Nice to get some time in the car but ultimately well short of where we wanted to get to for the weekend – these words summed up SMU Racing’s adventure at the 2017 Rainbow Desert Enduro.

It was good to go to a race closer to home, which was part of the attraction given our recent 800 metres outing at Finke Desert Race, after a Direct injection issue that could not be rectified at the track.

The heavens opened on Friday night at scrutineering which was disappointing given the amount of effort that had gone into the event. Still everyone appeared to enjoy themselves though as the #7 SMU Jimco was on display, tucked neatly under it’s cover, shielded away from the harsh elements.

Josh Trifetti was in the hot seat for the weekend and enjoyed the proceedings as they unfolded over the weekend. But the eyes of the offroad world were on our mate Trav Robinson from OBR, hoping he could get his maiden AORC title. Unfortunately as this sport can only do – good old off road racing was at its ugliest cruel for the weekend, and denied Trav his chance of taking home the AORC 2017 title.

Prologue was underway and for some reason we were experiencing an electrical gremlin that kept cutting the car out around the course. Prologuing second, which was good given the issues, we then came second in the top ten with again the same electrical issues frustratingly not allowing the car to get into any sort of rhythm with the car cutting out no less than 11 times.

The SMU team were desperately trying to fix the issue which centred around the PDM and with three minutes’ till go time, we were able to get the car started and to the line next to Shannon Rentsch for the two car take off – the team only hoped that the issue had been fixed….

After initially winning the start Shannon got up the inside before the first corner and we ate Shannon’s mud and sand for the first part of Lap One. When Shannon overshot a corner, it was a chance to get in front. Some great clean racing with no dust and plenty of passing room meant that it was a close battle for the first lap with Shannon 3 seconds behind us as we went past the post for the first time. We were having a ball. Most pleasing was our electrical issue had been solved.

This battle continued on the second lap on what was a great track but made quite difficult due to the slippery conditions that the rain had created. Some of the straights on roads (that resembled ice skating rinks!) at 230kms plus an hour were interesting to day the least! With 9kms to go to the end of Lap two we heard the deathly CV rattle from the back of the car which promptly ended our race not long after hearing this ugly sound. Getting out of the car and expecting Shannon at any moment to pass though it was not until a little bit later that our mate Beau Robinson came through. Turned out Shannon had clipped a tree probably not that far behind us – fun racing that ended in tears for both teams!

Good to get at least a couple of fun laps in and good to see that we think that we have solved our issues from Finke which is great. Looking forward to our last race for the year – the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro – the 40th anniversary race which is very exciting exciting for the Millicent Sand Buggy Club. We won the 35th race so we will be trying our best this year to take home some silverware from the 40th event in what should be another great field. Such a great effort to have run 40 consecutive events.

Leigh Wells is on navigating duties for Pines and will be nice to see Borgy back in the car!

Looking forward to seeing hopefully a big turnout in a few weeks – see you in the forest!