Gympie will play host to the nation's fastest off-road
motorcycle riders as this year's Australian Off-Road Championship blasts into
life with a double-header round at Miva, 35 minutes north of Gympie, on March
Situated 160km north of Brisbane in the Wide Bay-Burnett
district, Gympie has hosted a round of Australia's most prestigious off-road
racing series for the last four years.
More than 200 competitors from all corners of the country
will converge to take part in the event, which this year will utilise the
"Sprint" AORC format, in which riders will give it 100% over a number
of heats on a short course between 9-12 minutes in length.
Starting 15-30 seconds apart, competitors will race this
track several times over the course of the day, pushing the limits of tyres,
suspension and engines, and eagerly searching for any unnoticed or forming race
lines that might offer an advantage over the competition.
Event Promoter Peter Allan is focused on ensuring spectators
experience this intensity first hand, as he promotes his fourth consecutive
AORC event at in the region.
"It's a very exciting form of motorsport," said
Allan, "that we're making an even more accessible one, and the layout of
our course will provide exceptional spectator viewing points.
"With flowing grass-track and tight and technical rocky
creek sections running alongside about a kilometre of the main property
driveway, it's easy for spectators to get straight to the action."
"According to council this is the only national
sporting event they can recall, and it tends to attract 500-800 people to the
area, so local people, government and media are getting behind it, which is
great to see."
The event will also have plenty of local flavour, as local
brothers and Kawasaki Factory Team racers PD and Lachlan Allan take on the
nation's best, including nationally-ranked fellow Queensland-based Husqvarna
duo Lachy Stanford and Fraser Higlett.
Gold Coast-based former motocross pro turned Active8 Yamaha
Off-Road Team racer Luke Styke will also enter the fray, taking on the
powerhouse KTM team of Daniel Milner and Lyndon Snodgrass, who dominated the
Throwing another wildcard into the mix, the AORC's 2016
Champion Daniel "Chucky" Sanders is back from Europe and will be
determined to try to re-establish himself at the top.
Pic: Lachlan Allan will be one of the local hopes when the country's most important off-road racing series - the AORC - kicks off at Gympie next month