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Home 12 Hour Event New record set at Sporties 12Hour
New record set at Sporties 12Hour Print E-mail
The 12Hour lap record has been broken and a new target set for future aspirants.
Twenty-eight laps were completed in a time of 11h 47m 02s by the winning team from Alice Springs 'Hookers and Pints' who will take home a cool $5000 for their efforts. Greg Hicks, Shane Braitling and Craig Prettejohn in the #123 Southern Cross Pro Lite teamed up with the #5 Pro Class Jimco of Andrew Pinto and Jol Pritchard to form a formidable combination that absolutely dominated the field for the entire race distance. On lap three Greg Hicks recorded the fastest lap of the event, a time of 23m 37s and Pinto a 23m 38s on lap 19.

Andrew set the pace early and settled into a steady rhythm, "We proved that we were the quickest in prologue and knew what we had to do out there. I called the crew chief on the radio from the mid section of the first lap and found I was a minute-and-a-half in front. I didn't drive the first half of the race quick; it was steady."

Both cars were consistently quick, even throughout the afternoon on a diminished track. Their flawless run shaped a clear two-lap lead come 7pm, the finish quite different from recent years when it's come down to the wire with only minutes to spare. Successive fast laps by the #5 lead Pinto and Pritchard to also receive the 6HR Award (in memoriam to the original event) as the race leader at the 6Hour mark.

"I was very happy to win the Six Hour after my little misfortune at Finke and really glad the car came back together 100% for the race; the prize money is a nice kick too," said Andrew.

Zero rainfall presented a dry, dusty and skatey 42km track for this year's Sporties 12Hour Enduro held August 3-5. Scrutiny was staged at the Todd Mall on Friday night, Prologue on Saturday and come Sunday (race day) a light breeze throughout the day assisted in blowing some of the dust away as the 12 teams consisting of 24 cars battled it out but as the sun dropped late afternoon, so too did lap times; by a couple of minutes.

Twilight saw the breeze depart, leaving a signature red dusty haze, hanging in the air. This presented a further challenge to the remaining competitors and made for some dirty dancing in the dust; entertaining for the spectators.

The unpredictable nature of this event started just two laps into the Enduro with the first in a long line of casualties succumbing to mechanical issues. Of the 24 cars that started only 11 were mobile at race end, which is a credit to their preparation, stamina and strategy in tackling this unique format.

Someone has to come last and this year, completing two laps, it was team 'Have-A-Go'... who certainly did. Shannon, Brad and Josh Lander in the borrowed #425 Thornbuilt Trophy Truck kept working on it for hours after experiencing transmission trouble early on. The second car of the team, Dave Gillies and Dylan Blake in the #227 Super 1650 Hornet did a rear wheel bearing just before 10am.

Troubles early on also for team 'Desert Storm II' who finished in eleventh. A fast prologue saw them meet the green flag at 8am Sunday from position two but the #404 Chevy Trophy Truck Mt Isa's Anthony Kuhn/ Trevor Brebner broke a flex plate at the rear of the motor on lap two. Chris Coulthard and Rob Hawker in the #88 Pro Class Jimco quickly strapped in and shot out to pick up the baton from the stranded truck. They put in a hot couple of laps, Chris clocking the fastest speed recorded down Conrod Straight at 201km/h before he too, experienced issues with their car. In true spirit of the event – never say die – both crews worked on their cars and made brief appearances back on track (two laps complete) but eventually declared themselves out of contention at the seven hour mark, the #88 with a sticky valve and the #404 with power steering issues. Two consolations perhaps... "Desert Storm II' won the award for best presented team at scrutineering and Rob Hawker the 'Hard Luck' Award having made the trip to the 12Hour from Western Australia.

'The Carby Boys' finished tenth with 13 laps complete. Alice Spring's Mr Motorsport Rod Berry of Rod Berry Car Sales and the lovely Loretta Donaldson piloted the #505 Performance 2WD Ford Falcon Ute that ran well until the left axle broke late in the sixth hour. No replacement parts could be sourced, not through lack of trying; their day was done. The #269 Super 1650 Southern Cross MII of Scott and Courtney Raven survived past the eighth hour but a broken torsion bar ended their race prematurely.

Locky and Paddy Weir in the #155 Pro Lite Jimco ended their long run of consecutive event finishes rolling onto the pits just before 4pm, the vibration caused by a cracked chassis just too dire to continue. The #282 Southern Cross Super 1650 of Gus and Kimberly McKay was an early casualty of the day when the rear trailing-arm failed. So for team 'Let's Go Racing' it was 15 laps complete and a ninth position finish.

The Sporties team from Alice Springs 'All Good Brus' held a never-say-die intensity all, day, long... and into the night. The #70 Pro Class Porter of Jason, Jane and Jess Adami paired up with the #470 Extreme 2WD Chevy Truck of Wayne Cullenane and Danny Roberts and all had a very, busy, day. Mechanical issues early on induced a roller coaster ride from fourth to third down to ninth; they then clawed their way back to sixth by 1pm. The #470 required a tow in the sixth hour with a broken diff and axle. Jason and Jess Adami then put in some very fast laps in the Porter to rival the leaders while it was all hands on deck in the pits trying to fix the truck. The #470 was declared terminal mid afternoon so these two entertainers shared the driving. Bull dust and roost were sent flying as Jason and Wayne drove the wheels off the Porter, making it up to fifth. In the dusty darkness of the final lap, lights began to emerge and cars crossed the finish line until one remained. The anticipation intense, clock ticking, then the call came through "out of fuel 17km from the line." As the rules state that one vehicle must be mobile for the team to be declared finished, 'All Good Brus' rested in eighth for 2012, 23 laps complete... The Stratosphere Tower rollercoaster in Vegas 'aint got nothin' on these guys.

Team 'KC and the Frogs' finished seventh. The Alice Springs locals from KC Auto Electrics formed the smallest team in the field with a combined engine capacity of just 2684cc's but their big hearts made for a solid finish. Colin and Sharon Hyde in their new #364 Sportsman buggy started well but in the second hour burnt an engine valve "At least it wasn't the whole car that was burnt this time," noted a crewmember. It was left to the #860 Extreme 4WD Suzuki of Ken Callanan and Josh Wiles to bring it all home. The driving and navigating again shared, gear issues developed in the ninth hour but a quick stop in the pits and all was fixed. It was eventually Colin and Josh that met the chequered flag, the team completing 15 laps.

The 'Foley Racing Team' was one of the shakers and movers, sixth a great result having started from twelfth. The #445 Extreme 4WD Datsun of Hayden and Kylie Foley circulated strong into the seventh hour until the lower control arm let go. The little silver #284 Super 1650 Scorpion Buggy of Wayne Foley and Steven Russell just kept going and going... and going. The #445 now fixed it was back on track in the tenth hour for the final stint toward their 18 laps result and the chequered flag.

The Alice Springs Correctional Centre team 'Loose Screws' were a force to be reckoned with. It was a start like any other year until the #384 Sportsman Scorpion Buggy of Grant Ballantine and Richard Hawkins blew a gearbox late in the sixth hour. Again, with multiple drivers, it was up to the car that was runner up in the 2011 NT Titles, the #50 Pro Class buggy of Rick Schembri and Bill Carroll to make the distance to the finish. This unique vehicle (affectionately known as 'Fugly') doubles as a training facility at the Correctional Centre in an initiative instigated by a dedicated crew there. Prisoners have the chance to work on Fugly to assist in their study for a Certificate in Auto Mechanics (in lead with Charles Darwin University). Super Intendant Bill Carroll explains, "It's all about developing skills, this opportunity to learn builds self esteem and motivation and the prisoners that work on the car get to have ownership, they're proud." It's not just mechanics on offer; the Correctional Centre aims to have prisoners leave custody with skills, enabling them to find work all in the name of rehabilitation and reintegration. The 'Corrections Fugly' operates on a budget of just $5000 a year. "All of the businesses that are racing here this weekend support our program and we're grateful, we'll go back and share this event with the ones who have worked on the car," said Mr Carroll. Fifth place and 20 laps completed; a fine finish for the Loose Screws.

Team 'Too Late' was a late entry, hence the name. South Australia's James Madden started out strong in the single seater #135 Pro Lite Buggy of Andrew Mowles until Andrew himself, arrived from afar around noon and climbed in behind the wheel to share the drive. Team mates Peter Costello and David Cox in the #446 Extreme 2WD rolled early on but recovered and kept it together to contribute to a solid finish in fourth position, completing 24 laps.

Another strong Alice Springs combination locked in and held down third position from the fifth hour on. Team 'Axle's Assassins' led by Mr Consistent himself Axle Greening with Brock and Jamie Nappia navigating the Johnno's Camper Trailers/ Don Kyatt Spare Parts #268 Super 1650 Buggy, joined forces with Steve Jentch and Brendan Foley in the Extreme 2WD Plumb Tech #420 Bennet Rodeo, their result, 24 laps in 11h 31m 59s. Axle had a great day, he broke a few bits and pieces along the way though, "I broke a front arm, a rear arm and an engine mount but other than that it was a brilliant day. As long as you've got a reliable engine... away you go." It was 'Jinxy' who performed the nighttime display of dirty dancing referred to earlier; some great circle work in the blinding dust, right in front of the crowd! Thanks Jinxy.

In recent years they've finished third, they've finished second and in this year's 12Hour it was to be second again for team 'HUM' (short for Harden Up Motorsport) as they never ever give up. Bernard Gwynne, Mark Neverov and Neil Hinds had the big red Stuart Caravan and Cabin Park #440 Extreme 2WD Chevy on song and formed an alliance with Brett Taylor and Peter Treis in the BKT Transport #31 Pro Class Aceco. It too was on song, a sweet note at the last pass through the start/ finish before the engine detonated 2km into the next lap. There was no stopping the Chevy, the driving now shared and lap after lap, 'HUM' held position. Their troubles weren't over yet though with a moment in the eleventh hour, Taylor pitted unexpectedly missing a right front wheel. In NASCAR style the crew worked fast and minimal time was lost completing 26 laps in 11h 47m 58s. Bernie's happy, "It was a great result considering the circumstances; usually of you loose a car before lunch you're off the podium so to it was a great effort by the crew."

The executive of the Alice Springs Off Road Race Club wish to thank the 2012 sponsors of one of Australia's richest Off Road races and acknowledge the efforts of all club members and volunteers in making this year's Sporties 12Hour such a success. The club also acknowledges the support of some of the cream of Australian Off Road that weren't able to compete this weekend - Andrew Kittle of Peter Kittle Motorsport, Beau and Travis Robinson of Outer Bounds Racing and current Aus No.2 Danny Auricht of Truebuild Racing (his navigator Grant Connelly swapping four wheels for two and sweep riding for the bikes) - they came to spectate, help fellow competitors and support the event. Thank you.

The committee are already planning for next year and apart from various upgrades at the Mt Ooraminna circuit; plan to have live Internet coverage in 2013 so keep an eye out on www.asorrc.com.au

The next event to be staged is only weeks away, the NT Titles September 22 and 23.

2012 Sporties 12Hour sponsors:
Sporties Café and Restaurant • Home Timber and Hardware • Territory Metals • Stuart Caravan and Cabin Park • GGS Glass and Aluminium • Mt Dare Hotel • AutoSparky Parts • Racer Imports • KC Auto Electrics • Choices Alice Springs • Harvey Word Travel • Prime Cut Meat Supplies • Spectrum Fire & Security • Alice Springs Nursery • Alice Hosetech • Creative Gifts and Awards • Stuart Bakery • Alice Gold • Talis Security • St Johns Ambulance • Comspec NT • Central Plant Hire • The Work Team from the Alice Springs Correctional Centre • Holcim • Asbuild • Johnno's Camper Trailers • Rod Berry Car Sales • Alice Springs Town Council • Northern Territory Police • Toll Express • 8HA Radio and Sun FM • Imparja • Neata Glass • Alice Equipment Hire •


 
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