The BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) has made two changes to its sporting regulations ahead of this month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race.
The changes come following a review by Motorsport Australia in order to make the championship a fairer and simpler competition in the current environment, including the ongoing border restrictions impacting competitors’ Championship aspirations.
The first major change to the regulations will see the AORC title now decided by participating crews’ best four rounds counting towards their final points score, instead of all five.
The rule was amended as a result of many Victorian based crews being unable to attend this month’s round in the Northern Territory due to the border closures. This change ensures competitors can still be in contention with good results in the remaining three rounds and aren’t unfairly disadvantaged by border closures outside their control.
The second change applies to the outright AORC points score with the scoring system now simplified.
Previously, crews would receive points for their results in each section/heat of an event, however crews will now receive points solely based on their finishing position at the end of an event.
The winner of an event will receive 31 points, while the runner-up will gain 29 and each descending position thereafter will receive one less point until 30th place.
Crews who finish 31st or below will not receive any championship points towards their total season score.
Although the scoring system has been adjusted for outright standings, the class championships remain the same whereby points are based on section results.
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Michael Smith was confident the changes were for the better of the sport.
“We’re really happy to be able to make these changes as it means the AORC won’t be impacted by ongoing border closures because a crew may be unable to attend an event,” Smith said.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for Victorian crews being unable to compete in Alice Springs, so by making four rounds count towards the final score instead of five, it means individuals still have the chance to win the Championship, even if they can’t participate later this month.
“As for the scoring system – crews should be rewarded for where they finish an event like many other sporting codes around the world and the way it has been in previous years has proved quite complicated.
“And with different events running different formats, it means there is a universal system and crews are not penalised for missing events with more sections. This change should also remove any confusion surrounding the outright points at the end of each round.”
The rules will come into immediate effect and will apply for the Tatts Finke Desert Race and beyond.
Photo: Terry Hill Photography