Pre-registration for the fourth round of the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) are now being accepted.
Making its second appearance on the AORC calendar after a highly successful debut last year, the Loveday 400 will once again return as a the follow up to the iconic Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Set at the Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park in South Australia, the event will run under a different format to last year with four heats instead of five but will still see crews tackle 10 laps of the 40km course, keeping the total distance at 400km.
Similar to the 2022 event, Scrutineering will run on Friday and Prologue on Saturday morning before the action gets underway on Saturday afternoon.
Five laps await crews on the first day of action with Heat 1 to be made up of two laps and Heat 2 to consist of three laps.
On Sunday, crews will begin with three laps of the course for Heat 3 before finishing up with the final two laps in Heat 4.
Event organiser Tony Whateley believed the shorter format would allow more flexibility for crews and reduce the length of the competition days.
“Last year we had the 10 laps spread across five heats and while there were no issues for crews, they were still long days for all those involved,” Whateley explained.
“This time round, the extra lap in Heats 2 and 3 will mean that crews will be able to get a bit of a sleep in and the days will be shorter, allowing for more people to start their journey home earlier, which is a huge positive.
“With this in mind, crews may have to be a little more cautious with the reduction of heats because there is less room for error now, so there certainly more challenges.”
As for the 40km track itself, there has been little change to what was a popular course amongst competitors, but it is in better condition this time thanks to some help from mother nature.
“We had a really wet summer in South Australia and that made things a little chaotic, however it has actually made the track better,” Whatley explained.
“The team has been hard at work in getting the track ready for the event and I would say that it is in good condition right now.
“A lot of drivers were highly complimentary of the track itself and I can confidently say that it is in a much better state now, so I think that competitors will love coming here again.
“I hope all crews have a safe and straightforward run at Finke and look forward to welcoming them here in July.”
The Loveday 400 acts as the fourth round of the 2023 AORC season and takes place in Loveday on 28-30 July.