Aaron and Liz Haby will enjoy a free ticket into a BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) round of their choosing next year after pulling off a comfortable win in the Motorsport Australia Off Road Central East Cup’s Can-Am Loveday 400.
With 34 crews taking part in the event where they had to complete 10 laps of the 40km course over five sections, the Habys were a cut above the rest of the field throughout the weekend, steering their Pro Buggy to all but one section win.
It was a stellar performance from the Habys, who finished more than eight minutes ahead of runner-up Hayden Bentley and his three co-drivers in their new Trophy Truck and Garry Turnbull who rounded out the podium with Tamara Turnbull.
“We are absolutely thrilled. It’s actually unbelievable. You could say that we had a comfortable weekend, but it really was great, especially since there was a huge lead up,” Aaron said.
“It rained on Friday which was fantastic for us because the track was in ideal conditions. We didn’t really go that well in Prologue due to having a brand new motor, but we turned it up on Saturday afternoon, got stuck in the job, and ran my own race really.
“We’re extremely proud to be a part of it and had a ball this weekend. We’re just grateful to be racing again, so a big thanks to Motorsport Australia and Loveday for putting it on.
“To have this opportunity this time of year was great. It was so nice to have a mental release of some kind and it was really good fun to catch up with friends again.”
Having started the race in third place behind pole-sitter Travis Milburn and Bentley, it took Aaron and Liz just one lap to get ahead of the two crews ahead of them and claim the first section, before falling behind 2019 Tatts Finke Desert Race runner-up Josh Howells in the next.
Howells may have ended the day as leader, but just as they did in Saturday’s first section, the Habys wrestled their way back in the lead by the end of the first lap in Sunday’s opening section, while Howells had issues on the second lap, forcing him to a premature exit.
Once the Habys got their lead back on the first lap of the event’s third section, there was no turning back as they were fastest in the remaining two sections and marched onto a well-deserved victory.
“We had the same starting positions for Saturday’s two sections, so I started third in both. I had to drive through the dust to get to the lead twice and it made it difficult, but once I sorted that out, it was all good for the rest of the day,” Aaron added.
“We had to do it again on Sunday so there was a bit of strategy behind that, but it was pretty cool to start behind the likes of Josh and Hayden, then catch up and overtake them.
“To have an Australian built car and to beat all those cars is kind of a feather in our cap really.
“I don’t know why it worked in my favour to be honest. Obviously we built our own car and those conditions were awesome, but I feel the engine was faultless and it was a really good package that set us up.
“We’re not sure exactly what will do next year and we’re not committed to anything. We will definitely compete at this race again next year with the free entry and see what happens with our schedule.”