The first Motorsport Australia off road event around the country has been run and won, with Garry and Tamara Turnbull securing a momentous victory in the Ronco Motors Loveday 280.
With a number of off road events around the country being postponed or cancelled in recent times, the South Australian based Loveday Adventure Park stepped up over the weekend and held an entertaining two day event featuring 30 crews from around the state.
There was pure joy amongst the crews as they competed for the first time this year, including a number of BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) competitors lining up, which made the Turnbulls’ victory all the sweeter.
As the crews tackled seven laps of the 40km track across five sections, the leaders found themselves locked in a tight battle with Daryl Nissen and Andrew Harness, as each crew started out with a section win each.
However after Nissen just won the second section, the Turnbulls turned it on over the event’s remaining laps, winning all three sections and posting the fastest times on the five last laps.
Rounding out the podium alongside navigators Hannah and Sam Bentley, Hayden Bentley proved to be the best AORC competitor taking part in the event, with the Trophy Truck driver comfortably picking up a well-deserved third place.
In fourth place, nine minutes in arrears to the Bentleys were Chris and Colin Johnson, while Darran Vanderwoude with his navigators Amelia and Izaak Vanderwoude crossing the finish line a further eight minutes, rounding out the top five in the process.
Last year’s AORC runner-up Rodyn Bailey finished the event in eighth place alongside Tyson Warner, with the duo coming in just two minutes ahead of event organiser Tony Whateley and his partner Jodie Veron.
It was a tough pill to swallow for Whateley, who had been in contention for the win throughout the whole event until he had a disappointing run on the final section where he finished 30 minutes behind the leaders.
It appeared a forgettable day for the whole Whateley family as 2018 AORC runner-up Toby Whateley could only muster up two laps across the whole event.
With the AORC aiming to head to the South Australian destination later this year for the first time, the Ronco Motors Loveday 280 proved to be a good start for the venue, with the next event to be another dress rehearsal in preparation for the national event.