Shane Elphinstone has labelled this year’s Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race victory as one of the finest moments of his career despite a lack of racing in 2020.
Having started the Motorsport Australia West Australian Off Road Cup event in third place, Elphinstone and co-driver Troy Higgins worked their way into the lead by the end of the first section before holding off last year’s winner Beau Robinson for the remaining two sections and claiming victory.
It was an unforgettable weekend for the determined 43-year-old after beating one of the best competitors in the country and finally winning an event that had eluded him in previous years.
“Kalgoorlie is such a good race and sits right up there as the best event. I don’t do too many AORC events, but it’s certainly the best course in Western Australia,” Elphinstone said.
“I had a second place there a couple of years ago and put it on its side last year. But to get a first, especially ahead of Beau was just perfect.
“It’s easy to chase, but to be the person out front is hard because you don’t know how fast you are until you cross the line. It was definitely hard work to stay in front of Beau.
“There is a long list of people to thank. The Kalgoorlie Desert Race organisers and all the volunteers put in such a massive job to make it work. Also Vettel station for letting us tear up his dirt. It was a phenomenal event. Couldn’t ask for anything better.
“A big thank you to all the people who helped me get on track too. I only did one race this year so to get a first is pretty cool.”
As a result of his victory in Kalgoorlie, Elphinstone now gets a free ticket into a BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) round of his choosing next year.
With the free entry and the new found confidence of winning his local event, Elphinstone believes now is the time to have a go at the AORC.
“My wife has been on my case to do the AORC for a couple of years now. We had planned to do it this year but couldn’t for obvious reasons. If none of COVID pops up next year, we will be competing.” Elphinstone added.
“I don’t think we will be battling for any podiums but we should be there abouts.
“I think I would be crazy if I didn’t use the free entry for St George to make sure I get there. The free entry (initiative) is fantastic. WA is a long way to travel for us so everything helps.
“I have done Finke a couple of times but got a DNF last year and I haven’t been to any of the other ones so I am looking forward to it.”
The 2021 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship begins with the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 in St George on 19-21 March.