I’ve got to say, I was pretty happy when I heard the venue for the final AORC rounds had been change from Penshurst to Hedley VIC. Not that Penshurst is a bad place to be, just that Hedley always turns on a show!
The track was very similar to the last time the AORC called through here with few minor changes but essentially the same.
A big difference was the amount of rain that had fallen over the area in the lead up. The iconic black sand was in prime condition for the weekend meaning a cross country event could go ahead no worries.
The far eastern end of the track was actually wet with quite a bit of standing water. All this combined to make for an epic final two rounds and made for some close racing in a fitting end to the season.
Watching Saturday’s cross country events was not only entertaining but enjoyable. You could see all of the competitors, and they could see each other. This allowed for some tight racing. The stuff we’ve been deprived of for most of the year.
The finish of the women’s cross country came down to 0.4 seconds with Yamaha mounted Emelie Karlsson edging out Emma Milesevic.
Blake Hollis walked away with the win in the J4 while Riley McGillivray took out the J3 Championship with a round to spare and Billy Hargy notched up another win in J2.
Lee Stephens clinched the 2019 Vets title in a commanding display of season-long domination.
The pro grades gave the spectators some excitement from the start. Three-six-Motorsports E1 contender Luke Styke led on his WR250F for most of the first lap
before being overcome by the bigger bikes ridden by Milner and Sanders who battled to
– and – fro all day.
The lead swapped numerous times as the day wore on but in the end KTM Offroad Enduro Team rider Daniel Milner took overall honours and the E2 Championship title in the process.
Sanders finished second after a valiant battle with Milner’s team mate Lyndon Snodgrass rounding out the top 3 and taking the win for the day in E1.
A little rain overnight gave the surface a bit of a touch up making certain there was no
dust to be seen. Sunday was run using the sprint format with two separate tracks running.
The pros ended up at the far end of the track in the severely whooped out sand. Watching the top end riders negotiate this was something to see as they did their best to keep on top of the plunging holes that lined the track.
The amount of short straights and turns made it difficult and it was clear to see why so many riders had suffered with blisters the day before.
A number of championships came down to todays results. As the morning wore on, nerves were tested with each lap bringing the championship closer for a number of riders.
At the end of the day Luke Styke finished in the lead in E1 claiming his second consecutive title much to his relief.
Yamaha’s Jess Gardiner was triumphant for a record 5th time at the conclusion of her
final lap and KTM mounted Kyron Bacon took out EJ after showing promise all year.
Daniel Sanders managed to accumulate the most points of any rider all year putting
him in the top spot across all senior grades.
At the conclusion of another year of AORC I can say I’ve been privileged to witness some of the fastest riders in the world battle against each other in some of the harshest conditions this country has to offer.
I’m looking forward to another year running around the bush trying to find that “perfect” shot and spending time with some of the most down to earth people you’ll ever meet. Till next year.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.