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Highs and Low of 2019
Sunday, 29 December 2019
Source: Toby Cooper for

Few would have predicted the events of the 2019 off road racing season; many highs were crushed by many lows influenced heavy by Mother Nature. The year has been nothing short of extraordinary, from Mark Burrows claiming an 8th CAMS Australian Off Road Racing Championship to multiple events across Australia being cancelled due to dry or devastating fires – we can only hope for more favourable conditions in the New Year.

There were tears of joy in early August across the small township of Rainbow as Australian Off Road legend Mark Burrows #21 claimed his 8th Australian title and first in 15 years alongside his son Matthew in the navigator’s seat – third place finishes at St George and Rainbow with a superb fourth at Finke led to the success.

The 2019 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship also came down to the final lap at Millicent for a champion to be crowned. Husband and wife team Aaron and Liz Haby #57 secured their first ARB #1 mantle in style, taking outright honours at the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro to hold off a flying Talbot Cox #16 in the championship race by the narrowest of margins.

Tony Abson #1026 reigned supreme in a reduced CAMS NSW Off Road Championship. Extremely dry conditions forced the cancellations of Warialda and Wittitrin before a fast approaching fire caused the premature finish to the final round at Nabiac, with Abson holding the upper hand at this point.

In Queensland Christian Rich #619 broke through to claim the CAMS Queensland Championship whilst Dave Skinner #1064 was rewarded for his consistency with the CAMS North Queensland Super Series. Clayton Chapman #15 capped off a dominant 2019 season by winning the AORRA Queensland Off Road Racing Championship; a title run which included four outright victories.

Across South Australia, Brett Rogers #95 and Todd Lehmann #85 tied for first in the Element Off Road AORRA South Australian Racing Championship, whilst Sam Vanstone #232 shone the brightest in the South Australian Off Road Racing Association Interclub Series.

In other state news, Darren Agrela #39 claimed a maiden CAMS Western Australian Off Road Championship courtesy of three outright victories and a clutch top five result at the season finale in Kalgoorlie whilst Eric Schlifelner #1055 reigned supreme in the CAMS Victorian Off Road Championship and Michael Stalker took out the Tasmanian Series by just one point over Chris Branch.

The final months of the 2019 season were crazy to say the least; all left in the hands of the weather Gods. From the horrific drought across the country which hampered the ARB and NSW Championships, to the fires at Nabiac and Mulgowie, to the complete devastation of Colo Park, then to a wash out at Gympie, it left a lot asking what next?

With four rounds confirmed for the 2020 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship and five rounds for the CAMS Australian Off Road Championship, plus the challenging State Championships, it is shaping up to be a sensational season ahead – all that’s needed now is lots of rain and more favourable weather conditions. #preyforrain