Dondingalong kicks off NSW Off Road season

After more than 18 months since the last outing in Nabiac, the Motorsport Australia New South Wales Off Road Championship finally returns to action this weekend.

The highly experienced Kempsey Macleay Off Road Club will enjoy the honour of hosting the 2021 season opener at its home course in Dondingalong and with 41 crews entered, the championship is due for an epic start.

While the course is around two kilometres long, its tight turns and sweeping bends make the Scotts Hydraulics Dondingalong Off Road Challenge the ideal event for competitors to start their seasons and blow off the cob webs.

Starting with a two lap Prologue on Saturday morning, crews will then contest two heats of four laps on Saturday afternoon, before three heats of three laps wrapping up the event on Sunday.

Heading into the round as the clear favourite is seven-time winner and current ‘King of Dondingalong’ Justin Guy. Although he didn’t win the last edition of the event, Guy won the previous four before that and is full confidence to secure his eighth win.

“It’s going to be good to get back in the saddle. I haven’t raced since October last year and I have a new navigator alongside me now so it’s going to be interesting,” Guy said.

“I think the car is good as we have done a few things to it in the off season, but the track doesn’t suit this car very well unfortunately. It will be a mission to keep up with the Can Ams but we’ll give it our best shot.

“The course is by no means very long – it’s almost like an oversized go kart track, but what makes it great is that you’re busy 95 per cent of time. It really is a driver’s track, full of corners and a big sweeping bend. You’re either flat out on throttle, or hard on the brakes.

“My main focus is to keep the car in one piece. We’re not here to muck around and if we can get on a roll, I am really confident that we’re a good chance for another win.”

Although he won the event a record seven times, Guy will not have it all his way this year as there are a number of other drivers also tipped to be in contention.

Current Hunter Rivmasta Motorsport Australia New South Wales Off Road Champion Anthony Abson stands as one of those drivers, while BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship veteran Phil Lovett will be keen to overcome his slow start to his 2021 campaign.

Other notable entries to be competing for top honours include 2019 NSW Pro Buggy Champion Michael Latimore, SXS Turbo star Justin Chisholm, NSW off road stalwart Peter Sowter and 2008 outright state champion, Aaron McClintock.

Spectators will be allowed to enter the Dondingalong circuit for free on both days with catering and public amenities available, complementing their great view of the action.

The Scotts Hydraulics Dondingalong Off Road Challenge takes place at Dondingalong Circuit at Gowings Hill Road, 13 kilometres south west of Kempsey, on 8–9 May.