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A Starry Knight
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Thursday, 27 August 2020
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Source: Toby Cooper
Photographer: Andrew Stott

It was the summer of 2013, when a new off-road star emerged. Running the newly acquired Richard Bennett Trophy Truck, Goondiwindi’s Jamie Knight #439 first cut his teeth in fury at the Moore Off Road Classic in Queensland’s season opener – a first in class the launch of Knights Bros Racing and a remarkable chapter of extreme consistency.

Jamie, with brother Symon in the navigator’s seat, set sail for the Griffith 400 in July of 2013 for their maiden long course event. Despite rear suspension failure on the final lap, a fourth in class gave the team plenty of confidence heading into their local debut. As the Goondiwindi crowd sat watching their favourites roar down the famous Malapunyah Run, Knight was quietly going about his business recording back to back fourth in the ultra competitive Class 4.

With strong performances to date the team decided to make the long trek south to tackle the ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series finale, the Pines Enduro. A far cry from the melon holes of Goondiwindi, Knight found the Pines forests to his liking and in doing so finished his South Australian debut in 15th outright and third in class result which cemented second in class for the ARB Series. Finishing the year in style, Knight went on to record a class win at Warialda; a race that would quickly become a favourite!

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After some off season love the old TT was primed and ready to attack the 2014 opener at the ARB Paringa 400 and with several runs on the board – confidence was high at KBR! On a brutal weekend of attrition, Knight held firm crossing 13th outright and third in class; an extraordinary effort after prologuing in 45th. A fourth in class on debut at Sea Lake was followed by a second at Griffith and Knight was on a roll. Improving on their first Gundy appearance, Knight broke clear of the chasing pack in the ARB Class 4 race with a 13th outright, second in class finish. Before returning to the Pines Enduro Knight jumped across the border to snare a top 10 and first in class at Warialda prior to the long journey south. Millicent capped off a sensational season for the team, Knight brought the TT home 15th outright and first in class to complete full distance at all 5 rounds – second outright and first in class for the 2014 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series the perfect reward.

2015 was a quieter year for the team; Knight sat out the opening rounds and didn’t hit the track until Warialda in September where normality and trophies returned for KBR with another sterling performance. A tenth consecutive race finish saw Knight score another class win which positioned them nicely for a season closing assault on Goondiwindi in October. The dream run continued for Knight on home soil, 12th outright and another class podium putting their name forward as one of Australia’s most consistent crews.

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Knight’s only hit out in 2016 came on home soil, and once again he did not disappoint his supporters. Regarded as arguably the most brutal event in Australia, Knight proved once again the effectiveness of his preparation and driving style to record another top 10 finish and second in class – compiling some mind boggling statistics in doing so!

Despite a slow start to the 2017 Goondiwindi prologuing in 45th, Knight regained his calm and collected approach bringing the old red girl home 14th outright and second in class out of the 91 cars who greeted the green – the extraordinary run would continue! Goondiwindi again kick started their 2018 campaign after a long off season, prologuing in 29th Knight jumped into gear. Charging through the pack on an action packed Sunday, KBR made it 6 from 6 Gundy finishes with another first in class and 6th outright – extending to 14th consecutive race finishes! Inglewood was KBR’s final outing of the season, an impressive third outright and class win the perfect close heading into an exciting 2019.

Santa delivered the goods in the off season, and after some fresh new additions the big red truck was firing, and with the AORC and Finke on the table it was to be a year of firsts for KBR! The St George 399 was up first in April, a comfortable top 15 and second in class the perfect springboard into their Finke Desert Race campaign! Their debut in the Red Centre was exceptional, after commencing their return leg to Alice in 43rd position the boys hung it all out coming home – storming through the dust into the arena 21st outright and fourth in class – another bucket list challenge completed for KBR on their maiden attempt.

With the 2019 AORC class title already in the books thanks to a comprehensive start to the season, KBR decided to pull out of the AORC decider at Rainbow due to the extreme conditions, so it was back to Gundy for the 400! Fresh from being crowned CAMS Australian Extreme 2WD champions days prior, confidence in the KBR crew was beaming heading into their seventh Goondiwindi campaign! In what would be an amazing 18th consecutive and sixth straight home class podium finish, Knight piloted the Red Rocket to a ninth outright and second in class - a huge effort after prologuing in 35th position, Sunday’s in Goondiwindi were quickly becoming known for the charge of KBR!

Knight ended his 2019 season with a third in class at the Don River Dash in Bowen despite experiencing a roll over for the first time; not be stopped though they returned to their wheels and kept firing towards another checkered flag!

COVID upended all plans for 2020, though last weekend’s Goondiwindi 400 was bittersweet for all involved in these extraordinary times. In a world where the unexpected is the new norm, nothing was more expected then a Jamie Knight finish on his home soil, and he did not disappoint! A few minor hiccups along the way was not enough to put a stop to Knight achieving his seventh Goondiwindi podium courtesy of another win and a 13th outright adding to what is an astounding record!

There is no hiding behind the stats and numbers Jamie Knight and his crew have produced since debuting in 2013, and although Knight may never be the quickest machine on track he has been nothing short of spectacular since debuting. Many have asked what’s next for KBR; although with a record like below why change!!

22 race starts in the Red Rocket, 20 consecutive race finishes, 17 top 20 outright finishes and 18 class podiums including 8 class victories it is hard to imagine anyone compiling a resume like Jamie Knight’s!!

Of course there is always more than the two in the cab for a race team to thrive, and for Knight and crew they have great support from their array of sponsors – ARB, Diesel Care, Knights Plant Hire, Fuchs Oil, Tollis Panel and Paint, Goondiwindi Tyre Service, Ambrose Haulage, Jason’s Towing, and JCS Signs!

KBR have again entered the upcoming Don River Dash who are expecting a 80 plus car field to round out their season – You can stay tuned to Knight Bros Racing on facebook for regular updates!