Shane Elphinstone has finally won the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race and will get free entry into next year’s event as a result.
With 45 crews entered into the popular West Australian event, Elphinstone and navigator Troy Higgins proved too strong over the 375km course and took top honours in the Motorsport Australia Off Road West Australian Cup, which saw him awarded with the free entry prize.
The victory didn’t come easy for Elphinstone and Higgins as they were kept honest throughout the whole event by Beau Robinson and Paul Currie, while Troy and Deb Schoen rounded out the Cup podium
It was a massive effort from the Pro-Buggy drivers as they began the two-day event in third place behind event favourites Beau Robinson and Currie in their #413 Trophy Truck and Pro-lite duo Stephen Ketteridge-Hall and Haylee Cowling, who unfortunately didn’t offer a challenge for the remainder of the event.
Having been so close on multiple occasions in the past, including 2018 where he finished second, Elphinstone was on a mission for victory in Kalgoorlie and started strongly. It didn’t take long for either as his lightning quick opening section saw the Pro-Buggy in the lead.
Just 45 seconds separated the Pro-Buggy and the next fastest crew in Robinson and Currie at the end of the day one, but that had extended to more than a minute come Sunday afternoon as Elphinstone and Higgins beat the chasing Trophy Truck by 20 seconds.
By this stage it was a two-horse race between last year’s Kalgoorlie Desert Race winner and a driver who was looking to break the duck, and it was the latter who went into the final section with the advantage.
Already in fine form throughout most of the event, Elphinstone carried on with the lead and eventually guided the car to the finish line without issue, seven seconds faster than Robinson and with an outright gap of one minute and 13 seconds.
As for the Schoens, they were in a race of their own for much of the weekend as they crossed the finish line almost eight minutes behind Elphinstone and more than 11 minutes ahead of the next fastest crew in Dylan Nollas and Matthew Boath.
Outside of Robinson and Currie, who took out the Extreme 2WD class, the top four were made up of Pro-Buggy drivers, while the next best crew from a different class was SXS Turbo winners Chriss Kounis and Jhye Kent – the duo leading the SXS charge for the next three finishing cars.
In ninth place and official winner of the Prolite class was Jake Clucas, who despite getting his worst result for the season, has provisionally been crowned as the 2020 Motorsport Australia WA Off Road Champion-elect, courtesy of his win and podium earlier this year.
Other class victors saw the 18th placed Deon R Visagie win the Sportslite class and Aaron Griffiths win the Production 4WD class alongside Adam Webb after placing 20th.
The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race will again feature as part of the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship in 2021, with the official date to be released in the coming weeks.