AORC ready for 2024 opener in Pooncarie

Thursday 18 April, 2024
Photo: Dan Thompson
The BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship finally gets underway this weekend with the highly anticipated Wentworth Shire Pooncarie Desert Dash.
A strong field of more than 60 crews have entered the 2024 season opener in the rural New South Wales town – with at least a dozen crews capable of taking out an overall victory.
Taking place over Saturday and Sunday, more than 430 competitive kilometres await the best crews in Australia as the four laps of the 100km course is divided into two sections.
Starting on Saturday morning with the 10km Transportable Shade Sheds Prologue run at 11am AEST, the official action gets underway on Saturday afternoon from 2:30pm, where crews will complete one initial lap.
On Sunday, the remaining three laps will be run over the course of the day, with the first crew to begin their day at 8:30am AEST. Crews will be required to undergo a compulsory 45-minute pit stop once they complete the day’s first two laps, allowing them to finish strong with a one-lap dash to the finish line.
View the supplementary regulations here.
On average, it takes the fastest crews to finish a lap around one hour – last year, Josh Howells charged his way to an early lead after completing the first section in under an hour – the only driver to do so.
Fans need to keep an eye on many drivers down the list capable of silverware - both for outright honours and their respective classes.
The Pro Buggy class itself has the deepest field of outright contenders in a long time, with the likes of reigning champion Travis Robinson, the returning Matt Hanson, West Australian gun Shane Elphinstone, South Australian brothers Aaron and Carl Haby, the ever-experienced Brent and Dale Martin, two-time SXS champion James Cook and Aaron James, all in with a shout.

Outside of the Pro Buddies – Trophy Truck stars Beau Robinson and Brent Smoothy, and Prolite heavy hitters Mel Brandle and Ally Howells, are among those who will undoubtedly challenge for outright honours.
The competition is just as fierce in the Transportable Shade Sheds SXS Motorsport Australia Championship. And like outright honours, it’s difficult to pick any one of at least five crews to win.
With the dominant Cook now making the step up to the Pro Buggy class, there will be a lot of interest as to who will take his place as the champion – with last year’s contenders in James Mogford and Glenn Brinkman starting off as favourites, while Lachlan Bailey and Thomas Swinglehurst should offer good challenges.
View the full entry list here.

Fans able to make it to the event will be able to attend multiple free spectator points at the Pooncarie Racecourse – with a downloadable program detailing the points to be available from Friday evening.
Off Road fans wanting to see the cars up close and personal will be able to attend Pooncarie Racecourse, which also serves as event headquarters and the pits, on Friday where the Show and Shine will feature in the popular Scrutineering event.
Those who can’t make it to the event can keep up to date with all the results, highlights and interviews via and the AORC Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels.
The Wentworth Shire Pooncarie Desert Dash takes place in the far south-west Riverina region of New South Wales on 19-21 April.
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