AORC to search for gold in Charters Towers

After an epic end to the 2022 Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), preparations for the 2023 season are well underway.

With five rounds making up this year’s favourable schedule, it all begins in March with the Markwell Group Gold City 450 in Charters Towers, Queensland.

The AORC’s newest inclusion to the calendar, the Queensland event will prove a mighty task for the country’s best off road racers with the biggest challenge being the unfamiliarity of it.

Closely located to Townsville, Charters Towers was first established in 1871 due to the discovery of a gold nugget, which in turned inspired a three-decade gold rush where more than 200 tonnes of gold were dug up.

Click here to read the Supplementary Regulations.

The town’s rich foundations also proved an inspiration for the event’s namesake as crews will battle through red soil, rock, grass and sand in search of their own golden ticket and valuable points towards a championship tilt.

Standing in the way of crews and their golden reward are 450 competitive kilometres spread over three sections.

With the course itself measured at 50km, national crews will be completing nine laps throughout the weekend – with each section made up of three laps.

Click here to enter the 2023 Markwell Group Gold City 450 via the Motorsport Australia Member Portal.

The competition will commence with Prologue on the Saturday morning, before the first and only section begins not long after, while the remaining two sections will run on Sunday.

Pending the numbers, the field will be split into two groups, giving each and every crew a clear chance to get a strong result both outright and in their respective classes.

Entries for the AORC season opener are now being accepted, until 5:00pm AEDT on Saturday 18 February.

Any crews who squeeze in their entry before midnight on 31 January will also be in the running for a Lorch 160 Amp Caddy Welder valued at $1000.

Click here to enter the event.

With just over six weeks until the season opener, North Queensland Offroad Racing Association Treasurer Don Young was looking forward to welcoming the AORC to the town.

“North Queensland has had some really good rain in the last few weeks and the track has held up great, which gives us a lot of confidence that crews will enjoy it,” Young said.

“The club has been putting in a lot of work to get it right and there has been lots of greenery as a result – it truly does look like God’s Country as it’s not often you see the north this green.

“We understand that it’s a big trek to come out this way for many crews, but we’re confident that entries will progress nicely and that it will be an enjoyable weekend for all.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Markwell Group for getting behind the event as a major sponsor, as well as the businesses of Charters Towers who have been showing their support – we have 18 in total and that is likely to grow.”

Click here for more information on the event.

The Markwell Group Gold City 450 takes place in Charters Towers, Queensland, on 10-12 March.