State News: Percival champion in dramatic finish

Jared Percival has claimed back-to-back CAMS Carnarvon Motel Western Australian Off Road Racing Championships after a dramatic season finale in the Kalgoorlie Desert Race.

It was a nerve-wracking finish to the season for Percival, despite starting the 400km race strong, with his Jimco sustaining engine issues in the final section of the race, forcing him to drop down the order significantly.

However with his title hopes in the balance, Percival managed to race to the finish line in eighth and bring home the outright title, the third of his career.

At the front of the pack, it was the battle of the Tasman Sea as Kiwi John Morgan edged out Shane Elphinstone and fellow New Zealander in Raana Horan to claim a nail-biting final round victory,

With all three Jimco drivers spending time in top spot during the three sections, it was Morgan who managed to hold into his lead after blasting away at the start of section two, building onto an already healthy section one lead to go into the final section with a 37 second lead.

Despite Horan claiming the fastest time in the second section and starting the final section in first, an unfortunate flat tyre early killed his victory aspirations, allowing Elphinstone, who was running in second after a strong previous section, to have a clean run at Morgan.

A smooth drive at the front of the order from Shane and Curt Elphinstone saw them post the fastest time in the third and final section, only for Morgan to storm home 23 seconds ahead of the pair and claim the round.

Finishing in fourth outright was Brad Close, with the CanAm X3 pilot also nabbing first in the SXS Turbo class, while Simon Clifford rounded out the top five.

The 2018 WAORC champion also left Kalgoorlie with the Prolite class, ninth outright Mitchell Davies picked up the Extreme 4WD class win and Jeremy Lia finished first in the Super 1650 class after coming 12th outright.

Some brilliant efforts in other classes saw Peter Barrett bring his Sportslite across the finish line on just three wheels to win the Sportslite class ahead of the final car to finish the race, Russell Cullen and Sean Beck, who took  out the Performance 2WD class in the process.

It was a historic moment for Cullen and Beck, with the Western Australian Off Road Junior Development Car the only car to finish every kilometre in every race of the 2018 season.