Adam Jiear ended the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season as a class champion, but it will be the off track memories that he will cherish most.
The Victorian took out the Production 4WD Class in dominant fashion having been victorious in four of the five rounds of the season – an impressive way to end his rookie year – however, it was the journey travelling all around Australia for the five rounds, the time he spent with his family at each race and the new friends he made along the way that were the contributing factors to his memorable season.
The New South Welshman may not have had to face the difficult challenge of going head-to-head with Geoff Pickering, Warren Luff or Jodie Allen, but he still almost achieved his one goal for his season – to finish every race.
Having qualified for Extreme 4WD in the opening race at the Markwell Group Gold City 450 in Charters Towers, Jiear finished second to the ever-experienced Phil Lovett in his debut AORC round.
Switching to the Production 4WD class for the Wentworth Shire Pooncarie Desert Dash, Jiear ended up finishing the event and taking out top spot for the class.
American Brad Lovell claimed the class win at the Tatts Finke Desert Race, but Jiear still came away with second place and managed to finish the race on his first attempt.
Unfortunately, Jiear then faced his worst result of the year at the Loveday 400 with his first and only DNF, before heading out west for the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race where he won the class.
Not only was the West Australian event his favourite track for the season, but he also enjoyed a favourable result, having beaten the multiple entrants across both the Production and Extreme 4WD classes.
Looking back on his year, Jiear was pleased with the overall result of the year and having his family by his side.
“It was a good year and we had heaps of fun as a family, as they came to every single race,” Jiear said.
“I think Finke was the most enjoyable because of what it was as a spectacle, but the Kalgoorlie track was incredible as it was the most suited to our car.
“It was also the highlight because there were a few class eight (Extreme 4WD) cars and it was a good opportunity to see how I went against them – to go faster than all those crews who finished was a nice way to the end of the year.
“The goal was to get to all five races, see different parts of the country, race on a variety of different tracks and meet a whole lot of new people – and we did everything we set out to do.
“It was a bit disappointing that there weren’t a lot of class seven (Production 4WD) cars this year. We watched the likes of Geoff and Warren race last year at Finke and I was really impressed – I was looking forward to racing against them this year, however unfortunately it didn’t work out. Maybe they will be back next year.
“The car was very reliable except for the broken gearbox in Loveday, but other than that, we had a great time because of the atmosphere at each event. It’s a great sport for a family and everyone is easy to get along with.
“Of course we have a couple of small sponsors, but to have the support of my family and my mates who would come over on the weekends to help build the car made the year so much more enjoyable.”
Feature Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia