After years of impressing at state level, the Kalgoorlie Desert Race finally gets its chance to run on the national stage with the event to host the fifth and final round of the 2020 BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC).
It’s been six years since the West Australian event was first held in the town of Kalgoorlie and it has undergone a number of critical changes in that time as event organisers look to perfect it.
From changes as small as repairing the surface to major modifications like moving the whole course site, the race has been constantly evolving since its inauguration and Event Secretary Jeremy Beck believes adapting has been the key to its success.
“We have run events out of Kalgoorlie for six years and it’s always had varying levels of popularity but as a club we are excited to be on the national calendar,” Beck said.
“We have listened to competitors in previous years and adjusted what we’re doing, even to the point of relocating to an entirely different site two years ago which has enabled us to incorporate aspects of the track which the competitors like.
“The Kalgoorlie site is so ideal to fit with the AORC because of all of the facilities and a large town being so close. All of the infrastructure, sponsors and business that are there and able to help support the event.
“The marking is fairly open and free. It does have a bit of everything there is some tight sessions, some great spectator locations which we will continue to improve on, so competitors are running in front of hundreds of fans.”
The 120km track, which has undergone a number of changes since its relocation, features a combination of clay, dirt, rock, gravel and sand and competitors will be running three laps of the course – totalling 360 competitive kilometres.
Like most AORC events, scrutineering will take place on the Friday night before the Saturday morning’s Prologue session sets up section one, while the two remaining sections will be run on Sunday.
While the track itself that is quite popular amongst competitors, it has also received quite a lot of praise from the town council and spectators themselves who get around the sport.
“The track will have some minor adjustments. Each year we find little parts that need reconsideration and this year the start finish line will also improve.” Beck explained.
“We always have plans on the finish line, but we also have significant plans in relation to our live streaming which was successful last year. Being successful there means we get bigger sponsors and better government and council funding support.
“It’s a lot of hard work from a lot of people to put on an event. We respect all the events so hopefully we can add something to the championship this year and with better support, it gives better value for competitors.”
As for the championship itself, the Kalgoorlie Desert Race will host the final round of the 2020 season, a position it held in the previous two years in the state championship and Beck was confident it would be a good thing to be there again.
“Being the last round of the year can certainly add some excitement to the event,” Beck added.
“Hopefully there is some great support of the Championship now that there are more rounds and a bit more variation with states, giving more people an opportunity to participate.
“Being the final round means classes might have been wrapped up by then, however hopefully here will be excitement on all fronts and the classes and outright battles will all be close.
“At the end of the day though, We feel as though we are a great event to be a culmination of the year’s exciting racing.”
The AORC’s season finale takes place in Kalgoorlie in October, while the season will begin in less than two months with the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 to run on 3-5 April.