The Robinson brothers, Beau and Travis, were the big winners at day one of the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro supported by GrainCorp.
Beau Robinson and co-driver Shane Hutt were the surprise winners of today’s two-lap race, putting in a sensational drive in the Geiser Bros Trophy Truck to finish ahead of Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings, also in a trophy truck, and Travis Robinson, the first of the pro buggies to cross the line.
It was a measured performance by Travis Robinson and co-driver Trent Anthony to grab a swag of points, putting them in the box seat to win their first BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship.
Beau Robinson was third after the first lap behind early leaders Matt Hanson and Shannon Rentsch, who had a ding-dong battle right from the start. However it was Robinson that outlasted the two Jimco buggies, Rentsch hitting a tree in the muddy conditions on the final lap and Hanson suffering a broken CV joint only ten kilometres from the finish.
Beau Robinson said it was a challenging day.
“We owe it all to the BFGoodrich Tires, there were some mud patches out there that were crazy. I think there will be a bit of carnage out there, I saw a few cars on the side of the road from hitting trees,” Robinson said.
“We had a good fight with the other trophy truck of Gartner’s and it was good to come out on top. And Travis had a good run too so the championship hunt is looking a bit better and we will see what tomorrow brings, it’s going to be a tough day tomorrow.”
Gartner started this afternoon’s two-lap race side-by-side with Travis Robinson.
“I was third and he was fourth; we thought he would pull away but we actually caught him, I think he is playing the game to try and win the championship this weekend,” Gartner explained.
“We followed him for about 40km, got pretty wet and our visors—we couldn’t see—I actually nearly took him out on one occasion. But Trav pulled off and let us go and we just raced our own race.
“Today was pretty challenging…we had a run off and hit a fence. It didn’t hurt us but we had to turn it off and reverse. Tomorrow is another day and we are happy to be here.”
Travis Robinson was keeping a lid on it post today’s race.
“I didn’t do reconnaissance yesterday so I used the first lap as a bit of a recce and I could tell that there was no way the cars were going to get through 600km of this if I keep driving it hard, so I lifted right off and let my brother and Gartner go past, they are not racing us in the championship,” Robinson said.
“We are just cruising around and hopefully we can put the championship in the bag.”
Justin Watt and Dave Hartwig were strong all day in their trophy truck, finishing in fourth position.
Chris Browning and Matt Martin also put in solid performances in their prolite buggies to keep their championship hopes alive finishing in fifth and thirteenth respectively; Martin clawing his way back after losing a large amount of time fixing an issue with his fuel line.
Class results were not available at the time of publication.
All the action kicks off at 9am tomorrow with a five lap race to decide the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship; the Victorian Off Road Championship will run a three lap race. Visit www.aorc.com.au for details.