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2020 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
Sea Lake - June 5-7     |     Griffith - July 3-5     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 14-16     |     Millicent - Sept 25-27

2020 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Australian Off Road Championship
St George - April 3-5    |    Finke - June 5-8    |    Loveday - July 10-12    |    Rainbow - August 28-30    |    Kalgoorlie - October 23-25

Champions... A Decade in Review - 2010
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Wednesday, 15 April 2020
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Source: Toby Cooper for offroadracing.com.au
Photographer: Daniel (Boof) Ziembinski

With the current COVID-19 worldwide pandemic putting our everyday lives on hold, it is anyone’s guess as to when we will return to normality. Whilst we eagerly await our return to the track in 2020, I have turned back the clock in reviewing the past decade of the Australian Off Road Championship and how the legends were made.

2010 - Impeccable Fellows Breaks Title Drought
Led by five time Australian Off Road Champion’s Shannon and Ian Rentsch #1 of Victoria the 2010 Championship got underway at Hyden in the south eastern wheat belt of Western Australia over the Easter long weekend in April.

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2009 AORC Runner-Up David Fellows in the Peter Kittle Motorsports twin turbo Toyota powered Jimco dominated from the outset cruising to a 3 minute victory across the 450km event.

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Local Western Australian young gun Travis Robinson #3 left off where he finished his previous season with a spirited second outright in the Outerbounds Racing Jimco, holding off New South Wales based Brad Prout #9 who finished 3 minutes adrift in third place.

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Returning to the off road racing arena, Northern Territory’s Danny Auricht #8 was super impressive finishing in fourth, marginally ahead of the second OBR representative Beau Robinson #85 who rounded out the top five.

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Other notable inclusions from Round 1 included reigning Australian Champion Shannon Rentsch #1 started off his 2010 campaign in sixth outright; OBR owner and stalwart Brian Robinson #84 produced the goods with a tenth outright in the team’s Porter; Steven Sanderson #125 stole the show in the Prolite class whilst Clayton Chapman #701 began his Production 4WD defence with a class win.

The June Long weekend was next on the calendar with South Australian based David Fellows #2 improving on his remarkable record at the Finke Desert Race and his lead at the top of the 2010 AORC rankings after claiming his third consecutive and fifth overall victory at the great race.

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Fellows and Bergamin were brilliant once again leading from the outset, holding off a fast finishing South Australian Brad Gallard #454 by just under a minute.

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Local competitor Danny Auricht #8 raced across the line to round out the podium ahead of an inform Brad Prout #9 in fourth and OBR’s Brian Robinson #84 in firth who took the wheel of son Travis’ ex Jimco for the weekend.

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Other notable inclusions from Round 2 included current champion Shannon Rentsch #1 sat in a narrow second at the overnight break, although a broken axle in the team’s new Jimco ended their assault, whilst local hard charger Steven Sanderson continued on his merry ways flying to a sixth outright and class win (a place higher than his 2009 result).

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Next up was the Griffith 700 in July; the endurance style event was a hit with a large field greeting the cold, wet and foggy conditions which played a part on race day Sunday. Glen Owen #30 was the first home, recording an impressive third consecutive Griffith title in the process after 7 and half hours of gruelling competition.

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The Rentsch duo #1 returned to podium celebrations finishing 4 minutes back in second ahead of a near flawless Fellow’s #2 who extended his stranglehold on the championship with a conservative third outright.

Danny Auricht #8 rallied for fourth with Mark Burrows #21 rounding out the top five in his best finish to date in the 2010 Championship. Other notable inclusions from Round 3 - Buddy and Kerry Crowe #4 like many overcame early issues with sight to finish sixth; Brad Prout #9 and Andrew Kittle #14 were amongst those who were forced to withdraw with mud in their eyes whilst Justin Watt #101 and Chris Western #401 took home class wins.

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In what can only be described as one of the more dominant AORC campaigns in memory, David Fellows #2 continued his terrific run storming home to a convincing win at Round 4, the Pines Enduro. Held at Millicent on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, Fellows locked up the 2010 and his maiden championship title with a third outright victory of the season in extremely muddy conditions which left many water logged and bogged throughout the forests. In his debut season in a new car, Centralian Andrew Mowles proved his giant killing capabilities with a second outright in his Aussie made Prolite Razorback. On a weekend of upset results, Jason Corless #15 claimed his first AORC podium in the turbo powered Rimco. Rob Cowie locked away fourth outright in his Scat powered Prolite, with Matt Coleman and Shawn Teagle sealing fifth in their Alpha Pro buggy.

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Other notables – Travis Robinson #2 led the field away for the final two laps before suffering to fuel issues; Shannon Rentsch exited early with water in the engine likewise Brad Prout #3; Glenn Owen #30 was one to succumb to the huge amount of water in the quarry whilst Danny Auricht #8 unfortunately endured a massive rollover in his Jimco at the 11km mark. Only 27 teams managed to complete the treacherous event which was reduced to 3 laps.

Round 5 of the 2010 AORC had been cancelled the week prior to the Pines Enduro due to the wettest winter in Goondiwindi in over 15 years leaving the track impassable, with rivers, creeks and melon holes full of water – reducing the 2010 Australian Off Road Championship to the four rounds.

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With Mother Nature dealing out some extreme weather conditions during all four rounds of the season, it was the South Australian based Peter Kittle Motorsports team of David Fellows and Mark Bergamin #2, who dominated the season to claim their maiden Australian Off Road Championship on 62 points. Despite his misadventure at Millicent, Danny Auricht #8 in his V8 powered Jimco claimed the #2 plate for 2011 on 34 points, ahead of Sydney’s Brad Prout #9 who managed enough points in the early rounds to round out the 2010 AORC outright podium on 22 points.

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Colin Hunter #801 claimed the Extreme 4WD championship in his Jeep on a countback over Chapman Racing’s Robert Chapman #802, fellow Queenslander Clayton Chapman #701 scored big to claim back to back Production 4WD titles, whilst South Australian Jeff Loader #513 tamed the Production 2WD class. Chris Western #401 was another to defend his title with a flawless 2010, Josh Golby Smith took home a Sportsman championship, whilst Darryl Smith #202 proved too consistent in the Super1650 category. Continuing to bloom in 2010, Steve Sanderson #125 took the Prolite lead in Hyden and was never headed, earning his first Australian Off Road Class Championship.

2010 proved to be the year of Peter Kittle Motorsports, and despite the weather Gods doing their all to wreak havoc, it was David Fellows and Mark Bergamin who entered Australian Off Road Championship folklore!