Media & Press Releases 2012

Visser Takes Out Last Round

20 December 2012

Rod Visser has taken outright honours in the final round of the Tasmanian Off Road Racing Series held at Latrobe last Saturday.


After a faultless run in challenging conditions the Victorian team came out on top after six heats of fantastic racing. The American built single seat Alumicraft, powered by a Suzuki Hayabusa bike engine, quickly came to grips with the short course circuit with Visser the only competitor to complete the full 48 laps.

Event organisers awoke Saturday morning to their worst nightmare, heavy rain, dark skies and a track under water. Determined to get the show on the road, the North West Offroad Club set about sourcing machinery to drain the flooded sections and by start time things were looking more like a race track.

The first heat started in semi dry conditions; with the sun shining and a full field of fifteen cars on the start line when the race went green.


With the starting positions being drawn from a hat, several of the favoured drivers found themselves a little further away from the start line than usual and faced with some challenges to work their way through the field. Dale Newbon took the early race lead in his Subaru Pro Buggy and set a blistering pace at the front.

As the heats continued so did the attrition, Byron Murfet's frustration continued after good start to the event, but engine dramas eventually sidelining the Titan Corr truck.


Brad Rockliff and Newbon exchanged wheels in the second heat relegating both cars to the pits with too much damage to repair; Mike Males had an exciting ride when a tie rod broke burying him deep in a track drain.


At the end of six 8 lap heats it was the Pro-Lite of Visser first, followed by Scott Rockliff second outright and Luke and Billy Whelan in their Pro Buggy third.


Second in Pro-Lite was taken out by Jack Radcliffe in his Verco Hornet followed home by Chris Branch and Lisa Stalker.

The lone super 1650 of Adrian and Mel Lowry performed well all day securing them 4th outright and first in class.

Go to the "Photo Gallery" and follow the links to check out some more pics from the day.

Story and photos by Michael Donohoe

Visser Returns

11 December 2012

Victorian Rod Visser will make his second appearance on Tasmanian soil this weekend in the final round of the Tasmanian State Series to be held at Latrobe on Saturday.

Visser has left his American built Alumicraft in the hands of Darren Payne after the St Helens event and will be returning this weekend to tackle the 2.6km short course of Latrobe.

visser st helens 2012

The Alumicraft was imported into the country early this year from the US and has posted some impressive results in its first year; a first outright at the ARB Highlands 150 and earlier in June fourteenth outright in the Tattersalls Finke Desert race. The Alumicraft is an impressive machine, built to an exceptional standard and powered by a Gen ll Hayabusa engine.

The last round of the Tasmanian offroad season has attracted a top quality field of cars including series leader Darren Payne, Pro Buggy contenders Scott Rockliff, Mike Males and Luke Whelan from Hobart.


Byron Murfet will sure to be a crowd pleaser in his Extreme 2WD Titan Truck fresh from the dyno with a new engine and keen to take on the buggies at his home track.

As well as offroad racing, the Tas Enduro Club will be running a full field of quads in what is always exciting racing.

Racing gets underway at 10.00 am, spectator admission is free and the NWORCC will have full canteen facilities trackside.

Story and photos by Michael Donohoe

One Round Left to Run for 2012

27 November 2012

The Tasmanian Off Road Racing season is drawing to an end for 2012, but not before the final shootout to be held on the 15th of December at the home of the North West Off Road Car Club - the Latrobe Speedway Complex.

The Latrobe short course circuit as always will generate spectacular racing around the 2.6km track and with the inclusion of the Tasmanian Enduro Club quad's to the program spectators are in for an action packed program.


The flag is set to drop at 10.00 am for the first race and heats will continue on during the day swapping between the off road cars and the quads.

Already a good field of cars have entered and as always the quads will be out in force turning on a show.

The NWORCC will have the canteen fully stocked for the day with hot food and cold drinks; spectators will be well catered for with great viewing and free entry.

Off Road enquiries: Scott Rockliff 0418143970

Quad enquiries: Tiny 0409102555.

ARB Australian Off Road Series

19 November 2012


The newly formed "ARB Australian Off Road Racing Series" invites you to be a part of their 2013 racing calendar.

Four great events have aligned to provide off road racing competitors Australia wide a professionally organised series that promises to deliver enjoyable and affordable off road racing competition.

The events that are organising and promoting this great new series are as follows:
Sea Lake 8th – 9th June
Griffith 13th – 14th July
Goondiwindi 10th – 11th August
Millicent 7th – 8th September

The series will offer competitive racing at four of Australia's premier long course off road venues while providing affordable and fair racing for all vehicle classes.

ARB 4x4 Accessories are proud to be the series naming rights sponsor and together with the event organisers anticipate that this new venture will be successful and enjoyable for all off road competitors.

For further information


Tatnell Takes Iconic 40th Anniversary Tas Sand Enduro

6 November 2012

Hayden Tatnell has added another outright win to his already impressive seven Tas Sand Enduro trophies, taking out last weekend's 40th Anniversary event at St Helens.

Tatnell's LS1 Chev Bat performed faultlessly all weekend in its first appearance on Tassie sand since being imported from South Africa.

Saturday saw fourteen starters greet the green flag in ideal racing conditions; slightly overcast keeping temperatures down and the tide set right for plenty of flat beach. Right from the start the pace set by the first four cars was impressive with lap times in the high 2 minute 40's for a trip around the 5.5 kilometer Peron Dunes circuit.


Scott Rockliff led the way in his 2 litre turbo Subaru Pro Buggy – as always entertaining spectators with his "airtime" off the famous "Timing Trailer" jump. Rockliff would lead day 1 with Hayden Tatnell sitting in second spot 38 seconds off the lead.

Luke and Billy Whelan's day came to an early end in Heat 1 after settling into third position; the V8 Pro Buggy broke a drive shaft sidelining it for the event.

The Pro Lite guys were next on the time sheets. Darren Payne leading the way finishing day 1 in third out right and leading the class.

Rod Visser and Stew McKenzie had been swapping positions and running wheel to wheel for most of the first heat until disaster struck for McKenzie, losing drive in his SR20 powered Pro Lite. Visser's Hayabusa powered Alumicraft continued to come to grips with the Tasmanian sand and finished the second heat in fourth outright, however losing several laps with fuel supply problems late in the heat.


Brad Rockliff was next on the leader's board, settling into his recently purchased Hunter Rivmasta and his return to offroad racing.

Chris Boon had frustrating electrical problems in Heat 2 and was able to rectify them overnight and restart heat three on Sunday.

Mike and Sophie Males day didn't start according to plan with steering problems on lap 1, the team was able to repair this quickly and return the Malco Pro Buggy to the race ending Day 1 in seventh.


Jack and Emily Radcliffe were having a good day at the office, circulating well and began Sundays racing in eighth position.

Day 2 started in different conditions for drivers with light rain falling and a sea mist covering the beach run, but by mid heat the skies cleared and the sun appeared for the remainder of the day.

As he did Saturday, Rockliff set the pace at the front of the field until mid heat when the Subaru engine lost oil pressure and was sidelined for the remainder of the event. Tatnell now moving up a position had control of the race and a three lap lead over the rest of the field.

Rod Visser, who was holding third outright, had been battling the fellow Hayabusa powered component of Chris Boon until the Alumicraft suffered drive line problems and Visser was forced to retire.

The spectacular GU Patrol of Darren Bott was impressing the spectators and the time sheets for the weekend but the Class 8 machine was sidelined with fuel pump issues in Heat 5.

Mike Males came frustratingly close to the checkered flag; the gearbox had had enough by the halfway point of the last heat, ending his race.

By the end of the day, it was Tatnell first, Darren Payne and Kerri Wallace second, Brad Rockliff in third, Rod Visser fourth and Mike and Sophie Males home in fifth.


The 40th Anniversary Tasmanian Sand Enduro was a fantastic event and there are heaps of photos to check out in the photo gallery.

Tim Holmes Productions has lots of exciting footage from his collection of Go-Pro's he had strapped to cars. Stay tuned for their release.

Story and photos by:

40 Years of St Helens

29 October 2012

St Helens 2012 Stubby holder

This weekend Tasmanian Off Road Racing will drop the flag on the longest continual running event held in Australia

"The North West Off Road 40th Anniversary Tasmanian Sand Enduro".

The iconic two day event hosted by the Tasmanian Off road Car club will this year be proudly sponsored by Spreyton based four wheel drive specialist North West Off Road.


The weekend will kick off dockside in St Helens Friday night with scruintennering starting at 6.30pm. The cars and crews will remain on the wharf area on display and will give the St Helens community an opportunity to see the cars first hand and talk to the competitors and officials.

The guys from North West Offroad will also be there getting racing underway early with the running of the "King of the Dunes Play Station Challenge". If nothing else it will give drivers bragging rights to claim the first trophy of the weekend before the flag drops midday Saturday for the first of five 100km heats.

st helens group

This year's enduro is also round five of the State Series and with only one more round to go every point counts at this stage of the series. Current points leader Darren Payne lines up this weekend with five outright sand enduro wins to his name and fresh from an outright win at the last round at the Kellevie 300 he starts as one of the favourites for this year's race.

Second in the series is Scott Rockliff and with four previous enduro wins, Rockliff will be focussed on reigning in on Payne's points advantage and adding another win to his CV.


This weekend will also see the return of Hayden Tatnell to the sand and the first outing of his LSI Chev powered Bat Pro Buggy in Tasmania. Tatnell has seven outright wins next to his name, a fantastic achievement and a number that Hayden wants to add one more to this weekend.



Plenty of interstate drivers have travelled Bass Strait over the 40 year history of the event to claim the silverware - with many succeeding, including the 2011 winners Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells. This year it's Rod Visser from Melbourne stepping up to plate in his Pro –Lite Alumicraft taking on the Tasmanians. Visser, a local of the famous Portland Dunes, comes with plenty of sand experience and all the right equipment to snatch a win.

The 2012 Enduro will see many of the regulars in the state series line up and the return of many drivers not seen in recent years attracted back to the milestone event.

Mike Males lines up for his 32nd event start, Stew Mckenzie, a previous four time winner, is making his return this year and is busy prepping his Pro-Lite machine hoping to grab another win.


Brad Rockliff makes his return to the sport after 10 years on the sidelines, recently purchasing the ex-Michael Donohoe Hunter Rivmasta Pro-Lite.

The father and son team of Adrian and Geoff Lowry will hit the dunes again after a long absence in the recently purchased super 1650 buggy previously campaigned by Chris Bramich.

Heat one of the event will start at 11.30 am Saturday followed by heat two at 1.30. Sunday will see the race continue with three more 100km heats with the flag dropping at 10.00am for the start of the heat three.


Along with the dockside display on Friday night the TORCC will also be holding formal presentations at the St Helens RSL club Sunday night starting at 6.30pm. A full canteen will be available all weekend in the dunes and event merchandise will also be for sale.

Anyone needing event information or that cannot make scrutineering Friday night please contact Chris Shepard 0409 132 040.

To keep up to date over the weekend with all the news and race results log onto or follow us on Facebook.

Written by Michael Donohoe - Offroadracing Tasmania

RSVP's for St Helens Tas Sand 2012

24 October 2012

EARLY BIRD ENTRY's close this Friday 26th Oct. If your entry wont make the post by then just let Chris Know by phone 0409 132 040.earlybird.jpg

SCRUTINEERING - Remember Scrutineerring is this year at the St Helens Wharf from 0630pm on Friday night.
Officials can sign on for the event and get your passes. You can buy event merchandise and pick up pre orders.

SATURDAY NIGHT GATHERING - is an informal gathering with a marquee and outdoor firepot starting at 7pm at the CAR PARK at Peron Dunes.
Enjoy some alcoholic drinks and some nibbles courtesy of TORCC.
This function is for ALL officials and competitors and their family and friends. We are raising our glasses because its the 40th Anniversary and also as a thankyou to officials & helpers.
If you intend to come to this PLEASE RSVP to Chris by email or by text on  0409 132 040

SUNDAY NIGHT PRESENTATION DINNER - is at St Helens at RSL at 6.30pm ALL WELCOME.  Come for a counter meal (order & Pay at counter from the ala carte)or just pop in for a drink at the bar. Please email your RSVP's to Cara at or text to 0448 261 116. 

EVENT MERCHANDISE - If you would like any merchandise ( tshirts or stubby holders see previous article for pics and details) then PLEASE PRE ORDER with Chris. ( no money upfront)
There will only be limited stock at the event for sale on spec so order now if you want to ensure it is at event for you. Collect orders Friday night at scrutineering. Deadline for orders is this Friday 26th Oct text or email Chris.



Hot From the Printers

11 October 2012

Sportzprint have done a fantastic job of designing the "must have" commemorative merchandise for this years 40th anniversary Sand Enduro

Orders are being taken now for any of the clothing as only limited sizes will be available for purchase at the event (pre payment is not necessary)

POLO SHIRTS - $30.00

Adult unisex sizes available in:  XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL

Colours:  Black or White

 ST Helens 2012 Polo



Unisex Adult fit sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL

(please note these a generous fit so they advise in ordering down a size)

Colours: Black or White

St Helens 2012 Tee



Available in Childrens Sizes: 2 through to 14

These are a generous fit so it recommended that a size smaller is ordered

Colours: Black or White

St Helens 2012 Tee



(On Sale at the Event)

St Helens 2012 Stubby holder

Please note that only limited sizes will be available at the event SO if you would like any shirts then please email your order through to Chris Shepherd at or text Chris on 0409 132 040.



Countdown to the 40th Tas Sand Enduro as Major Sponsor is Announced

1 October 2012


The organisers of the Tas Sand Enduro are excited to announce the naming rights sponsor for their 40th anniversary event is - North West Off Road.

The Spreyton based 4WD Accessory specialist has sponsored the event in previous years and was eager to be a part of this milestone event. Owner, Pete Holman said " having a close involvement with the sport of offroad we were only too happy to help promote the event again this year especially seeing it is the 40th anniversary" .

Event organiser Chris Shepheard said event planning is well underway and there has been great interest from sponsors & competitors alike.

Including Hayden Tatnell in a Spec 1 single seater BAT which is powered by a Chev LS1 V8. This unique carbon fibre masterpiece was built in South Africa and this is the first time it will be raced in Tasmania.


Other notable contenders for the 40th anniversary title are past event winners Scott Rockliff and Darren Payne from the North West Coast. Scott & Darren have recently returned from the 3 rd Round of the Australian Championship the ARB Teagle excavations Pines Enduro where Rockliff finished 6th outright and Payne 14th.

Chris Boon from Spreyton will be trying out his new self built single seater powered by a Suzuki Hayabusa 13400cc motor.

Supp regs and entry form are being posted out so watch your mail box, but they are also available on the website under the event name on the calendar or you can click on the links.

The event promises loads of extra this year Chris said, including a revamped TV commercial on Southern Cross; promotional merchandise for sale pre and post event; Scrutineering on Friday night at the St Helens foreshore where the public can view the cars close up; a marquee style party at the dunes Saturday night and a huge Presentation Dinner Sunday night at the St Helens RSL.

The event T shirt, design by Sportzprint, will be available for viewing on the website next week and Chris will take any pre orders so we can guarantee your size and colour to be available at the event.

Written by Cara Tatnell

Payne Takes Out 2012 ARB Kellevie 300

17 September 2012

Southern Tasmania turned on some fantastic weather conditions for this year's race, with no sign of rain and very little the week before, drivers were swapping mud goggles for dust visors - unheard of for this time of year at Kellevie.

On arrival it was apparent The Southern Off Road Racing Association had been hard at work, with the off-road park in great condition. Right up until the drop of the flag the dozer and roller were still hard at work on the track preparing one of the fastest tracks seen in the twenty years of Kellevie.

Prologue was the battle expected with Scott Rockliff, Darren Payne and Luke Whelan topping the time sheets. Positions swapped around in the shoot out which was timed on the second prologue lap. Starting order would be Rockliff, Payne, Whelan, McKenzie and Donohoe rounding out the top five.


Right from the first corner it become very clear that the Kellevie 300 had somehow become a sprint race judging by the pace set by the lead vehicles. Scott Rockliff's Pro Buggy led the way from the start line with the Pro-Lite of Payne swallowing his dust. Luke Whelan sat behind Payne followed by the Pro-Lites of McKenzie and Donohoe. Mid heat Donohoe was the first to fall with electrical dramas, followed several laps later by Rockliff with a broken rear arm relegating the lead to Payne. Rockliff and crew were able to repair the arm overnight and would reappear on the start line for Sunday but would be starting two laps down on the race leader.

Day two saw no change in the weather but the front row had changed with Whelan stepping up alongside Payne on the start line of section two. When the lights went green it was the V6 Pro-Lite of Payne leading the way from the V8 Mopar powered Whelan Pro Buggy. Rockliff, starting from the rear of the grid was pushing hard and quickly settled into third position.

Whelan lost valuable track position four laps in with a rear flat, but a quick change by his crew kept him on the lead lap and still in the fight with Payne. Rockliff's run to the front was starting to slow with a quick trip into the pits with brake issues and then several laps later terminal clutch problems saw an end to his race.


Chris Boon had also recovered well from the previous day's damage, when the Pro-Lite Buggy had an altercation with the Mexican bridge damaging a lower A Arm, Tiny managed to finish the section third on the road but still seven laps away from the lead.

Stewart McKenzie and Andrew Bellinger's day also came to end with a gearbox failure mid section - disappointing for McKenzie in his first appearance for the year.

Nige Nugawela's consistent run in the Performance 2WD Datsun coupe struck dramas with a broken axle rendering the car to three wheels and a return to the pits via recovery.

At the start of the third section the tough track conditions were starting to show, the holes were deeper, dust thicker and the rocks were growing. Attrition on the field was starting to grow also, with several cars not leaving the pits. As the section began it was Payne once again leading the way from Whelan, Males, Boon and Campbell. At this stage Whelan had had enough of Payne's dust and set upon taking command and with some spectacular driving, was applying the blow torch to the rear of the Pro-Lite Buggy, until disaster struck with the failure of a rear arm, ending Whelan's run.


Mike Males was having a good run in his Subaru powered Pro Buggy and had elevated himself to second outright by the end of this section.

Wayne Campbell struck CV problems but was able to change mid race and continue to the flag however dropping several laps.

Dean Maddock was travelling well in his Performance 4WD. After suffering brake issues early in the event and nursing a deteriorating gearbox the "Rangie" finished fourth on the road for section three.

Chris Branch's Pro-Lite had succumbed to rear suspension dramas mid heat which he was able to repair during the break and greet the green flag for section four.


Steve Watkins day also came to end, his 2WD Escort parting company with the complete rear diff assembly wheels and all! Unable to be repaired the car was relegated to the trailer.

Section four was all Payne from the start and once again the reliability of his Pro-Lite Buggy shone above the rest and greeted the chequered flag first on the road and first outright for the event. This would be Payne's seventh outright win in the twenty year history of the Kellevie 300. Second outright went to Wayne Campbell sharing the drive with Stuart O'Brien. Third outright and second Pro-Lite trophies were collected by Chris (Tiny) Boon in his brand new Hayabusa powered buggy - a great result for its' first outing.

After a frustrating start to the weekend, once again the reliability of the #886 Rangie of Dean Maddock grabbed a well deserved first in class and fourth outright.

Mike Males, making his twentieth start in this event, only narrowly missed the chequered flag with a gearbox failing in the last section but still managed to complete enough laps to grab fifth outright and second in class.

Chris Branch, unlucky not to greet the chequered flag after breaking a top arm two laps from the finish, was still able to claim third in Pro-Lite and sixth outright.

The next round of Tasmanian Off Road Series will be another milestone for Tasmania, with the running of the longest continuous off road race in Australia - "The North West Off Road 40th Anniversary Tasmanian Sand Enduro" to be held over the weekend of November 3 and 4.

Story and photos by:


20 Years in the Making - 2012 ARB Kellevie 300

12 September 2012

This weekend Tasmania will line up for the twentieth time to run the ARB Hobart Kellevie 300. The event as always is being hosted by the Southern Off Road Racing Association. The off road park is situated in bushland at Kellevie, a small community on the Tasman Highway north east of Hobart just outside of the township of Copping. Racing starts at 10.00am Saturday with prologue, followed by the first 12 lap heat of the weekend at noon with three more heats of 12 laps on Sunday.

arb hobart logo

Entries are still rolling in and to date there are 15 confirmed starters with a good mix of classes covered.

Leading the charge will be Scott Rockliff and Darren Payne, both returning from successful outings last weekend at Round Three of the Australian Championship in Millicent. The cars have been freighted back to Tassie and the crews are now busy servicing and prepping ready for this weekend. With both drivers sharing equal outright series points at this stage of the championship it will be a head to head battle at the front of the field.


Luke and Ian Whelan have made the most of the last couple months - after the gearbox failure at Kempton it was decided "It's time to fix this properly". The solution was found in a Fortin 4 speed sequential gearbox as used in the TORC series in the States and the task was then to mate it up to the V8 Mopar engine. The diff has also been strengthened – Ian commenting "We have fitted the strongest 9 inch gears available if we break these we're in trouble!"

Luke will behind the wheel of the teams Pro Buggy with one mission – to be the first winner of Kellevie 300 from the Southern Off Road Racing Association.

This event will also see the debut of Chris (Tiny) Boon's new Hayabusa powered Pro-Lite buggy. Tiny is eager to get amongst front runners to measure the performance of his new machine.

Stewart McKenzie will also make a return to the series bringing out his Pro-Lite buggy from semi-retirement. McKenzie is keen to grab his fourth outright win at this event.

stewto promote cw

Performance 2WD will see the two 2 litre cars from the North West Coast piloted by Steve Watkins and Nigel Nugawela head south to once again do battle around the gruelling track.


SORRA has an action packed weekend planned for spectators with not only Off Road racing on the menu but a 4WD ramp comp, mud run and show and shine all being run by the No Limits 4WD Club.  Saturday night will see a "times and tucka" function held trackside, this is a great opportunity for competitors and officials to get together around the huge fire place for some good old fashioned "bench racing". As always SORRA will have a full canteen running all weekend serving great food and hot coffee.

Tiny's New Toy

10 September 2012

After 12 months build time Chris (Tiny) Boon is ready to lift the lid on his toy box and roll out his latest creation, the weapon in question is his all new Hayabusa powered chrome moly single seat pro-lite buggy.


Tiny, the proprietor of Frontline Motorcycles at Spreyton, has elected to keep things close to home and power the buggy with a 2011 Gen 2 Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engine, utilising the 6 speed sequential gearbox, dash and electrics from the bike. The Hayabusa is becoming common place in offroad racing around the world and is renowned for punching above its' weight producing 190 plus horsepower and touching 12000rpm on the tacho.

The chrome moly tig welded chassis, designed by Tiny, has a 118 inch wheel base and an 84 inch track, suspension travel is around 20 inches on each corner and it weighs in at around 700kg. The cockpit is clean and straight forward - nothing that is not required is adding weight to this car. The original Hayabusa gauge pod has been grafted in to the aluminium dash. Also adding more space in the cab is the absence of the fuel tank which is mounted behind the rear wheels.


The rear drive assembly in the buggy has been designed and built in house at Frontline Motorcycles, with the machine work and fabrication being done by Spreyton Engineering. While Tiny is keeping the lid on the new drive assembly until further R&D is done he will say it has a "full sized cable activated reverse gear, variable ratio options and a fully oil submersed chain from the engine to drive unit".

To complete the power transfer to the wheels, 930 CVs and 300M drive shafts are connected to Tatum mid board hubs. The car sits on 30" Kumho tyres bolted to custom bead lock wheels.

Up front the buggy uses traditional A arms utilizing 20 inches of wheel travel, controlling all of the movement are a pair of 12" Fox coil over shocks. A Tatum front steer rack points the wheels in the right direction, and Tatum 4 spot callipers grab the rotors.

In 2009 Tiny decided to make the move from two wheels to four and purchased the ex-Darren Payne Hayabusa Pro-Lite. After several races the addiction took hold and plans started for the new machine.

Built all in house at Frontline Motorcycles it is a true work art and will be a great addition to the Tasmanian line up.


Tiny will unveil the new Pro Lite buggy this weekend at the 20th anniversary Kellevie 300, the car will then return to Frontline Motorcycles to be prepped for the 40th anniversary St Helens Sand Enduro in November.

2013 will see the car travel the high seas of Bass Strait to make its debut at a national level.

Tiny would like to thank the following, Ben and Wendell Speight from Spreyton Engineering, Mick Smith Pro Fab welding, Pete Holman and his team from North West Off Road and Cam Ritchie from Racers Imports.

Check out more of the build photos here

20 Years of Tasmania's Toughest Race

5 September 2012

2012 will see 20 years of racing in what has long been considered Tasmania's "toughest and richest" off road race the Kellevie 300.

20 years ago, the dream of Karen and Alex Vadasz became a reality - with help from a small group of southern TORCC members and with the support of land owners Bernard and Marie Woolley. The early nineties saw the planning of Tassie's great race and finally after countless hours of hard work the flag finally dropped for the first time in 1993.

payne kellevie old school

1993 winning car of Darren Payne

'In the beginning talks took place between the southern members of TORCC and the land owner, we were desperately in need of a track in the south.

After many discussions a try day was organised, which went successfully, and it all started from there.

After months of working bees every weekend and a lot of hard work, a track was finally in. The original track was a lot longer, the distance of the race was to be approximately 300km, (therefore the name Kellevie 300) but due to residents in the area we were forced to cut the distance down. Only one buggy has ever driven the full original distance of the track.

The club members who helped create the track all had a section named after them.

The first race was held in 1993, with only four southern entrants. The day before the race there was a big down pour, nearly forcing the race to be cancelled. Come the day of the race, the rain had cleared but the track was still extremely wet, so the race took place and was run and won.

start line kellevie old school

Pic from Kellevie in the early days

As the years went by the number of entrants increased, as did the southern entrants, which was what we had envisaged when we decided to create our own track.

Over the years, the track and facilities were improved and upgraded.

Before we knew it, the year 2002, our 10th anniversary was upon us. With this and a bit of promotion work, we managed to entice some mainland entrants to come and test out our race. The numbers on the field were pushing 30 entrants. The race was very successful and was once again won by a car from the North of the state. Up until now no southern car has won outright position.

The next year, 2003, the mainlanders were back and this time they took the outright trophy with them.

In the following years, with the number of entrants going up and down, the magical 30 entrants had still not been hit again. The events kept roiling on, with bridges being washed away and many other upgrades to the track needing to be done.


B Caswell 2008

The southern club by now was starting to grow in numbers, compared to the earlier years, but still no southern winner.

And now 2012 we have hit the 20th anniversary of the Kellevie 300 race, and we are hoping the list of entrants is healthy.

It's been a long road and a lot of hard work by members, friends and families to keep the race going. Let's hope this is a good one and the weather gods are friendly for a great weekend. Maybe this time there'll be a southern winner.'

Source Mike Males

kellevie old school 3 styles

Entries are rolling in for this year's ARB Hobart Kellevie 300 and already confirmed are six of the previous nine outright event winners, all wanting to add the 20th anniversary trophy to the top shelf of the cabinet.

Mike Males will make his milestone 20th start of the Kellevie 300 followed closely by SORRA club president Ian Whelan making his 18th. Amazingly the Whelan's have raced the same buggy for the last 18 years; however these days it is a far cry from how it started out back then. The Pro Buggy is now powered by a NASCAR engine and coupled to a Fortin sequential trophy truck gearbox.

Darren Payne will be back and with six outright wins including the first in 1993 alongside his name will start the 20th as one of the favourites.

Scott Rockliff has clocked up four wins but hasn't had his hands on the shield since 2004 and would love to be added to the vacant 2012 spot.     

203kellevie old school1    

Michael Donohoe Outright winner 2000

Stewart McKenzie, Michael Donohoe, Stephen Watkins and Byron Murfet have all held the outright trophy and their names are also on 2012 entry list.

Over the years the event has attracted many local and interstate drivers to take on the challenging conditions of Kellevie. Two bridges, two river crossings ,fast winding tracks through trees, long steep hills, fast vertical descents, mud and dust have always been the brief and over the years and have made for fantastic racing, heartbreaking failures and spectacular crashes. But after the dust settles and the mud dries the Kellevie 300 has always been about offroad endurance, determination and comradery.

2012 will not be any different

Story by Michael Donohoe




Headed For The Pines

4 September 2012


After a quiet couple of months three Tasmanian teams are busy preparing cars and loading trailers ready to head across the strait to Round Three of the Australian Off Road Championship at Millicent in South Australia this weekend. Scott Rockliff, Darren Payne and Byron Murfet are all familiar faces at the Pines Enduro and are looking forward to being back in the Tantanoola Pine Forest.

The Teagle Excavations ARB Pines Enduro is hosted by the Millicent Sand Buggy Club and based from Teagle's quarry on the outskirts of the township of Millicent. The quarry is the heart of the event and home to the prologue track, pits, officials and the thousands of spectators that line the banks of the arena.

Saturday sees prologue and the top ten shootout, followed by the spectacular "dash for cash" - a quick two lap blast for the four fastest qualifiers from each class excluding those who have already made an appearance in the shootout.


Sunday will see the race head out of the quarry and into the pine forest, with fast open flowing tracks and tight twisting sections through towering pine trees. The event will be run as one section comprising of six laps of 65km and two 30 minute service breaks after lap two and four.

rockliff kempton 2012

Whilst Rockliff's and Payne's preparation has been pretty much straight forward for this event with both cars performing well year to date, Murfet has had to burn the midnight oil with parts only arriving from the US early this week. The Titan truck has undergone a complete rear diff and axle upgrade in the last couple of months only just being finished in time to get the truck transported across the water for this weekend's event.

Rockliff's last national appearance was the MBL Sea Lake Mallee Rally in June where the Rocka Pro Buggy finished fourth in class and fifteenth outright. With no issues after Sea Lake the car has been serviced and loaded back into the trailer waiting for another opportunity to stretch the legs of the STI Subaru. Payne's last mainland assault was the Havestco King of The Dunes at Portland where the V6 Nissan Prolite took outright honours.         

payne portland sml

To keep up to date this weekend log onto and check out the live results and keep an eye as we will have all the news and results on the three Tassie teams progress.

It's Time to Head East!

25 June 2012

The next round of the Tasmanian Off Road Racing Series is fast approaching, this time heading to the sunny sea side town of St Helens on the east coast of Tassie on the weekend of the 28th of July.

Round three of the series will be a short four heat 30 minute sprint around the sand dunes of the 5km circuit at Peron Dunes.

Although this race is a round of the state series, many teams will be treating this event as a test session prior to the 40th Anniversary 500km Enduro to be held in November.  With limited opportunities for drivers to test their equipment on sand, no one intending to race in November will want to miss this chance to tick all the boxes and make sure their sand set up is right.

Teams will make changes to traditional dirt geometry and suspension settings, sand tyres will be fitted and tyre pressures dropped in the hope they can gain that little bit more speed on the soft sand of St Helens.


New drivers or those with new cars will be keen also to have a run on the dunes and learn the tricks of the trade in sand racing.

So Tassie it's time to drag out the flag poles and head to St Helens to support this event! 

Those intending to enter let us know at and we will run an online entry list to keep everyone up to date.

Also, remember to "like" our Facebook page for all the up to date news from Tassie and around Australia.

Supplementary regulations will be in the mail soon and available on line.

Anyone with enquiries can contact :

Scott Rockliff 0418143970

Michael Donohoe 0403469492

What a Weekend!

6 June 2012

The Queen's birthday long weekend June 2012 will be long remembered in Australian Offroad Racing history as the year 200 plus cars raced in two of Australia's best races in the one weekend. The Tattersalls Finke Desert Race in the Red Centre and the MBL Sea Lake Mallee Rally in central Victoria.

Tasmania won't be left out of the action either with three teams crossing the water and heading north.

Hayden Tatnell Motorsport is making the long trip to Alice Springs whilst the crews of Scott Rockliff and Stephen Watkins are heading to the small country town of Sea Lake in the heart of Victoria to compete in the first round of the Australian Championship.

Both Rockliff and Watkins leave aboard the Spirit of Tasmania Thursday night and arrive in Melbourne Friday morning ready for the short drive through Victoria.

Rockliff, currently sharing the lead of the Tasmanian Championship, is well prepared for round one of the AORC.


The team's single seat Rocka has been performing well this year after an extensive rebuild during the off season. The Albins box was returned to Ballarat late last year for new ratios and a full rebuild to bring it up to current spec including the shift change to sequential.

The 2.0l STI Subaru has had a freshen up and with recent tuning the team have made some impressive power gains. While the rear of the car was empty the rears arms were also replaced increasing wheel travel and improving geometry.

Rockliff a regular national competitor is looking forward to his first time at Sea Lake and is confident the car will be well suited to the circuit.

Stephen Watkins has his performance 2WD Escort loaded and attached to the rear of the tow vehicle and as usual is well prepared for the race.


Watkins, a previous state outright champion and multiple time class champion, is considered "Mr Reliability" in Tasmanian racing and has been from one end of his Escort and back again in preparation.

The 2 litre powered car has had some impressive finishing records over the years and generally punches well above its weight, the small lightweight machine should be well suited to the Sea Lake track.

Off Road Racing Tasmania would like to wish all three Tassie teams the best of luck for the weekend and hope they travel safe.

We will have updates all weekend as they come to hand and remember to check out the live commentary on 


Standing Ovation for Gill

21 May 2012


On Sunday Gillian Ziembinski showed true off road grit, determination and above all, bravery to drive her late husband Brett's Super 1650 #269 through eight laps of the 32km track at the Onkaparinga Ramblers Car Club Parilla track.

It was an extremely emotive time in the Ziembinski and Speed families in the lead up to this weekend's Richard Bennett Memorial Enduro as Gillian prepared to compete.

The buggy had not been raced since Brett's tragic passing in late December 2010. Although Gill is no stranger to off road competition, being brought up in the sport and the navigators seat, and driving in numerous ladies and juniors events in the #269, the courage it took for this young woman to line up with 28 fellow off road racers was extraordinary.




Accompanying Gill on this quest was Brett's younger brother Daniel (aka Boof), who sat steadfastly next to his sister in law as she drove consistently and steadily through the 256km race.

Boof commented after Saturday's prologue "Gill's getting back into a rhythm. She power slid through the corners and is handling the doughy conditions really well".

Gill and Boof crossed the finish line after the eight lap marathon to a standing ovation and not a dry eye in sight; all present understanding the significance of the feat for the young mother.

The Onkaparinga Ramblers Car Club named a perpetual trophy in Brett's honour after his passing. One of Brett's most treasured possessions was a lime green racing helmet. The club have immortalised a model of this helmet in a mallee wood trophy to be awarded to the first navigator home at the Parilla track.

Story by Julie Rogers 

Images by Murray Rogers




TORCC - Time to TORQUE it up for 2012

18 May 2012

The TORCC got away to an enthusiastic start to 2012 with a good roll up to our AGM in March.
A rainy Saturday afternoon was soon filled with a lengthy meeting followed by a BBQ and drinks.

We welcomed some new members to the club and the 2012 committee was voted in.
With notable departures from Peter Hay who relocated to McKay in 2011 and Cara Tatnell who stepped down as Secretary /Treasurer after 9 years following the birth of her third child in February.

Chris_Shepheard.jpgChris Shepheard has taken over from Cara as Sec/Treasurer and Hayden Tatnell was voted in as President with Phil Sulzberger, Clinton Sulzberger, Justin Tatnell and Cara Tatnell rounding out the general committee roles.

The rest of the meeting was dedicated to plans for the upcoming 40th Anniversary Event at St Helens in November.

Above picture taken at the St Helens race in the 1970's. From the Tucker Family Collection.

The significance of this event needs no explanation and the clubs plans for the staging of the event are fittingly exciting and significant.

They include a revamped TV commercial on Southern Cross;  promotional merchandise for sale pre and post event; a marquee style party at the dunes Saturday night and the usual Presentation Dinner Sunday night at the RSL.

But to really mark this milestone event we would like to revisit what they did for the 20th anniversary event whereby we hold a’ pre race’ gala function in Launceston in October where all members and friends of every off road club statewide  past and present are invited for an evening  of TORCC nostalgia , fun and celebration at a venue TBC that we hope to fill with loads of memorabilia and people !!

So stay tuned it’s going to be HUGE!

The TORCC meets again on Thursday 24th May at 7.30pm at the Riverview Hotel.
NEW and OLD members VERY welcome.

Written by: Cara Tatnell



Payne Takes Out Kempton

14 May 2012

Darren Payne and Kerri Wallace have taken outright honours in the 2012 Huntington Tavern Wildest Offroad Dash at Kempton last weekend.

Payne Kempton 2012

Round Two of the Tasmanian Offroad Series headed south last Saturday to the small town of Kempton north of Hobart on the A1 highway, a natural terrain circuit, used once a year, through what is normally farming land.

Competitors and officials were greeted with some tough weather conditions Saturday morning with temperatures being recorded as low as 2 degrees and reports of snow falling a mere 50km north of the circuit, add some light rain and things had to get messy!

Seventeen cars lined up at 9am for two laps of the prologue course - the first few cars out pioneers on the fresh grass and slippery muddy conditions. 

Group Kempton 2012

Both Payne and Dale Newbon setting quick times until Luke Whelan unleashed the Mopar powered Pro Buggy topping the time sheets and relegating Payne and Newbon back to second and third respectively.

Heat one saw Payne take the early lead from the start in his V6 Pro-lite - short lived though as Whelan took control of the race on lap two and lead to the flag.

Newcomers Darren Bott and Chris Creely had a disappointing introduction to the sport, damaging the sump early in heat one in the teams Gen 3 GU Patrol, electing to retire rather than risk any engine damage.

Bott Kempton 2012

Mike Males removed a rear arm from his Malco Pro Buggy courtesy of what would become a very popular straining post. Terry Morice had a frustrating start to the day with several spins in prologue and two punctures in the first heat.

Heat two saw the gates open up and the field head out into the new section of track, once again under the guidance of Whelan followed by Payne, Scott Rockliff and Dale Newbon. Disaster struck mid race for Whelan, once again suffering from gearbox problems, sidelining the Pro Buggy for the remainder of racing.

The truck of Paul Quillam and Troy Mason introduced itself to above mentioned straining post blocking the preferred race line and required the boys from recovery to assist in removal before continuing the heat.

Heat three started in the dry but by mid race the heavens were starting to open, however this didn't cool down the battle at the front between Payne and Rockliff with lead changing several times but eventually once again the flag dropped for Payne followed by Rockliff and Newbon.

Rockliff Kempton 2012

By the start of heat four the rain was coming down making track conditions challenging, the section of track heading up hill was removed for safety reasons shortening race distance and returning officials and drivers back to the fire pots earlier. To the surprise of several competitors Scott Rockliff had found a new set of tyres lying around in the pits during the break and found the grip the car had been lacking all of the event, setting some quick lap times in wet conditions and taking the heat win.

Dale Newbon's day came to an end early into the heat with engine dramas, disappointing for the team who had been running in the top three all day.

At the end of the day it was Darren Payne #124 first outright and first in Pro-Lite, Scott Rockliff #22 second home and first Pro Buggy followed by Michael Donohoe #125 third outright and second in Pro-Lite.

The next round of the series heads east to the sunny sand dunes of St Helens on July 28th, many teams keen to get back on the sand to check car setup prior to the 40th Anniversary event in November.

Donohoe Kempton 2012

Pictures supplied by R40 media to order copies and see more go to

Story by Michael Donohoe Offroadracing Tasmania


The Wildest Dash Heats Up!!

7 May 2012

This weekend Round Two of the Tasmanian Off Road Season fires up in Kempton, 30 minutes north of Hobart on the Midlands Highway.

With light rains forecast this week prior to the event and bright blue skies for race day, the 9km's of natural terrain circuit should be dust free and boasts great viewing for spectators. With a new section of track added for this year's event and a healthy entry list of 18 cars to date, the Huntington Tavern Wildest Offroad Dash is set to be a fantastic race.


With results still not official from round one, the two drivers at the head of the title chase, Rockliff and Payne, will once again be locked in a fierce battle. 

Rockliff has spent the last few weeks back on the dyno chasing the optimum engine tune in his STI Subaru, now confident he has the power needed for the single seat Rocka to stretch its legs on the longer straights of Kempton.

Payne, on the other hand, happy with his setup has only had normal pre-race maintenance to do and is set to go, confident he can continue his outright success at this event.

Sitting third in the outright standings is the Mopar powered Pro buggy of Luke and Billy Whelan. After spending some long nights in the shed - having to rebuild the diff and gearbox after round one and fitting additional coolers to try and tame the heat produced by the 600 plus horsepower of the Nascar engine -  the boys are hoping home track advantage will play into their hands.

Pro buggy has a strong contingent of SORRA entries with the return of Dale Newbon, Nick Glover, Chris Wiggins and Stuart Obrien joining Mike Males in the 2012 championship. Newbon, absent from racing for over 12 months, will be keen to clean the cobwebs out of his turbo Subaru single seater and claim some silver ware.


Along with Payne in Pro-lite, Michael Donohoe is heading south in his Hunter Rivmasta to do battle with Jack Radcliffe and Chris Branch, all three cars are powered by Nissan SR20 engines and will provide some close racing.

Super 1650 sees the return of Ian James to the class, after a two year rebuild of his 4AGE powered Verco Hornet.

Troy Mason and Paul Quillam have a new body, paint and engine in their truck and will be keen to take the battle up to Terry Morice in Extreme 2WD.  Morice, who battled with overheating issues at Latrobe, is confident those dramas are behind the team and is excited to be back at Kempton.

Performance 2WD will be a battle between the Escort of current state class champion Steve Watkins and the wild man Nigel Nugawella in his Datsun 1200 coupe.

After several years of building, Darren Bott and Chris Creely are making their debut in off road racing, entering the teams Gen 3 powered GU patrol in Extreme 4WD.  Bott, a former regular competitor in events such as "Nav Runs" and Cliff Hanger, will be keen to compare his skills against current class champion Dean Maddock in his Rangie.

Gates open early for scrutineering and the flag drops at 9am for 2 laps of the prologue course.  Heat one will start at 10.30 followed by three more heats of twelve laps each.


Breakfast will be available courtesy of the One Stop Food van and will continue catering all day. Spectators are well looked after at this event with the natural velodrome layout of this circuit making most of the track visible from the start finish arena.

Story by Michael Donohoe (Offroadracing Tasmania)

The Wildest Off Road Dash Approaches..

25 April 2012

The Huntington Tavern Wildest Off Road Dash is fast approaching and preparations are well under way.

Hosting honors for the second round of the Tasmanian series belong this time to the Southern Off Road Racing Association. The event is to be held at the clubs Kempton circuit 30 minutes north of Hobart on the Midlands Highway.    

SORRA's hard working team have been clocking up the overtime in preparation, hoping to continue to build the event to be Tasmania's premier dirt course and attract the attention of mainland teams.



Ian Whelan(club president) and his partner in crime Todd Bennetto, have finally found the illusive hole in the boundary fence and are now able to extend the 5 km loop a further 4 km through into the next property.

The event will consist of 4 heats of 12 laps - the 1st and 4th will be on the 5 km track and heats 2 and 3 will have the new section of track added.

An initiative of SORRA is also to re-group the field mid race in sections 1 and 4 just to increase spectator value.

SORRA are selling tickets to the public on race day with the prize being a ride at the end of the event in a race car, this will be drawn after section 3. The lucky winner will be suited up during heat four and strapped into the first two seater home at the completion of the event for the ride of their life.

Fresh from Agfest, Rural Solutions together with Polaris Australia, will have their latest range of UTV side by sides on display and will be conducting demonstrations during the day.

The No Limits 4WD Club from Hobart will have vehicles on display including demonstrations on the club's travel ramp, they will also be assisting with recovery for the event.

Kids will also be well catered for with a giant jumping castle. SORRA will be giving each child through the gate one free ticket to the castle. As always, full canteen facilities will be trackside all day and camping is available Friday and Saturday night at the Kempton football ground

The events naming right sponsor the" Huntington Tavern" main road Kempton will be hosting presentations from 6pm with counter meals and bar facilities available.

Round One Wash Up

3 April 2012

The 2012 Tasmanian State Series has had a fantastic start to the season with some excellent racing in almost perfect conditions.

Twelve entries lined up for the season opener hosted by the North West Off Road Car Club, held at its 2.6km short course circuit at Latrobe.

Light rain prior to and during prologue made conditions "tricky" to bank a fast time - throttle control and the right line was needed.

Both V8 machines of Whelan and Morice were caught out on the same corner spinning, entertaining for the crowd but sending them down the start order. When the rain stopped and the dust settled it was Scott Rockliff topping the time sheets followed by Darren Payne.

Rockliff Latrobe0312

Rockliff lead fr

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