Josh Howells will start the first round of the 2021 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship from top spot after an impressive prologue performance.
More than 90 crews entered the 2021 Cobb & Hotel St George 399 and there was plenty of anticipation surrounding prologue after heavy rainfall in recent weeks made the course a different prospect compared to previous years.
When the action finally got underway, Howells and navigator Eric Hulme showed no signs of rustiness as the youngster was fastest in the opening prologue session by six seconds over 2012 champion Matt Hanson, while Talbot Cox rounded out the top three.
The Top 10 shootout immediately followed prologue and Howells once again topped the timesheets, earning himself the honour of starting first on Saturday, the first ever time he’s qualified fastest in his career.
Hanson and Cox again finished in the top three, only this time their positions were reversed from prologues with Cox placed above the 2012 champion and will start the event’s first section right behind Howells.
Other big names to feature in the top 10 after a shoot out was West Australian superstar Beau Robinson, reigning AORC champion Mark Burrows, 2019 Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro winner Greg Gartner and 2020 Motorsport Australia WA Off Road Cup winner Shane Elphinstone.
The first official heat of the 2021 season begins tomorrow at 10am with crews to complete two laps of the 80km course.
Top 10 after Prologue
Josh Howells – 6:50.900
Talbot Cox – 7:01.383
Matt Hanson – 7:03.738
Beau Robinson – 7:04.985
Greg Gartner – 7:05.705
Brett Comiskey – 7:09.887
Mark Burrows – 7:10.728
Shane Elphinstone – 7:12.052
Jason Richards – 7:20.402
Kye Floyd – 7:20.979
Photo: Terry Hill Photography