Roydn Bailey came from the clouds to take second outright in the 2019 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship putting in a brilliant performance on the tricky Rainbow track.
In a thrilling finale at the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Enduro, Bailey took out the SXS Turbo Class Championship beating the likes of Greg Campbell and Allen Henson, as well as young guns Toby Whateley and Nick Jackson.
Bailey confessed he wasn’t sure how he was able to achieve the feat but knew he was a red hot chance once the rain came.
“It’s a bit of a shock given the outright positioning wasn’t really on the radar for us heading into Rainbow.” Bailey said.
“As soon as it got wet and muddy, we were in for a chance because we all know how good these little Can-Ams are in those conditions.”
Incredibly, Bailey went into the final round in 13th position outright and was the lowest-ranked out of the final top five.
Making the achievement even more remarkable were the issues Bailey and his co-driver Keke Falland faced three and a half laps into the race.
“A lap and a half in we had problems and we broke a driveshaft and we finished the race in two-wheel drive so pretty much were in finishing mode at that point.” Bailey said.
“We passed a lot of cars on the side of the track and we knew we were pretty close up to the top from a class point of view but didn’t have a clue we were in for the Championship.”
With multiple drivers pulling out of the race due to the conditions as well as some failing to finish, Bailey’s confidence grew, and he just needed to complete the event to give himself every chance to take the class title.
He finished fifth overall at Rainbow, just 43 seconds faster than his closest competitor Peter Carr. It ended up being Bailey’s best finish in 2019 and proved that finishing each race is an achievement within itself.
Bailey will now set his sights on a 2020 assault on the AORC, donning the number two plate as well as a new car.
“I’m definitely planning on returning. Plans are to build a new car, we’ll have some different colours and try to stay at the top which is hard with the number of drivers in our class and the quality of them,” Bailey added.
“We will certainly be there to have a crack.”