The final countdown for Rainbow

Thursday 08 August, 2019
Photos: Terry Hill
The BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship reaches its climax this weekend as Australia’s best off roaders head to rainbow for the final round.
 
After two rounds of thrilling action and dramatic results, a number of competitors find themselves in contention to take out the prestigious title.
 
With the Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro having almost double the amount points available than the opening two rounds, drivers as low as 30th on the standings have a mathematical chance to win the championship.
 
The big story coming out though is the withdrawal of Stephen Graham. Currently occupying third place outright, Graham was on the verge of a producing a stunning result and securing a shock podium finish in the Sportslite.
 
Ahead of the final round, aorc.com/cams has a look at some of the top contenders and what needs to happen for them to win the 2019 BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Champion.
 

Shannon Rentsch

Points: 681
By his standards, the nine-time AORC champion has had a mixed year so far. A clean sweep of heats in St George saw him win his fourth consecutive event, however a puncture in Finke ultimately cruelled his event and saw him finish fifth outright.
 
Rentsch’s equation is simple. Finish and win the event to win the title, or just finish ahead of Mark Burrows and in the top five.
 

Should the unthinkable happen, and Rentsch crashes out, he has to hope Burrows also fails and Howells doesn’t finish in the top 10 on both days.

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Mark Burrows

Points: 645
Sitting just 36 points behind Rentsch, Burrows is the only driver who doesn’t need luck on his side – he can win the title with a strong performance of his own. 
 
All Burrows needs is to do is finish ahead of Rentsch on both sections in the top five and the title is his.
 

However just to make it interesting – should both drivers start and complete the race and Burrows wins both sections over Rentsch who finishes second – then the two legends of the sport will be equal on points.  

 

Josh Howells

Points: 545
A runner-up finish in Finke put Howells right back in contention and the youngster is quite possibly a real contender for the title.
 
Unfortunately for Howells, he does need a bit of luck to go his way for him to have any chance of victory and he needs to win both sections, as well as hope that the two drivers above him finish outside the top 10 on both occasions.
 

Last year wasn’t kind to Howells as he crossed the line in 10th, but now with more experience under his belt, the New South Welshman could pull off something special this weekend.

 

Toby Whateley

Points: 456
It’s been a tough season for the 2018 runner-up but he still finds himself in the running for a maiden AORC title.
 
With the maximum amount of points available topping 550 points, Whateley will need both Burrows and Rentsch to retire in at least one section at a minimum.
 

He will also need to win both sections ahead of Howells and Nick Jackson but will also need to win his first ever race in the process.

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Nick Jackson

Points: 445
 
The surprise story for 2019 as one of the newest drivers finds himself leading the SXS Turbo class and is certainly a dark horse to claim an outright victory.
 
It’s very unlikely the rookie will win the 2019 title, but he has just as much chance as Whateley to be crowned champion.
 
As is the case with Whateley, Jackson needs both Rentsch and Burrows to retire from a section, preferably the more important Sunday section and win both sections himself or at least finish in the top three.
 

As long as a finishing Josh Howells also doesn’t place in the top five on both days and Jackson finishes above Whateley in the second section - the young man could do it.

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The rest

While the top 30 are all in contention, they require the miracle of the two front runners to retire or score very little points as well as winning the race themselves. Leading the charge for the rest of the AORC crews are a number of high quality drivers capable of winning including Allen Henson, Greg Campbell and Matthew Martin.

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Points Breakdown

Start: 37.5 

Finish: 75
 

Section 1

1st 129
2nd 118
3rd 111
4th 103
5th 95
6th 87
7th 82
8th 77
9th 72
10th 67
 

Section 2

1st 321
2nd 296
3rd 276
4th 257
5th 238
6th 219
7th 206
8th 193
9th 180
10th 167
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