The Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship season reaches its climax this weekend with the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race, and with a maximum of 900 points on offer for all crews, there are plenty of titles up for grabs.
Ahead of the season finale, get the lowdown on all the classes, and who has the chance to leave Western Australia as an Australian champion.
Travis Robinson’s brilliant year will see him walk away with the 2023 AORC title, and with Ryan Taylor not attending the season finale, he has sewn up the Pro buggy class title too.
There is still the opportunity to score second place for a number of drivers though, including Paul Tuck Lee, and New Zealanders Raana Horan and John Morgan.
On 1012 points, Tuck Lee has the upper hand, and should only need one section win or to just finish ahead of both the Kiwis to hold on to second place
That will be a difficult task though, considering Horan has won the only event he has contested outright, while Morgan picked up a top 10 finish at Pooncarie.
This class battle will be a highly entertaining affair between Nicholas Commins and Beau Robinson, and one that could be decided by any other of the six crews entered in the class.
Trailing by more than 400 points, Robinson is another driver who’ll need that clean sweep and having won the event before, it’s not entirely out of the question.
However, even with a Robinson treble of section victories, current leader Commins can still win it all by finishing three sections in third place or above – but it could all depend on where each finishes and who finishes between them.
Like the Extreme 2WD, Alan Dixon needs to be on his A-game if he is going to surpass Mel Brandle for the Prolite class win.
Dixon needs to win every section and have a few cars in the class separating him and Brandle if he wants to come away as the victor.
Relying on local crews isn’t as far fetched as one might think though, with there being no shortage of talent within the WA ranks of Prolite drivers.
SXS Pro Class
Whether you look at the SXS Pro Class points or the SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, the battle for the title is between four drivers – and all four drivers have a genuine chance to win.
Greg Campbell, James Cook, Glenn Brinkman and James Mogford are the drivers all in with a shot of either title and interestingly.
In the SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, Campbell leads Brinkman, Cook and Mogford, while in the SXS Pro Class, it’s Cook who sits on top over Mogford, Brinkman and Campbell.
The equation is simple – whichever crew wins the most sections and can win the race, both titles should be theirs, except for Campbell, who will need Cook to finish the last of the four.
While all four are the main protagonists, Glen Ackroyd is a smokey and could do some damage – although he needs to win everything and needs the others to suffer some misfortune.
Having enjoyed an impressive AORC debut at the Loveday 400, Sean Beck is likely to win the class title, with his only requirement being to start the event.
Josh Gaskin has secured the title and can cruise through Kalgoorlie knowing he has won. However, it’s a battle of the heavyweights for second place with Luke Erceg and Gavin Chant.
Both need to finish at least one section to move up to second and third and as it stands, it’s currently 62 points the difference in Erceg’s favour. Therefore, Chant will have to take at least two sections and ensure he beats Erceg who just needs to beat his rival.
No matter what happens this weekend, Adam Jiear will not be beaten for the Production 4WD title with two wins and a second place in the year.
Hometown hero Brent Smoothy will need everything to go perfectly if he wants to hoist the championship trophy.
With no Phil Lovett entered, Smoothy needs to win all three sections in the class to match Lovett, who holds a lead of over 800 points, and it’s entirely possible as he is the strongest of the five entered crews.
With Edan Evans not competing this weekend, the SXS Sport class is likely to go the way of current leader John White who has a 510-point lead over his nearest competitor not named Edan Evans.
There will be no champion for Super 1650 in 2023 due to none of the registered participants having contested two rounds.