Australian Motorsport Magazine came about from the passion Lorne Close has for Motorsport Photography. He has had many years experience photographing Motorsport at all levels from Club right up to Touring Cars.
Shannon Rentsch has taken out the opening round of the 2019 BF GOODRICH CAMS Australian Off Road Championships.
After day 1 competition Shannon had a healthy lead come Sunday and the start of heat 2 it was clear that he was untouchable,while the battle raged behind him for the remaining podium and minor placings Rentsch just stretched his legs and continued to pull ahead.
Greg Gartner and Toby Whateley were the main early gladiators chasing 2nd and 3rd positions. but Mark Burrows was having none of it, after Gartner took out the side of a tyre on a tree Burrows took the chance and moved up to third so did Glen Towers slotting Gartner back to 5th.
By the later stages of lap 3 the order was Rentsch out front Burrows in second Toby Whateley third, Glen Towers fourth and Greg Gartner had slipped down to sixth after Steven Graham had slipped his sports lite buggy into the order.
Shannon Rentsch has blasted out of the gates on a mission to win the St George 399 for the second year, proving why he is a 9 times winner of the AORC. After dominating the prologue with Josh Howells doing his best to catch the Jimco coming up fast. Beau Robinson and Greg Gartner taking out 3rd and 4th.
The new longer and reconfigured track seems to be working for Rentsch, posting an overall time of 1:25.35 overall for section 1. Last year’s runner-up Toby Whateley posting 3rd fastest with a 1:30.33.
Young Josh Howells early speed run was cut short with a roll over on Lap 1 leaving Beau Robinson in in second place, unfortunately mechanical issues were to see the end of his charge to hunt down the elusive Rentsch and give the placing up to Greg Gartner.
Jason Richards in his Prolite Buggy was keeping good pace ahead of the remaining Pro Buggy’s holding down 4th, Matt Martin and Luke Ayres rounded out the top 10.
Shannon Rentsch discusses this years race with Greg Rust
Toby Whateley nearly stole the crown from Shannon last year, will he succeed this time?
Good evening Off-road Racing fans.
The stage is set for a spectacular race for 2019, firstly I would like to say that I have been travelling to this region for 6 years and at present it is the greenest I have ever seen it. Now don’t let that confuse you into thinking it won’t be dusty as we all know these vehicles can create dust where you didn’t think possible. My colleague and I(Terry Hill ) drove the 65km course this morning and all I can say is wow credit to Hank Parker, Trent Challenger , Tony Brose and the rest of the hard working crew to put this new and spectacular track together. The course is not only extended to give some fantastic viewing for the spectators with grandstands and Marquees set up on the rims of the dams that comprise this new Colosseum of Off-road Gladiator competition but the track on a whole has been extended and widened much to the relief I’m sure of the Trophy Truck and 4wd crews.
Reconnaissance Today was followed up by scrutineering at the showgrounds giving all comers a chance to see these mechanical marvels up close.
Wow! Spend all year waiting for the WRC Rally event to come back to Australia and just like that it’s all over again for another year. What a spectacle though, I have to admit that I only saw the event through the camera lens and was not aware of all that went on with the championship battles, both the World and Australian titles, i had to rely on the summaries at the end of the day to confirm what had happened and who was leading etc.
Above – Toyota’s Jar-Matti Latvala on his way to victory in the Kennard’s hire Rally Australia.
Below – Msport and 6 time world champion celebrates.
M’spor’s Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia showed class and experience to wrap up their 6th World championship title, while misfortune befriended the other two title contenders – Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and Toyota’s Ott Tanak with crashes and retirements on the Sunday stages.
Above- Citreon’s Craig Breen makes a splash.
Above – 2018 ARC Australian Rally Champions Eli Evans and Ben Searcy.
Drama on Friday when a “track side distraction “another word for “tractor” surprised Andreas Mikkelsen’s Hyundai during the Sherwood stage causing a loss of concentration and resulting in overturning his car.
Below – Pictures from Thursday’s Shakedown.
Both Neuville and Ogier were conspicuously down the leader board on all three days suggesting they had a lot to lose and may have been driving with one eye on the World Championship battle or did the notoriously loose gravel stages play a part?
Above – Alberto Heller from Chile competed in the WRC2 category.
Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala & Mikka Antilla proved too good and claimed the win in the Kennard’s hire Rally Australia and stood on the top step of the podium with Hyundai and New Zealander Hayden Paddon & Seb Marshal claiming second, Mads Ostberg driving the Citreon C3 wrapped up third place.
Australian Eli Evans and Ben Searcy driving a borrowed Skoda were victorious and claimed the Australian 2018 ARC Rally Championship with a conservative drive on Sunday.
Talk continues to surround the success and viability of this world class event being held at Coffs Harbour with alternatives like New Zealand and Perth again being raised. Personally, I hope we can keep this event on our shores as it offers us, as photographers the opportunity to photograph the world’s best drivers doing their thing!
Thursday Shakedown – Words and Pictures by Terry Hill.
The final round of the World Rally Championship is fast approaching and again will be held in the NSW coastal town of Coffs Harbour on 15th – 18th November.
Excitement is building as both the WRC (World Rally Championship) and the ARC (Australian Rally Championship) are likely to come down to the last event of the year to decide the champions.The three competitors’ in the WRC hunt are Hyundai’s – Thierry Neuville, Toyota’s – Ott Tanak and the current 5-time World Champion Sebastien Ogier – M Sport, all three are in reach of being crowned the 2018 world’s best Rally driver.
Thierry Neuville – Hyundai.
MSport – Sebastien Ogier.
Ott Tanak – last year driving for MSport before switching to Toyota.
In the Australian ARC Championship 4 drivers are still in with a chance after the completion of the recent and penultimate round in the Adelaide Hills where championship leader Eli Evans had misfortune and penalties applied that invited other competitor’s back into the championship race.
Eli Evans in action in last year’s Rally Australia event.
Toyota Driver Harry Bates, after a dominant performance in Adelaide is now back in the hunt for the ARC title. Two other drivers Molly Taylor and Steve Glenney have realistic chances and are close enough to claim the title if things were to go their way.
Harry Bates in action in last year’s Rally Australia event.
This year’s WRC Kennard’s Hire – Rally Australia has undergone a number of changes including a revamp to the course with a few new stages and other stages to be run in the reverse direction. A couple of other noticeable changes will be the podium finish will be in the Wedding Bells forest on Sunday and the ceremonial start will move from the CBD down to the foreshore.
Speculation continues as to the future of the WRC event being held in Coffs Harbour with alternatives, New Zealand and Japan, mentioned as possibilities with the return of Toyota to the manufacturers championship. Western Australia and Canberra have also been offered as alternatives to Coffs for Australia to retain a round of this prestigious sporting event. It appears the promoters and team managers have concerns re the low number of people through the Service park and spectators on the stages, when compared to the European numbers.
“Now for something completely different” Those old enough will know where that comes from, those who are not, well it doesn’t really matter.
Above -Some of the hot action the crowd was treated to !
“E -Town Burnouts” the poster said, sounds interesting so the cameras and I ventured out to the agriculture grounds 7km’s East of Emerald town and investigated further on Saturday.
A lot of people must have seen that poster, as a very good crowd had gathered to watch the special guest, the toothy tow truck “Mater “from the movie cars do his best to destroy his tyres by doing doughnuts ( burnouts)on a very narrow bit of concrete/tar not much wider than your driveway at home.
“Mater” from the movie cars, showed the other cars how it’s done.
All ages and genders were encouraged to compete against more senior and experienced drivers at the come and try day organized by the EMA – Emerald Motorsport association. Drivers young as 12 were there show there skills. The guy drivers were the majority but there were girls there, flying the flag for the fairer race.
A young navigator readies himself for his drive later that day.
The number plate said it all.
Street machines were on parade.
I have to admit that the sport is a little confusing as the goal is to explode your tyres and create so much tyre smoke that both i and spectators can only see a large smoke cloud and can hear the car or truck spinning somewhere in the center of the cloud, as a photographer i was left to guess where the car might appear from, but invariably got that wrong. I think it must be one of those sports where participation is slightly more that the spectator experience.
Smoke and rubber flew at the burnouts.
I learnt three things
1) take ear plugs
2) determine the wind direction early
3) and clean your lens or filter often.
An old Chevy showed the young-ens how it was done.
A mixture of old and new were there participate.
Overall i have to admit that i thoroughly enjoyed the day and the challenge to find a photo in all that smoke and rubber flying around, i must also admit i had to look under my desk i few times all of the next day as i swear i could still smell something burning and thought it may be the overloaded power board or something.
Round 1 Of the BF Goodrich Tyres Australian Offroad Racing Championships, held in the Queensland outback town of St George 490 km west of Brisbane over the Labour Day long weekend, was from the outset going to be a great weekend. Trent Challenger, the local baker and his team, had been working hard over the previous months to revamp the track from last year, extending it by some 12 kilometers making it now a 41 kilometer course, and redesigning many parts of it. With competitor numbers up about 50% from last year to 63, in dry dusty conditions the stage was set. The weather played its part and was sensational, clear skies Saturday morning and a chill start of 3 degrees. Prologue got underway around 8am and the contestants were eager. Returning 8 times champion Shannon Rentsch was out to dominate but was going to receive some stiff competition from Matt Hanson and Toby Whateley, with Josh Howells in there with a fighting chance also.
Matt Hanson setting the early pace
Shannon Rentsch hungry for victory
Matt Hanson took the honours for Prologue, with Shannon 4 seconds behind, an impressive drive for his first time on this track; Toby another 23 seconds behind Shannon to round out the top 3.
Results after heat one had Alan Dixon and Johnny O’Connor in the Money Box Racing Prolite in the lead, however these results were about to become null and void as the SXS turbos took to the track and Toby Whateley set a blistering pace to take a historic section win. A number of competitors including Shannon Rentsch, Josh Howells and Tait Svenson were allocated time back after stopping to assist Anthony Jones’s Peugeot 207 Extreme 4WD after it caught fire.
Anthony Jones’s Peugeot before the fire ended his weekend
Matt Hanson suffered a flat tire costing him time that he didn’t have and dropping him down the order to 11th place. So at the end of the first section the overall first three positions were held by Toby Whateley, Phil Lovett, and Peter Carr all in SXS vehicles, with Shannon Rentsch in fourth.
Section 1 Top Ten – St George 399
1. #621 Toby Whateley/Simon Herrmann 1:26:28.668
2. #697 Phil Lovett/Paul Guenthen 1:27:28.736 (+1:00.068)
3. #698 Peter Carr/Mathew Wyndham 1:28:19.504 (+1:50.836)
4. #33 Shannon Rentsch/Ian Rentsch 1:30:06.203 (+3:37.535)
5. #15 Josh Howells/Bryan Erskine 1:30:08.719 (+3:40.051)
6. #603 Jeff McNiven/Andrew Reid 1:30:14.534 (+3:45.866)
7. #153 Alan Dixon/Johnny O’Connor 1:30:21.975 (+3:53.307)
8. #118 Tait Svenson Chris Affoo 1:31:04.230 (+4:35.562)
9. #601 Greg Campbell 1:31:56.350 (+5:27.682)
10. #131 Chris Browning 1:32:02.151 (+5:33.483)
Sunday Morning racing kicked off early at around 7.30am with the slower vehicles running first for heat 1.
By the time Heat 2 began the track was well and truly drying out and the dust surely billowing just to make everyone’s race a little more complicated.
Matt Hanson clawed his way up to 4th by the end of the Heat but didn’t have enough pace to reach the leaders; Toby Whateley was still out front breathing clean air ahead of Shannon. So by the end of the Heat It was Toby was still out front by over 2 minutes.
Matt Hanson working hard to make up time
Alan Dixon still a chance
All drivers had a 1 hour service time break before heading out to start the final section of another 3 laps
Toby headed out first but Shannon wasn’t going to just let him have the race and managed to get by him on lap 1 and with clear air in front of him set about trying to make up the now over 3 minute gap Whateley had extended.
Toby Whateley flies through the Bakers Dozen
Shannon Rentsch breathing clean air after getting past Whateley
Whateley was looking good to take the win even with the pace Shannon was setting until a fuel pump issue caused him to slow allowing Shannon the precious time needed to clinch the win.
Champagne Showers all round after a hard fought podium
Overall Winners Shannon and Ian Rentsch, Second Toby Whateley and Simon Herrmann, Third Phil Lovett and Paul Guenthen
All in all a sensational weekend of Dust, noise, and racing excitement in the outback. An awesome effort by the organisers getting the track prepared and the event up and running. The remainder of the Championship promises to be thrilling to watch as it plays out. The Championship moves to Finke for the Finke Desert Race on the 9th – 11th June for round 2 .
Words By Lorne Close. Images by Lorne Close and Terry Hill
Jon and Gina Siddins, known as Team 24oz (24 ounce),are the dynamic Datsun duo competing in their 1970 Datsun 240z.
Datsun 240z’s were known as the poor man’s e-type jag when they were first brought into Australia. They are affectionately called 24 ounce (24oz), hence the name Team 24oz.
Jon and Gina have a shared passion for the tarmac and compete in tarmac rallies and circuit racing events around Australia. They recently took both their race cars to Bathurst where they both tackled Mount Panorama – “a lifelong dream”.
They have a huge fan base from around the world on their Team 24oz Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/team24oz/ sharing in-car footage, photos and a daily highlights video courtesy of Other Side Productions.
Gina and Jon travel over 2000 kms during the event and compete in 33 competitive stages on closed roads in Targa Tasmania, an event for the true Motorsport enthusiast.
Follow their 2018 tarmac rally journey on their Facebook page!
Competitors line up at the start for the Mini Lites -9-11yrs.
The MPE Suspension Central Queensland Motocross Championships were hosted at Mosquito Creek Motocross track at Emerald on February 24 and 25.
The series consists of five rounds – Emerald, Rockhampton (March 10 and 11), Middlemount (April 28 and 29), Mackay (May 5 and 6) and Yeppoon (June 30 and July 1). The competition is held each year and is contested by riders throughout the state including riders from Cairns down to Gladstone and west to Cloncurry.
The Emerald Junior Motocross Club track was lucky enough to host the first round which is always hotly contested as it the opening round for the season.
There was a total of 184 riders and nearly 230 bikes for the weekend. The track was primed for competition thanks to the many hours from club volunteers. Saturday provided perfect racing conditions with a fast track and perfect weather and some amazing racing on show.
Tyson Baxter – Senior Open.
65cc 7-9yrs Competitor – Clayton Pickering.
In the QMX1 Class the top three riders were: Luke Weaver, Ryan Eden and Jake Valinoti picking up where they left off last year and providing some great action. Luke Weaver emerged as the winner at the end of the weekend.
In junior classes two of Australia’s top riders – Tye Jones (Junior Lites 2 stroke and 4 stroke) and Brad West (Mini Lites) were on show and were in amazing form – both going 1-1 in their respective classes to take out the round.
QMX1 Senior open Rider – Dylan Gook.
Luckily the rain held out long enough to complete racing on Saturday however the heavens opened on Saturday night and dumped around 80mm on the track to see racing cancelled on Sunday.
On a lighter note it was quite amusing to see riders from Longreach standing in the drizzling rain late Saturday afternoon wondering what this stuff falling from the sky was.and hoping it was on the way to them next.
Mini Lites – Rider Joshua Moore no 346.
No 544 – Brodie Beard – QMX2 Senior Lites.
The next round kicks off in Rockhampton and is expected to be just as big and hotly contested. And, as Rockhampton will host one round of the Queensland Titles on July 7 and 8, many riders will be keen to get on the track and get to know it a little better.
Saturday was fine but 80mm of rain on Sat night put paid to any racing On Sunday.
Junior Lites2/ – No A14 – Arran Humphreys.
Emerald will also host the Queensland Womens Championships on July 28 and 29 so it is set to be a huge year for Central Queensland Motocross and is a real testament to the quality of the tracks and riders in Central Queensland. – Words -Sharon Pease & Pictures Terry Hill.
Anders Motorsport have announced the signing of German karting ace Phil Hill as the team start to finalise their two-car lineup for the 2018 Formula Renault Northern European Cup season.
It marks the 15-year old’s first foray into junior single-seater racing after enjoying both national and international karting success.
Hill was crowned the ROK Cup Germany Champion in 2017 after taking seven race victories and a further three podium finishes, breaking over half the lap records en route to the title in a remarkable display.
He also contested the ROK World Championship in Lonato, only for an engine failure in qualifying to hamper his chances of fighting for the title. Hill impressed nonetheless, securing a hat-trick of top-twenty finishes from 31st on the grid in each of his heats.
His CV also includes full-season campaigns in the ADAC Kart Masters series and the international DKM championship.
The pairing have already begun testing ahead of the new season in earnest, with several successful outings already behind them as they prepare for the six-event calendar, which includes a number of the world’s most iconic Formula 1 circuits such as Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Autodrome Nazionale Monza and the Hockenheimring in Hill’s native Germany.
Anders Motorsport are expected to unveil the rest of their driver lineup in due course ahead of the season opener at Zandvoort on April 27-28.
Phil Hill said, “The NEC is a very good series to start my single-seater career with. The Formula Renault car is a lot more aerodynamic than an F4 car and that’s good for my development in terms of setup and experience.
“The chassis is on a very high safety standard because it’s proven according to FIA F3 standards. The 2 litre Renault engine is very reliable and I also like the design of the car. And last, but certainly not least, I admire the racing – hard, but fair!
“Anders Motorsport is a young team with nice people I like to work with. Last year we did 9 tests together which proved this. It’s their first year in NEC too but I think we can achieve big things together and get a good position in the championship.
“I don’t think it will be a stern test learning the car, I would say I know the car pretty well already. The tests I did were very useful and I’ve done a lot of simulator practice which is great alternative to track time. The more challenging part will be learning the new tracks – the car is always the same, aside from the setup.
“I’m looking forward to the entire season, it’s my first year in single seaters and so every race will be another challenge. I can’t say really to which track I look forward the most because this year every round on the calendar is exceptional. But if I would have to say one, I think it would be Zandvoort because it will be my maiden race in the NEC.
“I have to commend Renault Sport, they’re doing a great job to support young talents. The NEC is a good series to make the step into formula racing, there are many great drivers and we race as part of the some really high-profile events. The prizes for finishing in the top three are very useful, as the Formula Renault Eurocup is the natural next step on the ladder.” Marvin Anders, Anders Motorsport said, “Phil has demonstrated great ability and achieved much throughout his time in ROK karting. He’s completed some testing with the team, worked well with our engineering setup and impressed everybody with his performance throughout.
“Phil feels comfortable as part of the team and is ready to take on the challenge of competing in the NEC this year with us. We’ll support him as much as we can, and we’re looking forward to a strong campaign.”