Following a thrilling Tatts Finke Desert Race that saw Jack Rhodes claim victory on a dramatic final day, the race for the 2019 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship title is heating up with one round to go.
While the major talking points were Rhodes finally tasting success in the desert and Toby Price failing to finish after dominating the opening two days, the fallout from the event with regard to the standings makes for interesting reading.
Reigning AORC champion Shannon Rentsch and multiple-time champion Mark Burrows will head into the final round with only 36 points separating the two, making the Rainbow Desert Enduro an exciting one.
Rentsch’s result at Finke was the first time he claim victory since 2017, while Burrows’ consistency this year has once again put him within reach of another major title.
With points and a half up for grabs in Rainbow, the two drivers aren’t the only ones in contention for the title with Steven Graham sitting in third outright, 80 points behind Burrows.
As well as being the only other driver in the Championship to finish inside the top 10 at both rounds, remarkably, Graham is also the only Sports Lite driver in the top 30, with the next best driver from the class being David Skinner in 32nd.
After grabbing a maiden podium in the AORC in Finke, young star Josh Howells sits fourth on the standings, only 19 points behind Graham after a disappointing round in Queensland set him back.
Rounding out the top five is another young driver in Nick Jackson, who may be the biggest surprise packet of the lot. An eighth in St George and an 11th in Finke sent the SXS Turbo pilot to the top of his class and within grasp of a top three finish at season’s end.
Finishing one place behind Jackson at Finke was Matthew Martin and the 2017 AORC champion now sits in eighth outright, as well as leading the Pro-Lite class.
In other classes, Declan Cummins currently occupies top spot in the Super 1650 class, Jamie Knight leads Extreme 2WD, Christopher Land is number one in SXS Sports and 13-time Production 4WD winner Geoff Pickering is on track for a 14th class title.
The final round of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship is the Rainbow Desert Enduro on 9–11 August.