People often refer to Geoff Pickering as ‘King of the Off Road’ and it’s not hard to see why.
In 2017, Pickering, with co-driver Dylan Watson, secured his 12th Australian Production 4WD Class Championship, came first in class at all three BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship rounds including the Finke Desert Race, where he claimed his 13th class win from 14 attempts.
Pickering has been competing in off road for about 18 years and has long led the way in the production 4WD class, dominating this year in his Mitsubishi NP Pajero 3800cc V6 petrol 4×4.
“Other than CAMS safety specifications and a few suspension and performance modifications, it is basically just a family vehicle you would do the shopping or a family trip in,” Pickering explained.
It’s clear that Pickering’s passion for the sport started at a young age.
“The first London to Sydney Marathon really fascinated me, I followed it every kilometre of the way,” Pickering recalled.
“This motivated me to start my own motor dealership to create the income to fund my passion and the group has now grown to 12 motor dealerships.
“For me, competing in a series production stock standard vehicle is off road racing in its rawest, most basic form, and I guess that is what keeps me passionate about the sport.”
What appeared to be a perfect year for Pickering and Watson was not without incident however, the closest call a run in with a cow at the St George 399, sending the Pajero off track and into a tree.
Thankfully the pair were unhurt and were able to continue to claim the class win.
Pickering’s favourite event for the year was the Rainbow Desert Enduro, a gruelling seven-lap, 400km race.
“It had everything you could possibly want in an off-road event, particularly the format,” said Pickering.
You could be forgiven for thinking that there is not much more for Pickering to achieve, but when asked about his plans for next year, Pickering replied: “Endeavour to win an Australian production 4WD class championship at 75 years of age.”
Sounds good to us.