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Rainbow - April 1-3     |     Hillston - July 8-10     |     Goondiwindi - Aug 12-14     |     Millicent - Sept 23-25


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ARB Big Desert 480 Ready for Battle
Monday, 28 March 2022
Source: Toby Cooper, TC Media for AORRA

In a new era for the highly anticipated ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship, the northwest Victoria township of Rainbow will play host this weekend to the first of four intriguing rounds of the 2022 Championship.

Hosted by the Victorian Off Road Racing Association (VORRA), the ARB Big Desert 480 is set to test man and machine over 480 challenging kilometres across the Rainbow terrain, with 54 eager teams entered for the Championship opener.

Headlined by former ARB Australian Off Road Racing Champion’s including current #1 Aaron and Liz Haby in their Element Prodigy, who’s record last season was astonishing; five SAORRA victories and a second place at the ARB Pooncarie Desert Dash, Haby is one of the big contenders and will be chasing more silverware on his Rainbow debut.

Two time ARB Australian Off Road Racing Champions Danny Brown and George Apted #42 will look to kickstart their season with a win in their Unlimited AlumiCraft; the 2013 and 2017 Champions last victory came at the treacherous Goondiwindi 400 in 2018. Brent Martin and Andre De Simone #120, another past ARB outright Champion in the field, will lead the Class 1 contingent into battle in the Martin Motorsports Jimco. Martin’s brother Dale with navigator Adrian Rowe #133, also former Class 1 Champions, will mount their own outright charge in the Tatum, boosted by past Rainbow success.

2016 Outright Champions Marty and Alison Scott #96 will look to continue their consistent record in the teams Scott Avenger Unlimited machine at Rainbow; Andy Brown and Danny McConville #45 have been so close on many occasions to a breakthrough victory and will be ones to watch, likewise 2017 Goondiwindi Champion Aaron James #93 who will be amongst the favourites in his Ford powered AlumiCraft.

2016 ARB Sea Lake Mallee Rally Champion Brad Chasemore #10 will spearhead the rest of the Unlimited field in his Jimco which includes - VORRA President Tony Carabott #81, Jake Freckleton #19, Glenn McIntyre #43, Kevin Howitt #50, Craig Barnett #68, William Rotaru #57 and the hard charging Glenn Spizzo #922 who could be a dark horse for the weekend.

Joining the Martins in the Class 1 field is Griffith flyer Jason Richards #119, who is always a serious outright contender and this year he will have daughter Charlotte in the navigators seat; Charlotte having her first run at an ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship event. Likewise David Middlemiss #117, who’s best ARB Championship finish was third back in 2015. Young gun Matthew Burrows #123 will line up in his first national appearance as a driver in the teams Jimco, whilst Stephen Burrows #181, Neil Pendlebury #112, Jeff Cripps #147 and Darren Marks #174 round out the rest of the Class 1s.

Last months Rainbow Rises 240 Champion Steven Graham #1065 in his Alumi Craft carries strong winning momentum into the ARB opener, whilst fellow Alumi Craft hard charger Tanner James #1093 will, like Graham, be a danger to his higher horse powered rivals. Rodney Visser #1057, Travis Conrad #1006, Brendan Forssman #1071, David Vallance #1021, Joshua Gaskin #1075 and Branden Pearce #1012 will all state claims for Class honours.

Class 4 is a wide-open affair; current ARB Champion Paul Grant #401 will lead the contenders in his Ford powered Desert Dynamics TT, with past Class 4 Champions Peter Sibson #412 and John Smith #445 the other heavyweights set to duel it out. Michael Denham #433 in his Micklefab Raptor is another certain to make some noise, likewise David Towers #480, Ian Terry #455, Darren Mott #435, Jason Forssman #474, Mark Foster #411 and Jason Marks #419 who are all positioned for a Class 4 assault.

Peter Stevenson #248 of Havachat Racing will headline the Class 2 crews, after a strong third outright at the 2019 Rainbow Rises, he is the one to catch. South Australian Simon Tucker #220 will look to cause the upset, whilst Brock Pendlebury #235 and Andrew Forssman #279 can’t be discounted.

Sean Dow #356 is the sole Class 3 competitor, as well as Darren Vanderwoude #554 in Class 5 and New South Welshman Michael Baxter #848 in Class 8.

It will be the battle of the Patrols in Class 7, as Heath Weedon #779 and Brett Tillson #747, who will make his debut, are set to fight it out. Glenn Pike #675 is fresh off an Avalon Short Course victory last weekend and will head the Class 6 brigade alongside Simon Gubbins #690, Christopher Handley #665, Darren Frankling #678, and Scott Coulston #671, who round out the SXS class.

The ARB Big Desert 480 would not be possible without the support of the Championship partners ARB 4X4 Accessories and Mickey Thompson Tyres along with the event supporters IGA Rainbow, River Murray Auto Wreckers, Foster Fyans Automotive, Wide Open Construction, Elite Fleet Maintenance, Dean Williams Engineering, GT Stump Pulling, Mikes Shocks Shop.

The local community group, the Rises Events Association Inc, work tirelessly in support of the event and head up the local logistics and coordination, catering, track maintenance/set up and venue preparation, plus so many other tasks, too many to mention. The Hindmarsh Shire provides invaluable assistance to the event along with GrainCorp who are the landowners of the pit area.

Catering will be available at the track over the weekend, however, camping is not permitted at the track or in the paddock area, but is available at the nearby Rainbow Recreation Reserve.

So much to look forward to at Rainbow this weekend as the first chapter of the 2022 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship unfolds, with bragging rights on the line!

Stay up to date with the live results across the weekend at


Naming Partner

Associate Partner

2019 ARB Champs

1 Aaron Haby
2 Talbot Cox
3 Dean Meginley
1 Aaron Haby
101 Brent Martin
201 Rhett Standen
301 Steven Orr
401 Paul Grant
501 Bernie Clohesy
601 Phil Lovett
701 Sandy Bowman
1001 Dean Meginley
6601 Chris Land