After a solid run of form in the most recent rounds of the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), Brent Smoothy is enjoying time at the pointy end of the standings.
Courtesy of two top 10 finishes, the West Australian currently sits fifth and is just 11 points off the third placed and fellow Trophy Truck driver Brett Comiskey.
The season started slowly for Smoothy, who retired from March’s Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 before a turnaround in fortunes saw him finish seventh at the Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash.
The West Australian’s charge up the standings was aided by another top 10 finish at last month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race where he finished eighth outright.
Very little also separates Smoothy and Comiskey in the Extreme 2WD Championship standings and it’s the former’s DNF in St George that ultimately makes up the difference.
With three rounds still remaining in what is becoming the championship’s biggest season for quite some time, Smoothy was keen to continue his good form.
“We had a rough start to the year with electrical problems, but we’ve ironed out the truck and it’s pretty strong at the moment – especially since all we had to do after Finke was give it a wash,” Smoothy said.
“Being on a roll gives you the feeling that you can throw more at it. The truck is pretty tough, and we have put it through its paces so it’s great to reach the pointy end of the standings.
“To be up against Brett Comiskey is fantastic, but he is no slouch and a season competitor who has won championships in the US so you can’t discount him. In saying that, we are good mates and there is plenty of good camaraderie amongst trophy truck drivers.
“It’s interesting being in the position we are now because we have a different perception. In the opening three rounds, it was about preserving the truck to finish. Having six rounds now is more demanding but with a refreshed engine for Loveday, we will have lots of confidence for the remaining three rounds.
“We will then take that confidence into Rainbow and our home round in Kalgoorlie, for which we have a good record at having led the race there before and finishing in the top four at our last couple of visits.”
Although Smoothy is keen to compete at events he has a good record at, the West Australian first has to worry about this month’s Can-Am Loveday 400.
Having never been to the South Australian course before, Smoothy was looking forward to the event but remained cautious about finishing the fourth round.
“Never been to Loveday before, but I have been researching videos to get a bit of a look at it and it looks good,” Smoothy added.
“Obviously we’re going to have Toby Whateley in his and he will very much be the one to look out for so it should be a good competition amongst the Trophy Truck crews.
“With that said, my goal is just to finish and that’s what off road racing is all about. It’s disappointing when you put a good effort to no avail and even more heartbreaking when you just do one lap.
“We just want to finish races but finishing inside the top five or with a class title would be the cherry on top and if we end in top three, there will be a big party.”
The Can-Am Loveday 400 takes place on 29-31 July with entries open until 16 July.
Feature Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia