Darren Agrela has put himself back into title contention ahead of the CAMS Western Australia Off Road Championship’s season finale later this month after taking out a comfortable victory in the Three Springs 360.Heading into the championship’s penultimate round in second place and seven points behind leader Matthew Birnie, Agrela didn’t put a foot wrong during the three-section race.
Starting from second place after falling just four seconds short of Stephen Ketteridge-Hall in Prologue, it didn’t take long for Agrela and co-driver Ryan Barton to claim the lead with the duo replacing Ketteridge-Hall within just one lap.
As Ketteridge-Hall failed to complete the first lap and retiring early, Agrela continued to dominate the field, posting the fastest time on every section after finishing the event in the less than five hours – the only driver to do so.
Taking out second place with a time 14 minutes slower than the winners were Jared Percival and Amber Laycock, the duo also securing a Pro-Lite class win in the process.
Rounding out the podium were Mark and Sam Cramer, the pair crossing the third section finish line four minutes faster than Percival, but thanks to two brilliant opening sections – Percival had done enough to secure a well deserved runner-up placing.
The battle for fourth place proved a lot closer affair as SXS Turbo class winners Colin Bevan and Robert Grundy pipped Malcolm Yeardley and Alexander Cowan in the final section to replace them in fourth.
Yeardley and Cowan had finished faster in the opening two sections, taking a 51 second gap into the third section, however a disappointing final section saw them come in almost two minutes slower than that of Bevan and Grundy.
Just missing out on a top five spot was championship leaders Birnie and Rochelle Funneman – the SXS Turbo pilots finishing more than 25 minutes behind their title rivals.
Despite finishing sixth and having enough points to keep their lead at the top, Birnie never looked like losing his position after finishing six minutes ahead of eventual seventh placed and SXS Sport class winners Jason Galea and Kiera Piercy in the first section, thus setting up their win .
Other notable class winners saw eighth placed Peter Barrett and Craig Carson victorious in the Sportslite class, Aaron and Felicia Griffiths the Production 4WD class winners and Daniel Fahey and Sean Beck take out the Performance 2WD class.
Agrela and Barton’s third round victory for the year sees them move to just one point within Birnie and Funneman with only one round remaining on the calendar.
The final round, the Kalgoorlie Desert Race, takes place on 26-27 October in the rural Western Australian town.