The year that was: Historic St George 399 outright section

There was a lot of anticipation heading into the BFGoodrich Australian Off Road Championship’s opening round in Queensland this year with Shannon Rentsch the hot favourite to take the round.

Pro Buggies dominated 2017’s inaugural St George 399 and were looking at repeating the feat again this year, however one South Australian had something else in mind.

Behind the wheel of a SXS Turbo, young gun Toby Whateley burst out of the blocks on the first day, surprising many with his courageous, smart and quick driving which put him right at the front of the pack.

For the remainder of the day, the Loveday 4×4 Park Can-Am Maverick pilot defied the odds and continued to lead the field, eventually winning the section and ending the day as leader.

Whateley’s performance in the season’s opening day also saw him become the first SXS Turbo driver to take an outright section win.

Following the day’s action, Whateley revealed that he too was a little surprised as to how he performed.

“I didn’t think I prologued too flash and that came out good and then after this, I still don’t know what to say, it’s just nuts,” Whateley said.

Unfortunately, Whateley was unable to hold off a hard-charging Rentsch on the second and final day, as the eventual 2018 champion completed the comeback from fourth to win the round outright.

Despite falling short of a maiden win, Whateley still ended the weekend with a slim two-point lead over Rentsch on the outright standings, as well as setting up his challenge for the 2018 title.

This memorable moment is part of a special BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship series recapping an entertaining 2018 season.