Gaskin pleased with Sportslite title in debut year

Joshua Gaskin may have had a wild debut year in the Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship, but it didn’t stop him from creating plenty of memories on the way to a class title.

The Victorian and his regular navigator Lee O’Grady were crowned Sportslite champions in 2023 having picked up a score of 1319.4 points after completing three rounds, beating Gavin Chant by 115 points.

The title-winning duo started the season out with their home event, the Wentworth Shire Pooncarie Desert, picking up a class victory on debut and beating David Adams.

The event didn’t come without incident though as O’Grady was bitten by a spider in the early stages of the event and struggled to continue. Fortunately, Gaskin was able to finish the event and O’Grady fully recovered.

A visit to the famous Tatts Finke Desert Race was met with a positive result as the duo managed to make it down to Finke and back to Alice Springs in fourth place and with no significant drama – a mighty effort on their first attempt at the iconic event.

Their final event of the year was the Loveday 400, and the first-year crew managed to see off a strong challenge from Luke Erceg and Chant to take out their second win of the year.

Photos: Daniel Thompson

Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it to the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Race, but they had done enough in their three rounds to seal the title.

“It was awesome. It’s not what we set out to do, but it was a great result for the season,” Gaskin said.

“Heading into the season, our goal was to just finish the races we attended and that included getting Finke done.

“The fact that we took out the title was a bonus too and it’s been a great year of laughs and memories.

“For me, getting back from Finke on our first attempt without having had a pre-run at the track is a great achievement and our best memory – Getting class wins in our other events was good too.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to make it out to Kalgoorlie, but I am hopeful we can get there next year, because it’s an event I definitely want to do.

“I’d like to thank my crew and my family for their support this year, as well as JG Plumbing, Mallee Custom Wraps, Sunraysia Civil, Burson Auto Parks and Alvino Racing for backing up this season.”