Last time out in Loveday

The Can-Am Loveday 400 will make its national debut later this week with a record number of crews to battle it out across the weekend.

While there will be much to look forward to in regards to a huge number of entries, if previous years are anything to go by, the on-track action itself should be pretty exciting.

Ahead of the 2022 edition of the South Australian event, looks back on what was a thrilling BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Cup – Central.

A dramatic climax to the 2021 Can-Am Loveday 400 saw BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) veteran Hayden Bentley and his daughter Hannah Bentley claim an unlikely victory.

In what proved to be an extremely challenging weekend for the 32 entered crews, just nine were able to finish all 10 laps, while the remaining 22 crews fell victim to the difficult course at various points.

For Bentley though, his consistency across both days of action and experience at Loveday helped him claim the event by a resounding five minutes.

Photos: Bob Taylor

Finishing the 400km race in second place behind the victorious Trophy Truck was Chris Pickert, while Tyson and Chris Proud crossed the line eight minutes behind to round out the podium.

Qualifying in second place after an amicable Prologue performance, Bentley ended day one in the same position and trailing leader Wes Cowie by 39 seconds after two completed sections.

In Sunday’s first of three sections, Cowie went fastest once again, beating Bentley by 46 seconds and extending his lead to almost one and a half minutes.

The leader looked to have sealed the deal on the first lap of the fifth and final section, going two minutes faster than the Bentleys, who were having issues of their own, and extending the gap out to almost four minutes.

However, on the final lap of the 400km race, Cowie’s Pro Buggy had significant drive shaft damage forcing him to DNF, which handed the outright victory to Bentley – the 2020 runner-up also picking up the Extreme 2WD win.

Bentley wasn’t the only one to benefit from Cowie’s heartbreaking withdrawal with podium placer Proud also picking up the Pro Buggy class victory in the process.

Just five minutes off the final podium place was Prolite class winner Rich Andrews, while David Adams edged out fellow Sportslite pilot Sam Bentley by 40 seconds to grab a top five finish and the class win.

With Pickert winning the Performance 2WD class, the top five drivers all came from different classes, highlighting the diversity the event offers to all classes.

Rounding out the remaining classified finishers were Michael Shipton, Gavin Chant and the ninth placed Mark Taylor, who alongside Robbie Ward, secured the Super 1650 Buggy class victory.

Click here to view full results from the Can-Am Loveday 400.

The 2022 Can-Am 400 takes place this weekend and is the fourth round of the 2022 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship.