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Top Field for the Pines
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Wednesday, 23 September 2015
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Only two more sleeps until the kick off of the 2015 Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro 400 when 70 plus off road racers and their machines will converge on Teagle’s Quarry on the outskirts of Millicent in the South Australian south east for documentation, scrutiny and the static vehicle display where the general public can get up close with the machine and chat with the crews.

As the final round of the South Australian Off Road Championship and the third round of the ARB Off Road Racing Series the event has attracted a quality field with teams chasing points in one or both series.

The Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro 400 is also one of the few remaining long course events on the 2015 calendar, and as such, has attracted teams looking for a challenging race and to enjoy the camaraderie of their off road racing family, before the end of season.

The battle for the 2015 South Australian Off Road Championship with the top seven on the leaderboard entered and all with a mathematical chance of taking out the title. Aaron Haby #57 sits in first place with a four points lead over brother Carl #56 in second. Chris Western #61 is just one point behind in third and three points ahead of Greg Gartner #410. Lindsay Foster has accumulated 31 points to be 10 points behind the leader and just one point ahead of Daniel Lamb #77. Jack Rhodes #91 is further back on 21 points, but in with a mathematical chance if all the aforementioned have a bad day at the office.

The ARB Off Road Racing Series introduced a new format for the 2015 series; the inclusion of wildcard events. In essence the series comprises four rounds at Griffith, Sea Lake, Millicent and Goondiwindi; registered competitors nominated a Wildcard event from a pool of state and national events, from which they could gain half points towards their ARB Off Road Racing Series points bank. This initiative has proved very popular with Andy Ryan leapfroging from fifth on the points score to first after the running of the last Wildcard event on the calendar at Warialda last weekend with 174.5 points.

Ryan will now be pushing hard to get his #50 Alumi Craft prepared and race ready in a four day turnaround if he’s to have any chance of staying at the top of the leader board going into the final round, the Albins ARB Goondiwindi 400 in October.

Brad Chasemore and Matt Owen are in equal second place on 166.5 points, certainly within striking range to take the number mantle with a good result this weekend.

Not chasing points but looking to have an enjoyable, yet competitive run this weekend, will be Shannon and Ian Rentsch #1, the record eight Australian Off Road Championship title holder and Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells #7. The Pro class field is loaded with the big guns of the sport.  With names like the Haby brothers, Rhodes, Owen, Turnbull, Burrows, Kittle, Brown, Martin plus many others, the battle will be on for outright and class honours.

Some of the countries quickest drivers from ProLite and Extreme 2WD classes will be preparing to take on the Pro buggies.

Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings always put on a good show for the crowd as they throw the #410 Ford F150 through the corners speedway style. Luke Hall and Scott Sage are another team to watch in Extreme 2WD as they push their Chev Silverado #488 to the limits while Andy Murdock and Simon Sheridan are learning the intricacies of their Razorback Trophy Truck #426, debuted earlier this year.

Geoff Pickering and Dylan Watson will be making the journey south from Far North Queensland to compete in the Production 4WD class, and are one of the three teams entered flying the flag for Queensland. Chris Western #61 is currently in third place in the South Australian Off Road Championship point score and, with a good result here at the Pines, it is possible that the South Australian Off Road Championship silverware could head north to Queensland.  Joining Western and Pickering will be Brendan Hall; the #62 Southern Cross prepared and ready to race after the postponement of the Goondiwindi event.

The 2015 Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro 400 sees the return to South Australia of Brett Smith and family for their first drive on South Australian soil this year. The Smith family relocated from Victoria to Western Australia earlier this year and have been campaigning the Western Australian Off Road Championship. Consistent driving from Smith has seen him take out the 2015 Western Australian Off Road Championship.

Two teams will be debuting new vehicles this weekend. Brendan Payne #16 has stepped up into the ex Bob Strawbridge Southern Cross Mark 6 and Damien Nicol will be having his first competitive run in the newly built Nicol Offroad Trophy Truck #430.

The battles will be tough across all the classes and with many points for the taking, it will be intesting to see whether teams take the conservative approach to bank points or go all out for a podium position.

Stay up to date throughout the weekend with the live results and live streaming of the trackside commentary.



 

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