The BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) has been cancelled for 2021 with the remaining rounds to be delivered as Cups.
The cancellation of the season comes as ongoing state border closures significantly hampers competitors abilities to cross borders, alongside a lack of available dates and venues at the end of the year.
Like last year, the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race will be run as the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – West, while the Can-Am Loveday 400 will be known as the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – Central.
Both events will once again be held as separate events open to those who can travel to each state.
With two events having already been run in 2021, the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 will be now be marked as the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – East, while the Tatts Finke Desert Race ends the year as a standalone event.
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith was disappointed the championship was cancelled but admitted the decision had to be made.
“There have obviously been a lot of disruptions to motorsport over the past two years and unfortunately the AORC has been another victim of the current climate we find ourselves in where competitors simply can’t get to enough events for us to justify awarding a Championship,” Smith said.
“It’s quite disheartening that we have had to cancel the season again this year, especially after we had two really successful rounds completed in the first half of the year.
“However, with the current situation of border closures and restrictions not looking to be eased until at least the end of October at the earliest, it’s just not possible to run a national championship at this point, alongside the fact that Finke was not open to all competitors from around Australia.
“Luckily, we have events like Kalgoorlie and Loveday that can take place as standalone and which still attract large fields as state run events, as we saw in 2020 and in previous years before they joined the AORC. These events will see Cups awarded, thanks to BFGoodrich.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank all the event promoters for supporting this decision, as hard as it has been to make, and to all the competitors, officials and fans who have been patient with us for the past 18 months.
“We look forward to a big 2022 where we should hopefully be able to run all rounds of the championship and get back to a bit of normality, with more rounds than in recent years expected to make up the calendar.”
With the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 already completed, current AORC leaders and winners of the season opener, Josh Howells and Eric Hume have been crowned as the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – East winners.
The dates for the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race and Can-Am Loveday 400 will remain as they are currently scheduled with the Kalgoorlie on 21-24 October, and Loveday on 28-31 October.
2021 Australian Off Road Calendar:
Round 1: Cobb & Co. St George 399 – BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – East
Round 2: Tatts Finke Desert Race – standalone event
Events remaining in 2021:
Round 3: Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race – BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – West (22-24 October)
Round 4: Can-Am Loveday 400 – BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – Central (29-31 October)