Garry Turnbull is hoping to replicate his form from the back half of last year’s Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship’s (AORC) season at next month’s Markwell Group Gold City 450.
With daughter Tamara in the navigator seat, the South Australian was one of the in-form drivers of the competition during that period having secured podiums at both the Can-Am Loveday 400 and the Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race.
His strong end to the year saw him charge up the outright standings to finish fifth overall and just 13 points off the second placed Brent Smoothy.
Now with the new season just weeks away, the experienced campaigner was hoping to add to his podium-run as only one of two drivers to get consecutive podiums in 2022.
“We are really excited for the season ahead seeing as we had good fun with some success in the end,” Turnbull said.
“I feel that If you can finish in the top 10 or higher at every event, you stand a chance of being at a podium at the end of year, so it would be nice to end up there this year.
“The two event podiums gave us a bit of confidence and proved that I am not over it yet. If we can get a run like that in the top five or even secure another podium in Charters Towers, we would be over the moon.
“We honestly had a fair crack at Kalgoorlie even though we lost power steering, so I will be carrying that strategy into this year.
“I have a specific speed that I try to do and I know the car will sustain, but if I think we can go faster on the last lap, then we will and I guess that’s how we got our podiums.”
As for Charters Towers, Turnbull was looking forward to the new challenge and heading to an event foreign to many crews.
“I know very little about Charters Towers apart from some of the regulations,” Turnbull added.
“I believe it’s reasonably tight, which doesn’t necessarily suit me and my driving style, but it should be fun nonetheless.
“I think the most exciting aspect about this event is that with very few drivers having competed there, so it makes for a level playing field and anyone can win.
“I know it’s a bit far for some people, including me, but I don’t mind the drive and I know the area is quite a scenic place, so people should enjoy it.
“With that said, it’s a bit hard to prepare specifically for an event you have never been to, but it won’t be too different to previous rounds. We have tyres that suit rocky country and tyres that handle sandy country, so we will decide at the event.
“Tamara is more excited than me at this point considering we had reasonable success which is great. Not many sports you can do with your kids.”
The Markwell Group Gold City 450 takes place in Charters Towers on 10-12 March.