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Haby wins in the Sand
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Monday, 16 November 2020
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Source: Mark Heemskerk

The Robe Earthmovers David Larter Memorial Day Night Enduro attracted a strong field of 22 South Australian off road racers, some heading to the Millicent Sand Buggy Club’s Buggy Park venue for the first time. Mother Nature turned on near perfect weather conditions for the one day event, as the drivers set out for the first section mid afternoon on Saturday to tackle the 20 kilometre track through the sandhills and winding tracks of Buggy Park.

From the outset it was apparent that the event was not going to be smooth sailing for some as Cory Haworth #1011 was towed through the last part of the reconnaissance lap after encountering electrical issues and Jake Douglass peeling off to the pit area with a leaking exhaust. Fortunately for both drivers the problems were rectified and although Douglass would start a couple of minutes late, the full field greeted the starters green flag.

The starting order was by a random ballot with a two at a time start, which resulted in plenty of traffic and overtaking until the field sorted themselves out throughout the first few laps of the four lap heat.

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As the day section began to unfold, Aaron Haby #1 was relishing the conditions in his twin turbo powered buggy gliding across the top of the sand and launching over the undulations. After starting from the second row alongside #66 Andy Murdock, Haby took control at the front of the field by lap two and pushed himself out to a minute and half lead over the hour long heat. Murdock was never too far behind in his V8 as the pair put on a great display of sand driving.

Toby Wateley #421 was spectacular in the trophy truck as he thundered up the side of the dunes on his way to third position heading into the break. Adam Briel #111 was the next to come, with #1041 Jake Douglass making up time after his late start to come through in fifth. The top ten consisted of Roydn Bailey #622, Dean Russ #169, Chris Johnson #122, Dean Carter #81 and Justin Battersby #231, all showing good speed throughout the afternoon.

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With the opportunity to check over vehicles and make repairs as necessary all but two of the entrants were able to start the second heat. Matthew Salt #123 succumbed to clutch failure and Dean Carter unfortunately also joined the spectators on the hill.

As the sun started to set in the west and headlights ablaze, once again the battle returned to the dunes to see if anyone could catch Haby or match the pace he was able to produce in heat 1. Wateley was on a mission to try and make the most of the clear track he gained early on but hunting from behind, Aaron Haby was in a class of his own as he worked to the front of the field. From there he just kept pushing the Unlimited buggy right through to greet the checkered flag and take outright and class honours for the Robe Earthmovers David Larter Memorial Enduro.

Andy Murdock maintained his speed throughout the night section and with his local knowledge of the park, was able to secure second in the heat and outright over Wateley in third, who was managing a misfire in the latter stages. Adam Briel battled hard with his fellow class competitors and although headed by Darryl Nissen #164 in the heat, Briel took class honours and a well-deserved fourth outright.

Roydn Bailey had a consistent run in the Can-Am and jumped up to fifth outright with Douglass dropping down the order failing to complete the event after breaking a throttle cable early on. Sixth outright went to smooth driving local Dean Russ with Chris Johnson seventh, # 231 Justin Battersby eighth and first in his class. #268 Connor Corrigan and #60 Brenton Gallasch ninth and tenth respectively.

The Millicent Sand Buggy Club would like to thank all the volunteers and competitors involved in making this a successful event and Sponsors Robe Earthmovers, Integrity New Homes, Millicent Tyrepower and Heemskerk Security for making it all possible.