Shannon Rentsch has opened up a 106-point lead in the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship, so far proving unbeatable this year with wins at rounds one and two.
Rentsch, and Dad Ian, claimed their sixth ‘King of the Desert’ title at the Tatts Finke Desert Race. The pair dominated the event by claiming pole and winning both 226-kilometre legs, grabbing a maximum 375 points across the weekend.
SXS Turbo pilot Toby Whateley slides to second in the championship having led by just two points after round one at the St George 399.
Whateley, with navigator Simon Herrmann, did everything right at Finke to be the first SXS Turbo home in 15th outright and claim the class win over Nathan Chivers and Scott O’Connor.
However, with Finke conditions favouring the buggies and trophy trucks, Whateley now has a lot of ground to make up at the third and final round of the AORC, the Rainbow Desert Enduro in August.
Jeff McNiven and Andrew Reid, also in a SXS Turbo, move into third in the AORC pointscore following their top 20 finish at the Tatts Finke Desert Race.
Young-gun Josh Howells put in a sterling drive at his first-ever Finke to bring his Jimco Aussie Special Pro Buggy home in sixth and grab a swag of points following a disappointing St George 399 where he suffered a broken steering rack on day one. He and navigator Bryan Erskine sit in fourth in the points with reigning SXS Turbo Class Champion Greg Campbell rounding out the top five.
In the Class Championship standings, Rentsch leads the Pro Buggy class from Josh Howells with Ryan and Nev Taylor in third.
Alan Dixon and Johnny O’Connor lead the Prolite class after round two, with Finke debutants Ally Howells and Sean Marsden hot on their tail, only eight points behind. Reigning Australian Off Road Champion Matt Martin holds down third in class. His 13th outright at Finke puts him back in the game after a disastrous start to the 2018 season, the ’Sherman Tank’ plagued by engine and gearbox issues at the St George 399.
David Fellows and Mark Bergamin’s second place at Finke sees them leading the Extreme 2WD class with Mark Lancaster in second and Brett Taylor in third. In the Extreme 4WD class, reigning champions Paul and Michelle Malt look like they are on track to defend their class title, despite failing to make it to Alice Springs on day two of the Finke Desert Race.
In the SXS Turbo Class, Whateley holds a strong lead over McNiven and Chivers while Rick Chambers and Patrick Geraghty lead the SXS Sport class from Zachary Marsh and James Clarke, with Brad and Courtney Geraghty in third.
And in Production 4WD, the ever-consistent Geoff Pickering and Dylan Watson hold a commanding lead over Jodie Allen and Brandon Taylor with one round to go.
The BFGoodrich CAMS AORC moves onto the third and final round at the Rainbow Desert Enduro, to be held on 10-12 August in Rainbow, Victoria.