Extreme finish to 4x4 event
Monday, 16th May, 2011
By Darrin Manuel
They may not have scored a podium finish, but local racers Cam Holden and Josh Holmes have achieved their goal of completing the ARB Australian Outback 4x4 Extreme.
The duo were ecstatic to have survived the torturous seven-day event, which was won by the ACM Racing team of Andrew Mumford and Alister Grove.
Holmes said all sections of the Extreme had been a stern test for man and machine, but saved a special mention for the boggy conditions around Rochdale.
"The whole thing was tough... the mud especially. We got stuck in that a few times but we got back up and kept going," he said.
"For us it was never about placings though, it was just about getting together, having some fun and making it to the end.
"It wouldn't matter to us if we finished last - as long as we finished."
Their team, "High Stakes Racing", didn't finish last, and in fact produced a creditable placing of 25th despite suffering several mechanical setbacks.
"We had a few problems over the week, we did a clutch and a couple of alternators, but we got back on it and had a few late nights fixing the car.
"The late nights were starting to catch up with everyone, you'd be up all night working on your car until three or four o'clock, then you're in bed and up at 6.30 for a drivers briefing, you'd only be getting 1-2 hours some nights."
Holmes was full of praise for his fellow competitors who often battled through sleep deprivation to help one another finish each stage.
"They are the best bunch of blokes we've ever met.
"If you're broken down and they're not, then they're up helping you on your vehicle.
"We'd just like to thank everyone who helped us across the line throughout the week. We had so many blokes helping us, it was unbelievable.
"It was an amazing experience and we'll definitely be back next year."
All teams can look forward to an improved competition next year according to 4x4 Extreme Committee Chairman Kevin Hind, who said all organisers had learned from their maiden attempt at staging the event.
"Overall for our first event I think it went well," he said.
"From an overall competition point of view some stages were good, while some were less than competitive for the top teams, but you're always going to get that difference between the top and bottom teams.
"But we haven't had any problems over the last six days that we can't address, and I think next year will be one hundred per cent better.
"Basically we'll take on board all the feedback from this year, look at all the pressing points and learn from our mistakes."