Michael McLean and navigator John Stewart decided to give the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) a go in 2017, and they are certainly glad they did.
In their first year of off road competition, the pair took out the Extreme 2WD class championship in their Auto Craft 2000 Chevrolet, which was purchased from Alice Springs in 2016.
McLean and Stewart competed at all three rounds of the BFGoodrich CAMS AORC. The pair from New South Wales found their results improving as they gained more seat time throughout the year.
McLean and Stewart had a tough start at the St George 399, failing to finish section one but managed to pull it together to take the class win and good points.
It was at St George that they had one of their bigger moments for the year.
“We had a lot of moments during the year but probably the first round at St George was the biggest,” explained McLean.
“We were going way too fast in dust and didn’t see a caution, hit 200 millimetre of water going over 100 kilometres per hour and almost rolled it.”
In the highly competitive Extreme 2WD class at Finke, McLean and Stewart brought the Auto Craft home ninth in class and 39th outright in a field of over 140 cars.
McLean lists crossing the finish line at the Tatts Finke Desert Race as the highlight of the year.
Heading to the final round at the Rainbow Desert Enduro, the pair found themselves leading the Extreme 2WD class by 54 points from Outer Bounds Racing’s Beau Robinson.
Needing a solid result to wrap up the class championship, McLean and Stewart came up with the goods, claiming third in class and a very respectable seventh outright in extremely tough conditions.
“Both John, my navigator, and I had been talking about it and to be first year in and be national class champions… that’s pretty cool!”
McLean and Stewart are looking forward to competing in the BFGoodrich CAMS AORC again next year.