Ryan Taylor and Kye Floyd have edged out polesitters Josh Howells and Gordon Tardrew to storm into the lead after the first day of 2022 Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash.
In Saturday morning’s Prologue, it was Howells who took out top spot with a solid run in the 16km qualifying circuit, with Taylor finishing third behind surprise packets John and Toby Hederics.
However when it came to first lap of the 100km course, Taylor and Floyd produced a stellar effort behind the wheel and went faster that the championship leader by just seven seconds.
It was a strong performance from the Queenslander, who continues to enjoy his best start to an BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship season.
“We had a really good lap, it felt clean and fast,” Taylor said.
“The car is amazing, it’s really good to drive and predictable.
“We’ve still got some more speed there and as we get to know the track, so we’ll just push on.
“Josh won’t be happy to be behind us, so he’ll be pushing hard as well, so we’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Meanwhile, Howells was surprised to finish the day in second, after mechanical gremlins hindering his Saturday afternoon.
“We had a couple of issues, about 10km in (to the lap) we lost second gear, so had to drive it through with third, fourth and fifth, so we just drove what we had and here we are,” Howells said.
“It’s way better than where I thought we’d be sitting to be honest.
“Championships are won on your bad days, so we’re here just trying to get through.”
Finishing the first section in third place were Shane and Zane Elphinstone with the duo having a good start to their 2022 campaign after missing out in St George.
Having gone seventh fastest in Prologue, the West Australians improved significantly for the first lap as they ended up 41 seconds behind Taylor.
“It’s a great result compared to where we started,” Elphinstone said.
“There’s still 200kms of racing, so it’s going to be pretty hard work, but we’ll try and turn it up a bit more (to catch the top two).”
In fourth place were Matt Hanson and Nigel Pendlebury, who impressed after an early a rollover cost them time, while Jake and Kate Siwnglehurst rounded out the top five to mark a dominant day for Pro Buggies.
Toby Whateley and Simon Hermann were the fastest non-pro buggy in their Trophy Truck, followed closely behind by Beau Robinson and Shane Hutt.
In the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, Josh Wiedman and Paul Wiedman claimed day one honours, 18th overall and the fastest of all SXS entrants.
Second fastest of the SXS competitors was Nick Hicks, while Stephen Henry finished third fastest in class on Saturday.
Photos: Gears and Wheels Photography