Five rounds locked in for 2023 AORC season

After a thrilling conclusion to the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) season in Kalgoorlie earlier this month, next year’s calendar has been confirmed.

Five rounds across multiple states and territories will make up the 2023 schedule, which will see crews head to many of the same events featured in this year’s epic season.

Starting in March, the AORC will head north for the newest event on the calendar, the Gold City 450.

Taking place just south of Townsville in the regional town of Charters Towers, the Gold City 450 will get the season underway in style, with crews to complete three sections of the challenging course.

Six weeks after the new season opener will be an event that debuted in 2022, the Pooncarie Desert Dash.

Held just north of the New South Wales and Victorian border, the Sunraysia Motorsport Club’s event was a major success amongst crews as eventual 2022 champions Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd secured their first win for the year.

Finke Desert Race 2022

Following April’s second round will be the big one, with the Tatts Finke Desert Race to again take place in its traditional slot of the King’s Birthday long weekend in the middle of June.

A six-week break awaits crews after the iconic event, allowing them to rest, recharge and get their cars back into shape ahead of one of the most challenging events on the calendar, the Loveday 400.

With the fourth round occurring at the end of July, crews will enjoy another lengthy recovery spell before making their way out west in October for the season finale, the Kalgoorlie Desert Race.

Photos: Dakar Press Team Australia

One of three rounds to make a successful national debut in 2022, the Western Australia event was a hit amongst crews and created the perfect backdrop for what ended up an exciting end to the championship title fight.

Motorsport Australia Managing Director of Motorsport and Commercial Michael Smith was pleased with the 2023 calendar.

“We are extremely happy as to how the calendar turned out with five rounds, as it covers five different states and territories,” Smith said.

“Having Loveday, Pooncarie and Kalgoorlie receive such positive feedback following their first year on the calendar was a major boost for the AORC and I am sure crews are keen to get back out there and have another crack at these event now that they are familiar with them.

“The success of each new event should give crews the confidence that Charters Towers will be able to achieve a similar outcome and provide an event that will meet the high standards of the rest of the championship.

“We’re also pleased that there is a good amount of rest between each event, giving crews plenty of time to recover between each round and I am hopeful that this will allow for more crews to attend each round.

“Obviously it’s disappointing to have lost the Rainbow Desert Enduro for the 2023 season, however it is completely understandable as to why the Victorian Off Road Racing Association chose to withdraw and we support its decision and hope to see them again soon.”

The 2023 AORC season will kick off with the Gold City 450 in Charters Towers on 10-12 March.

2023 AORC Calendar
Round 1: 10-12 March – Gold City 450 – Charters Towers, Queensland
Round 2: 21-23 April – Pooncarie Desert Dash – Pooncarie, New South Wales
Round 3: 10-12 June – Finke Desert Race – Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Round 4: 28-30 July – Loveday 400 – Loveday, South Australia
Round 5: 19-22 October – Kalgoorlie Desert Race – Kalgoorlie, Western Australia