Robinsons’ one-two in shortened Kalgoorlie Desert Race
Monday 23rd October, 2023 - 5:05pm
The Black Diamond Drilling Kalgoorlie Desert Race, the final round Polaris Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship was won by Travis Robinson and Andrew Pinto. The event was shortened to two sections due to a fatality in the motorcycle leg that cancelled Saturday’s racing.
Having already wrapped up the title in their Jimco/Nissan Twin Turbo Pro Buggy, they finished the two completed sections 1:07 ahead of teammates Beau Robinson and Shane Hutt (Extreme 2WD Mason Motorsports/Dougans V8 Trophy Truck). Shane Elphinstone and Mariah Baxter (Jimco/Nissan TT) were a further 2:23.5 away in third spot.
After winning the prologue, Beau Robinson had a solid start to the day’s first 121km laps, but their Trophy Truck suffered gearbox issues midway through the section. He finished but were overtaken by Travis Robinson at the halfway point, before falling 2mins behind. He came back to win the next section, but Travis Robinson’s third behind Elphinstone was enough to take the win.
“It’s been a good year. We were just looking to get back into the sport and I had a bit of a crack today – it was good – looks like we’ve still got it,” said Travis Robinson with a win, three podiums and a fourth.
“We just ran our own race. Beau was the man to beat. We were pretty amazed at how quick he was going around that track because it is quite tight.”
Fourth in the event were Troy Higgins and John Simmons (GET Performance Nissan TT) ahead of Pro Buggy rivals New Zealander Raana Horan and David Neill (Jimco/Nissan TT) and Jared Percival and Josh Howat (Element/Toyota V6 TT).
Next were Stephen Ketteridge-Hall and Haylee Cowling who took out the ProLite class in their Bullet/Nissan V6. They placed ahead of Troy and Deb Schoen (SS Racetec/Chev), Nick Commins and Ryan Galvin (Ext 2WD Brethel/Chev Trophy Truck) and Mel and Emily Brandle (Alumicraft/Nissan ProLite). Mel Brandle finished second in the AORC in front of Horan.
Fifteenth in the off road finale were James Cook and Mitch Aucote (CanAm/Rotax) who were first in SXS Pro which secured them the SXS title. Performance 2WD went to Simon Jones and Rochelle Funneman (Toyota/Chev), Sportslite to Gavin Chant and Kian Longsford (Southern Cross/Honda), Production 4WD to Adam and Mitchell Jiear (Toyota V8), and Mat Bleck and Kenzie O’Connor (Nissan Patrol/Holden V8) took out Extreme 4WD.