Crews excited for Rainbow return

The Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro has often been referred to as one of the wettest on the BFGoodrich Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) calendar.

Crews would have good reason to think so to, with the previous three editions of the Victorian race having been severely affected by heavy rainfall – the most recent in 2019 being shortened due to the degrading conditions.

However, with the grand return of the Rainbow Desert Enduro taking place in September as opposed to its traditional slot of August, event organisers are hopeful that date change will result in a dry weekend for the first time.

As for the crews themselves, there is a mixture of feelings towards the event with a number of crews having never raced there, while the more experienced campaigners are prepared for anything the weather gods throw at them.

Roydn Bailey is one experienced driver who has good memories at the event, especially that 2019 edition after a consistent performance earned him second place in the outright championship.

“I love going to Rainbow, which is nearly my local track” Bailey said.

“It’s so hard but we’ve had good results there. I love the place and I have a special spot for it in my heart.

“Back in 2019, there were so many problems across the weekend, but we managed to bring it home and get a great result.”

Photos: Show N Go Photography

Prolite leader Mel Brandle is also a big fan of the event, despite only having been on one occasion.

“We love Rainbow. We did that for the first time in 2017 in a SXS and had a lot of fun,” Brandle added.

“Unfortunately, the SXS didn’t hold up for future events and we missed the next couple of years, which was disappointing. So, we are so keen to get to Rainbow in the Prolite and am really looking forward to it.”

Of course, with the AORC having had a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, there are a few drivers who haven’t made it down – the most notable being the two championship contenders.

Both Jake Swinglehurst and Ryan Taylor require a big round next month and have both never been, basing their prep on other competitors’ experience.

“I know it’s really wet, but hopefully it’s not this year. I know it’s a fast track so we will prep the car accordingly and get ready for it,” Swinglehurst said.

Taylor on the other hand was more concerned about the ramifications of a disappointing result and knew he was running out of chances for a maiden title.

“We are going to have to just go for it this time,” Taylor explained.

“There are two rounds to go and we need to get as many points as we can, so we’re just going to have to prep it, turn up and go again.

“I have never been to Rainbow, so it’s another first for us. I’ve heard it’s a good fun track apparently and I’m going to like it, which is great.”

Like Taylor, KINCROME SXS Motorsport Australia Championship contender and first-time Rainbow attendee, James Cook believed a big result was important.

“It’s going to be a tight race to the finish line,” Cook added.

“Hopefully we get a good round at Rainbow. We will put our head down and stay consistent and bring it home.

“Haven’t been there yet, but I’ve heard from other competitors that it’s a quite fast and sandy track so hopefully we don’t have any drive-belt issues there, but who knows.

“It’s just the game of consistency and getting to the finish line.”

The 2022 Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro takes place in Rainbow, Victoria on 2-4 September.