Pines Enduro 400 Event Wrap Up
We look forward to the Pines Enduro every year where you can race wheel to wheel with no dust, doing 200km through the pine trees, it doesn't get much better.
Saturday saw us qualify 3rd out of the field of 70+ Cars, and then was moved back to 5th after the shoot out, putting us on the start line for Sundays Event with Mark Burrows, a repeat of 2013.
After a drag race from the start into the fist corner saw Mark and I rubbing wheels and stayed like this for the 3/4 of a lap. This was some of the coolest fun I have ever had. A spin by me saw a couple of cars go past. About 10km out from the end of Lap 1, I reckon I hit the biggest rock on the track on the back right hand side, I thought I had ripped the wheel of the buggy. This resulted in destroying the tyre and took the bolt out of the brake calliper. We changed it out on the track and pulled into the pits to grab a spare.
This meant we had to pass a few cars throughout the rest of the race which was great fun, The Car held up beautiful for the remainder of the Race, the Mickeys were awesome in the sand. Congratulations to the Millicent Sand Buggy Club on a really well run event.
Congratulations to Rhodes Racing on winning the Pines Enduro for 2015.
Thank you to our sponsors Mickey Thompson Tyres, Lightforce, Racer Imports, Element Off Road.
Was a great event and one of the toughest tracks we have raced on in years. We pushed hard in the prologue and the top 10 as we knew it would be a dusty race, so 7th was a good starting spot. We also wanted to be in front Andy Ryan and Brad Chasmore as they are who we are trying to beat for the ARB series.
The race went to plan as we knew we couldn't beat the twin turbo cars over there and Carl Haby is always quick, so to put in a couple of laps quicker than Carl was good. Very happy with 6th as we are now leading the ARB series with Gundy to go.
As for the tyres, they are awesome! I have never seen so many flat tyres at a race and we got through with no issues on one set. The Mickeys were better than me, as it took me a few laps to hold it flat in top gear on the sweeping corners on the road section on the way back in, but the tyres never felt like they would let go, even Adam my navigator commented on how well they grip.
Couldn't be happier to have the support of Mickey Thompson Tires Australia.
The Pines enduro was our first race in our new trophy truck and the first time we really got to test out the truck on dirt.
On Saturday we took it easy during prologue trying to get a feel for the truck and ended up qualifying 5th in our class of 10 trucks.
Sundays race started off great, we were starting to feel at home in the new truck and reeling in a few of the cars in front of us. As the track started to chop up the MTZ's worked great in the sandy pine forrest and still had the grip on the slippery limestone roads.
Our brakes were not performing the best all weekend but on the 5th lap we lost our rear brakes so we took it easy and limped it to the finish line to finish 2nd in class and 14th outright, inspecting the truck after the race we discovered a rock had smashed the rear caliper and we had driven for 85km with the brake caliper spinning around in the rim.
Out of the 73 vehicles that started the race and only 29 making it to the finish line shows how demanding this track is, thanks to our Mickey Thompson tyres we did not get a single flat for the race helping us secure our 2nd place in class finish.
Element Off Road Racing - Carl Haby
With the Pines Enduro, the 3rd round in the ARB series run and won, we finished a respectable 5th outright in car 56 and the first V8 car home. The weekend started off with scruiteneering on Friday night, show casing the cars to the general public. Saturday Prologue we qualified behind Chris Western in 4th and then 4th in the Top Ten Shootout, a good position to be in for race.
Our race went well with no hick ups, pit stops were smooth thanks to our Element crew and a big thanks the guys from Mates Racing for their help as well. Being a dry dusty race, we used the Mickey Thompson MTZs, the grip levels were exceptional, giving us a very predictable car racing through the pine forests and on the road sections finishing the race 5th and securing SA 1 for 2015.
Congratulations to Jack and to the Rhodes Racing Team for their win. Big Thanks to Navi Rowan, Element Offroad, Mickey Thompson Tyres Australia, Mannum Auto Centre, TOUGH-As Products, Racer Imports and to the Team behind the Millicent Sand Buggy Club and their sponsors for putting on a great weekend.
Peter Stevenson & Brock Stevenson - Driver & Navigator
After a successful prologue on Saturday where Brock and I finished in first place in the Super 1650 category with a time of 4m 38s, we were quietly confident that our weekend was off to a great start. We started the Dash For Cash and after leading for 1 lap, we came in last as we were hit by another buggy and decided to take it easy so we would be able to race on the Sunday.
Race day started off in perfect conditions and the first 2 laps seemed to go off without a hitch but as we approached the finish line to come in for our first break I thought we had a flat tyre. We came in to our first break with lap times below 49 minutes and running 5th in class. When the pit crew checked the tyre we found that we had a suspension failure on the back rear arm so our race ended there. On further examination of the buggy, we found that the other side had a crack in it as well.
I use Mickey Thompson Baja STZ LT245/75R16 tyres on the rear and Mickey Thompson Baja Pro M/T 30.0/7.0-15 on the front. I find they give me the best control when racing and have so far been puncture free.
Pines for us started off rough before we even got there. We found out a week before the event that our new motor was not happy and had to come out. We got it swapped out with our spare stock engine we have around the shop and tuned at the last minute and got on our way to Millicent. We got there on the Thursday and settled into the hotel and did some unpacking and got our pits all sorted. Friday morning we had two school visits to do with friend and fellow racer Luke Hall. One in Mount Gambier and one in Millicent. It was a great experience! The kids were awesome. The questions they were asking during our question and answer time were unreal. One little girl asked what our fuel mileage was, how many litres of fuel we carry on board! I was blown away by some of the technical questions some of these primary school kids were coming up with. It was truly great. I hope to be able to do it again. We all really enjoyed it. Later that afternoon we fronted up for scrutineering at the track. Just as we were driving into the scrutineering shed the power cut out and we fried a battery. The starter cable had contacted the exhaust and arced out and the battery gave up the ghost. We got that all fixed up and got the truck on display for all the fans to come have a look at all the cars.
Saturday was a wild ride to say the least. We lined up on the start line for prologue and as soon as I hit the loud pedal the MTZ’s hooked up, the rear LSD blew to pieces and all the drive was transferred to the front end causing the front drive shaft to blow both universal joints at the same time and took out a transmission line. It was embarrassing and one hell of a mess. With the help of our fantastic crew and our friends at 488 racing we got the car put back together. We managed to find a new rear diff in Mount Gambier via Facebook and got it all put back together by 830 that night.
Sunday went a lot better. We got off to a good start along side the trophy truck of the OZ Truck team. Being a bit “gun shy” after the prologue start the day before Nathan and I decided it best to let Oz Truck have the first corner and chase him down in a few kms after we feel the truck out after a few corners. We were setting good pace and catching cars and doing some good over taking work . Into the second lap we had a tyre to change. The nearest I can figure is that the rim got damaged somewhere and with no air the tire disintegrated so just past the quarry 20 kms from the pits we had to do the tyre change. That cost us dearly in time. We lost all the hard fought ground we had gained and then some. After that the car didn’t miss a beat and we ended up getting a good finish. We ended up taking 3rd in class which is very valuable for us for the ARB Series class points. I believe this locks us into the top spot and were looking good for the class win for the end of the year! One round to go. Next up is Goondiwindi and it is our favourite track. Time to get the car all ready and get stuck into prep to get it ready for the final round and final race of the season for us.