Ryan Taylor has won the 2022 Coomealla Memorial Club & Bendigo Bank Pooncarie Desert Dash, his first ever win at national level.
Taylor now leads the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship standings, with previous leader Josh Howells unable to finish the New South Wales event putting a dent in his Championship hopes.
“No words can describe the feeling we’ve got right now,” Taylor said.
“Just elated and all the hard word that goes into coming to these events, we’ve been doing this for years and to finally get one under the belt is awesome.”
Taylor and navigator Kye Floyd edged out Shane and Zane Elphinstone by 40 seconds, with fellow pro-buggy driver Matt Hanson and navigator Nigel Pendlebury rounding out the Pooncarie podium.
“This is perfect actually,” Elphinstone said.
“Pretty good run from what we’ve done, so it’s good.
“It takes me a little while to get into a groove and when you have a couple hundred kilometres under your belt. It’s just easier.”
Matt Hanson was able to enjoy his first race finish since Loveday 400 in 2019.
“It’s good to get seat time, good to get a finish and ending up third, it’s been a good weekend,” Hanson said.
In the KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship, Lachlan Bailey put in a stellar performance to claim the SXS win on debut.
“Definitely wasn’t expecting to win,” Bailey said.
“I think we got a bit lucky, but that’s racing I suppose.”
Sitting alongside Roydn Bailey, the Baileys edged out Greg Campbell, with Nic Hicks in the final podium placing ahead of Justin Rider. Hicks was leading for much of Sunday until drama struck late in the lap.
It was a tough Sunday for many competitors, with plenty of attrition across all field and classes.
Ultimately, those who could power through the chaos went on to secure all important Championship points and put in a solid preparation for Finke.
Brent Smoothy and Rheece Burgess won the Extreme 2WD class, with Beau Robinson and Shane Hutt among those to battle through Sunday’s three laps.
Mel and Melissa Brandle were quick all weekend, taking out the pro-lite class win over Ally Howells and Sarah Corrigan.
In the Sportslite class, James Tyrrell secured the class win – finishing 17th overall.
Photos: Gears and Wheels Photography