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2019 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship
St George - April 5-7    |    Finke - June 7-10    |    Rainbow - August 9-11

2019 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship
Griffith - July 5-7     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 16-18     |     Millicent - Sept 20-22

Kristy Hedley wins Wittitrin
Sunday, 27 May 2012
In a sport that is dominated numerically by male drivers, the odds of a female driver winning an off road race outright was considered almost improbable, but then along came the 2012 Scotts Hydraulic Services Wittitrin 300, to prove that even the unlikely can become fact.

Kristy Hedley has been around Off Road racing all her life, having been raised in a family that has been a fixture on the off road racing scene for as long as most devotees of the sport can remember. Her father races, her mother races, and her sister also races, but at Dungay Creek just west of Kempsey on May 26/27 Kristy Hedley etched the family name into the record books in the biggest way possible, claiming outright victory in the Wittitrin Round of the NSW Championship.

Hedley hardly put a wheel wrong all weekend, ending day one second outright after many of her more fancied opposition struck mechanical trouble.

1366b_sm With the first 150 kilometres in the books Saturday, Hedley, who had Nicole Silva and Bryce Adamson sharing the navigator chores for the weekend, started on the front row for Sundays all important final 150 kilometre race, alongside overnight leaders Chris and Len Levi from Port Macquarie.

Chris Levi continued his Saturday form to lead strongly again, but only a couple of laps into Sundays leg a tie-rod end broke. Levi’s misfortune, was Hedley’s fortune, as she sped past the stranded Super 1650 Buggy and maintained a strong pace over the remaining laps to take a memorable victory, and one that is destined for the record books.

Hedley’s victory was also the first time an Extreme 2WD machine has won a Round of the NSW Championship outright, adding further to the significance of her victory.

Chasing Hedley home for the last half of the race was the David Mendham / Warwick Mendham #170. The immaculately prepared fluro pink Prolite Buggy team never gave up, but a small problem out on the course meant they lost even more time, something they were unable to recover from.

A fantastic third outright went to the Queensland team of Daniel Sage / Darren Kim in their diminutive Polaris. The pace of the Polaris, with its 900cc powerplant, was astonishing, with the team finishing only 25 minutes behind the race winner. It is the second year straight that a Polaris has finished third outright at Wittitrin!

1366c_sm Apart from the Levis there were plenty of other ‘hard luck’ stories to tell.

Scott McNeil / Michelle McNeil looked good early in the event in their new Prolite Buggy until a tree claimed them, the Kempsey team of David Spokes / Glen Hayes lead early until a CV problem forced them out, Kempsey club president Darren Perrin, with John Stevens navigating, was also going well Saturday until the gearbox broke, while Chris Browning / Chris Clarke were fourth outright for much of Sundays race until a throttle sensor wreaked havoc.

The only significant incident of the weekend was when Jan Hedley, with Daniel Gardner navigating, rolled her big blue Ford in the tree-line section of the course overlooking the main arena. Both occupants were uninjured after extracting themselves from the steaming wreck.

Last year’s Scotts Hydraulic Services Wittitrin 300 winner Gary Hyde, with Gary Sullivan navigating instead of son Joshua, experienced a difficult race, that saw the #335 Sportsman diving in an out of the pits on a regular basis. A harmonic balancer issue inflicted them Saturday, and powersteering problems on Sunday. Despite the issues they still won their class.

Official class winners of the Scotts Hydraulic Services Wittitrin 300 were
Pro Buggy : #17 Ray Cripps / Jeff Cripps
Prolite Buggy : #170 David Mendham / Warwick Mendham
Super 1650 Buggy : #279 Derek Rose / Luke Gilkison
Sportsman Buggy : #335 Gary Hyde / Gary Sullivan
Utility Terrain Vehicles : #657 Daniel Sage / Darren Kim
Performance 2WD : #527 Winston Parr / Paula Hayes
Extreme 2WD : #424 Kristy Hedley / Nicole Silva / Bryce Adamson
Extreme 4WD : #804 Ian Hedley / Luke Kenyon

In an emotional finish to the Scotts Hydraulic Services Wittitrin 300 it was Jan Hedley who waived the chequered flag on her daughter, while proudly displaying a makeshift sign simply stating ‘that’s my girl’!

Dallas’s Dash For Cash, a short sprint race, concluded the action at Wittitrin with Kristy Hedley continuing her good form to account for long time racer Peter Sowter (#985 Pro Buggy).

The 2012 Scotts Hydraulic Services Wittitrin 300 was conducted under clear blue skies, that helped attract a big crowd to the track.

Event Information, including results, can be found here.

Source: Rod Thurgood
Photographer:   Sean O’Leary