Entries are already rolling in for the St George 399, with just over seven weeks until the opening round of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) kicks off on 4-6 May.
Reigning Australian Off Road Champion Matt Martin will return to the event where he claimed third last year and will again go head-to-head with Tait Svenson in the prolite buggy class.
Svenson missed out on a podium finish by the narrowest of margins at the inaugural event in 2017, finishing just 15 seconds behind Martin after nine gruelling laps and over 300 kilometres. Waylon Jaggard will also return in his prolite buggy.
In the pro buggy class, Townsville’s Robert Turner and Jordan Bensemann will make their St George 399 debut in the Desert Dynamics Pro Buggy.
They will be up against last year’s runners-up Bryce Chapman and Mitch Warren; the Runamuk team will be looking to go one better after electrical gremlins kept them from challenging for top honours.
Ryan and Neville Taylor are also returning in their pro buggy.
Hoping for a very different outcome in his second outing at the St George 399 will be Chris Mingay in his RaptorTT 473 trophy truck.
Mingay provided perhaps the most spectacular footage of the weekend when he somersaulted his then brand new extreme 2WD in the prologue, making a premature exit from the event.
In the SXS Turbo class, Jeff McNiven is back in the JSW Power Sports Can-am X3 which he rolled during prologue in 2017. David Loughnan will be hoping to improve on his top five in class finish last year.
In the SXS Sport class Tara and Dan Czislowski return but this time with Tara behind the wheel. Brad Gerahty, Mel Brandle and Rick Chambers will tackle the 50 kilometre St George course for the first time.
And in a carbon copy of last year, Geoff Pickering and Jodie Allen have signed up to do battle in the Production 4WD class.
Hosted by the South East Queensland Off Road Racing Association (SEQORRA), the 2018 St George 399 promises to be bigger and better than last year.
The purpose-built course, which is only nine kilometres from town, has been extended, providing even more challenges for Australia’s best off roaders.
Scrutineering will take place on Friday afternoon at the local school oval in town, with prologue on Saturday morning, followed by three-laps on Saturday afternoon. Section two kicks off on Sunday with a gruelling six-laps, totalling over 450 competitive kilometres for the weekend.
Entries for the St George 399 are now open and the Supplementary Regulations and Further Regulations for the event are available here.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact SEQORRA via email [email protected] to find out more.