Gartner ready for AORC title charge

BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) veteran Greg Gartner believes he has what it takes to win the Championship.

The South Australian has been a front runner in the AORC for many years thanks to multiple race wins but has come up agonisingly short of a title on multiple occasions.

Following his victory at last year’s Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro, Gartner was poised to have a serious crack at the title this year before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to sport around the world.

However, while Gartner now has to reassess his 2020 strategy due to the impending revised calendar’s release date, he remains confident of picking up where he left off when racing does eventually return.

“If we get organised, nominate and actually put our head down and concentrate, I really do think we can win the title,’ Gartner said.

“We hadn’t nominated for the Championship in the past few years because we were not really sure about our calendars. While this year has been shortened, we are committed to full seasons now.

“With five rounds and some really good races on the calendar, the AORC is back where it needs to be and we are really keen to do all the five events.

“To win the title, you need to finish every race and get points. That is the most important aspect, so if we do that, then I really believe we could be up there. We just need to replicate our Rainbow efforts at each round.

“We are pretty confident the truck is as good as anyone else’s vehicles, so we’re looking forward to when we can race again.”

Having won two of the past three Rainbow Desert Enduro events, as well as the Tatts Finke Desert Race in 2011, as a competitor, Gartner knows how to win.

Gartner in action at Rainbow. (Photo: Show N Go Photography)

But in off road racing, a competitor is only as good as their vehicle and while he may have locked down a winning formula as a driver, his truck has been tough to deal with in recent years.

Now armed with a new strategy in managing the truck and a newfound confidence to go all the way, Gartner’s persistence could pay off sooner rather than later.

“The truck is good to go as we prepped it before things came to a halt,” Gartner explained.

“Put simply, it’s ready but we just need to try and get a race program before we can decide the strategy.

“A few years ago, we made the decision to replace the engine and do a complete rebuild before Finke each year, as it’s the biggest trek for us and we want to be fully prepared.

“This year it will be different and pending on the events that do go ahead, I think we are looking at keeping the current engine in for Rainbow and then doing the usual full rebuild ahead of Kalgoorlie.

“We would be mad to go to Kalgoorlie without a fresh engine as it’s a long way to go.

“Once the AORC does get back to up five rounds, the race prep won’t be any different to what it is now. It will entail some fresh parts, mainly the gearbox and keeping on top of the engine.”