Howells claims maiden AORC win

Josh Howells and Eric Hume atop the AORC podium

Josh Howells and Eric Hume have won the Cobb & Co Hotel St George 399 after leading from start to finish.

The pair held a comfortable advantage heading into the final day of the event after strong runs on both Friday (Prologue) and Saturday.

It marked Howell’s first career win in the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship, the final margin of victory four and a half minutes.

“Winning the top 10 [on Friday] was cool,” said Howells.

“It was all about the win and that’s what I tried focusing on. We got there in the end. It was great.

“There is also something that tests your nerves during racing,” he added.

“I thought it was blowing the exhaust off the truck coming out here, but unfortunately we had little bits and pieces to deal with.

“It kept me honest, but we got there in the end.”

Greg Gartner and Jamie Jennings were second (and winners of Extreme 2WD) after Talbot Cox suffered brake dramas on Sunday’s first lap.

Gartner’s performance capped off a weekend that started with fly-by-wire throttle issues, the team reverting to a traditional cable setup for the final day.

Pro Lite class winners, Michael Spokes and Brad Rogan, claimed third overall after besting the father-daughter combo of Jason and Kristy Richards.

The Richards pair held sway after the opening day by seven seconds, but Spokes was able to overhaul them and steal the class win and outright podium place on the final lap.

Elsewhere, AORC debutants Paul Weel and Andrew Reid placed fifth, SXS Turbo winners Jeff McNiven and Frank White claimed eighth outright, while Haydn Bentley and Viv Coe recovered from a poor prologue to round out the top 10 and pick up the Extreme 4WD class honours.

The points standings sees Howells now lead the competition over Gartner and Richards.

The BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship continues in June with the Tatts Finke Desert Race taking place on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

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