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2020 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
Sea Lake - June 5-7 (Cancelled)     |     Griffith - July 3-5 (Cancelled)     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 22-23     |     Millicent - Sept 25-27

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

Chapman on top at Dalby
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Wednesday, 24 June 2020
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Source and Photographer: Alan McIntosh Sports Photography

Well with the months of disruption due to COVID-19 starting to ease, it was time to go racing again in Queensland. The Gympie Auto Club got the resumption underway hosting the Pat’s Diesel Services 100 at Weranga on the outskirts of Dalby.

The event proved to be very popular with a full field of entries with a few last-minute changes made to accommodate the amount of interest. As some competitors had already competed in the first round of the Queensland Short Course Championships pre Covid-19, the full competitor list was given the opportunity to start.

Off the line on Saturday morning was 64 really keen competitors; just champing at the bit to get back out racing. The track was approximately 15 kilometres in length, and had a good mix of open farmland, a bit of forestry and looked like it wasn’t going to favour any class of vehicle in particular. As it worked out the lap times for buggies and even SXS’s were very close indeed.

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The format for Saturday included a prologue to determine the start times and then 2 heats of 1 lap each.

Prologue - It was #15 Clayton Chapman in the Unlimited buggy who set the fastest time in the prologue finishing his lap just 6 seconds ahead of #124 Troy Duff, with the Class 6 buggy of Sybrand De Klerk pushing hard into third place.

Heat 1 – Sybrand De Klerk put in a blistering lap and came out on top of Chapman by 10seconds. Jeff McNiven in the new Can-Am, with a fair bit more top speed than the previous model, overcame a small issue he had in the prologue to place into third place, less than 2seconds behind Chapman for the heat.

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Following recent rain a week or so earlier, the track was really starting to come together and would only get quicker throughout the day.

Heat 2 – Chapman was back onto of the timing sheets for Heat 2, with a time of 12.02.82 for the 15 km track, finishing 5seconds ahead of McNiven and a further 4 seconds further back to De Klerk.

#444 Damien Saunders had a roll-over in his nice-looking Class 4 Trophy Truck and finished the day with a DNF. It seems that with the big break, everyone had their vehicles in pretty good condition as there were only 4 DNF’s for the day.

For something a little different, but not part of the overall event, there was a one lap dash at night on a shortened course for those keen night owls. Twenty-nine lined up to take on the chilly night conditions and it seems Clayton Chapman is pretty quick in the dark as well, collecting some sponsors products for his run. Thomas Swinglehurst pushed his Can-Am into second ahead of a Class 10 competitor Jason Keane.

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A good crowd made up mainly of other competitors and team members gathered on top of the dam to watch the night race and it proved very popular, especially as the cars landed the last jump near the finish line.
A quick consultation with the competitors on Sunday morning saw a change to the format for Sunday. It was decided to run the heats as 2 continuous laps in groups of 10 cars. As it worked out time wise, they ended up with 1 heat of 2 laps and another heat of 1 lap each, allowing for an earlier finish to the event.

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Heat 3 - Competitors lined up for an early start on Sunday (7.30am) and it was Day 1 leader Clayton Chapman first of the line. Four competitors completed the 2 laps in just under the 24 minutes. #604 Jeff McNiven who was fast coming to grips with the new Can-Am was quickest, 2 second ahead om #610 Tom Swinglehurst followed by Chapman and De Klerk.

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A nice surprise on Day 2 was that legend and all-round good guy, Toby Price popped out to Dalby for a look, to see what all the fuss was about. So good to have someone of TP’s status at an event like this.

The last heat - and this time it was Chapman who finished his final lap well ahead of McNiven by a whopping 11 seconds. Sybrand De Klerk finished his weekend off with another consistent third placing in this heat.

A couple of hard luck stories for the weekend as always – young Taylor Teichmann losing quite a bit of time whilst doing a bit of tree clearing in her Class 3 buggy, but without a doubt the slipup of the weekend was Damien Saunders rolling his trophy truck after the finish line, right in front of the crowd.

This was a very well organised event (arranged under very difficult circumstances) and all accolades must go off the crew at the Gympie Auto Club, officials, the sponsors, landholders, recovery boys and girls for a great event.

Hopefully we will be able to get the borders open again soon and get back to some inter-state competition.

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Class Winners:
Outright
1st - Clayton Chapman
2nd - Sybrand De Klerk
3rd - Jeff McNiven

Unlimited Buggy
1st – Clayton Chapman
2nd – Brett Comiskey
3rd – Jae Collins

Class 1
1st – Andrew Murphy
2nd – Troy Duff
3rd – Darren Angel

Class 2
1st - Russel Hartnett
2nd – Brian Bradford
3rd – Mark Andrew

Class 3
1st – Aaron Nicoll
2nd – Tylor Teichmann
3rd – Steven Orr

Class 4
1st – Chris Western
2nd – Paul Youman
3rd – Steven Kildey

Class 5
1st – Tyler Youman
2nd – Stuart Chapman

Class 66 (Non-Turbo)
1st – Paul Hutchinson
2nd – Kane Hope
3rd – Chris Land

Class 6 (Turbo)
1st – Sybrand De Klerk
2nd – Jeff McNiven
3rd – Tom Swinglehurst

Class 7
1st – Luke Petersen

Class 8
1st – Chrisian Trusz
2nd – Ross Challacombe
3rd – Les Thompson

Class 10
1st – Michael Marson
2nd – Jason Keane
3rd – Steve Reibel