Tatnells surge to another victory on Tasmanian dunes

After almost a one year break, off road racing has finally returned to Tasmania with the 48th edition of the historic Tasmanian Sand Enduro.

Taking place along the beautiful Peron Dunes, nine crews were entered in the Tasmanian Off Road Car Club’s first event for 2020, completing just under 90 laps of the five kilometre beach based course.

With all crews starting alongside each other in what was a mass start, there was just one who would go on to do what they have done many times in recent years and dominate the event – multiple Tasmanian Sand Enduro winners, Hayden and Joey Tatnell.

Right from the get-go, the pro-buggy pilots were leading the field, producing a fantastic performance on the first day to stretch out their lead to almost four laps ahead of the next fastest crew in Chris and Sophie Shepheard.

On Sunday, the leaders picked up where they left off and comfortably crossed the line in first place, grabbing yet another victory in the prestigious event.

Unfortunately for the Shepheards, their hard work on Saturday was undone as they were unable to make the distance on the second day of action, promoting Johnnie Walker to second place after the sportslite driver trailed them for much of the race.

Another beneficiary of the Shepheards’ withdrawal on Sunday was 2019 St Helens Screamer winner Chris Branch as he steered his prolite to a well-deserved third place.

With the event falling just short of its usual 500 competitive kilometre total due to one of the five sessions being red flagged, Chris Shepheard, who was also part of the event organising team was pleased with how the enduro went.

“It was a good fun event and everyone was really happy to be there,” Shepheard said.

“The weather was great as was the competition, we had only one roll over and only a few non-finishers which was good. It was just a great weekend.

“In the end it was a really good effort from Hayden and Joey. I think that’s the eighth or ninth time they have won the Tasmanian Sand Enduro, so they definitely know how to win there.

“We have one more event for the year, which takes place in December so we’re looking forward to that.”

It’s a far shorter wait until the next event for Tasmanian off road crews with the next hit out taking place at the start December.