One of the final state events of the 2023 motorsport season takes place this weekend with the Motorsport Australia Victorian Khanacross Championship.
A field of more than 20 competitors will contest the sixth and final round of the 2023 championship season, where they will tackle up to 10 tests around the Huntly Livestock Exchange.
While there is a solid entry list for the season finale, run by the Bendigo Car Club, all eyes will be on the three serious title contenders.
Currently leading the standings is Tom Johannsen, who sits three points ahead of fellow Subaru WRX driver Jeff Salmon and eight points ahead of Mitsubishi Evo driver Matthew Caldwell.
With 15 points up for grabs for the weekend’s winner, the trio each have a genuine shot of the championship title, especially considering the drop round rule that will ultimately consist of their best five rounds of the year.
Across the season, Johannsen has been the most consistent of the three, having finished within the top five in every round thus far. However, Salmon’s campaign has seen him enjoy two victories and a podium finish, while Caldwell’s best results include a victory, runner-up and fourth place.
With Salmon’s worst result being a 10th place finish in the season, where he received six points, and Caldwell’s being a 13th where he received just three points – both drivers are likely to add a significant number of points to their overall tally.
Johannsen on the other hand can only add a maximum of four points to his total if he finishes fourth or higher, meaning the best score he can end the event with will be 63 points.
Should Salmon score his third win of the year or finish second or third, he will take out the title no matter where Johannsen finishes, while a fourth place finish will see him champion if Johannsen doesn’t win or come second.
If Salmon finishes any higher than sixth and Johannsen does not place within the top four, then he automatically becomes champion.
As for Caldwell, he sits in the same boat as Johannsen, with the most points he can score being 63 once the drop round is considered.
Adding to the drama will be the inclusion of 2022 Motorsport Australia Khanacross Champion, Barry Nowell, multiple-time podium-getter Matthew Webb, the fifth placed James Ware Senior and Brad Hall, who picked up a podium earlier this year when the championship was held in Bendigo.
Although neither driver can leave the event as a state champion – all four could have a major say in who wins the titles based on where they finish.
View the full standings heading into the round.
The final round of the Motorsport Australia Victorian Khanacross Championship takes place at the Huntly Livestock Exchange on Saturday 2 December.