Troy Higgins will look to carry his winning momentum into the final round of the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race, following his resounding triumph at the Total Asphalt Three Springs 300 last weekend.
This victory marks his second win in the Western Australian Off Road Championship (WAORC) for the year, having previously secured the top spot at the Gascoyne Dash in April.
In what marked just his fifth appearance as the driver of the round-winning Pro Buggy, Higgins, partnering with co-driver John Simmons, exhibited absolute dominance throughout all three sections of the event – securing victory with a remarkable lead of over three minutes ahead of Adam Trewhella, Craig Trewhella, and Koby Grant.
A thrilling nine second victory in the initial section set the early benchmark, while a triumph of nearly two minutes in the second section solidified the 45-year-old as the clear favourite.
Higgins would then go on to achieve a clean sweep of the weekend’s sections by extending his lead with another second gained in the final run.
The victory was even more noteworth given the duo’s disappointing prologue session earlier in the weekend, starting the race on the backfoot.
While seat time has been limited, Higgins was pleased to be able to learn more about the car and was adamant that the win was just a bonus.
“It was an unexpected win, we went out there to try and learn more about the car and get a bit of seat time, but to come away with the win was pretty satisfying,” Higgins said.
“It was only my fifth time in the car since we have owned it. We debuted it at Finke in 2019, and it’s been away for a couple of years since then. It’s the first time we have been trying to do the five rounds in WA and learn as we go along.
“Anything can happen in off road racing, there is always something breaking down or failing, so we weren’t expecting to come away with the win. It was a bit strange for us.
“We weren’t where we wanted to be in prologue, but we pushed through and made up some time where we could.”
Higgins will now prepare for the final round of the WAORC season at the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race in October, where he hoped to enjoy the experience alongside some of the best off road competitors in the country.
“There are some big boys in Kalgoorlie, we may not be up there with them but I’m looking forward to the experience and getting across the line at the end,” Higgins explained.
“It’s all about the fun, there are some good people coming across and it’s in our backyard.
“We are looking forward to it. I’m sure the event will be as good as it has been as of late, and it’s a great track.”
Rounding out the top three for the event was the duo of Jared Percival and Luke Candy, finishing a further six and a half minutes behind the Trewhella’s.
Interestingly, the top three racers held onto their respective positions throughout the entire event, crossing the finish line of each section in the exact same order.
Securing the top spot in the Prolite class, and achieving an impressive fourth place overall, were Ryan Print and Brendan Baxter. Their performance was outstanding as they outlasted their nearest class competitors Wayne Martin Batson and Amanda Bennet by a margin of 16 seconds.
Murray Kifer and Walter Sutton proved to be the formidable duo to challenge in the SXS Pro category, while Graeme Bentink and Johnny Le clinched the top honours in the Production 4WD class. Additionally, Simon Jones and Rochelle Funeman showcased their dominance in the Performance 2WD class.
The next round of the Western Australian Off Road Championship will be the Black Diamond Kalgoorlie Desert Race on 19-22 October, as part of the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship.