The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race is no easy feat, especially when there is a lot on the line, meaning the 45 crews competing there this weekend can’t take it lightly.
Not only will crews be battling it out for the Motorsport Australia WA Off Road Championship (WAORC), but free entry into a BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) round next year is also on offer to the winner of the event, except Finke.
With the race also run as the Motorsport Australia Off Road West Australian Cup, crews will have to be extra careful when it comes to going the distance at the event, which sits at 375km of unforgiving conditions.
While there are multiple AORC regular drivers keen to claim that attractive prize, there is only one driver in the field with everything to play for and that’s Jake Clucas.
Clucas already enters the event with one hand on the WAORC trophy and a victory at Kalgoorlie would not just make it consecutive wins for the first time of his career, it would secure him the championship and allow him to go up against the best in Australia next year – something that would have been far from his mind at the start of 2020.
However Clucas isn’t guaranteed a win here just like anyone else as he isn’t immune to the harsh environment of Kalgoorlie, but event organiser Jeremy Beck believes the answer to victory there is simple.
“To win Kalgoorlie takes mainly perseverance and you can’t try and win it in the first 500 yards,” Beck said.
“It requires respect as you need to find your way around the track, miss those holes and work your way into the weekend. Don’t try and win it on the first day.
“There are some really difficult parts but the most infamous one is the big stretch after the lake when you’re on the way to the start/finish line between checkpoint nine and 10.
“It’s a long distance between those roads and people seem to forget that as it’s where a lot of competitors get lost because it’s a really rough area. They just need to get through that dead zone and then they’re in the clear.
“With that said, you give the track respect then you should really enjoy it and get through unscathed. The most popular part of it is the roads leading up to the start/finish line around Lake Perkolilli.
“Jake Clucas is a big chance to win the WAORC this weekend. There are a couple of SXS cars that are getting close, but the bottom line is that Jake needs to get around the track and stay within the top 10 and I think he has it wrapped up.”
It’s a traditional off road schedule for the popular West Australian race, which will see crews complete prologue on Saturday morning and one lap of the 125km course in the afternoon, before two more laps on Sunday.
The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race takes place in Kalgoorlie-Boulder on 23-25 October and is part of the Motorsport Australia Off Road West Australian Cup.