2017 was certainly the year of the Prolite in the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship – the third and final round at the Rainbow Desert Enduro saw Matt Martin and Chris Browning in an all-Prolite battle, fighting tooth and nail for the title.
In the end, there was nothing in it, with Martin taking the outright championship by just two points.
The Prolite class is strong again this year at the St George 399, with almost all Prolite competitors back for their second crack at the event.
Both Martin and Browning are keen to get their 2018 championship campaigns underway, Martin fresh off the dyno in the ‘Sherman Tank’ and a complete refurbishment for Browning’s Alumi Craft in the off season.
Tait Svenson will be looking to go one better at this year’s 399 in the German Autos Motorsport Stealth Predator. Last year the Queenslander came agonisingly close to an outright podium finish, Svenson finishing just 15 seconds behind third placed Martin after nine gruelling laps.
Money Box Racing’s Alan Dixon will be hoping to better his fourth in class and eighth outright last year. A warm up at the King of the Dunes event in Portland Victoria in March will see he and navigator Johnny O’Connor ready to go. Waylon Jaggard also returns in 2018.
Patrick Philp moves to the prolite class this year – the Queenslander competed in a Hornet Super 1650 in 2017, placing second in class to fellow Limited Options racer Declan Cummins.
Ian Baker, part of the three-car RSL RAEMUS Rover outfit, will again partner with Ben Whiley, continuing their good work with support and rehabilitation of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel.
Sole St George 399 debutant in the prolite class is Ally Howells. Howells will get her first look at the 50-kilometre St George course during reconnaissance this Friday as part of the Howells Motorsport crew, the team also running Josh Howells in the pro buggy class.