Media Releases 2009


Rockliff wins Latrobe

14 Dec 2009

Scott Rockliff has take out the final round of the Tassie season calendar at his local track at Latrobe on Saturday.

From a small field of 8 entries Rockliff won the sprint race convincingly which was made up of 6 timed heats of 8 laps each.

The oitright results were as follows (nb all classes were combined)
Scott Rockliff - 1st
Stuart McKenzie - 2nd
Steve Watkins & Byron Murfet - 3rd

Weather conditions were quite favourable especially for the good roll up of spectators present,although the wind caused the track to dry out and become quite dusty which kept the water truck busy all day.
A heavy watering after the 3rd heat made the track very slippery causing some unintentional, "coming together" across a number of competitors.

The only notable incident was Shane Marshall's roll over earlier in the day from which Shane managed to return to the track for later heats.

Between heats, spectators were treated to races run by the Tas Enduro Riders (4 wheelers) and in a different part of the Latrobe Complex a State Championship round was held by the North West Remote Control Car Club.

Full results and hopefully some pics coming soon to the site.


AORC Children’s Colouring & Activity Book - now on sale

12 Dec 2009

Please see email from Anthony Telfer from Sportzprint

Hi Off Road Racers,

With the success of AORC Merchandise & the Official Event and team merchandise, Sportzprint have decided to extend this to the first Australian Off Road Championship Children’s Colouring & Activity Book.
Enclosed in the book (see Attachment and printout) are 24 pages of fun for the children including the official event designs from Hyden, The Pines, Sunraysia & Goondiwindi. In addition there are team designs such as Australian Number 1 Shannon Rentsch, The Fellows/Kittle Team, Outerbounds Racing, Runamuk & Brad Prout to name just a few of the teams included.
There are also a number of activities – a Word Find, maze and join the dots activities.
My Children, have already had hours of fun colouring in there favourite teams and I’m sure your Children, Grand Children, nieces & nephews etc will get the same enjoyment.

These Books will be completed by the end of next week and will be ready for delivery just in time for Xmas.
Total price per book will be $8.80ea – this will include postage and handling.
To order these books please reply to this email and provide the following Information:
Phone #:
Qty of Books:

I will contact you next week to confirm your order and finalise payment.
Otherwise have a safe and Merry Xmas and see you all in the New Year.
Anthony Telfer
telephone: 03 5021 3044
facsimile: 03 5021 2699
mobile: 0419 359 618

McKenzie wins the Kellevie 300 for 2009

21 Sep 2009

Stewart McKenzie of Ulverstone has won the Kellevie 300 for 2009.

Recently returned from finishing his first ever attempt at a national round, McKenzie again proved the reliability of his single seat Pro Lite buggy after taking the win on the annual 2 day event in Kellevie last weekend.

McKenzie gained a 2 lap lead on the field by end of the 2nd heat on Day 1 and prologue winner Luke Whelan was unable to catch him through the course of Sunday's heats.

Luke who was leading the event in the early stages, suffered axle problems on Day 1, which he rectified overnight to restart on Sunday and managed 2nd outright by days end. Third outright went to Dean Maddock in the extreme 4WD Range Rover.

Top Gun Winner Darren Payne took over the lead from Luke Whelan in Heat One before he retired with a broken chassis along with a bad case of the flu.

Dale Newbon suffered a broken torsion bar early on but was able to come back on Sunday to finish 5th Outright.

James Jacobson, brother David & son Thomas all suffered gearbox problems in each of their cars as did Mike Males in his pro buggy who broke an output flange.

2009 K300 winner Stephen Watkins shared the drive of his Escort with Scott Rockliff until they retired with front end problems. The back end of Watkins car had been recently repaired for the race after his efforts at Millicent a few weeks ago.

Chris Wiggins in his Ex Terry Morice V6 twin seater was the best of the Rookies finishing 3rd in pro buggy class.
Terry Morice revelled in the power of his new Truggi powered by a 350 Chev until the transmission failed in Heat 2.

Nick Glover, another Rookie entry, bought the ex Micheal Bugg pro lite buggy and was 5th in class and 14th outright.

eddie lancer
Eddie Hellessey took out Most Spectacular award with his newly aquired Lancer from Sydney when he rolled it on the first corner in prologue in a two wheel stunt, trying to pass his mate Jason Woods.

It was new ground for Eddie (who usuallly navigates for Luke Whelan )in his first ever competitive drive and in a new car!

The track and the new bridge preparations stood up well, as did weather conditions over the weekend.
The event still threw up its challenges for drivers as they coped with cold wet creek crossings and a large number of entries (19) which pushed the track to its limits.

Although attrition was high at the close of day 1, overnight repairs saw 14 entries restart Sunday and 9 finishers.

Awards were:
Best Presented - Stephen Watkins
Navigator Award - Billy Whelan
Battlers Award - Wayne Campbell/Stuart O'Brien
Rookie Award - Chris Wiggins
Most Spectacular - Eddie Hellessey

Luke Whelan - prologue 3.36.27, Top Gun 2nd 1.46.26

Darren Payne - prologue 3.36.90, Top Gun 1st 1.46.10
Dale Newbon - prologue 3.46.90, Top Gun 3rd 1.49.45
Stewart McKenzie - prologue 3.52.96,
Mike Males - prologue 3.59.42
James Jacobson - 4.01.92
David Jacobson - 4.13.35
Terry Morrice - 4.20.51
Stephen Watkins - 4.20.57
Chris Wiggins - 4.21.39

Presentations were held at the track followed by 'The Feast' a sumptuous traditional roast meal & desserts.

Full results plus photo albums coming soon to site..

Media Release by: Cara Tatnell

Payne and McKenzie finish the Pines

6 Sep 2009

Darren Payne and Stewart McKenzie both of Ulverstone have today finished the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro.

Payne finished in 25th outright and 4th in Pro Lite class with Mckenzie not far behind with a 5th in Pro Lite Class and 33rd outright.

Darren said the conditions were extreme by the end of the day.

"for the first 2 laps the track was a like a highway", he said "but then it cut up rough once the field circulated it a few times and in the end the wheel ruts were huge - the biggest I've seen".

Heavy rain hit a few times through the race but it was the toward the end of day when Payne and McKenzie began their 5th lap that it "bucketed down" and visibility was very poor. Payne said numerous vehicles had offs and some of them in quite a spectacular fashion.

Darren circulated all day to complete the 6 x 65km laps and fixed a few small teething problems in the scheduled breaks.

McKenzie also circulated fairly consistently but had to make a few unscheduled stops which cost him time. At the start of Lap 5 a bent rim was preventing his wheel from turning properly and he had to stop and rectify the problem on the side of the track. Then when the heavy rains hit his visibility was so poor he made 1 or 2 stops into the pits to source goggles etc.

The guys were pleased with their efforts and can be satisfied that they have completed this long, tough race under very difficult conditions.

Stephen Watkins Escort started the race this morning as planned with Byron again at the wheel, but during the first lap they broke a rear suspension bar which saw them retire.

Well done to all the Tasmnanian crews, most of whom will return home on Tuesdsay morning via the Spirit of Tas.

Media Release By: Cara Tatnell


Rockliff retires from the Pines..

5 Sep 2009

Scott Rockliff completed the 6km prologue at the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro today in a time of 4:21:99 coming in 9th and landing him a place in the coveted Top Ten Shootout. In the shoot out, Scott bettered his position to 8th, but the seemingly satisfying result on paper masked an unfortunate reality.
Scott told us that at about the 3/4 mark of the 6km shoot out run he suffered a sudden loss of power which was infact a race ending "hole in one of the pistons". Scott will not start the race tomorrow.

The prologue was won today by Shannon Rentsch in a time of 4:01:18. Shannon went on to win the Top Ten Shootout and retain his lead and protect his pole position for Sunday's race.

Darren Payne's trouble free run in the Pro Lite class saw him score 4th in class in a time of 4:58:58.
Stewart McKenzie was 6th in class in a time 5:04:51.
Payne was then required to run in the 'Dash For Cash' which is for the first four placegetters in each class (excluding the Top Ten). Darren was not able to better his 4th position and conceded that the size difference between his car and others in his class was illustrated when he sat on the start line with 3 large Jimco's and his car barely came up to the top of the wheels of the Jimco's!

Byron Murfett took the wheel today of Stephen Watkins 2 litre Ford Escort and managed 4th in class in the prologue amongst the Performance 2WD's, in a time of 5:26:86.
In the 'Dash For Cash' he retained 4th position which was a top effort when one looks at the three placegetters before the Escort which were all BIG UTES sporting V8 5800 litre engines!
Speaking by SMS with the crew just now they said the car is ready to go for tomorrow morning on what will be a "fast track" with "lots of big cars going past a small Escort". Hang on to ya helmet Briony, I think you are in for a wild ride!

A great effort all round by the Tasmanian entries, albeit dissapointing for Scott & crew following such an excellent quailifying result.

The event kicks off Sunday morning with the first car away at 0830am on the first of 6 laps of 65km.
Tune into for live commentary and results.

Media Release By: Cara Tatnell



Strait to the Pines

3 Sep 2009

When the Spirit of Tasmania set sail last night for its overnight crossing to Melbourne, on board was the largest contingent of Tasmanian entries to an AORC round in decades.

With 4 entries comprising 6 competitors and dozens of crew it will be the biggest roll up of Tasmanians since the 1980’s , when it was commonplace for a dozen entries and umpteen hangers on to set up camp at national events , complete with huge Tassie Devil banners ablaze.

All hailing from the North West Coast of the state, Rockliff, Watkins, Payne and McKenzie will join a huge entry field of over 80 cars in the Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro which is the 4th round of the AORC for 2009.

Scott Rockliff is the most recent Tasmanian to compete in an AORC round, when he made his 2nd attempt at the Finke Desert Race in June. After qualifying 12th, turbo and engine problems saw him only reach the half way mark of the epic race. A few months on, Scott has rebuilt the 2 litre Subaru WRX engine and turbo on his single seat Pro Buggy and is keen to blast through the pine forests of the Millicent track for the first time.
Stephen Watkins will be unleashing his 2 litre fuel injected Ford Escort on the Performance 2WD class and for Stephen it is not only his first time at this event but also as a driver at a national event. As the 2008 Tasmanian Off Road Champion, he is no stranger to competition. Neither is Ulverstone’s Byron Murfett who will take a break from his own work in progress (a US import CORR Truck)to co drive with Watkins this weekend.

Darren Payne is counting on the same reliability his unique Pro Lite buggy proved to its critics at his Finke debut in 2007 when he won Sportsman class & came 23rd outright.

His self engineered car is chain driven and powered by a 1300cc Hyabusa Suzuki motorbike engine. Payne has not raced at the Pines before and is keen to see what the little gem can do at this popular event.

Ulverstone’s Stewart McKenzie is nervous and excited to try his hand at his first event outside of Tasmania, in his single seat Pro Lite buggy powered by a 2 litre Nissan SR20.
A four time winner of the arduous Tas Sand Enduro, McKenzie and his car are known for being quick and above all reliable.

Many Tasmanians will join off road enthusiasts around the country in following the coverage and results on this weekend.

Flash Flood takes the Kellevie Bridges

29 June 2009

Recent flash flooding at the Kellevie track have wiped out both bridges.
Organisers say the Kellevie 300 is now in jeopardy as they cannot run unless the bridges are restored.

They will endeavour to replace them in time but this will require full support from all members to help with the rebuild, repair and clean up. The first working bee is set for Sunday 19th July.

The Mexican Bridge was washed down stream about 100 metres. It is still in one piece which can be retrieved and put back in place, with the help of a large bulldozer.

The Springy Bridge is no where to be seen and will have to be totally replaced.
The club is now looking for a 40 ft container base or a rail cart or something that can be used for this bridge.

Anyone who can assist with the repair or has ideas or contacts to source the replacement bridge, please contact Ian or Karen Whelan.

Please see pics below of the damage and stay tuned for updates on progress.


Site of the Mexican Bridge

springy bridge

Site of the Springy Bridge

The Hay boys have been at it again..

20 June 2009

Peter Hay recently holidayed in Mackay where his son Grant lives. Grant sent us these pics and says they were going to make a last minute drive to the Finke Desert Race ( some 2300km one way trip from Dysart) but then the weather broke and they decided to go fishing instead. These photos were a result of 4 days fishing in Grants boat in which they covered 300 kms around a few different spots to haul in this catch.


Grant Hay with a
Spanish Mackrel 10.5kg


Pete with a Giant Trevally


Pete with a 12.5kg Cobia

There and Back .. almost

17 June 2006
By: Cara Tatnell


Scott Rockliff is half way there in his quest to finish the allusive Finke Desert Race completing Leg One, some 226 kms through the Simpson Desert to reach Finke in 20th Outright. But this year turbo failure would deprive him of an attempt at the return leg.

He has made the return leg home to Tassie though and I spoke to him recently to get the low down.

It was smooth sailing from Devonport on the Monday night and straight into a non stop 2700 km road journey to arrive in Alice by the Wednesday morning.
Fully prepped and ready for the race the crew spent the next 2.5 days days doing some track recons in the cruiser, walking the prologue and even a spot of golf to help pass the time!

Rolling the car out of the trailer on the Friday to dust it off prior to scrutineering, an electrical lurgi would rear its head in what seemed to be bad contacts in the starter motor.
The problem was still not completely resolved for the prologue and may have been related to why the fans failed to work, which caused the motor to run hot and even cut all power briefly on the 2nd last corner.
In what must have seemed like an eternity, Scott said that when the motor died for that 2 or 3 seconds he thought “she’s all over” .. but suddenly the motor powered on again allowing Rockliff to complete the prologue in 12th position, which ironically is the exact same position he achieved in 2007.

That afternoon they replaced two contacts, the start relay and the start button and the electrical problem was history and all that was left to do was get a good nights sleep ready for an early start.

Race day dawned and the 70 odd cars left the start line and began to carve their way through the red desert.

For Rockliff things were going to plan nicely. “The car was going great and I was purposely holding back slightly in an effort to make no mistakes and stay on track."

Scott recalls that Runamuck Racing’s Buddy Crowe caught and passed him at the 30 km mark, but another 5 kms on Scott would pass Buddy who had rolled when he misjudged a kink in a fast section of the track.

Rockliff pushed on, enjoying the smoothness and speed of the gravel road section known as “the road” between Deep Well and Rodinga. It was after this at the 110 km mark that the turbo went and so did most of his horsepower!
Scott went a few more kms then pulled up to check that the intercooler pipes etc were all still connected. With nothing visibly wrong, he jumped back in the car and continued on.

It was at this point he noticed “a heap of black smoke coming from nowhere in the middle of the desert."
Another 5 kms up the track Scott came across the cause of the smoke, a buggy on the side of the road burning to the ground.. not something you see everyday!
“At that point I couldn’t tell whose car it was...later I would learn it was Brad Prouts” he said.

Turboless but at least not incinerating on the side of the road , Scotty pushed the Rocka A Arm on toward Finke. The splits on the stage times told those of us watching on the internet that something was slowing him down.
With over half his horsepower gone the Subaru was struggling big time and Scott was surprised more cars didn’t catch him. “she struggled for power in the soft stuff and on the fast stuff I could barely pull 4th gear, but in the real bad whoops the car handled pretty well and I could keep a reasonable speed”.

That “reasonable speed" and moreover the fact he kept on going is how he ended up arriving into Finke in 20th outright and 10th in class.

For the next 4 hours he and his Finke ground crew worked on the car and tried to bypass the turbo and make a naturally aspirated motor. At one point there was every intention to race the return leg with a fully bypassed turbo.

Following a brief test drive though, Scott said further complications with the actual motor became apparent. “With only a standard computer you can’t change the timing and after a test drive it started getting hot quickly, it developed a slight rattle and had low oil pressure”

From that point the decision to withdraw became obvious.
Embarking upon a tough 226 km journey through the desert with no turbo was feasible but then throw in the fact that the motor was getting hot, it was rattling and had low oil pressure, the risk was too great.

The car went in the trailer and Scott and the guys headed back into the desert that Sunday night on the 6 odd hour journey by road to Alice.
Thankfully the crew had packed some cold VB tinnies in the cruiser which helped to drown the big fellas sorrows on the way back. ( bottleshops are few and far between !!)

So ‘there and back’ he did go, but not exactly in the mode of transport of his choice, but at least he had now seen this place they call ‘the finke’ and he tells us he will be heading back there in 2010.


Scott Rockliff 12th ouright in Finke Prologue

6 June 2009

Scott Rockliff has completed the FDR prologue in a time of 5.07.58 this morning, earning him 12th position outright and 10th in class.

Speaking with Scott just now by phone he is pleased with the result although the car is experiencing a small electrical problem that they need to sort out before the race tomorrow.

A faulty relay may be the reason why the car would not start off the push button start this morning and then during the prologue the fans failed to work, causing slight overheating.
Scott also said toward the end of the run the car lost power momentarily then came back online again. They suspect this is also related to the faulty relay issue and will replace the relay with a new one today and are confident this will alleviate the problem.

Scott said conditions were good.. not dusty and not too wet despite some rain last night.

Red Centre NT - here comes our ROCK !

31 May 2009

Sassafras - Alice Springs - Finke - Alice is the travel itinerary Scott Rockliff is hoping for this week as he embarks upon his 2nd attempt at the gruelling Finke Desert Race in the Northern Territory.

Rockliff made his Finke debut in 2007 and prologued in 12th position but his race was short lived when he misjudged a corner and hit a small tree half way through the first stage. The hit cost him dearly when a broken tie rod forced him to retire from the race.

Two years on and after some major modifications Scott is keen to take a second crack at the event and believes the car is far more capable this time around. Over the past 12 months Scott's self built Rocka A Arm car has gained an Albins 6 speed gear box; midbored hubs; 934 cv’s; more suspension travel on rear and an extra fuel tank
for the 224km run to Finke. The engine is now a rear mount and the whole car is better balanced.

Scott says his ultimate goal is to finish - "there and back" as the slogan says and this is no small feat in a race where many try to do just that each year, but fail.

Scott will not be short of manpower to help him in his quest as he is joined by 6 crew members on the trip to the Red Centre. Scott and his crew leave Devonport aboard the Spirit of Tasmania on Monday evening 1 June and will drive non stop to arrive in Alice by Wednesday night.
We will keep you posted on the teams progress throughout the week and dont forget the race results will be posted over the weekeend on the Finke Desert Race website.

The final entry list is not yet released but according to the Finke site it is coming soon. Check out the site for the calendar of events not to mention a very colourful photo shoot of the 2009 Grid Girls!



McKenzie wins Kempton..

19 May 2009

Ulverstone's Stewart McKenzie has won the 'Huntington Tavern Wilderness Off Road Dash' held near Kempton on Saturday. The rest of the results are still provisional and will be released as soon as possible.

Organisers said the first time event went off with a bang - literally, as it was complete with fireworks!
Heavy rain on Friday threatened to upset the events maiden voyage, but it had almost cleared by Saturday and apart from a small shower in the first heat race conditions were good ( albeit COLD but nothing a good coat and the firepot couldnt fix)
Naturally it was slippery at first but then the track cut in and by all reports made for a good circuit that was challenging but fun to drive.

Organisers are pleased to announce they have secured the major sponsor again for next year and the event will be be calendered for 2010 with alot more entries anticipated.

Photos coming soon to site and a DVD is being produced.

Press Release by: Red Grand Management
4 May 2009

Tim comes up trumps in Targa Tas

Tassie off road veteran Tim Bresnehan is more at home on dirt or sand but last week he conquered the ‘black stuff’ when he competed in his first ever tarmac rally - Targa Tasmania.

At 65 years of age the Hadspen grandfather came out of motorsport retirement to contest the gruelling 6 day event that is classed as Australia’s ultimate tarmac rally.

Tim says Targa was always an event he wanted to do, but hadn’t got round to. Twelve months ago he pulled the dust covers off his 1977 Porsche 924 and made it race ready for the Late Classic category for Targa 09.

Teaming up with his son Jason as navigator it was a rookie effort all round, with Tim a first time tarmac rally competitor, Jason a first time rally navigator and the 924 had never been raced.

The rookies soon found their rhythm and got through the Northern legs with ease.
In the wet and wild conditions of the West Coast the Porsche proved nimble and Tim drove exceptionally well to gain some positions over the competition.

In summary the team took a standard , 2 litre , 4 cylinder, normally aspirated Porsche as close to the edge as anyone has possibly ever taken this model.

Over 6 long days, across 39 stages covering 1890 kms they achieved every trophy time to secure their Targa Plate along with winning their Class (SSA) and Category (6).

Tim & Jason said their achievment would not have been possible without the support of their crew - Hayden Tatnell (Tims son in-law)and close friend Hedley Williams as pit crew, aswell as the wives Cheryl & Alison Bresnehan.

The team have apparently caught the ‘Targa bug’ and plans are underway for Targa 2010!

Nb. Tim is a life member of TORCC; chief scrutineer at St Helens; raced off road from 1981–1995 and is also Cara’s dad. Hayden who pit crewed for Tim during Targa said he was humbled by Tims effort.


Jason & Tim celebrate at the finish line.

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