Rainbow to host entertaining class battles

As the weekend’s BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship season finale gears up, the result of this weekend’s Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro will determine our various 2019 Champions.

While a number of crews are on track to take out their respective class victories, there are the odd few where it’s going to come down to the Rainbow finale.

With six major classes taking place, aorc.com.au/cams previews each class ahead of the big dance happening in Rainbow on 9 – 11 August.

Pro Buggy – 11 Crews
It is quite possibly one of the closest battles going on at the moment, with nine-time champion Shannon Rentsch just 30 points ahead of Mark Burrows in both the class and outright standings.

Josh Howells’ runner-up placing at Finke put him within a shot of the class title, but he will need a bit of good luck to go his way as he trails Rentsch by 215 points.

The only other entered crew with a chance of class victory comes in the form of Glen Towers, who had a nightmare in Finke after coming fifth outright in St George.

Pro Lite Buggy – Five Crews
The class’ top three are all entered for Rainbow, with 2017 AORC Champion Matthew Martin currently leading Ally Howells and Craig Pankhurst.

While it’s unrealistic that Pankhurst can steal victory from the two above him, sitting 363 points behind Martin, a victory to Howells could see her avoid finishing second back-to-back and finishing above Martin.

Super 1650 – Five crews
With Declan Cummins the only registered AORC entrant competing in the event, and Hans Werner Zettle set to be absent, Cummins is on track to be the champion-elect of the class – providing he finishes.

The remaining crews in the class will be battling out for the CAMS Victorian Off Road Championship with Peter Stevenson and Brock Pendlebury the big names in the class.

Extreme 2WD – Four Crews
Four AORC drivers are entered into the round and it’s Jamie Knight who holds a commanding lead over the rest of the class, with 294 points separating him and the second placed Brett Taylor.

With Taylor not able to make it, Knight has effectively taken out the title with Justin Watt the only other driver to have competed this year.

Also entered into the event is inaugural 2017 Rainbow Desert Enduro winner Greg Gartner, who has yet to register points in the class in 2019.

SXS Turbo – 11 Crews
One of the most interesting classes in the championship comes down to huge season finale with a number of drivers in contention for the title.

Most notably, class leader Nick Jackson is enjoying a breakout year as he holds a lead of under 50 points over veterans Allen Henson and Greg Campbell.

A further 40 points behind Campbell is Roydn Bailey, who sits 60 points ahead of Toby Whateley and Jeff McNiven. Interestingly, Peter Carr and Glen Ackroyd round off the top 10 and both are still a mathematical chance to win the class title.

All eight drivers are entered to compete in the final round – meaning it’s going to be a hell of a rollercoaster across the two days of action making Prologue a whole lot more important.

SXS Sport – Five crews
Class leader Rick Chambers is not entered in the Rainbow Desert Enduro, which makes it a wide open playing field for who will take out the SXS Sport title.

The two major players in the running for the class victory are John Wisse and Chris Land with only 11 points separating the two drivers, with the pair within 40 points of the absent Chambers.

An outside chance for a victory is Brad Geraghty, who sits last in the standings, however with Wisse and Land only 200 points ahead, some luck could give him the title.

Sportslite – Five crews
A late development ahead of this weekend is class leader Stephen Graham, who has motor issues and will miss the final round and a chance to sit on the outright podium. It would have been a monumental moment had a Sportslite made the top three outright placings.

In his absence, the class is effectively left to Patrick Geraghty, who is just under 200 points behind Graham.

For Geraghty to win the title, he needs to finish the race.

Click here to view all the standings.

The Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro takes place in Rainbow on 9 – 11 August.