Saber Racing’s Eric Schlifelner has won a tough Bruce Fiske Memorial Enduro as the weather played a hand in determining the results in the second round of the CAMS Victorian Off Road Championship.
Schlifelner was a deserving winner of the Bendigo Car Club hosted event, taking out Prologue before crossing the line ahead of the 16 crews in the first heat, two and half minutes ahead of David Davis.
With the weather worsening as the day went on, organisers made the difficult decision, to call off the remaining heat after consulting the competitors, ultimately giving the victory to Schlifelner.
Despite the second heat not taking place, Schlifelner was rapt to claim maximum points in his Saber Racing buggy as the Geelong Off Road Buggy Association secured a one-two finish.
“It was fantastic to win the round,” Schlifelner said.
“The car is going really well at the moment. It’s tuned perfectly and I am having a good time. It was good to be the dominant car, especially since it goes well on these circuits.
“As for the decision to call the race short, I was fine to do either way but from a safety point of view, I believe it was the right thing to do.
“I was confident going into the second heat that I could still maintain my position no matter the decision, so either way I was happy.”
While Schlifelner comfortably took out the victory, the battle for second was an entertaining one with only 10 seconds separating the next five drivers.
Starting the event in third, Davis managed to slot into second, while the Victorian Off Road Racing Association’s Like Densley finished on the podium one second ahead of fellow club member Peter Stevenson.
Rounding out the top five was another Geelong buggy in Glen Pike after finishing four seconds behind Stevenson. Pike eventually finished one second ahead of the Portland Dune Buggy Club’s Brant Knight who started the event in second outright after a solid prologue session.
Following the event, the Bendigo Car Club’s Christopher Hume lauded crews, officials and spectators for being involved, despite the weather.
“It was a really good event. We had a strong number of cars and had some really great racing,” Hume said.
“It is a shame about the weather and having to make the difficult decision, but there were rivers pretty much running across the track and our officials were suffering the brunt of the rain, so in the end the right call was made.
“With this said, I would like to thank all our officials for doing such a stand out job in these conditions, as well as the competitors for the show they put on.”
The final round of the Victorian Off Road Championship will be in August for the Rainbow Desert Enduro as part of the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship’s season finale.