Friday, 28th September, 2018
By Callum Marshall
A local rally driver and his family have just beaten 14 other teams to win an off-road championship in their v8 Nissan patrol.
Kerry Turley, who owns a removal and storage business in Broken Hill, was helped by his wife, two daughters and son in taking out the 2018 ARB Australian Off-Road Racing Championship for the extreme four-wheel drive class.
His daughters Brianna and Stephanie did all the navigating, while wife Deb and son Lachy were the pit crew.
The family’s driver class, classified as Class 8 within the competition, had been previously won by them back in 2014.
“We’ve been driving for ten years. We’ve always had it as a family affair,” said Kerry.
“My daughters love it, they’re quite capable drivers as well.”
The competition was comprised of six rounds, where teams raced in all sorts of terrain within New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. The races covered a fair distance as well.
“All of the races this year were about 420 kilometres, minimum,” said Kerry.
“It might be an 80 kilometre track you do five times or a 100 kilometre track you do four times.”
While the event saw cars getting up to speeds as fast as 200 kilometres per hour and had the occasional accident, Kerry said it was well organised and safe.
“You see the odd accident (sometimes) where buggies are rolled over and [their] wheels ripped off them, which is obviously unfortunate,” he said.
“However, it’s all within a safe and controlled environment, which is well organised.”
While the family didn’t suffer any crashes or punctures to the car, there were several hazards and issues they had to deal with throughout the course of the competition.
“We did have a gearbox blow up during one of the events, which can happen sometimes,” said Kerry.
“Also, once you’re inside the car it can get pretty hot. I nearly passed out one time when it was 38 degrees outside.”
In the end though, the family were able to pip last year’s champion Owen Ward to the top spot by seven points.
“It’s our 2nd Australian Championship win, and we can now race the entire season next year with the number 801 plate,” said Kerry.
“I’d like to thank our sponsors Discount Tyres Broken Hill at Westside Plaza and BFGoodrich Tyres for making the best off-road tyres available for us to race on.
“We’ll now rebuild the car ready to defend our title next year. Well, after a few celebrations over the summer.”