Nine-time BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Champion Shannon Rentsch is anticipating a huge year in 2021 after recently obtaining a new set of wheels.
The recent purchase saw him part ways with the Jimco Pro-Buggy that helped him win four Australian titles with father and navigator Ian Rentsch, undoubtedly cementing them as one of the all-time great teams.
Unfortunately the new Jimco Pro-Buggy’s late arrival date meant the duo were certain to miss this year’s Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 and Tatts Finke Desert Race, putting their 2020 title hopes in doubt.
However, with the current Coronavirus pandemic delaying the start of the season, which included Finke’s cancellation, Rentsch admits the situation was slightly beneficial.
“There aren’t too many positives to come out of this current situation in regard to the world, but it has worked out a little bit in our favour to be honest,” Rentsch said.
“At the start of the year, we had pretty much written off the season with the car’s unavailability, but now it looks like we won’t miss out on much and we can focus on getting the car ready without pressure, making sure it’s reliable.
“We were disappointed knowing we were going to miss St George and even more so, Finke, because we have done it every year for the past 17 years.
“We were going to be pushing it to get the car ready for Finke as we only received the car last month so it worked out good for us as it gives us time to fix the car now.
“It would be good if a couple of rounds get run this year, but it would be nice if it was a true five round championship. We may do a round or two, but the main focus will be for next year.”
While Rentsch believes the new Jimco is better than the old, there is a still plenty of work required to get it up to scratch.
With the car’s major work already complete, their attention will turn to the smaller tasks at hand, which includes the turbo system, the fuel system and all the electrical upgrades.
It’s been almost a decade since the father-son champion duo have had a completely new car to deal with, and Rentsch is looking forward to the challenge of getting used to the new car.
“It will have been well over 12 months since we last raced by the time the action gets underway. Hopefully we can get going this year,” Rentsch added.
“We have a lot of work to do on the car and because it’s so different and there are no cars like it around, it’s going to take a lot to get it right. It’s something you do once and do it right.
“It is going to be good to have something so different to what we have had in the past. We had that last car for nearly 10 years, and it became a little bit of second nature to us.
“As of late, it was just about trying to beat our rivals but now there is the added challenge of getting used to the car, so we are looking forward to that challenge.
“We excited to get it done and have something that performs a bit better. Hopefully next year, we can work towards a 10th championship and another Finke King of the Desert.”