Spizzo on the double in dramatic NSW tussle

Glenn Spizzo has claimed a dramatic victory in the second round of the 2021 Motorsport Australia New South Wales Off Road Championship after a stellar performance on the weekend.

With 40 crews taking part at the Jim Anderson 300 in Wittitrin, Saturday saw plenty of exciting action as Spizzo and navigator Doug Cupitt came away with the fastest time in the first section before being eventually awarded with the round victory.

Unlike the previous round in Dondingalong, Spizzo had far more work to do to get the win after starting the race in 10th.

Although he finished prologue in third place, a blown power steering line at the end of the session forced Spizzo to miss the top 10 shootout, relegating him to 10th on the start line.

Some last minute maintenance and assistance from fellow teams helped him get to the start in time and from there, Spizzo charged through the field, passing multiple crews to post a time of just over an hour.

The Pro-buggy driver’s efforts in that first section saw him post the fastest outright time, beating top 10 shootout winner Phil Lovett by one minute in the process, while Thomas Dixon finished just five seconds behind the SXS Turbo driver.

With the event then cancelled overnight due to the state’s COVID-19 restrictions that were put in place on Saturday evening, Lovett and co-driver Luke Stanley didn’t have the opportunity to chase Spizzo, settling for second place ahead of Dixon and Jessie McGrath and the SXS Turbo class win.

The win continues Spizzo’s newfound fortune in the 2021 championship and after not winning an event in more than six years, the 47-year-old has claimed top honours twice in a row for the first time in his career.

“To have won two in a row was certainly not expected but it’s a really nice feeling. I am really happy with how this year is going so far,” Spizzo said.

“To be honest, I am a bit disappointed that we didn’t get the full race because at the end of the day, I need more seat time, but I will still definitely take the win.

“I’ve had such bad luck over the past six years and then after round one, I thought it may be coming to an end, but then the power steering issues made me think I got ahead of myself. Luckily, there was great support around me and we were able to get back up and running.

“Once that first section began, I felt I was going pretty well because I was passing cars in front of me and lapping some of the backmarkers. I didn’t know that I had moved to third until I arrived at the pits and there were just two cars ahead.

“I was then told that I had actually gone fastest for the day and I was absolutely thrilled. Based on that, I was ready for a strong Sunday, but of course we didn’t get that far.

“It definitely sets me up for a proper attempt at the title this year, which I am excited for. A big thanks to my pit crew and the Scott Hydraulics guys who helped me fit the power steering in – without them, I wouldn’t have been able to get up and going.”

Other notable results saw the seventh placed Scott and Michelle McNeil as the fastest Prolite crews and Sportslite winner Anthony Abson edge out Super 1650 class winners Des Woods, Amber Towel and Chris Gloag in the outright top 10.

Further down the outright order, Jake and James Conomos took out the Sportsman class, Kevin Cant and Ethan Harris won the SXS Sport class, David and Robbie O’Grady won Extreme 4WD and Darren and Josh Blackburn won the Production 4WD class.

The next round of the Motorsport Australia NSW Off Road Championship is in Milbrodale on 31 July.

Photos: Gears and Wheels Photography