The nation’s first state off road event has arrived with the Motorsport Australia Western Australia Off Road Championship’s (WAORC) 2020 season beginning this weekend in Perenjori.
More than 30 competitors are entered in the GTurbo Rod Hatter Memorial Perenjori 360 with the crews to complete 360 competitive kilometres across the event’s three sessions on a course made up of bitumen, dirt, sand & gravel.
Starting with Prologue on Saturday morning, the crews will then tackle the first two laps during Saturday afternoon’s two-lap session, before completing the remaining four laps across two sessions on Sunday.
The 32-crew field entry list makes for interesting reading with reigning WAORC champion and last year’s event winner Darren Agrela to miss the season opener.
Agrela’s absence opens up the door for the remaining title contenders with 2019 championship runner-up Matthew Birnie, last year’s event runner-up Phil Shepley and national driver Harleigh Uren headlining the strong field.
The season opener will also be Shepley’s first event since the corresponding round last year, while Uren will be looking to have a strong start to his 2020 campaign after only getting to two rounds last year.
There will be eight classes running throughout the event and it’s Birnie’s SXS Turbo class which has the largest, with 11 drivers competing. The 2019 class winner’s biggest threats come in the form of Sean Fitzpatrick, Gavin Rodgers and Ben Hodge – all of whom finished in the top 10 outright last year.
Another big name to look out for will be the 2017 WAORC Champion Jared Percival, who like Uren, will be looking to start the season strong after being able to only run in two events last year.
Both Uren and Percival finished 2019 with podium finishes during their two rounds – making them big chances to start the season opener with a win.
The GTurbo Rod Hatter Memorial Perenjori 360 takes place in the rural West Australian town of Perenjori on 29 February to 1 March.