dominated by Brent Martin #120 and Brett Smith #161 across 2018 with only 9 points between them, whilst James Lochert #171 secured third spot on the podium courtesy of a standout 6th outright at his local Waikerie event. Martin and Smith are expected to be back in 2019, with Sea Lake champion Cameron McClelland #154 also registered to do business, Griffith local Jason Richards #119 and Queenslands Tony Fehlaber #138 will also be in the mix.

Class 2 hard charger Daniel Wells #201 defended his ARB title in 2018, class victories at Sea Lake and Waikerie amongst podium finishes at Stackpoole and the Pines wrapping up the silverware. Rhett Standen #225 stormed to class wins and top 10 outright results at Mildura and Goondiwindi wrapping up second place ahead of Dale Standen #292 in third. The Standen’s are expected to be at their home event for the season opener, whilst Wells will be stepping out in his new Class 10 machine for the season ahead.

John Smith #445 overturned a mid season deficit to secure the Class 4 championship, wins at Sea Lake and Millicent plus a second place at Goondiwindi leaving the South Australian 9 points clear of Paul Grant #405. Grant opened his season with a class win at Stackpoole, before a couple of 4th places prior to his third at Goondiwindi, Darren Mott #435 nailed down third in the title race. Smith #401, Grant and Mott will return to battle in 2019, alongside the likes of David Fellows #492, Damien Nicol #430 and Michael Denham #435.

The Class 5 battle was led from start to finish by Victorian Bernie Clohesy #570 who throughout the season found himself in an outright position, Clohesy scored class wins and top 10 outrights at Stackpoole, Sea Lake and Goondiwindi – a super impressive season for the Mitsubishi Triton competitor. Tasmanian Stephen Watkins #501 finished second highlighted by a class win and 10th outright at Millicent, with Darran Vanderwoude #554 piloting his Holden Colorado into third thanks to a narrow victory at Waikerie. With all three podium getters from last season registered for the new season, it will definitely be a class to watch in 2019.

Queenslander David Loughnan #611 crossed first in class at the Pines, securing his Class 6 championship in doing so, other results to note include a victory at Stackpoole and a third place finish at Waikerie. Scott Tymkin #647 claimed second in the championship courtesy of podium finishes at Mildura, Waikerie and Millicent whilst Ian Terry #660 attained third.

Dean Mcginley ran away from his rivals in Class 10, leaving David Vallance #1021 for second and Chris Boon #1091 in third. In a fast improving class, young gun Tanner James #1093 will return to action, so too Griffith’s Steven Graham #1065.

Jason Keane #722 obtained a maiden Class 7 title, with his victories at Sea Lake and Goondiwindi, he finished ahead of second place getter Jason Forssman #774 who’s best finish was a second at Goondiwindi. Class 8 was wrapped up early in the season by Kerry Turley #858, wins at Stackpoole and Sea Lake plus a second at Waikerie allowed them to forgo the final two rounds. Defending champion Owen Ward #801 overcame a slow start to cement second after wins at Waikerie and Millicent with John Alfred #819 home in third.

The new 2019 season will kick off at Stackpoole on the 6th & 7th of July, and the organising committee is hoping for another great year of racing for all competitors, clubs, and series sponsors who continue to advance the ARB Offroad Racing Championship.

Click here for event information for the ARB Town and Country Tyres Stackpoole 500.



 

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