This year’s Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 will be bigger and better than previous years for both spectators and competitors thanks to track changes made in the off-season.
While the event is still in its early days after first running in 2017, each year has seen changes made to better the course for all involved.
Following the South Eastern Queensland Off Road Association (SEQORRA) receiving a variety of constructive feedback on the course last year, event organisers took action and created significant changes for the better.
While there have been a host of small changes made to different parts of the course, the most notable adjustments were the addition of 20 competitive kilometres and the widening of the track in some areas.
Ahead of the 2019 BFGoodich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship’s season opener, Clerk of course Barry Neuendorff believes the new changes will improve racing and create a better atmosphere for all those in attendance.
“Now that we have around 75 competitors taking part in the event, I am glad we have added an extra 20km because they would be driving single file,” Neuendorff joked.
“But seriously, we got some feedback following last year’s event and we really took it on board because we always wanted to make this event even.
“Some of the roads have been tight between trees and the buggies nearly clipped the side of them as they went past, so we extended and widened the track to make sure there is some real fast stuff there as well as the tight stuff.
“The course was a bit narrow and tight in a lot of places which suited the Can-Ams a little more than the buggies but now I feel the course is very balanced for all.”
Neuendorff also revealed the Prologue course underwent some changes, which have now been completed.
“We have signed off on our Prologue course and I can assure competitors that it’s not as tight any more,” Neuendorff added.
“The tightness would suit the Can-Ams more but now there are these absolute straights where the fast guys can go flat out.”
With the event running through a mixture of land, banks and man-made dams, spectators have also benefited greatly from the adjustments with the organisers creating an area where fans can enjoy the action.
“The spectator points are on one of the dam walls and to make it, we flattened the top of the wall and made it safe so people can walk on it and watch the action from there,” Neuendorff added.
“There will be fantastic vision for the spectators because they will probably see six cars driving all at once as the competitors go from one dam to another.
“We have also built some banks which should increase the spectator’s appreciation of what the buggy can do because these buggies will get a lot of air when they go over.
“This track is really built for spectators.”
While the entertainment is not the only benefit for spectators, the event will remain free for everyone to come and watch some good quality off road action.
The Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 takes place in the Queensland town of St George on 5-7 April.
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