The pro buggy class at the St George 399 is wide open this year.
Last year’s outright and pro buggy winner Travis Robinson is absent, having sold his Jimco buggy to take a break from the sport, and it’s a mix of St George 399 debutants and those returning that are all in with a shot at the win.
Back for a second St George 399 is last year’s runner up Bryce Chapman in the Runamuk Jimco, again with Mitch Warren in the co-driver’s seat.
While, mechanical gremlins stopped Chapman chasing down Robinson last year, their knowledge of the course should put them at an advantage to hit the ground running this year.
Also returning in 2018 is Laurence and Janelle Svenson and will be hoping for a trouble free run this year. It was a tough event for this husband and wife crew last year. Their German Autos GAC was plagued by transmission problems throughout the event, eventually losing drive due to a blown oil hose, ending their event on the final last lap.
A bunch of St George 399 debutants will be chomping at the bit to familiarise themselves with the course, and two that should be at the front of the pack are eight-time Australian Off Road Champions Shannon and Ian Rentsch in the SR Racing Jimco and Matt Hanson and Nigel Pendelbury in the SMU Racing Jimco.
A new course will not phase the Rentschs, who will draw on their vast experience to get up to speed quickly and Hanson is in good form, fresh from a win at the Mellool Short Course.
Others to debut at this year’s St George 399 are Howells Motorsport’s Josh Howells and Bryan Erskine from Queensland, SMR’s Scott Muma and Mitch McIver from New South Wales and Team Taylor with Ryan and Neville from Queensland.
Also from Queensland, Rob Turner was drawn to enter the St George 399 after hearing about it last year.
“We have come to this race because we have been told it is a really good track with a mixture of straights and tight sections, which should suit us,” Turner explained.
The St George 399 is the first round of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship and begins on 4 -6 May.