ARB AORRC - Waikerie Wrap up by Rough Rider
Wow what a race Waikerie was!
This race, I had our friend Daniel Harris in for navigating duties and he did a fantastic job. You know it’s going to be a fun time in the office when you’re sitting in the line up to start wiping tears of laughter away ha ha. Saturday we had a very slow prologue. We had trialled a few changes to the truck and I was kind of feeling them out to see how they would work. The biggest of those changes being some tweaks to the braking as that is something where I always felt we lacked. So the first ¼ of prologue we were a little slow on corner entries making sure the brakes would do their job and I could stand on them with confidence. The changes did the trick and I was a lot more comfortable with charging harder into the corners and braking later.
At this race they trialled a new format where if you weren’t happy with your prologue you had the option to re-run it to improve your time. There were only 4 of us in our class at this race and being a brutal track I knew some of us would drop away and I decided to keep our slow time and drive to survive the following day and hope to be one of the 1 or 2 that I guessed would finish the event. This is the first time we’ve ever really employed any real strategy. The conditions were brutal. We knew Waikerie was going to throw it at us. It is a track of every terrain. There is lots of golf ball and cricket ball sized rocks on the surface making braking and traction difficult. Where the top soil gets removed there is large rock shelf that appears and it makes the corners very rough. There are sections of very thick dust as the country there is very very dry and it makes closing on cars you are catching very difficult.
On Sunday we were very keen. We took off and charged a lot harder than we did in prologue. Still with a little mechanical sympathy. Our Wholesale Automatic Transmissions 4L80E worked like a dream. It was not missing a beat. The shifting was strong and crisp. The first 3 laps were getting more and more brutal and when we came in to pit we had blown a front axle seal and had to tighten up our swivel hub bearing as they had just vibrated loose!!!! The last 3 laps we showed the car no mercy. We beat on it pretty hard. The fiberglass bonnet had to be removed because the mounting clips cracked and was flapping all around so to save it we pulled up quickly and dumped it track side. This cost us a bit of time but we knew we just had to make it to the end. By this time we were aware that our friend Kerry Turley was the only other class 8 left so we were pushing hard to try and take him down. The terrain was so rough now. We pushed our Mickey Thompson MTZ P3’s hard. If anywhere was going to destroy tires it was this track, but we trusted in our Mickeys and knew they would get the job done.
The transmission too we thought would break here if it was going to brake anywhere with all the gear changes and shock loading on such rough and rocky terrain but it took the abuse like a champion and got us to the end! The truck that Radius fabrications built for us proved very strong like a race car should be. We ended up getting first in class and 26th outright for the event. WE ARE STOKED! Great result for us and some valuable points to try and keep current class point’s leader Kerry Turley from taking our #801 plate. We now look to Goondiwindi and hope we can gather some more points to keep our grip on that championship plate and secure another championship for all our sponsors and supporters.