More than 50 passionate off-road racers flocked to the regional Queensland town of Moranbah for the Australian Off Road Racing Association (AORRA) Newman Excavations 100 race meeting, sanctioned by the AASA, on 25-26 July.
Originally scheduled for March, the Newman Excavations 100 was rescheduled to the July date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving drivers itching with enthusiasm to get behind the wheel.
As part of the Queensland Off Road Racing Championship, the Newman Excavations 100 was open to vehicles from a variety of classes, ranging from the Unlimited Class (buggies with engines up to six litres) down to production-based vehicles with engines less than 1200cc.
According to Mackay Off Road Racing Club President Michael Mifsud, who organised the Newman Excavations 100, the most popular classes at the event were Classes 6 and 66, due to the wide availability of those vehicles.
“Classes 6 and 66 are for PRVs from brands like Polaris, which people can buy off the showroom floor, bolt in some safety gear and be ready to race,” Mifsud said.
“Those classes have become popular because they’re an affordable and accessible entry point for people to get into off-road racing.
“For people who want to go faster and have more mechanical expertise, they can build their own vehicles and race in the faster classes – some of the machines we have in the higher classes are extremely fast and spectacular to watch.”
The race format for the Newman Excavations 100 saw competitors participating in a series of time trials around an eight-kilometre course. Mifsud said the circuit was designed with spectator viewing in mind.
“Often off-road racing is not very spectator-friendly, because spectators will only see the vehicles for a few seconds before they disappear.
“We designed the course with some tight corners, jumps and other obstacles to ensure the spectators were treated to an entertaining show and they thoroughly enjoyed it.”
While some national-level off road events have been postponed due to COVID-19, the Queensland scene is building momentum with the Gundy 400 to be held at the gruelling Goondiwindi off-road course on 21-23 August.
The Newman Excavations 100, along with the Gundy 400, are two examples of an increasing number of off-road events sanctioned by the AASA.
“We’ve got nothing but praise for the AASA – there are more and more AASA-sanctioned events taking place in Queensland, and when we see how easy they make the process for competitors and organisers, it’s not surprising,” Mifsud said.
For more information on events run by AORRA, visit their website – https://aorra.com.au/