The Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 will welcome a record number of entries later this month with 94 crews confirmed to contest the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season opener.
Featuring crews from all around the country and with more than two thirds of the field AORC registered, it’s the perfect way to kick off the biggest AORC seasons in years.
The entry list itself is quite impressive as a host of stars across 11 classes prepare to do battle over three days of entertaining action, with reigning champions Mark and Matt Burrows the headline crew.
The duo lead the way for the 20-car Pro Buggy class with other powerhouse names from the class including 2012 AORC champion Matt Hanson, 2019 Tatts Finke Desert Race runner-up Josh Howells and 2020 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia West Off Road Cup winner Shane Elphinstone.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest class of the event is the SXS Turbo with 30 crews locked in for the 399 kilometre event. With a number of SXS crews coming close to outright honours in previous years, many drivers will be hoping to become the first SXS Turbo driver to win the AORC.
From Roydn Bailey, Greg Campbell, Jeff McNiven to Phill Lovett, Toby Whateley, Simon Evans and Peter Carr – the list of talent in the class goes on.
There will be plenty of Extreme 2WD crews undoubtedly in the running for title contention with Greg Gartner, Beau Robinson and Tony Whateley some of the top names in the competition.
The class also welcomes a number of familiar faces from other disciplines, including NSW and Queensland rally driver Glenn Brinkman and former Supercars regular Paul Weel.
Other notable entries confirmed for the record breaking AORC is 2007 AORC Champion Hayden Bentley, SXS Sport stars John Wisse and Rick Chambers, 14-time Production 4WD class winner Geoff Pickering and 2018 Pro-Lite runner-up Ally Howells.
Following on from the closing of entries, South Eastern Queensland Off Road Racing Association President Kym Barber revealed how thrilled the club was with the turnout.
“It’s an incredibly proud moment for us. We had no idea so many people would want to run the 399 and it’s definitely something we’re going to enjoy,” Barber said.
“It’s not only great for us, it’s a huge bonus for all the parties involved with this round. From the locals in St George township to the greater rural community to the AORC itself.
“We’re absolutely stoked that we get to launch the first round of the AORC in such a big way.
“I am sure the event will be highly representative of what the year will be like and we’re pleased we get to be part of it.”
The Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 takes place in St George on 19-21 March.
Photo: Terry Hill Photography