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Perfect Martin Pots Rainbow Gold
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Tuesday, 05 April 2022
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Source: Toby Cooper, TC Media for AORRA

Former ARB Australian Off Road Champions Brent Martin and Andre De Simone #120 have dusted the cobwebs off in style, taking victory at a tough opening round of the 2022 ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship, the ARB Big Desert 480 held at Rainbow over the weekend.

Danny Brown and Adrian Rowe #42, themselves past ARB Australian Champions, provided the nail biting finish with a late surge, crossing for second place in their Alumi Craft, just 57 seconds off Martin. The father and daughter combination of Jason and Charlotte Richards #119, who closed within 6 seconds of Martin early on Sunday, survived the brutal sandy Rainbow terrain third fastest, 4 mins off the pace of Brown.

Brad Chasemore and Jay Hare #10 produced a strong Sunday in the teams Jimco, finishing fourth outright in an inspired performance. Additionally, in a breakthrough result, Craig and Doug Barnett #68 who started the race out of 15th position, stormed through the field to round out the ARB Big Desert 480 top five in their Southern Cross; a huge effort.

Martin started the final day 36 seconds clear of his brother Dale and Adrian Rowe #133, with Danny Brown and George Apted #42 a further 9 seconds adrift in third.

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Sunday morning escalated quickly for the front runners; Brent Martin #120 experienced fuel issues in the Jimco which halted his momentum and in fear of ending his race, Brown #42 suffered a flat tyre loosing valuable ground, but in what was a record breaking trackside tyre change they kept themselves alive, whilst Dale Martin #133 himself exited the race with fuel dramas. Brad Chasemore #10 was the early mover, along with Richards #119 who clocked in the two fastest opening lap times respectively, ahead of Steven Graham #1065 in third.

Martin and De Simone #120 cleared the Jimco’s miss on lap 2, before going on to set the fastest lap of the weekend, and despite a late flurry from Brown they were never headed, breaking through for a maiden ARB Australian Off Road Racing Championship outright victory, infact that the first outright win for the team in nearly 30 years since Dad Craig Martin competed.  

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In a battle of attrition, David and Alice Middlemiss #117 saluted the chequered flag in third in Class 1 and sixth outright, whilst Peter Sibson who had wife Dee and Greg Barker #412 sharing the navigating duties overcame an early drama to cross for a comfortable Class 4 victory and seventh outright.

Rounding out the top ten was David Vallance #1021 in eighth who also collected the Class 10 silverware and the Racer Imports award for the most consistent laps; Marty and Alison Scott #96 were a further minute back in ninth, with Glenn Pike and Aidan Campagnolo #675 continuing their strong form with a dominant Class 6 win and tenth outright.

Brock and Nigel Pendlebury #235 piloted their Toyota powered Hornet to a Class 2 victory and 19th outright, one spot ahead of South Australian Darren Vanderwoude #554 with his navigators Millie and Izaak Vanderwoude guiding their Dad to the Class 5 title. Michael Baxter and Ian Edgell #848 were half was through Saturday’s opening lap when the navigator experienced back pain ending their run and after securing Cameron Polan who was to co navigate in #411, Baxter and Polan went on to complete Sundays four laps, claiming the Class 8 win and the honour of last car on track to salute the checkered flag. Brett and Chris Tillson #747 in the teams Nissan Patrol were the last crew to finish all six laps, 22nd outright and a Class 7 triumph their reward.

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In other class results, John Smith and Grant Manion #445 snared second place in Class 4 ahead of Darren Mott and Connor Rogers #435 in third. In the hotly contested Class 6 battle, where all five crews finished full distance, Simon Gubbins and Ben Lugg #690 held off Scott Coulston and Shaun Mcquieen #671 for second and third respectively. Travis Conrad and Vic Rockliff #1006 had a consistent weekend, banking a second place finish in Class 10 and 11th outright.

After watching a number of outright contenders fall away on Saturday including Aaron Haby #1, Aaron James #93, Andy Brown #45 and Michael Denham #433, Sunday was no exception with Dale Martin #133 - fuel issues, Steven Graham #1065 - CV, Jake Freckleton #19 - CV, Rod Visser #1057 - CV Boot, Paul Grant #405 - engine and Tony Carabott #81 - engine, all bowing out.

The 2022 ARB Australian Off Road Championship will now turn its attention to the ARB TCT The Gap 440 at Hillston - held over the 8-10th of July.

 

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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