The entry list for the highly anticipated 2023 Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race has been confirmed, with an impressive 84 crews to take part in the season finale.
More than 55 of those entered to take part in Western Australia later this month will compete as part of the Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) finale, while the remaining 29 competitors are registered to compete in the highly competitive Western Australia Off Road Championship (WAORC).
Headlining the national stage will be 2023 champions-elect, Travis Robinson and navigator Andrew Pinto who return to their home state to round out what has been an incredible season to date.
While Robinson and navigator Pinto have already secured the outright AORC title, plenty of contenders will still make the trip to the west, with a handful of outright and class placings still to be determined.
With bonus points on offer, Mel and Emily Brandle will take to the dirt roads to try and hold second place outright ahead of the absent Shannon Rentsch, with a promising result also certain to lock up Prolite class honours.
Their closest class rivals, Alan Dixon and Jonathon O’Connor will also be present to try and spoil the party, with only 254.4 points separating the two crews ahead of the finale.
The duo will be one of 16 entries in the Pro Buggy class, the second most after SXS Pro’s 19, with Extreme 2WD welcoming a competitive six.
Another pairing who will be fighting for both outright and class honours are reigning SXS Champions James Cook and Mitch Aucote – who already have one outright round win to their name and will be eager to claim ‘best of the rest’ status behind Robinson and Pinto in the AORC.
Although they will have to get the better of 18 other SXS crews if they want to leave Kalgoorlie with the class win, as the likes of James and Michael Mogford, Glen Brinkman and Dale Moscatt, and Greg Campbell will all have their eyes on the same prize.
The same competitors will be vying for the 2023 SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, where Campbell currently holds a slim 14 point lead over Brinkman.
The offering of extra points means that even the champion-elect himself isn’t certain to leave Kalgoorlie with Pro Buggy honours, with a great result from Paul Tuck Lee potentially knocking Robinson off the top step of the class if the latter was to have an unfortunate outing.
Heading the Extreme 2WD class will be current leader, Nick Commins, who will have the always-entertaining Beau Robinson guided by Shane Hutt to fend off for one final run in 2023.
Troy Higgins will look to carry his winning momentum into the final round of the season alongside John Simmons, following his resounding triumph at the WAORC Total Asphalt Three Springs 300 last month.
Higgins’s WAORC rival Adam Trewhella will also make an appearance alongside navigator Koby Grant, with the two crews expected to be neck and neck throughout the entirety of the weekend.
Other notable entries for the final round include a trio of class leaders including Adam and Mitchell Jiear (Production 4WD), Sean Beck and Rebeka Waite (Performance 2WD), and John White and Jack Briggs (SXS Sport).
Those taking part will tackle approximately 363 competitive kilometres across the three days of action.
The event will run in the same format as it did on its national debut last year, which will see Prologue take place on the Friday afternoon before crews tackle one lap of the 121-kilometre course on Saturday.
AORC crews will then contest the remaining two laps on Sunday, with a presentation night to wrap up the weekend on Sunday evening.
The final round of the 2023 Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship will take place at the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race on 19-22 October.