With just one lap remaining in the 2022 Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399, Josh
Howells and Eric Hume have edged closer to victory after going fastest in Sunday
The leaders enjoyed a clean run throughout the two laps, posting a solid time of
one hour and 37 minutes. Howells’ nearest rival Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd crossed the line just 17 seconds behind.
As a result of Beau Robinson and Shane Hutt suffering terminal motor issues
during the section, Taylor was elevated to second place behind Howells and now
trails him by just over two minutes at the final break.
Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings are currently placed third outright, a further four and half minutes behind Taylor on the standings after three completed laps.
The event’s fastest running trophy truck had major fuel injector problems on the
opening lap of the section, but it magically kicked into gear at the start of the second lap, allowing Gartner to post a lightning quick lap of the 90km course.
The battle for the final podium position is well and truly alive with nine-time BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) winner Shannon and Ian Rentsch just eight seconds off in fourth.
Rentsch started the race ahead of Gartner, but a huge lap from trophy truck pilot and some minor issues for Rentsch saw the two switch positions.
Gartner wasn’t the only one to have a big section, with Jake and Kate Swinglehurst continuing his strong run since Prologue, posting the section’s fifth fastest time – eight seconds ahead of Prolite leader Michael Spokes and Brad Rogan.
Spokes’ decent run saw him build a bigger gap on the outright standings between
his closest class rival in Ally Howells after going four and half minutes faster on the section – Howell and navigator Sarah Corrigan posting the seventh fastest
Rounding out the section’s Top 10 were Brett Comiskey, Matthew Huxley and
Damien Nicol – the trio all enjoying Top 10 finishes for the first time this weekend.
Just missing out on the section’s 10th fastest time by three seconds was current
KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia leader Phil Lovett, who moved into eighth
outright after Jake Williams failed to finish.
“We had a few dramas throughout that section but we will be able to see
through,” Lovett said
“We did a front diff but unfortunately we won’t be trying to change that over the
working period in between sections. I will just run on 2WD for the rest of the race.
“It’s only one lap to go, so I don’t know at this point. If the car keeps going, I’ll be confident of winning the class, while if the engine blows, then it is such is life.”
Just one section remains in the AORC season opener, with all national crews to complete the final lap.