Nearly 40 off road racing teams took part in the season opening Carnarvon Motel CAMS Western Australian Off Road Championship in Perenjori over the Labour Day long weekend. Crossing the finish line first was the Extreme 2WD piloted by Harleigh Uren.
AORC.com.au asked Harleigh about the event, the car and where to next.
How was the lead-up to the first round? Was there much preparation the team needed to do, or were you ready to pick up where you left off last year?
HU: The Off season saw me convert the car back to Extreme 2WD class by fitting a new body. This required all new panels to be made and painted as well as mounts made to the vehicle. I must thank Spraytek Refinishing for painting the new body. A full service including new bearings, rod ends, oils and a new rear diff was the major mechanical work over the off season.
What was your mindset going into the event – was the focus on a win, or was the focus elsewhere, but the win capped off a great event?
HU: I was excited to see a large field of Extreme 2WD vehicles entered the event, even some new cars for 2018. I was nervous about the speed of the new cars, but felt I had the measure of the seasoned Extreme 2WD competitors. My focus was to win Extreme 2WD. I didn’t think the outright win was a reasonable expectation.
Was there any challenges arise during the event?
HU: After the evening service was complete, I asked one of the crew to bring the car back to the campsite. Doing so we discovered we had no gear selector, it was a seized selector cable. We managed to borrow a similar one from a fellow competitor and then spent till 1:30am modifying and fitting the new cable.
What is your favourite part of the Perenjori round?
HU: Following the contour banks is the best part of the Perenjori track. I’m not a huge fan of running along straight fence lines, but the fast flowing sweeping bends was great fun.
At what point during the event did you think – I could win this round Outright?
HU: I had a hope when I was leading after the first section and had a reasonable gap on Second place. All I had to do was keep a consistent pace and not have any mechanical issues. Fuel pressure issues and a couple of strange noises had me worried toward the end!
What will your next event be?
HU: I’m not sure if the budget or work commitments will allow me to make it to the Gascoyne Dash this year, if not the next event will be the short course event run at the end of April.
For a full list of results and video footage from the GTurbo Rod Hatter Memorial Perenjori 360, please see waorc.com.