As one of just three drivers doing the Kalgoorlie/Loveday double this year, Gavin Chant always knew it was going to be a huge task to finish both events.
The South Australian experienced different results during the busy fortnight as part of two BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup events, with a DNF at the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Race before being just one of nine drivers to finish the Can-Am Loveday 400.
Although he didn’t see the chequered flag at Kalgoorlie, he was still classified as a finisher given the amount of the event he had already completed before having a big rollover 55km into the final section.
Thankfully both he and his navigator Ian Langsford were unharmed, and the buggy didn’t sustain any terminal damage, allowing him to contest Loveday where he finished eighth outright and third in the Sportslite class.
While running in back-to-back events was difficult, it was an enjoyable experience for the 47-year-old.
“It was a tough ask to do both events back-to-back, especially only being home in between for just 25 hours, but we felt lucky to be able to race under the circumstances,” Chant said
“I don’t think I would do something like this every year but it’s quite understandable considering the past two years. I was very excited to get both done.
“It was definitely a unique experience. Racing two different tracks where one is 220 kilometres and the one is just 40, you have to change mindsets quite quickly, which was fun.
“The organisers at both events were really nice, especially at Kalgoorlie. They were fantastic and made us feel really welcome. I just loved the track, although I was disappointed not to finish.
“As for Loveday, I feel it was quite an achievement to finish because it got harder and rougher as the weekend got on, so there was plenty of extra stress on the car.”
Chant’s impressive finish at Loveday isn’t one to gloss over.
Not only was he able to navigate through the unforgiving course, but to overcome a big rollover a week before is always a challenge.
While he was lucky to escape with no injury, the physical recovery isn’t always the only aspect to come after a crash, there can also be a bit of a mental fallout too with confidence always required to race.
However, for Chant, he believed the events being back-to-back worked in his favour as he just had to get on with it and not stew over the crash.
“I will admit that there were plenty of nerves heading into Loveday,” Chant added.
“It’s quite natural to be nervous after a big rollover but the benefit of the short turnaround meant I wasn’t sitting there pondering it for six weeks, which could have made it harder to come back.
“Even on the first day at Loveday I still had a bit of nerves, but they were gone by Sunday, and I was able to race with nothing hanging over me. It ended up working out well in the end.
“I was quite pleased with it all and am really looking forward to getting to both events again in 2022.”
The 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship calendar will be revealed shortly.
Feature Photo: Bob Taylor