Off road calendar updated

The 2021 Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race and Can-Am Loveday 400 will run as back-to-back rounds of the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) round, subject to border restrictions easing later this year.

Originally scheduled to be the season finale of the 2021 season, the popular Kalgoorlie event will for now continue to run as both a round of the AORC and Motorsport Australia West Australian Off Road Championship, the format which has made the event the popular and iconic race that it is.

Competitors will then be given the opportunity to head straight to South Australia for the rescheduled Loveday event, meaning teams can stay on the road and will be able to complete two rounds in one ‘trip’, meaning border restrictions will hopefully be less of a factor in this format.

Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith believed that while it was not a usual situation to hold events so close to one another, the ongoing pandemic meant thinking ‘outside the box’.

“2021 has forced us to look at some different ways to get as many rounds of the Championship as possible,” Smith said.

“We’re also aware and understand that travel to some of the remaining events may not be possible to run as national events, but we will make those decisions closer to the scheduled dates with as much notice for competitors as possible. We will continue to monitor state border restrictions to ensure the Championship remains fair and open to as many as possible.

Back-to-back rounds will allow competitors to potentially spend a week or two on the road, without having to go home and then risk not being able to leave their home state if things change.

“We also continue to have the ‘drop round’ in effect for the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship.

“We’re hopeful that we can still run all three remaining rounds in Rainbow, Kalgoorlie and Loveday. We will work closely with both event organisers in the lead up to these events as we keep an eye on the ever-changing restrictions.

“A huge thank you must go to all event organisers and our sponsors for their ongoing support during this unprecedented time.

“While 2021 has been a tough year for the sport we’re excited about what lies ahead in 2021 as well as looking forward to also announcing an expanded 2022 calendar very soon.”

Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia

Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race event organiser Jeremy Beck said planning was well underway for a big event in October.

“The KDR team feel for events that have been affected in this challenging year,” Beck said.

“Preparation for our event is full steam ahead and we look forward to welcoming championship competitors to the start line in October.”

Can-Am Loveday 400 event organiser Tony Whateley said his team were eagerly anticipating the opportunity to host its event.

“It’s been a very difficult year and we know that everyone just wants to go racing,” Whateley said.

“To help make it easier for crews who are considering going back-to-back, we have extra people on deck to help prep cars in between rounds.

“We all have the championship’s best interests at heart and hopefully this new schedule allows as many crews as possible to complete five rounds of the championship.”

The next round of the AORC will be the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro in September.

2021 AORC Calendar  
Round 1: Cobb & Co. St George 399 – completed
Round 2: Tatts Finke Desert Race – completed
Round 3: Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow 399 – 24-26 September
Round 4: Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race – 22-24 October
Round 5: Can-Am Loveday 400 – 29-31 October

Feature photo: Bob Taylor