As the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship’s final round of 2018 approaches, Alan Dixon is hoping to avoid the same bad luck sustained during last year’s Rainbow Desert Enduro.
It was a disappointing event for Dixon who had just missed out on the top ten shootout during the prologue, finishing in 11th position.
While he was able to regain spots during the race, a major incident occurred right as he was about to make his move on the prolite class leader Chris Browning.
“As we were about to pass Chris, my co-driver (Jonothan O’Connor) told me that we were on fire. I agreed with him responding with ‘I know, we really are having a crack’,” Dixon joked.
“He had to remind me that our car was literally on fire, to which I promptly pulled over.
“I had a drama with the hose before the Enduro but I didn’t have time to replace the whole hose.
“I shortened it up a bit and eventually it blew oil all over the engine which caused the fire.”
Fortunately both driver and navigator escaped unharmed, it was still a major blow for Dixon who was on track to win the round’s prolite class.
Fast forward 12 months and the Victorian has enjoyed a much better season, putting his good form down to his current engine – which thankfully has not caught fire.
“We had dramas with motors last year – going through three different engines throughout the season – and it’s because I use bombers, I didn’t put great motors in,” Dixon added.
“This year we have a really good motor this time round and have yet to replace it for the season.
“The car is running sweet as pie, I have put in new axles, a new rack-and-pinion and new steering box. It’s all nearly prepped for the final round.”
Currently leading the prolite class by just eight points over Ally Howells, Dixon’s season has seen him finish second in class the St George 399 and sixth in class at last month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race.
With just one round remaining in the championship, Dixon has just one simple goal on how to keep his lead.
“It’s a very tight battle between myself and Ally, I had to push her a long way at Finke to get here.
“To beat Ally I just need to make sure I finish the race, that is my biggest goal.
“However, I have no expectations because every time I say I will get a result, I end up retiring and I get nothing.”
It’s been a long journey for the 2016 Victorian Off Road Champion, going through three built-from-scratch vehicles to get to his winning package, which he has had since 2014.
With all the hardships endured along the way, it seems that luck is finally on Dixon’s side.
The Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro takes place on 10-12 August, with Outright and Class Champion to be crowned at the conclusion of the event.