With the Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash just around the corner, there aren’t as many people more excited for the event than Walkinshaw Performance’s David Kermond.
While there are many reasons Kermond is itching to make his BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) debut next month, the fact that he is actually making it is at the top of that list.
Locked in to be behind the wheel of the team’s ZR2 Colorado alongside Riccardo Pontonio in the 2WD Performance class, it’s been quite the journey for the Victorian to get here.
Originally slated to make his debut at the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399, the team had to withdraw the car just days out from the round as they weren’t confident it was ready yet.
Thankfully the team’s second entry, driven by popular circuit racer Warren Luff, competed the round and the highly respected engineer was able to attend St George as Luff’s navigator.
Getting valuable seat time at an off road event, albeit as a navigator instead of a driver, gave Kermond the experience required to understand the discipline. After reaching that important milestone, Kermond is excited to drive his own car.
“I am really looking forward to Pooncarie because I finally get to get to drive,” Kermond said.
“It’s one thing to be a navigator, but to get in behind the wheel is a totally different experience and to be doing it for Walkinshaw is just such a good opportunity – I can’t wait.
“It will be quite a new experience for me because we haven’t even had the chance to drive or do a shakedown in the car, so hopefully it all goes well.
“With that said, our goal will be the same as what Warren’s was in St George and that is just to finish the event.
“It will be interesting though because no one has seen the track and there isn’t too much information out there so it will be quiet even amongst everyone.”
As for his teammate, Luff currently sits second in the Production 4WD class after finishing behind 14-time class champion Geoff Pickering.
With the team’s VW W580X Amarok unable to keep up with the pace of Pickering, Kermond admitted there was work to be done, but they didn’t want to stray too far from what is the standard production setup.
“We made a few changes after St George because we were slower than Geoff in each lap,” Kermond added.
“With that said, we didn’t want to throw the kitchen sink at it but we just needed to find an extra five per cent so we could bring in the gap, which I am confident we have done.
“We also wanted to make sure we weren’t losing the Production Car aspect of the truck and kept a majority of the parts that we sell to the public, so I hope there will be a bit of a difference in Pooncarie.”
The Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash takes place in Pooncarie on 6-8 May.