The SXS Turbo and Sport classes continue to grow at a furious rate and it’s no wonder. It’s the perfect way to get a taste of off road racing on a budget.
Reigning SXS Turbo champion #601 Greg Campbell returns to St George in the GRC Motorsport Can am and will be hoping to be quick off the blocks with his title defence.
Going back-to-back in 2018 will be anything but easy though, with rivals #676 Nathan Chivers and #603 Jeff McNiven, who finished second and third in the class championship last year, determined to get the jump on Campbell.
The one to watch at the St. George 399 is #697 Phil Lovett, after the Lovett Racing Can am took it to the big boys at last year’s 399 finishing fifth outright and first in class.
Another one to keep an eye on will be #621 Toby Whateley – the young gun pushed the front runners on day one at last year’s St George 399, only to drop back after a puncture on day two.
Others returning for their second crack at the 399 include #611 David Loughnan, #618 Nathan Dennis and #608 David Ellsworth in their Can ams and #670 Matthew and Michael Brice in their Polaris.
This weekend presents an opportunity to welcome a number of competitors new to the sport and those having their first shot at a long course event.
#686 Dylan Walsh will make his first appearance at a national event in the TTT/Liberty Fuels Racing Polaris, making the step up from NSW state competition.
Travelling all the way from Horsham, Victoria, #696 Brett Harris and James Saunders are hoping just to finish after suffering electrical dramas at the Sunraysia 400 in April.
The pair will use the 399 as a hit out before taking on the Tatts Finke Desert Race in June for the first time.
Father-son duo Robert and Will Scott will attempt their first long course event this weekend in the #606 Pulse Racing Can am.
Members of the Brisbane Sporting Car Club, Will is more used to racing motor bikes but will share driving duties with his dad over the weekend.
Others making their St George 399 debut include Nick and Lauren Jackson, Craig McDonald and Lucas Kingston, Brett Thorn and Brendon McGuinness, Les Chivers and Peter Harris, Drew Callandar and Marty Cameron, Peter Carr and Mathew Wyndham, Luke Shadbolt and Allen Henson and David and Harry Jackson.
In the SXS Sport class, Taylor Racing’s Garry Taylor and Nolan Mack will resume their rivalry with Impulse Racing’s Tara and Dan Czislowski with Tara now on over driving duties.
While both teams are in the Polaris, Tara and Dan could hold the edge in this class as the only team that competed at the 2017 St George 399.
Campbell Smith and Kym Wendt had a recent hit out in the mud at the Federal 100, while Zachary Marsh and James Clarke from Queensland are also in the Polaris.
In the Yamaha camp, debutants at the St George 399 include Mel and Melissa Brandle, John Wise and Adrian Weeding and the NT two car outfit of Rick Chambers and Patrick Geraghty and Brad and Courtney Geraghty.
The 2018 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship begins with the St George 399.