Loveday locks in strong entry list

The entry list for the 2023 Loveday 400 has been confirmed with a strong field of more than 60 crews entered in the event.

Taking place at the Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park in Loveday, the fourth round of the Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) will see 51 of the best off road drivers from around the country battling it out over two days of non-stop action.

Headlining the entry list will be nine-time AORC champion Shannon Rentsch, who will be making his second appearance for the year after a gallant performance in last month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race saw him finish sixth overall.

Finishing on the podium at Finke was the current championship leader in Travis Robinson, and the West Australian is locked in for Loveday as he closes in on a maiden AORC title.

Shannon Rentsch headlines the 2023 Loveday 400 field. Photos: Bob Taylor

The two heavy hitters lead a strong field of pro buggies, which features some high profile names such as Roydn Bailey, Daniel Hughes, Brett Rogers and Nicholas Hicks – all four drivers capable of winning the event.

With a strong cohort of Pro buggies, the Prolites are just as impressive with eight crews entered in the class.

Leading the line of Prolites is Mel Brandle, who scored his first-ever outright AORC podium at Pooncarie earlier this year, while he will have his hands full with 2018 Prolite champion Alan Dixon and fellow South Australian, Luke Erceg.

Boasting the biggest field for the round is the SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, with 23 crews entered in the event – the most notable entries being current leader James Cook.

The reigning champion had a weekend to forget in Pooncarie but has been in irresistible form outside of that minor blip, having won the Markwell Group Gold City 450 outright before topping the SXS Pro cars at Finke.

Cook will now return to the same place where he first gained the SXS Championship lead in 2022, although this time, he has a more commanding lead.

The Victorian will be up against a handful of contenders, with Greg Campbell, James Mogford and Glenn Brinkman all slated to compete, while the likes of Lachlan Bailey and Glen Akroyd will be up for the fight too.

Other notable entries for the fourth round include Polaris stars Simon and Edan Evans, local contender Toby Whateley and a quartet of class leaders in Nicholas Commins (Extreme 2WD), Joshua Gaskin (Sportslite), Brad Geraghty (Super 1650) and Adam Jiear (Production 4WD).

View the full entry list here.

Loveday 400 event organiser Tony Whateley was pleased with the entry list and was ready to welcome the AORC to Loveday for the second time.

“We’re expecting a big event here at Loveday later this month and we’re looking forward to seeing some of the best off road cars in action over two big days,” Whateley said.

“Of course, one part of the event we really pride ourselves on is the spectator points we have available and once again, fans will be able to get amazing views of the cars from each point over the event.

“With such a strong field, I have no doubt the crowd will be treated to lots of entertainment, and I hope to see big numbers here watching on.

“The roads are in good nick, the entry list is strong and we’re fully stocked up in the kitchen and bar so it’s going to be an awesome weekend.”

In addition to the AORC, the event will also be hosting a round of the Motorsport Australia South Australian Off Road Championships, with just under 10 crews entered.

The Loveday 400 takes place at Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park on 28-30 July.