Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) driver Simon Tucker claimed a thrilling victory in the Mino Pave 250 on the weekend, beating a strong field of 28 crews.
With daughter Lucy Tucker in the navigator seat, the father-daughter duo’s consistency saw them secure a 25 second victory in the third round of the Motorsport Australia South Australian Off Road Championship over Daryl Nissen and Andrew Harness after 12 laps of the 20 kilometre off road course.
Rounding out the top three were Andrew and Teagan Mowles, who despite winning the first section, finished almost two minutes off the leading Prolite buggy of the Tuckers.
The top three crews were the main protagonists for the whole event, as they set the three fastest times in all three sections, but the event’s major moment came on the final lap in the second section, where Mowles had a slight issue, eventually recording a section time almost two minutes slower than Tucker.
Although the damage wasn’t too bad for Mowles, who went fastest on the opening lap of the third and final section, he couldn’t catch up to the top two crews as Tucker went on to win the outright event and the Prolite class.
“It was a great weekend and awesome to win,” Tucker said.
“I was hoping for a class position because we had won it last year, and I knew that given the circumstances, and little mistakes from others, we would be right on it, but I didn’t expect to win.
“It was a really tough event, and we had some really good battles where there were just seconds in it.
“What added to the challenge was that on every lap, the conditions changed in terms of dust and traffic, so we had to try to use the schedule and technique to our advantage.
“Wins like this definitely give us confidence from an overall point of view, but events like this are a different scene to a national scene – although there is still good competition, and it keeps you on your toes for sure.”
Outside of the victory, it’s been a challenging year for Tucker, who is currently on his third engine for the year, one that has been put together with parts they have to make do with rather than ones they want.
With just two events left on Tucker’s calendar, the South Australian remained unsure as to whether he would be able to make it to October’s Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race.
“We still have a couple of events for the year left, but it’s been a year full of mischief,” Tucker added.
“Our aim is just to get through those two events, which are back-to-back in September, and then we will reassess where we are at. Once we blew the first motor in the first race of the year, that put us in the back quite a bit, so it’s been about damage control for much of the year.
“We would love to get to Kalgoorlie as we are closer to the WA border than to Adelaide, and it’s been on our radar for a few years now, but we will have to see how we go in September.
“If we get through those two events with no issues, and we even come away with a win or two, then we will definitely entertain the idea of going to Kalgoorlie and continuing the momentum.
“Hopefully we have some big things next year, we just want to build a motor suitable for the class and be competitive.”