Champions Chat: Geoff Pickering

Age is no barrier in the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship, and after another stellar season behind his famous red production truck, Geoff Pickering managed to come away with a remarkable 15th class title. caught up with the Production 4WD champion ahead of the new season.

How does it feel to add another trophy to your cabinet?
It feels really good. It is very encouraging for the team to take out another title. We enjoy the sport and we have supported it for a long time so it’s really encouraging.

You had some good battles with Jodie Allen but eventually overcame her challenges didn’t you?
We really enjoy the battles we have against other competitors. We miss it when they are not part of the events to be honest. I think it makes an event more exciting and worthwhile when we have other people to race against.

Were there any notable moments from the year?
Probably the most memorable moment was in Finke. We didn’t realise our vehicle was stuck in 2WD for half the race. When we did prologue, I felt the car wasn’t driving to the level and performance I had always been accustomed too. On the way down to Finke, we caught up with the lead car but we couldn’t get past it because we didn’t have the traction so I knew something was wrong.

At what point did you realise the problem?
When we got to Finke. A few people told us they noticed a problem too so we used the stopover to try and identify the issue and fix it. We eventually found out the front diff was broken and we managed to fix it. It proved to be a major difference because we got back to Alice Springs 13 and half minutes quicker on a track that was more cut up, so that really affected our performance in Finke.

That’s a mighty effort. Was it a relief to finally get to the finish line?
It was a nice feeling mostly because we managed to win the class. It was a far better race on the way up. When I got to Finke, I was exhausted and I couldn’t work out why. I sat on the chair because it really took a lot out of me. Coming back with all-wheel drive was very refreshing. It was a different race altogether.

Is there anyone you would like to thank for your victory?
There are too many people to mention. Just everyone in general. Co-driver Dylan Watson and team manager Bernard. The pit crew, the Motorsport Australia officials and volunteers, really everyone who makes these events happen.

What about your plans in 2020?
Simple. We will race at every round in 2020 and we will be trying very hard to defend the title.