Whateley on song in Loveday Prologue

Trophy Truck star Toby Whateley has begun his 2023 Loveday 400 campaign on a high after claiming victory in Friday’s Prologue.

Behind the wheel of the Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park Trophy Truck, Whateley and navigator Simon Hermann put on a show for the home crowd as they completed the 7km course in three minutes and 54 seconds.

As the only crew to go under four minutes, the next best crew in Shannon Ian Rentsch finished Prologue seven seconds of the hometown heroes with a time of just over four minutes.

Current championship leaders Travis Robinson and Andrew Pinto took one step closer to sealing the Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) title having rounded out the top three – their prologue time just three seconds off their fellow pro buggy rival in the Rentsch.

Photos: Brett Lehmann and Tony Donoghue

Robinson’s main title rivals, James Cook and Mitch Aucote, weren’t too far off the pace either as they ended the day in fifth place overall and leading the SXS Motorsport Australian Championship.

Splitting the two title contenders in fourth were South Australians Nic Hicks and Christian MacIntosh, with the duo finishing almost two seconds off Robinson and one and half seconds ahead of Cook.

Just over one second off the highly impressive SXS Turbo of Cook was Roydn Bailey and navigator Dean Ellbourn, with the 2019 runner-up edging out Simon Tucker and Rylee Skinner by just over half a second, while the Prolite winners edged out fellow class rivals Mel and Liam Brandle by six tenths of a second.

Rounding out the top 10 four seconds off Brandle was Tom Owen and Damon Bennett in ninth and Nicholas and Andrew Commins in 10th, with only three tenths of a second separating the two crews.

Although the gap between the two crews was small, it was even smaller in the battle for Sportslite honours as Luke Erceg and Daniel Ziembinski edged out Josh Gaskin and Lee O’Grady by just over three hundredths of a second – the two Sportslite leaders ending up 18th and 19th overall.

Other notable Prologue class winners included Trent Gravestock and Daniel White (Performance 2WD), Jodie Veron and Doug Carthew (Superlite B) Paul Tinga and
Daniel Kelsey (Super 1650) and Adam and Mitchell Jiear in the Production 4WD.

View full results here.

The Loveday 400 continues tomorrow morning from 8:30am ACST with five laps of the 40km course to be run over two sections.

Fans can watch the event via the live stream on the Loveday 400 Facebook page or keep up to date with the live results here.