Organisers for the 2021 Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race are confident the event will run as usual despite the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) being cancelled.
The news surrounding the AORC’s cancellation broke earlier this week as a result of ongoing state border closures hampering competitors’ abilities to attend and a lack of available dates and venues at the end of the year.
Although its debut on the national calendar will have to wait another year, the West Australian event will once again run as a one-off BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup like it did in 2020.
Fortunately for crews, officials and fans, there have been no significant cutbacks to the event, which has now switched to a one-status level, meaning all entrants will be entered into the Motorsport Australia WA Off Road Championship.
The change means all state competitors entered will run three laps of the 121 kilometre course as opposed to just two when the AORC was featured.
Despite the national championship element being no longer attached to the popular event, Club President Dylan Nollas believed the race would still attract around 70 cars and it would be business as usual.
“Unfortunately, the reality of the current situation around the country forced the AORC’s hand into having to cancel the championship, but we were always half expecting the decision,” Nollas said.
“We had been preparing for the news for a while, so it wasn’t really out of the blue and all of our sponsors and competitors were informed early. We had been planning for a smashing event either way.
“Yes it is disappointing we can’t run with the AORC, but we still have the BFGoodrich Cup which generates lots of interest and the only thing we truly miss out on is national media exposure.”
The AORC channels will still cover the event across its social media network, with updates and interviews in the lead up, during and post-event.
“A massive thank you must go out to all the competitors who supported the event at AORC level. It shows the championship there has plenty of support from WA locals who are keen to compete at the highest level,” Nollas added.
“We have already issued refunds to all of the competitors entered at AORC level and will not be able to make it, but there still are some interstate entries intending to come.
“To other interstaters, we encourage you to come if you can, so you can compete and experience all that our race and championship have to offer.”
Last year, Shane Elphinstone and navigator Troy Higgins took out the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Australian Cup – West over Beau Robinson and Paul Currie in second place and Troy and Deb Schoen.
The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race, which doubles as the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – West, takes place in Kalgoorlie on 21-24 October.
Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia