South Australian Aaron Haby has begun the Can-Am Loveday 400 on a high with top spot in Friday afternoon’s Prologue.
In what was a highly successful start to the fourth round of the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), Haby ended up posting an impressive time of three minutes and 58.376 seconds.
The local driver will start his home event ahead of WA driver Beau Robinson after the Trophy Truck driver finished less than two seconds off the pace.
While Haby and Robinson were the two star performers of Prologue, the battle for third was even closer as another local in Carl Haby edged out nine-time AORC champion Shannon Rentsch by just two thousandths of a second.
Rounding out the outright top five was the second fastest Trophy Truck in Brad Gallard, who was less than a second off Rentsch.
Behind Gallard were some of the top contenders with Shane Elphinstone and Ryan Taylor in sixth and seventh respectively, while Mel Brandle was the fastest of the prolite in eight.
Brandle’s eighth place in Prologue was another extremely close affair with fellow Prolite driver Simon Tucker just over one and half tenths slower, who South Australian Brett Rogers squeezed into the top 10 just over half a second behind Tucker.
With the top 10 featuring a mix of local talent and interstate stars, Aaron Haby was excited about finishing ahead of some of the country’s best drivers.
“It feels pretty awesome actually. We had a little scare before prologue with a dowel pin letting go on the camshaft, but the boys sorted it out and I am still amazed really,” Haby said.
“The car felt pretty fast. No doubt it was hooked up well and the new engine was definitely hooked up.
“It feels pretty awesome to be out here having a go with some of the top teams in Australia. Keeps you trying pretty hard.
“I will run my own race. I have my brother behind me which is the scary part.”
In the Kincrome SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, the top three was made up of all interstate drivers with veteran Phil Lovett the pick of the bunch.
The New South Welshman posted the 15th fastest time outright with the championship’s current runner-up in James Cook was the second fastest in class and only two and half seconds behind Lovett.
The top two SXS drivers were significantly faster the next best with Glen Akroyd six and half seconds slower, while SXS Championship leader Greg Campbell was just over a second slower.
Although it was a solid day for the SXS leader, the same couldn’t be said for the outright AORC Championship leader, Jake Swinglehurst. The pro buggy driver rolling over early in his lap.
Thankfully both he and navigator Kate Swinglehurst walked away unharmed and the car wasn’t significantly damaged, meaning the pair could be back on the start line on Saturday for the race.
The Can-Am Loveday 400 continues tomorrow from 8:30am ACST with five laps of the 40km course awaiting AORC crews.