The official points score of the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) has been finalised, declaring this year’s outright and class winners.
After another action-packed season, the season finale was once again held at a popular Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race, with more than 80 crews attending a thrilling event.
Headlining the standings were Travis Robinson and Andrew Pinto, with the duo having already sewn up both the outright and pro buggy class title.
The local drivers ended up capping off the year with a well-deserved victory, which saw them finish the year with an impressive 472 points after five rounds, while South Australian Mel Brandle’s 10th in Kalgoorlie saw him finish second on the season.
While Robinson was in a league of his own this year, beating Brandle by more than 250 points, there was very little difference in the minor podium positions as the battle went down to the very last lap of the season.
In the end, Kalgoorlie runner-up Beau Robinson took out the final step of the outright season podium having finished just 18 points off the Prolite driver, while only three points separated the trophy truck star and Wentworth Shire Pooncarie Desert Race winner Raana Horan.
To place third and fourth was a remarkable effort for both drivers, as both had run in just two events for the year – however as Robinson claimed a sixth at Finke and second in Kalgoorlie, which was worth points and a half, and Horan ending the year with a win and fifth place, it was enough to leapfrog them up the standings.
Rounding out the top five for the year on 173 points were James Cook and Mitch Aucote after the SXS stars finished the final round in P15 – their best result being a record-win in Charters Towers.
Cook and Aucote also ended the year as both the SXS Motorsport Australia Champions and SXS Pro class champions – confirming back-to-back titles for the Victorians.
Taking out second place behind the champions were James and Michael Mogford, who finished just 11 points ahead of Glenn Brinkman and Dale Moscatt, while Gregory Campbell missed out on third in the Drivers’ Championship by just seven points.
It was an unchanged top four in the SXS Pro class itself, as Cook led Mogford, Brinkman and Campbell – although there was more of a gap in the points between the four.
Cook wasn’t the only driver within the top five to win a class, with Brandle also taking out the Prolite Class title.
In second place for the year was Alan Dixon, whose fourth-place finish in the season finale couldn’t quite get him over Brandle after the eventual champion had a strong run in Kalgoorlie.
In the Sportslite Buggy class, Joshua Gaskin was able to hold on to the class title, surviving a late charge from Gavin Chant, who took out Kalgoorlie class honours. Luke Erceg capped off his year in third overall after finishing second in Kalgoorlie.
A Kalgoorlie victory wasn’t enough for Simon Jones to overtake Sean Beck for the class title in the Performance 2WD class, with Jones having only completed one round for the year.
Adam Jiear took home a resounding class title in the Production 4WD class, finishing more than 1400 points ahead of his closest rivals in Brad Lovell and Jordan Lawson.
Similarly, in the SXS Sport class, John White claimed a final round win to top off a dominant class title run, finishing ahead of Eden Evans, Ross Newman, Tony Ross and Samuel Crammond at the conclusion of the season.
In the Extreme 2WD class, Beau Robinson impressive run in Kalgoorlie wasn’t good enough to win the class title, as Nicholas Commins and held onto his lead with a much-needed second place – however in the Navigator’s Championship, it was Robinson’s Shane Hutt who finished ahead of Andrew Commins.
Despite not attending Kalgoorlie, Phillip Lovett and Luke Stanley who won the Extreme 4WD class.