The BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) will welcome a record field for this weekend’s Coomealla Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash.
It’s been a long time since the region has hosted a round of the AORC and to mark the occasion, a huge entry list of 75 crews from around the country will be attending the Championship’s newest inclusion.
While there is a record number of crews entered, the talent is just as impressive with a majority of the country’s biggest stars locked in to fight it out on a course that many would have never run before – making it an even playing field.
Leading the charge is Josh Howells and the current championship leader will have his work cut out for him with many other top contenders entered – the most notable being Shannon Rentsch, Beau Robinson and Greg Gartner.
Of the current AORC top 10, nine crews will be in attendance with the second placed Ryan Taylor, Jake Swinglehurst, Ally Howells, Matt Huxley and Brett Comiskey, all of whom will be looking to continue on their solid starts to the season.
The biggest class of the weekend belongs to the SXS Pro class, which forms part of the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, with 25 crews to line up for Prologue on Saturday morning.
Headlining that collection of crews will be current leader and veteran of the sport, Phil Lovett, while round one attendees Greg Campbell, Simon Evans and Glen Akroyd will be the New South Welshman’s biggest threats – as well as the returning Jeff McNiven who will be looking to get his 2022 campaign underway on a high.
Ahead of the second round of the season, Motorsport Australia Director of Motor Sport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith was just as impressed with the entry list.
“The fact that Pooncarie will have a field in excess of 70 crews just goes to show how strong of a position the AORC is in right now,” Smith said.
“Being the newest event on the calendar, as well as being so close to Finke might have meant some crews may have decided to miss this round, but to have a record field full of top contenders is fantastic.
“A big thank you must go out to all the crews for continuing their support for the championship, while the Sunraysia Motorsport Club has done a good job in pulling the event together.
“It’s going to be a fantastic event and I am sure the whole Australian off road community is looking forward to it.”
Sunraysia Motorsport Club President Peter Freckleton was equally as thrilled with the amount of crews entered in the round.
“We’re really happy with the entry list and it’s one of the best the event has ever had,” Freckleton said.
“It’s an exciting time for the town of Pooncarie because they haven’t had a race meeting of this size since around 2006 and the fact that there is such a big entry list adds to the excitement.
“We have a whole new team putting this event together on a new purpose built track and we’re expecting quite a big turnout of spectators as well which is nice, so we’re all really looking forward to it.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything better especially with the calibre of competitors that are coming this weekend. I just hope they all enjoy the racing and the event itself.”
The Coomealla Memorial Club and Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash takes place in Pooncarie on 6-8 May.
Highlights from the show will be screened on 7plus and 7mate following the event, with in depth coverage during the event on AORC’s social media channels and website.