Off Road returns in Alice this weekend

After more than five months of waiting, the Alice Springs Off Road Race Club is back in action this weekend with the second round of the 2020 Alice Hosetech Industrial Supplies NT Titles.

Taking place at its 50km course around Mt Ooraminna in Alice Springs, the club has confirmed one of its biggest fields in recent years with 25 crews to do battle in the Jaws Contracting 250.

Starting with Prologue on Saturday afternoon, crews will then complete the first two laps later that day, with the second lap to be run under the night sky, before they return on Sunday morning to complete the event’s final three laps.

While there are big restrictions between Northern Territory’s borders and the rest of Australia, there will be no shortage of talent with a number of BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) stars and class champions confirmed to line up.

Featuring part of the field will be 2019 AORC Sportslite runner-up Patrick Geraghty, 2018 AORC Extreme 2WD Champion Brett Taylor and SXS Sport Champion Rick Chambers, 2013 AORC Prolite Champion Andrew Mowles and SXS Sport contender Brad Geraghty.

Although there is plenty of star power from the AORC, headlining the 25-crew field will be reigning series champion Greg Hicks, who will be looking to continue his title defence with a second straight victory in 2020, while last year’s event winner Alex Heinzel is a potential chance to give Hicks a run for his money.

Ahead of the Jaws Contracting 250, Alice Springs Off Road Race Club President Rod Berry was excited for what the weekend had in store and praised club members for their desire to help the event happen.

“Everyone involved is excited. We have the biggest field in a while and a number of serious contenders, so it should be a cracking event,” Berry said.

“Surprisingly, we actually had an increase in membership during the COVID break, as well as quite a busy period on the vehicle front with a lot of people, including myself, purchasing new cars to race at these events.

“It just goes to show how appreciative people are to get back racing as they have been starved of their passion for a few months now. It’s been challenging to help everyone get their head around the Motorsport Australia Return To Race requirements, but they are starting to come good and do what they need to do for pre-documentation.

“Seeing the adversity of our members through this difficult period has made me really proud of the sport and its people. When it comes to tough times, people just put their hands up and do their job. That is the beauty of off road racing and our club, there is so much unity. Everyone is digging deep when they need to.

“A big thanks to the land owners Orange Creek Station, for allowing us to race in their paddock, Jaws Contracting and Alice Hosetech Industrial Supplies for their support with the series and all the officials and volunteers of course, because if we didn’t have them, we couldn’t do what we love.”

The Jaws Contracting 250 takes place around Mt Ooraminna in Alice Springs on 22-23 August.