2016 MBL Sea Lake Mallee Rally ARB 450
Brad Chasemore leaves the start line for the prologue.
Andrew McClelland and Murray Mott in the prologue.
Chasemore, McClelland, Brown Top Three
The ‘2016 MBL Sea Lake Mallee Rally ARB 450’ featured close racing with Brad Chasemore in his #10 Jimco Pro Buggy taking the outright honours just 39 seconds ahead of locals Andrew McClelland and Murray Mott in the #131 Alumi Craft Prolite after five laps of the 90km Lake Tyrrell course.
Third outright was Andy Brown and Mark Sedran in the #45 Saber Pro Buggy. Both Mott and Brown are major sponsors of the event, so it was just reward to see them both on the podium.
Robert Plant #128 with Ryan Burr and dad Brett sharing navigating duties was next in driving the ex-Andrew McClelland Southern Cross Prolite, ahead of the third placed Prolite of Daryl Nissen and Andrew Harness (#164) making up the top five.
Local club members Jamie and son Thomas Robinson finished 9th outright in their Jimco Pro Buggy (#48).
The first truck home in 13th outright was the #430 Extreme 2WD of Damien Nicol and Shannon Jennings.
Performance 2WD went to locals Bernie Clohesy and Errol Stacey in the #570 Triton, ahead of South Australians Jai and Jeff Loader (#513) and in third place, Peter Godwin and Terry Cox (#514). Well done TC in your first event.
Other locals to finish the five laps included Darren Mott (#435) with daughters Tenae, Teale and Bailee sharing navigating.
SLORC’s Tim Lloyd (#37) with Kevin Collier and Jordan Lloyd were 17th outright in the new Pro Buggy.
Also finishing well in his new Pro Buggy was #26 Nathan Monk in 20th place with Daniel and Damian Monk sharing navigating.
Former local Mark Amos brought his single-seater Prolite down from Qld. and finished 25th outright.
The event was also a round of the Mallee Shield and 12 vehicles entered to compete in the first section only comprising the first two laps.
Taylor Hannig and Kelly Cooper had a good finish in the #540 Holden ute.
Sea Lake Off Road Club members to luck out included Geoff and Luke Lloyd (#87) who broke a tie-rod on the last lap.
Jono Simmonds with brother Nick and dad Viv navigating in #113 were unfortunate to have engine failure within sight of the finish.
Paul Walsh and Shaun Ritchie (#216) broke rear suspension on the last lap.
Craig Hoare (#123) with navi Cameron McClelland had overheating issues early. They put in a mammoth effort to get the vehicle to the start for the event.
Alistair McClelland and Stephen Newick (#228) were out after the first lap with a broken throttle cable and George and Karrina Bailey retired after the first lap with alternator issues.
New Event Format
The event format was slightly changed for the 43rd running. For the second time in its history an extra lap was added on the Sunday. This was previously done for the 40th anniversary event.
Following the Bailey’s Transport Prologue on Saturday, the top ten cars were marshalled as they completed the prologue until only the top ten remained.
The PMD Race Products Top Ten Shootout added a new dimension as the top ten crews restarted the 8km prologue in reverse order from 10th fastest, at 30 second intervals, trying to better their time and position.
Andy Brown retained his #1 position and Andy Ryan remained #2. Robert Plant dropped from 3rd in the prologue to 7th after Brad Chasemore, Michael Collins, Andrew McClelland and Daryl Nissen all improved their times.
Following the Top Ten Shootout, the top placegetters in the prologue in each of the nine classes were invited to compete in the Swan Hill Windscreens Dash for Cash.
The ‘Dash’ is a regular favourite feature of the event for the crowd, as the two vehicles start at opposite sides of the shortened course and race, in pursuit style, not knowing where the other is.
A chilly, icy, Mallee morning greeted the spectators, officials and crews for an early start on Sunday.
Taking charge of his sixth event, Clerk of the Course Joseph Marshall welcomed all to the event at his pre-race briefing.
A minute’s silence was held in honour of Kim Bowles, a valued club member who recently passed away. Kim must have been smiling down on us, as fine weather prevailed for the event.