Shane Elphinstone is remaining positive about his debut season in the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC), despite not finishing last month’s Tatts Finke Desert Race.
The West Australian had a forgettable run in the 2021 edition of the iconic off road race, failing to get to the first checkpoint on day one due to a blown radiator.
However, it was his efforts in Method Race Wheels Prologue that has kept him upbeat about his round, even if it was short lived.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get far in Finke, but I am looking at the positives which is that I did the best I have ever done in Prologue there and we’re getting closer to the top guys,” Elphinstone said.
“We put a lot of time into the car for Finke. We went early, did some practice and got the car to the best it has ever been, but something just went wrong on day one and we had to retire early.
“I am just really happy that we had good pace in Prologue and the new dropped round rule keeps us in the hunt for when the season gets down the pointy end.
“I am just looking forward to being able to race again, whenever that may be.”
Finke wasn’t the first time Elphinstone impressed those around him.
During the opening round of the AORC in Queensland, the Pro-Buggy driver managed to finish the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 in outright fifth place and pick up the fastest time on the final section.
Now sitting 13th on the AORC standings after two rounds, Elphinstone believes he will only continue to get better at national level.
“I don’t think I am out of my depth. I haven’t embarrassed myself. I am not the first buggy, but at least we’re in the top five on the standings,” Elphinstone added.
“I didn’t do anything different to the car in between rounds, so we just need a bit more seat time in state rounds to continue getting faster.
“The goal will of course be to get to the pointy end of the championship and dropping the round is a bit of a saviour, but it means we have no second chances and we must do well at each round hereafter.
“Overall, I am pretty happy with how this season is going and although it’s two rounds down, we have definitely had some good lessons that will help us for the future.”
The next round of the AORC is the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro 560 on 27-29 August.
Photo: Terry Hill Photography