Darren Agrela has dominated the GTurbo Rod Hatter Memorial Perenjori 360 to begin his 2019 CAMS Westside Insurance & Carnarvon Motel Western Australia Off Road Championship campaign in style.
Driving alongside his 2018 co-driver Ryan Barton, Agrela led the 39-car field from start to finish in what was a tough race due to the warm conditions.
Right from get go in prologue, the 2018 Mid West Challenge winner was in form, clocking in the fastest time by seven seconds, his closest competitors Colin Doney in the and Justin Steadman battling it out.
In section one, Agrela flew away from the field and built a lead of one minute and 42 seconds ahead of Doney. Steadman managed to hold onto third at the end of section, as the competition’s heavyweights in Malcolm Yeardley, Brad Cooper and David Hickey all fell out of contention.
Agrela continued his sublime form in the second section and remained unchallenged, as a flat tyre to Doney and a broken axle to Steadman on the 40km marker saw their challenge of Agrela over.
As both drivers fell victim to the harsh conditions, Phillip and Stewart Shepley capitalised on the situation to slot into second outright, while Mark Harris fought his way into third place.
For the final section, the top three managed to push through unchanged as Agrela ended his brilliant event 14 minutes ahead of Shepley, who finished 25 seconds ahead of Harris.
It was entertaining ending to the final section as an unfortunate flat tyre to the Shepleys saw Harris close in on him. Though some good work from the Digrite crew in the latter half of the section agave him some breathing space to secure second.
Both crews ended the weekend with class victories as the Shepleys secured the Extreme 2WD class and Harris alongside co-driver Gloria Viggiano won the SXS Turbo class in one of the drives of the weekend.
Other class victories went to the fourth placed Garry Povah and Dennis Duncan who took home the Extreme 4wd class, Sportslite winners Peter and Callan Barrett who also finished seventh outright and Karl Richardson alongside Shane Walsh, the pair finishing the event in eighth outright and Performance 2WD class winners.
With 39 crews starting the event, the final results reflected what was a difficult event as only 19 crews managed to complete every lap, six made two laps and five were able to only finish one lap.
Remarkably, nine of the drivers, including 2019 state champion Jarred Percival were unable to complete one lap.
It was difficult day for the reigning champion, who was unable to find his groove all event, faltering early in prologue and his championship defence starting in tatters.
The next round of the CAMS Westside Insurance & Carnarvon Motel WAORC campaign is the prestigious Gascoyne Dash on 19-24 April.