Dickson hopeful of AORC comeback

Former BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) Pro-Lite champion Alan Dixon is looking forward to a return to the championship in the near future after a difficult campaign in 2019.

The Victorian went into the 2019 season as reigning Pro-Lite and state champion and had a brilliant start, securing a top 10 spot in prologue against a pool of talented drivers.

However, his defence was short-lived as he failed to make it through the season opener at the Cobb & Co St George 399, retiring before the end of the first section due to gear box issues.

Any hope of bouncing back at the Tatts Finke Desert Race was over within hours after Dickson’s rear suspension gave way just 25 kilometres into the journey to Finke.

With Dickson having to stay in Alice Springs for work, it made it near impossible to make it to Rainbow for the final round and knowing he was out of contention, the decision was made to withdraw and instead focus on the Alice Springs Off Road Racing Club’s popular Sporties 12 Hour – an event he was able to finish.

“There is no doubt last year was tough,” Dickson said.

“I think we didn’t put enough effort into the car between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. We probably only changed the suspension and got the car serviced instead of doing a rebuild as I thought we could hold out for another 12 months, which it didn’t.

“It’s a shame because we did a really good job in Prologue at St George and started the race off well. But the oil cooler in the gear box played havoc and it ended up blowing the hose, which did us in for the rest of the race.

“As for Finke, I was pushing way too hard way too early. There was too much weight on the car and it was too hard on the back suspension, which then stopped our race. So it was a frustrating weekend.

“Knowing we were done for the AORC class title, we stayed in Alice Springs to compete in the 12 Hour, but once again we ran into problems with the car. It wasn’t as bad as we initially thought though, and we were able to get back into the race after a quick fix. I ended up taking out the fastest lap and finished in the top five, so it was alright.”

With 2019 now behind him, Dixon has been working on the car to iron out its major problems in readiness for when he does eventually race again.

Already planning to sit 2020 out due to a much deserved vacation, the current motorsport hiatus, thanks to Coronavirus, has postponed his travel plans and Dixon has found new motivation to potentially compete as soon as later this year, depending on any revised calendar.

“I was going to do a bit of travelling this year because I wasn’t going to go back to Alice Springs for work, which means it would have been a bit expensive to get to Finke,” Dickson explained.

“I was going to have a quiet year this year, but now it’s going to be even more quiet so I am not sure what I will do later this year.

“When we do eventually get racing, I am still going to run with the same car as I have done some work to it, but I don’t know if that will be this year or next.

“Once we know what is going on and what events will run, I will make a decision but for the moment it just looks like I will compete at Loveday if that goes ahead.

“If Loveday does go ahead, I have no doubt I will do it and I also wouldn’t mind having another go at Rainbow so I’ll be keeping an eye on all the information that comes out.”