Friday, 24th January, 2014
By Ethan James
The cars won’t be here for over two months but preparations are already well and truly underway for round one of the ARB Off Road Racing Series.
The event, which will be held from April 4-6, is heading to Broken Hill for the first time in its history.
It will take place at Paringa Station, roughly 50 kilometres north of town, which is where a small team of off road specialists spent Thursday morning mapping out the track.
Event coordinator Kevin Hind said he now had a firm idea of the race’s path.
“We estimate that we’ve mapped out about 75-80 per cent of the track but there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said.
“There are still two crossings across Gardner’s Creek that we need to work out.”
He conservatively estimated that the event would attract anywhere upwards of 65 cars which equates to more than 300 people.
“In terms of numbers, I think it will be the biggest motorsport event I have seen in town since I moved here 11 years ago,” he said.
Andy Ryan, who has run the Griffith leg of the series on his Stackpoole property since 1981, was also on hand to run his keen eye over the route.
He also intends to compete on race day and says the unique terrain is already a talking point among the driving fraternity.
“It’s totally different terrain ... it’s the closest to American conditions which will be awesome,” he said.
“The track will be rocky, rough, windy, straight and there are a few creek beds as well ... it’s a great mix.
“The whole thought of a desert adventure and a new track is an attractive thing too.”
Clerk of Course Murray Rogers said the 80 kilometre circuit still has to cater for a number of logistical challenges.
“There are a few things to consider in terms of how we get cars out of the course if there is a mechanical failure, which there inevitably will be,” Rogers said.
Hind added that some temporary construction work must also be done on the property before April.
“We have to build a facility in the paddock to give the cars their own bays but we’ll just do that using picket fence and wire,” he said.
“There needs to be enough space to back in a transporter and to use the area as a mechanical garage.
“We also need a pit lane and to properly mark out the course ... but that last part can basically happen right before the race.”
The Broken Hill event is the first round of five, with others to be held at Sea Lake, Griffith, Goondiwindi and Pines Enduro.
Anyone interested in becoming part of the support staff and volunteering their services can contact Kevin on 0438 814 969.